Harry Potter Fanfic: The Path of Indifference #1
So this is Hogwarts
Harry Potter: Age 11
The days passed swiftly and became years somehow.
Now, on-board the train as it made its way to Hogwarts, Harry Potter flipped through the pages in his Standard Book of Spells Grade 1. In truth he had already bought the volumes up to Grade 4 along with his other books, although he planned to just skim through them every now and then since they weren’t necessary just yet. He was a bit disappointed it didn’t teach what it described as Dark Charms, so he had also spent a few extra Galleons to purchase Curses and Counter-Curses by Vindictus Viridian at Flourish and Botts.
He retrieved his wand on his own by following his parents, who left them behind in their excitement for their other son and picking their pockets for the galleons needed. He had picked up a few lessons these years. While his brother had gotten a beautiful snow owl named Hedwig, Harry opted against getting a pet.
He had wanted to get a bat like Albert at Magical Menagerie, but the Hogwarts rules on paper didn’t allow for anything but a toad, cat, rat, or owl…not that he wouldn’t consider it at a later date once his affairs were settled. Second year maybe?
Speaking of Albert, Sherry had become Harry’s best friend throughout the last few years. She often gave him advice or attention whenever she had the time, even taking him to mundane London to play in the mall arcade with a collection of kids who were more familiar with the seedier places on the continent or catch a movie with Arthur. It was through her he gained an interest in researching different topics by loaning him books or purchasing them for him as gifts during his birthday and Christmas.
She even let him use her spare wand a few times to show him some simple spells and tricks. It was carved and painted to look like one of the mundane magician and it worked better than her original for him. He could already perform a few simple jinxes and hexes at this point.
The rest of his family still didn’t know who she was, or the fact that she existed. To be honest, he found their lack of concern that he often left and came back without saying anything disturbing. But that passed, and he preferred it that way.
The Boy-Who-Lived was the important one for good or bad. The less people who knew about him, the less people who’d try to kiss up to him in order to get to his brother.
Reaching the chapter in the Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed book, he practiced the wand movements for Steleus hex since he didn’t get a chance to try it with Sherry. Before he could get the repetition down, three boys entered his compartment and his eyes briefly looked over them.
The shortest one and assumed leader looked him up and down before asking, “I’m looking for Gene Potter. Do you know which compartment he’s in?”
Harry pointed his thumb backwards. “Should be the rear one, with two others in it so I doubt you’ll find space.”
The boy nodded and went off with his two lackeys and things settled down once again as he went back over the motions…only for the boy and his friends to return five minutes later and crowd into the compartment. This time Harry spared them more than a glance, taking in their features.
The obvious leader was pale, with blond hair and gray eyes. He had an air of superiority to him that Harry identified as a trait of most pure-blooded families and shrugged it off. The muscle he brought along with him were pretty bulky for their ages.
“You,” the blond boy stared at Harry. “I didn’t get your name before.”
“Harry…just Harry,” he told him, not wanting to reveal his last name. “What about you three?”
“I’m Draco,” the boy responded in kind, before pointing to his followers. “These two are Crabbe and Goyle.”
Harry nodded in compliance. He could tell something was eating away at the trio but decided to leave it be. Gene probably had something to do with it.
Still, practicing the wand motions while in a crowded compartment would cause problems, so he sheathed his wand and the book, before pulling out a copy of his notes from Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts that he read from the bookstore but couldn’t buy.
As he perused over the notes, he noticed Goyle looking over his shoulder to look at the pages. The boy was growing more agitated as he read far slower than Harry did, so he decided to cater to him and slow down a bit until he dozed off along the rest of the way.
After the Sorting Hat
Harry scowled as he was bombarded by questions during the dinner all the way up to the Common Room of the Ravenclaw Tower. He got sorted away from Gene (after a Hat-Stall between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor) but the moment the word “Potter” came with his name as he was called, he was seen as a potential doorway into meeting his more renowned brother.
So far most of the Ravenclaws were more curious as to how he survived Voldemort’s Killing Curse, treating it like the puzzle of the ages or a science project. Mind you, it actually was a mystery that no one seemed to have figured out. He was a clue to them in order to get the solution, but unfortunately the he knew as much as they did: Nothing.
The questioning went on for what felt like hours as he tried to get his bed set up. Once he got fed up of the third-degree, he let out a deep breath of air and said, “Look, I don’t know how he survived. He hasn’t even given it another thought himself, not how to weaponize it or anything. He’s complacent with his current standing and that’s all I know.”
That seemed to pacify them and they went along with their business.
“Whew…” Harry sighed as he finally got some peace and quiet. He pulled out his book out hexes again, along with a notepad and pen. It was then another person made himself known from the bunk on top of Harry’s own.
“Sorry about all the questions,” a boy with brown hair, green eyes, and a somewhat nervous disposition. “I’ve heard that they might get like that when faced with the great Potter mystery from one of the Prefects, but didn’t think it would be so bad.”
Harry couldn’t help but stare at him with a deadpan face. “You can’t be serious with that name.”
