Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. All rights of the books and Harry Potter franchise belong to JK Rowling.

Book II

Harry Potter and the Heir of Slytherin

Chapter 1: Days of Summer

It was night time. The sun had long since lowered beyond the horizon and the moon was out. Millions of stars twinkled in the velvety night sky, sparkling and glittering like a sea of diamonds. It was a gorgeous scene, a view that many artists had tried to capture for years without success, and one that Harry Potter had seen many many times. Enough times that his memory had managed to pick out all of the constellations with nothing but a glance and could predict each star cycle for the next two years.

Of course, even he had never seen the stars quite like this. Sitting back on his hind legs, his midnight black fur ruffling in the stiff breeze that blew through the clearing in the cope of trees he had taken to hiding himself in, Harry Potter stared up at the night sky through the canopy of trees with glowing green eyes.

Suddenly, without warning, the young man turned jaguar took off like a shot. To any human it would seem as if his body had turned into a blur as he ran through the trees, deftly avoiding every object within his path with great ease.

He moved quickly, his four pawed legs propelling him forward at increasingly greater and greater speeds as he pushed himself far harder than he could as a human. Harry didn't know quite how fast he was going, but he had to be at least moving somewhere around forty, maybe fifty kilometers an hour.

It might not be as fast as his Nimbus 2000, but damn if it wasn't just as exhilarating.

There were many things Harry noticed about this particular animagus form that he took careful note of during this first test run of his newly acquired ability. His body, which had always been quite strong as a human, was nearly ten times more powerful in this animal form. He could feel his leg muscles as they worked on providing him with the propulsion to move forward. They were not even straining despite the incredible speed he was running at. His balance and reaction time was beyond top notch. He could react to anything at a moments notice, jumping over fallen logs, climbing onto trees and tree branches so he could move along the trees themselves without the slightest bit of effort. His sense of smell had been enhanced to the point that he could pick out all of the individual scents in the area and discern the direction they were coming from with ease.

Better still, Harry's vision was sharper than it had ever been. Even in the darkness of the night, surrounded by enough trees that only a modicum of the light from the moon and stars could reach him, Harry could see with perfect clarity of vision. Not even the fast pace he had set as he sped through the small obstacle course of trees changed his perception. There wasn't even any blurring that usually came from moving so fast.

Harry suspected that these intense increases of perception were not just due to his new form, but magical in nature. Magical beyond the fact that he was a wizard turned jaguar. While it was impossible to know just how powerful the senses of a jaguar were since there was no way to communicate with them, Harry did not believe that the species had senses that were this powerful.

Of course, now that he could transform into a jaguar at will, maybe he would be able to speak with jaguars. If anything such a conversation should prove to be interesting.

He did notice a few downsides. His mind, while still very much his own, was a little more animalistic than it was in his human form. It took a good deal more effort than normal to think in a logical manner. The problem was his instincts as a Jaguar were running interference with his much more logically thinking human brain. It created a bit of a problem at first, but Harry had learned that once he let go of his need to study everything about his animagus form, his ability to think became a bit more clear.

Harry stayed outside for several hours, testing his new found animagus form and relishing in the sense of freedom it gave him. There was something to be said about being able to turn into one of the most powerful and fastest felines in the animal kingdom. It was truly one of the most incredible thrilling experiences he'd had so far in his almost twelve years of life.

It wasn't until it was nearly one o'clock in the morning that Harry finally decided to call it quits. Calming his more animalistic instincts, the young Potter heir began to focus, willing his body to change back into his human one.

The event didn't happen slowly, but rather, all at once. His body rippled and morphed, shifting from his Jaguar form to his human one. His long torso became more compact, his legs elongated and his feet changed from paws into normal human feet. His arms and hands experienced much the same, morphing from their four digit paws to five digit hands and his arms into a pair of muscular human arms. The tail sticking out from between his hind legs shrank and moved back into his tail bone. The muzzle on his face became less and less pronounced, becoming more human in less than a second, and the thick, shiny black fur that covered his body disappeared and became a pair of black jeans and a dark green shirt. The transformation was complete.

Harry Potter stood there for a moment, looking over his body, checking to make sure nothing was out of place. He didn't want to head home only to discover he still had animal ears or a tail. That would just be embarrassing, and would probably cause the Dursley's to freak out.

Or pass out, which might actually be kind of funny.

Ugh, he had been hanging out with Weasley twins too much if he was thinking about playing a prank.

When everything checked out, the young man disapparated with nothing more than a whisper.

