Harry sat up in fright, the voice had sounded as though it was right next to him.
“Wake-up, sleepyhead!” The voice called again, and Harry sighed in relief when he realised that it was just the alarm clock that Takashi had lent him.
The bathroom was empty again and this time Harry managed not to get his pyjamas wet. After he had showered he dropped his belongings back in his room, took his potion and went to the common room to meet Takashi.
Takashi was already waiting for him and Harry looked anxiously at the clock, worried that he was late.
“Don’t worry.” Takashi reassured him. “I was early. Are you ready?”
“Okay.” Takashi climbed onto one of the larger desks and sat cross legged on it. “Come up here and join me.”
“Why are we sitting on the desk?” Harry asked once he was comfortable.
“So that we will be protected by the silencing spells if other people wander in.” Takashi explained. “Did you finish the chapter you were reading on meditation?”
Harry nodded. “Yeah, last night.”
“Good.” Takashi said. “Today we will start with breathing. Put your hands on your knees and close your eyes.”
Harry did as he was told.
“Now relax,” Takashi instructed. “Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind of everything that you’re thinking about. There will be times when thoughts come back, you should consider them to be clouds floating in the sky, acknowledge them, and then send them on their way. Now breathe in…and let the breath out. Breathe in, breath out…”
At first it was really hard. There were so many things that Harry wanted to think about. He wanted to ask Malfoy about Voldemort; he wanted to know why the direction you stirred mattered in potions; he wanted to know whether or not he was a parselmouth; and he wanted to remember how amazing it had been to fly the day before.
But after a while, Harry could feel all his thoughts floating away and he felt as though he was floating.
“Now I want you to search inside your mind for your magic.” Takashi said after a while. “Everyone’s magic looks different, but you’ll know it when you find it.”
Harry didn’t know how to search, but he made an attempt at it – nothing happened, and he started thinking about what he would have for breakfast instead. He shifted impatiently.
“It’s alright.” Takashi told him gently. “Start your breathing again, breath in and out, in and out.”
When Takashi eventually called an end to their meditation, Harry hadn’t managed anything more than the floating feeling.
“Don’t worry about it.” Takashi reassured him when Harry told him. “You did great. When I started it took me three lessons to even feel that. You’re retraining your mind, it takes time.”
“Okay, thanks.” Harry felt better. “May I ask you a question?”
“Go for it.” Takashi told him. “But first we should probably get off the desks, other people will be coming in soon.”
Harry followed Takashi to a couch and, once they were sitting down, turned to him. “Yesterday Terry told me that people think Malfoy’s Dad supported Voldemort.”
Takashi flinched. “Call him You-Know-Who.” He instructed.
Harry sighed. “Right, anyway, Terry says that Malfoy’s Dad supported You-Know-Who and that they’re dark wizards. Is that true?”
Takashi ran a hand through his hair. “Firstly, I think we need to define the term ‘dark wizard’. What do you think it means?”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t know, evil maybe?”
“A lot of people would agree with you.” Takashi told him seriously. “Jeremy for example. He believes that dark wizards are evil and light wizards are good.”
“But you don’t?” Harry asked.
“No.” Takashi shook his head. “In Japan there is a lot of dark wizards, it doesn’t mean that they’re all evil, it just means that their magic is different.”
Harry was confused. “Different how?”
“Um,” Takashi thought about it. “Take parselmagic for example, it’s an example of dark magic. If a wizard can speak parseltongue then they are either dark or grey. And there are spells that can only be performed by light and grey wizards.”
“So we’re born one or the other?” Harry asked.
“In Japan we believe that a person is born with a tendency towards something, but that you can change if you want.” Takashi explained. “But if you have a tendency towards dark magic you will never be as strong of a light wizard as you would a dark wizard.”
“And there are grey wizards?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, they’ve got the best of both worlds.” Takashi grinned. “They can perform dark magic and light magic, but it’s not easy to be grey. Partly because your magic will always be tempting you towards either dark or light; and partly because some light wizards will dislike you because you’re too dark and some dark wizards won’t like you because you’re too light.”
“So what are you?” Harry asked.
“I’d rather not answer that.” Takashi told him seriously. “So anyway, about what Terry said: yes, the Malfoy’s are dark. In fact, traditionally Slytherin House has the most dark wizards and Gryffindor has the most light wizards.”
“Are traditionalists always dark? Or grey?” Harry asked curiously.
“No.” Takashi shook his head. “Take your friend Terry, he’s from a traditional family, but they’re light. But most dark wizards are traditionalists.”
