Updated: April 20th, 2014
- Just corrected some grammar mistakes and edited a few lines of dialogue/description that I didn't particularly like.
Harry Potter blinked.
His ears popped.
Then he blinked again.
The Great Hall had gone deathly silent, and – still quite out of it – he peered around curiously for the reason.
Everyone's eyes seemed to be riveted on the Head Table, Dumbledore in particular. He craned his neck for a better look, finally noticing that the focus wasn't on Dumbledore exactly, but directly in front of where he sat, actually the Headmaster was standing and looking over his table at the floor.
Harry followed his line of sight.
There was a bundle of black robes – professor robes, he noted – along with a bright, purple cloth peeking through as well.
As if his thought process was blared across the wireless, the entire hall erupted in a frenzy of motion, students of all ages panicking.
A few blasts from the end of Dumbledore's wand brought quiet and a small measure of calm among the students. The Headmaster relayed his instructions, but Harry – already knowing the gist of it – was mentally smirking.
He had a monster to slay and a best friend to save.
Like the last time, he made his great escape during their trek to the dormitories, roping in Ron along with him after playing the guilt card.
On the mad rush to the girls lavatory, Harry done a systems check. After all, his - limited - plans would be shot to hell if his full, adult core hadn't followed him back through time.
Fortunately, it did.
Although, instead of replacing his adolescent – and still developing – core like EVERY theory speculated, it seemed to be melding with it, slowly integrating the adolescent core within its self, granting him with one massive core that was still developing. It would effectively double his magical prowess once he reached majority.
Now, Harry had been no slouch in his future, easily holding his own against the likes of Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfoy, but he was quickly overwhelmed when pitted against Voldemort and in his duels with Dumbledore. But TWO of him, THAT would and will be a force to reckon with, considering his natural reflexes, magical aptitude, and the unparalleled ability to survive damn near anything.
He shivered in anticipation.
In fact, the only problem Harry could think of – or not – was his inability to recall exactly WHY or HOW he had returned. He knew the theory behind the ritual and spellwork used, where and when he would end up, and his immediate plans – save Hermione obviously – but not the ritual itself or the reasons for his blast to the past. Oh, it didn't take a bushy haired genius to figure out the why; Voldemort was winning or had won and the world had gone to hell.
The all too familiar scent of sewage water and rotting meat assaulted his nostrils, forcing him to push his thoughts to the back of his mind and focus on the task at hand.
A scream erupted from the nearby girl's lavatory.
Harry and Ron shared a look – Deja vu much? – before both charged ahead.
Hermione Granger was shrinking against the wall opposite the two adolescents, looking as if she was about to faint. The troll was advancing on her, knocking the sinks off the walls as it went. Harry allowed a small smile to come over his face; he had forgotten just how small she was – hell they all were – and how adorable she was with her wild hair and slightly too large front teeth.
"H-Harry?" Ron whimpered.
Bringing his wand to bear, he gave it a textbook swish and flick as he shouted – for appearances sake - "Wingardium Leviosa!" his wand pointed dead center of the eleven foot tall humanoid's broad back.
With relative ease – thanks to his new found surplus of magic – the ENTIRE troll was lifted, its arms and legs flailing about fruitlessly at the unpleasant sensation.
He toyed with the mindless beast – both Ron and Hermione were flabbergasted at this point, jaws firmly on the floor – spinning it, varying its height, and essentially having a hell of a time.
Like everything else, he simply couldn't sit back and have fun.
A pain he was all too familiar with made itself known; rapidly building in intensity the longer he held the charm, constricting his chest like a damn snake and causing him to draw in ragged breaths.
He mentally cursed.
In several languages.
He had all but forgotten about his younger self's physical state.
Channeling any amount of magic puts stress on your body, the longer and more complex the spell, the more the stress. Seeing as how he was a frail, undernourished, and yet to hit puberty – he dreaded having to go through THAT again – eleven year old boy, he most likely wouldn't be able to conjure Prongs at the moment without pain.
He grumbled under his breath, flicking his wand and sending the troll head first into the sturdy, stone walls of Hogwarts and crashing to the floor with a thud that made the whole room tremble.
Harry pushed himself to his feet – When had he collapsed to one knee? – he was shaking and out of breath, absent-mindedly rubbing at his chest. Damn Dursley's and their 'restricted diet'. Ron was slightly behind him, his wand hung limply at his side, mouth still fishing for flies.
Hermione too, was staring at him in shock.
In a weird reversal of role – or at least Harry thought it was Hermione who had spoken last time – it was Ron was spoke first.
"Is-Is it dead?" he was now looking at the unconscious troll.
"Nope," Harry answered a little too cheerfully before he quickly sobered. "Just knocked out, I think."
