Chapter 4 - Training
Harry was tired.
He’d been training with Simon and his Grandpa Henry every day for a couple of weeks and today he’d been at it for several hours. In fact, he’d been training so much he had not ridden Rolly in a week. He was sure Rolly was not happy about that. Occasionally Harry had ridden some of the other horses for a little while to help Jojo with giving them all a turn but he assured Rolly that they would never replace him which placated the beautiful Appaloosa only a little bit.
In addition to training his magic so he could learn new spells and gain better control, Harry was instructed that he needed to exercise his body to gain better control physically. In turn, that would help him with his magical control. Moreover, it didn’t hurt to be physically fit. The better fit you are the longer you can fight, the more energy you will have.
Most wizards and witches do not exercise and are not physically fit. Professional Quidditch players tended to be but that was because they were paid to stay in shape and flew brooms a lot, which was a form of exercise as well. Wizards and witches depend more on their magic and tend to duel standing in one spot. The problem with that is you cannot block Unforgiveable Curses the Death Eaters toss out indiscriminately.
Sure, if you are really good at Transfiguration like Albus Dumbledore, you might be able to transfigure an object into a wall or conjure one before the spell hits. If not then you better get out of the way. If you are not fit enough, then that may not be possible if you are long into the fight and very tired.
Based on their recommendations, Harry had taken up running, pushups, crunches, squats, and pull-ups every morning. The Exercise Room was used for that. It contained all the equipment needed and an indoor track that was in the shape of an oval. Most of the time, Harry ran outside but if the weather was not cooperating he ran indoors. He had managed to get up to 5 miles running so far. His other exercises were increasing along with it.
Both his mentors had spent a considerable amount of time teaching Harry several spells. He used those along with the Stunner, varying his spells in an effort to find one where he could control his power properly. So far, Harry had not had much luck.
He had not managed to trim more power off his Stunner at all. He was still leaving a crack in the solid wood of the practice dummy. He was growing quite frustrated with his lack of improvement. He could not figure out how to decrease his power any further when casting. Simon kept pushing him to find that “soft touch” he was so fond of calling it.
Harry had conjured a chair to sit in and was taking a break drinking a cold butterbeer that Mattie had provided. He was concentrating hard on trying to figure out his problem. While contemplating he didn’t notice Henry and Simon in a big discussion behind him. They came to an agreement and turned back toward Harry.
“Harry, Simon and I are going to give you a surprise. Not tonight though. We want you to quit for the night and think a little more on what you’ve learned. Take a couple days off and enjoy yourself. I will need a few days to setup your surprise. We will let you know when we are ready with that.”
“When you come back after 2 days of fun in the sun, I am going to start you working on wandless magic,” Simon said, “so get some rest and think about this while you enjoy your time off. A wand not only focuses the witch or wizard’s magic, it increases it somewhat as well. The magical core of the wand works with the magical core of the witch or wizard so it adds focus and some additional power.”
“A wizard, who lacks a lot of magical power, the opposite of you Harry, will be able to perform magic properly with the help of the correct wand. It is true that the wand chooses the wizard. Kids with less raw power tend to have fewer, if any, accidental magic issues while growing up. Some Muggle-borns do not realize they are magical until they receive their Hogwarts letter because of the lack of accidental magic.”
“That tends to happen far less though with Muggle-borns. What is more common is a pureblood child whose parents are afraid their kid is a squib. The Hogwarts letter relieves their fears. The little wizard gets his first wand and he can suddenly do magic, not real powerful magic but magic nonetheless.”
“Keep in mind Harry,” said Henry, “magical power is like everything else. There are differences in people’s magical power levels. Although I know you would never be guilty of this, I feel as your grandfather, especially in the absence of your father, that it is my duty to tell you that it’s not something to boast about. It is how we are born. It is no different than a person being born a different color or one who can sing and another who is tone deaf. There are people who are artists and others who are not. Even people who are not tone deaf have differences in their singing ability. Some are good singers; some are great singers, and some you would not pay to listen to. None of these differences make us any better as persons.”
“The purists would like everyone to believe that they are better. They lie to themselves believing that a pureblood will always have more magical power than a Muggle-born or half-blood witch or wizard. This is so far from the truth. The longer a family practices being pureblooded the more likely they will become weak and more squibs will be prominent.”
“It is due to the lack of families left they can intermarry with. After a while you are marrying a distant relative and then in later years not so distant. It’s the old families, like the Potters, who have married spouses that are Muggle, Muggle-born, or half-blood once it became evident there was a shortage on purebloods and they were starting to pull from the same gene pool. The truth of the matter is the Potters have never concerned themselves with blood status. They marry whomever they fall in love with – whether pureblood, half-blood, Muggle-born, or Muggle. The Potters have never had a squib but even if we did that person would be a welcome member of this family instead of hidden like many pureblood families do. Shameful, that’s what that is. I’ll get off my soapbox now.”
“Thanks, Grandpa, I agree.”
“Harry, you were born with lots of power,” said Simon “so much power your parents bound your magic to keep you from hurting yourself or anyone else accidentally. Your mum and dad both told me that they had witnessed you summoning things you wanted when you were only a few months old. Your Mum told me that one time when you were crying she went to your room to see what was wrong. When you saw her enter the room, you reached out your hands for her to pick you up and she was immediately pulled over to you very quickly. That is not common Harry, especially at that age. That was wandless and controlled magic. Even regularly powered wizard kids do not experience much accidental magic until they are a few years old.”