Terry chuckled. “That’s what everyone was whispering when your brother’s name came up at dinner. I’m sure they’ll act less like a cliche and more like normal people tomorrow…what’s that you’ve got there?”
“Hm?” Harry looked over to his pen and notepad. “I’m compiling information on a letter. Using a quill and scroll is a pain with having ink lying around. I have a scroll and quill to use for assignments where it is absolutely necessary, but for my own private notes and such I’ll do what I want.”
The top bunk creaked as the boy dropped down to Harry’s and sat next to him. “A bit late for introductions, but my name is Terry Boot.”
Terry picked up the Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed and flipped through the pages. “You’ve been studying hexes already?”
“And curses and jinxes.” Harry added. “I already know the Stickfast hex and the Conjunctivitis curse from Curses and Counter-Curses, the Knockback jinx and the Glacius charm from a friend. I’m trying to learn the Tongue-Tying curse and Steleus next. Then the Stinging jinx…”
“Impressive,” he said flipping through the book. “I can only do the Ventus jinx myself and some charms. Can I borrow your books sometime?”
“Mmmm…there’s a lot of meaningless parts to it so I’ll just give you a copy of my condensed notes,” Harry said, before tipping his glasses. “But only if you’ll help me. I’ll need someone to practice with, so it’ll be beneficial to both of us. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Terry nodded. “Deal.”
The Next Morning
That morning before breakfast, Professor Filius Flitwick personally came to introduce himself in a slightly squeaky voice. “Good morning claws, I take it you are all eager to start your first classes at Hogwarts?”
He was met with a group of different agreements that sounded like a choir until Robert Hilliard, the Prefect, raised his wand let sparks fly in order to settle them down. The professor brought out a tin filled with cupcakes and made them dance, before they flew into the hands of the students.
“Now, if you have any problems feel free to come to me,” he waved his wand a second time and suddenly their schedules appeared in the hands.
Harry looked at the time table:
Monday: Potions, Herbology
Tuesday: History of Magic, Transfigurations
Wednesday: Charms, Potion, Flying, Astronomy
Thursday: Defense Against the Dark Arts
Friday: Potions, Charms
“I will be teaching Charms personally and will be expecting great things from all of you, but I am known as having a laid-back style of teaching,” the professor said in a mirthful voice. “So long as you do not disrupt the rest of the class or other student’s, I will allow you to have a bit of leeway in behavior as I do all students—but just the same, do your best and keep our house’s reputation upheld.”
Terry, who was standing next to Harry whispered in his ear. “We’ve hit the jackpot.”
Before Harry could say anything, another guy made himself known and pushed past them to make his way towards the professor. “I’ve heard that you were formerly a dueling champion. Is that true?”
“Indeed it is,” he nodded. “I believe you are Stephen Cornfoot, correct? I do believe I have dueled your father for that title in the past.”
Cornfoot gave him a polite bow. “I want to say it is an honor to be in the same house as a champion dueler such as yourself.”
“I hope to say the same in the future, should you follow such a path,” the Head of House snapped his fingers at that. “In addition, the D.A.D.A teacher is a former Ravenclaw graduate who has come to teach you after the position had been left vacant after the last one.”
“Why did the last one leave?” One of the girls asked.
“Ah, Sue Li wasn’t it?” He waited until she said it was. “There are many tales spun about the position, but so far none have lasted past a year. With any luck, it will change. Now, off to breakfast and class!”
“Potter!” The voice of one Severus Snape cut through the classroom. The voice was lined with malice, an edge added the moment he laid eyes on Harry, who was sitting next to Terry Boot with his Magical Drafts and Potions book open. “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”
Harry winced, knowing how unfortunate it was that he looked like James and knowing from how Sirius and he would often speak of the old days making Snape miserable (when Lily wasn’t around).
He answered with, “I’m not sure. I haven’t had time to go over the materials—”
The professor cut him off. “Did you think you were too good to study for my class? Hoping to coast by on the first day?”
“Not at all,” Harry said. “If I had known a bit sooner which classes I had, I would have gone over the materials last night.”
“You should’ve studied before even knowing your class, Potter. It would seem you lack the Ravenclaw’s so-called wit.” The professor fired back, taking a dig at the house he had been assigned yesterday. It may have stung a bit more if Harry hadn’t been annoyed by the majority last night, but still it was a dig. “I had heard rumors that I should be prepared to deal with any of you willing to backstab one another for educational purposes, but it would seem you wouldn’t need to worry about that if this is any indication of your dedication to education.”
“But—” Harry started but was cut off.
“Pay attention, all of you! This is Potions Class. You whose house boasts wit and wisdom can read all you like, but when it comes to practical application you’ll find things substantially harder. You can ask Quirrell what I mean if you doubt my words.
“In here you will learn to brew victory through the subtle science, stopper death with mystical concoctions, and seize knowledge that would make even the greatest of men concede to you—if you are as intelligent as your house claims, but given what just happened I doubt it. We’ll start with the Cure for Boils potion, so pair up.”
