Disclaimer: Please note that this story is fanfiction and is my twist on the story of Harry Potter created by JK Rowling with many (not all) of it's characters and settings belonging to her, despite any changes by me
Chapter 9: Detention
A familiar is a reflection of a mage, they act out every emotion and inner thought that we have, even if we don’t realize those emotions ourselves. I’m sure you already noticed it, but your familiar doesn’t like too many people, that’s because you’re pretty standoffish on the inside, and don’t try and deny it. She knows me too well; Harry thought as he read the letter that Sky had sent him that morning. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding out about sky foxes, so I won’t waste my time, but I would be careful where you take him, if your dislike for someone is strong enough, it’s likely that he’ll leave your side in order to attack that person. Equally, if your love for someone is strong enough, he may decide to tag along with that person for a while rather than stay with you. Be careful, he’s young, so you’ll have to teach him a lot, like patience and reason, familiars are smarter than others of their kind, they’ll have near human intellect coupled with their natural instincts. I think that pretty much explains the basics of familiars, if you have questions; you know where to reach me. As to all of us here, we’re doing great, things are quiet again and nothing eventful has happened since you left. You have to tell me all about Hogwarts in your next letter, what are the professors like, what do you learn in classes? I bet you’re having trouble with your wand now that you have it back. She really knows me too well, Harry groaned. Write to me soon Harry, I miss you already. Love always, your partner in crime.
Harry at gave a short laugh at how she had signed her letter and he put it away in a safe place.
Well Prongs, are you ready for class?
The little sky fox was learning more and more words every day and didn’t repeat himself quite as often as he had at first. He had been a constant at Harry’s side for two days now and already Harry couldn’t quite imagine going back to the way things had been without Prongs.
McGonagall shook her head at Harry when he walked in; it was the first time he had been in her class since Prongs had come to him. It almost surprised Harry when Prongs left him to curl into a ball on McGonagall’s desk, scattering papers and bringing a frown to the woman’s lips. Harry only smirked and continued to his seat, he couldn’t blame Prongs he could easily admit that McGonagall was his favorite teacher, she was strict, but she was fair and he learned a lot from her.
“Mr. Potter, if you would please remove your new friend from my desk.”
Harry smirked, she was only slightly annoyed, she far more amused than anything. “Prongs get over here.”
Those long ears twitched and Prongs looked up, he stood and leapt from the desk, a blur as he raced to Harry’s side and climbed onto his shoulders.
“Sorry Professor,” Harry said to the more recent wave of paper that scattered from her desk.
McGonagall waved her wand and all the papers returned to their places and she got on with class without any further delay. Harry had no trouble learning what McGonagall had to teach and he tried getting Prongs to understand it as well, but he was too young to grasp it still. Ron was grumbling about how he hadn’t gotten it yet when a too sweet voice called Harry’s name.
Harry hid a groan. “Go ahead, I’ll catch up in a minute,” he said as he turned back to find Umbridge standing in the hall with students walking past as far from her as they were able.
“Is there something I can do for you Professor?” Harry asked. He put a hand up to scratch behind Prongs’ ears both to sooth the fox and to keep him from leaping at the woman.
“I believe this is the first opportunity I’ve had to confront you about your new friend Mr. Potter.”
Harry didn’t reply, he wasn’t quite sure where this was going, but he knew he didn’t want Prongs anywhere close to Umbridge anymore.
"As it is Mr. Potter, the only pets allowed at Hogwarts are owls, cats, rats, or toads; a creature such as yours is not permitted. I’m afraid I will have to give you detention tonight for breaking such a rule; you will be at my office at five. Oh, and your new pet will have to go.”
She walked away and Harry stood there fuming for a few seconds before he dashed back to McGonagall’s office and found her still there gathering the last of her things.
“Harry? What is it, what’s wrong?”
“Umbridge just gave me a detention because of Prongs, I won’t argue the detention, but am I really not allowed to have him at Hogwarts with me?”
McGonagall stared at Harry and processed his fast words for a minute. “Come with me, I’m afraid I can’t say anything on the matter, Dumbledore is the only one who can change that rule or give an exception.”
Harry’s stomach dropped, he didn’t want to see the old man, though he wasn’t entirely sure why that was. The two nearly ran through the corridors their walk was so fast and McGonagall gave the password to get past the griffin that blocked the stairs to the headmaster’s office.
“Minerva, Harry, what can I do for the two of you?” Dumbledore refused to look Harry in the eyes and instead focused on McGonagall.
