With thanks to Kokopelli for betaing this for me.
“My house?” Harry asked. “I don’t really consider myself a part of Gryffindor anymore.”
“Not My house,” Dumbledore said. “ Your house.”
Harry opened his mouth.
“Don’t,” Minerva interrupted. “The word Your has been used as the title, the same as Gryffindor or Slytherin.”
“Why didn’t you just say so?” Harry asked Dumbledore innocently.
Dumbledore sighed audibly.
“It’s a great name,” Harry continued. “Twenty points to Your house! Detention, and ten points from Your house. It makes it even easier for the professors. But what does this have to do with me?”
“Everything,” Dumbledore said. “How’s your new Common Room?”
“Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Hogwarts did an amazing job!”
“Harry,” Gabrielle said, tugging at his side.
He looked down at her.
“I think that Professor Dumbledore is saying that we are Your house.”
“Exactly,” Dumbledore agreed. “And every point that any of you has earned this year has been taken from the house you were in, and given to Your house. You’re currently third, fifteen points behind Gryffindor.”
Harry turned his head and looked at his friends. “We’re massively outnumbered, so I want full participation in classes. I want to win at the end of the year.”
Shark-like smiles appeared on his friends faces. “We will,” they chorused.
“Professor Sinistra is our Head of House,” Harry added, turning back to the Headmaster. “I’ll leave it up to you to negotiate her pay rise. But you don’t need to worry about her quarters; Hogwarts has taken care of that.”
Aurora looked like she was fighting an urge to gape at him.
Harry looked down at his robes and the Gryffindor colours and frowned. “We’re going to need new colours,” he pointed out.
There was a rush of magic through them, and when it had finished, they were all wearing the same uniforms. The robes were light grey, with a black and silver trim. The tie was striped in the same three colours.
“So I’m a Hogwarts student now,” Christophe said in amusement. “Cool.”
“Well, it does mean that I can help the other students better,” Melissa mused. “I can deal with Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin equally, so it works for me.”
There was another rush of magic, and every other Beauxbatons and Durmstrang student started to wear the new house colours over their uniforms.
“Associate members,” Hermione pointed out with a small smile.
Harry reached down and touched the floor.
Gabrielle knelt next to him. “She’s not worked this hard in years.”
“I think we ought to say thank you,” Harry decided as he stood up. “Fleur, Vik, Ced, you remember the power sharing spell?”
“Of course,” Fleur said.
“Teach it to the others quickly,” he ordered, as he moved toward the centre of the room. “Excuse me,” he said to the Slytherin and Hufflepuff tables, as he moved them away.
With his wand, he drew a circle on the floor, and stood in it. He took a few deep breaths. “Ready?” he called.
“We are,” Cedric replied firmly.
“Gabrielle, tell them when,” he said to the only one who couldn’t participate.
Gabrielle’s expression when from forlorn to happy in less than a microsecond. “I will,” she promised faithfully.
Harry crouched, and then stood abruptly, flaring his magic at the same time. He flew into the air, until he was hovering around fifteen feet above the floor. He released all his magic in one go, pulling it all to the surface.
“Now,” Gabrielle ordered.
He threw his head back and screamed as he was hit by fifteen streams of magic, including, to his surprise, Aurora’s.
He took all the magic inside him for a second, merging it with his own, before he released it all.
Bright blue flames surrounded him before he focused down, and poured the magic straight into Hogwarts. The flame reached down and touched the floor, going through it like it didn’t exist.
“Stop,” Gabrielle ordered, and the streams pulled away from him. With just his own magic left, he continued for a few seconds, before he took control of his now heavily depleted magic and floated down.
There was a silent pause, before he was hit by Hogwarts’ reaction. She was so happy, so awake and bubbly. She was telling him how much she loved him, and it awed him.
The feeling slowly faded away, but the lights were a lot brighter, and he got the impression that Hogwarts was happy.
“I felt that,” Viktor said in complete awe. “I felt Hogwarts.”
“I think everyone did,” Aurora said quietly. “That was amazing.”
“Twenty points to Your house,” Flitwick said softly, before he grinned. “And yes, I did want to be the first. Simply amazing, Harry. Simply amazing.”
“Excuse me?” a third year Slytherin said, raising his hand.
“Yes, Mr Hazen?” Albus asked.
“How do I become a member of Your house?”
Albus looked at Harry.
Harry shrugged. “Hogwarts has to choose you. It’s her house, not mine.”
“And how do I get Hogwarts to choose me?” the boy asked.
“I have no idea at all, I don’t even know why she chose me,” Harry replied.
“Hogwarts likes smart people who try and listen to her,” Gabrielle said. “Most people never even try, and even those who do, most don’t pay attention to her properly. If you find out how to do that, and she likes you, then she’ll let you join.”
“Shouldn’t the Sorting Hat be involved?” A sixth year Ravenclaw asked.
Dumbledore frowned before he nodded slowly. “I believe it is only fair to get his opinion. Minerva, if you wouldn’t mind?”
Hogwarts seemed distinctly grumpy at the idea. While they were waiting, Harry sat down with his friends.
Minerva returned a few minutes later and placed the Hat on the stool she carried in with her.
“Well?” the Hat asked abrasively. “Why have you seen fit to disturb my composing?”
“We have a new House,” Albus explained. “And some of the other students want to join it.”
“Oh for the love of Hogwarts,” the Hat sighed. “Are you incapable of thinking for more than thirty seconds?
“One, Hogwarts, created the new House for Potter. Why, I don’t know, he doesn’t seem that loveable to me.” The Hat twitched. “Stop that,” he said to no one they could see, “I’m sure he’s a cutie pie when he’s not scandalising the Wizarding world!
“Two, Every single member of Your house is leaving Hogwarts at the end of the year. Some are finishing school, the rest have decided to move to France, so there won’t be a Your house next year – so I’m really not going to sort anyone into something that won’t even exist.
“Three, and finally, this is Hogwarts personal house. The other founders had one, so she decided she wanted one, if only for a while. She chose the students personally, as I believe young Ms Delacour told you! She knows everything I do about the students in here, and if she had thought you were suitable, she would have chosen you as well.
