Flying and Thoughts
There were things about Hogwarts that Henri found to be quite bothersome, like the perpetually damp and muggy Scottish weather, or how most of the student body seemed to view him as either a hero in the making or the next Dark Lord.
But that was easy to shrug off, after all the Old World philosophy about 'Light' and 'Dark' magic had nothing to do with how Mama Marie had taught him magic.
"Heck," Henri thought to himself about the matter one day during breakfast, "Mama Marie told me about branches of banned magic that can help and heal, and that so-called Light spells could be used to hurt people."
She had taught him many things, but the one thing that she had made sure was drilled into him was that people were not labels, they were complex beings who were more than the sum of their parts.
Then Henri had the sudden mental image of Ronald Weasley and added, "There are exceptions."
Henri looked up from his corn flakes at Blaise and said, "Sorry, just thinking out loud."
Blaise grunted before turning a blurry eye back to his scrambled eggs.
From across the table Draco Malfoy commented, "Well now that you're awake, mind if I took a look at your Transfiguration notes?"
Henri shrugged, "Sure, why not?"
Draco smirked while Laveau fished out his notes from McGonagall's class, and quickly became absorbed in them once they were in his pale hands.
Henri just smiled and shook his head.
After all if after the first night at Hogwarts you had told him that he would have become friends with Malfoy he wouldn't have believed it.
But the pale-blond brat had managed to grow on him over the first couple of weeks, Draco had flaws aplenty, but Henri planned to fix that.
And he had already made some progress since he had publicly socialized with Neville Longbottom the very next day after his first potion's accident.
"Draco," Henri had told him the second Malfoy had approached him in the Slytherin common room, "I assume this is about Neville?"
Draco had begun to say, "Of course it is-"
But Henri had cut him off by saying, "He's a friend of mine."
The Slytherin common room had gone quiet enough to hear a pin drop.
"But he's a Gryffindor…" Draco had begun again.
"I am aware of that." Henri had replied politely, "However my birth parents were Gryffindor's as well and that didn't make them hate me for being here."
Before anyone in the room could respond to that, Henri had added as he gathered his things to leave, "Besides, I'm helping him with his Potion's making skills. I don't think it's in anyone's interest to risk constant explosions for the next seven years."
And with that particular answer Draco Malfoy fell silent, clearly not wanting to cause a rupture between them.
But even as Henri Laveau had walked out of the common room for the boy's rooms, several students in room had noticed Henri speaking of his parents in the present tense.
As if they were alive.
The older students, the ones who had read up on Marie Laveau since Harry Potter's appearance at the school as her adoptive son at least, contemplated the rumors about the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans and either shuddered or found themselves fascinated by the possibilities that were hidden behind Henri's green eyes.
But in the present the early morning conversations between the Slytherin First Years were quickly centering on the notice about Flying Lessons later in the day.
"I don't understand why Dumbledore wants us to be buzzing around the air with them!" Grace growled with a thumb jabbed in the direction of the Lions, who seemed to be discussing the same topic.
"Because he's barmy." A large, heavy-set girl named Millicent Bulstrode replied while eyeballing the bacon plate, clearly considering a second helping.
Henri chuckled softly at that.
Blaise lifted himself into the land of the aware long enough to say, "The old fool thinks it'll bring us all together."
Every single Slytherin within earshot snorted.
Especially since a few seconds later the voice of Ron Weasley carried over to their table, the would-be bully was complaining loudly about having to fly a broom "with those filthy snakes!"
"How do his siblings put up with him?" Daphne Greengrass thought aloud with a sniff of contempt.
"Because they're all a bunch of filthy bloodtraitors!" Pansy Parkinson answered while stabbing her ham fiercely.
Henri's grimace at that word was only noticed by Draco and Grace.
Blaise meanwhile tapped his now empty goblet for a fourth serving of coffee.
After Transfiguration, where the most interesting thing that had happened was Weasley's button he was supposed to be turning into a beetle morphed into a chicken bone. There had been a break and then came Flying.
"Are these brooms safe?" Henri muttered to himself at the sight of them.
"I guess the older student's weren't lying after all." Blaise added right at his side.
The brooms that Hogwarts had on offer in the middle of the courtyard had clearly seen better days.
"Mama wouldn't trust these things in her kitchen much less to fly." Henri said quietly as Madam Hooch stared at the students from both houses with a stern gaze.
"Everyone stand next to a broom." She said with her strange piercing yellow eyes flashing, "Make sure that the broom is to your right."
There was a few minutes of shuffling as the Slytherins and Gryffindor's scurried to the two lines of brooms.
"Good," Hooch said, "Now hold out your right hand and say UP!"
Henri didn't bother with the yelling, instead just holding out his hand and his broom flew up without any muss.
He noticed that most of the Slytherin's had managed this feat as well, "But to be fair, almost all of them have been on brooms before." A voice that sounded suspiciously like his Uncle Jean's whispered in his thoughts.
