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Chapter 23 : Unlikely Alliance
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A/N Hello to everyone finally! Sorry for the long wait for this chapter, but i finally just finished it today. I hope it meets all of your standards, and if it doesn't well... I'm certain the next one shall : D For all those of you who read my last chapter soon after it was posted I'm afraid there was a major error in the last two paragraphs. it had since been rectified and I apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused you. for clarification, the family trees should indicate during the past time that Gryffindor's heir is Frank Longbottom, and that Slytherin's in James Potter. With that out of the way i wish you all a Happy chrimukkah and a very happy New Year! Enjoy! Kyle : D
Chapter 18: Unlikely Alliance
Harry felt all of the air in his lungs rush out in one quick breath. He grabbed hold of the desk beside him to stabilize himself as he stared on in disbelief at the name written in front of him. James Potter’s emerald green name stared right back at him, each curling letter proof that he was the heir of Slytherin. Suddenly, the thought of Malfoy being his heir sounded a whole lot better.
Neville being Gryffindor’s heir was one thing, but him being Slytherin’s was simply too much. Harry stared at the crimson and emerald names for a little while longer, hoping against all odds that they might change, until finally he realised that his life had once again taken one of the wonderful twists that it generally did. This years was slightly earlier than usual, but definitely one of the largest thus far.
He continued to study the names on the lists and found that all of the names belonged to people who were dead in his time, except for Frank Longbottom, his mother Mrs. Longbottom, James Potter, and Tom Riddle. That left very few heirs.
Harry’s eyes followed the converging lines between Gryffindor's and Slytherin’s family members and then down to his father’s name. As he stared at it, his eyes flew wide open and he started to smile. If his great-grandmother eight times ancient was on Gryffindor’s side, he would actually be one of Gryffindor’s heirs as well as Slytherin’s. This lightened his heart immensely. If only he had been born slightly later than Neville, he-. His eyes opened wider still. He was several days younger than Neville, and following the wizarding rules of lineage, that made him Gryffindor’s youngest and present heir, not the blond boy.
Harry grinned madly at the thought for several moments until he noticed something else that made his relief leave him as quickly as it had come. His father was also one of Gryffindor’s heirs, and he was years younger than Frank Longbottom, however his name still shone brightly in emerald green. How was this possible? Why was the magic contract of an heir not being fulfilled, and the torch being passed on to the newest blood of the line?
Hours went by and still Harry found himself clueless as to why he would probably turn out to be Slytherin’s heir. What had he done to curse him so, and why was there always some ridiculous exception when it came to him. For once he simply wanted to be ordinary, even if it meant being an ordinary heir. He laughed out loud at the thought. Compared to the rest of his life, being Gryffindor’s heir would have been quite ordinary.
He walked around the old room several more times, inspecting the odd items left behind by the founders, most of them personal knick-knacks and photographs, but there were also some books and parchments laying around. Deciding he could sort through some of them at a more convenient, not to mention comfortable time, he collected several stacks from each desk and started toward the door.
Deciding he best get back to his dormitory before his other roommates caught wind of his absence, Harry took one last glance around the magnificent library and snuck back under his cloak before slipping out of the room and securely shutting the door behind him.
He was soon back in his common room and it wasn’t long before he found himself comfortably resting in his four-poster, all of the hangings shut tightly. His new stacks of parchment were securely hidden in his trunk to be studied thoroughly another day, when his mind was not frazzled by new revelations and disappointment.
Thoughts of all he had learned rushed around his mind as he tried so hard to clear his mind, before realising it was futile and simply giving up. Instead of fighting it, he took a deep breath and smiled. He had been through far worse and survived, what was one more little surprise.
As he slowly drifted to sleep, he saw the ornate door to the secret library from behind his lids and knew all too well that he would probably never see it again. The last conscious thought to pass through his mind was ‘I am heir to Salazar Slytherin, and I will show the world how great I am’.
The next week passed quickly and without great occurrence. Compared to what Harry had learned the week before, there was very little that would surprise him now. His lessons in Defense class continued to be interesting and entirely informative, whereas History of magic continued to bore him so severely that he found the pages of his text firmly pasted to his chin by means of drool during one of the lessons.
Harry continued to sneak out with the Marauders frequently, and decided that this time was entirely better than his own. Not only did he have an incredible group of friends to spend his time with, but he was also truly getting to know both of his parents. Even spending time with Snape was turning out to be a hundred times better in this time, as at least he was able to impress this version of the greasy man with his talent in Potions.
Harry smiled brightly as he walked to the dungeons with the Marauders, all of them discussing what new pranks they could set up that night after classes and dinner were over. The consensus was that it would have to do with the Slytherins, something they usually agreed upon every day. Harry continued to laugh until Sirius began to describe his latest plan for today’s Potion’s lesson.
He intended to catch Snape off guard by placing a small exploding Gobstone in his cauldron while he was busy collecting ingredients. Then, once his potion was bottled and brought up to professor Sharpbane, he would set off the Gobstone and have it drench the severe woman. The other group members howled with laughter as Sirius did an impression of what Snape would look like.
Harry tried to laugh along with them but found himself feeling extremely sympathetic toward the Slytherin boy. He under no circumstances liked Snape, but at the same time he knew what he would soon endure, and that he had the power to stop it. Harry sighed as he walked into the dungeons and walked passed his friends toward his seat at the front of the room, where he could see Snape's greasy head hunched low over his cauldron.
‘Hello,’ Harry greeted his partner as he took his seat and started to unload his supplies from his rucksack.
‘Portus,’ Snape said with the slightest of nods, not bothering to look up from his cauldron.
