Harry Hibiki and the Philosopher's Stone
Disclaimer: Harry Potter © J. K. Rowling and Ranma 1/2 © Rumiko Takahashi
Author note: Sorry for the long wait, been working on it for the last 3 weekends to try and post. I'm always shocked when I go to see when I last updated a chapter for a story and a freaking year has flown by since the last update! I swear to you guys, I don't do this on purpose. Time flies so fast and I've been so busy.
For anyone who hasn't read my other fics and aren't in the know, since the last chapter update I've moved clear to the other side of the states and started a new job. It's been… busy. Huge turnover rate where I work now so I'm always working extra hours to help cover shifts. And I won't count for another update soon, I'm currently working on all the fics that I've started chapters for so they can get updated as well. But I do want to remind everyone that this story, and all my other current works, are not abandoned.
On that note, this is a longer chapter, couldn't find a good place to stop so you got extra to read.
Also, this chapter is currently un-betaed.
"Hermione!" Harry and Ron both yelled leaving their hiding spot and racing down the hallway toward the restroom where their friend was trapped inside by the Troll.
Harry reached the door a few seconds before Ron did, looking into the bathroom as crashing sounds and more terrified screaming poured out of the room. Ron nearly crashed into Harry's back, grasping the other boy's shoulders as he peered into the room.
"Bloody hell!" Ron yelped the stalls were already destroyed by the Troll, wood littering the floor like an explosion had gone off. Water gushed from one of the destroyed toilets creating a spreading puddle around it. Harry's eyes quickly scanned the room for their friend and found Hermione cowering on the far side of the room, her arms covering her head. The Troll swung its club in her direction, catching the porcelain sinks and shattering them into little pieces. Hermione screamed again, wrapping her arms tighter around her head as some of the pieces hit her, cutting up her hands and getting tangled into her hair.
Water poured out of the broken pipes, joining the ever spreading pool on the restroom floor.
"We've got to get her out of there!" Ron said as he held into Harry's robes and shirt he worn under, shaking the other boy.
"Yeah," Harry said eyeing the water then gave the room another quick look over. "Ron, get Hermione out of the room. I'll distract the Troll."
"How?!" Ron asked.
"I'm going to fight it," Harry said pulling away. "Just get Hermione!"
"What!?" Ron yelled, his voice squeaking at the end. "What do you mean fig- Hey!" Harry ran into the room ignoring Ron's words as he jumped up at the nearest wall then kicked off it, using the force of his kick to propel him across the room. "Bloody hell, he's mad!" Ron said to himself as he slipped into the room heading toward Hermione. "Merlin's pants, so am I. Mum's going to kill me if I get killed."
"Hey ugly!" Harry yelled as he landed a kick on the back of the Troll's head, making it grunt as its head rocked forward from the force of the kick and stumble forward a step. Harry leapt away from the Troll to the ceiling clinging to the rough stone wall and wood beams there.
"Hermione…" Ron hissed as he crawled to Hermione's side, shaking her shoulder. "Hermione!" he hissed louder as he gave the Troll a nervous look. The giant creature was looking around dumbly searching for what had attacked it. The shaking of her shoulder and the worried hisses of her name finally caught Hermione's attention dragging her from the terrified state her mind was in. She looked up at Ron, brown eyes wide in terror.
"R-ron?" she asked.
"Yeah," Ron said as he grabbed Hermione's arm and started pulling her back toward the doorway. "Come on!" The Troll seemed to notice them again, this time seeing two things to eat instead of one, and raised its club above its head to smash the little squishy things.
"No!" Harry yelled, ripping bandanas from his head and pushing chi into the strips of cloth to make them stiff and razor sharp. He flung the bandanas at the Troll, making it roar in pain as the bandanas cut across its hand making the Troll drop its club in pain to the floor. Several other bandanas hit their mark, cutting the Troll's shoulders and even leaving a gash on its face. Ron and Hermione screamed as the club crashed to the floor next to them. The Troll looked up at Harry and roared at the boy who pushed himself off his spot on the ceiling toward the Troll, one foot stretched out to kick the Troll in the head again.
The Troll was a lot quicker than it looked as it grabbed Harry by his out stretched foot then whipped the young martial artist around and flung him away. Harry grunted in pain as it felt like his leg was nearly crushed in a vice and from the whiplash of being flung around before landing in a way that nearly knocked the breath out of him right before he felt the instant tingle of transformation as he landed in a puddle of cold water. His world went dark as he was engulfed in his clothing.
"Harry!" Hermione screamed while Ron yelped "Bloody hell, he disappeared!" This had the unfortunate side effect of drawing the Troll's attention back on them. Harry clawed his way quickly out of his clothing and shook the water out of his fur. He watched as the Troll picked up the club again looking at his two friends with hunger in its beady eyes.
"Hey!" Harry yelled loudly getting its attention again. "Leave my friends along you asshole!" Ron's mouth dropped open when he saw the talking kittenish looking creature with two tails speaking with Harry's voice.
