I'm actually updating a day early! GASP! It's a miracle! Anyway, I hadn't actually intended to end Year One like this, but as I was writing this chapter it just kinda, well, grabbed the leash and ran away with it in a completely different direction than I had originally intended. But I think it's a good conclusion, so please tell me if you agree!
By the way, I've put up a poll on my profile regarding this story. Do you want to keep it was one long story, or do you want me to continue Year Two in a sequel, posted at a separate story? Please let me know, whether by a review, vote, or PM! Thanks!
HUGE THANK YOUS to DragonFire Princess, Gir240, rmiser1994, ultima-owner, BlueRoseMidnight, Dark Neko 4000, Opinr, Akatsuki's Neko Stalker, sherlockian (two times! Once for chapter 1, and once for chapter 14!), jgood27, patience, He-who-runs-into-walls, and Jfitzgerald for reviewing! Also, THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU to ultima-owner, who reviewed every single chapter of this story! Words cannot express my gratitude!
To ultima-owner: I think he's fired for helping Voldy, regardless of bad language... :)
To Dark Neko 4000: Sorry, no pairings- I wouldn't know who to pair him with to please everybody, and I can't write romance without lowering the quality of my writing dramatically. Sorry, I hope you continue reading!
To patience: Ooh, good idea! I'll try to write that in sometime in the future!
EDIT To Bast Misao: Thanks for the notice, I forgot I had him evolve already! That mistake has now been fixed.
EDIT 2: The sequel is now posted under the title Harry Pride, Year Two. Thank you all for reading! And I'll try to bring in more of Ron, but we'll just have to wait and see.
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? This site is called fanfiction.net, after all.
Hermione and Neville may have sometimes believed that Cub was invincible, but that most certainly wasn't true. Regardless of the fact that he was both trained as a ninja and a master of wandless magic, Cub was still going up against an opponent that was older and more experienced. Furthermore, he was still only eleven years old- a young child in human time. Add in the fact that he hadn't gone to bed until one or two in the morning, and, well, you get one very tired and very sleepy ninja wizard.
So it was fairly understandable when Cub slept in until almost noon. It was probably the longest he'd ever slept past six AM in his life. Poor kid was exhausted.
At first Madam Pomfrey had wanted to cart him over to the Hospital Wing, but thankfully Cub managed to sneak off before she could get ahold of him. Sure, she meant well, but getting stuck in a hospital bed for an unnecessarily long amount of time would just be annoying. Besides, Cub would be just fine with sleep.
Professor Flitwick was kind enough to give him the day off, and even sent a house-elf up with his lunch once he woke up. My respect for the short little man increased exponentially. Plus, it gave Cub an excuse to stay out of the Great Hall, thus avoiding the overly nosy headmaster. I bet it was driving Dumbles wild with impatience.
"So," I asked once he finished eating. "What are you going to tell the old coot?"
Cub tilted his head to the side and contemplated it. "I think," he said slowly, "I'll just say that I was exploring and got caught in the crossfire. Assistant Professor Quirrell was fighting a dark, hooded figure. I didn't see anything. He was defeated, knocked out, and tied up. Once the figure vanished, I checked to see if the Professor was okay. Then I brought him up to the castle. Sound believable?"
Draca pondered over his story, no doubt attempting to find if there were any holes. "What if he asks why you were out in the Forbidden Forest so late at night, knowing that it was against the rules?"
"Uh… let's see… oh, I know! I can say that I met one of the centaurs in there and I was talking to them. When I was heading back, I happened upon the two people fighting and hid somewhere to watch."
"Why didn't you immediately run back to the castle and notify a teacher?"
"Er… because I was scared that if I moved, the hooding guy would see me."
"Hmm… not perfect, but nothing they can disprove. Except for the centaurs part. What if Hagrid or someone else went and talked to the centaurs? You never saw any of them last night."
"Hm, that could be a problem. What about if I say… actually, I think it would be better if we actually did get a centaur to say that I was talking to him or her last night. It would make the rest of it more believable too. Actually… Spike, do you mind going over really quick and asking if Firenze can testify if they ask? I think he's the one most receptive to humans, and I've found that he's also the nicest."
Spike nodded. "Sure, no problem."
We'd met the centaurs on our various excursions before, and Firenze had been one of the nicest ones. Hopefully, he'd agree. It helped that we were going to try and pull one over on Dododore, who was generally disliked among the community of intelligent forest-dwellers for his manipulative ways and willingness to use people for his "Greater Good".
"Alright then. I think you should probably go soon, and try to get it done fast. They might get suspicious if I come out and you're missing," Cub told him. Spike agreed and made to leap out the window, but before he did Cub called him back and put on a quick disillusionment charm so he wouldn't be seen. Then Spike exited the room and pelted towards the Forbidden Forest.