Harry thought for a moment about warning Snape about Malfoy’s upcoming attempt to bring him to the Dark, but was interrupted by professor Sharpbane entering the room and briskly starting the lesson. She seemed her usual bitter self and stared down her nose at each pair as she roamed the room menacingly throughout the period. Harry could not be certain, but he thought he saw the dark-haired woman’s face soften slightly when she looked down on his mother.
Today’s assignment entailed brewing the Weightless Draft, a potion that unsurprisingly rendered the drinker less heavy with every dose taken. It was a particularly difficult draft and he and Snape had been working silently for nearly half an hour, their potion looking like it should so far. The pair behind them had already managed to mess theirs up three times, once causing a wall of silver flame to erupt from the surface of their desk. Gryffindor had lost thirty points for that.
As the end of class neared, Harry looked over to the other side of the room and found Sirius and James quietly charming the gobstone to explode on their command. Thinking quickly, Harry pulled out a bit of parchment and grinned evilly. He might not be able to warn Snape about Lucius Malfoy, but he certainly could save him a ton of personal embarrassment today. He quickly scribbled a note on the parchment before discretely sliding it toward his partner and whispering to him, ‘fill two sample vials.’
Snape looked utterly confused and looked at the piece of parchment as though it were disease infested. Harry gave him an insistent look and he grudgingly picked up the parchment and read it. His eyes widened and then flashed with anger as he turned to look at his partner. Harry simply mouthed the words ‘do it’ to him and he huffed loudly before turning back to finish his potion. He secretly filled a vial with their finished potion and stoppered it before placing it inside his robes.
Not a minute later, Snape got up and went over to the supply cupboard pretending to get their last ingredient. While he was there, Sirius walked over to their station with the pretense of asking Harry for a quill, and quickly let the tiny bomb fall into the cauldron with a plop. He flashed a quick grin at Harry before walking back to his seat where he and James watched eagerly for what would come next.
Snape came back to his station and put on a show of adding more ingredients before filling another vial with the substance and being sure that the gobstone was in it before stoppering the top. He then reached into his robes and handed Harry their actual sample, leaving the contaminated sample in the folds of his uniform. Harry smiled and set it down on the table in front of him so that Sirius and James could both see that it was there.
What happened next surprised him. Snape was to drop the bad sample in the waste bin and hand in the good one, leaving the Marauders stunned and confused when the waste bin blew up. Instead, he got up and walked over to where James and Sirius were seated, shocking most of the class, all of who were now watching him intently.
As soon as he reached their station he looked down his large nose at their potion and sneered.
‘You call that a potion Potter?’ he nearly spat.
‘Yeah, maybe you should take note Snivellus,’ Sirius called back, making Snape glare even more fiercely than before.
‘You’re one to talk Black. If it weren’t for your wife here,’ he nodded to James, ‘you wouldn’t even be able to cut up your ingredients.’
Sirius lunged forward and almost knocked Snape to the ground, but was held back by James and Remus.
‘Ten points from Gryffindor, Mister Black!’ professor Sharpbane shouted angrily from behind her desk.
‘Now bring me your sample and we shall see if you have earned any marks today.’
Snape shot Harry a look, and he took it as his cue to hand theirs in as well.
‘Here’s ours as well professor,’ he said, placing it on the edge of her desk and quickly taking his seat again. Sirius handed his to the professor and grinned widely as he looked down at Harry and Snape’s sample on the desk. He quickly walked back to stand next to James, and the pair watched as their teacher inspected their work.
‘It seems to be of decent colour, but the consistency is wrong and I’m quite certain the effects will be weak.’
As she graded the sample out loud, Sirius decided to set off the gobstone, deciding that the sample would make a larger mess from where it sat on the edge of the desk. He quickly flicked his wand and then ducked behind his desk.
Nearly everyone in the room screamed as the vial in professor Sharpbane’s hand exploded, coating her front side in the slimy saffron draft. Sirius and James both sat up laughing hysterically, until they saw that Snape’s sample still sat unharmed on the edge of the desk. Their eyes widened in shock as they realised their professor was now coated in potion and glaring more furiously than she ever had at them.
Sirius was the first to try and apologise, but soon found it difficult to remain silent as their professor drifted off the ground. The entire class watched in horror as their most despised professor became weightless and started to float above her desk, her voice screaming louder than they had ever heard.
That night Harry and Marc sat in front of the fire grate in the common room with Remus and Peter. It had taken two hours for the exploded potion sample to wear off, by which time Gryffindor had lost nearly eighty points and Sirius and James had landed themselves in a month’s worth of detentions. The four talked and laughed for hours about this and that, but mostly about how funny it had been to see James and Sirius beaten at their own game. And by Snape on top of it all.
Remus had figured out that Snape had switched the vials when he had provoked Sirius as a distraction, but still could not figure out how he had known. Harry acted shocked as well. He pointed out that they themselves had watched everything happen smoothly.
Sirius and James entered the common room just after midnight, both looking extremely put-off and smelling oddly of fish. They grudgingly explained that they had spent five hours bottling fish eyes and newt legs before they all decided to turn in and headed up to their dormitories.
The next two days passed by without incident, James and Sirius still in detention and neither of them understanding why. Harry and Marc had been to see the Headmaster the day before and were disappointed to hear that he was no closer to finding them a way home. Marc appeared to be slightly distressed at this news, and Harry tried his best to seem disappointed as well, while he truly wished he could stay in this time forever.
In his own time he did have great friends and a near-perfect girlfriend, but he also had Voldemort, a severe lack of parents and then of course he was famous. In this time, he was nobody. Every morning he woke up and felt happy knowing that when he walked into the Great Hall heads would not spin towards him and then turn back to their friends to whisper about the latest Potter rumours.