He moved back to his desk at the head of the class before spinning on his heel and saying, “For the record, the answer was the Draught of the Living Dead. If you had studied One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, which was also mandatory, you would have known what those two ingredients were for…ten points from Ravenclaw for an unimpressive start.”
“But we don’t have points yet,” Harry pointed out.
“I can wait until they are applied and then subtract them,” Snape told him.
Harry gritted his teeth as he kept his head down and looked at the book, marking the page for the Cure for Boils. He could feel the eyes of a few of the claws on him. Some in amusement, some in anger, and some mockingly—he hated it. He couldn’t care less about the House Cup, but he didn’t need a bull’s eye on his back.
“You alright?” Terry asked, getting his cauldron out for them to use.
“If I had known what classes we were taking before this morning, I would have studied,” Harry assured himself, ignoring Terry as he marked down a note to read through the two books with the small notebook and pen and stuffed it into his pocket.
The two then went to work on the potion with Harry fuming. He wanted to be angry at the professor, but let’s be frank, there was no victory to be had there and Snape was mean to nearly everyone. It was his connection to James that was the problem. Luckily Snape did judge fairly on potions and Terry had some skill as well as Harry, so theirs got a passing grade before they went off to Herbology and had a few phials of it left over for personal use.
Along the way Harry was formulating a plan to deal with the whole issue between James and Snape before he became the target of the man’s wrath all year and gave into the desire to shoot off a spell—
“Fumunculus!” said a feminine voice.
—not that it stopped someone from actually hitting him with one.
Harry had passed by the jinx in Curses and Counter-Curses while studying up on the Stickfast Hex and knew what it was supposed to have felt like from a witness’s review…but experiencing it was another. He had to give Snape credit about the difference between reading and practical application.
Being hit the sickly beam from behind sent a bubbling feeling throughout his body, like a really bad stomach ache that spread to the surface. The spell prickled his skin, forming the blemishes on his otherwise ordinary face. Angered, Harry spun to see that Morag MacDougal, one of the girls from his house, had cast the Pimple Jinx.
She passed by Harry, who was downing one of the Cure for Boils potion, along with Stephen Cornfoot. “Since we haven’t been properly introduced, Potter, I’m Morag MacDougal, of the house MacDougal—a house that has been attending Hogwarts as Ravenclaws for generations.”
“And the fact that you just did the magical equivalent of slapping me in the face has what to do with that?” Harry asked.
Morag snapped her fingers and Stephen gave him a slip of paper. “That is a schedule I’m handing out to everyone in the house. With any luck it should keep you from having us lose anymore house points from ignorance and losing the cup. Follow it and we won’t have any problems.”
Stephen gave her a compliment as the two started to walk off, stupidly turning their backs on someone and thinking that was the end of it. They thought wrong as his wand slid into his hand and the motion was made. You don’t hex, curse, or jinx someone and act there aren’t any consequences.
“MacDougal, wasn’t it?” Harry said, steel in his eyes as she turned to see his wand pointing at her. “The next time you hit someone with a jinx, make sure you don’t take your eyes off them when they’re pissed. Flipendo!”
A streaking, spiraling comet of orange vacated the tip of his wand, leaving a trail of dancing sparks as it flew through the space to deliver vengeance upon the foolish girl who attacked him. The spell caught her straight in the chest, knocking her off her feet and scattering her learning material. It was really a nice coincidence that when she was knocked off her feet, she clipped Stephen and bought him down too.
“You brute!” The girl’s face was turning red with rage, as was her friend.
“Pot meet kettle,” he bluntly stated. “I’m telling you right now, I’m not letting you dictate my life because you want to win a stupid cup and I’m not going to be a victim of bullying. You attack me, you get attacked back, no matter how long it takes.”
They stood up going for their wands—
“Is t-t-there a p-p-problem here?” A new voice chimed in. Harry, Terry, Stephen, and Morag all turned to see Professor Quirrell, who was pale and trembling as usual and kind of fidgety.
“Nothing at all Professor Quirrell,” Harry said without breaking eye contact with the two who started the whole affair. Mind you, his wand was slipped into his robe sleeve with his hand, hiding it while allowing him to quick draw should he need to. “Miss MacDougal slipped and fell after handing me a Cure for Boils potion out of the kindness of her heart when some unruly student hit me from behind with a Pimple Jinx—an act that I consider terms for a conflict.”
Quirrell looked at the scene and nodded. “Well, if you find the s-s-student who did so, report them at o-o-once. Ten points to Ravenclaw for sticking together.”
“Thank you Professor…” Harry said with a smile and then promptly walked past the pair, followed by Terry, as they made their way to Herbology. That smile dropped once they were merging with in the incoming students into the greenhouse.
“What was that about?” Terry asked.
Harry scowled and said, “I’m a firm believer in paying evil unto evil and will not allow someone try and bully me on my first day of classes. Nor will I be herded around by someone who thinks they’re the leader of the pack.”
Unbeknownst to many, Harry had to often deal with rejecting people who claimed to be friends in order to mingle with his brother. Some of his rejections came off on people the wrong way and he may have been forced to make his point clear through gratuitous use of the knee to the groin technique when they tried flaunting muscle or use force. One of the benefits of going to the mall arcade was you met mundane kids from all walks of life and they can teach you so much.