“Okay, but Vol, uh, You-Know-Who was evil, right?” Harry asked. “He killed my parents.”
“Yeah.” Takashi nodded. “You-Know-Who was definitely bad, and if Lord Malfoy followed him then he’s probably bad too. But we don’t know why Lord Malfoy followed him and just because Lord Malfoy did, doesn’t mean that his son is bad.”
“Right.” Harry nodded seriously.
“Listen,” Takashi looked at Harry seriously. “Don’t tell Jeremy we talked about this, alright? My beliefs on this stuff are pretty unusual in England and Jeremy thinks I’m out of my mind.”
“So, I shouldn’t talk to Terry about it either?” Harry asked.
“Probably not.” Takashi agreed. “But you shouldn’t just take my word for it. I’ll lend you a book on the issue if you like? I have one that argues both sides, that way you can make up your own mind.”
“Does anyone at Hogwarts, other than you, believe this stuff?” Harry asked.
“Professor Snape does.” Takashi told him. “And you’ll find that most of the Slytherins do too. There are a few Ravenclaws who do, but not many.”
“Oh,” Harry considered that. “Thanks for telling me.”
“No worries.” Takashi grinned at him. “Do you exercise, Harry?”
“Huh?” Harry was startled by the change of subject. “Not really, why?”
“It’s good for your magic.” Takashi explained. “Well, I think it is at least. Jeremy would disagree.”
“Do you and Jeremy agree on anything?” Harry asked with a grin.
“Lots of things.” Takashi shrugged. “We both like reading, we both like Quidditch, we both like pizza, and we both agree not to talk about the stuff we disagree on. Anyway, your physical fitness affects both your magical stamina and your ability to dodge spells in a duel. I normally go for a run about now, you can come if you want.”
Harry looked at the clock and realised that it was six thirty. “I’ll slow you down though.”
“We’ll run around the Quidditch pitch.” Takashi explained. “That way we can both run at our own pace.”
Harry shrugged. “Yeah, alright. Do I need shorts or something?”
“Yeah.” Takashi nodded. “Go and grab some running clothes, we can get changed in the locker rooms down there.”
Harry was almost late to his first class, History of Magic, and he gratefully slid into the seat Terry had saved for him.
“Where were you?” Terry asked. “I didn’t see you at all this morning.”
“Takashi and I went for a run.” Harry explained as he pulled his note taking supplies out of his bag. “By the time we showered afterwards we only had about five minutes to eat, and even then I had to run here.”
“You went running?” Terry asked with horror. “As though those monstrous stairs up to the Tower aren’t bad enough.”
“It was great.” Harry grinned at him.
“Weird.” Terry told him.
“What’s weird?” The Weasley twins’ younger brother, who was sitting in front of them, asked.
“He went running this morning.” Terry answered. “Our common room is at the top of a huge flight of stairs and he decides he needs more exercise.”
“Why?” Weasley grimaced. “I hate running.”
“It’s relaxing.” Harry told them truthfully. At least it was when Dudley wasn’t chasing him.
Weasley shook his head in obvious disagreement and turned back to the front as Professor Binns began to teach.
“Wow.” Terry sighed as the Ravenclaws all left the classroom together. “That was so boring!”
Harry grinned. “It was a bit. Though I was really interested by what he said about the Goblin Rebellion of 1782. The textbook didn’t really cover that.”
Michael looked at him weirdly. “Have you memorised the textbook?”
Harry shrugged. “No, I couldn’t tell you every word it said. I’m just good at remembering things.”
“I’m good at remembering things.” Terry told him. “You’re a genius.”
Harry laughed as he pulled out his map. “Don’t be stupid. Now, we’re looking for classroom six D.”
“We’re on level six at the moment, aren’t we?” Terry asked. “So we shouldn’t have to go very far.”
“Yeah,” Harry looked at the map. “I think we just need to turn left up here and then it’s the second door on the right.”
They found the classroom easily enough and all found seats on the left side of the room.
“Do you know who we’re sharing this class with?” Anthony asked just before the first year Slytherins began arriving.
For a minute or so, everyone’s attention was taken up by bowing and then the Slytherins found their seats and sat down.
“That’s going to get old really fast.” Anthony grumbled.
“Shut up, Anthony.” Michael told him. “It’s not like we’re making you join in.”
“What is that smell?” Greengrass asked in a horrified voice.
