Content Harry Potter Naruto Buffy the Vampire Slayer XMen Translations

Stories that, for one reason or another, I've decided to abandon.

Harry Potter stood on the platform and watched the organised chaos around him.  He was a tall, well built, seventeen year old, wearing jeans and a tight black t-shirt.  The shirt fit his chest perfectly.  Muggle style sun glasses were perched on his nose, protecting vibrant green eyes from the late summer sun. 

Around him hundreds of children swarmed, ranging in ages between 11 and 17.  They all seemed so young to him.  He was mainly ignored by the younger ones, but was looked at with interest by the older ones.  The males that looked at him took in his muscular frame and diffident attitude and wondered if he would be a threat to them.

He was also attracting attention from the opposite sex, but that was nothing new to him.  He’d been attracting attention for the past year.  Ever since he had defeated Voldemort in a dual, his global fame had increased to an astronomical level.  The only thing that had protected him was a charm he had developed; it blurred any photo of him.  Of course, it didn’t stop people describing him, but a small amount of Muggle make-up hid the scar on his face.  With the Dark Lord dead, the scar had faded from its once vibrant red down to a normal pale pink.

Harry had been trained by the best Aurors and specialists in the world, all his life.  He was driven by the need to avenge his parents death, and to help Sirius Black – General Black – his godfather and guardian. 

The training had come down to a single battle, on a field in Hampshire.  The Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix had met head to head, a final battle for the fate of wizarding kind. 

The press watching had later described the fight as the most impressive duel ever; both magicians had proved themselves masters at their craft.  Voldemort had used the forbidden curses, Harry used everything but.  After a while, they had cast the same spell at each other, and their wands had locked.  Instead of the standard Prori Incancatem, as usually happened, the wands, powered by their master’s hatred of each other, had each sent out a beam of pure power.

The Red from Voldemort and the Blue from Harry had collided in the middle between them, with an audible sound, drawing the attention of everyone.  The center moved backwards and forwards, a duel of pure power between the two wizards.  Like a sporting event, the Death Eaters had stopped to cheer on their Master, a mistake they would regret.  General Black had shouted an order, and most of the enemy was subdued quickly.

Seeing his allies defeated had distracted Voldemort for a brief second, and that was all Potter had needed.  He lunged with his magic, forcing everything he had down his wand.  It was too much for the Dark Lord, his beam had faltered, and then, as the power touched him, he screamed in agony, and then exploded in a bright light.

There had been silence, as Harry looked stunned as his dead enemy, before slowly passing out.  Black, his stepfather, had been the first to react, catching him, and taking him to safety. 

With the train about to depart, he took a couple of confident steps forwards and climbed on the ancient steam train.  He walked down the narrow corridors, people automatically getting out of his way.  He held an aura of untouchable-ness around him, which was the result of his incredible self confidence as opposed to anything as mundane as normal magic. 

Eventually, he found an empty carriage and sat down, putting his long legs on the seat in front of him.  He folded his arms and relaxed back into the seat, preparing himself for the journey.

Harry stared out the window, bored already.  He contemplated pulling out a book, but he felt he’d done enough reading recently to last him a lifetime, besides, he would have had to move to get a book, and he was pretty determined not to do that.

His private musing was interrupted by a female voice, “Do you mind if we share this cabin?”

Harry looked up, his eyes still protected by the dark sunglasses.  A simple scan showed him a bushy brown haired woman with a polite smile.  Harry nodded and took his feet of the seat.  He crossed one leg over the other, bending at the knee and grabbed his ankle.  Comfortable once more, he went back to watching the green scenery out the window.

“You found a place, ‘Mione?”  A male voice shouted down the cabin.

“Yep,” the girl shouted.  “Down here.”

A red headed male appeared shortly afterwards and gave the girl a quick kiss.  He shot an inquiring glance at her as he noticed Harry.  She shrugged and sat down.  A second later they were joined by another red haired girl.  “Hey Hermione,” she said with a cheerful look.

“Ginny,” the now identified Hermione replied.  “Did you have a good summer?”

“It was the best,” she said excitedly.  “With Voldemort dead, we were allowed to go anywhere we wanted on our own.  I spent most of the summer working with Fred and George in London.”

Harry, almost unnoticed, had stiffened with the name of his ex-arch-nemesis.  He relaxed almost instantly, the spells his mind had automatically conjured up vanishing as quickly as they had arrived.

He almost started to fall asleep, ignoring the chattering the other three were enjoying as they caught up.  He had paid enough attention to realise that Ginny and Ron, the boy, were related and that Hermione and Ron had spent the summer together with Hermione’s parents.

“Well, look what we have here, a filthy Mudblood and two weasels.”  Harry looked up smartly, instantly alert as the insult filtered in.  A tall boy stood in the door way, his lank blonde hair sleeked back.  Next to him stood two bigger boys, their lumbering forms blocking most of the light from outside.

“Sod off, Malfoy,” the boy, Ron, said, sounding irritated.

“Why don’t you make me, Weasel.”  The challenge was evident in the boys’ voice.

“Go away, Malfoy, I’m Head Girl now, you can’t touch us anymore.”  Hermione’s voice entered the conversation; she turned down the lapel of her robes, showing off the glittering badge.

“But so am I, My dear Mudblood,” the boy smirked, showing off his own badge.  “And we all know who they will believe, a pure blood like me will always beat an…”

What ever Malfoy was going to say was rudely interrupted.  One second Malfoy had been berating the people he had bullied for the last six years, the next he was hanging out the door of the train, an incredibly strong hand holding him up by the throat.

Crabbe and Goyle, his two companions looked at each other, unsure of what to do.

Hermione, Ron and Ginny just gaped at each other.  Almost faster than they could see the silent boy had exploded into action.  His wand flickered in to sight for a second, opening the door magically, before the young man had grabbed Malfoy by the throat and pushed him out the door, so that he dangled in open air.

Hermione, to a lesser extent, and Ginny both admired the suddenly taunt muscles that appeared along the boys back and side.

“Move, and I will drop blondie here, and you two will be next.”  The man’s voice did not move into threatening, it was as calm and collected as the summer day, as if he were merely asking directions to the food carriage.

Showing more intelligence than ever before, the two bodyguards froze instantly.

“Now, I really don’t like bullies.  In fact, you could say I hate bullies.  As far as I am concerned you are scum.  You are going to leave these people alone, because if you don’t, I shall make you.  Do we understand each other?”

Malfoy’s face was white with fear and rage, but he nodded frantically, he really did not want to be dropped.

With an air of ease, the quiet boy pulled Malfoy back in, showing no physical effort in lifting him.

He dropped him casually, and then gave him some soft advice.  “Run.”