Once lunch came around he grabbed a bite and proceeded to the Library to write out a schedule of his own with a map of the school grounds pulled out and marked down a spot near the lake and the Quidditch pitch where he could get in a morning jog and maybe some spell practice with his pen:
6 am: Wake Up & Jog
7 am: Spell Practice (Private spells)
8 am: Come Back, Shower & Breakfast
9 am: Classes
12 pm: Lunch
1 pm: Break (Study alternative materials and practice class spells)
7 pm: Supper
If he was getting into altercations this early into the year, it would not end well for him to be out of practice. He also combined through his previous notes written for his own spells and made a copy for Terry, as promised.
Fire laved Harry’s lungs as he took a jog in the early morning at Hogwarts. Yesterday hadn’t been as smooth as he would have liked and he made sure to jot that down in a letter he planned to send to Sherry later on in the week.
Being only eleven, he had youth on his side, but not as much stamina as he liked. He found that out jogging on the grounds around the castle, which wore him out before he took a minor break. Harry had no plans on doing anything like Marital Arts (although he acknowledged a shot to the groin and street fighting were useful) because most wizards only get close when in a duel for intimidation, after the curse had been cast.
Next he went over to the spot he marked for practice casting spells. Repetition on its own and without a practice partner was boring. However, it served to ingrain muscle memory and intention onto him, eventually allowing him to cross over into the borders of silent casting and wandless magic, as well as increase his magical stamina.
During this particular training period, he focused solely on one spell, Flipendo.
The intention was to knock the opponent back, and so he visualized the image of his brother, whom he had less than pleasant feelings for and acknowledged as such, taking the full weight of a blow. The motions shaped the spell and gave it form, converting the intention to give it a physical form. The incantation pulled the trigger, firing the spell out in a streaking display of orange.
Letting out a deep breath, he fired again and again, keeping up the practice until his arm ached and he noticed it was time to go back inside for a shower and breakfast. After that he went to History of Magic, which he thought would be more interesting than normal history whenever he tried to read about it with Sherry.
He was wrong. Oh so very wrong.
From that day on, Harry swore he would study for History of Magic away from that voice—boring was one thing, but Professor Binn’s reciting the text in that flat tone was another! Being taught by a ghost that seemed to have no interest in relating to or even minding his student was the pinnacle of boredom.
After the first half-hour of trying to tank the lesson, Harry brought out notepad, pen, and A Beginner’s Guide to Transfigurations and started jotting down notes for his next class, opting to utilize the time efficiently. Some others had the same idea, like Padma Patil and Isobel MacDougal, while others decided to get some sleep, like Terry, Stephan, and Sue Li.
When the bell signaled the end of class, they couldn’t get out fast enough.
Terry yawned and scratched his head. “I think that was the best nap I ever had. They should hire him to help the more insomniac guys in our tower to get to sleep.”
“I wish I had bought head phones, earmuffs, or something to plug up my ears,” Harry said, before pulling out one of his spare pocket notebooks with a copy of his spells on it. “Here’s the spell and notes I had on them as promised. See you out for practice tomorrow?”
Terry gave a curt nod as they entered the Transfiguration class, which to Harry’s disappointment he learned was not one of his strong suits. That was a shame because the things you could do with it boded well for the creative. As he sat between both Terry and Padma Patil, along with Sue Li next to her and Anthony Goldstein was next to Terry, he found himself desperately trying to turn the damnable match into a needle.
After two dozen tense minutes he spied the completion and noted that the only a handful of the Ravenclaws had gotten it done and one of them was Padma. With eyes shifting back and forth, he whispered her name and asked, “Say, do you have any tips on this for me?”
She looked at him cautiously, debating if she should. Seeing how she was struggling and recalling the lecture early about backstabbing, Harry put it in a different perspective, “Look at it this way, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You ever need help on an assignment, help me on one. Deal?”
The mental debate was raging once again, but once she caught Morag staring at her, she ultimately refused with a shake of her head. “Sorry…”
Harry wasn’t happy, so he bit the inside of his cheek. If what Snape had said was true, then he wouldn’t be able to get help in-house if he had school problem because of their competitiveness with each other. MacDougal probably laid pressure on the girls against helping him if they planned to. Maybe he would have been better off a Hufflepuff or Gryffindor in that case—he’d have to make some out-of-house friends.
Thump. When there was a minor thump against his head, he looked down to see a balled up parchment lying on the floor and picked it up. Unraveling it revealed a note:
Break it down step by step; isolating it in your mind like nothing else exists.
P.S. Loved you knocked Morag down a peg, keep it up.
Harry glimpsed back and gave a minor nod to the younger MacDougal before tearing it up discreetly. It goes to say that the younger siblings didn’t always get along with the older ones. Harry went back to trying to change the match for the rest of the period with partial luck, but he probably lacked James talent in that and wouldn’t miss any sleep over it.