Thinking over what he had been told for a minute, Harry looked up at the portraits. “Are you sure I should take some time off? I’m not any closer to having enough control.”
“Yes Harry, we are sure,” said Simon, “and you are much closer than you think. What we are planning for you will help you with your control so take a couple days off and have some fun. Go get some rest tonight. You need it. We will see you back here after 2 days of fun.”
“Okay,” said Harry. “No one has to twist my arm!”
Harry kept up his morning exercise routine but spent the next two days riding Rolly and exploring more of the grounds at Potter Place. He saw where they grew all the vegetables along with several different fruit trees as well. It was more of a farm since they grew enough to provide vegetables to the market. The amount of horses, cattle, sheep, and goats plus the amount of land where they were kept was big enough to be a large ranch so he was not surprised at the size of the farm.
Harry also spent some time down at the pitch flying his broom. He found in the locker rooms five brooms but they were an older model, the Nimbus 1500. The 1500 was a good racing broom in its day but was not up to the specs of the Nimbus 2000 and 2001. Harry’s Firebolt was even faster. There were also a couple of older Cleansweep brooms but he was not sure of the model. They looked older than the Cleansweep 5′s Fred and George rode as beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. He made a note to himself to buy new brooms before he started having guests over to play Quidditch.
Harry even went swimming in the pool when it got a little too hot outside. He thought how nice it would be to share all this with his friends. Maybe if things go as well as he hopes he would be able to tell Ron and Hermione what happened to him this summer and bring his friends over to spend some time enjoying Potter Place with him.
Three days later…
Harry had enjoyed his two days off but was hard at it once again after he completed his morning exercises and showered. True to his word, Simon was working with Harry on wandless magic. They still had not told him what his surprise was going to be but he guessed if they told him then it would not be much of a surprise so he tried to remain patient. Harry did try a couple times to get them to spill it but they were not going for it.
“Harry,” said Simon, “the only thing we can tell you about your surprise is that we cannot tell you, at least not yet.”
“We will tell you when it’s the right time,” added Henry, “and I promise it will be soon.”
“Alright, alright, I will quit prodding and be patient, besides I’m still not getting this wandless thing very well. I’d better concentrate on that.”
“Yes, you should because you keep forgetting what I have taught you,” agreed Simon. “You have had some success, a little, but I believe you are about to make the necessary breakthrough. Concentrate and remember two things. One, you have performed wandless magic before so you know you can do it. Why the doubts? Two, you are not remembering what the spells feel like when you cast them with a wand. Now get your wand out, cast your soft touch Stunner, and pay attention to what it feels like. Then try it wandless using that same feeling.”
Harry took his time and paid very close attention to what the magic felt like when he cast his soft touch Stunner with his wand. He then holstered his wand and tried the Stunner again this time concentrating on how the Stunner is supposed to feel. The spell came out of the end of his hand much wider than when it came out of his wand. It hit the dummy pretty much all over and some sailed past the dummy and into the protections on the wall. However, what was encouraging was it did not appear to crack the dummy any further.
Wanting to try again right away to see for certain if it cracked or not he cast reparo on the dummy without his wand and it repaired perfectly. Simon and Henry were keeping quiet behind him smiling all the while after they saw his success and especially the Repair Charm he cast wandless when he was not even thinking about it.
Harry cast the Stunner again and it did not crack the dummy. He cast it a third time and took note that his fingers were a bit spread out. He closed his fingers together and cast it again and this time it was not as spread out and hit just the dummy. It still was not as tight a spell as when using the wand so he cast it again this time pointing with just his finger. The spell tightened up even more and Harry was able to hit with pinpoint accuracy wherever he pointed. The wand still cast the spell tighter and more focused but the great thing Harry had discovered about casting wandless is he had less power. He was absolutely thrilled that he could stun the dummy and not leave a physical mark.
Harry turned around to Henry and Simon. “Did you see that? I cast a Stunner and I didn’t break the dummy!”
“You also cast a perfect reparo wandless without even thinking about it, Harry, because you were anxious to see if your wandless Stunner truly was not breaking the dummy,” said Henry.
“See what a told you Harry? You just had your breakthrough,” said Simon. “Congratulations! The rest will be a lot easier.”
“Thanks Simon and Grandpa. I could not have done this without your patient instruction.”
Simon continued. “Well, now that you know the secret just continue to add more spells you can do wandlessly. Cast with your wand first if you don’t remember how the spell feels then try it without a wand. I am sure with your power and how clearly you can feel your magic, that there will be very few spells that will be too difficult for you to do wandless. Keep in mind that there are some very complicated spells out there that are just not meant to be cast without a wand but you don’t need to worry about that right now.
“Cast several more times, Harry,” said Henry, “and try a few other spells besides the Stunner so you can get this lesson set solidly in your mind. The more you practice the more natural it will become.”
“Practice casting with more of a softer touch as well,” said Simon. “If you can soften your power even more casting wandless then you might be able to use how that feels to get your spell softer when using your wand. It will take some extra concentration but you can do it.”