"Harry! Be careful!" Hermione called.
"That's Harry!?" Ron asked in a strangled voice then made a 'meep' sound as the Troll roared. Harry gave a fierce feline growl as he stepped forward, green fire surrounding his form as he changed into his much larger saber tooth form, the growl changing into a full on roar of a big cat. The Troll turned its full attention to the Nekomata, sensing that it was the more dangerous foe.
"Get out," Harry growled to his friends as he rushed toward the Troll, dodging the swipe of the Troll's club as it went to clobber him then jumping up to slash the Troll across the face making it roar in pain. Ron and Hermione finally got it through their heads that it was a good idea to get the hell out of dodge, scrambling toward the door.
"What the bloody hell?" Ron asked panting, eyes wide with fright and face flushed. "Harry is Animagus? How? And what do we do? We can't let him fight that Troll alone, he'll get killed."
"Harry is much more qualified to fight that thing than us," Hermione said her heart racing. "But you're right, he won't last long. We need to find a professor. Come on!" She grabbed Ron's hand and dragged him down the hallway and away from the sounds of battle going on in the destroyed restroom.
Inside the ex-restroom, Harry dodged and jumped and flew around the room as he fought the Troll. He was covered in a few bruises from glancing blows from the Troll and his hind leg ached from where the Troll had grabbed him earlier. The Troll in turn was covered in scratches and burn marks which only fueled the creatures rage. The walls weren't looking much better, covered in scorch marks from Harry's flames and chunks of broken stone from the Troll smashing its club about.
The Troll also sported one bite mark on a shoulder but it tasted just as bad as it smelled so Harry refused to get his mouth anywhere near the creature's skin again.
Harry didn't know how much longer he could keep this up; fighting something like a Troll was much different than training and sparing with his family. Speaking of his family, Harry knew in the back of his mind that his parents wouldn't be thrilled that he was recklessly taking on the Troll head on in a one-on-one match like this. Sure they had fought their own share of foes that had to be tougher and much harder as teens but at the same time they had been a few years older and better trained. But Harry also couldn't just leave Hermione alone with the Troll to go find a teacher.
On the other hand, the Troll also seemed to be getting tried as once again Harry leapt out of the way of its attempt to crush him. Harry yowled in pain as he landed wrong on his bruised leg, stumbling with the pain. The Troll sensed the moment of weakness and lifted its club once again to end the annoying furry things life. A flash of light from a spell hit it in the side derailing its attack quickly.
"Harry! Leave!" McGonagall's voice cut through the haze of pain, Harry looking in the direction of the doorway. His pseudo grandmother stood in the doorway casting several defense spells against the Troll backing it into a corner. He didn't need to be told twice and darted forward, racing out of the door and into the hallway where his friends were.
"Harry! You're okay!" Hermione said hugging Harry around the neck.
"Harry, mate, that was wicked! I didn't know you were an Animagus!" Ron said as he joined them.
"I'm not," Harry said as he sat, wincing in pain as the motion pulled at his injuries.
"But… this…" Ron waved his hands at Harry who sighed.
"It's not an Animagus thing, it's a curse," Harry tried to explain. Ron frowned not understanding.
"Curse?" He asked. Harry sighed again.
"I'll explain later, when we're alone," he offered. "Just… keep this to yourself for now, please?"
"Ohh… yeah sure Harry," Ron said.
Back in the bathroom Minerva finally knocked the Troll out with a well placed spell. She wasn't Dumbledore with raw power and skill or Flitwick who was a well know duelist champion but Minerva was no slouch herself when it came to defense spells. She transfigured some of the broken stone on the floor into strong, unbreakable chains then wrapped them tightly around the knocked out Troll. Satisfied that the Troll was secured, she stepped out of the restroom to face her trio of young lions. She opened her mouth to question them on what in the world they were thinking taking on the Troll after they were ordered to return to the tower only to stop as she heard her colleagues down the hallway.
"Mimi," Harry said with a pleading look.
"In here," Minerva ordered, watching as Harry quickly ran back into the bathroom, noticing quickly with a sharp eye that he limped in favoring his back leg. Minerva knew Harry wanted to keep his curse a secret for as long as possible. She worked quickly, hitting Harry with a blast of water just hot enough to change him back then summoned his clothing, drying them with a quick spell then giving them over to Harry. He pulled on his pants and shirt then slipped his feet into his shoes and pulled on his school robes just in time as Snape and Quirrell joined them. Harry also stuffed the arm holster with his wand into his pocket.
"What are you three doing here?" Snape asked in a cool voice as he took in the three Gryffindor students. They were covered in dust and grim, injuries ranging from bruising to cuts of various degrees on all three.
"Yes," Minerva agreed as she moved to stand beside her colleagues her arms crossed over her chest. "Just what were you three thinking going after the Troll after you were ordered to return to your house."