In Charms on Wednesday the Head of House of the claws eagerly jumped into the lesson after making a pineapple dance. Entertaining and a quick intro charms before the educator got on with the lesson.
“Alright, everyone bring out your copies of the Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1,” Professor Flitwick requested as he conjured a standard lock onto each of their desks. “To start simple, we will begin with the Unlocking and Locking charms.”
Harry had already gone over the spell and knew it already after that little fiasco with Snape. Just because Flitwick was a lenient with people in class, it didn’t mean he wouldn’t fail them during exams and Harry suspected he’d get more MacDougals and Cornfoots on his case if he didn’t get it down perfectly. The fact that he could cast a Glacius charm was moreover due to who he practiced with and how long, on average he’d rate himself in charms as…average, he guessed.
Now that he thought about it, Stephen and Morag seemed to have stepped off after that little warning he gave them. Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all. Then again, it had only been two days.
The unlocking spell would make breaking and entering into a mundane’s home or property a piece of cake, Harry thought. Done wandlessly and silently it would be useful, but since there are spells that makes locks and doors immune to them, it does little good for a magical short of being lazy.
The fact that the thought crossed his mind was courtesy of the three years he spent under Sherry’s wings and listened to tales of her past. She was a naughty girl at his age, lock-picking, pick-pocketing, and getting into fights. She may be a good girl now, but beforehand she was a wildcat.
That Thursday morning had started with a jog and then a quick trip to wake Terry up and drag him out to help Harry practice his spells.
Defense Against the Dark Arts was what Harry found solstice in. Professor Quirrell was a bit nervous and disorientated, but he was knowledgeable about what he preached.
“Welcome all of you to DADA: Defense Against the Dark Arts,” he told the class as they poured in. It was a double today and they were paired with the Gryffindor of the same year. “Since it is your f-f-first year, you will learn the basics of defending against Dark Arts including Dark Charms and Dark Creatures. Any questions before we begin?”
“Will we be learning how you use any of the Dark Charms this year?” Harry asked. That got him some leery eyes. It wasn’t a question you’d ask, especially not so eagerly for a member of a ‘light’ family. “What? It’s a perfectly legitimate question.”
“Define what you mean by Dark Charms?” Quirrell asked. “While we do cover most jinxes, hexes and curses are kept s-s-simple. Nothing too serious beyond the usual pranks some of you kids pull off…this year.”
“This is how to defend against them,” Hermione Granger from the Gryffindor side said. “We’re supposed to learn to counter them.”
“Maybe, but to defend against something you need to experience it and therefore use it,” Harry countered. “Curses can be as good a defense as an offense.”
“Stunners, disarming, and restraining spells cover that and should be used in urban combat against other wizards,” Gene Potter threw in his lot. Since he was James-taught when it came to Auror tactics, which was no surprise. “Suppressing the enemy is sufficient in most cases. The use of a serious curse is a bit overkill on a person.”
“Ravenclaw Potter is right,” Stephen chimed in. He didn’t have like Harry and would love to hex him after that stunt he pulled, but it was a fair question and answer. “Dueling in the past was essentially the use of malevolent magic to bring an enemy down. Modern rules may have softened it to this formal bow and face each other state, and some arts are now considered too ‘dark’, but that hasn’t changed since even enough stunners can kill. It’s why most of us Pureblood nobles don’t waste time on the new garbage they feed you Newbloods.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” snapped one Dean Thomas. He caught the implied supremacy Stephen felt, since Newblood was just above Mudblood and under Muggleborn. “I had heard that Slytherin was the dark and bigot house, but—”
“The individual opinions do not reflect opinions of the house,” Morag shot up. “And there’s nothing wrong with being curious.”
“We are g-g-getting off topic,” said Quirrell, before a debate could start up…one with pre-teens, short tempers, and wands. “What one defines as Dark has a very broad meaning and if you wish to d-discuss this we can do so in a later date. For now, since this is our first class, we’ll go over the basics and an elementary curse.”
He brandished his wand and asked, “I-Is there anyone who would like to volunteer? Maybe someone from the lions would d-d-demonstrate a little Gryffindor bravery?”
“Since Harry asked, let him do it!” Ron Weasely stated. They didn’t have a good history. While Harry liked Arthur and was fairly close to him over the three years, but his boys were either too uptight (Percy) or too mischievous (Twins) for anything casual.
…Then again, Harry would admit he wasn’t exactly perfect. Ron may have had a small grudge from the time Harry reverse-pickpocketed him for practice and slipped in one of the pranks that his brothers tried to play on him. It wasn’t anything personal, but try telling him that.
“Fine,” he said after muttering ‘pansies’ under his breath. “Can you give an overview of the curse as we go along and the counter-curse or cure?”
“I intended to,” Quirrell stated, waiting for the Potter to make his way up to center of the room. “We’ll start with a simple curse: Curse of the Bogies. Mucus ad Nauseam!”
The spell gathered at the tip of his wand for a brief moment as he made a tear drop motion, an ominous greenish color loitering there. With a flash of intent it leapt from the wand and nailed Harry straight in the face, where it scattered like polluted water blanketing him. Then it kicked in and Harry got the joys of a flu/cold.