Harry knew that this was indeed a greedy thought, but if he could have stayed with his parents, Godfather and Remus, he would gladly have given up all he had to do so. He looked around the corridors now as he walked to double Potions and shuddered involuntarily at the coldness of the dungeons. They seemed to be even colder back in this time.
He wondered what would happen today, as it would be the first Potions class since the fiasco with Snape and Sirius three days prior. He wondered what Snape would think of him today, and if Sirius and James had thought up another nasty prank for the always suspecting Slytherin boy.
He walked into the classroom just as the bell rang and took his quickly at the front of the room, under the ever-cold gaze of professor Sharpbane. Harry was quite accustomed to dirty glares during Potions lessons, but today was quite different. While professor Sharpbane was a nasty wench and clearly hated him, she had never shown such disgust toward him as she now did. Harry looked away quickly and wondered what exactly it was he could have done to make her practically spit on him.
It was not until the end of the lesson that he found out. He and Snape had just finished bottling their sample for the professor when Snape looked up at him and nearly made him jump when he called his name. Snape was never the first to initiate conversation during their brief classes together.
‘Portus. I’ll be working on a Potion this evening after dinner for extra credit. The professor thought it might be a creative way to make up some extra points and I agreed. I’ve asked her if perhaps you could join me and the other student helping. Would you be interested?’
He said this in a very monotone voice, not showing any eagerness or fear of rejection, and was said much the way one would discuss the weather outside. Harry just stared stupidly at him for a moment, not believing that he had just been invited to make some extra house points by Severus Snape.
‘Uh yeah, that would be great. What time are you working on it at?’ he asked, trying to sound as though he was not at all surprised, and nearly succeeding.
‘You can meet us here at six o’clock,’ Snape told him before collecting his bag and leaving the classroom.
Harry also picked up his bag and hastily replaced the cauldron on the shelf at the back of the room before heading for the exit. He stole a last brief glance toward the professor’s desk and found that she was still glaring at him as he left the room. He smiled at the thought. If there was one way to really get to her, it was to be invited to a special activity by her favorite pupil and then have her watch helplessly as he did well. The best part was that she could not harm his grade without harming Snape’s as well.
Harry was met by the Marauders in the corridor on his way to Charms class and found that James and Sirius had quickly bounced back to their regular selves, already discussing what Charm they could use on poor little professor Flitwick.
To any normal person it would have sounded cruel to gang up on a defenseless and extremely little, old man, but Harry knew very well that despite his size, Flitwick could most certainly hold his own in a duel. The rest of the class also knew this, as it was commonplace for him to be attacked by one or more of the Marauders at least once during each lesson. Harry had yet to see him get caught off guard, each time being one or more steps ahead of the young pranksters and beating them to the punch.
This of course made it more of a mission to James and Sirius, each failure resulting in their doubling their efforts for the next class. What Harry knew they didn’t realise was that professor Flitwick was essentially using them to teach the class more about Charms than any normal lecture would have done. The little man really was quite smart.
Harry walked into the familiar classroom and took his seat at the front of the room, two seats away from his father and two from his mother. The pair gave each other a brief look before James flashed her a grin and she directed a rude gesture at him that made Harry cough loudly and turn to face the front.
Flitwick began his lesson in his regular cheery voice, standing in his regular position atop a crooked pile of textbooks that Harry always expected to fall over and crush the tiny man. He taught the class several new charms, each involving physical changes of appearance. They represented the less stable and far shorter results of the metamorphmagi. Harry listened gladly to what he believed might one day be useful in Auror training and took down all the wizard said. He was halfway through explaining the third technique when it happened.
A blue light streaked across the room toward the white-haired professor, intent on striking him off his pile of books, each student watching intently as it streaked toward him. It struck him in the face and everyone watched as he froze on his perch with a silly grin on his face, having apparently been finally caught off guard.
Sirius and James both jumped to their feet and started what could be interpreted as a victory dance when the funniest thing happened. The grin on Flitwick’s face widened and he winked at them. Before either boy could react the blue light that had struck their teacher seemed to shoot back out of his face and split in two before hitting them both squarely in the chest.
The entire class laughed uncontrollably as the professor explained he had used a repelling charm with a slight delay before continuing the class. Little work was completed before the end of class however, as it was very difficult to concentrate with the frozen dumbfounded expressions on the statuesque boys in the middle of the room.
As soon as the bell rang, professor Flitwick unfroze the boys and wished them luck for next lesson, telling them not to drop their guard so easily. Neither of them looked too pleased at being had in front of everyone but could not help but congratulate one of their favorite professors on outsmarting them yet again.
Harry walked with them to lunch after that and found that he could only speak to Remus as James and Sirius had already begun planning their next attack, and Peter was never an option.
‘So why is it you allow these two such liberties?’ he ventured to the sandy-haired boy, looking pointedly at the scarlet Prefect’s badge that gleamed from where it was pinned on the front of his shabby robes and looked very out of place.
‘What, this?’ he answered with a scoff. ‘I have absolutely no idea why Dumbledore would give me this,’ he answered and flicked his pin so that it spun around. ‘Do you honestly believe that I could in any way prevent those two from playing their pranks?’ Harry realised that this was not really a question and merely nodded with a smirk. ‘Besides, I’m not big on dealing out punishments. Not my thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dumbledore gave the pin to someone else next year. Not that I’d really care.’
Harry studied the look on his face and decided that he was being completely honest. He did not look like he cared one way or the other, probably because he was worrying about far worse things than removing house points and playing hall monitor. He had to worry three nights a week about growing hair all over his body that were accompanied by razor sharp claws and a mouth full of fangs. Responsibilities to one’s school were definitely lowered on the priorities list when one became a highly destructive and possibly murderous creature of the darkness.