“Frankly, she thinks most of the Wizarding world has lost the power of critical thinking, not to mention having a deplorable lack of common sense.
“Now, if I’ve answered your questions, can I get back to my composing?”
“Of course,” Albus said softly. “Thank you.”
The Hat gave a visible shrug. “Ahh, actually, you may as well leave me here, Potter can show me his Common Room later, Hogwarts is proud of it. First time she’s made new buildings in centuries.”
Harry nodded his agreement. “Now, if we’re all done, can we eat?”
Harry stretched out, his feet out in front of him, as he relaxed. The previous evening had been fun. He’d let the associate members in to their Common Room, and they’d ended up having a conversation that was slightly too educational for his tastes, but had been fun all the same.
The Hat had taken part, once they’d introduced him to the wine, and had turned out to have an amusing and loquacious character.
He’d finished his extra lessons for the day, and put Gabrielle to bed. Everyone else was asleep, and he was waiting for Fleur to arrive back from her first day on the job.
He stared at the fireplace, just relaxing. He had no idea how long he waited – as Fleur still had his watch. Hogwarts told him the second she was back on school property. A few minutes later, the doors opened silently, and she walked in. He looked up at her. She smiled at him and walked over, sitting near him and resting her feet on his lap.
“Rub me?” she pleaded.
Foot rubbing was another of the skills Kate had insisted he learned. It was hardly a hardship. He pulled off Fleur’s shoes and started to rub her feet, being careful not to tickle.
Fleur groaned in relief.
“How was it?”
“Exhausting, and absolutely brilliant. I am going to be such a tyrant in the kitchen,” she said with a giggle. “Everything I did he picked fault with, but he told me why, and I know what to do next time!”
He looked up at her.
He smiled and continued to rub her feet silently. When he finished, he reached into his pocket. “I’ll take my watch back now.”
“Of course,” Fleur said as she sat up. She reached to her wrist and removed his watch. Harry flipped open the case he’d pulled out, and took out the slim watch. He draped it over her wrist and smiled. Lucas had been absolutely right about which watch would suit the witch right.
“Harry,” Fleur whispered. “This is too much.”
“Nothing is too much for my friends,” he whispered back.
Fleur leaned up and kissed him softly. He accepted the kiss, but didn’t try and deepen it. She pulled back, her eyes studying him. She did the strap up, and admired it. “It’s charmed?”
“To the eyeballs,” he agreed. “If you’re ever in danger or trouble, I’ll know, and I’ll be there.”
He reached up and lightly stroked her face. “Go to bed, Fleur. You’ve got lessons tomorrow.”
Fleur stood, and looked down at him. “Can you try and talk to Gabrielle for me?”
“She desperately wants us to date, and won’t tell me why. She asked me about it again this morning.”
“I will,” he promised.
“Sleep well, Harry.”
“You too, Fleur.”
He watched as she slowly walked away, before he looked back into the fireplace. He was feeling slightly melancholy. He realised that he needed to sort out his relationship with Kate. This limbo wasn’t good enough for him. He needed to know if he was single – and could pursue who ever took his fancy, or was in a relationship, and know not to even bother looking.
He looked up as Gabrielle padded toward him. She was wearing a simple white nightgown.
She shook her head. “I napped earlier, I was waiting for Fleur.”
Harry reached over and picked her up, depositing her on his outstretched legs. “Why do you want me to date Fleur?” he asked directly.
Gabrielle blushed and looked away.
“Gabrielle?” he asked softly, reaching out to take her hands.
A look of shame appeared on her face. “So that you won’t leave me,” she whimpered.
“Fleur’s Veela, she understands and wouldn’t be jealous of all the hugs and love I get from you. Most human women wouldn’t understand, because I’m not your daughter, and I would lose the best thing in my whole life!
“You are everything to me, Harry, you have so much love and you give it to me without asking for anything back. It scares me that one day you’ll realise I’m just a silly little girl, and you’ll leave me, and I’ll never be like this again.” Large crystal tears started to fall down her cheeks.
“The only person I could be serious about at the moment is Kate, and if anyone would understand, it would be her. Anyone I am serious about would have to understand that you are the most important thing in my life, and that she would have to share me with you.”
“Really?” she asked, her eyes now red as she moved her hands from his and rubbed them.
“I promise,” he said, reaching up and cupping her face. He used his thumb to stroke the tears away. “On Sunday, why don’t we go out? Just you, me, and Kate, and we can see how we work together?”
Gabrielle smiled hesitantly and nodded.
“As for Fleur,” Harry continued, letting his hand drop, and leaning back to stare at the ceiling. “At the moment, we’re friends. She doesn’t think that she’s old enough to handle me, but that’s not really true. She said that to let me off the hook. She’s more mature than I am.
“All I know is that I want to try and have a proper relationship with Kate, but I know it won’t be easy. Nothing good ever is. And I know that in doing it, I am probably losing the best chance I’ll ever have with your sister. Life is complicated, Gabrielle.”
Harry lifted her up, off his legs. He swung his feet onto the couch and relaxed down on to his back. Gabrielle draped herself over him and gave him a hug.
He wrapped one arm around her. “Go to sleep, Gabrielle,” he whispered.
She nodded and a few minutes later he felt her breathing change.
He stayed awake, staring at the ceiling for a long time, before he finally fell asleep.
He woke up again as Fleur’s door opened, and she walked out. She’d pulled on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
“Morning,” she said, as she sat next to Gabrielle.
“Morning,” he whispered back. “You are beautiful.”
“You’re not bad yourself,” Fleur replied, as she stroked Gabrielle’s hair.
“I’m going to take her out on Sunday, with Kate, so she can see that Kate isn’t going to steal me from her.”
“She’s a little leech,” Fleur said softly. “But I wouldn’t have her any other way.”
“Me neither,” Harry agreed. “You know, I got an owl from Amelia Bones the other day. The Aurors involved in the Second Task have been suspended, but not one of the cowards admitted to having thrown a curse at Gabrielle.”
“Can you blame them?” Fleur asked dryly.
“I hate it,” Harry explained. “They are brave enough to throw a curse at a small girl, but when faced with someone who can fight back, they hide like the cowards they are.”