July 31st – Two days later back in the training room…
“Harry, you have learned a lot and improved tremendously in a short period of time. Both Simon and I are very impressed with what you can do and you have made us both very proud. In just a couple days, you can cast nearly every spell with or without your wand. That is spectacular!”
“And that leads us to the next point,” added Simon. “We are going to reveal part of your surprise today.”
“Yes, really,” Henry said with a smile.
“Alright, let me have it.”
“Harry,” said Henry, “we have come up with an idea that we think will help you gain further control and it will be done in a way that we think you will find exciting. The part of the surprise that you need to know about now is you are going to have a visitor show up tomorrow afternoon at 2:00. This visitor is a long-time friend of mine, an Unspeakable, who has kept Potter secrets for years and he has a very special talent. Sorry, to keep you on pins and needles until tomorrow Harry but it will be best if he introduces himself and explains his special talent.”
“Finally! You have been torturing me with this surprise stuff for way too long. I can’t believe I will finally know what the secret is tomorrow.”
“Sorry it took so long, Harry but we were shooting for your birthday and this friend’s schedule had to be accommodated as well before he comes out and provides his services to you,” said Henry.
“No problem, Grandpa. I was just being sarcastic. I’m looking forward to meeting your friend.”
“Harry,” said Simon, “you should take the rest of the day off and enjoy yourself. In the morning after your exercises, do some reading in one of those good books your mum and dad left you. Those books will come in handy, plus you have a gigantic library here in Potter Place that you can explore. I will be happy to point out books on any subject for you.”
“Thanks Simon, I appreciate that.”
Mattie showed up at that moment with a birthday cake and drinks. Harry invited all the elves in for the celebration, even Harry’s grandma came over and joined Henry in his portrait in the Practice Room. Harry and the elves all ate cake and drank butterbeer or other beverages as they preferred. The elves got together at some point and sang an off-key rendition of the Happy Birthday song. Harry was happy. He was with family.
Later that day Pig showed up with some Honeydukes chocolates from both Ron and Hermione. The chocolate arrived with just a short note from Hermione saying, ”I expect we’ll be seeing you quite soon.” Harry shared his chocolate with the elves.
Benjamin Preston showed up promptly at 2:00. Mattie and Harry met him in the Receiving Room when Andrew announced his welcome. Mattie asked if she could get him anything to drink but he declined saying he was fine for now. After introductions, in which Mr. Potter became Harry and Mr. Preston became Ben, Mattie left them and Harry took his visitor down to the Practice Room.
Benjamin Preston was just under six feet tall and well built. He was probably in his early sixties and had a very quiet confidence about him. His hair was brown with a touch of grey at the temples and he had a mustache with a mixture of brown and grey. He carried a small bag with him. He insisted that they wait until they were in the Practice Room with Henry and Simon before he explained everything.
When they arrived at the doorway to the Practice Room Harry indicated for Ben to go in first but he stopped just outside the doorway and bowed before going in. Harry thought that was a little unusual but followed his visitor into the room.
Henry introduced Simon to Ben. It was obvious Henry and Ben were both very glad to see each other as they shared a laugh or two before Ben and Henry began their explanation.
Ben, as an Unspeakable, had been sent to Okinawa when he was younger to learn self-defense. It was part of what the Unspeakables do to further ideas and explore new areas. There was a style of karate that started in the early 50′s and was being taught in Agena, Okinawa called the Isshinryu Karate System. Ben excelled in it and was soon teaching others as well in a few years. Ben explained that in Isshinryu there are multiple belt levels signified by color. As in most karate systems beginners start with a white belt, next comes orange, yellow, blue, green, purple and three levels of brown before you reach black belt level. Once you reach the level of black belt, it continues on to ten levels of black. Ben had reached the level of 8th degree black belt. He was hoping to reach the final tenth level at some point but it took many, many years of study, he explained.
The surprise for Harry was Ben coming to teach Harry karate. Of course, Harry had heard of karate but new practically nothing about it. Simon and Henry believed that with some of the training involved with Isshinryu it would help Harry with his concentration, focus, and control.
Ben explained that “Isshinryu’s main goal is to perfect of oneself through physical and mental development. As students learn, they acquire self-confidence, serenity, and humility. Isshinryu has many advantages over other styles, such as Isshinryu stresses ′close-in’ techniques that are more practical on the street vs. high flashy kicks for example. Isshinryu techniques are mostly thrown from natural stances, limiting wasted motion, maintaining stability and giving you split-second advantages over other styles.”
“Isshinryu uses a ‘snap style’ that permits you to move quickly, deliver more punches or kicks, and lead naturally into other techniques. For example, the straight punch has no corkscrew common in other styles. Approximately five Isshinryu punches can be thrown in the time used for one corkscrew punch. The punch also ends in and can be thrown from a middle block.”
“First things first,” Ben said continuing on. “We need to establish the rules. When I arrive every day at 2:00 pm, the Practice Room will then be called a dojo and will remain that way until we are done for the day. Before you enter the dojo, you will bow in respect for the dojo. We also will bow to each other in respect.”
