When Dudley throws a book at his cousin's head, no one could have known the revolution it would spark in the years to come. "I want to start my own Guild! My own family!".
Note: I'm so sorry for the huge delay guys. University hand in struck again. Thankfully though, because I knuckled down early (i.e. before Christmas) I got everything in, and I mean everything, I didn't even have to pull all nighters. I just want to thank you for your patience on this part. (I know I updated a lot of 'The Point of No Return' but as it was the closest to completion, I wanted to get it done for your Christmas present, hah, that didn't happen. Sorry xDDD).
So, because you've all been amazing. You're getting three updates. Chapters twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.
Your update, your Christmas present, and my apology to you. All wrapped into one massive update. 8DDD Enjoy.
From that moment on, Draco Malfoy became a friend to Harry. There were some things you apparently couldn't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve foot mountain troll was one of them. The next morning saw Mr and Mrs Malfoy rushing into the infirmary in a flurry of robes and dishevelled hair, the woman throwing her arms around her son crying his name while his father seemed to almost collapse onto the blond's bed in sheer relief. Harry watched as the woman fussed over her son, straightening his bedclothes, smoothing the covers, stroking his hair, all the while talking about how Professor Snape had told them about the incident with the Troll and that he was in the Hospital Wing and – She was so worried! Harry grinned when he caught a long suffering look flit across Draco's face when she crushed him into another hug.
After that, there were no more problems with Nott oddly enough. He hadn't stopped complaining about 'Mudbloods' and 'muggle filth', but he didn't go out of his way to prevent Harry from hanging out or being friends with Draco, and as far as Harry could tell there was no problems in Slytherin house about it. Though Professor Snape was still as acerbic and vicious as before, he seemed to be regretting the whole 'give Gryffindor Housepoints' thing from Halloween and was now trying to make up for it by being three times as horrible. Harry didn't mind so much, as long as his attention was focused on him and him alone. He tried to be harsh to Hermione, just the once, Harry's magic went haywire and every cauldron in the room exploded. Same when he tried to bully Neville. Of the three, it was quickly apparent which one he could verbally abuse without reprisal of a room coated in half-finished dangerous potions. Harry didn't mean for it. But it was difficult stopping his electricity from sparking visibly in his anger – so it manifested in a different way. That was probably how his Accidental Magic would have been had he not trained in Lightning Slayer Magic.
He was okay with Neville, the two of them actually becoming quite friendly as they discussed Potion ingredients. Hermione... That was a tad awkward.
Draco knew how hot on his friendships Harry was, so he did try. And Hermione had been his support and safety blanket after the Troll incident, so he could tolerate her. But she still rubbed his raw nerves and put his back up. He found her behaviour pushy and self-righteous, especially given how she was an outsider to their culture, the two of them often clashing and arguing. It was made even worse by the realisation that she was even more intelligent than him, on top of her impure bloodlines. He had been raised to scorn everything that she was, to then find that most of what he knew was wrong, and then be faced with the reality of that staring him in the face, brutally tearing down the comforting walls of his ignorance and misinformation... Harry and Hermione forgave him a lot of his behaviour that under other circumstances Harry would have knocked his teeth out for.
They even forgave his smug superiority when Slytherin defeated Gryffindor during the first Quidditch match of the year a few weeks later, though he seemed more than a bit put out when Harry pointed out the only reason Slytherin won was because Gryffindor had a shitty Seeker. The rest of the team were head and shoulders above Slytherin's no contest. That prompted a loud argument in the library that got them thrown out – much to Carla and Hermione's furious disgust as they stormed off to go and continue their theorising and work on Aera in the girls' dormitory.
Harry, Draco, and Neville opted to explore and try to find a good communal area for the five of them hang out, study, practice magic, and just keep to themselves that wasn't too far from either set of Common Rooms.