He reappeared inside of his room, which looked the same as ever. The only difference being that his normally impeccably clean desk was littered with books, arcane looking tomes filled with ancient knowledge. Some were open to a specific page, others were closed and awaiting their turn to be of some use to him. A few had books marks so he didn't have to flip through the pages to get to the one he had been reading. All of them were of the same subject.

Divesting himself of all his clothing except for his briefs, Harry sent a modicum of magic and intent towards his clothing, surrounding it. He then created a small path with his magic for his clothes to travel. The jeans, socks, and shirt all floated into the air and traveled along the set path he had given them until they were hovering over the small dirty hampers bin, which they soon dropped into when he released his magic. Meanwhile, Harry himself walked over to his bed and moved under the covers, falling asleep instantly, his exhaustion making him too tired to meditate.

That night he dreamed of his parents death mixed in with his confrontation with Voldemort the previous year when he was told by the man that they were very similar. Needless to say, he had a very troubled sleep.


It was early in the morning when Harry found himself entering the building where Master Wei taught his martial arts. Because it was so early, there were not that many people there. In fact, aside from Master Wei himself, who Harry was almost positive lived there, there was only one other person within the building.

Said person was a female who was maybe just a little less than a decade older than Harry. She had long blond hair that was currently tied into a tight pony tail on top of her head with only a few strands that were falling loose to frame a lovely face and a pair of piercing blue eyes that were currently set in a mask of concentration as she went through the motions for her unique form of combat.

Currently, the woman of nineteen was wearing a red kung fu uniform with a black sash around her waist. It was very different than the standard Karate uniform that Harry preferred. Rather than being an open jacket that tied on the left side of the waist, the kung fu uniform was a long sleeved jacket that had five black frog buttons that ran down the middle to close it and a slightly raised collar as opposed to the very open collar that plunged into a V due to how the karate uniforms tied closed. The pants were very similar his own, except hers had an elastic at the ankles as well as an elastic draw string at the waist.

Harry allowed himself a moment or two to watch the girl as she went through her forms. She was very graceful, incredibly so. She was also very fast. Her fists seemed to blur as she threw them forward in a combination of short, straight jabs and flowing corkscrews. He could see that her attacks were designed to hit the weakest parts of the human body; the eyes, the ears, the joints of the jaw, the larynx, elbows, wrists, the solar plexus, the accumulation of nerves just below the upper four abdominal muscles. He even saw her giving a particularly brutal kick towards the area that would be the genitals on a male of average height.

He recognized the form she used. How could he not when he had been subject to the style so many times in the past. The use of hitting the weak points on the human body was a Krav Maga concept, which Harry actually used in his own form of martial arts when going on the offensive.

The other forms he recognized as a combination of taekwondo, a style of fighting that emphasized kicking, and a Southern style of kung fu called Bak Mei (Literal translation meaning White Eyebrows), whose creator was said to have been one of the legendary five elders who, according to some accounts, betrayed Shaolin to the Chinese imperial government in seventeen twenty-seven.

It was a highly unusual combination of styles to utilize. Taekwondo and Bak Mei were two very different styles of fighting. One would think that combining the two would create an awkward form with a number of wholes and pauses between forms that someone would be able to exploit.

That was not the case here. The woman's movements were not only precise and smooth, but also flowed into each other perfectly. It was an amazing sight to see, and showed how much dedication the woman had put into her martial arts to be capable of combining two very different styles along with the basic concepts of a third style into something beautiful.

Harry waited patiently until the woman was done practicing before stepping further into the room, alerting the two to his presence.

"Harry," Master Wei greeted as the woman with them turned around to look at Harry, a smile lighting her features when she saw him. "You're just in time for a spar. I am sure you remember Katrina?"

"Of course," Harry replied as he greeted the only female of the group cordially. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Katrina. I heard you finished third place in the national mixed martial arts tournament. Congratulations."

"Harry," Katrina replied with a grin. Her voice did not have an English accent at all, not surprising, considering she was not a native. "Yeah, I kicked total ass. Showed those jerks that a woman can do anything a man can do, only better."

Katrina Whethers was an American woman who had moved to Britain with her parents when she was twelve. The young woman was very bright, with a level of intelligence that almost matched Harry's own. She also had what many people in England called 'the American Cowboy' personality. Or perhaps cowgirl would be more accurate term considering her gender.

Harry did not know much about her past, but he did know that she had been practicing martial arts long before she moved to Britain. By the time Harry had joined, Katrina, who had been twelve at the time, already had several medals from various tournaments under her belt, though none of them had been first place. She had also been one of the key figures who had helped develop his fighting style.

