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Chapter 10 : New Powers and Old Talents
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“Good afternoon, class. Put your books away. You won’t be needing them today.”
Kingsley started his second week of teaching the same way he started his first. They hadn’t opened a book in his classes yet.
“We are going to practice duelling today. I understand that Professor Tonks has done some excellent work with you in that area, but there’s no such thing as too much practice when it comes to fighting the Dark Arts, so let’s see what you’ve got. Longbottom, Goyle. You’re up.”
Neville and Goyle stood up and joined Kingsley at the front of the class room. Harry was glad to see how confident Neville looked. Two years ago he would have been trembling with fear, but now he stood in front of Goyle with his head held high and a determinate expression on his face.
“Alright.” Kingsley said. “You have my permission to use every curse and counter curse you have knowledge of. As long as it is legal of course.”
Neville and Goyle faced each other and bowed.
“Now duel!” Kingsley said.
Neville immediately fired a stunning spell at his opponent that narrowly missed. Goyle fired back with a knee-reversal hex, but Neville easily blocked it.
Neville used a non-verbal spell next and suddenly Goyle was dangling in the air upside down by his ankle, revealing a pair of rather dirty underpants. The whole class roared with laughter and even Kingsley had to stop himself from laughing. Neville disarmed Goyle and let him down.
“Excellent work, Neville!” Kingsley said. “10 points to Gryffindor.”
Kingsley called them to the front two by two to demonstrate their duel. It was again clear which class mates had been taught by Harry. The DA members had little difficulty defeating others and when two DA members faced each other, the duel was much more spectacular than the others as they used much more advanced spells.
“We have time for one more, I think.” Kingsley announced towards the end of the lesson. “Potter, Malfoy. What about you?”
Harry stood up from behind his desk and walked to the front of the class. Malfoy followed grudgingly.
Despite the fact that Dumbledore wanted to keep Harry’s new powers quiet, it wasn’t a secret anymore that he had come back stronger after the holidays. Harry tried not to show that he had little difficulty in his classes, but still it was clear for all his class mates to see how much his confidence and powers had grown.
The class was dead quiet when the two boys faced each other. It was commonly known that Harry and Malfoy had hated each other from their first day at Hogwarts. Only the DA members knew about the recent rapprochement between the two enemies.
Harry and Malfoy respectfully bowed to each other and waited for Kingsley to give the signal.
For a moment, neither of them acted. Then Harry fired a full body-bind towards his opponent, but Malfoy blocked it. The following stunning spell came too fast for the Slytherin to raise a new shield and he quickly jumped aside.
Malfoy finally stroke back with a disarming spell, but it wasn’t nearly strong enough to trouble Harry. What followed happened too fast for most of them to follow.
“Expelliarmus! Petrificus Totalus! Incarcerous Munio!”
In barely a second Malfoy had been disarmed, petrified, bound in robes and pinned to the wall of the classroom. He didn’t stand a chance.
“Incredible spell-work, Harry!” Kingsley said while the rest of the class was applauding. “10 points to Gryffindor.”
The bell rang and everyone hurried outside for the break. Malfoy – who had been released from his sticky position by Kingsley – walked over to where Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville were still standing.
“That was some fast thinking, Potter.” he said, not unfriendly.
“Thanks.” Harry said, suppressing a grin. “So, you still want to join the DA then?”
Malfoy’s face seemed to light up for a moment, before he quickly took his indifferent composure again.
“Yeah, sure. If it’s okay with you guys.”
Harry nodded. He grabbed one of Hermione’s enchanted coins out of his bag and handed it to him.
“This will tell you when the next meeting is. You can also use it to send short messages. Those will only be visible for us – that is to say, Hermione, Neville, Luna, the Weasleys and me.”
Harry quickly showed Malfoy how to use the coin.
“Okay, thanks.” the Slytherin said. “And what if you guys send a message? Is it visible for everyone or only for you too?”
“We can decide that when we send the message.” Harry said. “Make sure you don’t lose your coin. We have gotten great use out of them already. It probably saved Hermione’s life over the summer.”
Draco seemed to be on the verge of asking what happened, but apparently decided that didn’t suit his cool demeanour. Finally, he just muttered a ‘thanks, bye’ and left the class room.
Harry looked forward to the next DA meeting a bit more apprehensively than usual. Everyone had agreed to give Malfoy a chance, but he knew most of them had just done so because he had. They didn’t really trust the Slytherin and he couldn’t blame them for that. If he was honest with himself, he knew he didn’t completely trust it either, but Malfoy had signed the magical contract that swore every member to secrecy. He wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what exactly went on in the Room of Requirement and who was part of the DA.
“Good evening all of you.” Harry said loudly. “As you all know we have a new member, Draco Malfoy. I think you all know him so we’ll skip the introductions and start practicing immediately.”