"We didn't know there was a Troll!"
"We came on it by accident."
"We didn't-" The three per-teens said/protested at the same time.
"One at a time, children," Minerva said holding out a hand. "Now… start at the beginning. Why did disobey Professor Dumbledore's orders to return to Gryffindor tower due to the Troll."
"Professor McGonagall," Hermione said stepped forward a bit. "We didn't know that there was a Troll in the castle."
"And how, Miss Granger, couldn't you not know," Severus asked as he joined in the questioning. "Professor Quirrell made quite a spectacle of himself running into the Great Hall during the feast to warn everyone of the Troll after all." He glanced back at Quirrell when he said this making the other man gulp.
"Well, sir… we weren't at the feast," Hermione explained. "So we couldn't know about the Troll."
"Why weren't you three at the Halloween feast?" Minerva asked.
"We were on our way!" Hermione quickly explained. "We had gone to the tower first, Ron and I, to put up our things and to get Harry."
"W-why w-was Mr. Hi-hi-hibiki skipping the feast," Quirrell asked looking at Harry.
Harry shrugged his shoulders slightly when all eyes turned on him then rubbed the back of his head. His head was starting to ache a bit and he didn't think it was from fighting the Troll. It mostly ached from the point of the scar hidden by his bandanna.
"Halloween isn't really celebrated in Japan," he said. "So the holiday doesn't mean much to me. I was at the small family shrine I set up in our dorm praying. This is the day James and Lily Potter were murdered isn't it?"
"Indeed it is," Minerva sighed as she thought of two of her lions she had been so fond of. Severus felt a pang of hurt, loss, and anger all at once as he reminded of Lily's dead but kept it from showing outwardly.
"I wasn't planning on skipping the feast to be honest, I just lost track of time while praying," Harry added. "Ron and Hermione reminded me that it had started and we headed down together."
"Yes," Hermione agreed. "I… umm… had to use the ladies room on the way down so…" she waved her hand in the direction of the restroom.
"And we were waiting on Hermione when we saw the Troll," Harry continued for her. "Ron and I hid from it but then it went into the restroom where Hermione was. We got her out of there and Professor McGonagall took care of the Troll."
"What you did was very foolish," Minerva scolded softly. "But under the circumstances I suppose it couldn't be help."
"They should have found a professor as soon as they spotted the Troll," Snape pointed out crossing his arms over his chest. The movement shifted his robes open and Harry, who was standing across from him, spotted that Severus's left leg was wounded. Harry thought it looked a lot like a dog bite. Snape noticed where Harry was looking and quickly pulled his robes closed around him, blocking his leg from view.
"But, we didn't have time! The Troll was in the restroom with Hermione!" Ron said. "And we did! We went and got McGonagall while Harry fought the Troll."
"Which was very foolish of you, Mr. Hibiki," Minerva pointed out then sighed. "No matter how much your parents trained you to fight, you are not experienced enough to take on a Troll."
"Tell me about it," Harry said wincing as his leg throbbed in pain. "But if I didn't, Hermione could have been badly hurt or killed. We couldn't just leave her in there to go find a professor."
"Indeed…" Minerva said then sighed again. "And for that reason only, and the fact that you did not seek out the Troll, is why you three are not being assigned detention or a loss of points. Come now, you three are going to the hospital wing so Madame Pomfrey can look you over. Come along." She guided her trio of students away.
"W-what about the t-t-Troll?" Quirrell asked. Snape sneered at the cowardly man, glancing over at the Troll as he peered into the former restroom. It was still knocked out and secured in the chains Minerva had wrapped it in. He had no doubt that they would hold, not only was Minerva an expert in her field of magic, the Troll wasn't even a full grown one.
"You're the expert in Trolls around here," Severus said in that cool dry tone he perfected over the years. "Surely this one would be no problem for you while I fetch the headmaster." He turned sharply on his heel and strode away; ignoring the twinge of pain from his left leg with every step he took. He would need to take care of his leg soon less the bite become infected. Damn Hagrid's dog.
The fearful, cowardly look dropped from Quirrell's face once he was alone, a scowl replacing it. Damn it all, his plan should have worked! He winced as he heard whispers from his Master telling him what a fool he was, his head aching in pain.
His master was furious with him, Quirrell knew he was going to pay for that later, but he honestly though the plan had been brilliant. He always had a talent with Trolls, it was something of a family gift. Not a useful one mind you, unless you were in the business of moving Trolls far away from villages or such, but a talent none the less. He already captured one Troll for whatever security Dumbledore had built up for the Stone, but he still did not know what the other protections were.
So, with his master impatient and wanting the stone, Quirrell had thought of a way to get into the corridor. Get another Troll and let it loose in the school, it had been easy to locate one, he and his master had found it one night in the Forbidden Forest while hunting for Unicorns. So he had lured the Troll into the school through a hidden entrance in the dungeons his master knew about and left it to wander. It was very maze like down there with corridors to rooms no longer in use and Quirrell hadn't given much thought about it leaving the dungeons for the higher floors of the castle.