She had also been one of two people who had given him enough bruises to last a lifetime.

The other person was Master Wei.

He did not necessarily consider her a friend, but she was also a bit more than an acquaintance. He had a healthy dose of respect for her strength and ability in martial arts as well as her intelligence. Aside from being a top ranking martial artist, she also had a full-time scholarship at Oxford. Last time she had been in Surrey, she had mentioned she was studying Health and Life Sciences in order to fulfill her life goal of researching and coming up with a more humane and efficient way of dealing with cancer that did not involve radiation therapy or drugs. A worthy goal, and one Harry could not help but admire.

"It's good to see you're doing well. I heard from the old coot here that you've gone off to some boarding school."

Said 'old coot' grunted at the disrespectful term Katrina used for him, but did not actually say anything. The words were merely a term of endearment and not actually meant to be disrespectful, even if Master Wei was not necessarily pleased at being called old.

"So," Katrina's grin widened as she looked at Harry with an excited gaze. "Are you up for a spar? I've been looking forward to seeing how much you've improved since the last time I was here."

"With you? I am always up for the chance to test myself against a martial artist of your caliber," Harry couldn't help the excitement building up inside of him at the thought of sparring Katrina. While sparring Master Wei was nice and definitely helped him improve every time he came in, getting his ass beaten by an old man tended to leave a bad taste in his mouth.

Not that getting beaten by a woman just seven years his senior was any better, but then, Harry just disliked losing no matter who he sparred against.

"Still a smooth talker, eh Harry?" Katrina chuckled as her soon to be sparring partner tilted his head and looked at her in mild curiosity. Eventually, he shrugged the girl's words off. She had been saying things like that ever since Harry had memorized the dictionary and started using at least two of the words he learned every time he spoke.

Even after all this time, he still didn't know what she meant. He also didn't care enough to find out.

"Just let me change into my uniform," Harry said before Katrina could say anything else. He didn't want her to begin trying to embarrass him like she was sometimes wont to do.

Harry made his way into the changing room where he quickly and efficiently changed from his normal clothes to his uniform. It probably would have been more efficient to just change at home before arriving, but Harry always felt it would be awkward to walk down the street in his karate uniform.

When he was finished changing, he came back outside and did a few warm up stretches while Katrina jumped up and down on her toes to keep herself warmed up. Master Wei moved to the center of the sparring circle on the large blue mat, waiting for the other two to get into position before allowing them to start.

Ready, and, fight!"

Without warning, Katrina sped towards him the moment the spar started, unleashing a swift high kick that was aimed at his jaw.

Rather than back pedal, as most sane people would do, Harry moved forward, using his forearm to block and redirect the kick over his head. His reason for doing this was because moving backwards not only allowed the one attacking to set the pace and move after him, but also because there was a higher risk of getting hit by a follow up attack involved. By moving towards Katrina, he managed to position himself at a range that was too close for her powerful legs to actually do any damage from and left him in the position to counter attack.

After directing her leg over his head and towards his left side, Harry made an attempt at striking her with his padded fist in the larynx. If the spar he found himself were a real life situation, he would have used a knife edge strike or hit her with the knuckles of his middle and ring finger, but that could have crushed her wind pipe if it hit.

Not to say that it did hit. Katrina was quick to slap his hand away with an open palm before it could get close to hitting her. That still did not stop Harry, who took another step into her guard and used the elbow from the same arm he attempted to hit her throat with to hit her nose.

Katrina leaned backwards, lifting her leg up at the same time and launching a powerful knee strike towards the nerves near his abdomen.

Harry was forced to halt his attack and side step the knee. At the same time, his left leg came up and he further diverted Katrina's attack with his shin. Her entire leg spun away from Harry, forcing her body to go with it and leaving her open for him to deliver a swift strike to her kidneys.

Or so he thought.

Continuing her spin, Katrina managed to make a full three hundred and sixty degree turn, coming out with a surprise snap kick that Harry could not see coming due to her body being turned away form him at the time.

Harry could only thank the high heavens for his incredible reaction time and reflexes, which had always given him an unfair advantage in any sport he played in (whether it was martial arts, football, or Quidditch), that allowed him to duck under the kick. At the same time, his hands came up and pushed Katrina's leg higher as he stood up, knocking the woman off balance.

Wanting to capitalize on his sudden advantage, Harry moved in for the kill. His right hand shot out and grabbed the blond woman's wrist, where he then proceeded to pull her towards him, sending her stumbling towards him as he prepared to send his knee into her gut.