After getting lost twice, somehow ending up in the North Tower and then in the Potions Corridor down in the Dungeons, uncovering at least three Secret Passageways, the trio of dusty and cobweb covered boys found the perfect spot in an abandoned classroom on the fourth-floor. It was a fairly large room with a slightly raised platform at the front, a large wooden desk sat on the left in front of a small set of steps that lead to a small upstairs room that looked like a private office, it even had a fireplace though the grate was cold and had been swept clean, empty bookshelves glaring at them in the dusty light from the low-set tall windows. The classroom itself was fairly plain, wooden countertops lined the walls, all of them with sliding doors over the internal cupboards and draws, desks and chairs stacked on top. A large blackboard was set on the wall just beneath the staircase still had some residual chalk and a few soft, now useless sticks of chalk had crumbled to dust on the stand.
Neville was grinning as he looked around, "I think we found it," he suggested, looking at the other two – Draco who had his head in the teacher's office, and Harry who was already climbing the furniture to open the windows.
"I think we have," Harry agreed.
"Spirits, this thing is still connected to the Floo!" Draco exclaimed from the office.
"No way!" Neville blurted, immediately rushing into the office. Harry laughed in bewilderment as he jumped down and followed, he could see Gryffindor Tower from the window and the Quidditch Pitch beyond where Hagrid was defrosting the brooms in his beaver-skin boots (Which begged the question of where they came from. There were no beavers in England).
"Should we tell a teacher?" Nev asked, peering at the two of them from where he was kneeling in front of the fireplace.
"Spirits, no!" Draco snapped in horror. "Do you know why the Common Rooms aren't keyed to allow Floo calls? It's so that manipulative cretin of a Headmaster can control what information gets in and out of the school! Father told me that Dumbledore hadn't even tried to inform him or Mother about the Troll incident, or that I was in the Hospital Wing for it! Uncle Se- Professor Snape went behind his back and did it instead," the blond explained heatedly. "No, we need at least one avenue of communication outside the castle that the twinkling old fool doesn't know about!"
"B-but!" Nev protested weakly, looking torn and miserable.
Draco sighed, sitting back and pinning the brunet in place with a frown of sympathy, "Look Longbottom, I get that you've been raised to believe the sun shines out of his backside, just like I've been raised to believe those sweets he keeps eating have replaced his brain. But the fact remains that Hogwarts has gone to the dogs since he took over as Headmaster," he sneered, "Defence Against the Dark Arts is a joke. Supposedly there's a curse on the position, so why the bloody hell doesn't he call a Gringotts Curse Breaker in to deal with it? I know Weasley's older brother is considered promising in the field and he'd do it for damn free, bloody Gryffindor." Harry shot him a look of amusement that the blond scoffed and waved off. "History is taught by a Professor who hasn't changed the curriculum in the last twenty years! He's still teaching Goblin Rebellions! And he's not going to change the subject matter! We'll hear the exact same lectures in three months! He should have been dismissed and replaced by now but he hasn't! Duelling used to be a separate class in of itself. Alchemy was offered to seventh year students who maintained an O-average during their Sixth Year! Spell Crafting was a Sixth year elective for Charms and Runes students. Healing was offered as an OWL elective! Geography and Foreign Languages were offered. If I had to say anything, this classroom looks as though it belonged to a language course, that or Spell Crafting given the size of the blackboard out there and the scorch marks on the ceiling!
"Longbottom, the year Dumbledore became headmaster here, they were all dropped. Within ten years Hogwarts was unable to keep a Defence Professor for longer than ten months. Numbers of Aurors and Healers dropped thirty, and then fifty percent! There's only been one Spell Crafter at Hogwarts in the last thirty years and that was Professor Snape who learned from his mother! Best school of Magical Learning my left foot!" the blond ranted furiously.
"So why did you come here then, if you knew?" Harry asked curiously, tilting his head.
Draco scoffed, folding his arms in embarrassment, "Mother didn't want me going to Durmstrang. Said it was too far away and she didn't trust Karkaroff, the Headmaster," he muttered, not looking either of them in the eye.
Given how late in the day it was when the trio had finally finished cleaning the room and office, they decided to tell Hermione and Carla about it the next day and head back to their dormitories before Curfew. The next day, after Transfiguration, they brought the two to their new hide-away where Hermione promptly began to research locking spells and wards so that they could truly make the room theirs without being worried about someone coming in and messing with stuff.