“You’re a scary person Harry, the darkness inside you; people can sense it when you get angry. They know that you will do what you feel is right, and that no one can stop you.”
He smiled faintly. “A few people could, probably.”
Fleur looked down at Gabrielle. “Come on, leech,” she called a little louder.
“M’not a leech,” Gabrielle mumbled. “G’way.”
“You need to have a bath before breakfast. Get moving.”
“Fleur!” Gabrielle protested. She perked up suddenly. “Harry can help!”
Fleur reached down and lifted Gabrielle up, plonking her down on Harry’s lap. “Right,” she said firmly. “Listen up. Papa may be looking at this from the Veela perspective, and be thinking about everything you get out of your relationship with Harry, but I am not. You are not allowed to climb into bed with Harry at night – waking him up is fine. You are not allowed to invite Harry to help you bathe, ever. Nor are you allowed to do anything that a normal human eight year old girl would not do.”
“But I’m part-Veela,” Gabrielle pointed out, “that’s not fair.”
“I don’t care about fair,” Fleur said firmly. “With Mama and Papa away, I’m in charge. And while you are indeed part-Veela, Harry isn’t, and you are making him uncomfortable.”
“But…” she stuttered as tears appeared in Gabrielle’s eyes.
“Go and get washed,” Fleur ordered.
Gabrielle jumped off and ran in to the bedroom, sobbing.
“Don’t,” Fleur said, as Harry started to move.
“Yes, I know you love her to bits, but she has to learn that there are boundaries. You can’t give them to her, so I have to.”
Harry sighed. “That doesn’t sound good.”
“You need Gabrielle as much as you need anyone,” Fleur said, as she dropped onto his lap. “And it is wonderful to watch you with her, and you do try and set limits with her behaviour, such as drinking alcohol, but you would do anything to give her the love she craves, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
“As I’ve now set these boundaries, you can love her properly, without being uncomfortable.”
Harry reached up and tugged her down. “Thanks.”
Fleur smiled and cuddled against him.
“You are the strangest man I’ve ever met,” she told him. “This coldness you have gives you an amazing ability to compartmentalise. I can feel that you fancy me, and yet I can feel that you’ve locked that attraction completely away, and I live in your close friend category.”
“I can always let you out,” Harry said dryly.
Fleur poked him. After a few minutes, she pressed herself up. “Right, I’ll go and check that her Majesty is okay, you could do with a shower yourself.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Harry said with a grin.
Fleur wandered over toward her bedroom.
“You know,” Harry called, “you have a better arse than Kate.”
Fleur shot him a smile, before she vanished.
Harry sighed and checked his watch: six am. Time for a shower, and then a talk with Fred and George.
He paused as an idea struck him. It went from a small idea to an obsession in less than ten seconds. He didn’t move for at least ten minutes as he let the idea percolate.
Even as he got up off the couch, he knew that the idea would probably change the lives of all his friends.
He knocked on the bedroom door to Hermione and Lisa’s room, and then walked in.
“Hey, Boss,” Lisa said as she stretched on her bed.
“Morning,” Harry said with a smile.
“Aww crap,” Lisa moaned, “It’s too early to deal with your evil smile.”
“Nonsense,” Harry replied. “And cute pyjamas.”
“Thank you,” Lisa said dryly.
“What do you want?” Hermione asked sleepily. She sat up slowly. She was wearing a t-shirt, and her hair was messy.
“Note the evil smile,” Lisa said again.
“It’s barely gone six,” Hermione protested.
“Look, all I want is a way of legally owning a company despite my official age being fourteen. I can do it via the Goblins in the Muggle world, but the damn laws in the Wizarding world are stupidly anachronistic.”
Hermione looked at him, unblinkingly.
“Hermione?” he asked, waving his hand in front of her face.
“I think you broke her, boss.”
Hermione blinked. “Don’t do that to me,” she scolded. “Let’s hear your rationale.”
“I reckon I can build a company with a first year turnover in excess of five million galleons, and I don’t want anyone to run it for me.”
Hermione’s jaw dropped open, revealing that if she’d ever had any fillings they had been done perfectly, using white amalgam so that they didn’t show up.
He turned to look at Lisa, to discover that she clearly hadn’t had Muggle dentists as parents, as she had couple of silver coloured fillings.
“Hermione, Lisa?” he tried.
He sighed, and turned, deciding he’d talk to them later.
“Don’t you move!” Hermione screeched at him.
“What?” he asked.
“Sit,” she ordered, pointing at the foot of her bed.
He sat obediently.
“Five million galleons?”
“That’s based on the first year,” he said, “and is so small because of the relatively small population of magical people. I’ll be able to take it global in the second year, and make more.”
Hermione climbed out of bed and started pacing. Harry watched her, amused.
“I’m not going to give anyone else the secret, so I’ll have to run it personally.”
“There are times when I want to smack you,” Hermione growled.
“Take up kick-boxing,” Lisa suggested.
Hermione glared at her, as Lisa playfully fended it off.
“Exactly how are you going to make this money?”
“Well, you’re going to do a small amount of research for me, with Fred and George, and I’m going to bet a fortune on you guys doing what I need. And after Saturday, I’ll have people queuing up for the official launch; I’ll have some of the biggest… Get dressed, meeting in the Common Room in two minutes.”
He trailed off as another idea hit him. He ran to the door, into the Common Room, and then straight into Cho and Adrienne’s room. Cho was half dressed, wearing a skirt and her bra. Adrienne was topless, bent over as she was pulling on a skirt.
“Cho, I need you, finish get dressed. Adrienne, you too. You have two minutes.”
He turned and stormed into Fred and George’s room. “Wake up,” he yelled. “Meeting, in a hundred seconds. Move it.”
He then moved down the rest of the rooms, poking his head in and waking people up. He even woke Aurora, who was the only person to react with a curse.
Ninety seconds later, everyone was on the couches in front of him. Fleur was drying Gabrielle’s hair.
“First,” Harry said, “those who aren’t already working for me, consider yourself hired.” He looked at Aurora, “that includes you, even if it’s only on a consultancy basis. We’ll discuss salaries and titles later, but you are now my people, understood?”
Everyone nodded obediently, exchanging bemused looks.