At least, that was his plan. Before it was derailed.

Quicker than Harry could comprehend, Katrina reversed their position and it was now she who had an iron clad hold on his wrist. The young Potter heir only had enough time to realize that the entire set up had been a feint before Katrina spun around so that her back was facing him and used his own weight and momentum to toss him over her shoulder.

Harry quickly found himself airborne, his body flipping over Katrina's, his wrist still clamped in her hands. The young man just barely managed to twist himself over so that he landed on his feet and not his back as the young blond woman had probably planned.

He must have surprised her because there was no follow up attack. Deciding to use his small window of opportunity, Harry managed to free himself from her grasp, placed both hands on the ground, and sent a powerful double mule kick towards the woman.

It didn't hit. Whether she was surprised or not, Katrina had a lot of combat experience, and her body was predisposed towards reacting with very little thinking on her part. It was instinctual.

She moved backwards exactly two steps, ensuring Harry's feet would miss her by the smallest of margins. Katrina than came back in, slapping his two feet so that his legs spread apart before they hit the ground, then sent her heel directly into Harry's kidney.

The young man grunted in pain as he felt the blow to his body and collapsed on the ground. Thankfully it was diminished, both by the fact that Harry knew a breathing method that allowed the damaged area to 'deflate' a bit and cushion the blow, and Katrina kicking him with less force than she would if the fight were serious.

"First point goes to Katrina," Master Wei said, rather unnecessarily in Harry's opinion. He was well aware of the hit he had taken. The man did not need to rub it in.

Katrina moved back, allowing Harry to get back on his feet. She gave him a grin when he turned to face her.

"Not bad, Harry," she praised him as she bowed to him. "You've improved a lot in the two years I've been gone. I'm impressed."

Harry returned the bow, and couldn't help but smile a bit at the praise. Aside from Master Wei, Katrina was the only person he actually respected that came to this place. Out of all the other members who practiced here, she was the only one aside from himself who actually took their training seriously. She might even be more serious about it than him, given that she had actually participated in tournaments while he had not.

"Thank you," Harry said. "I've been practicing a lot so that the next time you visited I would be able to match you."

"Well, I don't know about match," Katrina grinned. "But you've definitely improved."

"His improvement was only from the previous year," Master Wei informed her. "Harry has not improved at all this year."

"That's because I'm going to a boarding school and there is no one there who can spar with me," Harry informed the much older male. It was an excuse, he knew, but he felt it was a justifiable one. A person could only improve so much through shadow sparring and practicing forms. "No one there actually knows any martial arts, and it's not like I can just go up to some random person and ask them to fight me."

"Hmph," Master Wei grunted. "The sounds of excuses mean nothing to me."

Harry sighed at the man's words. Knowing that no matter what he said nothing would change his Master's opinion, the young boy turned his attention back to an obviously amused Katrina.

"I didn't expect you to know Jui juitsu," the invitation for an explanation was there, and Katrina grinned at his words.

"I only know a bit," she told him. "I picked it up during the tournament. One of the people I fought was a master at Jui juitsu, and I felt there would be an advantage in learning how to throw people who weighed more than I did around like a rag doll, so I asked him to teach me."


Harry nodded his head at her explanation before moving back towards his original place on the mat. He turned back to look at Katrina, already in position again, and raised an eyebrow.

"So..." he began, letting the adrenaline he felt still running through his body pick up once more at the anticipation of continuing with another round. "Ready for round two?"


The spar between Katrina and Harry lasted a little over an hour before they decided to call it quits. Harry was pleased to discover that while Katrina had improved quite a bit since the last time he had seen her, Harry had improved more. The gap between their abilities, while still noticeable, was considerably smaller than it had been since the last time they sparred, which was evident when Harry managed to score several points by landing a few decisive blows on her during this session.

After taking a shower in the small shower stalls attached to the locker room, Harry changed back into his new blue jeans and his white undershirt with a red button up collared shirt combination.

He gave a quick goodbye to Master Wei, who told him that he expected Harry to come in at least every other day so he could actually improve (something which got Harry to almost roll his eyes as he knew the Master was talking about how he had not improved during the school year), and Katrina, who had given him a big hug that nearly cracked his back and told him they would spar some more later. He then left the Dao and began his walk towards Lisa's House.

The weather outside was very warm. It was the beginning of summer so it was not as hot as it could be, but Harry expected that to change within a few weeks or so.