A sudden slamming and rush of loud footsteps made the three of them look up. Harry hadn't realized just how much time he wasted fooling around with the troll, or accounted for the beast's angry roars and loud crash afterwards. Maybe his pubescent brain was affecting his reasoning? Something to look into at a later time.
And what was with that infernal buzzing that everyone else seemed to ignore?
A moment later, Professor McGonagall had come bursting into the room, closely followed by ol' Sev, with Quirrell bringing up the rear. The turban-headed-professor took one look at the troll, let out a faint whimper, and sat quickly down on one of the few remaining intact toilets, clutching his heart.
Harry rolled his eyes. How had Dumbledore missed the obvious act the last time around? Or Snape for that matter? Merlin knew the man was nearly as paranoid as Mad Eye and hardly anything ever slipped by him - except, of course, a fake Mad Eye.
Could the Boy-Who-Lived really be that much of a distraction? Harry kind of felt guilty about that.
He again had to focus on the here and now. He desperately needed to review his Occlumency.
Snape was inspecting the troll while Professor McGonagall was looking at Ron and Harry – more like attempting to inflict bodily harm through sight. Harry, despite his mental age, shuffled back a step. It had been a long time since he had seen her look so angry.
Harry guessed he wouldn't be winning fifty points for Gryffindor this time around either.
"What on earth were you thinking?" said Professor McGonagall, with cold fury in her voice. Harry saw Ron glance at him through the corner of his eye. "You're lucky you weren't killed. Why aren't you in your dormitory?"
Snape gave Harry a swift, piercing look. Most likely disappointed that Harry hadn't managed to do himself in. He snorted.
Then a small voice came out of the shadows.
"Please, Professor McGonagall... they were looking for me."
Hermione had managed to get to her feet at last.
"I-I…" she began stumbling through a lie.
Harry cut her off.
"She went to use the loo, Professor." All eyes snapped to him. "Before we headed down to the feast." He explained, no need to come up with something as ridiculous as a lone first year attempting to take down a troll. Why the idea had sounded good the first time around, he would never know.
"If they hadn't found me, I'd be dead now. Harry –" here she looked at him, something akin to awe on her face. Please god, don't let her be smitten with me, Harry pleaded. His adult mind wouldn't be capable of handling THAT situation. "He used the Levitation Charm. On the troll!" Said boy calmed as the excited scholar he knew and loved reasserted herself. "He crashed it into the wall and knocked it out. They didn't have time to come and fetch anyone. It was about to finish me off when they arrived."
Appraising – McGonagall – and calculating – Snape and Quirrell – eyes turned toward him.
Damn underdeveloped brain.
"Well – in that case..." said Professor McGonagall, staring at the three of them, "Mister Potter. Mister Weasley. What you did was very reckless and foolish. Both of you could have been seriously hurt."
Ron hung his head, properly chastised. Harry grinned cheekily. Though, McGonagall seemed to be immune to his substantial charm, his smile merely causing her lips to purse further.
"Messrs Potter and Weasley, five points will be taken from Gryffindor for this. Each." The Transfiguration Professor said. "I'm very disappointed in you." Even now, the disappointment hurt worse that the point deduction, though Snape looked like Christmas had come early.
"Miss Granger, if you're not hurt at all, you'd best get off to Gryffindor tower. Students are finishing the feast in their houses."
Hermione nodded, shooting Harry one last glance that promised of numerous questions, and left.
Professor McGonagall turned back to Harry and Ron.
"Well, I still say you were lucky, but not many first years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll. I award you each five points for the defense of a classmate and shear dumb luck. Professor Dumbledore will be informed of this. You may go."
Ron was already out the door – he nearly ran past Snape – when McGonagall called back to Harry.
"And Mister Potter, another ten points for most excellent charms work." She said smugly, her eyes briefly darting over to the Potions Master as if to say 'I told you so'.
Harry's trademark lopsided grin adorned his face. "Thank you, Professor." He really should just leave, but...
"You don't need help moving it do you?" He asked cheekily, twirling his wand for good measure. Damn you Padfoot.
Minerva snorted, the closest she ever came to outright laughter when in the presence of other Professors. "No, Mister Potter. I believe the situation in under hand. Thank you."
He shrugged, "Ok."
He turned and practically skipped out of the demolished bathroom, making sure to smile innocently at Snape as he passed him. The dour man bristled before scowling at him, no doubt glaring holes into the back of his head as he left.
A mischievous, Cheshire Cat grin threatened to break his face.
This is going to be fun.
It was three days before Harry was able to move forward with his plans, and, amazingly, he had successfully avoided Hermione and her questions thus far. He felt smug about that – perhaps a bit too much; after all he was avoiding a twelve-year-old girl.
He had been walking down to the Great Hall when he had spotted her. He hadn't even been consciously looking for her at the time, believing she had already graduated. He really needed to pay more attention to the finer details of life.