Harry hoped he would spare them all an awkward moment.
“Doesn’t he have to sign the contract?” Dennis asked.
“Already did.” Harry said. “Okay, pair up. We are going to work on those nonverbal shield charms today.”
His statement was followed by a lot of groans. The only nonverbal spell most of them had ever used until this year was Snape’s Levicorpus spell that Harry had taught them.
Dumbledore had taught Harry a varied range of shield charms that could only be performed nonverbally and Harry wanted the DA members to learn them too, but most of them had a lot of trouble with it.
When they had started practicing, Harry walked over to Malfoy.
“You’d better join your sister and Hermione and Luna. They’ll bring you up to speed in a few weeks and then you can join the group.”
Malfoy nodded and walked over to them.
Luna greeted him brightly. Malfoy seemed to be surprised by her kindness and Harry and Hermione smirked at each other, amused by the look on the Slytherin’s face.
The meeting progressed without any incidents and after about two hours, Harry called it a night.
“Well, that went well.” Ginny said.
Harry shrugged. Ron and Hermione had told him that Malfoy had hardly said a word during the meeting but had been working quite hard.
“He’s going to have to loosen up a little if he wants to be a part of this.” he said. “Dumbledore’s Army is not just about practicing spells.”
“I know.” Ginny said patiently. “But give him some time. It can’t be easy for him.”
Harry realized what she meant. Malfoy had voluntarily joined a group full of people that had hated him for years. In some ways, that did take courage.
Now that Harry’s days were busy again, the weeks started to pass quickly. His lessons with Snape now consisted of Harry attacking and invading Snape’s mind easier each week and Snape teaching Harry some more advanced spells that he had invented himself. Some of them were quite dangerous and Snape insisted that Harry would only use them when necessary.
During his meetings with Dumbledore they almost exclusively talked about the Horcruxes now, but they seemed to be stuck. They knew they were still two out there. Nagini was one of them, but they realized they wouldn’t be able to get to her before they got to Voldemort, except if they were ridiculously lucky. They didn’t know a thing about the other one, except that it was once owned by Rowena Ravenclaw and that it was hidden somewhere in the school. Seeing as Dumbledore had been at Hogwarts for ages and never came across any indication that there was a Horcrux hidden here, Harry didn’t believe they would find it anytime soon.
Harry had more success with the new Gryffindor Quidditch team. Ron and Katie performed just as well as they had always done and Harry was very satisfied with the choices he had made at the try-outs. Ginny had always been a good flyer, but a few weeks of training with the team had already been enough for her to improve tremendously. She was swift as an arrow and scored very easily.
Harry was positively surprised at the progress Parvati had made. He knew his classmate was never very fond of brooms when she was younger and he had been quite surprised when she turned up at the try outs in September. Harry had thought then that with a bit of work she could develop a fair Chaser, but she would never reach the level of Ginny and Katie. Despite that, Parvati had already proven herself during the practices. She was able to steal a Quaffle without you even noticing she was that close to you and she rarely gave a bad pass.
The new Beaters weren’t of the same category of Fred and George Weasley, but were performing quite well nonetheless. A couple of weeks of practices were enough for them to adjust their game to each other. The force of Seamus and the accuracy of Dean made a perfect combination.
A lot of the Gryffindors – who had never seen the new team practice – had been complaining about the new captain. Not only were Harry’s best friend and girlfriend part of the team, Harry had also chosen three of his classmates at the try-outs. Harry didn’t care too much about it. He knew they had a fair shot at the Quidditch Cup with this team and everyone would see that soon enough.
Harry realized more and more what effect the Horcrux he had carried with him had had on his magical abilities. As classes progressed, the gap between him and most of the other students grew continually. They were now using nonverbal magic in nearly every class and while most of the students struggled with it, Harry had no trouble with it. Even Hermione had to admit that she was no longer the star pupil this year.
At the end of the DA meeting the night before Halloween, Hermione and Luna told Harry that they had succeeded in teaching Jacinta and Draco everything they had learned last year. Harry told them they could start practicing with the group starting next meeting. Jacinta was overjoyed, but Draco just nodded. He even seemed to be a bit anxious.
When Hermione, Luna and Jacinta left, Harry turned around to follow them.
“I’ll never be accepted in this group. What was I thinking?”
Harry turned back to Malfoy. He couldn’t believe it. The obnoxious rich boy was afraid of rejection.
“They will. Just give it some time.” Harry said.
Malfoy narrowed his eyes.
“You can’t expect them to like you after everything that happened in the past. Just give everyone some time to get used to it and it’ll be okay.”
“What makes you say that?” Malfoy asked slowly.
“Well, you just said they’ll never accept you…”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“Yes you did…” Harry said. “Just a minute ago.”
Malfoy shook his head. “No I didn’t. I didn’t say a word.”