Walking to Lisa's house from Master Wei's Dao only took somewhere around fifteen minutes. Harry soon found himself standing in front of the front door and pressing the doorbell.

The ring from his actions echoed inside of the house and was easily heard by Harry, who stood back and waited for someone to answer the door. The sound of rushing footsteps told him immediately who that would be.

It came as no small surprise to see Lisa on the other side of the door after it opened. The now twelve year old girl was all dressed and looked ready to leave. She was wearing a long sleeveless yellow shirt that stopped at about mid thigh and a pair of blue jeans. Around her wrists was a silver bracelet with several charms that he had gotten her for her recent twelve birthday. Her outfit was finished by a pair of multi-strapped sandals that wrapped around her ankle, near the arches of her feet, and her toes.

She had grown her hair out since he had last scene her during Christmas. What had once been short hair that stopped exactly at her shoulders was now down just a few inches past them. She had also styled it into princess curls, which Harry actually thought looked quite nice on her from an objective standpoint.

"Hey, Harry," Lisa greeted with a bright smile before the two shared in a quick hug. It was actually becoming much easier for Harry to show the girl physical affection these days. Ever since Christmas when he realized that he had not been the best friend he could be to his best friend, Harry had made a concerted effort to treat the girl better and not just show her affection on rare occasions.

When they broke apart, Harry offered the girl another smile as he complimented her on her choice of wardrobe.

"Those clothes look good on you," he said, grinning just a tiny as he saw Lisa's cheeks flush with red as blood rushed to them. It was always interesting to see the normally confident and loud Lisa Crawft embarrassed. Such events only ever happened during moments like these. He had actually read about it in some of his psychology books, how even some of the most confident people became inexplicably shy when they are complimented or praised by people who are important to them.

Well, so long as those important people aren't parents at any rate. He had actually read that most children tend to get annoyed when their parents compliment them. Of course, it was usually produced by embarrassment of a sort as well. It came about when children wanted to be seen as adults and didn't want their parents coddling or embarrassing them in front of their peers. He had seen many examples of this on his way to school when children would be dropped off by their parents.

Of course, all of this was second hand knowledge he learned from a book or observed from Lisa's interactions with her mother. Since his parents had died when he was one, Harry had no real experience with embarrassing parents.

"Thanks, Harry," Lisa mumbled, her head tilted down as she stared at her feet, the left of which was currently making circular patterns on the ground.

"So is your mum ready?" asked Harry, bringing Lisa out of her embarrassed state and focusing on the present.

"Almost," Lisa said, taking Harry by the hand and pulling him inside. "She's still getting dressed, I think."

Harry shut the door behind him with his free hand as his best friend proceeded to drag him into the living room. The pair sat down on the couch and Harry proceeded to listen to Lisa as she told him everything there was to know about the second half of her semester at school.

"So how was it at your boarding school?" Lisa asked carefully, her voice suggesting she was still a bit put out by him going to a school that was not hers. He understood her feelings, even shared them to an extent, though he did not regret going to Hogwarts.

"It was enjoyable," Harry replied, earning an eye roll from Lisa at his use of a word with more than two syllables. "I learned a lot, more than I would have at any other school I should think." At least he learned more than he would have at any non magical school. Harry was unaware of whether or not there were any other magical institutes aside from Hogwarts, though he assumed there were at least a few in other countries.

He looked back over at Lisa to see her frowning a little. Guessing that it was because of him actually enjoying school without her, Harry scooted a bit closer, close enough that he could wrap an arm around her shoulder.

"I did miss my best friend very much though," Harry added in a slightly softer tone. And it was true. While he had actually made a number of people he considered friends, surprising since his initial plans for his friends was to simply use them in order to cement his power base within Hogwarts and beyond that after they all graduated, that did not change the fact that he had missed his best and first friend terribly. "School wasn't quite the same without you."

Lisa gave him a grateful smile before leaning her head on his shoulder.

"I missed you lots too," she said, her tone and way of speaking sounding a bit more childish than it normally did. It just went to show Harry how much she had really missed him. Thanks to his continued presence, Lisa had quite the vocabulary, and was normally a bit more eloquently spoken than the average twelve year old because of it. That changed when she was experiencing strong emotions like now. Unlike Harry, who was quite literally a walking dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia all in one, Lisa tended to forget the more complex words she knew during occasions like this.

Harry didn't say anything to reply. Instead he just allowed the girl to rest her head against his shoulder and allowed them both to take comfort in each others presence.