Nor had he really cared, it could eat all the little brats in the castle as far as he was concerned. He just needed the other professors and staff to be distracted while hunting for the Troll, and if the Troll took out one or two of the staff all the better for his master's plans, while he dashed up to the 3rd floor corridor to attempt to figure out what the other protections were.
Only to be thwarted by Snape, the man had seen through his ruse and had taken some shortcut that Quirrell had no idea about to beat him to the corridor. He had gotten to the corridor in time to see Snape escape the room that they were all guarding, hidden in the shadows to watch then tried to sneak away. Snape had still caught him and Quirrell had made up some excuse about making sure no student had taken advantage of the professors being distracted by the Troll to try and sneak into the corridor.
Quirrell and his master knew Snape didn't buy that excuse even for a second, the man was much too clever for that and was already suspicious of Quirrell as it was. Honestly, his master was impressed and amused by his spy, though his master questioned Snape's loyalty, but was still angry that Quirrell's plan had failed. Still, Quirrell thought it hadn't been a complete failure… He had, at least, learned what the first protection of Flamel's stone was.
A bloody Cerberus.
No doubt it was something of Hagrid's. The man was simple but he certainly had a way with animals, especially dark and dangerous ones. Quirrell mused it would be easy to come up with a way to get Hagrid to spill his guts about how to get past the beast only to wince in pain as his master reminded him that for now on he would be the one to do all the planning since Quirrell's past attempts failed so mightily.
Quirrell gulped softly as he stepped into the restroom. The Troll had done a lot of damage to the room, as was to be expected. But how had the Potter boy… or Hibiki, whatever… survived going up against it? The other two brats and McGonagall had implied that the boy had actually fought against the Troll, one-on-one. And came out with only a few injuries on his part! He looked around the room looking for any clues.
Only a few things stood out to him. Firstly, scorch marks on the walls and floor, Trolls couldn't breathe fire so obviously it was the boy who was the source of the flames. Well… it could be the handy work of McGonagall but that didn't seem her style.
This was well beyond what should be the boy's learning level. Just what sort of training did the brat get? McGonagall implied that the boy's guardians were training the brat to fight, what sort of spells had they trained him in? He could feel his master musing over that thought, remarking that once he had his body back he would have to research just who had raised his foe and what sort of training he received.
Then he looked over the Troll itself, it was covered in burn marks as was to be expected from the state of the room but there were also several cuts along the Troll's tough skin. There were plenty that looked like clean slices from a possible cutting spell but there were many that looked like claw marks. There was even a single bite mark on one shoulder. That to both Quriell and his master made so sense what so even, it was like a wild animal had fought the creature rather than a per-teen boy.
Another odd thing Quirrell noticed were the strips of cloth lying on the floor, picking one up that wasn't trapped under a piece of rubble and looked closely at it. It was one of the bandannas that the Hibiki boy always wore. Both Quirrell and his master thought this was very odd and out of place. The cloth lay limp in Quirrell's hand, the chi having long since dissipated from the cloth leaving it just a normal square of material once again.
Quirrell quickly stuffed the cloth into his pocket as he heard several sets of footsteps outside the room, quickly putting on his cowardly act as the rest of the professors joined him.
Harry, Ron and Hermione spent the night in the hospital wing under Madame Pomfrey's watchful eye. She took care of Harry's injured leg and all the cuts and bruises the three children sported where healed with little trouble, the bruises cleared by the morning. Still, she wanted to keep them under observation so in the hospital wing they stayed. At least they still got to enjoy part of the feast, food sent to them via the House Elves once Pomfrey left them to rest.
Once they were alone, Harry promised Ron he would explain everything about his Nekomata form once the whole group was together. He might as well tell all his friends and would rather only do so once. Plus Harry didn't want Madame Pomfrey to know about his curse for as long as he could put it off. Ron was disappointed that he had to wait but hey, come tomorrow his burning curiosity would be satisfied at least. And he could brag to the others how he helped fight the Troll! Or at least, survived long enough to get away from the Troll. Still pretty impressive he thought.
The next day, classes were canceled.
Many students used it as a day to laze about, catch up on homework, or for some to take the time to attend some of the Samhain festivities they missed the night before (mostly purebloods and those raised in a traditional wizarding home but a few curious Muggleborns and Muggle-world raised Half-bloods attended as well.)
The professors took this time to ensure the Troll was safely removed from the castle and turned over to the Ministry of Magic's Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Albus spent all morning either dealing with Aurors about the Troll or dealing with concern parents who either fire-called him or sent letters via owl, assuring them everything was fine and under control, that the school would be upping their patrols to assure that something like that didn't happen again, and that no one was hurt (Albus left out Mr. Hibiki, Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger's encounter with the Troll though he had award them 10 points apiece after Minerva explained just how they had gotten involved).