“Garlic.” Malfoy answered with a sneer. “Apparently Quirrell’s terrified of a vampire he met in Romania.”
Eventually Professor Quirrell arrived and started the class. “We-we-welc-c-ome t-to D-d-def-defence Ag-g-gainst T-t-the Dark Art-t-t-s.” He stuttered painfully.
Harry shared a glance with Terry, surely Quirrell wasn’t going to stutter throughout the entire class?
Quirrell did stutter throughout the whole class and he said nothing that Harry hadn’t read in the textbook. The class was mind-numbingly boring, even worse than History class, and in the end Harry gave up trying to listen and take notes and instead started to write a list of the things he wanted to do.
1) Talk to Malfoy
2) Read Takashi’s book
3) Learn to meditate
4) Run more
5) Learn to write better
6) Visit Hedwig
Harry frowned as he suddenly remembered that he had been supposed to owl Healer Axecure about his scar and he pulled out another piece of parchment and began the leader.
‘To Healer Axecure,
Thank you for the bruise cream, it worked brilliantly. I am still taking the potions, but they are really gross. You said they would help me grow, but I’m worried that if I grow to fast people will notice. How fast will I grow?
You asked me to write to you if my scar ever did anything weird. Two days ago, at the welcoming feast, my scar really hurt. I don’t think it has every happened before.
Any way I just thought I would let you know. Say hi to Baknog from me,
Harry rolled up the parchment and put it in his bag and tried to pay attention to Quirrell again.
When the class finally ended, Harry was already packed up and ready to go.
“I’ll see you in Charms.” He told Terry, before heading out the door to wait for Malfoy.
The Slytherins all came out together and Harry called Malfoy’s name to get his attention.
“Potter.” Malfoy acknowledged him with a bow.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?” Harry asked.
Malfoy looked surprised. “Alright.” He told his friends to go ahead without him and led Harry around the corner away from the Ravenclaws who were beginning to emerge.
“I need to talk to you.” Harry told him. “I have a question, but it’s kind of complicated, so it might take a while.”
Malfoy leant against the wall. “How about we talk at lunch? We can eat quickly and then meet up somewhere.”
“The Owlery?” Harry suggested. “I need to go up there anyway.”
Malfoy grimaced. “If we must. I’ll meet you there at one twenty.”
“Thanks.” Harry grinned at him. “What do you have now?”
“Transfiguration.” Malfoy told him as they began walking towards the stairs. “You?”
Charms was much the same as the day before. Flitwick taught theory for the first half, and then they kept trying the Lumos spell for the second half. Harry’s light got brighter and a couple of the other students managed to produce a faint glow.
Harry left Charms quickly and almost ran to the Great Hall for lunch. He had already served himself when Terry joined him.
“What’s the hurry?” Terry asked. “We’ve got an hour.”
“I’m meeting Malfoy in the Owlery.” Harry explained. “I want to ask him about that stuff you told me yesterday.”
“Bloody hell!” Terry exclaimed. “You can’t just ask someone if they support You-Know-Who.”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”
“It’s not as though he’s going to admit it.” Terry pointed out. “Their side lost, people don’t go around admitting to having been on the wrong side of the war.”
Harry shrugged. “Maybe not, but I want to hear what he has to say.”
Terry stared at him strangely. “You are nothing like I thought you would be.”
Harry wasn’t sure how to respond to that.
“Everyone thought that you’d be a diehard Gryffindor. The kind of guy who would rather curse Malfoy than speak to him.” Terry told him. “That’s how my Mum describes your Dad anyway. Apparently Professor Snape was in the same year as your dad and your dad and his friends pulled all kinds of pranks on him.”
“Well, I’m not.” Harry shrugged awkwardly. “I don’t even remember my dad.”
Terry didn’t say anything.
Harry swallowed his last mouthful and stood up quickly. “I’ll see you in Transfiguration Class.”
“Merry part.” Terry muttered.
Harry made his way out of the Great Hall and pulled out his map. The Owlery was on level eight, which meant he needed to go up.
“Follow me, Potter.” Malfoy was walking towards him. “I was there last night.”
Harry shoved his map back in his bag and followed the other boy up a flight of stairs.
“How was Transfiguration?”
“Alright.” Malfoy told him. “I managed to turn my match silver this time.”
“Cool.” Harry nodded, deciding not admit that he had done that yesterday. “We’ve got Herbology after lunch, right?”
“Yes,” Malfoy nodded as he led them up their fourth flight of stairs. “And then I’ve got History.”