It was moments like these that assured Harry that he was not like Voldemort. The words that man had spoken to him down there with the mirror or Erised had honestly, truly, frightened him. That he could actually be similar to the man he hated more than anything in this world, the man who had killed his parents, was beyond terrifying to him.

After having met Voldemort for the second time, Harry was truly appreciative that he had met Lisa and Master Wei when he was younger more than he ever had before. Had he not, there was a very good chance he would have turned out exactly like the dark lord.

The snap of a camera going off alerted him to the fact that someone else had entered the room while he and Lisa were sitting on the couch in silence. The fact that a camera taking a picture was heard told Harry who had entered before looking.

Turning their heads, he with the same expression he usually wore when this happened while Lisa had a 'dear caught in the headlights' look, the pair saw a grinning Anastasia Crawft looking at them with a camera in her hands. And while Lisa looked absolutely horrified by the sight, Harry was just glad that Lisa's father was currently at work. It saved him from getting glared at.

"Oh, look at you two! You are so cute together!"


Yes, very glad.


The days began to get hotter as summer continued. A week had passed since Harry Potter returned from Hogwarts. The young man had managed to split his time by working himself into a routine.

The first thing Harry did every morning was head over to Master Wei's Dao. There he would usually find himself sparring against either the Master himself or Katrina, who said she was planning on sticking around for the next two months for summer break.

Harry would admit he preferred sparring with Katrina than he would Master Wei any day of the weak. It was nothing personal against his teacher or anything, it was just that Harry did not like getting utterly humiliated every time he sparred against someone. And while Katrina had a lot more experience over him, their skills in their respective fighting styles were about equal, with the young woman being just a little bit better.

After spending an hour or two working up a good sweat and getting his body bruised up, Harry would go to Lisa's house. He had made it a point to spend as much time with her as possible, knowing that when summer ended, he would not see her again until Christmas.

The two of them would do many things together. Sometimes they would go into London to see a movie or window shop. At other times they would go to the park and have a picnic. Still, there were other times when the two would just stay at home watching movies. It didn't really matter what they did, according to Lisa, so long as they were doing it together.

When the day began nearing it's end, Harry would usually pack up and head to the Durlsey's, where he would do the chores Petunia wanted him to do as per there arrangement. Usually this consisted of cleaning, gardening, and mowing the lawn. Harry would admit he cheated when it came to chores, often using his magic instead of actually doing manual labor. Still, it got the job done and in less than one tenth of the time, and so long as the Dursley's didn't see it, there would be nothing to worry about.

Out of sight out of mind as the old saying went.

At the end of the day, Harry would head up to his room and begin studying. There was a lot he had to work on, and not just with learning the secrets of the Philosopher's Stone. As someone who believed in having a good education, Harry had decided to take accelerated summer courses for his non magical education. Essentially, what he did was self study, and at the end of every week he would go in to the local school and do testing in order to advance to the next level.

Already he had taken his first test for the accelerated course. He had aced it, naturally. At the moment he was already farther ahead of his non magical education than he should be. Several years ahead at least. He didn't even need to study for his courses right now, and likely would not need to until he was in his fourth year at Hogwarts.

His other subject of study was the Philosopher's stone, naturally. Harry had spent a great deal of time trying to work out the mysteries surrounding it's power. How did it work? What made up the Philospher's Stone? How was it made? How did one go about making the elixir of life? Or turn metal into gold? Harry wanted answers to these questions and more.

It was most unfortunate that many of those questions seemed impossible to answer.

Walking over to the desk after pulling the Philosopher's Stone from within his trunk, Harry sat down and moved the open books he had on Alchemy off to the side.

He placed his elbow on the desk, the Philosopher's Stone in his hand being held up to his face. The stone's blood red surface was polished to a shine and glowed with an inner power the likes of which Harry had not seen on another item.

Even after a week of reading every book he had on Alchemy and doing a number of spells designed to detect the magics on an item, Harry had discovered very little about the powerful artifact. The only power he had discovered was how to make the elixir of life, which had been surprisingly easy.

After taking an empty vial and setting it on his desk with the top facing the ceiling, Harry grabbed a small knife in his free hand. Using the knife, he cut a small slit across the hand that was holding the Philosopher's Stone and began channeling his magic into his hand as he held the now dripping with red fluid appendage over the vial.

It was interesting to watch as the blood dripping from his hand became crystal clear. The Philosopher's Stone began to glow even more brightly as the very composition of his blood was changed into a potent liquid capable of prolonging ones life and even bringing those who are on the brink of death back from where they stood with their foot in the grave.