The dark circles under his eyes indicated to Harry that they would be having a full moon within the next days, and Harry wished that he could have done something to comfort the boy. Unfortunately he was not supposed to know about the unfortunate case of lycanthropy and merely continued to the Great Hall silently.
The five boys took their seats at the Gryffindor table and Harry was quickly joined by Marc, who looked severely harrassed. He kept looking over his shoulder at the Hufflepuff table fearfully and refused to accept notes from an owl that kept swooping down to him.
‘What’s goin on Marc?’ Harry asked, highly amused with his friend’s behaviour and trying not to show it.
‘Some bloody Hufflepuff girl keeps sending me love letters and I already told her I had a girlfriend.’ He looked over his shoulder again and Harry followed his gaze to an extremely tall blonde girl who was waving excitedly at him and batting her eyelashes. Harry snickered.
‘How’s this funny!’ Marc growled at him, clearly unimpressed with the girl’s tactics to seduce him.
‘I find it amusing that you mind so much,’ Harry commented, warranting a nasty glare from his friend.
‘Yeah, and she’s really not that bad after all,’ Sirius leaned in, having obviously heard what Marc said.
‘That’s not the point,’ Marc said irritably, ‘I told her I had a girlfriend and she still won’t give up.’
‘But you don’t have a girlfriend,’ Harry reminded him unnecessarily, making Marc give him a warning look that quickly shut him up.
Harry decided to drop the subject for the moment as Dumbledore got to his feet to make an announcement and the hall fell silent. He quietly cleared his throat before speaking.
‘In one week’s time Hogwarts will be host to a professor and several students from Durmstrang Wizarding Institution. They will only be visiting for a very short time and I ask that you all make them feel welcome. They will merely be here for educational purposes, and I ask that you all help me in showing them the way a real wizarding school should look.’ He smiled as the hall erupted in cheers and applause, the students all glad to see that their Headmaster showed a slight bias to his own school. ‘I will remind you all as the date comes nearer, but for now I ask that you treat the castle well so that it might be in great condition for our guests.’ He made a very pointed look at the Gryffindor table, and both James and Sirius grinned and gave him a three-fingered salute.
‘That’ll be interesting,’ Remus offered as soon as the Headmaster had taken his seat again. ‘You two must be excited to see some of your old friends and professors,’ he added to clarify.
Both Harry’s and Marc’s eyes widened. They had not thought of that and now they were in for quite a large problem. Even if Marc, by some odd miracle, knew the professor, there was no way that they could know him yet. They would have to be sure they were not in contact with the visitors when they arrived, lest any of the Marauders became suspicious. It was lucky enough that they had not questioned Harry’s remarkably similar appearance to James.
Just one more thing to add to Harry’s growing list of worries. He pushed it to the back of his mind, thinking that he would soon run out of space back there to push things.
Lunch ended and Harry found himself sitting in Transfiguration class next to Lily once again, both of them easily completing their task for McGonagall. Halfway through the double period, McGonagall had the class put away their wands and remove their quills to take notes on theory. The class would soon be starting their metamorphmagi component of the curriculum and she intended to educate them best she could before beginning.
‘Can anyone tell me how a person might change their appearance?’ she asked, knowing that there were several appropriate answers but obviously looking for one.
‘Specific illusionment charms?’ a brown-haired Ravenclaw girl offered from the back of the room.
‘Absolutely Miss Crafton, any other ways?’
‘Animagus transformations,’ Harry heard his father’s voice call from the back of the room and he grinned slightly, knowing that there were four animagus in the room.
Actually there were five, he corrected himself, remembering that he was technically one as well. He wished he could see the look on old Mcgonagall’s face if all four boys transformed in front of the class.
‘Very good Mister Potter, but I’m afraid that that is one of the far less common ways to change one’s appearance. It is not often that a person is able to, nor needs to become an animal as disguise.’ Many students snickered at this. ‘A well cast illusionment charm is indeed more practical but not very reliable in long time spans. There is one way that is very reliable, but very difficult to master.’
Harry lifted his hand into the air and waited to be called upon.
‘The metamorphmagi transformation professor,’ he replied with a small smile and saw that she did not expect anyone to know of it yet. She gave a very rare raised eyebrow, showing that she was impressed.
‘Very good Mister Portus. Now we will be learning some of the basic metamorphmagi transformational training for the next portion of this class until Christmas. It is very difficult, so we will simply be learning it from the text and mostly understand the theory. There will only be theory questions on your N.E.W.T’s, so there is no worry about practical. It is very unlikely that anyone in the room could do it.’
There were several huffs from the back of the room, as Sirius and James looked offended by being told they could not do something. Harry noticed that even Lily looked slightly put-off.
‘Now I’m not saying that no one can do it, I simply said that it was unlikely,’ McGonagall corrected. ‘I myself am incapable of such magic, but as all of you know I am a registered animagus. Power is not measured by one’s ability to transform, and you must all remember that there are many different facets of magic and that each of you will be strongest in something.’
Harry slowly raised his hand and once again waited for the professor to call on him.
‘I’ve read all about the tranformation professor and I understand that it is an extremely complicated procedure taking much time and concentration. That being said, I was wondering if it was possible to receive any sort of extra marks on the N.E.W.T’s if we are capable of it?’ he asked and saw the doubtful look on her face.
‘I would think it quite likely Mister Portus, however I do believe you will have to work quite hard on it to do anything visibly worth extra marks, and I do not believe you have the time to dedicate yourself to it with all the other courses you have.’
Harry smiled wider now and decided that it would not hurt to have a little fun with the Transfiguration professor. After all, he was quite pleased with himself for having done so well with his private training in the summer.
‘May I try it anyway professor?’ he asked now, making her lips thin and eyes narrow.