Cover story fabricated, now all that was left to do was to wait until he got back. About twenty minutes later, someone knocked on the door.
"Harry? Harry, it's us. May we come in?" Hermione's voice filtered through the painted wood.
Cub looked up in interest and slid out of bed, still in the clothes he'd worn yesterday and hadn't bothered to change out of. he then padded over to the door and opened it, grinning. "Yeah, sure. How'd you guys get into Ravenclaw Tower?"
The two filed in and looked around with curiosity. Neither of them had ever been Harry's dorm before.
"Oh, Professor Flitwick let us in when we asked if we could see you. He seems to have a bit of a soft spot for you, actually," Hermione answered.
Neville added, "And we brought you snacks if you're hungry. Some for the Pride, too." He proved this by handing Cub a large box, no doubt filled with edible goods. It smelled like fresh-baked bread and cookies and meat pies and a number of other heavenly scents. My mouth started salivating even before it was opened.
Cub lifted the top off and I could literally see his eyes light up as he took it all in. "Whoa, where'd you guys get all this?" he asked happily around a piece of bread.
"The house elves in the kitchens. It was kind of funny, actually, I hadn't realized they call you Master Pride. Rather fitting, considering those six. Speaking of which," Hermione paused for a second and took a quick headcount. "where's Spike?"
Just as she said that, a gust of wind burst through the open window and I heard the thump of paws landing on the floor. Cub grabbed his wand and waved it, removing the disguise. Spike shimmered into view next to the bed, where he gave a cursory glance at Hermione and Neville before leaning over Cub's shoulder and snagging a meat pie.
"Ooh, chicken. Yum."
Cub glared. "Really, Spike? Really? I was about to eat that one!"
By then it had already disappeared down his throat and the large jackal-like pokemon was licking his paws in satisfaction. "So? I was hungry! You try sprinting out a three-story window, dashing to the forest, talking to a centaur, and running back up to said three-story window all in twenty minutes!"
"Speaking of which, did he agree?"
"Yeah, he did. I got lucky, he was really close to the edge. I think he was talking to Hagrid, and I managed to catch him before he got too deep into the forest. So your cover story is now virtually flawless," Spike replied as he snagged another goody. "Hey, is this lemon custard?"
If I were human, I would have facepalmed. As it was I could tell Draca was resisting the urge to smack him on the head with the blue gems on the end of her tail. And I knew firsthand that those things hurt.
"Well, I guess that answers that question. Now," Hermione suddenly looked very serious and little scary. "Harry, you owe us some answers."
Cub gulped. "Yes, ma'am."
After many explanations, Hermione and Neville were both yelling at him both for doing something so dangerous and not telling them. Even Amethyst and Root got mad; and the two of them teamed up with Draca to mother-hen the poor boy to death. Amethyst even tried to groom his hair, which Cub found horribly embarrassing.
"Oh, Harry," Neville sighed in exasperation. "You really can be stupid sometimes."
Cub mock-pouted. "Hey, I resent that!"
Once Cub actually stopped procrastinating and left his dorm, he was met with an annoyed Professor Flitwick who informed him that the Headmaster wanted to see him as soon as possible. And since he had the day off, that pretty much meant now.
When we got to the old coot's office, it was already occupied by Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, Potter, Black, and Lupin. After a long discussion/interrogation that I won't bother to bore you with, Dumbles was left frustrated and annoyed with no more answers than he'd started with. Everyone besides Professors McGongall, Flitwick, and Remus were mad at Cub, and all in all it was just a normal meeting between Cub and Doodore's cronies. Nothing that we hadn't expected happened.
However, this incident seemed to be the last straw between Cub and the Potters. After the meeting they confronted him in the hall and spent five minutes lecturing and yelling about how he had to "go back to the Headmaster and tell the bloody truth, d*****!"
Of course, Cub was not in the mood for this, so he ignored them and walked away. That was, until Chris called out from behind him, "Hey! Harry Potter! I challenge you to a duel!"
Well, that wasn't expected. I guess Chris finally had enough of Cub treating him like the stuck-up little prick he was. I wondered if Cub would accept. Chris was far below his level, but perhaps this would teach the little brat a lesson…
"When and where?" Cub threw back over his shoulder. Huh. I guess he was going to accept after all.
"Outside, on the grounds, right now!" Chris screamed back.
"Sure. You didn't have to scream, though. I'm not deaf," Cub told him flippantly, acting as if he didn't really care all that much. I could sense his excitement, though, his eagerness to finally put that arrogant jerk in his place.
