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!".
By the time Draco had finished reading Harry's Fairy Tail collection, he had finally settled on the type of magic he wanted to use. As such, Harry often had to go to some considerable effort to hide his training from a certain Miss Granger who definitely would not have approved of the boys' "leap first – think later" training methods. Hiding said training from Professor Snape was equally difficult and Harry was quite certain the man was well aware of what they were doing. But since they were being careful, more careful than a group of eleven year olds would have been under the circumstances, Harry guessed he let it slide as long as they didn't take advantage of it (which Harry had to stop Draco from doing several times).
Hermione's Archive was going well now that she had some computer programming books to supplement her research though she complained endlessly about wifi and things like fibre optics and light wavelength frequencies – things that the magical raised hadn't the foggiest idea about and Harry, who cheerfully admitted he wasn't as intelligent and didn't care about such things, who also hadn't the faintest idea. Carla, being a cat, also didn't know how to help, though she did recommend looking at some physics books if that was what the witch was distressed over.
Harry could only laugh, "You're all doing amazingly well guys, but try to remember, this stuff takes time. It took me three months of extended effort to make Requip work and I nearly killed myself learning Lighting Slayer Magic. There's no rush, cool your jets," he told them lazily as he prodded a lightning wreathed finger into Draco's side, making the blond yelp and jump a mile.
He whipped around and lashed out with a hand, Harry dancing out of the way with a laugh, "This is why! The sooner we learn the sooner we can get you back, you cretin!" he snarled beginning the chase.
Hermione sighed from her desk where she was sat cross-legged on top of it going through several papers from their latest job (a few first year Hufflepuffs wanted Hermione to double check their homework and point out where they'd gone wrong and tell them where they could find the right answers. She didn't mind doing this, she just wouldn't write the answers down for them).
"He only does it because he likes you, Draco. Like the boy who pulls his crush's pigtails," she stated lightly, making both boys freeze and stare at her in horror.
There was a breath of silence before the two exchanged looks and Draco howled in horror while Harry literally hit the ground roaring with laughter. The blond Pureblood was practically climbing the walls in order to put as much distance between himself and Harry as possible while the Gryffindor was hyperventilating and wheezing for breath unsuccessfully on the floor. Hermione pouted. While Draco's reaction was amazing and what she was aiming for, she had been hoping to get something similar out of Harry, but no, he seemed to find almost everything absolutely hilarious. Prompting any reaction that wasn't laughter from him was harder than getting blood out of a stone.
"Oh calm down, Draco," the brunette witch scolded, "Harry doesn't have a crush on you. He's just a menace to society."
"You say the nicest things about me," came the quip from the floor as he gasped for air.
Neville snorted, nudging the green eyed boy on the floor, "I don't think Harry even understands the concept, Draco. Hermione makes the guys in the dorms uncomfortable and Harry still doesn't understand why. She's nakama, and that's all there is to it," he explained.
Hermione blinked, "I'm making them uncomfortable?" she asked curiously.
"You're a girl," Neville pointed out, "And they have to get changed in there."
Harry snorted, rolling lazily on the floor, "That's nothing to be embarrassed about," he proclaimed, waving a hand carelessly. Unknowingly further proving Neville and Hermione's point. "It's just skin. If you had a gross scar I might understand, but scars are just a sign you survived something hard, that you weren't beaten, so they're more like a badge of honour than a mark of shame. Some people are idiots. Don't listen to them, 'Mione. Nev and I like having you in the dormitories, it's fun," he told her, looking up at the curly haired girl with a blinding grin that showed off those pointed canines.
She smiled, "Thanks Harry," she said, reaching down and patting his forehead. She had always dreamed about having friends, people who would enjoy the things she did, wouldn't be scared off by her freakishness, she could talk to them about her favourite books and they would be able to hang out and no matter what anyone said they wouldn't hate her and they would stay as friends. And while Harry didn't enjoy all the same books as her, she could always talk to him about them and he would listen, he thought her quirks were just another part of her being her and he accepted them without question, and he accepted all of her, regardless of what anyone thought and wanted to hang around with her even if their interests weren't always the same. She had to admit, he wasn't her dream bestfriend, he was better.
Draco snorted, "Gryffindors," he complained sticking his tongue out, "The amount of fluff and sap in this room is nauseating! I'm going to train!" he declared getting down off the window-sill he had climbed up onto in his efforts to escape Harry.
Neville snickered reaching into their private potions cabinet, "Take these before you go," he said heading over and giving the blond a few phials stored in a leather roll-up. Neville's brewing, when not being stood over by Professor Snape, had fast exceeded even Hermione's abilities in the privacy of their little Guild Chamber.