Draco snarled and pulled his wand, aiming it directly at the dark haired boy.  “You’ll pay for that.”

The boy laughed loudly, throwing his head back.  “You have two seconds to drop your wand before I attack.”  Having beaten Voldemort in a duel, this little slime held no threat for Harry.

Draco looked worried, but held his stance.  “Stupefy,” he yelled, a smug look appearing on his face as he cast a knock out spell.

Harry twisted his body sharply, bending his knees as he bent backwards almost horizontally.  The spell shot by him, impacting harmlessly on the door behind him.  Shooting back up, he took two steps forwards and launched a wicked roundhouse on to Malfoy’s chin. 

Malfoy’s head flew back, a tooth exploding from his mouth.  It glittered in the sunlight as it landed next to one of his bodyguards feet. 

Draco crashed into the carriage behind him and slowly slumped to the floor unconscious.  Harry turned back to the two large boys, “Pick him up, and get him out of here.  Next time I won’t be so nice.”  Again, Harry’s voice was bordering on the bored, as if he had seen much more scary things and had most of his feelings cauterised by it.  It was a remarkably astute observation from the two boys, as it was completely accurate.  They grabbed their fallen comrade and retreated quickly, the eyes of everyone who had come out of their carriages to watch on them.

Harry sighed softly, aware that his plan for being low key had already been disrupted.  He hated people who felt themselves better than everyone else, it was how Voldemort had started out, and he was determined that no one else would be able to go down that route again.

He walked back into the cabin, studiously avoiding the three people who were looking at him.  Ron had a look that was bordering on the ecstatic, while Hermione was looking insanely curious.  Ginny was looking both impressed and quizzical, as if something was trying to occur to her, but she couldn’t get a grasp on what.

Harry closed his eyes behind his sunglasses, removed them, and instantly fell asleep.  A skill he had picked up over the years, one he now employed to avoid any questions.

“Is he asleep?”  Hermione asked, quietly, a shocked look on his face.

Ron looked at him closely, and then nodded.  “Who the hell is he?”

“I don’t know, but did you see the way he took out Malfoy?  I’ve never seen anyone move so fast.”  Ginny’s face took on a rapturous look, “and did you see those muscles?”

Hermione laughed, “He did move fast, although I’m not sure if I should do anything about him hitting another student.”

“’Mione,” Ron said, his voice clearly amused, “he didn’t hit a pupil, he hit Malfoy, and besides, Malfoy is a prefect, he can take care of himself.”

“Yeah,” Ginny agreed.  “Besides, what house would you take points from?”

Hermione smiled suddenly, the technicality more than enough to offset her sense of proprietary.

”Who is he?” Ron asked, his voice filled with a kind of awe.

“Transfer student from Durmstraung?” Ginny guessed.

“Possible,” Hermione said absently.  Something about the boy was screaming at her, as if she should know him, but it wasn’t coming through.

Reluctantly, the Head Girl agreed to let the matter drop.  A second later, people started dropping into their carriage.  Everyone said ‘Hi’ to the three students, but it was obvious they all wanted a look at the boy who had beaten Malfoy without breaking a sweat.  The blond-haired wizard was a figure of hate in the school, with his fathers money and the Crabbe and Goyle backing him up, there was no one who had been able to stand up to him for several years.  Harry had instantly received celebrity status.

After a while, Ron and Hermione shut the door to their carriage, and quietly continued their conversations from earlier.

A few hours later, the train started to slow as it started to enter the Hogwarts station.  The first hint the other three had that Harry was awake was when he moved his hand and replaced his sunglasses.

He raised an eyebrow as he noticed the other three were dressed in their robes, and realised that he should probably get dressed himself.  He stood and stretched, unaware that his t-shirt was riding up, exposing his rippling stomach.  As before, his wand seemed to flicker in his hand as he grabbed it, cast a spell silently, and replaced it from where ever he kept it.  A second later a heavy robe appeared in his hand. 

The other three looked impressed at the ease of which he had cast the summoning spell. 

He shrugged the robes onto his shoulder, the long leather material fell to just above his ankles, instantly emphasizing his size and personality.  They looked completely different to normal Hogwarts robes, and he gave the impression that he really didn’t care.

The train shuddered to a halt, jolting everyone on the train.  With a half smile to the others, Harry exited the carriage confidently and walked off.

“Blimey,” said Ron.  “Those robes must have cost a fortune.”

Ginny was frowning, “Did anyone else notice he wasn’t knocked off balance by the train stopping?”

“Ron, ‘Ermione, Ginny,” the huge voice of Hagrid, one of the professor’s at Hogwarts boomed out. 

“Hagrid,” Ginny called.  “It’s good to see you.”  All three of them could see the difference in the half-giant.  He looked so much more relaxed than they had ever seen him, he had acted as a diplomat between the Order and the Giants, as well as fighting in the final battle.

Hagrid seemed to freeze, as his eyes stared over their shoulders.  They turned, to see the boy from their carriage walking effortlessly through the crowded station.  People seemed to automatically move out of his way, recognizing an alpha male subconsciously.

The half giant fought the urge to salute; it was deeply ingrained inside him.  “If you take one of those carriages, they will move you to the school, Sir.”  Hagrid couldn’t help the deferential title at the end.

The boy nodded once, sharply, a gesture that seemed to acknowledge the honorific and at the same time, thank him for it.  He walked over to the carriage, and climbed in the first one.  It started to move before anyone else could join him.

“Who is he?” Ron asked Hagrid.

“Ahh, that’s not for me to be tellin’,” Hagrid replied, before bellowing “First years – over ‘ere.”

Ron, Ginny and Hermione realized that they had been out maneuvered and made their own way to the horseless carriages.

The boy had vanished when they arrived, so they took their places in the great hall, along with the other students.

“I wonder who will be the DADA teacher this year,” Ron asked Hermione, Ginny had sat with people in her year.

“Hopefully it will be someone from the Order of the Phoenix,” Hermione replied.  “It would be informative to be taught by someone who actually fought in that final battle.”

Ron’s eyes lit up, and he looked at the teachers.  “Snape’s not here as well.”  He couldn’t think of anything better than a member of the famous Order as a teacher, and Snape, his most hated teacher not being here.  “Perhaps he died during the fight,” he said hopefully.

“Ron!” Hermione looked very disappointed with him.  “You can’t say that.”

Ron rolled his eyes and grinned at her.

At dinner, the whole Gryffindor house sat together as normal, exchanging glares with their rival Slytherin.  The Slytherins had won the inter-house trophy for the past seven years straight, and looked forward to continuing their domination.

