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Sorry for the delay, school is a bitch.
Alright, Mr. Potter, I think we have been able to correct most of the physical damage. Your bones are healed properly, and your body is responding well to the potions. As long as you stick to the health plan we have created, I think you shall be very satisfied with the continued results." Harry nodded gratefully at Healer Raj.
"Thank you for all your help, sir. You've done wonders." In the span of a few nights, Harry had already grown almost half an inch! Healer Raj smiled and flicked his wand towards the door to reveal Ian Quinn standing at the doorway. He smiled at Harry, and strode into the room.
"Alright, Harry, we've decided that you are stable enough to have the blocks on your magic removed. I need you to take this potion at the exact moment when I tell you to, alright? I'll be chanting, so pay close attention to when I close my eyes- that's your queue, by the way." Harry nodded slowly, and carefully took the small glass bottle.
"Now, when the blocks are disintegrated, you'll probably experience some sort of a rush. It may be slightly overwhelming, but with a few calming potions-which I have right here, you'll be fine in no time. Before we start, do you have any questions?" Harry hesitated, but nodded.
"I don't mean to question your skills, Mr. Quinn, but I was wondering if you're sure that your charm actually detected Dumbledore, one of the most powerful wizards of all time? Not to say that you're incompetent-" Harry began, before Quinn gently cut him off.
"Harry, remember the spell I used?" Pausing to wait for the nod, Ian smiled and continued, "That spell I used had been created and perfected over generations in my family only. My great-great-great grandfather began it, and my own dad perfected it. As my family is the only one who knows the spell, we haven't created the counterspell for it. Thus, there is no protection against it. I don't disagree with you when you say Dumbledore is extremely powerful. However, even Dumbledore can't combat a spell that he didn't know existed, you understand?" Harry nodded excitedly.
"That's brilliant! But how come everyone else doesn't do that- create spells so nobody else can counter it?" Quinn smiled.
"That's a smart thought, but you're forgetting something very important- creating a spell is one of the hardest things in the world. It's complicated, it's time-consuming, and extremely dangerous if something goes wrong- which is guaranteed to happen at some point. I don't mean to be rude, but wizards as a whole aren't very interested in something so risky without a large reward." Harry laughed, conceding to Quinn's point.
"Alright, on the count of 3- one, two-" Harry tensed, quickly reaching for the bottle and bringing it up to his lips- "three!" Harry threw back his head and quickly downed the potion, hoping that he hadn't messed it up.
He dimly made out Quinn chanting a few words in the background, but Harry couldn't bring himself to focus on anything but the pain. It shot through his throat, leaving hot flashes wherever it made contact with him. Harry grit his teeth, waiting impatiently for it to subside. He could feel himself breaking into a cold sweat, despite the unnatural warmth inside him.
But then, the feeling changed. Instead of racing into his stomach, the potion itself seemed to veer off the path. It began to travel to his center. However, as it kept travelling, Harry felt it bounce off of some sort of wall. The potion impatiently battered at it, and he could feel the pain increasing as the liquid battered against walls he didn't know he was supposed to have.
Finally, mercifully, his body shut down, sinking into a slow, painless trance.
"Enervate." Harry awoke to find himself surrounded by two worried faces. He groaned softly, trying to process the turn of events. He was lying down on the fluffy hospital bed, yet the last thing he could recall was pain- unimaginable pain. Then he bolted upright.
"The blocks!" He gasped, "I could feel them. The potion was fighting them." Quinn shook his head, not even trying to hide his concern.
"THe blocks must have been more powerful than I had thought. The potion was meant to dissolve the barriers, not destroy them. The man who cast the blocks is clearly more powerful than we thought." Harry nodded, but brightened at the new revelation.
"So, my blocks are gone, right?" Dr. Quinn nodded, smiling slightly.
"Yes, they are all gone. However, there are side-effects. You will, of course, experience extra power in your magical abilities. Additionally, you will have an increased appetite. Since your magic is so unstable, I'd recommend either visiting a specialist- or, I can find/recommend a few books and pamphlets that can help you get the hang just as well." Harry politely asked for the pamphlets, figuring he shouldn't waste his parents'- no, his- money. Quinn ruffled his hair fondly.