This was the reason Voldemort had wanted the stone so badly. The Elixir of Life was, surprisingly, the only aspect of the stone he had uncovered. And much as he would have liked to admit that it had taken weeks of meticulous study, the truth was he had discovered how to make the Elixir of Life by accident when he had cut his hand while holding the stone.

Still, even with this major disappointment Harry could not say he was depressed at his lack of progress. The Philosopher's Stone was the height of alchemy. An item so powerful and complex that only one person had created it to date. The magics within this stone were likely beyond those of any of the books he had on alchemy.

And it wasn't like he didn't have a few theories on how the stone worked. Or at least, theories on how and why the Philosophers Stone could create the Elixir of Life. It was just that he had no ways to test those theories.

The liquid trickled from his hand into the vial, filling it at a very slow rate. Harry was sure there was a more efficient method for creating the Elixir of Life. He doubted very highly that Nicholas Flamel or his wife would use such an inelegant method for creating the life prolonging liquid. Unfortunately for Harry, he had yet to discover that method, and so he was stuck using this particular means of getting what he wanted.

When the vial was flow, Harry cut the flow of magic to the stone, then set it down on the desk before redirecting his magic to heal the self inflicted wound on his hand without even leaving a scar. He put a stopper on the vial, sealing it tight. Then moved back to his trunk, vial and Philosopher's Stone in hand.

His trunk was one of those expensive multi-compartment trunks that only extremely wealthy purebloods owned. Most pureblood wizards bought them as a means of showing off their wealth and status. Harry bought his for it's functionality. It was a four compartment trunk, and each compartment was about the size of a large walk in closet. Harry used the compartments to contain all of the items and tomes he had that were magical in nature.

The first compartment contained his clothes whenever he went to Hogwarts. Right now, all they were carrying was his wizarding robes, both his school robes and his dress robes. His second compartment was his library. It was essentially an open spaced room in the center with book shelves lining all four walls and containing various magical scrolls and tomes. The third compartment contained his potions brewing kit and all of the potions he created, as well as items related to potion brewing such as his potioneer's bandolier and his brass scales. The last compartment was the one he used to keep rare and powerful items such as the Philospher's Stone.

After securing the stone within the fourth compartment, Harry opened the trunk into the third compartment and used the ladder to climb down. The compartment looked like a very basic, very small version of a potioneers lab. Situated against one of the walls was a table with a bunsen burner he had acquired from Diagon Alley, as well as a more advanced potion making kit than the standard one used at Hogwarts, his brass scales and several cauldrons made of either pewter, brass, or bronze. He had several of each.

On either side of the table was a shelf, each one filled with various ingredients he had bought and put preservation charms on to keep them fresh. The charms would ensure that the ingredients would last for at least a year before corrupting and needing to be replaced.

On the walls to the left and right of the potion making table were more shelves. These shelves were not lined with ingredients, but vials filled with all of the potions Harry had already made. Aging potions, antidotes to common and uncommon poisons, antidotes to Veritaserum, Babbling Beverage, Baruffios Brain Elixir, Blood-Boil Cure and many others all sat on those shelves in topical order.

At the back wall behind Harry sat one more shelf. This one was the most empty shelf of the group. It was a shelf that held several notebooks. Most of the notebooks were written by his mother, who was a potions genius on par with Severus Snape, but there was one that was written by Harry himself. Those notebooks contained notes on how to make the various potions he or his mother created more effective and in less time than the normal recipes called for. Harry hoped to one day fill that shelf completely with notes and equations on his discoveries in the field of potioneering.

Making his way over to the right, Harry placed the vial of Elixir of Life on the shelf right next to all the other Elixir of Life vials. Ever since he had found out how to create the life prolonging liquid, Harry had made a point to make at least two vials worth each day. He didn't know what he would do with them yet, but he was sure he would be able to find a use for them eventually. He then put the Philosopher's Stone within the fourth compartment.

With his work done, the young Potter heir made his way back up to his room and unhurriedly walked over to his desk. He took out several sheets of paper and a calligraphy pen, and then began writing.

Seeing how the first week of summer had ended, Harry figured enough time had passed that he could write letters to his friends without seeming to be nosy. His letters contained all the standard questions, asking them how they were doing and how their summer was so far.

He also made sure to personalize each letter as it would not do to sound impersonal with his friends. Harry wanted them to know that he really did care about how they were doing and not think that he was just writing to them out of obligation.

Once he had finished writing for his friends, Harry waited for the thirty seconds it took for Hedwig to realize her partner wanted her to deliver some letters.