They were interrupted as the great doors swung open, and Professor McGonagall, the deputy head mistress of the school, led the scared first years in.  The sorting hat sung a new song, about hope, light and friendship. It was very different from his dour warnings of the year before.

After the students had been sorted, Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Member of the Leading Council of the Order of the Phoenix, and possessor of more titles and awards than any other living wizard stood, raising his hands for silence.

“Before we begin with the feast, I have several announcements.  First, we have a new DADA teacher joining us this year.  I would like you all to welcome to the school, General Sirius Black.”

A stunned silence swept over the room.  This was beyond Ron’s wildest dreams.  The man who had trained Harry Potter to be the best fighter in the world was going to be their defense teacher.

The door opened, and they could all see him arguing with the boy from earlier.  He turned and walked into the room.  He was tall, with short black hair, and walked with his back ramrod straight.  He marched through the hall, and took his place at the table.

Professor Dumbledore’s next announcement caused a complete silence.  “We also have a new student, who will be joining us in his final year.”

The door open again, and Harry entered alone.  The Slytherins were already glaring at him, mainly because of Draco’s reaction.  Most of them were as scared of him as the rest of the school.

The boy walked into the hall, his eyes still hidden by his Muggle sunglasses, but his body language said quite clearly that he was not happy to be here.

“If you put on that hat, you’ll be sorted into the correct house,” Dumbledore said, carefully not revealing the boy’s name yet.  He wanted to enjoy the moment later.

The tall boy swept up the hat and stuck it on his head carefully.

There was a sense of suspense in the air as they waited for the hat to shout the house name for the new boy.

“What? I can’t read you,” the hat said loudly.

“You’re surprised?” The boy asked.  “I don’t let anyone in.”

“How am I supposed to sort you if I can’t read you?” The hat demanded.  It sounded very upset.

The dark haired boy sighed; he wasn’t going to drop his defenses now, not after everything he had been through.  The lessons in Occlumency had really paid off. 

The hat seemed to frown.

“Why don’t you tell me about the houses?” Harry said to the Sorting Hat.

The hat seemed to smile now, as it launched into a speech extolling the virtues of each house, as well as a little history.

“Ok,” The boy said, when the Hat had finally finished its enthusiastic report.  “There was a slimy blond on the train, Malfoy.  What house is he in?”

“Slytherin,” The hat said promptly.  It never forgot where it sorted anybody.

“Now we’re getting somewhere.  I’m not going to be in the same house as that scum.”  The boy seemed to think for a second.  “There were a couple of redheads and a dark haired girl on the train.  What house are they in?”

“Red heads? Must be Weasley’s, which would mean the girl is Granger.  Gryffindor, all three.”

The boy seemed to glare at the new professor, as he grunted.  “That one will do.”

“Gryffindor!” The hat shouted, pleased to be out of that situation.  It was very disconcerting to find someone he couldn’t read.  He knew enough, however, to guess that the boy was a picture boy for Gryffindor, and that it was even rumored he was a direct descendant of the founder.

Normally, a placing was met with cheers; in this case, there was silence.

The boy walked over to the table where he had spotted the distinctive hair of the people from the carriage.

Noticing for the first time that everyone was staring at him, Harry looked up at the Headmaster and asked, “What?”

Dumbledore was still smiling; he was suddenly looking forward to the new year.  He was well aware of Draco’s behaviour, but had been unable to prove anything to the School Board, of which Draco’s father was a senior member.  “Normally the Hat makes the decision, not the student,” he explained.

“Ahh, Sorry about that,” Harry said with a slight smile, he offered no explanation though.

“Well,” the headmaster said.  “Welcome to Hogwarts, and welcome to Gryffindor house, Harry.”

Hermione suddenly felt very stupid, not something she had much experience with.  “Ron,” she tired to keep her voice down, but failed miserably.  She finally knew who the boy was, “That’s Harry Potter.”

Every eyeball that wasn’t already focused on the boy suddenly did.

Harry groaned audibly.  “Thanks;” he said dryly.

“My pleasure, Mr. Potter,” The headmaster grinned.  “Take a seat.”

He tried very hard to ignore the gasp of absolute shock that went around the hall, as he removed his sunglasses.  He turned slowly, his green eyes seeming to glow with an inner power as he met everyone’s eyes.  He paused on Malfoy, who had turned white with shock, and smirked.

Abruptly turning on his heel, Harry walked over to the Gryffindor table, acutely aware that every eye in the hall was on him.  He threw a part disgusted, part amused, look at Sirius, his Godfather as he passed.

Ron and Hermione were sat opposite each other, at the senior end of the table, while Ginny sat with friends in the middle.  Seeing that the only free space was at that table, Harry glided over to it.

He removed his robes, they were not suitable for eating in, to many weapons on the inside, and absently hung it on a hanger.  The movement was so natural for him that he didn’t realise there was no actual physical hanger there; the robes seemed to float in mid air.

Harry sat in the space, and shot a slight smile at the students around him.  Inwardly he sighed at the standard reactions.  Curiosity, hero worship and fear, they were all emotions he was used to invoking in others.

The headmaster continued his standard speech, reminding everyone that the Forbidden forest was exactly that: forbidden.  Harry felt the glares of several professors on his as this was mentioned, so he turned and shot them all an innocent, almost impish, grin.  One that said quite clearly that it may be forbidden, but he would ignore that restriction when he felt like doing so.

“There will also be Quidditch tryouts tomorrow and a Yule Ball at Christmas.  Now, with the announcements out of the way, let the feast begin.”

Food started to appear on people’s tables, and everyone started to eat.

“Excuse me,” Harry leant towards the red headed girl he had seen earlier, “how do we get the food?”  He hoped his smile was charming, not its usual scary grimace.

“Oh,” she blushed immediately.  “You just ask for it and it appears, House Elves do all work in the kitchens.”

He smiled a thank you and retreated back.  “Vegetarian Pizza, with extra tomato’s, a side order of garlic bread, and some potato wedges,” he ordered, giving into his urge for Muggle fast food.  Too many years of eating ration packs had left him determined to eat what ever he wanted.

A sudden pop grabbed his attention, as a small creature with big ears appeared next to him.  ‘House Elf, indentured magical creature, harmless unless protecting master, threat level: low.  Ally level: medium - cultivate.’  Harry’s mind categorised the House elf before he had finished turning.

The elf appeared highly embarrassed, and instantly started banging his head on the table.  “I is sorry, Sir, I is not knowing what those food is being, I is punishing myself.”

“Whoa,” Harry said, his hand shooting out and lifting the Elf from the table.  “Enough of that!” his voice took on a level of absolute command; it was a voice that would brook no argument.  The House Elf froze, instantly.