“As your teacher I am called Sensei. While in these lessons, Harry, you must call me Sensei but outside of class, you can go back to calling me Ben. This is very important. Respect and discipline are an important part of karate. Karate teaches you the ability to harm, severely maim, or even kill an opponent without using a weapon. Your body is the weapon. Therefore, it is very important for the student to learn respect and discipline so that karate is used for defense only.”
“There are some who would let their ability and power go to their head. They would use what they have learned to intimidate and treat people with disrespect, even going so far as to harm them simply because they can and they feed on that power. This cannot be allowed so respect and discipline are a steady diet for the karate student.”
“We will train for at least 4 hours every day starting at 2:00. This will not be easy but we will train this way so you can get the most benefit before you have to return to school. After that, we will have to get together when we can. I am hoping to get you through a few belt levels before school starts. With individual, private instruction plus the amount of hours we are going to work on this, I will be expecting significant progress from you. Do you accept these rules and me as your Sensei, Harry?”
“Yes, Sensei” Harry replied excitedly “I accept.”
“Good,” Ben said reaching into his bag. He tossed a white uniform at Harry and said, “Put that on. It’s called a gi. I will show you how to tie the belt when you get back.” Ben then took off his outer robe and revealed he already had his gi on with a black belt containing Japanese letters on the ends that hung down in front.
Harry had stepped out to change and came back with the gi on but the white belt was in his hand. The sensei went over how to tie the belt three times for Harry so he could learn it. He then told Harry that first they must stretch so they do not tear any muscles. After a few stretches and warm up exercises, Ben promptly slid down into a full Chinese or middle split. Harry was amazed at his flexibility. He told Harry he would be able to do the same in a few weeks. Harry was not sure if he believed that but decided he would work at it.
Ben did not hold back at all. He started Harry at a fast pace. He began explaining how karate worked while he showed Harry what he called a straight punch, which is intended for the heart or solar plexus. He explained that the key was knowing where to strike and having the skill and accuracy from practice will make sure the strike hits where intended.
Harry thought Ben would be teaching him several punches and kicks right away but it took a good while and several repeated straight punches later before he moved on to another punch. It became clear to Harry that there was a science to this. Ben spent an inordinate amount of time on the one straight punch because he wanted Harry to perfect his form before moving on.
Harry discovered that the correct form delivered a much more powerful punch, which is what Ben had been explaining to him. How you stand, the spacing between your feet, which way your feet are pointed, knees slightly bent, and back straight were all important for throwing the Straight Punch. Even then, you had to put some shoulder into it, not just throw with your arms, to get extra power. It was a lot to take in but Harry found himself having a great time learning this special skill.
After Ben felt Harry’s form was perfect he had Harry repeat the punch repeatedly. He even taught Harry to count in Japanese up to ten which was used to count the reps. He went on to explain that when Harry had perfected the form on a few more punches, blocks, and some kicks then Ben would teach him a kata that Harry would need to memorize and perform perfectly.
The kata was a system of basic body positioning and movement exercises that showed the student’s perfection of learned techniques. The first kata would be an exercise simulating a fight with three opponents at the same time using the beginning techniques previously learned which were a few punches, blocks, and kicks.
After Harry had repeated the straight punch enough times for his body to develop some muscle memory, Ben taught him more punches such as the upper cut then moved to blocks and kicks where he learned the front snap kick and the outside angle push kick, among others. Harry was quickly perfecting the form faster and faster on each new technique he was taught but Ben would consistently work with him on each one until he had the form perfect before moving to the next. Each time after a form was perfected Harry would have to repeat the technique over and over to develop some muscle memory while counting to ten in Japanese then repeating. Then Ben would have him repeat the rest of the techniques as well to make sure he had not forgotten anything.
Each day when they were done around 6pm, sometimes later, Harry was so tired he could barely stand up. The more days they worked though the more Harry was finding extra energy and was less tired at the end of the day. He had put on more muscle and had grown a couple of inches already since his last day of term.
In addition to all the kicks, punches, and blocks, Ben taught Harry where all the pressure points were on the body. Harry learned how to make a person let go of you if you were grabbed by the arm or if a strong man was trying to crush your hand while shaking it. There was a pressure point in the forearm that if pressed sufficiently with your thumb it would make them let go because of the pain. If someone grabbed the front of your shirt, you could use your middle fingers on both hands and press hard right behind the ears to make them let go. Of course, you could also grab their wrists, take one step backwards to get them off balance, swing your arm over theirs then come back with an elbow to the head, lean back further and hit them with a back fist to the temple. Harry found that one a little more fun than using the pressure points.
Another part of the training was sparring with the sensei. This was a little nerve wracking since Ben was so many levels above Harry. Harry knew he had no chance against Ben in a fight but the sparring lessons were very beneficial and Harry was able to learn a lot about fighting an opponent using his new techniques. In one particular sparring session Ben had kicked Harry lightly twice in the stomach over the course of about two minutes. For some reason Harry was not able to block him. Ben was so fast and accurate.
Ben told Harry “that’s twice now. If you let me kick you a third time it’s going to hurt.”
Harry started concentrating hard so he could avoid that third kick. Ben could have probably hit him with anything else since he was concentrating so hard on just the kick but Ben was teaching so working on a surprise kick again was all he wanted to do at the moment. He wanted to see Harry react quicker and with confidence.