So with an extra free day from school, and after Madame Pomfrey had released them from the hospital wing with a clean bill of health, the trio found their friends at breakfast and requested to meet in their study room.
"So why are we here?" Tracy asked later once the group of friends were gathered in their study room/club house, sitting around the table looking at Harry who was setting out a pitcher of cold water and a kettle of hot water by it.
"We ran into that Troll that got into the school last night!" Ron said with a bounce.
"Merlin, are you three okay?"
"Is that why you weren't in the dorm last night?"
These were just a few of the exclamations from the others. Harry held up his hand waiting for them to quiet down.
"Not how I planned on starting this, but yeah we did. We weren't at the feast when everyone was warned about the Troll so we were quiet surprised when it appeared," he said.
"Professor Quirrell ran into the Great Hall during the feast screaming about the Troll," Daphne said.
"Then he fainted," Tracy said smirking.
"He really is a piss poor excuse of a professor," Justin sighed. "He's the Defense against the Dark Arts professor but runs from a Troll."
"Well to be fair, going up against a Troll on one's own isn't really all that smart," Blaise pointed out though his face twisted up in disgust at defending Quirrell in any way. "You have to be very brave or very stupid to do so if you don't have the skills or power behind your magic to take it on."
"That is true," Daphne agreed. "It usually takes a team of wizards to take down a full grown Troll."
"Wait, so what happened afterward?" Harry asked. "McGonagall-sensei and Snape-sensei both said something about the Headmaster sending everyone back to their houses."
"They did," Takewaki agreed. "But we did not go directly to our dorms."
"Neither did we," Kodachi added. "The perfects had us wait in a side room off the Great Hall until the dungeons were checked. That is where the Troll was spotted after all, it would be foolish to send the two houses that reside in the lower levels of the castle where a Troll t'was roaming freely. It wasn't until after we were given the all clear that Slytherins and Hufflepuffs were escorted back."
"It is sorta strange," Hermione said. "It would have been safer to keep everyone in the Great Hall wouldn't it?"
"That would be common sense," Millicent piped up as she absently twirled a quill between her fingers. "You'll find that a lot of witches and wizards lack it. At least that's what my mother always says."
"What happened when you encountered the Troll?" Tracy asked, looking all Harry, Ron and Hermione over. "You three don't look at worse for wear."
"We were on our way to the Great Hall for the feast," Harry started explaining. "Hermione had to make a pit stop and-"
"A what?" Neville asked confused as were many others who were not familiar with the saying.
"It means Hermione had to use the ladies room," Kodachi said with a roll of her eyes.
"Yeah," Harry agreed, rolling his eyes when someone said 'why didn't he just say that then'. "While we were waiting on Hermione, we saw the Troll coming down the hallway and hid."
"Smart," Daphne said. "More than I can say for most Gryffindors." She smiled to show the Gryffindors in the group she was just teasing.
"We were going to find a professor after it passed us, but our plans derailed when it went into the girl's restroom where Hermione was," Harry continued. Hermione shuddered and wrapped her arms around herself.
"That was horrible," she said shaking her head, "Harry started fighting the Troll while Ron got me out of the room."
"You went up against a Troll!?" Justin yell was just heard over the others yelling.
"How are you still alive?" Neville asked amazed.
"I take back what I said, you're a full Gryffindor," Tracy said in a deadpan voice.
"Dumb luck," Harry admitted, ignoring Tracy's comment. "But I didn't have a choice, if we ran to find a professor or someone who could help it would have killed Hermione. So I did what I had to."
"It was wicked," Ron took over explaining, his hands flapping in his excitement. "He was jumping around and clinging to the walls and kicked the Troll in the head! He did something with that head band he's always wearing then the Troll grabbed him and Harry turned into a weird cat thing and starting fighting the Troll that way and-"
"Wait, slow down Weasley," Blaise said frowning, waving his hands to get Ron to stop. "A cat?"
Harry quickly put his hand on Ron's shoulder to stop him before his friend could launch into another hurried explanation. This wasn't quiet how he planned on explaining this to his other friends, but then again how did one explain it.
"Ron more or less got it right about the start of the fight," Harry said, pouring some of cold water from the pitcher into a small glass. "As for the other part, I guess it's better to show you." The others, at least those who weren't already in the know, gave each other confused looks as Harry lifted the glass over his head and poured the water onto himself. Shouts filled the room as Harry seemed to disappear, his clothing crumbling to a heap on the floor. The glass land on the floor with a 'thunk' and a bounce, proving it was made of plastic rather than actual glass.
"Oh do calm your selves," Kodachi said calmly as she looked at her nails inspecting them for any dirt.
"He vanished!" Tracy said pointing at the pile of clothing.
"Hardly," Tatewaki said with a sigh of his own. "See there?" he pointed at a wiggling lump moving about in the shirt before a kittenish head popped out of the neck hole and Harry mewled cutely. The girls in the room instantly cooed, including Kodachi and Hermione because Harry in his Nekomata form was just too cute.