"Alright, kiddo. Thanks for being so cooperative. I'll send the books with a nurse. Nice to meet you, and feel free to owl if you have any questions. If I can't answer them, I'll find someone who can." Harry nodded politely and thanked him, feeling sincere and grateful. He turned to Healer Raj.
"Thank you so much for what you have done for me. You have- quite literally- fixed me, Healer Raj. I know it wasn't easy and I'm certainly very grateful for you trying to help me," Harry said shyly. He hadn't felt very comfortable completely baring his feelings, but he knew the kind man deserved a heartfelt thank-you. Healer Raj smiled gently.
"You're very welcome, but I'm just doing my job. I'm just glad I could actually help you. I'll have the medications dropped off, along with someone to explain how they work." He shook Harry's hand, and then turned for the door. However, he hesitated at the last minute, and finally turned around.
"You know, Harry, you do have a big burden on your shoulders. But you don't need to keep that- that soul piece in you forever. After you do what you want with it- and please be careful, I don't want to see you injured for a very, very long time- I think we may be able to remove it," seeing Harry's expression, he hastily added a "now, I'll have to speak with Dr. Shovers, of course. I'm not exactly sure what it'll take, but we'll definitely look into it," he promised. Harry nodded, still unable to squash the hope bubbling inside of him. He smiled and waved at the tall doctor.
"Thanks, Healer Raj. I appreciate the offer."
"Hello, Master Harry. Tipsy has come." Harry snapped his trunk closed, and it automatically shrunk to fit into his pocket. He had been carefully packing the self-refilling bottles of his potions, checking to make sure he hadn't left any behind.
"Yeah, Tipsy. It's good to see you." Tipsy bowed, then patted his thigh.
"Tipsy was missing you too, Master Harry. Is Master Harry returning home?" She asked hopefully, her eyes wide. Harry nodded, and she squealed happily.
With a crack, Harry Potter was whisked away from the United States, and was on his way home.
After a short nap, Harry asked Hermes to update him on the going-ons around the cottage. Hermes had replied that he had a lot of mail waiting for him. Harry chewed on the inside of his cheek, nervous.
The letters obviously worried him. He was sure Dumbledore would try to find his location at any cost, using any means. Dumbledore's magic was obviously very powerful, and even Harry, with his newfound magic, would not be able to overcome it.
Fighting the stronger magic with a weaker one obviously wouldn't work. However, fighting a strong magic with a different type of magic entirely…
"Say, Hermes. Would you be able to regulate my mail?" Harry asked suddenly. Hermes cocked his head, but kept his eyes to the floor.
"Apologies, Master Harry, but Hermes is not understanding." Harry replied quickly, "Nothing very hard. Just check for tracking/transporting/compulsion charms and nullify them, that sort of thing?" Hermes bowed low, looking more relieved.
"Of course, Master Harry. Hermes can do that. In fact, Hermes will be doing that right now." The elf gathered the letters, but Harry had one more request from him.
"Oh, and one last thing, Hermes. If you find any charm, can you document it and give it to me with the clean letters? If- of course, it's not too much work?" Hermes shook his head, enthusiastically agreeing to have the report and letters ready for Harry at breakfast the next day.
Harry found himself simply collapsing onto his bed, feeling tired beyond belief. While the hospital bed wasn't the worst place he had slept in, he found himself missing his large, magically comfortable bed.
With a sigh and a roll, Harry fell into a nice, deep sleep.
"Thank you, Hermes. I really appreciate what you had done for me," Harry grinned at Hermes, who smiled back uncertainly and bowed back.
"It was Hermes' pleasure, Master Harry." Hermes replied, before disappearing. After a wonderfully-cooked breakfast and a choked mouthful of potions, Harry retreated back into his room. He took the pile of letters with him, wanting to read them after he had settled himself in.
After re-organizing his shelves, clothes, and other items, Harry sat down to read the letters that Hermes had rendered harmless, beginning with Ron's.
As he read more and more, Harry's eyebrows knit together and he found himself consulting the paper listing the enchantments on each letter.
Aha. The paper reported a subtle tracking and complacency charm, both of which were too advanced for an incoming 6th year. Either Ron was actually studying this year, or someone else had applied the charms.
Wonder which option seems more likely, Harry snorted. Basically, the letter told him that the Weasleys were willing to bring him back by force, without leaving him an option as to whether he'd like to stay or not. He picked up a self-inking quill and smoothed out some parchment, tapping the desk thoughtfully. What to reply… What exactly do you say to someone like Ron anyway?