Ben tried the third kick but this time Harry was ready. He grabbed under Ben’s leg with one arm and moved toward Ben to grab him by the front of the gi and push. His front leg knocked Ben’s remaining leg out from under him so he began to fall backwards with Harry in control. What happened next was not what Harry was counting on. Ben grabbed Harry by the front of the gi with both hands and used his momentum to carry Harry over his head past him to the floor. Ben sprung up quickly to be ready for another attack. He saw Harry take the floor with a forward roll so he came up on his two feet again ready for another go.
Ben stopped and congratulated Harry. “Very well done, that was a well-executed take down, Harry.”
“But what did you do? You through me straight over you. My take down was useless!”
“Against a less knowledgeable opponent that would‘ve worked great. What you experienced was your own momentum being used against you. You were pushing forward to knock me down so you would gain the upper hand. I used that and with a little effort on my part, I sent you flying over me. You did very well on your landing though. That forward roll ending with you back on your feet was impressive. While I negated your upper hand, you negated mine. I would say that was a draw. You have come along very well Harry. How do you like what you’ve learned so far?”
“This has been the best, Sensei! You thoroughly wore me out early on but all the work has given me the stamina to keep going without getting too tired. I feel like I have a needed edge now, something I can use in tight spots I tend to find myself in a lot.”
“Good, Harry. I’m glad you’re getting a good benefit from it. We’ll continue to work and train. I’ll teach you even more techniques as time allows. Right now, I want to show you something different. Remember the focus and concentration techniques I taught you? These will be needed for what we’re about to do. Get yourself a drink and I’ll set this up.
After Harry had some water, he went back to his sensei carrying a bottle of water for him too.
“Thanks, Harry. I think I have it all set. What I’m about to show you is how to break a board with your hand or your foot. Use the concentration and focus technique I showed you and this will be a piece of cake. Let me demonstrate.”
Ben placed a one by four board over two pedestals in front him about hip high. After readying himself Ben’s hand came crashing down breaking the board in two. He issued a kiai with the blow. A kiai is usually a vocal sound that helps focus energy when using a technique.
Ben looked up at Harry. “This is a simple one which is where I’m starting you. Let me show you something more advanced before you try.” Ben spoke to the room and it provided five solid concrete blocks that were placed on the pedestal. Ben went through the same focus technique before his hand came crashing down onto the stack of five concrete blocks, Ben was issuing a loud kiai at the same time. He broke all five of the blocks clean in two. Harry was impressed.
“Harry, just so you know there are Isshinryu senseis out there, about my same level that are capable of even breaking metal. Not too long ago one of the senseis put on a demonstration and broke an iron pump handle clean in two.”
“That is incredible,” said Harry
“Yes, but do not expect to be doing that this summer. You will start with one board and adding one at a time as you try for more. The goal is to not break your hand but if you do injure it, I can heal it for you. Just use the focus and concentration I showed you. Picture your hand going through the board and feeling no pain. I have no doubt you can easily break the one board but you have to get past the one before moving on to more. Always remember that no matter how easy something may be, never forget to focus. Give the easy one just as much focus as the harder one. You avoid a lot of mistakes that way.”
Harry did just fine breaking the board and even managed to work his way up and break five boards at one time. In addition, Ben taught Harry how to break boards with his feet too. Harry thought it was incredible what he had learned in such a short time. Ben continued on through the remainder of the summer teaching Harry. He even taught Harry how to use different weapons, including swords and a staff.
Earlier that month…
One of the evenings during the first week of August, after a grueling session with Ben, Harry was reading his book on human transformation when his wand beeped at him so he left Potter Place using his watch to go back to #4 Privet Drive. He looked out the window but it was too dark. He didn’t see anyone. Harry went downstairs and there was no visitor there either so he went out the front door. As soon as he did, he started to feel a little cold. That’s strange he thought. Cold like this in August? Then he realized – Dementors! But what are they doing in Little Whinging? He took off towards the area that looked the worst but before he could see where the Dementors were he ran into Dudley.
“Dudley, you should get to the house quickly. It’s not safe out here.”
“What is it with this weather? It shouldn’t be cold like this in August.”
“This is not normal Dudley, this is magic. You need to get inside. It’s too dangerous out here.”
“What did you do, Harry?”
“It’s not me. I didn’t do this. I came out to see if I could fix it though. This should not be happening here. Go inside where it’s safe. I have to find the dementors causing all this and drive them off.” Harry was looking all around for the dementors but could not see them. However, the bad thoughts were starting and happiness was going away.
Dudley hit Harry in the head when he was looking around. It knocked Harry sprawling. Dudley was a boxer now and his punches had improved quite a bit. Harry looked up to see a dementor attack Dudley.
“Noooo” cried Harry but when he stood up, he was grabbed by a second dementor. He tried a pressure point but it didn’t phase the 12-foot nightmare. Harry tried to kick him off but he was too big and Harry couldn’t reach him. He finally hit the dementor with a wandless Stunner that caused Harry to be dropped. He managed to get out Simon’s wand and struggled but finally found his happy thought.
A silver stag erupted out of his wand that stood about 20 feet tall. It ran off the dementor that had attacked Harry with ease then Harry turned it on the one working on Dudley. The two dementors left the area like their tails were on fire. Apparently, Harry’s overly large patronus was just too much for them.