“Now,” Harry started, changing his voice back to normal, aware that once more he was the focus of everyone’s attention.  “What is your name?”

The house elf looked shocked, as if no one had ever inquired that before.  “My name is being Dobby, Sir,” his voice was filled with wonder at a human being even vaguely interested in him.

“I’m Harry,” the boy introduced himself with a smile.  “I’m new here, so I don’t know what food you normally make.  Sorry for ordering something a little strange.”

“Sir should not be apologising to Dobby,” he sounded scandalised, “Dobby should be apologising to Sir for not being able to cook what he wants.”

“Call me Harry, please,” Harry insisted.  “Now, what would you recommend as being good to eat?”

Dobby looked almost scared as he was asked his opinion, and tried desperately to stutter an answer.

Taking pity on him, Harry interrupted, “Why don’t you go back to the kitchens and make me whatever you think is good.”  He smiled at the small creature encouragingly.

Dobby nodded enthusiastically, “Sir Harry will get best meal Dobby can produce, Sir.”  The house elf vanished with a happy pop, and a few seconds later food started to appear in front of Harry.  It was instantly obvious that the elf had both outdone himself and gotten a little over enthusiastic. He just laughed and started digging into the huge meal.  He decided half way through that Dobby was an outstanding chef, and that the Chicken in mustard sauce he was currently eating was possibly the best thing he had ever tasted.

The conversations resumed around the tables, although the two people at the head of the Gryffindor table had differing expressions.  Hermione was looking at Harry with an identical expression to the one Ron had used earlier.  She had tried to campaign to get House Elves freed from their slavery, but her campaign had been stopped by Malfoy before it had even gotten a name.  Ron looked insanely curious; he’d never actually seen a house elf before.

Ginny, and her friends, looked on in awe as Harry demolished the giant meal with ease.  She’d thought that her elder brothers could eat, but Harry took it to a new level.  She surreptitiously watched the famous Harry Potter, with a tinge of envy.  It had never occurred to her to actually ask what the House Elves did best; she just ordered her favorite food each time.  It suddenly seemed to her, that she had limited her choices and missed out.  In the future, she decided to try what he did.

Harry finally finished eating, vaguely surprised that no one had asked him any questions.  Till he realised he was sat with people a year or so younger than himself, and that he was still giving off an imposing aura.  He guessed that he was not really approachable, and was quite happy about it.

“Dobby?” he called, wondering if the elf would appear.  A second later, he did, looking very nervous.

“You called, Harry Sir?” he asked nervously.

“That was the finest meal I’ve ever eaten,” Harry said with a smile.  “I wanted to say thank you.”

Dobby’s large eyes grew even bigger, it was the first time the elf had been thanked for anything, never mind by someone who the elf still felt was owed an apology by him.

Harry reached back to his hanging robes and felt in the pocket.  A simple wandless spell created what he wanted, he was aware that no one else could do wandless magic and did not want to advertise his ability.  He pulled out a t-shirt and gave it to Dobby.  “Here, a thank you for the food.”  The green eyed wizard was pretty disturbed by the house elves clothing.  He was wearing what looked like a pillow case and a tea cosy on his hat.  The t-shirt would be a lot warmer and feel better.

Dobby had tears in his eyes, and was stood still in shock, before finally squealing with joy and vanishing to the kitchen to show off his new clothing, in his emotional state, he forgot to thank Harry.  Not that Harry minded, he realised that a friend in the kitchen would be a good advantage over the coming months.

With the feast over, Harry tagged along behind Hermione with the first years as she guided them to the Gryffindor common room.  Not sure of the school yet, he felt it better to act like the other new students.

They entered the hidden common room, through the portrait of the Fat Lady after giving her a password.  The room was warm and friendly, with several fire places along one side, comfy chairs sat facing it.  Along the other side were tables, which Harry presumed were for doing homework.  There were several small stairs leading up to what he guessed where the actual dormitories.

All around him, small groups were talking together, catching up with old friends.  There was a general hubbub of noise that made Harry very nervous, as did all the people around him.  He was used to hanging around with adults, focused committed adults in a war setting.  He was used to commanding people and having everyone instantly obey him.  He was very nervous about actually dealing with people his own age, and once more swore at his godfather for putting him in this situation.

“Harry, over here,” Ron shouted across the common room.  He’d caught a glimpse of the emotions flickering over Harry’s face and decided to try and make friends with him.  Besides, anyone who hated Malfoy AND could do something about it was worth getting to know in his book.

With his standard ease, he made his way through the room to where Ron was sat with Hermione and a couple of other people.

“Seamus and Colin,” Ron introduced them to Harry.  He nodded politely, filing the boy’s names away.  When in charge of troops, knowing a soldiers name could be the difference between heroism and desertion.  A feeling of loyalty was always encouraged when the commanding officer knew everyone under his command.  It had been difficult for Harry to learn, but it was what he had been trained for.

Next to them, Hermione stood up and spent a few minutes explaining the house rules to everyone.  As she was the prefect, she had her own room, as well as the responsibility to ensure that discipline was kept at all times.  She ended her little speech with a stirring quote about the Gryffindor house, and how this year would be the year that they would finally wrest the house cup away from the Slytherins.

She finished and blushed prettily as she was given a small round of applause.  Harry turned his head to her quizzically.  “Page 142?” he asked politely.

Ron, Seamus and Colin looked at him confused, while Hermione went white.

“How did you know that?” she asked softly.

Harry shrugged, “Read it over the summer so I’d have some idea what was going on.”

“Err, read what?”  Ron asked, not sure if he liked the expression on his girlfriends face.

“Hogwarts: A history,” Harry explained.  “Hermione was quoting from it.”

“Someone other than Hermione has read that book?”  Seamus asked, shocked.  “We thought she was the only one.”

Harry laughed under his breath, “it can be a little dry in places, but it was informative.”

“Wait a second,” Hermione interrupted, “if you’ve read the book, why did you ask the sorting hat to explain things?”

Harry shrugged, “I got the feeling that the hat hadn’t had a chat in some time, and as I wasn’t going to allow it into my brain, I felt it was only polite to ask.”

“Oh,” the four of them obviously had hundred more questions, but they realised that Harry was not the sort of person you could just ask.  There was a certain detachment about him, as if everything he did was planned several hours in advance.

“Are you going to try out for the Quidditch team tomorrow?”  Ron eventually asked, getting the conversation onto a comfortable setting.  Ron had been obsessed with the sport since he was three years old, and was on the Gryffindor team as the captain.  He played as the beater.  “We need a new seeker, our last one left last year.”

“Don’t know,” Harry replied, before dropping another bombshell, “I’ve never been on a broom before.”