Draco nodded his thanks and kicked Harry who was still on the floor, "Are you coming or not, Bolt-Brain?" he demanded brusquely as he made his way to the door, snatching his cloak up from one of the hooks.
Harry laughed, "Coming! See you two in a few," he said to his housemates before chasing Draco out of the room.
Neville snorted before looking at Hermione, "That was gross by the way," he stated with a grimace.
"Saying that Draco and Harry – no. That's gross," he told her.
Hermione just laughed.
"I-I-I r-r-real-l-ly w-wish th-there was a b-be-bett-tter w-way t-t-t-to do this," Draco complained bitterly, shivering hard.
Harry snorted, leaning back against the wall, "You wanted to learn Ice Make," he pointed out as he watched the blond meditate on the snow at the back of the Quidditch Pitch, "No pain, no gain. At least Nev provided Pepper-Ups, plus, I've gotten pretty good with Bluebell flame," he added, showing a liberated jam-jar filled with the blue flame from his pocket.
Draco shivered and decided not to answer, the more he spoke the more chance he had of taking his tongue off with his own chattering teeth as he tried to regulate his magic to ice. As a Pureblood, he had heard of Elementals, they were a popular figure in fiction, but ultimately not real. Then along comes Harry Potter throwing around lightning bolts, dressing his hands in thunder and breathing lightning at a troll. Then there's Longbottom who's beginning to make plants grow to his will faster than should have been possible (his real training would begin in Spring when he could connect to the feeling of life growing around him, learn to harness it, and then manipulate it and create it as he willed). Potter even had a cat that spoke and used Transfiguration to create wings for herself out of the thick white cloak she had taken to wearing ever since she had figured it out, she was still trying to figure out how to make them fly.
And now he was learning how to harness the power of ice, of winter itself.
He would be lying if he said he wasn't excited. He would also be lying if he said he wasn't thinking of giving up right now.
He was stripped down to his briefs, sat in the snow, trying to meditate and figure out how to align his magic with the frigid cold around him. 'If you want to control the chill, you have to feel the chill' Ur had said. Without knowing what you were handling, then you hadn't a hope in hell of handling it properly. And this was before going into Moulding Magic which had its own difficulties. Under normal circumstances, he would have pitched a fit at the prospect of so much work without getting what he really wanted – a Dragon/God Slaying magic, but Harry refused to teach him and then showed him the scars. Draco had then very gracefully decided that perhaps he was unsuited to such magical branches and went looking in another direction, mentally wondering if Harry really was crazy.
Stood against the wall, Harry felt his smile widen as he watched Draco's shivering lessen, and then taper off as he sank deep into thought, unknowingly breathing deep and steady. Harry checked his pocket watch. Another ten minutes, then he was going to forcefeed Draco a Pepper-Up, wrap him back in his robes and cart him to the Quidditch training rooms for a shower – starting cold and steadily warming up so as not to give his system too much of a nasty shock. Once he had warmed up Harry would tell him what he observed, Draco would meditate a little more and then go and build things out of the snow, give his hands a feel for moulding ice and snow. Moulding Magic was a lot more spontaneous than any of the magics Harry had researched and worked on, he couldn't really write a guide for how to learn it, it was very much an experiment teaching Draco how to handle it right now. He would do the same for Nev later, get him some woodworking tools and some logs so he can get used to working with the material without magic and then later with it.
As far as Harry knew, Draco was planning to follow Gray's route primarily, Static Ice Make. He had thought he would go for Lyon's Dynamic Ice Make to be honest but apparently there was something about Gray's magic that caught his attention or his interest. Harry had already asked him what he would do with it and Draco had, quite unembarrassedly, told him that he would make an ice rose for his mother. It was a nice idea, Harry was all for it. And he was quite determined to see Draco capable of it before he went home for the Christmas Holidays.
Not to mention it would be very difficult for Draco to connect to the elements enough when the snow melted.
Everyone was getting ready for the Christmas Holidays, all of the Guild, minus Harry and Carla, were heading home for the holidays. Even Dudley was going home for Christmas from Smeltings though his letter confided that he would save his Christmas present for the Summer Holidays when he came back, Harry decided to do the same.
And then Draco finally made it work.
A snowball clutched between his fingers, a deep breath and a wrinkle of his nose as he forced his magic forward – a hiss of cold steam and... his hands opened, revealing a tiny ice rose, delicate petals so thin they would have melted at the first touch of warmth.
A delirious smile crossed Draco's face, "I did it!" he cheered even as he fell face first into the snow a moment later.
Harry sorted him out as per usual and then carted him up to the Hospital Wing, cheerfully explaining to Madam Pomfrey what happened and even showing her Draco's ice rose. She was thoroughly impressed, and angry that they would perform such magical experiments without supervision.