‘You may do as you wish Mister Portus, but do not be disappointed if it does not work out as well as you might expect.’ With that said she turned back to her desk to pick up her opened text. When she turned back to the class she was surprised to see that Harry was standing next to her and facing the class with a smile on his face.
‘Can I ask what you’re doing Portus?’ she asked him in a voice Harry had never heard. It was apparent that she had never had to share her teaching space with anyone before, and it was common knowledge that she was rarely interrupted during her lessons.
‘You told me that I could try if I like professor,’ he said and saw the disbelieving look on her face. The semi-surprised look quickly became stern and she nodded, knowing that he would be incapable but that it would be a good lesson to the class.
Harry could feel her gaze along with those of the rest of the class on him as he closed his eyes tightly and began to clear his mind. He took several deep breaths and began imagining what his eyes would look like if they were brown. It wasn’t difficult to picture now that he had spent time with his sixteen-year-old father. He then pictured his forehead without the permanent lightning bolt mark and concentrated hard. Nearly five minutes passed in silence before he heard McGonagall start toward him and he opened his eyes.
He turned to face the professor and her eyes widened in shock at what she saw. Lily was the next to react, gasping and letting her jaw drop.
‘You look exactly like him!’ she said loudly and turned to point at James, who was now leaning in to get a better look.
‘That’s incredible mate!’ he said in awe as Harry walked back and forth across the room so that everyone could see.
‘Just wait,’ he said and lifted his hand to his hair. He quickly ruffled it so that it looked wind swept and half the class burst out laughing, no one laughing louder than Sirius and Lily.
‘He’s got you down mate!’ he said, clapping a glowering James on the back.
‘Very good, very good Mister Portus,’ McGonagall ended the laughter and now approached Harry. ‘Where did you learn to do that?’ she asked, making Harry think quickly before responding.
‘I simply practiced a lot over the summer and did exactly what the book said to do.’ He shrugged his shoulders slightly.
‘I’m very impressed. Ten points to Gryffindor for your initiative, and if you wish to further those abilities I recommend we set up some private training. I would be willing to help you get those extra marks and anyone else who is interested. Is that the extent of your abilities now Mister Portus, or is there anything else we should see?’
He thought briefly about turning himself into a Mustang, but then decided against it for fear that McGonagall may drop dead of shock, and opted to simply close his eyes and picture himself with shoulder length auburn hair.
That evening, after another one of Dumbledore’s set up Occlumency lessons, Harry made his way back to the Gryffindor common room, dragging his feet as he walked and glaring around the hallways sulkily. He absolutely hated his Occlumency lessons and he knew he would pay for having asked to be taught in this time. He truly thought that Snape was a cruel teacher and that no one could out-mean him, but he was wrong.
Professor Sharpbane, being the master Occlumens that she was, was very much capable of penetrating Harry’s mind with ease, making it very frustrating for him every time he fell to his knees in pain. He had re-witnessed most of the traumatic events from his childhood in the past three hours and was now feeling quite sick of being anywhere near that dreadful woman. She seemed to actually enjoy watching his memories flash by.
He gave a nearly inaudible grunt in response to the fat lady’s greeting before climbing into the common room and letting the portrait swing close. As soon as he stepped in, he saw the four Marauders sitting by the fire in their regular seats, discussing something that seemed to have all four of them quite upset.
‘I wish we could Moony! You know we don’t want to be in detention, but it’s McGonagall. There’s no way out of it,’ James was saying pleadingly.
‘I said it was fine,’ a very tired looking Remus told him. ‘I’ve been on my own before, and I do seem to still be here.’
‘I’ll still be there,’ Peter said suddenly, to which all three of the others quickly said no.
‘Not without us there,’ Sirius said solemnly, ‘You wouldn’t stand a chance.’
‘I’d tear you apart!’ Remus said, and Harry fought a smile as he saw the fearful look in the short boy’s eyes before he nodded in agreement.
‘What are you guys talking about?’ Harry said casually as he pretended to stroll into the room toward them.
They all went rigid and pretended that they had not been talking at all, making them look more suspicious than ever. Harry knew exactly what it was they were discussing, but thought it might be amusing to see how they tried to cover it up.
‘Well, you guys have a good detention and I’ll find the two of you, ‘ he said pointing to Remus and Peter, ‘later. I have a meeting with McGonagall,’ he lied, ‘but Ii should be back in a couple of hours. Maybe we could play a game of gobstones or exploding snap?’ he asked and waited for a nod from Remus before once again leaving and making his way down to the dungeons, a wide grin on his face.
This was excellent. Now he could kill two birds with one stone. He would be getting extra marks in Potions and helping a friend more than he would ever understand.
Harry walked down the cold dank corridor to his Potions classroom, the cold unwelcoming stone of the walls cast in shadows by the few torches that lined them. The walk was usually one of dread and foreboding, but tonight it was filled with anticipation and excitement. No matter what happened tonight, Harry would come out better than he had gone in.
He walked up to the large classroom, prepared to make a perfect potion, but stopped when he heard voices coming from inside. One was definitely Snape’s but the other also sounded familiar. Snape had said that there would be another student helping, but as of yet, Harry had not bothered to guess who it might be. Now he leaned in a little closer and listened to find out before entering the room.
‘You’ll need help with that potion then won’t you?’ he heard the girl say.
‘I think I can manage,’ Snape said shortly, ‘and if I did I wouldn’t ask a Gryffindor.’
Harry’s eyes widened as he listened in on their conversation about a particular growth potion. This was not happening. He took a deep breath knowing now exactly who Snape was speaking with, having dreamed this very moment so many weeks ago. He waited for a pause in the conversation and knew that as he stepped into the classroom he would find his mother hugging the dark-haired Slytherin.
