Learning to Cope
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Chapter 5 – Learning to Cope
It was a very busy time for Harry for the next few days. The letters from Hermione and her parents came back quickly enough. They asked for some time to close up their business and they would send word when they were ready. Remus also asked for some time as he wanted to make sure that Minerva could find a replacement for him for the History of Magic classes.
The American Ministry sent word that they would send over people that would sit with and help Harry through his magical inheritance. A healer and an American Auror would be among two of the four being sent.
Meanwhile, back in Europe, Minerva and Amelia were busy putting a case together against Dumbledore that would put him away for life once he was caught.
"We have to find him," said Amelia. "We need those that were in the Order of the Phoenix to come forth and tell us what we need to ensure that Albus can't hurt anyone else with his twisted ways."
"To think that he has been pilfering money from Harry's accounts since Lily and James died is very heart breaking," said Minerva sadly. "I can't believe what I saw in some of those memories."
"Harry has asked that the Grangers and Remus join him in America to assist him with both protection as well as continuing his magical studies," said Severus. "I am pleased that Harry is going to continue with his magical education. I would go myself if it weren't for the fact that I am needed here so badly."
"You would be perfect," said Narcissa suddenly in excitement. "Think about it for a moment please. You are skilled in all of the subjects taught here at Hogwarts. Remus is needed here more than you are due to his being a werewolf. However, you can go as Harry, Miss Granger, and Draco, all trust you."
"You are absolutely right," said Minerva agreeing with her immediately. "Harry and Hermione do trust you Severus. However, I don't understand what that has to do with Draco."
"Don't you Minerva?" asked Amelia with a smirk on her face. "Narcissa is asking that we protect Draco. Is that a correct assumption Lady Black?"
"Yes," admitted Narcissa blushing slightly. "That is part of the reason why I have asked. The other reason is because Harry needs someone who understands what he has gone through and doesn't have any lingering loyalties to Dumbledore. Remus may be loyal to Harry, but he has always been loyal to Dumbledore as well. In this way, Severus can be there for Harry for his studies as well as be on the lookout for something that Dumbledore would do because he doesn't fully trust the man."
"The decision is totally up to you Severus," said Minerva. "I will not hold you here if you want to go. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty here at Hogwarts."
Suddenly the fire came to life and Harry's voice was calling through. Minerva, Severus, and Amelia were there in a flash to see Harry's head floating in the flames. Narcissa followed along more sedately.
"Hello Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall," said Harry with a smile. "Hello Narcissa and Madam Bones. How are all of you doing?"
"We are fine Lord Potter," said Severus. "We were just talking about you."
"Were you?" asked Harry with a grin. "Well I am happy to know that you all still think of me."
"Cheeky brat," said Severus with a small smile. "To what do we owe the pleasure of you popping into the fire?"
"Hermione's parents are selling their business and they are moving to America," Harry informed them. "Griphook and Ragnok are already making sure they have all of the important documents. I wanted to tell you about the school here."
"Is there something wrong with it?" asked Amelia. "Should we be worried about you?"
"I doubt it," said Harry with a laugh. "This is a school for mutants."
"What is a mutant?" asked Minerva suspiciously. "I hope that you are not insulting anyone. I would hate to have to come to America and give you a detention or an earful."
"You know me better than that Professor," laughed Harry happily. "A mutant is a slang term for a person who has the X-Gene in their genetic makeup. Each person who is a mutant has some sort of special super power as it were. Some can fly, while others can walk through walls and things like that. Professor Xavier is a telepath. Scott can shoot laser beams out of his eyes and Storm can control the weather. It is awesome here. They are so nice to me here. I really feel safe."
"That is interesting Harry," said Severus. "What else is going on that we might want to know?"
"I bought a house not to far from the school for Hermione and her parents," he said. "I have not been able to get a hold of Remus. I wanted him to come to America to help me with my magical schooling while Professor Xavier helps me with the mundane schooling. I was hoping you guys have heard from him. I have not heard from him since the original letter."
"Harry," said Severus tentatively. "How would you feel if I came instead of Remus?"
"Why would you want to do that?" asked a confused Harry. "I didn't think you liked me and Hermione that well."
"I don't like most students," said Severus with a mischievous smirk. "However, the two of you have potential like I have never seen, and it would be good for my nerves to teach three students instead of dozens."
"Three?" asked Harry suddenly not missing the line. "Who would be the third student?"
"We were hoping that you would accept me and Draco instead of Remus," explained Severus. "The reason for this is that Draco nor I trusts Dumbledore, and we have no faithful ties to the man as it were."