Harry ran over to Dudley to check on him. He didn’t look too good. Just about that time, Mrs. Figg came running up to Harry and Dudley. Harry started to hide his wand but she told him not to put it away. She was afraid that they might come back. Harry wasn’t. He knew that they didn’t want to face his patronus again.
“You know about magic, Mrs. Figg? Are you a witch?”
“No, a squib. Dumbledore has me keeping an eye on you.”
“Dumbledore? You know Dumbledore? What next?”
“Sorry Harry. Let’s get you and Dudley back in the house. Can he walk? I don’t think either of us can carry him.”
“I’ll get him Mrs. Figg.”
Harry wandlessly cast a Feather-Light Charm on Dudley while helping him up then draped Dudley’s arm over his shoulder.
On the way back to #4, Mrs. Figg went on and on about Mundungus Fletcher and how she was going to kill him for leaving. Evidently, he was supposed to be here guarding the house where they thought Harry was staying but Mundungus had left and was not around when the dementors came. Before they could make it to the house though, there was a loud crack and a short man who smelled strongly of alcohol and tobacco appeared before them. Evidently this was Mundungus Fletcher because Mrs. Figg was laying into him like there was no tomorrow. Mundungus decided that it would be best for him to leave so he could inform Dumbledore. Crack!
Harry finally made it to #4 with Dudley so he said good-bye to Mrs. Figg and took Dudley inside the house. Aunt Petunia pretty much lost it when she saw Dudley but Harry quickly explained about the dementors and how he had run them off with a special spell.
“Give Dudley chocolate. It will help negate the effects of the dementors and help him recover faster.” Petunia immediately went and found some chocolate and brought it to Dudley who wolfed it all down as fast as he could.
While explaining more about what happened to his irate uncle and aunt, Harry received an owl from Mr. Weasley and then one from Sirius. They both instructed Harry to not leave the house. Uncle Vernon was not pleased to see the owls. When no more owls came and Dudley was doing better, Harry excused himself back to his room. He was tired and needed his rest before training again tomorrow. Harry used his watch again once in his room to port back to Potter Place. He went straight to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.
A couple hours later…
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
Harry woke with a start. “No, not again.” He quickly grabbed his wands and watch.
Harry appeared in his bedroom at #4 Privet Drive. Who or what was it this time? Harry asked himself. He heard some noises downstairs so he went out into the hall. It was completely dark in the house but he could see several people near the front entryway due to the streetlight shining in. Soon a wand tip lit up and it turned out to be Professor Lupin, Mad-Eye Moody, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, and Hestia Jones. They had evidently come to rescue him from danger he wasn’t in. Harry sighed. He only knew a few of them but the rest were introduced to him in short order.
Thinking it through, Harry decided that it would be best to go with them for now even though he was dead tired. He could always get back to Potter Place whenever he wants. Perhaps it was time to let a few people that he trusts know where he was staying. He was not ready to invite them over yet because he had to finish his training but he would assure them an invite sometime in the near future, maybe Christmas holidays since school would be starting soon and he had to train up until then.
Harry convinced them that he had nothing to take with him because it was all in a safe place where he would retrieve it later. They wondered why he was not telling them everything but he would not answer any more questions about it. He needed some time to figure out how much he was going to share with a select few. He did that on his journey to where they were taking him. Harry had a pretty good ride on broomstick, although it seemed Mad-eye took the scenic route.
Sirius’ House – The Order of the Phoenix
Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were surprised at how Harry looked and he seemed quite a bit different. He was happier and very confident in himself. He was also taller, more muscular, and dressed a lot better. He actually had clothes on that fit. Ginny was very much liking what she saw.
After dinner, Harry managed to get Sirius alone. After Sirius promised to not share this with anyone, Harry told him about Potter Place and the memory his parents had left that started the whole thing. Sirius insisted that Remus join them at that point and when Remus heard about the memory, he let Harry know that he was the one who provided the memory. He was asked by James and Lily to pretend to be Harry while they went through everything about the trunk, the clothes, and the portkey. Remus then provided that memory to them to use. Lily had charmed the little gadget with the button to play the memory.
“That’s why it looked like Mum and Dad were looking straight at me because you were pretending to be me and they looked right at you. It was tremendous. It was the longest time I had ever been in their presence that I can remember. I cried when it ended wishing things could have been different. I saw my parents and their personalities for the first time. I will never forget the experience.”
“Harry, we miss them too,” said Sirius. “By the way, we both have been to Potter Place before with James. I even lived there with James for a while when I ran away from here at age sixteen. Mr. and Mrs. Potter took me in and treated me like their own son. We can’t get back there on our own though so we were not able to take you there or even remember much about it up until now. There are very strong and ancient enchantments on Potter Place that causes this. No one can go there if they are not invited.”
“Well, I’m sure Grandpa and Grandma will be happy to see you then. You both should consider yourselves invited but remember that you cannot tell anyone else, including Dumbledore. Don’t worry. I’ll reveal this to him at some point especially when it’s time to tell him I’ll not be going back to the Dursleys.”
“Really?” asked Remus.