“I have had an idea,” Harry explained, as he started to pace. “I’m talking about money on a scale unheard off in the Wizarding world. I’m talking the invention of the telephone, the jet engine, or maybe even the Guttenberg press.
“And with the improvements we can make, in five years, we can take it to the next level, and do it all again.”
“Harry believes in this,” Fleur said, “Sweet Merlin, he believes in this. I can feel it from here.”
“It’s like a wave of belief and passion,” Gabrielle agreed.
“Even I can feel it,” Melissa said. “I don’t care what it is, I’m sold.”
Harry moved over to Crusher, who was on the end. He reached out and touched his face, so he could look into Crusher’s eyes. As he had before, he searched for any sign that he could not trust his employee. He left Legilimency in the clumsy tool department that it belonged in, and just used his instincts. He stared for a second, before he moved on. He did every one of his friends, before he moved to rest against the side of fireplace.
“What the hell was that?” Aurora demanded.
“Harry has just looked into your soul and judged you,” Gabrielle whispered.
“A little warning?” she asked.
Harry shook himself. “Damn, that was intense,” he muttered.
“No shit,” Christophe muttered. “Your idea?”
“Okay, Fred and George came up with a way of showing Pensieve memories on a screen. We sell that.”
“That’s not much,” Hermione pointed out. “It’s just a TV and video, anyone can do it with a Pensieve.
“Well, anyone who is a genius,” she added as she looked at Fred and George.
Harry smiled. “Yes, but with a clarity that no TV can match, but even that isn’t as important as what it means. Imagine owning the T.V. and the video, and making so that the T.V. only plays our brand of Videos. We own the standard, and we sell the devices exclusively in the first year. In the second, we allow other brands, and others to innovate on our idea.
“By that time, everyone will have to use our standard of Pensieve memories, as normal memories won’t work. We then licence that out to other content providers, and collect a premium on every memory sold.
“We branch out into the content providing as well, for the first year, as we can do two things. This will be so new, that just showing memories of exotic places will sell millions of copies. We can licence Muggle movies, pay someone to see it, and then use the memory. And sporting events, one person watches, and everyone can have a perfect replication of what happened. We get a team of people from different angles and we’re ever better! The possibilities are endless.
“All we have to do is encrypt the spells so that they can’t be broken down, and we have a lock on it.
“And then, in four years’ time, in a display of magnificence, we release the full specs and let the world into the secret. We ride the wave of good will this will give us, although our profits will dip slightly.
“And then, in the fifth year, we release version two and start again. Version two is a full three dimensional rendering. And in that time, we’ve worked out all the kinks, so that the magic is stored in a simple box, and we go to the next stage and release it to the Muggle world. We hide the fact that we’re using magic by making the box self-destruct if opened.
“We produce the cameras, the editing suites, everything, and sell it to the others. We hold no patents, and invite competition – but without knowing just how our magic works, they won’t have a chance!
“So, I’ll need Fred and George and Hermione working on hiding how we do the spells. Christophe, Fleur, I want memories from you of how to make wine and how to cook food. Fleur, you’re going to be the first Pensieve TV chef in the Wizarding World. Your restaurant is going to be so popular it will have a yearlong waiting list!
“Crusher, Smasher, Thrasher, Nasher, basic self-defence memories. Aurora, we’ll talk about pre-Hogwarts lessons.
“Alicia, Angelina, Quidditch matches. We can give people the real thrill of playing Quidditch full speed.
“Viktor, we’ll use your daredevil skills and show what a Seeker can really do.
“Cedric, you’ve already got your task. Cho, I need you to tell your father I’m going to talk to him on Saturday.”
Cho raised her hand. “Harry, my dad doesn’t normally meet people like that. He’s very formal.”
“I know,” Harry agreed. “But I’m not going to see him as anything but an equal. So I’m not going to go through his normal channels. He’ll be able to help us break into Asia next year, but only if we work together, I will never work for anyone. So, give him the message, and if he doesn’t like it, it will just take me a year longer.”
Cho gulped and nodded.
“And speaking of which, what are your plans?”
Cho suddenly smiled brightly. “You haven’t told me yet.”
He wrinkled his nose at her.
“Fine,” she said with a smirk. “I’ll work on the one thing you missed. It’s all very well selling the equivalent of your video things, but we all know that actual broadcasting is going to be the key. Beauxbatons has the largest library in Europe, so next year I should be able to get the theory down, and with the help of the clever people here…”
Harry grinned at her. “You won’t mind not working for your father?”
“I am female.”
“As Cedric has noticed.”
“And you didn’t earlier this morning?”
“Well, yes, but I was trying more not to look at Adrienne.”
“Hey,” Adrienne protested. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Aside from the fact that you were topless?”
“What did you expect?”
“Erm, I didn’t really.” Harry contemplated blushing, but decided he wasn’t really in the mood. “I probably ought to get an intercom system working.”
“M’eh,” Hermione said, waving her hand airily. “Just knock next time.”
“Yeah,” Lisa agreed, “then I can take my top off beforehand.”
“I did knock,” Harry pointed out.
Lisa pouted at him.
Harry rolled his eyes as everyone laughed. “So, what has your gender got to do with anything, Cho?”
“This is exactly why everyone here loves you,” Cho announced. “My dear father prefers that my brother runs things, despite the fact that I’m far cleverer than him, because he is male. So I will work with you, and when we’ve made enough money, we’ll either buy him out or set up some direct competition, and I will end up running the family firm, even if I’m doing it for you.”
Harry grinned at her. “It’s good to have a goal,” he agreed.
“What about me?” Melissa asked quietly.
“You don’t think you’re going to be busy enough?” Harry replied. “Who do you think is going to be our lawyer, in charge of our legal department – or you can do what we agreed – it’s your choice? Plans are meant to change when opportunities arrive.”
Melissa slowly smirked.
“Crusher, Smasher, we’re going to have to look at expanding rapidly this summer. To start with, I’ll vet all new employees to ensure that they are trustworthy enough. We’re going to step on a lot of established toes, and they will not like it. We already know that some wizards and witches like to react with violence.
“There may also be some attempts to pass laws against us, and if that’s the case, Melissa will be our main defence, but there may be time when a word in the correct ear can do more.