“This curse basically makes someone sick. With a bit of powering it can become doubled or tripled in power. While relatively harmless to both magicals and muggles alike in this state and because of increased health care, in the older days it would have been considered a lethal weapon, as sickness could significantly hamper one’s lifestyle.”
“If the threat level for it has died then why is it still taught?” Lisa Turpin asked. “I mean other than for a prank. Shouldn’t it be downgraded to a jinx or hex?”
“Because even a simple curse has its uses,” Harry Potter answered, sniffling and coughing while covering his nose. “It can be used well, being such a deceitful spell, and is potentially useful if the target doesn’t know they been hit by it—say if they were sleeping. In dueling terms, you can’t aim a wand right or cast a spell properly or for long if an illness is sapping your strength, watering your eyes, and making you sneeze. If you were to use it to feign illness for someone and they died from the illness, you would be hard pressed to have someone look much into it—especially if the person in question is elderly or young since those age ranges have a higher mortality rate for mundane.”
“That is c-correct mister P-Potter,” the teacher said with a nod. “I find your listing the morality age-range of muggles somewhat a bonus.”
Harry shrugged. “I’ve read up on mundane facts at a…friend’s behest and got some interesting facts down.”
“How studious, I imagine you’ll d-d-do well in Muggle Studies,” the Quirrell in him applauded, having had the former position in Muggle Studies making him somewhat appreciative of the knowledge in contest of Riddle. “Fifteen points to Ravenclaw for y-y-y-your answer, insight, and volunteering.”
“Thanks,” Harry said, before sneezing and wishing someone would conjure him a tissue. “Counter-curse now?”
“Oh right,” he undid the spell and did a quick cleaning charm to make him look presentable. “Now everyone practice getting the wand motion d-d-down and then we’ll move onto p-p-practice casting.”
After class ended and during lunch Harry decided to go to the library and do more research into his weak points so far, but along the way he was halted by three boys from the house of Slytherin. It was the three he met on the train, the leader of whom held out his hand and asked, “What’s your game, Potter?”
“Draco, wasn’t it?” Harry asked. “Call me Harry, and what game?”
“You never introduced yourself as the brother of the Boy-Who-Lived.”
Harry’s response was blunt and to the point. “Because I don’t like being known as the brother of the Boy-Who-Lived.”
“Why’d you sell him out on the train?” Draco asked. “He was your family. Selling out your brother…what was in it for you?”
“Define what family means and we’ll go into the reasons why,” Harry said with a slight chill in his voice. “I’ve heard about your rivalry with Gene and that is your own business, Draco. As long as I or someone else I like doesn’t get dragged into it or seriously injured, we’re kosher. I have heard about how your house is through second hand information, but I have nothing against them personally as long as they don’t try to screw me over.”
Draco studied Harry carefully before walking away with his hired muscle. “Be seeing you Potter.”
“Harry’s fine,” he told him a final time and got back to going to the library.
Inside he gave a brief nod to Madam Pince and Caretaker Filch, who were discussing something and made his way to an isolated section of the Library that no one visited: The History Section. There he could read without anymore interruptions.
The Next Morning
Between the Quidditch Pitch and the castle, the field had several outcroppings and trees that made for excellent targets during private proactive. When you had a partner, it was more suited for basically Spell Tag.
“Steleus!” Harry bellowed and small, green rings vacated his wand to hit Terry Boot, who had finally dragged into helping him for his notes. Terry wasn’t a morning person and couldn’t dodge the spell in time. Still the fact that he was sneezing up a storm did help show that the spell was working and he had gotten down the hex. Terry still had some fight in him as he pointed his wand at Harry.
“Ventus!” he proclaimed and red-rimmed, white light emerged. The jinx created a spiraling gust of localized wind that barreled forward and ruffled Harry’s robes as he dodged…and then Harry froze and looked behind him, eyes darting around.
“What’s wrong?” Terry asked.
“I thought I heard someone…” Harry said, right before there was a jerk on his left leg and Harry was hoisted into the air and hanging by his ankle. He could only sigh. “Only one person would pull this off. I see James taught you Levicorpus, Gene.”
From underneath an Invisibility Cloak, Gene and Ron appeared. Gene looked like he had woken up early and was well-rested, while Ron looked like he was frazzled, but pissed off. He must’ve been the one who yelped at the gale that rustled the cloak.
Harry glared at his brother. “You have mere seconds to drop me or I will make things unpleasant for you.”
“You sure about that?” Gene asked somewhat mockingly. “You’re kind of stuck in the air. Anyway, we need to have a long talk about consorting with Slytherins and your interest in the Dark Arts.”
“What of it?” Harry asked.
“You’re talking to a Malfoy for Merlin’s sake,” Gene argued. “Do you know some of the things his family has done? Plus you told him where I was on the train and then told him that you were on his side. What would Dad and others think?”