Harry climbed the rest of the way out of his clothing, shaking his fur out and making it fluff around him then padded over to the table, jumping into a chair then onto the table top.
"Oh Merlin, that is so cute," Daphne said, Millicent and Tracy instantly agreeing with her.
"Wow, so you can do that thing that Professor McGonagall did our first day in her class?" Justin asked as he moved closer to get a better look. "Whoa, you have two tails!"
"You mean Animagus," Blaise said. "The ability to transfigure oneself into an animal, usually one that matches the person's personality. But it is incredibly hard to accomplish, not even most adults can manage it, and I don't believe any witch or wizard can change into a magical creature."
"I'm not an Animagus," Harry stated, startling nearly everyone around the table. Harry yawned and stretched, arching his back in the way cats did. "I'm cursed."
"You're a Maledictus?" Millicent asked. That got her a few confused looks from those who had never heard of the word before.
"Don't be ridiculous," Daphne said with a shake of her head. "Only women can be a Maledictus, there had never been a case of a man become one."
"What is a 'Male' whatever you said?" Harry asked frowning.
"Maledictus," Daphne said again. "It's a blood curse."
"It only affects woman," Blaise added. "Passed from mother to daughter."
"The female who carries the curse changes into a beast, similar but not to an Animagus," Daphne took back over. "But in time the Maledictus will be transformed permanently into this beast form, unable to change back."
"So no guys have ever had this curse?" Justin asked.
"None that anyone is aware of," Millicent said. "At least that's what we always heard, it's always females. Maybe they go under a different name but I still haven't heard of them."
"Well I'm not a Maledictus," Harry said with a flick of his tails. "But I am cursed."
"That's what you said last night!" Ron said pointing.
"Yes," Harry agreed with a sigh. "It's a water based curse."
"Water based?" Neville asked. Harry nodded, sitting with his tails curled around his legs.
"I was cursed when I was about 6 years old, I was in China with my mom and dad. That's where we met the Lovegoods," Harry began only to be interrupted by Ron.
"Wait, the Luna you keep talking about is Luna Lovegood?" Ron squeaked loudly. Harry often spoke about his friends he met over the years, most of them pen pals, and 'Luna-chan' was one he brought up often. But never really gave much information about who she was.
"You know her?" Harry asked.
"Yeah! She and her dad lives near us, she's friends with my sister Ginny!" Ron shook his head, he couldn't believe that Luna had know Harry this whole time!
"She's very nice," Hermione said. "Strange, but nice"
"You know her too?!" Ron's mouth dropped open in surprise.
"Well… I've met her during the summer. We went to the zoo with Harry," Hermione said with a shrug of her shoulders.
"As entertaining as this is, can we continue?" Tracy asked.
"Sorry. Luna and I went off to play, turns out we were near Jusenkyo. Which from the looks on everyone's faces, none if you have heard of it," Harry said, watching as the friends he made while at Hogwarts shook their heads or said 'no' out loud. "Not surprising, it's not well know. It's an ancient training ground located in the Bayankala Mountain range in China. It's filled with hundreds of deep pools of water, most with bamboo sticking out of the pools.
"I don't know when it became cursed, but each spring has a different form attached to it. You fall in one of the springs, you change into whatever 'drowned' there. Cold water," Harry pointed a paw at the pitcher, "triggers the change into the curse form and hot water changes you back."
"Really?" Blaise asked curious.
"Yes, pour some on me," Harry jumped to the floor near his clothing. Blaise got up and walked around the table, picking up the kettle on the way. He tipped the kettle so steamy hot water poured out of the spout onto Harry who instantly changed back into a human. The girls giggled loudly and covered their eyes while Harry grabbed his robes off the floor and wrapped them around his waist.
"Dang Hibiki, you're built!" Tracy while whistled then giggled with Daphne and Millicent.
"So… cold water changes you into a cat and hot water changes you back?" Blaise asked, snatching the pitcher before Harry could answer and poured cold water over Harry's head making him change back into his curse form. Harry sighed as he wiggled out from under his robes, giving Blaise an unimpressed look.
"Yes," He answered as shook water out of his fur.
"So what are you then? You're not some common cat, for one you can speak," Daphne asked then tapped her chin. "Unless that's something you can just down in your cursed form."
"I'm a Nekomata, a possible offshoot of Bakenekos, both are a breed of Yokai," Harry explained then quickly added, "It's a way to classify many magical creatures, spirits and demons. And no, unless the curse form has the natural ability speak, the victim cannot speak."
"So these 'Nekomatas' can speak?" Justin asked, eyes wide with excitement.
"So it seems, I've never seen a Nekomata in person. Everything I know either from books, mostly old folk tales, or things I learned on my own," Harry said giving a small shrug of his shoulders. "They're not a very common species."