“Don’t yank my wand Malfoy, I’m not in the mood.” Harry warned.
“I’m not yanking your wand!”
“You – “ Harry stammered. “You really didn’t say anything?”
Now he came to think of it, it wasn’t anything like Malfoy to voice his feelings. Especially not to Harry.
Malfoy looked at him with a stunned expression on his face.
“Were you reading my mind, Potter?” he asked threateningly.
“No.” Harry said firmly. “Well, I didn’t mean to anyway.”
“Are you telling me you can do Legilimency?”
There didn’t seem to be a point denying it.
“Kind of.” Harry said non committedly. “Sorry I have to go.” And without another word he left the Room of Requirement, leaving a confused and irritated Malfoy.
He quickly descended the stairs all the way down to the dungeon. He stormed down the corridor of Snape’s office and banged on his door. He already stood in front of the Potions Master’s desk when he said to come in.
“Potter!” Snape said surprised.
He stood up from his desk, walked to the door and after a quick look outside he closed it.
“Let me tell you how this works. You knock, I tell you to come in and then you enter.”
“Sorry, Professor.” Harry said urgently. “But I have to talk to you about something.”
Snape narrowed his eyes. Although their relationship had improved drastically, he thought it very unlikely that Harry would come to him with a problem that didn’t have anything to do with Occlumency or Legilimency. And even then he thought that Potter would rather go to Dumbledore.
“Sit down.” he finally said. “Tell me.”
“I looked into Malfoy’s mind.” Harry said bluntly.
“Shocker.” Snape said dryly. “Seeing as you have become quite advanced at Legilimency and Mr Malfoy is as good an Occlumens as a troll, I’d think it would be more of a surprise if you weren’t able to look into his mind.”
“It’s not like that.” Harry said, shaking his head. “I didn’t mean to look into his mind… I just did.”
“You mean you were able to sense a thought from him? A feeling, perhaps?”
Harry nodded. “I wasn’t even looking at him. I had my back turned and then I heard it.”
“You heard it?”
“Yes, I thought he had actually spoken out loud, but he said he didn’t.”
Snape looked at him in awe. Harry found it strange to receive such a look from the man who had hated him for so long.
“That is quite impressive.” Snape said after a long silence.
“Is it normal?”
“It is uncommon.” Snape said, considering his words carefully. “But it is not abnormal. Seeing as you already had that vision of the Dark Lord and Lucius Malfoy, I would think that this is just the next step. You seem to be a quite talented Legilimens, Potter.”
“Thank you, sir.” Harry said slowly.
This had only been the second time in his memory that Snape had given him a compliment.
“Now off you go. It’s after curfew. You should be in your common room.”
When Harry finally reached Gryffindor tower he immediately told his friends what had happened. After he finished his story they all looked at him with open mouths.
“That is amazing, Harry!” Hermione said finally.
“Of course! That means you can use Legilimency without even using eye contact.”
“Yeah, but I only did it this once…” Harry said slowly. “Without even knowing I was doing it.”
“Yes, but you did it.” Hermione said. “You just have to learn how to control it.”
Harry had to refrain from laughing when he saw the amazed faces of his friends.
“You know what the weirdest part is?” Ron said after a long silence. “That Malfoy has feelings.”
That Saturday, the first Quidditch game of the season was planned. As usual the season opener was Gryffindor versus Slytherin.
“Alright, team.” Harry said while he was pinning his captain badge on his scarlet robes. “I received the starting seven of Slytherin’s team. Seems like they have gone through quite some changes too. Malfoy is the only player left from their team from last year.”
“What?” Katie asked surprised. “Montague and Warrington were the only ones that graduated.”
“Yeah I know.” Harry said.
He looked at the piece of parchment in his hand. The only name he vaguely recognized was Graham Pritchard, but he didn’t even really know him.
“I don’t know any of this people.” he announced.
He quickly read the names out loud.
“Pritchard is a third year.” Ginny said. “The rest of them I have never heard of.”
Harry nodded. “Well, we don’t seem to know much about our opponent then, I’m afraid. But if we just play our game, we’ll be fine.”
He looked at his team mates. Katie Bell didn’t seem in the least bit nervous. She never was before matches, not even when the game would decide who won the Quidditch Cup. Ron and Ginny seemed to have their nerves well under control, but the other three team members looked terrified. Harry felt for them when he thought about his first Quidditch game.
“It’ll be fine.” he told them. “Just play like you have played for the last two months and Slytherin doesn’t stand a chance.”
“Yeah, we destroyed them last year!” Ron said.
“With half another team.” Parvati said softly.
“Doesn’t matter.” Harry said. “I know your first game is scary, but I have full confidence in all of you. I chose you myself and I stand by that choice.”
“Were you nervous for your first game?” Dean asked.