"Well, it won't keep out anyone above a determined fourth year, but it'll have to do for now!" the frizzy haired girl declared, stepping back from the door, hands on her hips and nodding to herself.
"Wait till you develop Jutsu Shiki, then we won't have to fear anything!" Harry told her with a grin.
Draco frowned, "Jutsu Shiki?" he asked.
And that was how Draco Malfoy was introduced to Fairy Tail.
"That whole speech you gave me in Madam Malkins was from Makarov!" he exclaimed, stunned and annoyed, glaring at Harry who started to roar with laughter.
"Gave you that speech too, huh?" Nev asked dryly from where he was practicing last week's Potion with Hermione.
"He's done that before?" Draco demanded, dismayed.
Hermione nodded, giggling, "I think if it were possible, he'd go and live in that book."
"Damn straight," Harry declared, grinning and blowing a dust-bunny from his hair. "You can't tell me it's not an amazing idea, a Guild that puts nakama above all else. A place to belong, to be yourself, no matter how crazy. That feeling..." he trailed off, rolling onto his back and staring at the ceiling. "For muggle raised like Hermione and me... Do you know how lonely, how maddening it is to be alone and hope, wish, that you weren't... but never find anyone."
"It hurts," Hermione agreed, "When you're different and everyone is pushing you away for something you can't control. To be alone in a sea of people is one of the worst feelings in the world."
"And that's why we're making a Guild," Harry declared cheerfully, pushing himself back onto his shoulders and jumping to his feet, dusting himself off.
"And when was this decided?" Carla demanded from where she was reading a tome larger than she herself was on the desk at the front of the room.
"Just now. By me. We'll make a Guild. A proper one. Post fliers in the Common Rooms offering to do jobs! I did it back home. I ended up doing a lot of gardening and errands for the elderly, but it could work just as well here!" he exclaimed excitedly as Neville poured his finished potion into several phials and stored them in the extra Apothecary case they found in one of the cupboards.
"What kind of jobs would we even do? We're first years! Students!" Hermione exclaimed disapprovingly while Draco hummed, setting aside Volume one and actually looking interested!
"Lost and found stuff, helping people with homework – even if it's just fetching specific books they can't find themselves. Harvesting potion ingredients, exploring secret passageways that other people are too chicken to do, discovering old legends and secrets of the castle, helping the Professors by running errands, or even the older students. Smuggling things in and out of the school. There's a whole host of things we could do!" Harry suggested excitedly. "We'll need a name, and a symbol. A Guild Master, someone to handle the Requests Board – we'll need one of them too. We'll have to start putting up fliers in the various Common Rooms when we've sorted ourselves out. Do you think Dean would be open to drawing them for us? He's good at art," Harry pondered, looking over at Neville who shrugged nervously, glancing at Hermione.
"We can't smuggle things into school!" the brunette exploded lunging at Harry who laughed and danced away.
"Nothing illegal obviously!" he sang as he ducked and twisted out of her grasping reach. It had been a recent development, both Harry and Carla had been trying very hard with their small group to get them more comfortable with physical demonstrations of both anger and affection, even if that did result in Harry having to dodge a few smacks from Hermione and Draco on occasion.
Carla huffed at their antics, "At least tell them the other reason before she throttles you," she declared primly, tail swishing behind her.
"Other reason?" Neville asked, glancing over to her as he set his cauldron on the tiled window-sill to cool where it wouldn't scorch the wooden counter tops.
She nodded, "Having a Guild isn't just a silly love of those books," she stated calmly as she heaved the tome shut in front of her. "Though that is Harry's main reason, it isn't the only one. We've been talking between ourselves. And, I know this will concern you a lot but, it's only a matter of time before the muggles find out about the magical world," she explained bluntly. "Having a Guild immediately on the scene offering magical services, not only being pre-established in what those services are and what they are not willing to do would help mitigate some of the backlash that would no doubt follow."
Draco, ash white, rounded on Harry who half cringed under their stares.