“Dolores has brought to my attention the fact that a sky fox is not a permitted pet allowed at Hogwarts, Mr. Potter is quite concerned that Prongs will have to be sent somewhere else to live.”
Prongs growled and huddled into the crook of Harry’s neck as though refusing to leave.
Don’t make me go, he whined in Harry’s mind.
Harry didn’t respond and instead waited for Dumbledore’s response. Fawkes let out a soothing cry and Harry looked at the phoenix, he had always felt fond of the bird and today was no exception.
“Prongs may stay, he is not a permitted pet, but then again, he is not a pet either. Besides, I don’t think anyone could ever get him to leave anyway.”
Harry took a deep breath and let it out slow, he put a hand back over Prongs and grinned, he wouldn’t have to send him away. Prongs started to purr in Harry’s ear.
“Thank you Professor.”
“I am allowing him to stay Harry, but if he should cause trouble of any kind, then I may be forced to change my mind. Also, it would be more convincing if you would allow Professor Grubbly-Plank to use him in her classes, perhaps later in the year when she has the time?”
Harry hesitated at the suggestion.
Prongs, do you think you could be away from me for a little while?
“Can I have time to consider your offer Professor?”
“Yes of course, now…” he set to writing on a piece of parchment and then rolled it up and sealed it and when it was held out Harry stepped forward and took it. “If you would kindly give Professor Umbridge that note, it will excuse you from her detention and explain to her that Prongs is allowed to stay with you.”
“Thank you Professor. Excuse me, it’s lunch and I’m hungry.”
Harry left before anything could be said and ran down to the Great Hall.
“What took you so long?” Hermione demanded when he settled between them and let Prongs leap to the table and to the bowl of fruit in front of them.
“I had to go and see Dumbledore about something.”
“What did Umbridge want?”
“She’s against Prongs being here, that’s why I went to Dumbledore.”
“So Prongs is allowed to stay now, right?”
“Yeah, he is. But later in the year he’ll probably have to go to each of Grubbly-Plank’s classes, sort of a reason for him to be here I guess.”
“But he barely leaves your side!”
“I know, we’ll see what happens I guess.”
History of Magic was boring, Harry talked with Prongs most of the time but took notes when he caught something of Binns was saying. Then it came time for Defense and Harry left Ron and Hermione and ran through the corridors to the Gryffindor tower, he wouldn’t allow Prongs to be near Umbridge when he could prevent it and her class was definitely in that category. It took far too long for Harry to convince Prongs to stay put in his room while he was in class and he assured the fox that he would be back as soon as it was over. But even still, Harry had to Jump in order to make it to class on time and dashed into the room only seconds before the bell rang.
Harry! Prongs cried out in his mind as the class set to reading. Harry!
I’m here Prongs. Even though we’re not together, you’re still here and I’m still there, I told you I would be back as soon as class is over, it’s okay.
Harry! Come back now!
I can’t Prongs, you just have to be patient, take a nap, I’ll be back soon.
Prongs grumbled for a little while longer but finally dozed off and Harry was able to concentrate on the task at hand, in other words, pretending to read the boring book in front of him.
For some reason, without Prongs the class seemed to drag out, but when the bell rang at last Harry jumped up.
“Ron, Prongs is in the room, try not to let him out until I get there, I don’t want him running all over the place, I have to give a note to Umbridge, I’ll catch up.”
Ron and Hermione nodded and went ahead to the tower and Harry stayed behind and fished out the note from Dumbledore.
“I was about to call you to stay Mr. Potter, you were late to my class, I’m afraid I’ll have to give you another detention on Monday.”
“About that Professor, this is a note from Professor Dumbledore regarding Prongs.”
Umbridge was clearly unhappy but she snatched the note up and broke the seal, she read through it carefully and seemed to refrain from crumpling the note.
“I suppose we can just take your detention for Monday and make it today, be at my office at five Mr. Potter.”
“Of course Professor.”
Harry knew that he had cut it close, but he had been on time, yet there was no arguing with the woman, she was dead set on this.
Harry! Harry! Harry!
There was a moment when Harry felt that he wasn’t himself and his vision flipped to the common room, he could see short red hair from the corner of his eye and then he was on the couch and then the banister at the stairs and the people he saw were staring at him or trying to catch him and he felt panicked and alone.
Harry groaned, someone had clearly woken Prongs, though he had no explanation for seeing through the fox’s eyes. He started running through the halls as fast as he could, there were too many people around for him to Jump again and when he reached the common room at last he was hit in the chest with the little black fuzz ball and his arms curled around Prongs at once.
It’s alright, I’m here, I came back.