“I’ve got Potions.” Harry said with a grin. “Which is great. Last class was brilliant!”
“Yeah, Uncle Severus said that you and Terry did well.” Malfoy commented.
“He’s your uncle?”
“That’s brilliant.” Harry grinned. “It must be nice to have him as your Head of House.”
“Sort of.” Malfoy shrugged. “How did you do it by the way?”
“Make a perfect potion.” Malfoy reminded him. “Uncle Severus said that it was as good as mine.”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t know, I just followed the instructions. I read some extra potions books last month which helped. Otherwise I wouldn’t know the difference between grinding and crushing snake fangs like the rest of my class.”
They can to a door and Malfoy opened it. “Welcome to the Hogwarts Owlery.”
Harry grimaced, there was bird poo everywhere!
“How about you send your letter and then we talk outside.” Malfoy suggested. “It smells bad in here.”
Harry agreed and then greeted Hedwig who had flown down and was pecking his ear. “Hi, girl. Can you send a letter for me?”
Hedwig glared at him and pecked his ear before sticking out a leg.
Harry looked at Malfoy in confusion. “I’ve never done this before.”
Malfoy grimaced, as he did every time Harry mentioned being new to magic, and stepped forward. “You need to give her your letter and then tell her where to go.”
“Oh.” Harry pulled his letter to the Healer out of his bag and gave it to Hedwig who grasped in in her claws. “I need it sent to Healer Axecure at Gringotts.”
Hedwig pecked him gently and then flew out the window.
“Bravo, Potter.” Malfoy congratulated condescendingly. “You just sent your first owl. But why were you writing to a goblin healer?”
Harry shrugged. “She was the one who gave my vaccinations and she asked me to keep her updated about something.”
Malfoy headed for the door. “I didn’t even know goblin healers gave vaccines.”
Once they Owlery door was shut behind them, Malfoy turned to Harry.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?”
“Well.” Harry paused, suddenly having second thoughts. “Um,”
“Spit it out, Potter.”
“Alright, well, I was talking to someone yesterday.” Harry began, not looking at Malfoy. “And I think they were worried that I was hanging out with you because…”
Malfoy snorted. “Of course they were.”
Harry looked at him for a moment before continuing. “Anyway, they said that apparently your family are dark wizards.”
“Which of course means that we’re evil and you shouldn’t talk to us.” Malfoy scowled.
“Well, yeah, I think that was what they were trying to say.” Harry admitted. “But then I was talking to Takashi this morning and he was talking about how dark and light didn’t necessarily mean good or bad.”
“Really?” Malfoy was scowling less. “Who is Takashi?”
“Uh, Takashi Nado, he’s the fourth year who was assigned to show me around.” Harry explained. “He’s teaching me to meditate too.”
Malfoy looked surprised.
“Anyway,” Harry continued. “So I wanted to ask what you thought.”
Malfoy didn’t say anything for a while. “Well, Takashi’s right. Just because we’re dark wizards doesn’t mean we’re bad people. It’s just a different kind of magic.”
“Right.” Harry nodded. “That’s what Takashi said.”
“I hate to break it to you, Potter, but you’re probably darker than you are light.” Malfoy told him. “Both the Potter House and the Black House are historically dark and it’s hereditary.”
“Was my dad a dark wizard?” Harry asked in surprise.
“No, my mother told me that he was the first light wizard to be born into the Potter House in generations. Everyone blamed it on your Dad’s grandmother who was a Longbottom.”
“Oh,” Harry considered that. “How do I tell? Whether my magic is light or dark?”
“Well, according to my father there’s only one easy tell.” Malfoy told him. “If you’re a parselmouth, then you’re definitely dark, but that’s incredibly rare. Otherwise, you can only really tell by meditating and getting to know your magic.”
“Okay,” Harry nodded as calmly as he could. He really wanted to find a snake so he could find out if he really was a parselmouth or whether he had just imagined it.
“Did you have any other questions?” Malfoy asked.
Harry bit his lip nervously. “Sort of, but it’s probably a really insulting one.”
Malfoy looked resigned. “Let me guess, the person you were talking to yesterday told you that my family supported the Dark Lord.”
“Do you mean Voldemort?” Harry asked.
“Don’t just say his name!” Malfoy snapped.
“Sorry.” Harry mumbled. “I’ve just never heard him called the ‘dark lord’ before.”
“The answer is no, by the way.” Malfoy said. “I mean I don’t remember it obviously, but I’m sure my father wouldn’t have supported him. Sure my family agreed with him about some things, but my father wouldn’t kill anyone.”