“Yes. Right now, I’m in the middle of some special training that I have every day and I have to get back to it. This training will continue up until September 1st when I return to school, so it may be Christmas break before I have time to do anything with you at Potter Place, but I want you to go there if you feel like it. There’s a lot more to do there and more things to enjoy so don’t let yourself get depressed here. I will inform Mattie of you two being welcome. Go to Potter Place even if I’m in school and take advantage of all that it offers. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing this summer and I’ve had a blast.”
“Okay Harry, thanks for the invite. There’s a lot going on with the Order right now so Christmas may be the best and earliest time for all of us to do that,” replied Remus.
“True,” said Sirius. “It probably will be Christmas before we have any time to do that.”
“Alright guys, we will shoot for Christmas break then. I’m going to tell Ron and Hermione some of this so they know why I’m leaving. If anyone asks where I went, then you can tell them I’m safe and sound at my ancestral home and I have a special portkey that takes me back and forth. Actually, if you don’t mind, I’ll add this house to my watch then I can travel between here and home when I need to. I already added my bedroom at Privet Drive but I’ll not need that much longer.”
“That’ll be fine Harry,” said Sirius. “Pick a good spot where you can come and go easily.”
“Thanks, I will. Sirius, Professor Lupin –”
“Call me Remus, Harry. I am no longer your professor.”
“Sirius, Remus, I obviously have not told you everything but I will eventually. Now is just not the right time. There’s a lot I’m having to work out so be patient with me and I’ll reveal all in due time.”
“No problem, Harry. You should have your secrets and you should not tell anyone around here,” said Sirius. “I’ve not been pleased with Dumbledore’s decision to keep you in the dark nor any of the others who agree with him. Keep them in the dark as long as you can and they should know, like you know, that they are being kept in the dark. See how they like it!”
Harry laughed. “It’s a deal. I like it!”
Harry found a nice quiet room across the hall from the master bedroom where Buckbeak was being kept and added it to his watch. Afterwards he went back into a bedroom with Ron and Hermione to say good-bye.
“Listen guys –”
Ginny walked in and stopped. “Sorry, am I interrupting? I can leave and come back later.”
“No, Ginny, you’re not interrupting. There is nothing you can’t hear in this conversation as long as you can keep a secret.”
“I’m going to be leaving in a just a few minutes. I have too much left to do so I can’t stay here.”
“What?” asked Hermione. “What do you mean you can’t stay? Where will you go? You can’t go back to the Dursleys. It’s not safe since they are sending dementors after you.”
“Hermione, I can handle a few dementors but I’m not going back to the Dursleys. I’ve hardly stayed at the Dursleys all summer. I only pop over there if someone comes to visit me. Unfortunately, my last visitors were two dementors.”
“Then where are you staying?” asked Ron.
“Look, I can’t tell you everything, at least not right now but I will tell you as much as I can. First, though you must all promise me that you will tell no one what I’m about to say, no matter what. I’ll eventually tell the others and reveal the rest of what I can’t tell you. Only Sirius and Remus know any of this as of right now. They are the only ones. Once you are told then that will be it until I’m ready to share more and with others. Promise me and I’ll tell you what I can for now.”
“We promise,” they all said together.
“I trust you guys but let me warn you. You had better keep your promise. You can tell absolutely no one accept you three, Sirius, and Remus. No one else so be careful if discussing it when others might be listening. If you break your promise, I’ll not tell you anymore of my secrets. Got it?”
They all nodded their heads.
Harry motioned for them to come closer into a tighter circle. He pulled out Simon’s wand and cast a Silencing Charm around them. He wanted to make sure none of the pictures or extendable ears were inside the charm.
“Harry you are not supposed to be using magic outside of Hogwarts. They will arrest you for illegal use of underage magic,” said Hermione.
“No they won’t,” said Harry. “First, this house is under a Fidelius Charm and it’s unplottable. The Ministry can’t detect magic here but that’s not the main reason.” Harry held up Simon’s wand. “This, technically, is not my wand. It’s the wand of an ancestor’s that works as well as my own wand. In addition, this wand is untraceable. In fact, I cast my patronus with it earlier to chase off the two dementors. No Ministry owls showed up.”
“Where did you get it?” asked Ginny.
“Ah, you want the rest of the story? Well, let me start from the beginning. If you recall I found some items in my vault last year. Remember the books I had in my trunk? They came from my vault but I also found an object at the same time that opened up a whole new world for me. It was a small ornate box about the size of a ring box, like what an engagement ring comes in.” Ginny smiled at that. “It was sitting on a shelf at the back of my vault and I could swear it was calling my name. I had to move some stacks of galleons out of the way to get to the back wall and that’s when I discovered the shelf of books and this little box that was sparkling. I guess all this time my gold was covering up the shelves.”
“Harry, I know you have money but to have to move stacks of galleons out of the way to get to some shelves is just more than I can fathom,” said Ron.
“Ron? It’s just money. Money can always be replaced. Friends and loved ones are far more important. I would gladly give it all up if I could have my parents back.”
“We know Harry. Ron, be quiet!” said Hermione.
Harry continued on and told them all about how he discovered the little box that was a trunk and the apartment inside it. He also told about his parents memory and how wonderful it was for him to experience that.
“Oh, Harry.” Ginny stepped up and pulled him into a hug. Hermione was right behind her and joined in on his other side. Ron was just looking uncomfortable.
After a minute. “Um, can we get on with the story?” asked Ron.