Nice to hear from you. I am perfectly safe, thank you. I'm not coming back to the Burrow, and I'm definitely not letting you come get me. I don't like being cooped up just for my safety, Ron. Privet Drive obviously isn't safe if the Dementors could find me, and if the Order couldn't even keep Sirius alive, how are they going to protect me? I know I'm safest exactly where I am, and I'd appreciate it if you left me alone for some time. Don't worry, Ron, I won't be a burden to you or your family for a very long time. Consider it an early Christmas gift.
See you at Hogwarts… Maybe.
P.S. In the future, I'd appreciate it if you refrained from spying on me, thanks. Hope you're enjoying your holiday.
He sat back, gently massaging his hand. He had written furiously fast, and now he was paying the price. He picked up the next letter, only to find it from Hermione. He checked the report Hermes had given. There weren't any charms on it; it seemed to be plain old parchment paper. He smiled slightly. Good old Hermione. As he read, his anger weakened, the sting of Ron's letter soothed by Hermione's well-wishing words. Upon finishing the letter, he picked up his self-inking quill and let what he wanted to say appear upon his own parchment.
Yes, I am safe. Don't worry about me, this is the most protected I've ever been in my life. I am currently taking your advice, and I am in a position where I can safely access magic. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'll be returning to Hogwarts, but I won't be losing touch with you either way, I promise. You stay safe, alright? And keep sending me letters, I'll be missing you.
Harry was debating how to end the letter- should he reciprocate the love, or should he just sign off as your friend. He finally shrugged, and found this to be too complicated. Hermione was just his friend; why would such silly things as a goodbye be so complicated.
Harry savored the happiness of knowing he had at least one friend. He braced himself and looked over at the pile of letters, and found one left. He glanced over at the list, and his face darkened when he saw the name. Dumbledore. He checked the report, and let out a string of Dudley's favorite curse words. The parchment reported an extremely powerful tracking charm. Dumbledore had intended to bypass and temporarily disarm any and all wards before the Fidelius charm just to get his location. If this letter had arrived before an attack on the property, Harry shuddered to think exactly what might have happened. As he slit open the letter, he found previous good mood ripped to shreds.
Did Dumbledore honestly think he was that stupid? He was disappointed in Harry?!
Yeah well, Headmaster, I'm disappointed in your inability to tell the truth. Private lessons, my arse. He found himself shaking his head at the Headmasters words.
However, he finally understood how well the Headmaster knew him. If Harry (before the Will Reading) had ran away and gotten this letter, he would have immediately returned, meek as a puffskein. It was slightly terrifying that the Headmaster was easily able to manipulate him. In fact, he wondered how many times that he had tried and succeeded.
Far too many, Harry decided resolutely. Dumbledore would get away with nothing else from now on.
Harry was going to train- to survive. And he was going to do it on his own terms.
I have to say, Professor, I'm disappointed. I thought you knew by now that my abusive and neglectful Aunt and Uncle were never considered family by me. Unfortunately for you, Headmaster Dumbledore, your insistence will be ignored. You see, yo u are merely my headmaster, and you do not have power over me during my summer holidays. I'd appreciate it if you refrained from meddling in my life from now on. Your interfering hasn't proved to be helping me live my life, so please butt out.
Professor, you can rest assured that I am safer than I have ever been in my life. I think I'll take you up on those private lessons though, if I even return to Hogwarts.
P.S. I'd truly appreciate it if you stopped using my friends to spy on me.
Harry sat back, feeling pleased. He called Hermes and Tipsy and asked for the owl Hermione had sent.
"Tipsy, as soon as the owl is ready to fly, can you send it back on it's way to Hermione's house with this letter?" Tipsy bowed and nodded, gently taking the letter and disappearing. Harry turned to Hermes, and kept his face serious.
"Alright, Hermes. I have a special job for you: I need you to take this letter to Albus Dumbledore. However, you must not be seen, or caught. I'd also appreciate it if you could let me know where Hedwig is? I'd like to use her to send a letter." Hermes nodded and bowed.
"Master Harry's Hedwig is up in the attic, Master Harry. Hermes will be delivering this letter to Albus Dumbledore right now, Master Harry." Harry smiled gratefully, and began the trek up to the attic.