Henri glanced at the Gryffindor's and saw that most of them were struggling, Ron's broom had flown up and struck him in the head.
But he saw Neville hadn't even managed to get his broom to move an inch off the ground and called out, "Hey Neville, don't sound so nervous, the tone of your voice is making the broom think you don't want to leave the ground. Calm down and try again."
Everyone was now staring at him in surprise, even Madam Hooch.
However a nudge from the Patil girl had Neville snapping out of it and clearing his throat before almost bellowing, "Up!"
The broom shot right up into his flabbergasted hands.
"Hey, thanks Laveau!" Neville yelled back with a grin of disbelief.
Madam Hooch recovered from her surprise and said, "Good work Mr. Laveau at helping a fellow student. Five points to Slytherin."
As she moved on Henri saw that even the more hardline Slytherin's were impressed, though he did see Ron Weasley muttering something to the Irish lad, Finnegan and they both gave nasty laughs.
Then while Madam Hooch went around correcting people's grips on their brooms, Blaise caught his eye and asked, "So how good are you on a broom?"
Henri shrugged, "Pretty good, me and Uncle Jean did a lot of racing and I played Quodpot with some of the local kids when I could."
"Quodpot? Oh, right the American game."
Henri just chuckled before Madam Hooch swooped in and gave his grip a cursory look and commented, "Perfect grip."
Then she informed Blaise that the way he was bending his wrist would cause long-term damage and fixed it.
Malfoy started to laugh until Hooch informed him that he had been doing it all wrong for years.
Then came actual flight, which for Henri wasn't really all that challenging.
Madam Hooch kept herself in the back to better help the struggling and inexperienced get their bearings, but when even Weasley had found his stride, Madam Hooch buzzed to the front and summoned several large hoops with her wand and had each student go through them at a slow pace, each time she made things a little more complex until she reached that particular pupil's limit and informed them on how to improve with practice.
She did this based on the lineup, so Henri had the pleasure of watching her sending Weasley through only two sets before sending him off with extra practice, "Before you get yourself killed!"
Blaise and Draco both acquitted themselves well enough that Hooch advised them to consider joining the Slytherin's Quidditch team next year.
Then she called out, "Laveau, Henri."
By the end Madam Hooch was beaming, and all the students were staring at him in awe.
"Oh Mr. Laveau, you have clearly inherited your father's talents on a broom!" Madam Hooch informed him in front of everyone without shame, "I think Flint would let you on the team this year if he could manage it."
Henri just nodded politely, even though he had never played Quidditch in his life.
"…I'm glad things are going so well for you my child." Marie told him, her image reflecting back to Henri through the mirror in the shared bathroom in the boy's dorm late at night.
Henri nodded, "And I'm keeping up with my lessons."
Marie Laveau nodded, "I've been scoring your latest essay on basic spell creation, so far you've done everything perfectly."
Henri beamed, the extra lessons that his Mama was having do through the notebook were ones that were already on the borderline of legality in Magical Britain, and he had no doubt those lines would be transgressed countless times soon enough.
"Then again," Henri thought with a mental snort, "They have so many regulations that everyone would have to break them just to function."
But Mama Marie brought him back to earth by adding, "You haven't tried to make any spells on your own yet, right?"
"Of course not Mama." Henri reassured her with a firm nod, "I'm not ready for that yet."
"No, you are not." His Mama informed him with a firm nod of her head, "Whatever your head start on the theory, it would be very dangerous for you to attempt making spells without supervision."
Henri barely managed to keep from gulping.
He knew she meant business.
But she lightened the mood by asking him about the latest from his friends.
"Well me and Blaise spent our free time yesterday coming up with ways to get that Weasley boy expelled." Henri said with a laugh, "Even if none of them would really work."
Marie Laveau sighed, "I'd have thought you would have made him see that being a bully is a bad thing."
Henri grunted, "He's too dumb, and he isn't worth wasting magic or a ritual on."
His Mama felt a surge of pride at her boy's restraint and kept the smile off her lips, but it showed through her eyes.
"As long as he doesn't physically threaten you then there isn't much to fear on that front, other than irritation."
That had both Laveau's laughing merrily.
Then Henri dared to ask, "So how has the research gone?"
Marie Laveau's face fell, "Not well, not well at all. I've been running into walls and dead ends. But don't you worry yourself none. There are only so many places… Nevermind."
Henri nodded, there were things that weren't safe to speak aloud.
"At least not yet." He whispered to himself.
"What was that?"
"Just a reminder to myself is all Mama," Henri told her honestly and then asked if she had any visions about the 'Old Fool' or his Godfather.
"Of Sirius Black, nothing." Mama Marie sighed sadly, "The spirits keep saying the same thing, "Find the rat…"
Henri snorted, "We know that! But where is-?"