"We are not saying that Remus would betray you," said Amelia quickly seeing the look on Harry's face. "But Dumbledore will have a bit more loyalty out of Remus than he will with Severus or even one of us that are present due to the fact that in the past, Albus has helped Remus by allowing him to come to school at Hogwarts and has been providing him the potion every month free of charge. Also, Severus has a Masters in a few subjects and Remus doesn't due to his condition."
"Hmmm," said Harry with a thoughtful look on his face. "You do have a few valid points. I tell you what. If you decide that this is what you want to do then we will do it. However, you guys have to explain it to Remus as to why Severus is coming and he isn't. Something tells me that his feelings will be hurt."
"Why were you never this logical in classes?" asked Minerva. "Don't get me wrong, you did brilliantly when you were pressed to, but why didn't you excel like I know that you can?"
"I guess because of what the Dursleys always did to me," said Harry slowly. "I always got into trouble if I did better than Dudley in class and it just transferred with me to Hogwarts in my mind. Plus, I didn't want to get accused of cheating or something like that. I stand out enough as it is. So I figured that if I played down in class I would fit in better. Look at what happened to Hermione for being so brilliant. She was always in the spotlight with most professors for her abilities. She was always made fun of by the other students for it. I didn't want that. Therefore, I played down my strengths and intelligence so that I could blend in better."
"He has got you both there," remarked Narcissa with a gentle laugh. "With his history and all that has happened to him, I would have done the same had it been me in his situation."
"Ok, how soon should I be ready to leave and be in America?" asked Severus. "I need to know what to do and where I am going."
"You are in luck," said Harry with a gleam in his eyes. "Scott, Jean, Storm and I are coming to Hogsmeade to get Hermione and her parents in two weeks. You can meet us there. We will be coming with a bit of power. We don't want anyone to know that, I'm going to be in the country. Nor do we want any surprises if you catch my meaning. So it would probably be a good idea if no one finds out that you are leaving. We will quietly come in and pick you all up and quietly leave before anyone negative finds out what is going on."
"How are you getting here?" asked Amelia. "I hope that it is legal. It is not that I distrust you, but we do have safety laws to adhere to."
"The school here owns a private jet," assured Harry. "We are only coming in long enough to pick up the passengers and then we are coming right back here. No one will see us. Professor Snape can actually teach chemistry here if he wants. I am sure they could use another staff member here. There are far less students here than there are at Hogwarts."
"Does anyone from the Ministry know that you are coming?" asked Amelia.
"Percy told me that you were here," said Harry quickly. "I was looking for you to give you a heads up. I didn't tell him what I wanted with you, just that I needed to speak to you. I didn't think that any of you would mind if I came back for an afternoon to pick up some friends. However, I thought it polite to at least inform you that I was coming into the country. As I said, I don't want any surprises, so only those of you before me now and Hermione and her parents are in the loop as to what is going on."
"That is very generous of you Harry," said Amelia with a smile. "I have no problems with you coming into the country. You are after all, still a citizen. You are a very prominent one at that. We will have everything set up for you when you arrive. Your safety and that of those that is escorting you will be assured and arranged."
"Ok," said Harry with a smile. "I will talk to you all later. I have to let Professor Xavier know that there is a slight change of plans, and that there will be three students here instead of two. I also have to let Scott know as he is the Deputy Head as it were. I hope that Draco can keep up with the muggle schooling as well as he does with his magical schooling. It is a totally different field of learning."
"I am sure that you can assist him along with Miss Granger," said Severus. "I am proficient in some of the studies among the muggle courses, so I can always tutor him as well. Draco is an intelligent young man when he wants to be. I am sure that he will be fine."
"The activation code for my fire is X-Gene in case you wish to relay a message to me," said Harry. "Hopefully Dumbledore doesn't find out that I am in America any time soon. I don't want this school to be in any danger. I would hate to have to do something I don't want, for them attempting to harm my new family and way of life."
"It is very limited and classified information," assured Amelia. "Not many of the Wizengamot members are willing to go against Lord Emrys. Therefore, your secret is safe. We even went so far as for those of us that were present have taken a Vow of Silence on the issue to anyone that was not present on the date you met us there. Have you figured out what you are going to do yet about your magical inheritance?"