"How complete is the transformation then?" Blaise picked up Harry by the scuff of the neck, lifting him to eye level. Harry gave him an unimpressed look then shot a small ghost flame at Blaise's face making him yelp and drop Harry who landed on all four feet.
"Don't pick me up like that," Harry warned as he jumped up onto the table top again. Blaise quickly grabbed a mirror out of Daphne's bag, making her yell. The flame hadn't hurt but Blaise wanted to make sure he wasn't burnt, frantically checking his face out in the small mirror.
"Yes you're still pretty, Blaise," Daphne snapped as she snatched her mirror out of Blaise's hand and stuffed it back into her bag. "You deserved that."
"I did," Blaise agreed as he sat back down, smoothing his curls. He had just been curious to see if Harry would react like a normal cat if picked up in that manner. But it had been a really dumb thing to do in hindsight, maybe he was spending too much time with Gryffindors? "I apologize, it won't happen again." He added to Harry.
"Good, that isn't a pleasant way to be picked up," Harry said. "But to answer the question, the Jusenkyo curses are complete. You turn 100% into whatever curse you have, except you keep your mental mind. So like this, I am a full Nekomata but I think like a human."
"So… that flame was a part of your powers?" Justin asked. "What was that anyway?"
"It was a 'Ghost Flame', a lot like a Kitsuna's fire. It's harmless, mostly just heat and light," Harry said.
"You have any other abilities?" Millicent asked. Harry nodded then decided to give them a bit of a shock as he back flipped off the table, transforming in the middle of the flip with a flash of flames into his much larger saber tooth form.
"Cor, that is so awesome to watch," Ron said grinning.
"Merlin! You're bigger!"
"He's almost the size of a small horse!"
"Weasley's right, that is awesome."
"Well… you're not helpless in that form," Daphne said shaking her head amused. "If this how you fought against the Troll, I can see how you stood a chance."
"It was still mostly luck. Mostly clawing and burning it then flying out of its range," Harry said. "McGonagall was the one to bring it down in the end."
"Crikey! You can fly?" Ron said as he eagerly leaned forward.
"Only in this form," Harry explained. "Like this, I can breathe real fire as well."
"Y-you three d-don't look su-surprised," Neville, who had been mostly quiet, watching with awe up until now, said to Hermione and the Kuno siblings.
"We live in the same area and were already friends with Ranma-sama," Kodachi said with a roll of her eyes. "Of course we are going to know. He is hardly the only individual with a curse such as this that we know."
"I met Harry, Takewaki and Kodachi a couple of years ago on a skiing trip, this is how I first met Harry," Hermione pointed at Harry's large form. "He saved me after I fell over the edge of a cliff."
"Wait, hold on and back up," Tracy said, one hand held up into the air. Once she had everyone's attention, she pointed at Harry. "Just how many people do you know that's cursed like you?"
"Off the top of my head? Hmmm, both my parents, Uncle Ranma, Aunt Shampoo, my friend Spice," Harry counted each one off on the claws of one paw. "Uncle Ranma's dad was cursed. Some guy we knew named Mousse, Taro… Those are who I met personally."
"… So…. What do they all turn into?" Tracy had to know, the others (minus the Kuno siblings who already knew) looked interested as well. Even Hermione as there were a few names she didn't really recognize.
"Well Mom, Dad, Uncle Ranma and Spice all have gender curses," Harry said. "Dad and Ranma turn into girls. Mom and Spice turn into boys… Though Dad might have had another curse at one point, I'm not sure. It's not something the adults talk about much especially when Aunt Akane visits for some reason. Aunt Shampoo turns into a normal house cat. Uncle Ranma's dad Genma turned into a panda bear, he died when I was about 6.
"Mousse turns into a duck, he was the one who cursed Spice so he was banished back to China after that so no one had seen him in years. And Taro he's…" Here Harry had the look of feline amusement on his face before saying, "he was dunked into the Niuhōmanmaorennīchuan."
"…. He's a what?!" Ron yelped while Tracy asked "Was that even a word?"
"Can someone please pour hot water on me?" Harry asked with a sigh, tired of being a cat. The girls were polite enough to turn their heads this time as Ron quickly pour hot water on Harry to turn him back. Once fully human, Harry dressed in record time and sat back at the table with the others.
"Niuhōmanmaorennīchuan, or to loosely translate it, yeti holding an eel and crane while riding an ox," Harry said enjoying the looks of confusions on most everyone's faces.
"What… what would that even look like," Hermione asked slightly horrified.
"It's not as bad as you think. It looks like a minotaur with wings and an eel for a tail," Harry assured her. "Taro is huge in that form and super strong. He's also got octopus tentacles for some reason coming out of his back; I think he added those himself. "
"Taro is a classless brute," Takewaki said with an annoyed huff, Kodachi nodded her head in agreement.