Harry pouted, "But I was supervising," he argued hotly, irate that anyone would think he didn't take good care of his friends. "He runs for twenty minutes around the Quidditch Pitch, first time I wouldn't let him do it for longer than five before I made him have a hot shower in the changing rooms. Then it was ten minutes. Then twenty. When he got to twenty minutes running I made him meditate too, five minutes, then ten. Now he's at twenty. I've been taking good care of him. Nev's been brewing Pepper-Ups for us, after every session he gets one, I make him take a shower, first cold and then steadily warming it up so his body doesn't go into shock. We've been doing this for ages!" he huffed, "Ice Make is safer than Dragon Slayer. I argued with him for three hours and had to show him my scars before he gave up on learning it," he sniffed.
Madam Pomfrey sighed, Minerva had warned her that Mr Potter was more mature and yet also more immature than his classmates. That just because he was younger than those around him did not automatically mean that he would bend to their authority, even if they were in a position of authority. He had a strict belief of 'if you can do it – age, gender, race, doesn't matter'. This just proved it. He could teach Mr Malfoy how to use his magic in this manner and do so while maintaining a safe environment and minimising the risks better than any of the Hogwarts staff – who were completely oblivious and ignorant to this new branch of magic – so he did it because Mr Malfoy wanted him to.
"It was still dangerous, Mr Potter. What if something had gone wrong?" she asked him reasonably.
"I'd have brought him straight here," he told her easily, "We weren't breaking any school rules," he added coolly with narrowed eyes.
"I know you weren't. But Professor Snape is very protective of his students, the Slytherins tend to get treated badly by other students, he worries," she explained, watching as an expression of curiosity and then anger flitted across his features.
"Someone's bullying the Slytherins?" he asked darkly.
"They give as good as they get, make no mistake of that," she told him with a sniff, "And quite often they're the ones to start such confrontations. I would recommend getting both sides of every story before going on a crusade, Mr Potter." He had that look. The same one Lily always did before she rampaged against the Marauders for picking on young Severus or Regulus. How Severus could continue to see the boy as his father when every member of staff could see Lily flaring like the sun behind that smile of his, she would never know.
She sent Harry off and contacted Professor Snape who came sweeping in like a thunder cloud, demanding to know what had happened.
"Simple magical exhaustion. He's been experimenting with wandless magic and managed to succeed for the first today," she explained, gently handing him the delicate ice rose. He stared down at it, stunned. Wandless magic, controlled wandless magic, from an eleven year old boy?
"...A rose?" he questioned, it did not seem like Draco's style.
She chuckled, "Mister Potter tells me that it's intended as a gift to Lady Malfoy for Christmas," she explained before bustling off as a pair of third years came in. Leaving Professor Snape to his thoughts, his Godson, and the little ice rose in the palm of his hand.
As soon as Draco was well enough to be released, he was almost immediately back into the same bed before the end of the day – this time, his hands full of two more ice roses and a small ice cauldron.
This time, Harry waited for Professor Snape to appear and handed the little Cauldron to him, "Draco made it for you, sir," he explained before fussing a little with the blankets and making a hasty retreat as Snape stood there, shocked beyond belief and staring at the small fist sized cauldron in his hand.
He turned, and swept out of the Hospital Wing and went directly to Minerva's office, knocking briskly he waited until she allowed him in and took a seat, setting the tiny cauldron on her table.
"One of your lions is teaching one of my snakes Wandless magic," he explained flatly as she picked up the tiny cauldron in fascination. And then sighed.
"Mister Potter, I should have known," she muttered, "He has been developing new branches of magic, though he cannot use the majority of them due to the nature of wandless magic. He has already begun to make overtures in teaching Miss Granger and Mister Longbottom different magics, and his familiar, Carla, has already succeeded in a bastardized form of wandless self-transfiguration," she explained setting the cauldron back down with a look of appreciation.
Severus reeled, "At his age...?" he demanded sharply.
She nodded, "I don't believe he was without help, he has mentioned a Master Makarov before when we were in Diagon Alley, but from little I have gathered from the man he has no leanings, Dark or Light, and believes only in magic. Goodness, what was it the lad said? 'Pour all of your soul into whatever you do. Your magic will only grow and improve when you work hard, effort, and the determination to push yourself. Push beyond limits and boundaries'," she quoted hesitantly.
He sneered, "How very Hufflepuff," he commented.
She nodded, "Yes, he admitted that was where he was hoping to end up," she admitted.
"Not Gryffindor like his parents?" he asked silkily.