“Fred, George, Hermione, I need you skipping class for the rest of the week. Cho, if you want to help, you can. I want you to find a way to hide what spells are in the projector, so Melissa can use it on Saturday at Sirius’s trial. I’ll clear it with Dumbledore, and yes, Hermione, Gabrielle and I will take all the notes you need, so you will be able to catch up easily.
Viktor raised his hand.
“Fred and George’s thing vas silent,” he pointed out. “I think I know some runes that vould give us zound as well.”
Everyone looked at the Bulgarian.
“Vat?” he asked, his accent thickening as he looked around warily.
Hermione seemed to fly into his lap, and she gave him a firm kiss. Viktor blushed, but had a pleased smile.
Hermione wiggled a time or two, before her eyes widened slightly, and her own pleased smile appeared, although her smile was slightly embarrassed as well. Harry suspected that was due to the fact that she hadn’t actually got dressed fully, and was now settled on Viktor’s lap in only her long t-shirt and knickers.
“Apart from feeling foolish for forgetting sound, I think this has been very productive. Anyway, I’m going to have a shower. See you at breakfast.”
No one moved from the crouch for a few minutes.
“Dad’s going to have a fit,” Cho said cheerfully. “I’m supposed to do a lot of things, but being part of the inner circle of an internationally huge corporation is not it.”
“Can we do this?” Aurora asked, looking bewildered. “I mean, why am I here? He only danced with me because his girlfriend called me a ‘blonde hottie.’”
Melissa smiled. “You could say that I’m only here because Fred and George stopped me from trying to seduce him. It wouldn’t be true, however. Harry gathers people around him who can help him get where he’s going.”
“Yes,” Fleur agreed. “As much as he loves us all, he’s very aware that we are all talented individuals with differing skill sets. He doesn’t know where his journey will end, but he knows he’s going to get there.
“For all of our intelligence, our dedication, our imagination, without him, we are nothing.”
“What do you mean?” Lisa asked.
Fleur looked thoughtful. “He is the catalyst,” she eventually said. “Hermione, at the start of this year would you have skipped classes to work with Fred and George?”
“No,” Hermione said firmly. “Never.”
“Exactly. Crusher, Smasher, would you have taken orders for expansion like you just did?”
“Hell no, but Harry’s the boss,” Crusher replied.
“Exactly,” Fleur agreed. “Cedric, were you planning on being an accountant?”
“No, I was going to join the Ministry, like Dad. I’ve always liked numbers, though, so it was a logical thing once Harry suggested it.”
“Is anyone here not really excited by this idea?” Fleur asked.
No one raised their hands.
“Exactly,” she said with a smile. “The idea itself isn’t novel, but no one else thought of it. No one else did anything but watch what Fred and George did, and move on. In fact, Fred, George, how do you feel about Harry usurping your invention?”
“His invention,” George replied immediately.
“We work for him,” Fred explained, “so all our inventions belong to him. We wouldn’t have planned this use for it, and we all know that we’ll be incredibly well rewarded.”
“Beyond our wildest dreams,” George continued. “He gave us a shop for Christmas; that was our old dream, now our dreams are blank along the margins, because we can’t dream about where we’ll go with him, we just know that as long as we don’t screw up, it will be the wildest ride in the world.”
“You know what I think?” Lisa asked. “I think that we’ve just seen the birth of a Playboy industrialist. He’ll be the one at the fore, going to all the parties, making the hard decisions, being the target, while we’re all just behind him, getting the praise and the rewards, without the danger. However, if he starts wearing a costume at night, I’m definitely going to want input in to how it looks, maybe do the fitting too.”
Hermione sniggered. “Black?”
“Or Red and Gold,” Lisa smirked back. “I think I’d prefer the Black one, more form fitting.”
“What the hell are you two talking about?” Cedric asked, looking bewildered.
“Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne,” Lisa explained. “Otherwise known as Iron Man and Batman.”
“Batman?” Fleur asked doubtfully.
“Muggle fantasy characters,” Hermione explained. “They were both the only sons of wealthy parents. Bruce Wayne’s were murdered, while Tony Stark’s died in a car crash. They were both geniuses, inventing things that allowed them to make the companies that they inherited even more powerful.”
Lisa bounced. “Wayne became Batman to fight crime, a caped crusader dressed in all black armour and a variety of weapons, all bat related. He’d swoop down and beat up the bad guys.”
Hermione took over. “Tony Stark ran a weapons company, until he saw his weapons used against his own people. He had a moment of enlightenment, and built a suit of iron.” She paused, “well, technically it was composite materials, but that’s not important. The suit allowed him to fly, to be impervious to weapons, and could take out a small army.”
“It’s a good job Harry isn’t that inventive,” Aurora said with a smile.
“No, that’s what he has us for,” Fred said, a gleam in his eye.
“Oh yes,” George agreed. He looked around the room. “My turn for a rhetorical question. Who thinks that Harry is capable of ignoring the fact that bad things happen to good people?”
No one raised their hands.
Hermione sighed softly. “Bruce and Tony could be charming, they could be seductive, and they wore their public personas like a cloak. But deep down inside them was a core of something, something hard and inflexible, forged in the hottest temperatures. It was a will to never give in, no matter what the odds against them.”
“And Harry has that,” Gabrielle said, “parts of him are like stone. It’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, he’s so strong, so unbreakable, that no matter what happens, the core of him will remain undamaged, and even if everything went wrong, he lost everything, he would start again from scratch and build everything back up.”
“She’s right,” Fleur agreed. She lifted Gabrielle up. “We need to get ready for breakfast. Keep ideas in your mind, but give him a chance to make his own decision. He may surprise us.”
“Not likely,” Gabrielle muttered.
“Okay,” Aurora said. “Before you all vanish, do I need to have a word with Harry about popping into your rooms?”
Fleur smiled. “Harry’s already compartmentalised everyone here. Melissa and Hermione are his grown up sisters, he’d react to them naked like any family member. Adrienne, Cho, and Lisa, are strictly in the friends-only category. You could cavort around naked, and it would have the same effect on Harry as Cedric wandering around naked.