Harry frowned. “You agree with him?”
“About some things!” Malfoy defended. “We think that our traditions are important and we want to protect them. We don’t really like mu-muggleborns because they try and change our culture. But that doesn’t mean that we want to go around killing lots of people.”
Harry considered that. “That makes sense. Isn’t it their culture too though? The muggleborns, I mean. Maybe they just need to be taught the wizarding culture.”
Malfoy shook his head. “Anyway, I’m not saying that nobody in my family supported the Dark Lord. My Aunt Bellatrix and her husband did, and they’re in Azkaban now. But most people were somehow related to one of the Dark Lord’s supporters. My Aunt Bellatrix was a Black before she got married, so technically she’s related to you too.”
“I’m a Potter.” Harry reminded him.
“And a Black.” Malfoy told him. “Lord Black had to have you adopted into his House to make you his heir. He also supported the Dark Lord, by the way.”
“Allegedly.” Harry defended. “According to Baknog, who manages my family’s vaults at Gringotts, he never got a trial. They just locked him up.”
“Seriously?” Malfoy looked shocked.
“Yeah,” Harry frowned. “I’m hoping that Baknog can convince them to give him a trial. He’s basically my last relative, I want to know whether or not he actually did it.”
“He’s not your last relative.” Malfoy told him. “We’re related you know. My mother is your godfather’s cousin. I would have been his heir if he hadn’t adopted you.”
“Really?” Harry grinned at Malfoy. “Does that make us cousins?”
“Second cousins.” Malfoy agreed.
“That’s brilliant!” Harry beamed at the other boy. “You should call me Harry then.”
Malfoy nodded slowly. “I guess that makes sense. You may call me Draco.”
“Thanks.” Harry felt like jumping for joy. He actually had a living family member who wasn’t in Azkaban or a Dursley, distant though he may be.
“We should head down.” Draco told him. “Classes start in ten minutes and we need to grab our books and stuff.”
“Right.” Harry started down the stairs quickly. “The Ravenclaw tower is pretty close to here actually. Where’s your common room?”
“A level below our Potions classroom.” Draco told him.
Terry had saved Harry a seat in Transfiguration Class and he barely let Harry sit down before asking how his conversation with Draco had been.
“It was brilliant.” Harry grinned at him. “Draco told me that we’re cousins. I didn’t think I had any relatives were weren’t dead or in Azkaban.”
“You’re calling him Draco?” Terry asked. “What about him being a dark wizard?”
Harry shrugged. “He’s not as bad you think he is.”
Terry looked unconvinced.
Transfiguration went much the same as the day, and so did Potions after it. The only difference was that Harry ended up partnered with Michael instead of Terry, but their potion was just as good.
At the end of Potions, Harry waited for the others to leave before approaching Professor Snape shyly.
Snape, who had been writing at his desk, looked up in surprise. “Mr. Potter.”
“May I ask a question?” Harry ventured.
Snape sighed and leaned back in his chair. “If you must.”
“Why does the direction that we stir affect the potion so much, Professor?” Harry asked.
Snape stared at him for a moment before answering. “The ladle is much like a wand, Mr. Potter. It is a tool you use to mix your magic into the potion. If you stir anticlockwise then your magic reacts differently to the potion than if you stirred clockwise.”
“Oh.” Harry considered that. “But when I stirred the potion today I wasn’t even concentrating on making my magic go into the potion like I have to with my wand.”
“That is because novice potions ladles are created to automatically pull your magic into the potion.” Snape replied. “When you reach your fifth year you will require a new ladle that does not do it automatically.”
Harry nodded and turned to leave. “Thanks, Professor.”
“Mr. Potter.” Snape stopped him. “I heard you claiming to have read some additional potions books.”
“Yes, sir.” Harry replied.
“Um, ‘The Basics of Potion Making’ by Gerald Butter.” Harry told him. “And ‘Potion Ingredients: What They Are and How to Prepare Them’ by…”
“Julien Brocklehurst.” Snape finished for him. “Those are good books, Mr. Potter.”
“Yes, sir.” Harry nodded quickly. “They were really helpful. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known the difference between crushing and grinding like Terry.”
“I see.” Snape said. “Merry part, Mr. Potter.”
“Merry part, Professor.” Harry grinned at him before leaving the classroom.
“What were you doing?” Terry asked as he pushed himself off the wall he had been leaning on.