Sure as he knew he would find them, the redhead and hook-nosed boy were sharing a brief embrace as he walked in and casually cleared his throat. The pair separated quickly, both looking slightly flustered and definitely embarrassed.
‘Shall I give you two a moment?’ Harry said in a mocking voice, trying his best to make a joke of this otherwise horrifying situation.
‘Shut it Portus!’ Snape growled at him, but it was evident that he did find the humor in the situation, as his lips seemed to fight to keep in their regular scowling formation. Lily on the other hand smirked at him and gave him one of those ever-so-elegant gestures that she normally reserved for James.
‘Are we going to start this or what?’ Harry finally said, wanting to get the Potion started. The sooner they finished, the sooner he could rub the results in professor Sharpbane’s face.
‘Unless you happened to go blind in the last couple of hours, you’ll notice that we’ve already started,’ Snape said, pointing at the cauldron to which he and Lily had evidently added some ingredients.
For the next three hours, the unlikely trio worked amicably on something that all of them found to be extremely delightful. While it was highly doubtful any of these individuals would be spotted outside of this room together, they all seemed very much at ease and almost like friends as they added ingredients to their potion between bouts of clever banter and the odd joke at one of their expenses. Harry had never thought he would see the day that he would joke around with his sixteen-year-old mother and Severus Snape.
At half-past nine, Harry found himself carrying a bottle of absolutely perfect growth potion toward professor Sharpbane’s deserted desk, a small note attached to it describing the effects and all of their names. He set it down and turned back to his partners, keen on saying his goodbyes so that he might start his next task.
‘Severus?’ Harry asked daringly, hoping that the boy would not become upset at his using his first name. He raised an eyebrow at him quisitively before answering him in his usual last name manner. ‘I was just wondering how you managed to get professor Sharpbane to allow us in here without supervision?’
Lily started to laugh and Snape’s lips curled upwards as they both enjoyed what appeared to be some sort of joke that Harry had not been let in on.
‘In case you haven’t noticed Harry,’ she started, ‘there really isn’t much our dear Severus can’t get from that woman. Granted she likes me enough, I can’t exactly claim to have the Potions Mistress wrapped around my little finger!’
Snape seemed to be unamused by this statement, but gave a small smirk at her anyway. Harry also noticed that he made no attempt to deny what she had said.
‘Well we had better finish cleaning up and get back to our common rooms soon. Curfew is in half an hour, and I still want to get to the Prefect’s bathroom before then,’ Lily said, picking up some of their supplies and storing them away.
Harry waited until both of his partners were distracted before he pretended to put some of the supplies away and took the ingredients that he knew he would need, tucking them securely away in the folds of his robes. The three students gave the room one last glance before ensuring the door was locked and making their way toward the entrance hall.
They walked in silence until they reached the stairway and Lily and Harry both said goodnight to Snape as he turned to go off to his common room and they continued up into the warmer regions of the castle.
Harry walked quietly for a while next to the girl who would soon become his mother, and knew that he wanted to ask her questions, but was not sure where to start. She looked equally puzzled for something to say, so they continued to walk in silence. Finally as they reached the second floor, Harry decided that he needed to know something and that it simply could not wait any longer.
‘Why on earth were you hugging Snape?’
Lily smiled and exposed her straight white teeth, obviously amused y his question. ‘I was wondering when you’d ask. I know it seems odd, but Severus is really a nice person. He puts up with a lot of flack from those wonderful friends of yours.’
Harry sighed, knowing exactly what she meant. He was now part of most of the Slytherin’s tormented days during his sixth year. ‘So you’re just friends right?’ he asked, wanting to clarify the entire situation and put his mind to rest.
‘Of course!’ Lily said as though anything else would be ridiculous. ‘He’s always so serious and I could just tell he needed a friend. Besides, he’s right smart in Potions, and like I said before, he does have the connections.’
‘Does James know about the two of you being friends?’ Harry asked next, hoping that she wouldn’t figure out what he was implying.
‘What do I care?’ she said plainly. ‘He’s probably too busy messing up his hair or ogling girls with Black to even notice. That boy has to be one of the worst people I have ever met. I honestly don’t know what you see in him.’
‘He’s not that bad,’ Harry tried to defend his father, but found that he really did not have the will to.
‘Not that bad? Have you seen the way he treats others Harry? He thinks he’s some sort of God, always strutting around the castle and making eyes at the girls who happen to look his way. It’s disgusting really. He’s disgusting.’
‘Hey!’ Harry said in a hurt voice, pointing to himself up and down.
‘Oh right. Sorry Harry. I didn’t mean his looks, just the way he acts,’ Lily added now blushing slightly.
‘Good, because as much as I love being told I’m disgusting, I’d much rather be tolerated,’ he said with a laugh.
The pair continued to talk about this and that, Harry no longer working with a hidden agenda, but rather simply enjoying his mother’s company and learning as much as he could about her. Chances were that he would be leaving shortly, and he truly did not want to regret any more lost time than that which had been stolen from him.
The next day Harry awoke early with one thing on his mind: Potions. He got up and quickly dressed before collecting his borrowed ingredients and silently making his way out of the Gryffindor common room. He snuck through the empty corridors until he reached a certain girls lavatory that he knew would be deserted.
While the Room of Requirement would definitely be a better-equipped environment for potion making, it was simply too far away for him to be able to sneak off to every time he needed to check on his work.
He easily set up his cauldron and began to prepare his ingredients, adding each item as he did. He worked undisturbed for nearly an hour before the inevitable occurred and he heard a loud splash in the stall next to him.
‘James!’ came the ghost’s nasally voice, showing her obvious surprise at seeing him there.
‘Hello Myrtle,’ Harry said, not correcting her, and deciding that it might prove to be funny later on.