Anyways, it was her hair that tipped him off – well, the bright, pink color of it anyway.
So, he had plastered on his best innocent, adoring look he could muster - later he would be told it made him look constipated - and approached her.
He came up behind her - cocking his head to the side in appreciation at how fine her arse looked despite the bulky uniform - and tugged on her robes.
She spun around, eyes wide - it was only then that he noticed that she seemed to be snooping and that they were on the third floor. Again, the details.
She calmed when it was discovered to be an ickle firstie.
"Yes?" she asked cautiously.
"Are you Nym - " Narrowed eyes threatened certain death. "Um... Tonks?" He looked up at her with puppy dog eyes, praying he walked away under his own strength.
"Yeah, kid. Who's asking?" Pink eyes briefly scanned over him, pausing in realization at his scar.
He tried to look shy and intentionally ignored her question. "Um... is it true you're a Meta - Metamorpher?" Harry had discovered that people tended to look warily and suspicious with him when he used 'big words'.
If anything she became more guarded, no doubt expecting him to ask her to change into something. "A Metamorphmagus? Yes. Why?" Pink eyes turned red, effectively giving him the chills.
"I-I-I…" No need to fake that stutter as he avoided her eyes. "I was hoping you could teach me." His voice grew quiet at the end. Damn pea brain.
A hand on his shoulder forced him to look at her – thankfully her eyes had softened considerably and returned to pink. "Sorry, sweetie." Now she was just playing mean, forcing him to blush like that. "It's an inherited magical skill; you're either born with it or not."
Cue triumphant widening of the eyes. "But I can! Watch!" He exclaimed excitedly, clenching his eyes shut in concentration.
It actually did take him a considerable amount of concentration, just not as much as he was letting on. In a matter of moments his hair noticeably lengthened and lightened to a shade of dark brown. Of course, this also happened, to a lesser degree, to his eyebrows – it wouldn't pay to display such control without explanation now would it?
Now, Harry wasn't what most would consider a fully fledged Metamorphamagus. Unlike Tonks, he was strictly limited to what would be considered natural or normal transitions; black hair, brown hair, green eyes, blue eyes, fair skin, dark skin, etc. He couldn't alter his height or change his build or increase his muscle mass, and was limited to softening or sharpening his own features to alter his appearance. Tonks, on the other hand, could even change her sex, adopt a pig's snout, or decide to wear the entire array of colors known to man for her hair. Harry just paled in comparison.
Tonks, if anything, was even more excited than he pretended to be. Her eyes were wide and green – she had always been fascinated with the color of his eyes during his time – and her mouth was opened in shock.
"THAT'S BRILLIANT!" she exclaimed. After all, there was only ever a handful of Metamorphamagus' - no matter the skill level - scattered about the globe at any one time. For two of them to be born to the same generation was unheard of, them attending Hogwarts at the same time was a complete miracle.
He was nearly lurched off his feet when she suddenly looped her arm through his and started dragging him toward the Great Hall. Her previous misadventure all but forgotten.
"What else can you do?" she asked excitedly.
He regaled her with oh-so-exciting tales of never needing haircuts or having to trim his nails - real adrenalin inducing stuff - as they made their way to the ground floor.
She plopped him down at the Hufflepuff table, glaring at one poor soul who thought it was a good idea to not-so-politely suggest he sit with his 'own kind'.
He hastily vacated the immediate area, only for him to have the terrible misfortune of being the recipient of TWO tripping jinxes.
Harry frowned at his wand, reminded of its recent lackluster performance. A trip to Ollivander's was on the horizon.
Tonks grinned mischievously at him – he grinned right back – and the rest of the students surrounding them discreetly shuffled further away. He would be the first to admit it was a rather disturbing sight.
She slugged him on the arm. Hard. He did NOT rub it.
"I have a feeling were gonna be the best of friends kiddo."
Up at the Head Table, Professors Sprout and McGonagall grimaced, memories of Tonks' own misdeeds and those of a certain quartet of friends playing through their minds. Poor Snape lost his appetite.
Relieved, Harry was thankful the two were able to quickly form a camaraderie and what he hoped would develop into a close-knit friendship – though, he knew from experience, just how to push in order to form that friendship. Technically it was cheating, but hey, so was coming back in time.
On the other end of things, Harry's wand continued to be a nuisance; performing admirably when he didn't need it to and piss poor when he did. It was setting him on edge and making him worried. He had hoped to put it off until Christmas so that he didn't strictly NEED permission to leave the castle, but at the rate things were going he was headed into disaster territory. He shuddered to think what would happen if he had to defend himself from Quirrell at the moment.
So, he had waited behind after Transfiguration one day, finally having decided to bring the issue up to McGonagall and request permission to leave for Diagon Alley.