"Yes," said Harry quickly. "Dobby, Winky, and Kreacher are going to shield the area as best as they can. There is going to be four American witches and wizards here to assist as we don't know just how powerful it is going to be. Among them will be a healer. With the assistance of Professor Snape, Hermione, and now Draco, I should be ok. At least someone that is familiar with how I act and react to certain things will be able to work with me while I enter this."
"We could always use Legilimency," suggested Severus cautiously. "That way I can work with you while still in your mind. It may make things easier for you and for us."
"I don't think that is going to be possible," said Harry quickly. "Since I came into my familial inheritances, I have a natural Occlumency wall. Professor Xavier was down and out for the day yesterday when he attempted to enter my head using telepathy. I felt so bad, but there was nothing I could do. I still need to work on controlling the walls. It took Scott a few hours to get me to calm down and not feel so guilty about it. Professor Xavier had a head ache for hours after he finally woke up. You are going to have your hands full working with me to control the power behind them now."
"Ok brat," said Severus trying to lighten the darkening mood. "Go and deal with things on your end and we will get everything set up here. For the time being I would advise you to tell the Headmaster that he shouldn't attempt telepathy on you anymore until I help you get it under control."
"You got it Chief," said Harry with a grin. "Good luck to all of you, and I will see you in two weeks."
Harry saluted them and disappeared from the fire. The Hogwarts crew was all laughing at Harry's antics. It was good to see the young man relaxed and enjoying himself.
"It is wonderful what a few days of worry free life can do for a person," said Severus. "I have never seen him so relaxed before. I wonder if there is something going on behind the scenes that we don't know about."
"Such as?" inquired Amelia. "What could possibly be going on in such a small period of time? It has only been a week now since he left. I am delighted to see him so relaxed and happy though. It is a positive change from the moody and brooding teen we saw before he left."
"It is possible that someone has caught Lord Emrys' eye," said Severus with a smirk. "He could possibly have found his soul mate and not even realize it. This could very well explain the more relaxed attitude and the smiles and joking."
"Maybe he does realize it," said Narcissa. "It is quite possible that he does know and he is using his time wisely. He is only fifteen after all. Add in that when a soul bonded pair meet, they do have positive effects on the opposite. If what you are saying is true, then we can see a very happy and hopefully more content, Lord Potter. I think that he deserves this despite his age. Hopefully the person that has caught his eye is near him in age. He brought up Scott a few times. He mentioned that Scott was the Deputy Head and yet he doesn't call him professor or use an honorific with him. Maybe that is the person that has caught his eye and such."
"Narcissa, I seem to remember that you got an O on your potions NEWT," said Minerva changing the subject. "How would you like to take over for Severus as the Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin House?"
"I think that is a great idea," said Narcissa happily. "I would be honored to come and teach in the school. I also promise to be fair and just in making decisions in regards to point earning and deductions. I will not look at house insignia as that wouldn't be fair."
"Kingsley has agreed to come and teach here at the school for DADA," said Amelia smiling. "With Remus being the History professor, that still leaves you short of a Transfiguration Professor."
"What about Andromeda?" Narcissa asked. "She may be a lawyer, but she is very skilled in Transfiguration. That way we can have her still working on Harry's case while teaching the subject. I am sure she will love the extra work. If not her, I am sure that Ted or Nymphadora will do it. Both got the grades for it."
The four that were in the Head Mistresses' office continued with their conversation long into the afternoon. Later that evening, Minerva and Severus got a hold of Remus and explained the situation to him. Remus was a little hurt at first, but in the end he understood the necessity of what they were talking about and decided that it was the best course of action. In the end, Severus and Draco would join the Grangers in America to assist Harry and the life that he so desperately wanted.
Two weeks later the group from New York landed in Hogsmeade. Harry had spelled them to be able to see the area. Jean, Storm, Logan, and Scott were all looking around with interest. Harry went on to explain the different shops and what they sold and so forth. He led the group to the Three Broomsticks and was met by an anxious Hermione and Emma Granger.
"Harry," Hermione shrieked lunging at the young man. "I am so glad to see you again."
"Hermione," said Harry hugging her close. "It has only been just over three weeks, but I am happy to see you as well. How are you enjoying the inheritance that Sirius left you?"
"She has already read them and then some," said Emma with a smile. "Hello Mr. Potter. It is nice to see you again."
"Please call me Harry," he replied. "I am your daughter's best friend and I love her like a sister. Hello Professor Snape. How are you doing?"
"Things couldn't be better Harry," replied the stern professor. "I thank you for asking. It seems that life has been treating you well since we last saw you."