“As for me and you, Aurora, we’re in the potential girlfriend category. That means if he saw us in the altogether, he’d appreciate it. He also wouldn’t do anything at the moment, as he’s with Kate. He’s seen me topless twice, and this last night he gave me a foot rub. He’s a flirt, but he won’t do anything I don’t want, because of me, and because of Kate.
“And really, if he has something like today’s ideas, I’m quite happy for him to dash in and get me involved.”
Adrienne shrugged. “It comes down to trust, Aurora. We allow Harry this freedom, because we trust him. Besides, it’s fun to tease him.”
“You do know that you are all insane?” Aurora asked.
“Are you going to back out?”
“Hell no,” the professor replied. “I didn’t really want to be a teacher anyway. I just couldn’t find anything I wanted to do more.” She stood and walked to the door. “So,” she called to Fleur. “You’re two up on me?”
Fleur laughed. “It isn’t a competition.”
“Just remember,” Cedric called, “there are other men here who are quite happy to leer and give you lots of practice.”
“Git,” Cho mumbled affectionately.
“Yeah,” Crusher said. “And no doing it in public, crikey, we’d have to kill people if you two started acting like that in public.”
“Why, thank you,” Fleur said, with a smile.
“No fair,” Aurora said with a pout.
“Try hanging around Kate,” Fleur said. “She’s the first human I’ve met who can keep up with a Veela – well, one who doesn’t use her charm anyway.”
“I’ve got a lot to learn,” Aurora said. “Cedric, can you do me a favour?”
“Try and get into my room.”
Cedric looked at her strangely, but did as he was told. He got to within a foot of the door, before he stopped abruptly. He struggled, but couldn’t get anywhere.
“Thanks,” Aurora said softly. “I thought that would happen.”
Cedric stepped backward. “Huh?” he asked.
“Harry said that no one would be allowed in my room. He didn’t pay any attention to that this morning when he woke me up.”
“Do you want me to have a talk with him?” Melissa asked.
“No, I would have killed him if I’d missed that.” She grinned wickedly. “Besides, I can’t let Fleur get too far ahead of me.” She vanished into her room.
Harry led the way out of their Common Rooms, heading toward breakfast. He was still buzzing over his idea of how to properly exploit the idea he’d had. He looked to his left, and was slightly surprised to see a witch – Tracey Davis, if he wasn’t mistaken – trapped in what looked like a spider web. She was wearing some black lingerie and a pair of uncomfortable looking high heels.
“Crusher, Smasher, get her down, find out what she wanted,” he ordered as he walked past. Her lips moved, but no sounds came out.
As they approached the Great Hall, Harry spotted Professor Dumbledore ahead. He hurried up. “Professor Dumbledore,” Harry said, putting his arm around the older man. “How are you this fine morning?”
Dumbledore turned his head and looked at him. “Simply wonderful, Harry. Simply wonderful.”
“Excellent. It’s one of those days, when you know that you can do anything your soaring imagination can see.”
“Should I raise the wards?”
“None of that,” Harry chastised gently.
“What do you want, Harry?”
“Why is everyone so suspicious of me?”
“I could list the reasons, but I want to eat breakfast sometime this morning before it gets cold.”
“Ouch,” Harry protested. “Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I’m pulling Cho, Hermione, Fred and George out of lessons for the rest of the week.”
“May I enquire as to why?”
“They’re doing something that needs to be done by Saturday. I can safely say that it will rock the world. Speaking of Saturday, after the trial I’m going to see Cho’s father, then pop into my new restaurant, before meeting up with Kate.
“Sunday I’m taking Gabrielle to Alton Towers.”
“Alton Towers?” Albus asked, looking interested. “I always wanted to go there.”
“I’ll tell you what,” Harry promised. “If we have a good time, we’ll do a day trip there at the end of the year, everyone who watched my fight.”
“Deal,” Albus agreed. “And I’ll trust your judgement that what your friends are doing is important.”
“It has to be, as they are not earning me house points when they are out of class.”
“Quite,” Albus said softly. “Do you really think you can win?” He stopped, as they had reached the Professor’s table.
Harry looked the old man directly in the eyes. “I think that with the people I have behind me, there is nothing we cannot do, no frontier we cannot conquer, and no adversity we cannot overcome. Isaac Newton paraphrased an ancient saying, when he said; if I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
“They are my giants, they lift me up and support me, and all I have to do is stand there and see the future.” He bowed respectfully, before swirling, and walking to his friends.
Without exception, they had their heads high, and looked both proud and focused. They looked motivated to pull off the miracles he demanded off them.
He dropped next to Gabrielle, and waited for his food.
Crusher and Smasher turned up and took the places opposite him.
“What did she want?” Harry asked curiously.
“A little bit of Potter,” Smasher smirked.
“She was going to seduce Harry and get a baby?” Gabrielle asked.
“Not the baby part,” Crusher replied. “She wanted in on whatever is going on. Things have moved on again, and the rest of the school now knows that they are being massively left behind, and some of the cleverer ones want in.”
“She wasn’t pleased,” Smasher added. “She’d been hanging there for around six hours. As soon as we approached her, she was released.”
“Hogwarts did it,” Harry said. “She’s pretty amazing.”
“Yeah,” Crusher agreed. “We got a full night’s sleep as well. Tracey had been silenced. Anyway, we had a quiet word, and she will tell everyone that they ain’tgonna get through Hogwarts defences.”
Smasher grinned. “Thing is, she was convinced that she had the stuff, so that when she got in your room, you’d just do her.”
Harry wrinkled his nose distastefully. “And then what? Hand myself in for statutory rape? She’s what, fourteen?”
“Fifteen, but yes, she’s underage.”
“You know, the idea seemed more fun before someone actually put it into practice. This proves my point that I need to get my relationship status sorted out properly.”
Aurora pulled out her quill, and settled down. Albus was due to start the morning meeting in a few minutes.
“So…” Pomona Sprout drawled.
She looked up. “Excuse me?”
“Come on, spill the gossip,” Rolanda Hooch demanded. “What’s it like in Your house?”
“And what’s Potter like alone?” Pomona added.