“Of course I was.”
“Didn’t seem to be. You were playing very good.” Seamus said.
“Yeah right up till Quirrell jinxed your broom.” Ron laughed.
The others paled even more after these words.
“Well, we don’t have any Death Eaters in the stands today, so don’t mind that now.” Harry said quickly, shooting Ron a warning look. “We’ve got this. I know it. We have been practicing together for two months and we were never better than right now. Now, we’re going to go out there and we’re going to show them all that Gryffindor still has an amazing team. You all ready?”
They all stood up and grabbed their brooms, looking a lot more confident.
“Nice peptalk.” Katie mumbled as she stood next to Harry, waiting to walk upon the field. “Oliver could learn a thing or two from you.”
“Oh shut up.” Harry mumbled back. “Let’s go!” he said to his team and they all followed him on the pitch.
“Captains, shake hands.” Madam Hooch ordered when the Gryffindor and Slytherin team were facing each other in the middle of the pitch.
Harry shook Malfoy’s hand and glanced at Slytherin’s new team. The oldest player, except for Malfoy, seemed to be only a third year.
“Good luck.” Harry muttered.
“You too.” Malfoy said stiffly.
He didn’t seem to be very confident in the abilities of his new team.
“Ready for another flyover?” Katie smirked. “Look at them. They’re terrified.”
“Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.” Harry reminded her.
“You really are like Oliver.”
“Are you done chitchatting?” Madam Hooch suddenly said. “As always, I want a nice clean game. Confrontations between Gryffindor and Slytherin have gone out of control in the past, I don’t want any of this today. Captains, I trust you will guide your teams with responsibility.”
Harry and Malfoy both nodded. Madam Hooch opened the chest with the balls and released the bludgers and the snitch.
“Mount your brooms.”
She tossed the Quaffle in the air and fourteen broomsticks sped off to the sky.
“Oh, it looks like they have started already. Gryffindor plays against Slytherin today. I think Gryffindor has the best chance to win. Their captain is Harry Potter. I really like him. He’s always nice to me.”
Harry’s head jerked towards the commentary podium. He had forgotten that the regular Quidditch commentator, Lee Jordan, had graduated last year. He knew Professor McGonagall was in charge of everything that had to do with the Quidditch games and he couldn’t believe she actually appointed Luna Lovegood.
“Ginny has the Quaffle. She’s very nice too. We always have fun together.”
“Miss Lovegood.” Professor McGonagall said as Harry flew over them. “Maybe you could tell us something about the match?”
“Oh yes of course.” Luna said. “Very nice save from Ronald Weasley. He’s very funny. A lot of girls in Ravenclaw like him, but I think he already likes Hermione.”
“What the hell.” Ron said as Harry passed him. “McGonagall’s definitely gone off her rocker now.”
Harry found it hard to keep his head in the game while he was listening to Luna’s commentary.
“Look at that cloud.” Luna suddenly said. “It looks exactly like a Crumple-Horned Snorkack.”
“It does Professor, look!” Luna said. “That there is the horn and then that is his tail…”
“140 to 30 for Gryffindor!” McGonagall shouted in the megaphone.
“Really?” Luna said surprised. “That’s really fast.”
Harry passed Malfoy in the air, trying to hold himself together until he had found the Snitch. Malfoy had a strange expression on his face. If Harry hadn’t known better he would think he was trying to stop himself from laughing too.
Ginny and Katie scored each two more goals, bringing the score to 180 to 30. And then he finally spotted the Snitch. It was flying towards the goalposts of Slytherin.
Harry immediately chased after it. A movement in the corner of his eye told him that Malfoy was already chasing after him. He risked it to quickly look behind him and he saw that Malfoy couldn’t keep up with him. When he looked in front of him again he saw the terrified face of the Slytherin keeper, who probably thought Harry wanted to knock him of his broom.
“Crap.” Harry muttered.
He quickly swirled around the goalposts. For a moment he was afraid that he would have lost the Snitch, but then he saw that it was still a couple of yards before him. He caught the Snitch a fraction of a second after Parvati had scored another goal for Gryffindor.
“Oh, I think Harry has caught the Snitch!” Luna said excitedly. “I thought he would. He’s a really good Seeker, you know.”
“Gryffindor wins 330 to 30!” McGonagall shouted in the megaphone, but she didn’t seem as irritated with Luna now that her house had beaten Slytherin again.
Harry landed and was immediately grabbed in hugs from his team mates.
“Great flying, mate!” Ron said. “I thought you wouldn’t be able to recover after that swirl.”
“Great game.” Ginny smiled.
“You too.” Harry grinned. “All of you! You were amazing. Really.”
They didn’t have a lot of carefree days during this time, but that night none of them thought about Voldemort or his Death Eaters for a moment. That night they celebrated.
“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old” – Franz Kafka
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