"Somewhere in Britain," Marie cut him off, "Beyond that the spirits are saying that Pettigrew has immersed himself so far into his Animagi form that he is only partly visible to them."
Henri suppressed a growl of frustration, his parents had told him about the man who had supposed to take him in, their dear friend Sirius Black and how he had been framed with the crimes of the man who had truly sold them out and was now rotting in the 'care' of the Dementors.
"Don't fret none," Marie informed him, "We'll find the rat and we will shove him down the British Ministries throat if need be. Oh, and as for the Old Fool…"
Marie then laughed darkly, "Fear of me is staying his hand."
Henri managed a weak smile, "It won't last."
"No it won't," Marie said with a shake of her head, "But it will hold for at least until spring."
"I won't let him control me." Henri said with conviction.
"It won't happen," Marie told him sweetly, but with hidden steel, "The only reason you are at Hogwarts is because the spirits informed us that certain things can only be accomplished at Hogwarts. But that doesn't require Dumbledore to be in charge, does it?"
Henri nodded in the affirmative, vigorously.
Marie laughed, "Now you go and get some sleep, tomorrow is the first full moon of the month. And I know you'll have a lot to say to your birth parents."
"Yes Mama Marie," Henri replied happily, "And the Summoning's are getting easier each time."
"You are gaining in experience." Marie told him sagely, "Though the nearness of All-Hallows Eve is a factor as well."
Henri acknowledged that, after all the Day of the Dead was when the barrier between the living and the dead was at its thinnest, a most important time of year at the Laveau Plantation.
They then chatted quietly for a few more minutes before Marie reminded him that it was time to go to bed.
Marie Laveau turned away from her looking glass with a weary sigh, it might have been late at night in Britain but it was still early evening in Louisiana and she was already bone-tired.
She had been standing in front of a small mirror hanging on a hook inside the large, subterranean space set aside for magical experiments of all sorts. Marie had found the network of caves in a rocky outcrop deep within the swamps and had purchased the land dirt cheap a century ago.
It had taken the better part of a decade to create the perfect workspace for her more dangerous workings, but it had been worth it in end.
And now she could gaze upon the massive magically reinforced table in the main chamber with pride, though at the moment it was sparse of its usual collection of ancient objects, potions, and other things in favor of a series of books on a subject so vile it made her stomach churn.
The breaking of the immortal soul.
Once more Marie Laveau cursed Voldemort for a fool to end all fools and glared at the ancient greek parchment in front of her.
Herpo the Foul had been the first (recorded) idiot to tamper with the inner mysteries, and had paid for it dearly.
"And the up-jumped Lord jumped right into this without even considering the ramifications." Marie muttered to herself in disgust.
The soul shard that had been lodged in her poor boy's head as a babe had been the first indication that the latest Dark Lord of the Old World had done something beyond 'usual evil'.
Removing it had been simple enough, especially due to its desiccated state, which had been an even more troubling sign than a shard that had been much stronger.
It was an obvious conclusion that Voldemort hadn't intentionally broken his soul just once, oh no, he had done so more than once.
Which had required her to study up on a subject that should never have had been explored by anyone, Horcrux.
The spirits were of little help in this matter, since the very creation of a Horcrux was unnatural, the instant the soul was split, the broken piece was invisible since it technically had ceased to exist. Dependent completely on the vessel that it was attached too, which also became difficult to perceive from the eyes of the departed.
All that Marie had been able to glean was that Voldemort had attached his soul shards to powerful magical objects, and she had backtracked his travels and habits as best she could for answers.
But until recently nothing had come to the surface.
"All that I found was Voldemort's probable location a couple years back," Marie thought to herself darkly, "And the bastard gave me the slip before I could get him."
She gave the books with their bad juju one last glare before waving her hand, sending the tomes away in favor of the previous decor.
The only addition to the pile was an old book of British Wizarding Families that had been left open, the family was the House of Gaunt.
"I wonder…" Marie thought aloud as she looked at a name she had highlighted, "I wonder…"
The last decade had been spent in raising her Henri with a happy life, and with preparation for the trials that were in his path, but it had also been spent in trying to piece together the dark secrets of a man that had turned himself into a monster.
"Maybe I should see if the monster's mother would be willing to speak…" Marie said as she reread a name she had encountered during that research into the origins of a monster named Lord Voldemort.
A monster who had once been a boy called Tom Riddle.
Abandoned by his father, and left in an orphanage by a witch mother who had died soon after of grief and suffering.
"She hasn't come to me before," Marie reminded herself, "But then again from what's turned up it wouldn't be surprising if she's still afraid, even in death."
Marie Laveau decided that it was time to fix that.
Additional Notes 7/18/13: I had to go back and tweak a couple of things (the big one was forgetting that Hermione is in Ravenclaw in this verse), and I would like to thank the readers for their patience due to the long wait. I normally write fanfics for the TV show Daria and I had a hard time getting inspired.