“What?” three voices shouted at him in unison.

Harry raised an eyebrow at them, “I had more important things to worry about.”  His dry tone cut through them easily, leaving them looking embarrassed and Ron blushing. 

Harry dropped his eyebrow, “I think I’ll head to bed now, which dorm am I in?”

Despite the fact that it was still early, Ron pointed to the correct room, “Your bed will be the one with your trunk next to it.”

Harry nodded once, briefly met the eyes of the others, before departing to his room.

Old habits die hard, and Harry had a lot of them.  He spent fifteen minutes charming his bed, making it as safe from attack as physically possible.  No one would be able to get inside the four posted bed without his permission.  The charms included a one way sound proofing system, he would be able to hear sounds coming in, but no sounds could get out. 

That done, he stripped quickly and climbed into bed, wearing only a pair of tartan boxer shorts.

Lying in bed, he glanced at the timetable that Dumbledore had given him when they had met that afternoon.  The next day would start with double potions, followed by divination.  He noted what time breakfast was, and told his subconscious to wake him up two hours early.

Sleep again came easily; his body knew that it was best to grab sleep when it could, as it did not know when the next time he could sleep might be.

It was dark when he arose, although that didn’t bother him.  He climbed out of bed silently, grabbing a pair of shorts and another Muggle t-shirt.  He added white socks and some trainers, before silently leaving the dorm room.  The fires were almost out in the common room, just smouldering remains of the coal that was used to power them.

He slipped out of the common room painting, and made his way outside the front door of Hogwarts.  He stretched for a few minutes, warming up, then took of, running around the great lake.  As he ran, he cleared his mind of everything that he had done, everything he had been forced to become and was himself for a small time. 

An hour and a half later he finished.

“Where’s Harry,” Hermione asked Ron, as they waited to go down to breakfast. 

“Dunno,” the red-head replied. “He wasn’t in the bed when I got up.”

“Morning, Guys,” Ginny said sleepily, rubbing her eyes as she wandered over to them. 

“Morning,” Ron and Hermione replied as one. “Harry’s missing already.”

“Missing?” she asked.  “He’s only been here a day, how can he…”

Suddenly Ginny couldn’t finish the sentence.  The door had swung open behind Ron and Hermione, allowing Harry to enter.  A silence swept over the room as everyone turned to watch him. 

Harry was oblivious, still breathing hard, as he walked towards his room.  Swept was dripping from his long hair, his t-shirt was soaked and clung to his skin like a second skin, emphasising his cut muscles.  The shorts he was wearing showed of his legs perfectly. 

Ron looked at his sister, and then frowned, not appreciating the look she was giving the new guy.  “Stop drooling,” he hissed.  Sadly, he was completely ignored as Ginny, and pretty much every other female in the room was doing the exact same thing.

In Harry’s defence, he was used to living in army camps, where privacy was something that simply didn’t happen.  He’d not been self conscious since he hit puberty, so it was perfectly natural for him to pull his t-shirt off as he walked through the room.  A simultaneous sigh went around the female population of the room as the muscles in Harry’s back rippled.

He vanished, and the room erupted into female giggles.  The boys rolled their eyes and tried to ignore the girls.  Friends turned to each other with the same question on their lips, “Did you see those muscles?”

Hermione was the only girl who hadn’t visibly responded to the display.  Mainly because years of practice allowed her to hide her emotions well, she knew that Ron would be jealous if she paid Harry any attention at all.  Inside though, she was wondering exactly how those legs would feel up close, and what it would be like for her own legs to be wrapped around that stomach.

A few minutes later, Harry returned, his hair still wet, although this time from the quick shower he had grabbed.  He seemed to glow with an almost obscene amount of energy thanks to his morning wake up run.

“Breakfast?” he asked the room, sliding his sun glasses back on.

“Yes, come on everyone; let’s not be late the first day.”  Head Girl Hermione returned with a vengeance, organising the house efficiently.

Breakfast passed with little incident, Harry was now sitting with Ron and Hermione at the top of the table, much to Ginny’s disappointment. 

“Why is Malfoy looking smug?” he asked quietly, having noticed the blond haired boy staring at him. 

“Double potions,” Ron groaned. “The professor hates Gryffindors and Draco gets away with murder.  I hate that class.”

Harry’s only response was a bright smile.

Draco was first into potions; he really wanted to see this teacher cut Potter down to size.  The class was his favourite; it was the Slytherin house best form of competition for the House Cup.  Each year the Professor took more points of Gryffindor for petty infractions than any other teacher on the staff.

He watched as the ‘Weasel’ and his book worm girlfriend arrived, they sat together as always.  The other members of Slytherin and Gryffindor house appeared shortly afterwards.  The Slytherin’s approached the class with a lot more enthusiasm.

The Professor had not appeared yet, but Draco wasn’t worried, he had seen him the night before, so knew he was still taking the class.  It had been different at the end of the last year, the Professor had vanished, and the Gryffindor’s had come very close to winning the house cup.  Only the Quidditch victory had separated the two houses in the end. 

The Gryffindor’s were looking hopeful that the professor had not returned, they had done so well while he had been away.  Unfortunately for them, the professor chose that moment to return to his dungeon.  His long black hair swept back from his face, his face in what looked like a permanent sneer.

Harry arrived a second later, without looking up, the professor snapped, “Late on the first day, not a good start for Gryffindor.”

He was interrupted mid tirade.  “Severus?”  Harry asked, surprised.

Professor Snape’s head shot up fast to look at the student.  “Harry?” he said, as a new expression formed on his face.  It took most of the students several seconds to realise he was actually smiling.

Harry walked up and embraced the professor hard, slapping his back.  “It’s good to see you again.”

“Damn, you too Harry.  I didn’t know you were starting school.”

“Neither did I,” Harry admitted dryly. “Sirius dropped it on me last week, I tried to argue, but he insisted.”

Severus laughed, “Well, I’m glad you’re here.  If you have any problems, my office is always open.”

“Thanks, I guess I should call you Professor now.”

Snape nodded, “take a seat Harry, I’ll cut you a little slack for the first few lessons, give you chance to catch up.  It shouldn’t be too difficult - as long as you don’t add to many bat eyes this time.”

Harry laughed, “Hey!  I apologised for that.  I was in a hurry, still, the look on Daphne’s face as it turned her hair green still makes me laugh.”

Snape laughed as well, slapping Harry on the back.  “Go; sit, before I take points from Gryffindor for amusing a professor.”

“Sir, Yes Sir,” Harry shouted with a grin, snapping out a picture book perfect salute.

In a good mood, Harry sat down next to a pretty blonde haired girl.  “Harry Potter,” he introduced himself. 