"Very much so," said Harry with a grin. "We have tested me to see where I am in the muggle lessons. It would appear that I am at a tenth grade learning level. Chemistry and botany are easy subjects for me as is most forms of math."
"What subjects are you taking?" asked Severus.
"I am taking algebra, English Lit, Chemistry, Biology, Botany, Calculus, and History," he replied ticking them off his fingers. "History is a little rough as it is American History instead of British History. But the lessons are interesting to say the least. Chemistry and potions are very similar. I like my classes."
"Have you been keeping up with your magical studies as well?" asked Severus. "We don't want you falling behind."
"I am doing the four core subjects needed for an Auror," said Harry. "It is hard to do Herbology when you have no magical garden to work with. I have been keeping up with Potions, Transfiguration, DADA, and Charms. I am able to do most of the spells that are in the books."
"Are you doing them verbally or non-verbally?" asked Remus. "Sixth year students learn how to do spells non-verbally."
"Wandless and non verbal," said Scott answering for him with a proud smile. "It is impressive to watch him do the work. Every now and then we have him join us in our simulation exercises and so far his abilities work very well with out training exercises."
"You are doing wandless and non verbal?" asked a surprised Severus. "That is impressive magic. Then again, I shouldn't be surprised with your magical heritage."
"Thanks Professor," said Harry blushing slightly. "I am working hard to make sure that I stay focused. Things come easier to me now magically."
"Something tells me that once you reach your magical majority that you won't ever have trouble casting a spell," said Severus thoughtfully. "Well, time will tell."
"I don't mean to rush," said Jean interrupting softly. "But we have to go. We have a school to run and students to protect."
"My apologies," said Severus. "Introductions can be made while we are in flight."
"Take care of yourself, cub," said Remus. "If you need me, I am a phoenix flash away. Do not hesitate to write to me."
"Thanks Moony," said Harry. "I am in capable hands now. Come on Hermione and Draco. Let's get you strapped in so that we can go. You guys are going to love the school. We have begun to build a second house on the grounds so that we can have all of us living together. It will be great."
The adults laughed at Harry's exuberance. The fact that he was actually relaxed and able to laugh made Remus and Severus sigh in relief. Hermione and Draco were watching the interaction between Scott and Harry. When one would look at the other, they would blush.
"They have been doing that for about two weeks now," whispered Storm to them. "We don't call attention to it as we don't want to embarrass them further. We think that it is cute. It is like both are meant for the other and we are trying to encourage it as much as possible. Both are very relaxed around the other and Harry has opened up to Scott about much of his abysmal childhood. Scott seems to be the one to make him smile and laugh the most. They make a striking couple when they are together. We couldn't be happier for them."
"As long as Harry is happy is all that matters to us," said Hermione quietly. "I am sure that Professor Snape will want to speak with Scott at some point."
The jet took off and Harry made all of the introductions including who taught what and why. Draco and Hermione giggled when Harry stumbled over Scott's name and blushed. Severus also looked on in amusement.
"Are we missing something?" asked Dan to Severus. "Why are my daughter and the blonde teen laughing at Harry?"
Severus had gone over to the Granger's household and along with Hermione had the whole house packed and ready to go in a matter of minutes. From there they all went to the Three Broom Sticks to wait on Harry and his party.
"It would appear that Mr. Potter and Mr. Summers are interested in one another, but due to the age that Harry is, they are unable to act upon those feelings at this time," explained Severus. "It would appear that a soul bond is forming. Those that are familiar with them are encouraging the matter as best that they can without them actually breaking the law due to Harry's age."
"I thought that Harry was a legal adult," said Dan as they watched the interactions. "It should be legal now for him isn't it?"
"Things work differently in the magical and non magical world," explained Severus choosing his words carefully. "Yes Harry is an adult in all aspects of the word by law, but he is still under a certain age. This could be construed as statutory rape in the eyes of the public should they take their relationship beyond what it is now. We, of course, will shield them from that should they decide to act upon those feelings. However, from what I see, they are trying to keep it contained to a certain level. This is very mature of both of them as neither wants the older to get into trouble."
"That explains much," said Dan sitting back. "What are we going to do when we get to America?"
"That is easy," said Harry hearing his question. "You and Mrs. Granger will open a new dentistry. Draco, Hermione, and I will continue with our magical and non magical training. Professor Snape will take over Chemistry and free up one of the other professors from their spot so they can concentrate on one subject instead of two."
"Are you sure that you want me to do that?" asked Severus. "After all I am going to be teaching the three of you your magical classes as well. Will I have time to teach Chemistry?"