‘What are you doing here?’ she asked now. ‘You’ve never visited my toilet before.’
‘Well Myrtle, I had to make a potion privately and I knew that you were one of the few people I could trust to keep it a secret. Besides, I thought you might like the company.’ He smiled as he said this, and watched as a grin spread across the ghost’s face. He knew that would certainly do the trick. Myrtle loved secrets, and she obviously enjoyed his father’s looks as much as she enjoyed his.
So, for the remainder of the day, Harry rushed back and forth between classes and the lavatory, ensuring that the Potion was doing well and having Myrtle act as a lookout for him whenever he left the room. While Myrtle may not have been his first choice for company, she certainly did have some interesting stories to tell, most of which he heard as he brewed throughout the day.
Finally at five o’clock that evening, Harry bottled his potion and collected all of his supplies. He thanked Myrtle before leaving, and promised to stop in and see her again soon. With the amount of supplies he had borrowed from professor Sharpbane’s stores, he had only managed to make three bottles of the desired draft and decided that it was better than nothing and that he could always make more if he needed to. Now he simply had to find his friend before it got too late.
Walking into the Great hall for dinner, Harry found that three of the marauders were sitting at the Gryffindor table, eating and laughing, but that the one he wanted was nowhere to be seen. He quickly turned around knowing where he would find him, and made his way silently out of the large front doors of the castle and toward the edge of the grounds.
All around him the evening air was crisp and cold, winds sporadically whipping toward him in an attempt to deter him from his path. The sun was going down and Harry knew that he had less than an hour to get to Remus, and even then he was not sure if he would have enough time for the Wolfsbane to take effect.
He made his way stealthily toward the whomping willow and found that the tree did look significantly younger than in his time, and that a large chunk of bark was not missing from the tree’s midsection. Of course it would not be stripped away for another fourteen years, when a flying Ford Anglia would use it as a landing strip.
He used a long stick from the forest’s edge that Remus had probably used, to hit the knot on the trunk of the tree, and then quickly snuck into the secret passage below before the crazed branches took action once more.
The long walk to the shrieking shack was one of the longest Harry could ever remember. He knew he had to give the potion to Remus, but that he really should not. Not that time would be changed, as there was still no way he would be able to decipher what the potion was made of, but if he chose to administer it, the werewolf would surely want an explanation as to how he knew what he was. Harry took one last breath before ducking through the last bit of the tunnel and emerging into the very open space that was Remus’ prison three times a month.
There were no signs of Remus in the main area of the Shack but Harry figured he had probably tried to make himself as comfortable as was possible in the tiny bedroom upstairs until the transformation took place. He walked up the staircase, not bothering to be quiet as Remus’ hearing would have already alerted him of Harry’s presence, and only waited a moment before opening the door and stepping into the room that he had not seen since the day he met his Godfather.
‘Prongs, I thought you weren’t going to come. McGonagall’ll worse than kill you if-’ he stopped at seeing Harry’s eyes. ‘What are you doing here?’ he asked, half surprised half angered. ‘Get out!’
‘I want to help you,’ Harry said, and saw the look of impatience in the werewolf’s eyes.
‘Nobody can help me, and if you don’t leave now you’re the one who’s going to need help.’ He nearly snarled as he said the last comment. Harry could tell he was running out of time.
‘Remus, this will allow you to keep your sanity after you transform,’ he said quickly, reaching into his robes and exposing a bottle of the freshly brewed Wolfsbane. Remus’ eyes widened and he stared in shock with his jaw hanging slightly ajar for the first time Harry could ever recall.
‘What?’ the sandy-haired boy said quietly. It was clear by the look in his eyes that he wanted to believe what Harry was telling him, but that he had been told for so long that no such thing existed. ‘You’re lying,’ he finally decided.
‘Why would I lie?’ Harry asked calmly, despite the shrinking time window in which the potion would prove effective. ‘I have absolutely nothing to gain from this, and you have nothing to lose. Just trust me,’ he asked the boy in front of him, knowing that he would see reason and take what was being offered.
Remus stared into his eyes for what seemed like an eternity, before his eyes widened significantly and he let out a small gasp as though he had suddenly realised something. He then reached out and took the small vial from Harry’s grasp, unstoppering it and letting the contents slide down his throat. He coughed and spluttered a bit before looking back up at Harry and scrunching his face in distaste. Harry just shrugged his shoulders.
‘It was the best I could do with the time I had. Perhaps you were expecting cherry flavoured?’ he joked, and received a half-hearted smile from his friend.
Remus motioned for him to sit down and Harry knew that this was it; Time for the interrogation. He sat down opposite his future mentor and sighed audibly before starting.
‘First of all, let’s just say that we know each other quite well where I come from.’ Remus just kept staring at him. “I can’t explain everything to you, but you simply have to believe me when I say that I am your friend.’
‘How far back have you come?’ Remus said, his calm features never changing. Harry smiled.
‘You know I can’t tell you that. But I have to say that I am quite surprised that it took you this long to figure it out. You’re supposed to be the clever one you know.’
‘Marc too then?’ he asked, already knowing the answer, but having it confirmed by Harry’s nod. ‘I knew that you weren’t who you said you were Harry. I just didn’t know exactly where you had come from. The time travelling was the easy part to figure out, it’s exactly when that I can’t determine. You knew too much about the castle, but you did put up a valiant effort in trying to play dumb. As far as I know, it worked on the other three.’
‘I should have known you would catch on.’
‘Were you planning on pretending to be James tonight?’ Remus asked with a small smile on his lips.
‘Why do you ask that?’ Harry said, not fully certain of where he was going with his line of questioning.
‘Well those are his robes are they not? You reek of him.’