Harry looked up and found himself confronted with glares from nearly everyone in the common room as they picked up their scattered papers and he gave an awkward grin and hurried to the other side of the room where Ron and Hermione were sitting at their usual table looking extremely amused.
“Never, never, lock Prongs away again,” Hermione said as she opened her first book to do a little homework before dinner.
“Sorry, but I don’t want him near Umbridge. Oh no.”
“Angelina’s going to kill me,” Harry groaned as he put his bag on the table and stood, Prongs on his shoulders yet again.
“I got detention at five.”
Angelina was ready to rip Harry’s head off when he told her that, she went on a rampage about how she had told him not to get detention on that day and the entire common room either glared harder at Harry or smirked at the seventh year.
“Honestly Harry, how hard can it be to just not get into trouble?”
“Very,” Fred and George chorused from nearby earning themselves a glare that could peel paint.
“I’m sorry Angelina, I didn’t mean to.”
“Well it better not happen again, do you hear me?”
“I hear you.”
Having been in the office several times before under it’s previous occupants, Harry could honestly say that the office he walked into was not one belonging to a Professor who taught Defense Against the Dark Arts. The walls were pink and covered in plates with kittens on them and there was lace on nearly every flat surface, Harry couldn’t seem to walk into the office at first but he managed and he stood before Umbridge at her desk.
“You’ll be doing lines for me today Harry. You can sit right over there, I’ve provided a quill for you and there will be no need for ink.”
Harry went over to the small table and sat down, the quill he had been provided was a black feathered one and he could literally feel the dark magic coming off of it. “Are you sure you want me to use this quill, it looks expensive and I don’t want to ruin it.”
“No, Mr. Potter, you will use my quill.”
“And what is it that I’m writing?”
“You will write, ‘I must not tell lies’.”
“How many times?”
“Oh, until the message sinks in.”
Harry picked up the quill and felt his entire hand grow numb for a moment before it returned to normal, and then he looked at the parchment and set to writing. Immediately after the first line he understood what the magic in the quill did, the words he had written on the parchment etched themselves into the back of his hand and then the skin sealed over leaving it only a bit irritated. Without missing a beat Harry kept writing, he bit the inside of his cheek and kept writing. Through his concentration he could feel Umbridge’s surprise that he hadn’t complained and frustration for it as well, but he wouldn’t crumble to this toad like woman. Then he realized the Prongs was crying out, the fox was confined to Harry’s bed again and he felt what Harry felt and cried out from pain and anger. For an untold amount of time Harry wrote lines and Umbridge looked over papers on her desk and the only sound was the scratching of Harry’s quill, which, he realized, used his blood as ink, and the occasional rustle of parchment.
“My, my, it’s midnight already; let’s see how you did today.”
Umbridge stood and walked to Harry’s desk, he set down the cursed quill and she lifted his hand, his hand didn’t hurt from her touch, the irritation was still minimal, but for just a second, his scar hurt, and he pulled away and knocked over his chair as he stood.
“Yes, it hurts doesn’t it?”
“Am I free to go now Professor?”
Harry left and once he was a few corners away he stopped and rubbed his scar, it hadn’t flared up like that since the third task and he had to wonder if his empathy or the contact with Umbridge had to with how bad it had been. Whatever it was, Voldemort was definitely angry about something and the aftermath of the powerful burst of emotion still lingered inside Harry.
Prongs’ cry made him run back to the common room and he ran all the way upstairs and slipped into the room, he went to his bed and picked up the shaking sky fox from his pillows. He sat there for a while just holding him until both had calmed down and Harry changed quickly and crawled into bed, releasing the enchantments that kept Prongs inside the hangings. The last thing he remembered before going to sleep was a stray thought wondering who the new Gryffindor keeper was.
Prongs yowled and Harry sat up at once looking confused at why he was suddenly awake, it was still black outside the windows
“Harry I did it!”
“Did what?” Harry mumbled as he grabbed his glasses and slid them on to see Ron standing over him with a big grin.
"I made the team, I’m the new keeper!”
It took a minute for Harry to realize what he was talking about, but when he did he grinned.
“That’s great Ron!”
“Yeah, we’ve got practice this afternoon but I was hoping you would help me this morning too.”
“Sure Ron, of course I will.”
Prongs climbed into Harry’s lap and gave a pleasant yowl before he started to purr his approval.
“Now can we go back to bed?”
“What, oh, sure.”
Harry abandoned his glasses and rolled over and Ron returned to his own bed. Harry sighed, he already knew Ron was keeper; his empathy had let him look from afar during his detention.