"Well, can't disagree with that," Harry said with a shrug. "Taro is… well he's not really a nice guy. Not evil but doesn't get along with anyone except maybe Aunt Kasumi but everyone likes her. He usually shows up at least once a year, sometimes more, to try beat up Grandpa."
"Whatever for?" Daphne asked.
"Well, Grandpa Happi is Taro's godfather and wants to defeat Grandpa since in their village the person who first baths you, in fact Grandpa was the one who cursed Taro to start with so Taro has literally had his curse since birth, is who names you. But the same village laws state that only the person who names you can change your name."
"But what's wrong with the name Taro?" Tracy asked.
"Yeah, it's not the most imaginative name but have you heard some of the names some wizarding families give their kids around here?" Millicent added.
"Well… Taro isn't his full name," Harry said with a laugh. "It's actually 'Pantyhose Taro'. "
"… Someone named him 'Pantyhose'?" Blaise asked in a horrified voice.
"Are you serious?" Justin agreed.
"Yeah… Grandpa is a huge pervert," Harry said with another laugh, rubbing the back of his head. Kodachi muttered 'understatement' under her breath. "He thought it would be a great name… Taro and most everyone else disagrees."
"Well yeah, I can see why," Tracy said.
"Hmm, so anyway Grandpa usually tricks Taro into fighting Uncle Ranma and the rest of the adults a lot. I think everyone has made it clear us kids are off the table and even Taro isn't heartless enough to attack us," Harry finished up. "As for other curses, I know there are others but I never met them. I think the King of the Musk has the same gender curse as Uncle Ranma and I heard of this woman called Rouge, I can't remember her curse, but that's pretty much it."
"Merlin's pants, you live a crazy life mate," Ron said shaking his head.
"So why tell us now?" Justin asked. "I mean, the curse is kinda cool and stuff but why now? Was it because of the Troll attack and that Ron saw you?"
"Nah, I was already planning on sharing it with you guys, I just wanted to get… comfortable with the whole group before I said anything. It was going to come out sooner or later anyway, the curses always do," Harry said crossing his arms over his chest and shrugging one shoulder. "I'm surprised it took this long. But I don't want the whole school to know, though I'm sure at some point they will. So if you could just keep this to your selves for now, that be great."
"Hmm, someone could try to use it as a weakness," Blaise said, the other Slytherins nodding in understanding.
"Well yeah there's that, but it's more habit than anything, you guys and Professor McGonagall are the only ones in the school to know outside of Mrs. Norris and some of the house elves," Harry said then glanced at Blaise. "Of course, there's nothing to stop you from telling Malfoy, I'm not forcing you into any sort of vow but I also know you're still sorta friends with him."
"I could," Blaise agreed coolly ignoring the noise Ron made at the idea, but shook his head before say in a much warmer tone, "but I won't. It's too much fun to hold a secret like this from Draco. Plus if I did tell him he would just turn around and tell Mr. Malfoy."
"Ugh, slimy Death Eater," Ron groaned.
"Indeed, everyone with half a brain knows that Lucius Malfoy was a loyal follower of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named no matter what he claims," Daphne agreed.
"Yes. On top of that, if I did try to tell Draco anything that happens in here, and believe me he does try to ferret it out of me every now and then, I think the girls here would hex me silly," Blaise said nodding to his house mates.
"Damn straight," Tracy agreed while Kodachi just gave him an evil grin.
"So, you never finished telling us just how you got cursed to start with," Justin pointed out.
"It's not really much more to tell," Harry said shrugging. "While Mom and Dad talked to Mr. Lovegood, Luna and I went off the play and we found out we were near the springs. An older girl from the Bird People tribe on Mt Phoenix, that's a whole other story I'll explain later, was there too. She started bullying Luna-chan and when I tried to fight her off she knocked me into the Spring of the Drowned Nekomata. But Luna got her back, pushing her into the Spring of the Drowned Girl."
"You really do live a crazy life," Hermione said amused agreeing with Ron's earlier statement.
"You don't know the half of it," Harry laughed. "But that's all there is to it, I've been changing into a Nekomata ever since. It's not bad, it can be inconvenient at times when I get splashed out of nowhere but I've long since learned to live with it."
Harry sat back grinning and answering questions about Jusenkyo and the area surrounding it and a bit about his home life back in Japan. Most of the questions were about the springs and how many different ones there were which started off a discussion on what kind of curse spring they would fall into if it ever happened to them. He was insanely pleased that they took to his curse. Then again when there were werewolves, Maledictus, and Animagi, the curses from Jusenkyo were hardly the strangest thing they might have heard off.
Harry then wondered if he should tell them about his ability to speak to snakes then shook his head. In time he would, no doubt the Slytherins in their group would be very interested in that fact, but Parselmouths weren't looked on very fondly at all in the British Wizarding world since it was considered a dark talent. They were barely getting use to Diego in the tower so better to hold off on that for a little while longer. For now it would remain a secret between himself, Hermione, Takewaki, Kodachi and Minerva.