Oh, this was going to be good. I almost felt sorry for Christopher Potter. Almost.
A large crowd had gathered around the area where Chris and Cub were about to duel. Cub had shed his outer school robe for the occasion, leaving him in his flexible ninja uniform. It was a near-identical copy of Koga's, but without the short cape, a katana sheathed at his hip, and colored in blacks and dark greens instead. The tribal tattoo-style pattern of a ninetales leaping upwards covered the back, and its mouth was open in a flamethrower attack that went over the shoulders and down over Cub's chest. It was the first time Cub had ever worn it in battle, and I could tell that the sight both confused and intimidated his opponent. Some of the muggle-born students recognized it as a ninja outfit, and I could hear the whispered mutters of theories as to why Cub was wearing it.
Suddenly I was hit with the sudden realization that Cub wanted to put on a show. He was going to show the entire school that he was superior to Christopher Potter, and he was going to do it in a way that would make the other boy seem like a rookie trainer going up against one of the Elite Four. I suppose an entire year of dealing with the idiot had put more strain on him than I thought, and this was going to be a final battle to show him why he was nothing compared to Cub. Christopher Potter was going down.
James Potter was a referee, and he held his wand up in preparation. "Duelers bow." They did so. Personally, I always wondered why wizards did that. Silly, really. It exposed your neck and gave your opponent time for a free shot. "Then 3… 2… 1… Begin!" he shouted, a shower of green sparks shooting into the air.
Cub took in his brother. The kid was flushed with excitement, ready to fight. His stance showed that he had been trained, and I watched from where I was waiting with Hermione, Neville, and the rest of the Pride on the sidelines. I hoped that Cub wouldn't get too overconfident and underestimate Chris. Arrogant jerk though he may be, he had still gotten training in preparation for fighting Voldysmort. He would be more skilled than the average first year.
Then again, Cub had the advantage in nearly everything, so I wasn't really worried. More concerned that Cub wouldn't hold back enough and "accidentally" cripple the other kid.
The two locked gazes for a moment, then Cub snorted softly as if the battle was beneath him and put away his wand. "This'll be easy," he said quietly. "I won't even have to use magic. I'll just defeat you with my bare hands."
"What?! Why you little-! Take out your wand and fight me like a man!" Chris raged.
Cub shrugged. "Nah, I don't feel like it. It wouldn't be any fun if I did that anyway. Besides, it's entertaining watching you get mad," he said with a grin.
Chris' face was turning an alarming shade of red. I wondered if he was going to have a heart attack or something.
"Fine, then, if you're too scared! Stupefy!" he shouted. A jet of red light shot towards Cub, who merely tilted his head to the side and let it whizz by his ear.
"You missed," he said lazily.
Chris got even more enraged, if that was even possible. He began shooting off spells like there was no tomorrow. "Aguamenti! Confrigio! Ventus!"
Cub dodged every single one of them, twisting, ducking, and flipping with the grace of a dancer and the ease borne of long practice. When the hail of spells ceased, he then landed from his backflip in the exact same position he'd started in. He didn't even look winded, while his opponent was breathing heavily and quite red in the face.
Cub's eyes glinted eagerly. "My turn."
Chris suddenly got his second wind and fired off spells even more fiercely than before. However, instead of dodging, Cub instead unsheathed his sword and became little more than a blur, dodging and deflecting the spells while steadily moving towards his opponent. The sword became a deadly whirl of polished steel, spells bouncing off the magically reinforced metal as if it were a mirror.
Within minutes it was all over. Chris' wand dropped with a soft thump to the grass, where Cub had disarmed with a fancy twist of the hilt of his katana. Several hairs fluttered to the ground, and Cub stood behind Chris with the edge of his sword resting on his throat.
The aftermath of the fight was incredible. The school was now divided into two factions- those who believed that Christopher Potter was the Boy-Who-Lived, and those who supported Cub. The Potters and the Headmaster were, of course, on Chris' side, while Hermione, Neville, Remus, and Snape supported Cub. The students were split roughly 50-50, many disliking Chris because of his holier-than-thou attitude.
The rest of the school year passed relatively uneventfully. Chris avoided Cub as much as possible, and whenever the two crossed paths you could practically feel the tension thickening between them. Hermione and Neville continued to train Amethyst and Root, and before the year was out Root had evolved into torterra. Amethyst learned several new attacks, and Hermione and Neville were both well on their way to becoming excellent trainers.
When summer rolled around, the three friends went their separate ways, but not before promising to keep in touch and visit each other soon.
However, before he left for the Pokemon World, Cub visited Gringotts and legally changed his name to Harry Pride, cutting all ties with his biological family.
END OF YEAR ONE