“Parvati Patil,” she replied with an openly admiring smile.  Harry suddenly felt uncomfortable; common sense told him that barking orders would get him no where with members of the opposite sex.  But that was the only contact he had had girls so he was a little frightened.

Following one of the first rules he had learnt from his godfather, ‘It is better to sit in silence and appear ignorant, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.’  Harry smiled at her and sat down quietly; following the directions that Professor Snape gave them.

To the amazement of the others, the lesson passed peacefully with no points being lost by Gryffindor.  The students actually found themselves starting to like this new, improved Professor Snape; he had a very dry sense of humour that had them laughing more than once. 

At the end, as they walked out, Professor Snape called after Harry, “Remember, my doors always open Harry, don’t be a stranger.”

“I won’t, Sir,” Harry responded with a cheeky grin.  “Do you still have that recipe for Ambrosia?”

“Of course.”

“Then you won’t be able to keep me away.”

They left, the sound of Snape’s laughter echoing in their ears.

“When did you meet Snape?”  Ron asked, as the Gryffindor’s crowded around Harry.  It had been their best ever lesson with the Professor, and they wanted to know how Harry had managed to change him.

Harry looked extremely uncomfortable, not liking the feeling of being surrounded.  All the faces staring at him brought back many memories he’d rather not experience again. 

He backed up against a wall, his face freezing as he fought the panic that was threatening to overwhelm him, his breathing increased, as testosterone and adrenaline flooded his nervous system.  His heart rate multiplied, forcing blood into his muscles, preparing him for fight or flight. 

Harry fought it, he couldn’t let go here, and he couldn’t lose control.  If he did, most of these students would be dead with in a couple of seconds.  He felt himself drawing in magic, sucking it up as his senses magnified.  He looked for an escape, but the students were still all around him, waiting for his answer. 

Different faces started to impose themselves on the students, Death Eater masks appearing.  He was within an inch of calling for his weapons, when a voice interrupted.  “Harry, might I have a word?”

The students parted as their Headmaster made the request.  Stiffly, Harry walked past them, he had only been surrounded for ten seconds, but it had been enough.

“Walk with me,” the elderly professor invited, leaving the other students a little bemused and stuck going to their next class.

“Thank you,” Harry whispered softly.  “I nearly lost control.”

“I know,” Dumbledore replied soberly.  “I’ve asked all the staff to make sure that you don’t get into any situations where you feel threatened like that.”

“I really shouldn’t be here,” Harry admitted.  “I’m way too dangerous.”

“Harry,” The professor stopped and looked at the student before him.  “You’ve spent your entire life training to fight and win.  Now, with Voldemort dead, you are the most powerful wizard in the world.  But the war is over, and we need to help you adjust. 

“If we just leave you to go on as you were, you’d end up bitter and lonely.  We can’t take the risk of that happening to you.  You need to learn how to interact with people on a normal level.  You need to learn to make friends without worrying if you will have to order them to die some time in the future. 

“We had a choice when your parents were killed Harry.  We could have put you into hiding, placed you with some relatives of your mother.  After several months of discussion, we decided not to. 

“Partly because the Dursleys hated anything magical, and partly because we felt that with training, you would be the one to beat Voldemort.  For a time, Sirius was accused of being your parent’s betrayer, but a simple truth potion revealed that Pettigrew was guilty.  So we allowed you to be trained like no other wizard, ever. 

“You had mastered more magic by the age of seven than most full grown wizards ever did.  You were encouraged and trained by the best wizards and witches in their field.  You could take every test we have at Hogwarts and pass them with flying colours this afternoon.

“But I am beginning to feel that we made a mistake, that we should have placed you into hiding.  Harry, you don’t know who you are.  You’ve been trained as a weapon all your life, its time we helped you become a human.”

“You didn’t make the wrong choice,” Harry stated coldly.  “Voldemort is dead, that’s all the counts.”

“But at what cost, Harry?”  Dumbledore looked very old.  “We stole your childhood and your adolescence; we turned you into the most powerful and dangerous individual on the planet.  We taught you to lead an army from the front, but forgot to teach you how to talk to normal people.”

Harry shrugged softly, “I’m learning.  Ron and Hermione seem nice, if a little weird.  Seamus and Colin are OK, and Ginny’s been friendly.”

Dumbledore smiled, “I believe you have divination next?”

Harry nodded, and then smiled at the Professor.  “Thanks.”  A second later, he ran off, determined not to be late.

“No, thank you, Mr Potter.  Thank you for not holding a grudge against a lot of old men who made the wrong decision.”  The professor whispered into his beard, and walked slowly off down the corridor, back to his study.

Harry arrived, in then nick of time again, at his Divination class.  He was interested in this class, predicting the future seemed quite interesting; he’d been the subject of quite a few prophecies himself.

“Welcome,” Professor Trelawney started, “to another year of Divination.  We will start by reading tea leaves.”

Harry smiled; he’d sat next to Ron, as Hermione had not appeared to be in this class.  A quick charm heated his water and he poured the tea into a cup.  He sat back comfortably, stirring the drink, before sipping it.  It wasn’t too bad; he was more used to drinking it from a hot canteen over a camp fire.  They drank together in companionable silence.  Ron was nervous about talking to Harry; his air of other worldliness was extremely intimidating. 

He had known the legend of Harry Potter since he was born.  The boy-who-lived, defeating Voldemort when he was just a baby, before being trained for the Dark Lords return.  Actually sitting next to the person who was responsible for the entire world’s safety was more difficult than Ron had thought it would be.   

Finishing his tea, Harry peered intently into the mug.  A second later he realised that he had absolutely no idea what he was looking for.  He turned to Ron and asked, “What exactly am I looking for here?”

Ron blinked at him, and then grinned suddenly, “I haven’t got a clue, I’ve been making it up for the past six years.”

Harry looked at him, blinked once, then suddenly laughed.  Ron joined him a second later.  He wasn’t positive, but the red haired wizard thought that he had just made a friend.

The two boys walked together to the next class.  Ron was really excited about it, he had been taught Defence Against the Dark Arts by numerous teachers over the year, and the chance to learn under the legendary Sirius Black was one no student would ever turn down.  Harry was more ambivalent, he’d outgrown Sirius’ ability several years ago, so was expecting to be bored.

To their surprise, they were joined by the sixth years as well.  The class looked to be huge.  The headmaster had decided that it might be advantageous to have as many students as possible involved in each class, so he had arranged for every 6th and 7th year student to attend.

Professor Black was waiting for them, standing on a small stage at the front of the huge class room.  He was dressed in the full uniform of a commanding officer of the Order of the Phoenix.  Technically, his uniform denoted him as the second in command. 