Harry felt relief flood through his body. He had just caught a very lucky break indeed. Who would have thought that smelling like your father would ever get you off the hook.
‘Yeah, well I figured it would probably be the best way to get you to trust me,’ he lied, finally glad that he would not have to reveal too much about himself. ‘Unfortunately I ran out of time before I could change my eyes. Would it have worked?’ he asked out of curiosity, now wondering why he had not thought of trying that to begin with.
‘Not a chance,’ Remus said with a strained smile. ‘You walk nothing like him. So, how long am I going to have to wait until this wonderful concoction of yours hits the market?’ he ventured to ask.
‘Nice try, but you’ll have to do far better than that.’ Harry smirked. ‘How are you feeling actually? I’m not entirely certain that you took it early enough.’
‘I think it’s working. I don’t feel nearly as much pain as I usually do. There’s no way I would be talking right now if you hadn’t given me, what did you call it?’ the sandy-haired boy tried another go. Harry simply shook his head with a small laugh.
‘Sorry, but you’ll just have to wait and find out.’
‘Fine, then let’s talk about you. How do I know you? Do we work together, or are we simply friends. I’ll bet we meet just after graduation.’ A warning glance from Harry had the werewolf smiling again and once again changing his line of questioning. ‘All right then, what can you tell me about Harry Portus?’
‘Well for starters, he misses his old friend and is glad to be spending the evening with him, even if he has to put up with his questioning all night long.’
‘You can’t stay,’ Remus suddenly sat up straighter. ‘What if the potion doesn’t work properly? I’d tear you to shreds.’
‘I’ll be alright,’ Harry said with a devilish smile. ‘I have a little more in common with the Marauders than you think.’ Remus gave him an odd look before sitting back again and nodding his understanding. ‘Unfortunately, I can also tell you that when the Headmaster finds a way for me to get home, I’ll have to ask for you to give up your memories of mine and Marc’s being here.’ Remus nodded again.
‘I figured as much.’
‘I don’t mean to be rude. I simply mean that history could very well be changed if you don’t, and believe me when I say that would not be a good thing.’
‘You and I are that important in the future then?’ Another glance had him grinning.
They sat in silence for several minutes before Remus asked another question. This time Harry was not fully prepared to answer.
‘I know you don’t want to tell me too much and I understand why, but if I’m going to give up my memories anyway, then perhaps you won’t mind.’ Harry gave him a curious look, wondering what exactly he could wish to know. ‘You said that your parents died when you were nearly a year old. Every time it’s brought up I can tell it obviously hurts. Why don’t you tell me about it? It might help?’
Harry gave him a wary look and shook his head. ‘That’s alright, I don’t really feel comfortable.’
‘I thought you said we were friends where your from. I don’t know what that means to you, but to me it means that we trust each other. I trusted you enough to drink that foul potion, and I hope you trust me enough to know that I only want to help you in return.’
Harry let out another sigh, knowing that the boy in front of him was most definitely going to be the same in twenty years. Always willing to help someone, even when he is practically being torn apart himself.
‘I don’t really remember them,’ he said quietly, not sure why as there was no one around who would hear them. ‘I was only a year old, and people have said that it’s better off that way. That it would hurt more if I did remember them.’
‘You don’t agree though,’ Remus said softly, not asking but simply understanding.
‘How could I?’ Harry said as though it was obvious. ‘There is nothing I wouldn’t give for another moment with them, a single memory. No price would be too high to hear my mother sing to me again, or hear my father teach me all about Quidditch, or even to know that they could see what I became.’ He stopped to let out a long sigh, and Remus said nothing but simply smiled consolingly.
‘It’s silly really, to have selfish thoughts like that. At least I have some memories, and I know what they looked like. Some people don’t even have that, even if it is in the form of old photographs. Plus I have so many wonderful people who tell me all about them. I really am lucky.’
‘What were they like?’ Remus asked. Harry smiled, thankful for a reason to talk about them.
‘Well, my mother was the kindest person anyone had ever met. I honestly can’t find a person who will argue that fact, and believe me when I say that I’ve tried a few people who represent the not so praising type. Brilliant witch apparently, Auror actually.’
Remus raised his eyebrows, showing his approval.
‘And my father, well he was what you would call arrogant,’ he said with a small laugh. ‘There’s nobody quite like him, and even though it took him and my mother a while to get together, I’m told that he really does turn out to be an alright fellow. Great Quidditch player. Until me, they said that he was one of the best players at Hogwarts.’ Harry kicked himself the second he said that, and turned to see the small smile on Remus’ face. ‘You were waiting for that weren’t you?’
‘Naturally, but there are thousands of students who pass through this castle. I’m no closer to figuring it out then I was ten minutes-’ He stopped talking and closed his eyes tightly, dropping onto his hands and knees in what looked like pain. Harry had seen this before and knew what was coming. ‘If you’re going to do it, do it now,’ Remus shouted before hunching down lower to the ground.
Harry closed his eyes tightly and tried to clear his mind. He could hear Remus growling on the ground in obvious pain, but pushed it to the back of his mind as he willed his own body parts to change. He still had not completed the transformation, but decided that now was a better time than any to succeed. He pictured each part of himself changing and then imagined the final product.
A moment of pain rippled through his body as he felt his bones shifting and transforming under his thickening skin. Harry felt himself fall forward onto the ground and heard the loud clop as his newly formed hooves landed hard. The pain started to slowly subside and when he opened his eyes he stared down at his friend, still crouched low and awaiting his transformation.
Remus was panting painfully but managed to look up at his secretive friend and smiled as he looked into his bright green eyes. The last thing Harry saw and heard before the boy turned into a wolf, was as he leaned in with a wide grin and whispered into his ear.
‘You have her eyes.’
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