Minerva sniffed, "He didn't know. I never told him and until I showed up with his acceptance letter, he had never heard of Hogwarts before," she explained coolly making Severus sit back and frown. Just where on earth had Dumbledore hidden the Saviour of the Wizarding world? "You have nothing to worry about, Severus, if Mister Potter is willing to get into a fist fight with a troll for young Mister Malfoy, I don't believe he will put him in harm's way," she stated easily as she returned to her marking.
Severus froze, "A fist fight?"
She nodded, "Yes, the portraits in the corridor saw the whole thing. As unbelievable as it sounds, Mister Potter's broken hand is the result of fighting the troll with his bare hands and his own wandless magic discipline, Lightning Magic." She very carefully left off the Dragon Slayer aspect of it, if either Severus or Albus got wind of how that magic was developed for killing (any manner of creature) they would go assuming Mister Potter was a rising Dark Lord.
The first day of the Christmas Holidays, after everyone had gone home, both Harry and Carla spent it curled up in the dormitory miserable and feeling very alone for the first time since they arrived in Hogwarts. Harry didn't even bother to change out of his night clothes and even Requipped his stuffed Happy to hug – which he only ever did when he was upset. He and Carla spent the whole morning curled up together in silence, Harry with one arm around his Happy, Carla on his chest, his free hand rubbing her ears and stroking down her back. Occasionally she would rub her face against his chin. She missed them too.
Harry had underestimated Ron Weasley though.
The two were friendly toward one another but with how Harry had so easily fallen in with both Neville and Hermione, the latter of which he could barely tolerate, and then making friends with Draco of all people, they couldn't be considered as friends. Polite acquaintances, Harry would still walk through fire and brimstone for the red head, but he was pretty far from Harry's first choice of individual to hang out with.
But come lunch time, Ron Weasley appeared at his bedside, looking exceptionally uncomfortable holding a napkin of buttered toast.
"Erm, you missed breakfast and... well you seemed upset so... Do you want to hang out with me and my brothers?" he asked anxiously as Harry numbly accepted the napkin of toast, just staring up at him in tired bewilderment.
He didn't get a chance to answer before whatever 'brother' reflex that Ron had spurred him into activity. Ushering Harry to his feet and into a dressing gown and slippers, picking up both Carla and Happy and even the novel Harry had yet to finish reading from his bedside table and chivvying him down into the Common Room in a way that his brother's instantly recognised as being remarkably similar to their mother. Harry got a place next to the fire, the four brothers bustling around the Common Room, being loud and chaotic and bickering and laughing at one another as a blanket was thrown over Harry's legs, Happy absent-mindedly tucked against his side, Carla released into his lap, and a bottle of something pale yellow/gold/tan on the table next to him.
He could only goggle, stunned, as the Weasley brothers acted almost seemingly without conscious thought, he hadn't even realised what was going on before he was somehow planted in place, blanketed, fussed, and presented with food and drink. The brothers not even acting as if it was unusual, snarking and teasing one another – a second later both the twins wrestling their littlest brother to the ground and tickling with vicious cackles of delight while Ron yelled and cursed, their oldest brother, Percy, idly telling him off for his language, looking torn between joining in and telling them off, before sitting down next to Harry and asking him if he was okay.
The green eyed boy turned to stare at him, a little overwhelmed before finally laughing as he hugged Carla and Happy to himself a little tighter, that heavy lonely feeling not quite gone, but no where near as cold or heavy or big anymore.
"Yeah. Yeah, I think I am now," he admitted ducking his head a little and smiling as Percy smiled and casually reached out, ruffling his hair.
Ta'dah! New chapter.
Draco begins Ice Make – the reason he gets his magic before Hermione is because her's is more complicated and requires calculations, she doesn't have all of the resources. Neville, I explained, needs to feel spring, get to know wood. So his'll take longer. Draco only mastered his so quickly because he subscribed to the Harry Potter school of "I jump out of the window – Wait, what floor are we on?". Plus snow. He had what he needed to begin training immediately. Neville has to wait for Spring, Hermione has to study computer programming, data storage, scanning, and a variety of other things. Like the internet as well. She won't be happy unless she can access both Magical and Muggle information networks. Adorable little overachiever that she is /hugs.
Well, this chapter ended unexpectedly. I did not plan on bringing Ron into this. I had actually made some serious attempts to keep him out of it, having him become Harry's bestfriend is a little overdone. But he's not a bad kid. And if he sees someone upset, he would try and help. And Harry's so very obviously miserable without Hermione and Neville and Draco. It was going to be the Weasley twins bouncing in, but then Ron showed up and brought him buttered toast and saw him looking all pathetic and miserable and the big-brother reflex kicked in and that happened.
Yeah. Ron's now a member. And so is Percy and the twins. 8T