Aurora looked at the two other professors. “Wonderful, and the same as he is all the rest of the time. And I’m not going to say anything else, I’ve got a great relationship with those kids, and I’m not going to blow it.”
“What’s you room like, then?”
She smiled. “Palatial, the bath itself is bigger than my previous rooms. Everything is the best marble with gold fittings. The elves made Harry custom furniture, and my desk is almost as big as Albus’ is.”
The two other women whistled under their breath.
“If I can have you attention please?”
Aurora looked up and did pay attention, as Albus explained that Horace Slughorn was going to take over Potions from Monday, that Snape still hadn’t been found, and that the search was being called off, and that Hermione, Cho, Fred and George would not be in class, and that they would see why on Saturday.
“Is there any other business?” Albus asked as he came to stop.
Aurora took a deep breath and raised her hand.
“I’m afraid, Albus, that I won’t be coming back to school next year.”
There was a loud uproar from the other Professors. Albus tried to regain control, before letting off a bang with his wand. She met the Headmaster’s eyes equally.
“I’m going to kill him,” Albus muttered. “Stealing my staff, what next?”
Aurora smiled faintly.
“Aurora, you’re going with Harry?” McGonagall asked, her lips pursed.
“I am,” Aurora agreed. “There are chances in life that only come once. You can either grab the chance and hold on for dear life, or spend the rest of your life regretting that you didn’t have the courage. This morning, Harry showed us his vision for the future, and it was breath-taking. He judged me, and then invited me to join him.
“You have all told me, at one stage or another that I am too young to teach here; that I need more life experience.
“That advice has been in the back of my mind, and when I sat with Harry this morning, I realised you were right.
“If I was older his passion and drive would not make me want to join him, but they do. I want to watch the world change from a position where I can help influence it. Power and authority are shockingly seductive things to be offered.”
“What did you mean by ‘judged me’?” Albus asked.
“Well, Harry stared into our eyes, and seemed to make a decision based on what he saw there.”
“Legilimency?” Albus asked.
“I wish,” she snorted. “I can defend against that naturally. This was not magic. This was one man who turned his entire personality on to me. His look demanded that I reveal my soul to him, and it never even occurred to me that I could think of saying no. He did it to everyone in the room.”
“What has he offered?” Minerva asked.
Aurora smiled faintly. “I won’t tell, not until he tells me that he can. Like everything in life, it’s not the what, it’s the how. He has a plan and some of the most talented young people in the world ready to do whatever it takes to pull them off.”
“My Ravenclaws are going to be so disappointed,” Filius said lightly.
Aurora nodded. “If I do come back and teach, I’ll find out then if it was my personality and teaching style they liked, or if it was just my cleavage.”
“Perhaps a combination of the two,” Pomona muttered, just loud enough to be heard.
“One final question, my dear,” Albus said. “Is there anything I should know about going on in the Common Room?”
“Possibly,” Aurora said. “However, you’ll have to trust me that everything is above board.”
Albus smiled. “I quite thought that would be your response,” he admitted.
“Are there any rules for dealing with Your house,” Rolanda asked.
Albus looked at Aurora. “Rules, no,” she eventually said. “However, if you want some advice?”
“Don’t treat them as students. Treat them as adults, and watch what happens. You won’t find a single one of them who won’t be working their socks off. It occurs to me that if they are treated slightly differently because of how they act, and the work they put in, it might inspire other seniors to grow up a bit and act the same way.”
“Excellent advice,” Albus agreed.
Harry leaned back and enjoyed the coffee he was drinking. As was now normal, he was sitting with Gabrielle in the centre of the table, with two spaces clear in front of him. Throughout his meals they would be filled be people who wanted a quick chat with him, and then they’d leave so others could take their place.
Gabrielle vacillated between paying attention and talking to Crusher and Thrasher, who sat to her right.
“Harry,” Chloe said, as she sat down opposite him, Andrew sat next to her.
“Chloe, Andrew,” he greeted them back.
“We want in,” Chloe announced.
Gabrielle immediately broke off her conversation and turned to look at the two. “Why?” she asked.
“I hate being on the fringes of anything interesting,” Chloe said. “I’ve been on the fence for too long, and if I wait any longer, I’ll get splinters and regret.”
“As for me,” Andrew said affably, “she’s the engine; I’m the brakes and steering. I wasn’t about to gamble our future until I was sure.”
“And you are now?” Harry asked.
“Hogwarts made that decision for us. Everyone felt how she responded this morning.”
“Besides,” Chloe whispered, with a faint blush, “the room situation is attractive as well.”
Harry laughed softly. He got out of his seat and walked around the table. Gabrielle followed him.
“Stand,” he told them. They both stood, he moved to Andrew first, and as he had with the others, searched his soul. The boy was quiet and thoughtful. He didn’t like the limelight, and wanted a life where he was free to do what he wanted without having to play political games. He was also dedicated to Chloe, who he viewed as a magnificent creature, full of life and energy, while he was a bit more staid.
Harry dropped his hand, and approached Chloe. She met his eyes, even before he started, the contrast the two was clear. Chloe had no fear, no reservations, and was throwing herself into this with the same passion that she did everything.
He could see how the two worked together, and how important Andrew was to her. He was her rock, the one thing in her life she could rely on to always support and protect her. He would stop her from going too far, from getting into situations that she knew she couldn’t handle – but would have tried to anyway.
He had never seen such a well-matched couple.
He searched deep inside her, and she wasn’t as dedicated to him as Andrew was. Andrew was slow to make decisions, but when he did, he made them for life. Chloe had made her decision months ago, and because of it, her dedication was lighter. It would become more fervent over time. Without Andrew, he might have demurred for a few years, but with Andrew, and with Chloe’s utterly firm commitment to him, he had no worries.
He released his gaze on her eyes, and moved back.
“Christ,” Chloe whispered.
Gabrielle walked up and raised her arms. “Hug,” she demanded.
Adrian bent over and lifted her up. Gabrielle started to glow immediately, a look of concentration on her face. After around ten seconds, she reached out to Chloe, who took her. After another ten seconds, she nodded and squirmed out of the hug.
Gabrielle looked at Harry and nodded firmly.
“Two down, one more to go,” Harry said. “Hogwarts?”