“I couldn’t care less what you or the rest think. His family isn’t whom I was just talking it up with and I have nothing against Draco Malfoy,” Harry said. “As I was saying to him, his fight is with you, not me, and I’m not taking sides. As long as he doesn’t expect me to conform to his rhetoric and violate any boundaries I have, we’re galleon.”
Unable to listen to this, Ron spoke up. “You’d sell out your family? To snakes of all things?”
“Being related by blood doesn’t make you family,” Harry stated. “If that were the case, all of us would be related to the Malfoy’s through the Black family and he would be family too.”
“That snake is not my family!” Ron stated with heat in his voice that could rival the color of his hair. “What next, are you going to sell out to Dark Magic?”
“Depends,” Harry said. “How dark are we talking?”
Gene scowled and yelled, “This isn’t a game! Everyone knows you can’t trust a snake! All three houses rarely interact with them for a reason—they’ll backstab you for house points alone! Are you trying to become a pariah, working with the enemy?”
“I couldn’t care less if I am a pariah, Gene.” Harry said. “I have no interest in house points or the little competition between the houses, that already makes me one among some of the Ravenclaws, who seem to prize wit and horde their knowledge if the loudmouth girl and Snape spoke right. Honestly, we’ve been here for less than a week and you’re starting a war between the houses.
“Also, you do realize that I still have my wand in my hand and it has been several seconds, correct?” Harry warned, before casting, “Flipendo!”
The Knockback Jinx was fire at Gene’s legs, taking them from under him and sending him on a trip to the ground. Unfortunately, all those Qudditch lessons for James left him with rather good reflexes, and used his forearms to prevent a meeting of his skull with the ground. Still, no eye contact meant his spell stopped and Harry picked himself up.
He readjusted his glasses and watched his brother glare at him. “Don’t give me that look. You started it by interrupting my practice with Terry. If you want to lecture someone, go do it to one of your fans. Otherwise I’ll show you the standard I’ve set when dealing with those who would do me harm or control me.”
Gene got into a dueler’s stance. “I’ve done what others failed to do as a baby. You can’t beat me.”
“And that right there is why I can’t stand you,” Harry sighed, before putting on a slasher smile. “You killed Voldemort as a baby, with no idea how to replicate the process. Instead of riding on the coat tails of the past, why haven’t you strived to accomplish something else? Dumbledore is known for this bout with Grendwald, but at least he still continues, such as his research into alchemy. What about you? Have you at least attempted to recreate the feat that enabled you to survive or try to weaponize it?
“You and the others cling to your past glory, yet the moment you think I sway to the side opposite of yours and could become a liability, you take an interest after so long…” Harry brandished his wand. “I’m not your enemy, but I sure won’t be your ally in your stupid little house war.”
“Ron, can you handle the other one?” Gene asked his friend. “This is between us and I don’t want interference. Talking to him is pointless if he’s so dead set on siding with the enemy.”
“Terry, stay out of this,” Harry warned. “This is between us alright, but I’ll need someone to help carry him to the infirmary when we’re done. Ronald isn’t exactly strong enough to lift his own weight, let alone someone else’s.”
Then things got really serious—or at least as serious as they could get between two eleven year olds who didn’t know any really dangerous curses yet.
“Steleus!” Harry cast the first spell. The green rings surged towards his brother, a mostly harmless hex to hamper his spell casting. He planned to follow up with a Knockback Jinx for good measure once it hit.
Gene ducked and twirled his wand in a tight spiral motion to cast, “Expelliarums!”
The Disarming Charm closed in through a ray of crimson light that illuminated Harry’s vision before he spun on his outer leg and got off line in time to avoid it nailing him in the chest. Careless of him, he shouldn’t have stood still. Harry got back to moving as he cast the Knockback Jinx again and again.
Gene Potter avoided the jinx that flew past him and nearly toppled over his best friend, lining up the Disarming Charm and firing as he moved. It seemed as though he was only taught that one spell for offense or favored it. Makes sense, seeing as Harry had been practicing longer with Sherry and Gene must’ve gotten his wand mere days after receiving his Hogwarts letter.
“Colloshoo!” Harry aimed at the estimated guess of where his brother was moving and the Stickfast Hex nailed the ground, creating a green mire that caught his left foot before he could stop, leaving him open for the Curse of the Bogies, “Mucus ad Nauseam!”
“Protego!” The incantation produced a small flair of bluish-rimmed, white as a quick shield and blocked the curse made of greenish maleficuim. It was weak and couldn’t deflect, but he was only a first year and still got it down. Most adults couldn’t do more than that.
Figures James would teach him, being an Auror and all, Harry figured as he navigated the various outcroppings that lied on the practice field, only to eventually be caught by a Trip Jinx by Gene. He tumbled as the crimson ray of a Disarming Charm followed and narrowly missed him when he rolled, coming back up with a Knockback Jinx.
The jinx was blocked and Harry took cover, before slipping out of his robe and tossing it out to the left, where it got the Disarming Charm treatment as he came around at the right and cast, “Mimble Wimble!”