The students gathered around him, nervously talking amongst themselves.

“Silence.”  The command was not shouted, but every single student heard it and instantly obeyed.

“Welcome to the first Defence class.”  The new professor still had not moved, “In the past, you have been taught how to defend against attacks.  This class will be different.  You will be taught how to avoid attacks, how to block attacks, and importantly, how to attack properly.”

Looks of anticipation were shared between the students, as they realised they were going to be taught how to fight.

“Part of this will involve duelling with each other.  The most accomplished dueller at the end of the year will win 150 points for that person’s house.”

Black paused for a second, his eyes searching out Harry’s in the crowd.  Harry’s height made this relatively easy.  With an unconscious apologetic look, he continued, “Harry is illegible for this prize.”

“Why?”  Draco shouted, “He scared?”  Sometimes his mouth would engage before his brain.

The professor’s expression did not change a single iota.  “Mr Malfoy?” he asked, checking he had the right student. 

Draco nodded once, imperiously. 

“Please join me on the stage.  Harry, you too.”

Harry tried very hard to restrain his smile as he climbed to the stage.

“Wands out, gentlemen.”

Draco pulled his out as fast as he could, Harry didn’t move.

The professor turned back to the students.  “The rules of each duel are simple.  Any curse is allowed, bar the unforgivable ones.  The duel continues to the other person is incapacitated.  Madam Pomfrey has been warned to expect visitors.”  The last part was said with a small smile.

He turned back to the two contestants.  “Ready?”

They both nodded in agreement.  Harry shrugged of his robes, again dressed in what was becoming his trademark t-shirt and jeans.  He contemplated taking of his sunglasses, but decided he didn’t need the advantage it would give him.

Draco was starting to look nervous, wishing he had kept his mouth shut earlier.  He had pretty much run the students with an iron fist for so many years he had forgotten what it was like to be afraid of someone.  He stared at his opponent; the only expression he could see was one of faint boredom.  Like everyone else, he knew the legends of Harry Potter; he just presumed that they had been exaggerated.  He was about to find out how wrong he was.

“On the sound of the bell, you start.”  The professor moved to one side, picking up a small handheld bell.  A second later, he rang it, the clear tones echoing through the classroom.

Draco started instantly, “Expelliarmus!”  The disarming spell raced at Harry, who didn’t even bother to move.  The magic impacted harmlessly on him; not having a weapon made that particular spell extremely useless.

Draco snarled, and tried again, “Diffindo!”  The watching students gasped, that spell was designed to cut what ever it came in contact with.  The blonde Slytherin watched eagerly as the spell flew towards Harry. 

Only Harry wasn’t there anymore, he’d started to move showing the same almost abnormal speed he’d used in the train carriage.  He gracefully bypassed the spell, and approached Draco before he had time to react.  He reached out and grabbed his opponent’s wrist, twisting it viciously up, spinning his body.  He bent his knees as his back came into contact with Malfoy’s chest.  A second later he pulled hard on the wrist, standing at the same time.  The blonde haired wizard flew through the air, arcing over Harry’s shoulder.  A second later he impacted heavily on the floor, the wind knocked out of him.  It was a simple matter for Harry to remove Draco’s wand from a numbed hand.

The whole move had lasted barely a couple of seconds.  Casually, Harry threw the wand to Sirius and rejoined the students on the floor.

The professor couldn’t hide a smile of pride.  “That is why Harry is not eligible.”

Behind him, Draco had risen to his feet unsteadily.  “That wasn’t fair,” he cried, “Harry didn’t use his wand, and this was supposed to be a magical contest.”

Sirius turned and looked at him in disbelief.  “You had your wand out, Harry disarmed you with ease, and you’re claiming it wasn’t fair?”

Draco frowned, suddenly realised he would get no support from following this path.  His father would be furious at his failure against an unarmed opponent.  Swallowing hard, Draco slinked off the stage, glaring furiously at everyone else.

“As you just saw, being good with a wand is only part of the battle.  The first spell was a good first move in the duel.  Draco used Expelliarmus to try and disarm Harry.  With most wizards, if the spell had hit, it would have ended the duel instantly.  The spell had no effect on Harry, as he was not carrying a weapon at the time.  It is important that you asses your opponent, and don’t cast spells that will not have any effect.  Your greatest weapon in a duel is not your wand, it’s your mind.”  Sirius didn’t really want to give Draco any praise, casting aspersions on his Godson was not a way to get on his good side. 

“We’re going to split into two teams now,” Sirius continued.  “I’ll be training one, Harry the other.”

Harry raised his eyebrows at his Godfather, this was the first he had heard of this.  He didn’t have a problem doing it; he’d been responsible for training before.  He just would have preferred being asked, especially after he had been railroaded into coming to this school in the first place.

“Why not make this interesting?”  Harry said.  Like his professor, he had the ability to make his voice carry across battlefields. 

“What do you mean?”  Sirius suddenly felt a little uncomfortable.

“A side bet,” Harry said calmly.  “We’ll keep the two teams separate till the end, then the best in my group will fight the best in your group.  The winner gets the points for their house you mentioned earlier.”

Sirius nodded, “And the side bet?”

“If my team wins, you finally give me that duel.  Just you and me, no rules, no restrictions.  An all out battle between us.”

“And if you lose?”

Harry thought for a second, “You get my trench robe.”

Sirius grinned, “You’ve got yourself a deal, Harry.  What are the teams going to be?”

“Team one will be Ravenclaw and Slytherin.  Team two will be Gryffindor and Hufflepuff.”

“That seems fair,” the Professor pulled a coin out of his pocket.  He flipped it high in to the air.  “Call!”

“Heads.”

The coin bounced on the hard wooden floor, and rolled to a stop.  Harry and Sirius met over it, looking down.  “Heads it is,” the professor announced, sounding a little disgruntled.

“Hufflepuffs, Gryffindors, with me.”  Harry announced.  He turned to his Godfather again.  “Mind if we use the great hall?”

The two houses followed Harry to the great hall.  With a negligent flick of his wand, the green eyed magician moved all the tables to one side, clearing a large space in the floor.  He then created a series of mats to cover the floor.  The students would be spending a lot of time landing on the floor over the next few months, and he didn’t want anyone hurt badly.

Slowly Harry walked to the front of the group, idly tapping his teeth with his wand.  Ever since Voldemort had destroyed his wand when he was fifteen, Harry had carried a dummy wand, for form’s sake.  His affinity for wandless magic meant he did not need to carry one at all, it just meant less questions.

“I think,” Harry said slowly, “that the first order of business is fitness.  We’ll work on that first, as well as some basic martial arts.  Once we’re all at a similar level, we’ll start the real training.