“I wanted to ask him a question.” Harry replied.
“What did you ask?”
“Why the directions we stir make a difference.” Harry replied as they began the long trek up to their tower.
Terry laughed. “You’re an uber-Ravenclaw, aren’t you?”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“Well, I’m a Ravenclaw because I like learning things.” Terry said. “But you want to know everything!”
Harry just shrugged.
The rest of Harry’s first week at Hogwarts was much like the first few days had been. They had Astronomy at midnight on Wednesday, but Harry still managed to pull himself out of bed at five for his and Takashi’s morning meditation and run. Harry visited Hagrid on Friday afternoon, but it was really awkward and they had nothing to talk about. He was sure that Hagrid shared in his relief when he left.
Saturday morning started much the same as any other hour, Harry and Takashi meditated and then went for a run before heading down to breakfast. Hedwig had started making a habit to come and visit Harry at breakfast, but on this morning she brought Harry his first package as well as a letter.
Harry was sitting with Terry, Takashi and Jeremy and they all exclaimed excitedly about the book-shaped package.
“Open it, Harry.” Terry urged him.
Harry carefully opened the package and grinned when he saw the title of the book.
“What is it?” Jeremy asked him.
Harry turned it around so they could see the title.
“Calligraphy: An Introduction.” Terry read in surprise. “Who would send you that?”
Harry picked up the piece of parchment that had been packaged with the book. “Lady Malfoy.”
“Bloody hell.” Jeremy frowned. “Why would she be sending you a book?”
“Draco asked her to.” Harry answered absently as he read the letter. “He said my handwriting was an embarrassment to all Ancient and Noble Houses.”
“He’s not wrong.” Takashi laughed. “What does Lady Malfoy say?”
“Dear Cousin,” Harry read out loud. “I hope this letter finds you well. I was delighted when Draconus informed me that he had become acquainted with you. I hope to meet you myself someday soon. I hope you don’t mind, but Draconus mentioned that your penmanship could use some improvement and so I have sent you this book. It is the same book I used to teach Draconus how to write when he was younger. Your cousin, Lady Narcissa Malfoy.”
“Very nice.” Takashi commented. “And look at her penmanship, not a smudge anywhere.”
Harry grimaced. “I’m getting better!” He defended himself before picking up the other letter that Hedwig had delivered.
“Two in one day.” Jeremy grinned at him. “You lucky thing. Who’s that one from?”
Harry turned it over to look at the seal. “Gringotts, I think.”
“Oh,” Jeremy pulled a face. “Sounds terribly boring.”
Harry shrugged and put the letter in his bag to read later and stood as he saw Draco leaving the Slytherin table. “I’ll see you later.” He said, picking up the calligraphy book and Lady Malfoy’s letter.
He walked quickly towards the door that Draco seemed to be aiming for and reached in just ahead of the other boy.
“Merry meet, Harry.” Draco bowed.
“Merry meet.” Harry nodded the way Malfoy had taught him to the day before.
“Much better.” Draco smiled approvingly. “See what a little tutoring can do?”
“Yeah, it feels much less awkward now.” Harry grinned. “Thanks, and thanks for this.” He held up his new book.
“You’re welcome.” Draco told him. “I hope it helps.”
“It will.” Harry said. “I practise every night, and today I have heaps of assignments to do which will help me practise too.”
Draco scowled. “Yeah, me too. Daphne has organised a group study session, do you want to study with us?”
“Thanks, but our prefects have organised something similar.”
“Your prefects?” Draco asked in surprise. “You lucky sod. More free tutoring.”
“The perks of being a Ravenclaw.” Harry told him. “We take studying seriously.”
“No kidding.” Draco grumbled. “This is your third lot of tutoring this week.”
Harry just laughed at him. “I’ll see you later. I’m heading up to the tower, have fun studying.”
“Merry part.” Draco told him.
“Merry part.” Harry agreed before running up the stairs.
When Harry arrived in his dorm room, he sat at his desk and pulled out the letter from Gringotts.
I have received your letter and have been discussing the matter with other healers. There are some more tests that I would like to run as soon as possible. I have arranged to be in Professor Flitwick’s office at seven o’clock in the evening, Saturday the seventh of September.
That was tonight, Harry realised as he read through the letter again and then grimaced as he realised that it would mean missing out on the potions tutoring session.
Next Harry opened the book Lady Malfoy had sent him and looked through it. The letters in it were way more complicated than the ones he usually used, but he could see how they would make writing with a quill easier.