"People don't like what they don't understand. Magic isn't something they understand. When they find out how much magic was involved in their history but hidden... How magic users took advantage of them so many times and they can't even remember... Well, it'll breed a lot of ill-feelings. If we start off, immediately upon the reveal, offering ourselves as a positive, useful option to aid people, they won't be thinking how much can magic hurt me, they'll be thinking can magic help me with this? I know it's not what people want, but if there's a legitimate business offering such solutions, then the average witch or wizard isn't likely to be abducted off the street and forced into trying to do something illegal or immoral."
Hemione weakly sank into a chair, "Harry... You're eleven years old. Why are you even thinking like this?" she asked him fearfully.
The green eyed boy shrugged, "Someone has to," he pointed out. "And You know my muggle relatives hate me. It's pretty much a direct example of how to deal with them. Make yourself useful and they'll tolerate your existence instead of actively trying to get rid of you."
Draco sneered, bristling, "As if they could!"
"They out number us ten to one, Draco. We don't have a formal military. They can wipe out countries with the press of one button, the use of one weapon. And they have other weapons too. I don't doubt that people in the know in the Governments have been looking for ways to deal with us if it ever came down to the wire. That's what they're supposed to do, what they have to do. The moment we make it an 'Us against Them' situation, we've lost," the Boy Who Lived explained coldly.
"B-But they can't!" Neville squeaked.
Harry shrugged, "They probably already have."
That was some uncomfortable food for thought.
Snow struck them around mid-December, cutting Harry and Neville's exercise plans outside. Instead, Harry set them to running through the school, so that Neville would get better used to the lesser used routes, and never get lost again – no matter how the stair cases changed. They would end up in their room, which was starting to become more and more theirs with every little thing that they added to it.
Harry's Fairy Tail books were now occupying a liberated bookcase from another room – they were keeping all their magical research in the office, Hermione's Archive notes, Carla's reference texts for Aera, the beginnings of Neville's notebooks on Wood Make. Draco was still deciding on what magic he wanted to pursue, originally he had wanted to take Dragon Slayer Magic but Harry was very adamant on not teaching it to anyone because of what he went through first trying to eat his element. Nothing Draco could do would budge him on the issue. And there was no way of learning any of the God Slayer Magics either. Which left him trying to choose between Makarov's Titan, Gray's Ice Make, and Erigor's Wind Magic.
Their little lair had started to get rather cold, which resulted in Hermione creating a lot of jam-jars filled with her Bluebell flames in order to keep them warm. They even filled their Cauldron's with them in order to keep the room warm as they theorised and played, Draco teaching Harry how to play Wizard's chess – he was awful at it much to the blond's mixed delight (an easy win) and frustration (he got bored of easy wins quickly). Neville started a small garden, borrowing Erza to ask for a few seeds and clippings so he could get started, they wouldn't see any growth until spring as right now it was just too cold, even inside for seedlings.
They still hadn't hit upon a Guild name but Harry had, none the less, put some posters up in Gryffindor Tower seeking employment.
So far, the only job they'd had came from an upper year who wanted to sit down with Harry and ask him everything under the sun that he remembered about Voldemort. Given how Harry didn't know anything and thus couldn't deliver, he declined accepting payment for the job when the upper year ended up disappointed by the 'interview'. Though he seemed interested and horrified that Harry could remember the light of the Death Curse and Voldemort's laughter in the background. Never mind a flying motorbike that, apparently, belonged to a friend of his father's according to the other student who refused to even tell him who that friend was.
There was another one, but Hermione and Neville had quickly hidden that one away before Harry could find it. They didn't think that the Weasley twins request for him to go into the Forbidden Third Floor Corridor was very funny – because he would go, cheerfully and excitedly.
They were, quite frankly, astonished that he hadn't already.
(Harry had actually forgotten and, like Hermione and Neville, Carla had no intention of reminding him.)
And done. I wanted to get this chapter out as quickly as possible so I could go to sleep. That's the end of the Triple update. I hope you've enjoyed all three chapters.
A vote for you my Lovelies
Should Carla teach Harry Aera once she has it mastered?
May I have some suggestions on a Guild name for these guys? If I can't think of one, or if you guys don't give me one I like, it'll end up being called Fairy Tail as a default.