"The decision is totally up to you, but you should know that there are only about fifty students total in the school," said Scott smiling at him. "Only about ten are actually taking chemistry. So there will be plenty of time for you to teach one class a day of chemistry and then what magical aspects that you are going to teach these three."
"I think I can handle that," said Severus. "It would seem that things are going to be a lot easier there than at Hogwarts where some of the classes alone are twenty to fifty students each. Also, said classes can range from one to seven and some of them are double periods. I am sure we can set something up. I do enjoy staying busy."
"Some of the potions that Harry has been brewing have been helping us in healing the students when arguments break out," said Storm proudly. "He says that some of the potions are your invention and he has been making them with success for the students. Even Jean, who is a doctor, is happy to be able to repair damage and stuff with a vial of potion rather than weeks of work."
"Very impressive Harry," said Severus turning to the young man. "I am pleased to note that you are doing so well in Potions. What grade level are you studying at the moment? You have only been here in America for a few weeks."
"Uh," said Harry turning red in the face at the praise and attention that he was being given. "I have made each and every potion clean through seventh year already. They all look exactly like the books say they should. I have even sent some of the more potent potions off to be tested by the American Potions Master at Salem Academy in Massachusetts. He says that my potions are perfect and has hired me to help make potions for their infirmary at their school. Dragon Moon Academy in New Orleans is also buying my potions as well."
"Harry," exclaimed Hermione happily. "That is wonderful news. I am happy to see that you are taking your subjects so seriously now. How are you doing in DADA?"
"I am training at third year Auror level," said Harry quietly looking down in discomfort. "I found my dad's Auror training books and I have successfully cast every spell in the books with ease."
Severus, Draco, and Hermione were floored by this information. Severus went to speak, but didn't have anything to say.
"Someone from the American Ministry wants to come and test him in DADA," said Jean proudly. "They should be there sometime after his magical inheritance if not sooner. If he gets his Mastery, then he can teach the other two that subject and free you of one of the classes."
"Harry did teach me in the DA last year," said Hermione. "I would love to see what he can teach me now. How are you doing in Charms and Transfiguration?"
"I am just starting the seventh year books," admitted Harry blushing. "I have been working hard to learn all I can. Now that some of the magical blocks that were on me are gone, I find magic easier to do. It is like a veil has been lifted off of my brain and I can concentrate and learn things easier. Plus, without having to worry about the Dursleys anymore, I don't have to worry about being hurt for doing well in my classes."
"So let me get this straight," said Severus. "In close to three weeks, you have gone from fifth year to seventh year in Charms and Transfiguration. You went from fifth year to almost Senior Auror level in DADA, and you are sending potions to the schools here in the United States that range from first year to Mastery level. Does that about sum it up?"
"Yes Sir," said Harry shamed faced looking down. "I am sorry I didn't know I should not have done that."
"HARRY!" exclaimed Severus. "I am in no way calling down on you for this. What kind of grades are you getting in your muggle studies?"
"Our grading system is different here in the United States," said Jean. "He is getting top scores in Chemistry, English Literature, Biology, Math and the rest. He is not doing that well in History, but we figured it would be awhile before he started doing better as the History is very different than he is used to. However, he is still passing the course, but not as well as the others. If we had to compare grades, he would be getting an O in all of his subjects minus History. He would be getting between a high A and a low EE in that subject. We told him that he didn't have to learn so much as it is summer break, but he is just flying through the lessons we set for him."
"He just seems to soak everything up like a sponge," said Scott smiling warmly at Harry. "We are very proud of him. He is doing better than we expected of him."
"These two will do just as well," said Severus pointing to Hermione and Draco. "Both are very intelligent. I should warn you that Miss Granger likes to be the one to answer all the questions in class. So be warned that she is a stubborn know it all."
"Severus," said Harry laughing. "That was not nice. Hermione can't help it if she is a walking encyclopedia."
"You just wait until I get off this jet," said Hermione pointing her finger at Harry. "I am going to make you regret that statement."
The others laughed at the banter between the two teens. As they flew back to the United States, they talked more until one by one, they fell asleep. Things would get better for Harry now that more people were in his corner to help him understand that life can be better for you. Scott smiled as he watched Harry sleep. A small smile played on the younger man's lips as he dreamed. Scott eventually drifted off to sleep himself envisioning the beautiful green eyes of the one person he was falling head over heels in love with.
AUTHOR'S NOTE – I will end this chapter here. I can get started with the others in the next chapter and get things moving.