As soon as Hedwig saw him, she immediately fluttered over and landed on his hastily outstretched arm. She twittered happily, obviously approving of her new lodgings. Harry glanced around. The attic wasn't anything like he expected; unlike the Weasleys', it was well-lit and spacious, with many windows and a sloped ceiling. It had smooth birch floors as opposed to the handscraped pieces done below.
Maybe later, he could convert it into a little lounge. Or he could use it for training?
The study was very nice, but it could be slightly daunting for someone who hadn't been comfortable with that many books pressing in around him. Maybe he could drag a few chairs here, add a desk over there- and ta-da! His very own personal study! He found himself liking the idea more and more. Maybe he could take the desk from his bedroom… He didn't think he'd need it there anyway. As he began planning, his thoughts began drifting towards another idea.
Since there's an attic, what if there's a basement? Maybe I could use that for my physical training? Harry made his way downstairs, politely calling for Tipsy. A pop behind him alerted him to her presence.
"Sorry Tipsy, I didn't mean to bother you-" he apologized, only to be cut short by a violent shake of Tipsy's head.
"Master Harry is not bothering Tipsy," she squeaked indignantly, as if 'Master Harry' was incapable of such a thing. Harry smiled, shaking his head affectionately.
"Right- anyways, I was wondering if there was a basement to the cottage, and where I could find it- if there is one. Do you know anything about a basement, Tipsy?" Tipsy hesitated, then nodded.
"Well, Master Harry, there is a place under the Potter cottage. It's very large, but it's rather empty, Master Harry. Tipsy can be showing Master Harry the way, so Master Harry can be returning without Tipsy's help." Harry nodded gratefully, and gestured for her to lead on.
Tipsy showed him a door near the staircase, partially concealed. A wide set of steps led down to darkness, but a snap of Tipsy's fingers left the stairs illuminated. She led the way, occasionally looking back to make sure Harry was still following. He dutifully trailed the tiny elf, and they quickly made their way to the bottom.
What Harry saw was slightly surprising, compared to the rest of the house.
Tipsy had been right. The room was large, and extremely open.
But it was also empty.
There were many windows, and they depicted the same views the windows above had. The floor was basic cement, and the walls were a basic off-white.
But if he got some muggle training equipment here, he'd be set. He could train himself- push himself into his peak physical shape. Harry had always been too scrawny for his own liking- now was his chance to fix that!
Additionally, the room seemed to be open and well-ventilated. That would be an ideal environment for potion-making. Maybe he could turn the basement into a gym/duelling area/potions lab.
He returned to his bedroom and made a list of all that he would need to buy for his plans to work.
Something to dodge
He nodded decisively. He just needed to find a muggle sports store, and then he'd be fine. He could probably just enchant a few muggle ones instead, just to save money. Just because he was rich didn't mean he should squander it on unnecessary items. Since Harry was already writing, he decided to make a schedule for training. He decided that mornings were strictly physical exercise and duelling practice, while afternoons would be reading the books, practicing the spells, and nights were for meditation and Occlumency.
Harry decided to split the summer into two parts: before his birthday and after. Before his birthday, he'd focus on learning all that he could of the basics, and whipping himself into proper shape. After his birthday, he'd delve into more advanced magicks and stages of duelling. After a few minutes of thinking and moving around some activities, he finally made a plan he believed he could stick to.
And with a little more thought thrown in, Harry managed to narrow down the schedule.
8 wake up
8.15-8.30 eat breakfast & check the news
10-11.30 practice duelling-dodging
He leaned back in satisfaction, feeling proud of himself. Usually it was Hermione who came up with the schedules. And while his wasn't magically color-coded, it would serve his purposes just fine.
But when would he work on potions? Maybe one day a week, he could work on a certain potion that he liked/needed. Maybe he could even grow his own ingredients, with help Harry nodded decisively.
As soon as he ordered some proper muggle exercise equipment and found the proper animation charm, and was finished setting up, Harry could begin training.
He could begin fighting. And that was something long overdue for someone like Harry Potter.
Now things will really be moving along! Sorry this was so short, I had a serious fanfiction dry-spell, as all my writing 'talent' was going towards my English classes. Anyway, please leave a review, and I hope the next update will come sooner than this one has.
Question of the Chapter: Which is your favorite HP movie?
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