Groans followed his announcements, especially from some of the girls; the idea of sweating was not one they appreciated.

Another lazy flick of his wand and everyone’s clothing changed.  The robes vanished and the clothes underneath changed.  Everyone was wearing identical shorts and t-shirts, new trainers adorned their feet.

“Ok,” Harry started, before frowning. “Ginny?”

The youngest Weasley was blushing furiously, and had her hand up.

“Can I..I have a w-word first Harry?” she stuttered.

He nodded and moved off to one side, looking curiously at her.  The other students watched with interest, the boys wondering what she wanted, the girls praying that she was going to ask for what they needed.

“What’s the matter, Ginny?”

Ginny looked around, the boys were still listening curiously.  “Could you..?” she gestured wildly behind her.

Understanding the movement, Harry created a steel barrier, blocking out all sound.

“T-thanks.”

He looked at her again, waiting for her interruption.  It never occurred to him that it might not be important, he was used to people approaching him with huge problems.

“What do you know….aboutgirls?” the last part came out in a rush.

Harry looked confused, before conjuring up a couple of chairs.  He suddenly had an overwhelming urge to sit down.

For the first time in a very long time, Harry blushed.  “Not much,” he admitted.  “Why?”

“W-when you c-changed our clothes,” this was the hardest thing Ginny had ever done.  She’d known that Hermione wouldn’t tell him, she’d have been too embarrassed, especially with Ron.  The other girls didn’t know Harry at all, despite him being the topic of hundreds of midnight conversations.  So, that left her.  “You, kinda, missed a key component.”

“Huh?”  Harry could not remember being this embarrassed, ever.  The nearest had been the time he had accidentally walked in on his uncle entertaining one of the female troops.  That had been followed by a quick and effective biology lesson.

The green eyed magician removed his sunglasses, and ran his eyes over Ginny slowly. 

She suddenly had a feeling of warmth start at her toes as Harry looked her over.  Normally, when a guy stared like Harry was, it gave her an uncomfortably creepy feeling.  In this case, it was so obvious he was trying to work out what he had missed, that there was nothing personal in his gaze at all.  Which, Ginny realised, she was disappointed about, she wanted him to look at her personally.  Her skin continued to tingle as his eyes moved over her.

‘Trainers, ok, sock, ok,’ Harry started to catalogue and compare what he had created for her, compared to what he was wearing.  It was when he got to her chest that he stopped.  He suddenly tore his eyes a way from her chest, a thousand thoughts suddenly erupted in his mind, curiosity the main one.  

Ginny watched him, and recognised the flash of desire that appeared there for the briefest of seconds, and tried not to gasp. ‘That wasn’t for you, Ginny,’ she told herself firmly, ‘any female would have done.’

She had no idea that it was quite definitely her, there was something about the long haired witch that Harry was finding fascinating, he just had no idea what to do about it.

With his face still red, he desperately tried to think of a way around this.  Eventually he gave in, and created around fifteen different bras.  He had no idea which one would be best for running, so made a replica of everyone he had seen around the camp…mainly on washing lines.

Ginny pointed to a black sports bra, which could be worn on its own or under a t-shirt.  With another wave of his wand, the bra’s disappeared, as did the barrier behind them.

A second later, all the boys froze, locked solid in place.

Approaching the girls again, this time reluctantly, Harry desperately tried to think of the best way to handle this.  Training kicked in, and the direct approach was taken.  Anything less would cause more problems in the long run.

“As Ginny just pointed out, I missed an important element of clothing.  I’d like to apologise for this, the spell I used was identical for both sexes.  As embarrassing as it sounds, I simply did not take into account certain biological differences.”  Harry waved his wand at them, concentrating hard to make sure that the spell didn’t go wrong again.

Still highly embarrassed, he asked, “Is that ok for everyone?  I can adjust the spell if necessary.”

“What have you done to the boys?” one of the girls asked first, not really wanting any of this to get out.

“Frozen them,” he replied.  “When I release the spell, they’ll return to normal, not having seen or heard any of this conversation.”

A number of the girls smiled, Hermione included.  She was kinda embarrassed that she had not been able to speak out about the lack of proper attire.

They sensed that this was a time when they could get Harry to open up a little, he looked uncomfortable.

Before they could start, Harry continued, “Obviously, I’ve not had much experience with ladies, especially good looking ones like you are.”  To him, this was not a compliment; it was a statement of fact.  “So I hope you’ll forgive me this time, and let me know if I do anything as silly in the future.”

The unintended compliment and the straight forwardness of his apology endeared him to the watching girls.  His unconscious good looks, lack of artifice and ability to accept responsibility were attributes that they admired in a man.  The fact that he was pretty much virgin territory, who could be shown what to do, was also extremely attractive. 

Unaware of this, Harry turned and gave a shy smile to Ginny.  “Thank you, I’ll get Sirius to give you some house points for bravery when I next see him.”

Ginny flushed once more, wishing she had some sort of control over it.  It was so embarrassing to go bright red when ever he talked to her.  She was sixteen now, not much short of her seventeenth birthday, not some twelve year old kid.  ‘He must think I’m hideous, red hair, red face, stuttering when he talks to me,’ she mentally berated herself.

Harry caught himself wanting to touch that hair and see if it was really as soft as it looked.  ‘What the hell, Harry?’ he asked himself, ‘you don’t just go around touching peoples hair.”

With a shake, Harry got himself back on track, releasing the boys.  As if nothing had happened, he told them all to run around the hall.  He joined them, leading from the front.  Wanting to show that he was part of what they were doing.  It was another thing he had learnt growing up.  Troops always reacted better when their commander could do everything they could.

A few laps later, and nearly all of the students were gasping for breath as they struggled to keep up.  Harry was a little disappointed, he’d hoped for a little more out of them.

“Ok, everyone line up in rows in front of me.  We’re going to spend the rest of the lesson learning something very important,” he flashed a grin at everyone.  “How to fall properly.”

Harry took a deep breath, and launched into a shortened version of the speech his first sensei had given him.  “The earliest and most primal fear we have is falling, even though most people have many opportunities to fall and realise that they can survive.  Activities like floo travelling, Broom flying and floating spells provide plenty of opportunities to fall, but don’t actually deal with the fear of falling.

“Fear is simple, its False Evidence Appearing Real.  In general, fear is an unrealistic expectation of a negative and painful outcome.  It is normally self perpetuation and difficult to change, but we all know that the way to overcome fear is to face it head off. 

“We are going to start simple, and slowly build up your confidence.”  Harry moved so he was standing on the mats himself.  “All I want you to do is crouch down, and fall on to your back.” 

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