“Ron, you are an insensitive git,” cried Hermione.
“It’s okay Hermione,” interrupted Harry. “I really need to get on with this because I have to be up early. I have a busy day tomorrow.”
Hermione and Ginny pulled back but Ginny remained close and kept holding Harry’s hand, which he didn’t mind.
“Anyway, they told me all about the trunk and that all the clothes were charmed to auto-fit, and my dad had me fetch the golden pocket watch because it’s a special Potter portkey. It took me to my ancestral home, Potter Place, which is a huge manor with lots of land around. I met lots of ancestors in their portraits and spoke to them. I met my grandparents. Grandpa Henry was an Unspeakable and he still has a portrait at the Department of Mysteries too. Grandma Elizabeth was a great Healer. They both reside in the Study.”
“Next door is a very large library that you will faint when you see it Hermione. In the library is a portrait of my Great (times seven) Grandfather Simon. Simon is known as the most knowledgeable and most powerful Potter that has ever lived. Simon and Grandpa have been training me and I have had some healing training from Grandma.”
“Recently, I started some self-defense training and I’ll be continuing my magic training in the mornings and self-defense training in the afternoons through the rest of this month. I would like to be able to invite you guys over but there is not enough time this summer. Maybe Christmas break will work. You can do so much there. There are horses, cows, sheep, and goats on the ranch part of the lands. There’s an entire farm on another part. There’s also a nice swimming pool and get this guys, there is one extremely nice Quidditch pitch.”
“You’re kidding?” asked Ron.
“Nope, I’m not. The place is amazing. I have had the best summer of my life. I can’t wait for you guys to be able to come visit. I’ll even introduce you to Rolly.”
“Who’s Rolly?” asked Ginny.
“Rolly is the most beautiful horse you’ll ever see and he has claimed me for himself. He gets a bit miffed when I don’t ride him regularly. He‘s going to be upset when I return to school.”
“Wow, Harry, that sounds wonderful and I’m so happy for you. I can’t wait to see all your books at Potter Place.”
“I knew Hermione would be thinking about all the books,” said Ron with a smile.
“But Harry, is it just you there with only portraits for company?” asked Ginny. “Aren’t you lonely?”
“No, I’m not lonely but I do wish I could have spent more time with you guys this summer enjoying it all together. Potter Place actually has 21 house elves. The head house elf’s name is Mattie and she is the absolute best. She is so smart and wise. She has taught me so much. She runs the place and keeps everyone happy. The house and lands are so large that it takes all of them to keep it running. The whole place is self-sufficient and we’re one big family. The livestock provides meat. The farm provides fruits and vegetables. Other items that are not grown or raised, like pork, are traded for. It’s a great place to be. On my birthday, Mattie brought a large birthday cake and drinks to the Practice Room after we just finished training. We invited all the elves to the little party and later they all got together and sang me a wonderful, but off key, happy birthday song. It was great!”
Harry’s friends smiled with him.
“To answer your question Ginny, my extra wand belonged to Simon and it was at my house. Simon recommended I try some of the family wands to see if one would work. He thought it would be good for me to use an untraceable wand when away from Potter Place. It ended up his was the best fit. Mattie also gave me two wand holsters for them.” Harry lifted his sleeves to reveal the holsters.
“That’s all I can tell you for now. I have to get back so I can rest. I’ll see you guys on September 1st at King’s Cross. By the way, I’ve added this place to my portkey so I can get back over here quickly if I have to.”
“That is some watch, Harry,” said Hermione.
“It certainly is,” replied Harry.
Ginny grabbed Harry and hugged him hard. “Bye Harry. See you on the train.”
Hermione was next. She gave him a quick hug. “Bye Harry.”
Ron gave sort of a quick shoulder hug. “Can’t wait to visit you and see that pitch, Harry. See you on the 1st.”
“Bye guys, sorry I can’t stay.”
Harry cancelled the privacy spell then stepped back so he was no longer touching anyone and pulled out his watch.
“Legends of Potter”
Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all looked at each other for a minute after Harry disappeared.
“Whoa,” they all said together.
By the end of August, Harry had learned to control his power even more whether he used a wand or not. He felt he could keep it a secret for as long as he needed to now. From all the focus training, he finally could cast his Stunner or any other spell he knew with a wand and never leave a mark on the dummy unless it was supposed to do physical damage. He was happy about that so now he could keep his wandless ability secret too.
Elizabeth was an outstanding teacher for Harry. He became quite proficient with healing spells, so much so he could probably handle minor cases at St Mungos. She was very proud of him and his natural ability to learn healing spells. She attributed this to his desire to help people and prevent their suffering.
Ben surprised Harry when he awarded Harry with a purple belt on August 31st. Ben never gave Harry another belt during the month. He trained the whole time while still wearing the white belt. Ben tested Harry on the last day and was able to determine his level.
He explained that the goal was to teach as much as possible before school started. Stopping to test for next belt levels was not high on the priority list and would have used valuable time. Harry was actually about half way through the purple rank so he should be able to get to the first level of brown pretty quickly after he could train again. Harry never dreamed he would get that far in one month but Ben assured him he had earned it. Ben then questioned him about respect and discipline to reemphasize the importance but he had come to know Harry very well and knew that would never be a problem.