With a sigh, he pulled out some parchment and pen and started to practise.
The day went by very quickly for Harry, who spent it practising his handwriting and completing assignments with his classmates, and before he knew it he found himself knocking on Professor Flitwick’s office door at seven o’clock.
“Come in, Mr. Potter.” Flitwick greeted him with a smile.
Harry followed his Professor and realised that, like Ragnok’s office, most of the furniture was goblin sized.
“Merry meet, Mr. Potter.” Healer Axecure greeted him from a chair near the fire.
“Merry meet.” Harry rubbed his hands on his trousers.
“Sit down, Mr. Potter.” Flitwick suggested, pushing Harry gently towards one of the human sized chairs in the room.
“Thanks.” Harry said as he sat.
“I’ll leave you to it, Axecure.” Flitwick told the goblin with smile before leaving the room through another door.
Harry looked after his professor anxiously.
“Tell me about the circumstance of your scar hurting, Mr. Potter.” Healer Axecure instructed Harry.
Harry told her everything he could remember and then submitted to her tests. The tests took over an hour and by the end of them Harry was feeling tired.
Once Healer Axecure was finished she stood in front of Harry with her hands on her hips. “Have you been taking the potion I gave you?”
“Yeah.” Harry nodded. “It’s really gross, but I’m over halfway. I’ve only got six left.”
“Good.” Healer Axecure nodded. “You needn’t worry about growing too quickly. The potion will not help you grow, instead it will enable your body to make up for your lost growth during your next growing period.”
“Oh cool! Thanks!” Harry said in relief.
“I will let you know what the tests find.” Healer Axecure dismissed Harry suddenly. “You may go.”
“Uh, thanks.” Harry stood up quickly and headed to the door. “Thanks for, you know, coming to do these tests.”
“Hurrah for Sundays!” Terry grinned as he spooned scrambled eggs onto his plate.
“No classes, no study session, and all our homework is done.” Harry agreed cheerily.
“What’re your plans?” Terry asked between bites.
Harry shrugged. “Not much. Takashi and Jeremy promised to introduce me to a house elf.”
“A house elf?” Terry looked confused. “Why?”
“I’ve never seen one before.” Harry answered. “What are you going to do today?”
“Michael and I are going to go flying.” Terry grinned. "Andrew says that Madame Hooch allows students to borrow school brooms between one and four on Sunday afternoons.”
“Brilliant!” Harry grinned. “Can I come?”
“Of course.” Terry replied. “We can go together after lunch.”
“Thanks.” Harry poured himself another goblet of pumpkin juice. “Do you know how brooms work?”
“Uh, magic?” Terry laughed.
Harry rolled his eyes. “Obviously, but I mean other than that. Do the people who make them use spells? Or runes? Or do they rub a potion over the wood?”
“A potion?” Terry looked sceptical. “Could a potion even do that?”
“I don’t know.” Harry frowned. “I should ask Professor Snape. So you don’t know then?”
“No.” Terry shook his head. “It’s not really important, you know. Not unless you want to become a broom designer.”
“But aren’t you curious?” Harry asked him.
“Nope.” Terry laughed. “Not even a little bit. I just like flying.”
Harry jumped in surprise as the Weasley twins sat down on either side of him. “Um, good morning.”
“Who’s your friend?” The twin on Harry’s left asked cheerfully.
“Terry Boot.” Harry told them. “Terry, this is Fred and George Weasley.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Terry dear boy!” The right twin grinned.
“Hi.” Terry blurted out.
The twins turned their attention back to Harry. “So, Harry, what’cha doing today?”
“We’re going flying this afternoon.” Harry grinned at them. “Apparently first years are allowed to borrow broomsticks.”
“Indeed they are.” The left twin nodded. “Sounds like smashing fun.”
“What are you doing this morning?” The right twin asked.
“Nothing much.” Harry shrugged. “Takashi and Jeremy promised they’d introduce me to a house elf.”
“Did they now?”
“We could introduce you to a whole lot more than just one house elf if you like?” The right twin offered.
“Um…” Harry considered their offer. He didn’t want to offend Takashi and Jeremy, but it would be cool to meet more than one house elf. “Do you think Takashi will mind?”
“Nah.” The twins chorused. “He’ll understand.”
“Okay,” Harry nodded before turning to Terry. “Do you want to come?”
“No, thanks.” Terry shook his head. “My family has some house elves, so I already know what they look like.”
“Come on then.” The twins stood in unison and pulled Harry up with them. “No time like the present.”