The snowy white owl that had become an important part of Harry's life soon swooped in through the window and landed on his desk next to his stack of alchemy books. Hedwig looked at him, her head tilting and twisting before she gave a short hoot that sounded almost like a reprimand.

"Sorry," Harry apologized with an apologetic shrug. "I had not realized you were out hunting. I had always assumed you did that during the night."

Another hoot was his response.

"Well, I suppose that would make sense. I doubt most mice living in a community like this would be out during the night."

A third hoot.

"Not mice?" When Hedwig hooted again, Harry grimaced. "I see. Please refrain from killing off too many snakes if you can. I rather like snakes. Oh!" Harry quickly perked up, as if just realizing something, "and if you see a gardener snake out in the back yard, don't eat him, ok? He helps me keep small mammals from eating the flowers."

Hedwig stared at him for a moment, and Harry could have sworn her eyes narrowed. When she hooted again, he rolled his eyes.

"I am sure you could do just as good a job at rodent control as he does," Harry reassured her. "However, if you wanted to keep the flower garden clear of pests, you would have to stay there for most of the day, and I know how much you enjoy flying long distances during your hunts."

That seemed to placate his strangely intelligent animal partner. Hedwig gave a more understanding hoot, then lifted her leg so he could attach the letters to it.

"I'll be sure to have some treats for you when you get back," Harry told the white bird as he let his fingers gently brush against the crest of feathers on her head. "Maybe some bacon?"

The owls intelligent amber eyes lit up at the mention of bacon, one of her apparent favorite foods. She gave him a soft nip on the fingers, then quickly flew out of the open window and into the dusky sky.

Harry watched as Hedwig disappeared into the setting sun, then turned his attention back to his last letter, one had not written for his friends, but for the true owner of the Philosopher's Stone. Nicholas Flamel. With the week up, most of the books he had on alchemy read, and every scan he had done on the stone itself coming up with inconclusive results, it was about time for Harry to return the powerful object to it's rightful owner.

Dear FN,

You do not know who I am, and considering the sensitive information contained within this letter, I would rather not say. Just know that I am a student attending Hogwarts, which recently played host to an item that belongs to you.

I am sure you have already received a missive about this particular item being lost by someone we are both acquainted with. I wish to inform you that the information you have been given is incorrect. The item in question is currently in my possession.

I wish to give this item back to you, but dare not send it with a letter. Should you desire it back, please send me a means by which I can return the item in question so that I might return it to it's rightful owner.


A well-meaning student.

Harry looked over the letter with a small frown. It sounded a bit cagey, like he was some kind of criminal, or at least someone who dealt in shady and possibly illegal affairs. Still, there wasn't much he could do about that. He did not want to write anything that could link this letter back to him or inform someone of what the item he mentioned was should the letter be intercepted somehow. Even just mentioning it was at Hogwarts was taking a risk, and if it weren't for the fact that mentioning Hogwarts was the only way to inform Nicholas Flamel that the item was the Philosopher's Stone without straight out telling him, he would not have done so.

With a sigh, Harry sealed the letter in an envelope with plain wax with no Coat of Arms. It would be unwise to have any identifying marks on the envelope that could lead someone back to him. He wasn't going to leave things to chance. Not with an item this powerful.

Standing up, Harry began to stretch his arms over his head, groaning as his back cracked and his muscles were stretched out.

He was bit more sore today than usual, he noticed. Probably because of all the sparring he was doing these days. Harry made a mental note to do some more stretches before heading over to the Dao for his morning sparring session. It wouldn't do to get muscle cramps.

Bringing his arms back down, Harry grabbed the most recent book on alchemy he had started reading. A book titled Alchemy, All You Need to Know. It was suppose to be what amounted to an intermediate book on Alchemy, and was written by the same person who wrote Alchemy for Beginners.

Sitting down on his bed and using his pillows as support against his back as he leaned against the headboard, Harry flipped the page open to where he had been reading previously and began memorizing the information contained within the pages.

He would send the letter to Nicholas Flamel next week. After he had made a few more vials worth of Elixir of Life.

This is the first chapter for the next series of my Harry Potter fics. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter, and that you let me know how you felt about it. For those of you who are concerned about Katrina, my newest OC, don't be. She isn't going to have any roll beyond 'sparring partner for Harry during the summer of second year'. I doubt you'll even see her beyond this chapter and maybe the second one.

Please be sure to let me know what you liked so I can keep doing it, and what you don't like so I can possibly make changes and corrections to improve my story. I am always looking for constructive criticism to help me improve as a writer.