A cold sensation washed over Gene and forced his tongue to curl backwards, making it impossible for him to cast another spell without silent casting skills. Harry had gotten him and leveled his wand for a Curse of the Bogies spell…
“Gryffindor Potter! Ravenclaw Potter!” Snape appeared from the direction of the castle. Terry had hidden himself and Ron was under the cloak. “There is no dueling on the grounds! Detention, both of you!”
A detention wasn’t really all that bad, at least not to Harry.
Sadly, Gene ran his mouth off in imitation of his father the moment the Tongue-Tying Curse had been dispelled and muttered a word he shouldn’t have. “Snivelus.”
The air promptly went cold and Harry felt the hair on the back of his neck stand on edge, a chill passing through his as the professor’s gaze could petrify a Basilisk. His fingers curled, as if deciding how he wanted to punish them. “I should have expected nothing less from James’ spawns. A Hundred points and three weeks detention for both of you! Say that again you’ll get worse.”
“What did I do?” Harry asked.
When his words fell on deaf ears he followed the professor inside the building and into his office, where the man sat down in his chair and faced the student. “What is it Ravenclaw Potter? Have you decided to get a head start on your sentence?”
“With all due respect Professor, I can understand the first detention on my part, even if I was only retaliating. But I will not be given extended detentions for something my brother did.”
“A pity you have no say on the matter,” he responded. “Now get out or it’ll be double the amount.”
Harry refused to move. He would not have it. “Professor, let us lay it all on the table now. I know about your rivalry with James and Sirius.”
“Is that so?” He barely spared the boy a glance. “Do enlighten me then, Ravenclaw Potter. Also, that two hundred points also deducted and a month’s detention.”
“I know that they bullied you, humiliated you, and kept doing so without considering the consequences even to this day.” Harry stated factually, earning the man’s ire.
“Three months detention and four hundred house points!” He snarled. “Now leave!”
In truth, Harry wanted to do just that. It seemed like this was a bad idea in the long run, but kept going since he was in too deep at this point. “James and Sirius still occasionally gloat. I’ll spare you the details, but I can understand why you look upon my brother and me in contempt.”
Snape pulled out his wand. He had no intention of doing anything lethal or harmful really to one of Lily’s sons (or any other student…really), but the brat was grating on his nerves. Before he could silently cast the Langlock, Harry spoke seven words:
“Cast and you’ll be just like them.”
The professor stopped and Harry let out a small breath he had been holding without realizing it, the tension in his chest melting away. “The past cannot be changed, but whatever your grievances with them, I must ask that you don’t take it out on me. I am not James. I have shown you nothing but respect to the point that I came here and tried to discuss this rationally rather than going directly to another professor or causing a scene.”
Snape’s lips pursed as he mulled the words over and he lowered his wand. “Make your point already, Ravenclaw Potter.”
“Be the better man,” Harry told him. “Don’t sink to their level and be petty. I’m all for paying evil unto evil, but treat me as a student and not the spawn of James.”
Snape’s eyebrow arched. “I noticed you didn’t include your brother?”
A thin smile decorated Harry’s lips. “He crossed a line and insulted you knowing full well what he was doing. While I doubt his Head of House will stand by and let so many points be deduced, he deserved his punishment.”
“Are you certain you aren’t merely reveling in his punishment?”
Harry smirked wider and pushed his glasses up. “A bonus really…”
Snape gave a low nod, barely visible behind his steepled fingers. “I’ll consider your…offer, but nevertheless you still have detention. Report this evening after dinner…in fact, I suggest not eating. You and your brother will be milking Flubberworms for their mucus for as a reagent for Wiggenweld potions later on in the year.”
Harry shivered. Milking a ten-inch worm that dribbled mucus out both ends was never a pleasant thought. The smile Snape got from the reaction was less than pleasant as well. Still, he answered, “Fair enough.”
As Harry made his way out of Snape’s office and back to the spot where all of his stuff was still with Terry, he never noticed Quirrell watching him silently or the interest the Dark Lord on the back of his head had. Voldemort could see an inclination towards dark arts, and a desire for the proper admiration…
He could be used if Quirrell took the proper steps, and with the whispering in his ears, it became clear he would take those steps. Having one Potter fall to the darkness and battle the one of light would be delicious irony against the two spawn that Petergrew saved.
Harry’s no saint in this fanfic, that role is Gene’s. He will not be the next Dark Lord either, nor will Gene be the ultimate jerkass cocky boy. The lack of character depth and stereotypical portrayals in these types of fanfics is astounding for the opposing sibling. In fact, the only one I’ve seen that portrays the other twin as somewhat decent after years is Deprived by The Crimson Lord.
Mind you, these are my opinion only and it could be that I simply haven’t found or read a similar story in that light. There are way too many HP fanfics out there.
Hopefully, no one will be overpowered. Overpowered is boring. Boring is…well, boring. That being said, expect a somewhat slow release date for the work.
This is obviously AU and as such some facts will be changed. Including Parseltongue being an inherited trait from their distant ties to the Gaunts through who were descendants of Slytherin. But more on that if I ever get to Year 2. Information on it and spells are gleamed off the wikia.