Harry looked mournfully back at the rest of his eggs, but followed the twins out of the hall anyway.
“Don’t worry about your food.” One of the twins reassured him.
“There’s plenty of food where we’re going.”
“Really?” Harry trotted to keep up with him. “Where are we going?”
The twins lead Harry through the corridors, before stopping in front of a large painting of fruit.
“Alright, here we are.” The twins grinned at him.
Harry looked around in confusion.
“Do you see that pear?” A twin asked him.
“Stroke it.” The other twin ordered.
“What?” Harry stared at the pear.
“Come on, Harry!”
Harry stepped forward tentatively and then reached out a finger to touch the pear.
“You need to actually stroke it.”
“Like you would a cat.”
“Or a dog.” The twins told him.
Harry stroked the pear obediently and then watched in surprise as the portrait swung open to reveal a doorway.
“The entrance to the Hogwarts kitchen!”
Harry followed the twins through the doorway and then stared at the beings he presume were house elves.
“Twin Master Weasleys!” One of the elves came forward and greeted then with a beaming smile. “What is yous wanting from Stompy this day?”
“Hey, Stompy.” The twins grinned as they pulled Harry forward to stand in front of them. “This is Harry Potter. He wanted to meet a house elf.”
“Master Harry Potter?” Stompy’s eyes widened impossibly. “The wizard that is defeating He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named?”
“The one and only.” The twins agreed.
The other elves, who had been bustling around the kitchen all turned to stare at Harry before rushing forward. Harry backed up until he could feel the twins behind him.
“Master Harry Potter, sir!” One of the elves called out. “My is being Kailey.”
“And I is being Roister.” Another elf added.
Instantly the kitchen was filled with the loud shout of elves who all seemed to be trying to introduce themselves to Harry.
“Uh, nice to meet you.” Harry said awkwardly when they had quieted down
“Master Harry Potter sir is so kind!” One of the elves exclaimed and then they all began talking at once again.
“Wow.” One of the twins murmured. “Never seen them like this before.”
“Probably because we haven’t defeated any dark lords.” The other twin commented mournfully.
“So you all work here?” Harry asked Stormy, who happened to be the closest elf.
“Yes, Master Harry Potter sir!” The elf squeaked excitedly. “Stormy has being working here since he is a little elf.”
Harry frowned. “You worked here as a kid? Didn’t you go to school?”
“House Elves not going to school, Master Harry Potter.” Stormy told him as the other elves slowly started returned to their work. “They is being taught how to be good house elves by their families.”
“So your family worked here too?”
“Oh yes, Master Harry Potter sir!” Stormy beamed. “Stormy’s whole family is being working here. Stormy’s family is being working here for generations.”
“Cool.” Harry answered, the elf’s excitement was contagious. “So how does you working here work? Do you get paid?”
“Paid!” Stormy blanched. “Stormy isn’t being paid, Master Harry Potter sir. Stormy is being a good elf!”
“Sorry.” Harry frowned in confusion. “I didn’t mean to offend you. I don’t know anything about house elves, I was raised by muggles.”
Stormy was beaming again. “Master Harry Potter sir not need to be apologising. Stormy understands.”
“So why is it so bad for an elf to be paid?” Harry asked cautiously.
“House elves is being honoured to serve their families.” Stormy told him seriously. “We is being bonded with a family. To be paid is to be insulting the bond.”
“But you get good stuff out of the bond, right?” Harry asked, remembering what Takashi had told him about it being a mutualistic relationship.”
“Of course, Master Harry Potter sir.” Stormy agreed. “House elves would not be bonding with families if bonds not being good for them.”
“So what do you get out of it?”
“Wizards magics is feeding us.” Stormy answered. “It is making our magic stronger. And we is getting to cook and clean.”
“Cool.” Harry replied, lost for words.
“It is being very cool, Master Harry Potter sir.” Stormy nodded his head in agreement.
Harry’s stomach grumbled out of hunger and Stormy bounced in his place.
“Master Harry Potter is being hungry? Stormy be getting him some food.”
The twins led Harry over to the large table in the middle of the kitchen and then sat down opposite him.
“So, what do you think?”
“They’re brilliant.” Harry grinned. “And that bond thing is really interesting.”
The twins nodded. “Yeah, we didn’t know about the magic part. It’s kind of cool when you think about it.”
“Yeah.” Harry agreed. “I wonder if they library has any books about it.”
The twins laughed. “Typical Ravenclaw.”