Harry felt a slight tug on his magic. He blinked and released it, feeling Hogwarts absorb what he was offering. The two in front of him glowed for a second, before their uniforms changed to the new uniforms of Your house.
“All right,” Chloe cheered, pumping her arms before she jumped forward and kissed Harry. She pulled back, and Andrew shook his hand firmly. As soon as the French boy had finished, Chloe jumped on him and gave him a far more passionate kiss than the one she had given Harry.
Harry laughed softly. “Thanks,” he said to the castle.
“How come they get in just by asking,” someone – and Harry had long since given up even pretending to find out their names - asked.
Harry looked at him, mentally rewound through the people who had taken the badges and matched the face. “Because they didn’t wear ‘Potter Stinks’ badges,” he suggested. “And they’ve always been straight with me. And Hermione considers them good friends.” He shrugged. “Yes, I hold grudges, it’s a character flaw.” He lifted Gabrielle into his arms. She immediately got comfy, and sighed in pleasure.
“We need to give Hogwarts a new name,” she announced. “Hogwarts is too formal, besides, she’s prettier than that. Hogwarts is like a surname. I wouldn’t want to be called Delacour all the time. Besides, Hogwarts is the castle, she’s the personality.”
“What do you suggest?” Harry asked. “
She frowned. “I like Natalie.”
Hogwarts sent them both a negative.
“Dawn?” Harry suggested.
There was a pause, before Hogwarts sent a shy positive feeling.
“Dawn Hogwarts,” Harry said, letting it roll of his tongue. “That’s a good name.”
Gabrielle kissed him on the cheek. “Well done,” she said. “Dawn likes it.”
“She does,” Harry agreed. He retook his seat and glanced at his watch. He still had a few more minutes before his first class of the evening. He returned to watching his friends while cuddling with Gabrielle.
Gabrielle was more than happy with that idea.
The next morning, Harry woke up late. He was a little more tired than he expected to be, but put that down to working out with Ben at half past eleven in the evening.
He walked into the Common Room, after showering and dressing, to find that everyone had already left for breakfast.
He stretched hugely, and then slowly walked out to find them. Crusher and Smasher were hanging around outside the door, waiting for him.
He nodded at them and preceded them up the stairs to the Great Hall. The doors opened for him, and he walked tiredly over to Gabrielle.
She looked at him and smiled, and then frowned. She stood and moved over and hugged him. She released him and looked at him again, before her frown turned into a look of disappointment. She grabbed his hand and dragged him to the far side, where he held his private conversations.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, raising a privacy shield.
“How could you,” she asked. “We told you not to do that again!”
“Do what?” he asked, getting confused.
“Play with time,” Gabrielle replied, putting her hands on her hips.
“But I didn’t,” he said.
“But… but you’re older,” she pointed out. “I can feel it.”
“Gabrielle, I swear that I haven’t done anything,” he said, looking her straight in the eyes.
“But, then, how?” she asked slowly. “How are you older? It doesn’t make sense!”
It happened quickly, so quick that he could do nothing to stop it. Someone, or something, took control of his body.
“Harry,” Gabrielle screamed, as she took his wand and cancelled the privacy shield. “Fleur, someone’s got Harry!”
Fleur, along with Hermione, Melissa, and all the others ran over.
His hands rose and cast a spell. He tried his best to stop it, but couldn’t, who ever had control of him was in complete control. A transparent golden shield surrounded him.
Spells hit him, but couldn’t penetrate the shield.
It seemed like a direct assault was not going to work, so he decided to try and be sneaky about it. He started simple, trying to learn the spell that had been cast.
Strangely, whoever was in control was happy for him to learn.
His body walked into the middle of the Great Hall. Chairs and tables moved smoothly out of his way. The Professors were now trying to help, each casting spells at him.
Gabrielle took a deep breath, and then tried to walk through the shield, but she was gently floated out of the way before she got to him. She was deposited into Fleur’s arms.
Harry felt all his magic called forth, but not the way he would do it. He would always bring up his magic under his control, channelling it.
The intruder just tapped his core directly, opened a conduit, and released everything into his body.
All the students and professors pulled back, hiding their eyes.
The lights dimmed, and Harry started to fight even harder. It was okay when it was just him, but now who ever had control of him was draining Hogwarts as well, and he couldn’t accept that. He could feel the power inside him grow, further than he had even dreamed it could. He put all his will, all his determination, and battered forward.
The wall keeping him away from his control was hard, like granite, with no visible imperfections. He bashed against it, and refused to stop. No one hurt Hogwarts.
‘Please, stop’, a voice appeared in his mind. He didn’t recognise it, but he recognised the plea for what it was. It was a desperate call for help from someone who really needed it.
His delay was all the intruder needed. He could hear his voice yell, a language he didn’t know, speaking spells he’d never heard before. The intruder fed him the knowledge instantly, teaching him the language, but not the spell itself.
The lights went dark, and everything went still. Not a word was spoken, before his voice spoke, in the same language. “Begin,” it commanded.
All his magic focused on one spot on the floor, all the magic of the school focused as well.
“Now,” his voice whispered.
The magic kicked in like a nuclear explosion. Power beyond power poured out of him, lighting the darkness in a glorious kaleidoscope of colours, rotating almost as fast as the eye could see.
A deep noise started, but it quickly shifted, so it was light, high, and almost female.
There was a bang that blasted everyone back a few feet, before the lights went out, and Harry had control of his body again. He stumbled as his brain was filled with knowledge.
He cancelled the magic, taking what was left under his control. He was almost completely depleted, but had enough for one more spell. “Lumos Solarium,” he muttered, grabbing his necklace.
The Great Hall illuminated again, and without exception, everyone gasped. In the middle of Hogwarts, standing, clad in only a thin sheet, was a small girl.
“Dawn?” Harry gasped.
She looked at him, and smiled, before her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she collapsed on to the cold stone floor.
Gabrielle and Fleur: I wanted to finally have a scene where the uncomfortableness was dealt with once and forall. It existed because they are no human, and come wiht different morals and a differing belief set. But I was pleased this was over, all the same.
My original title for this story was Harry Begins - which we can all agree is really bad, but it shows where I was coming from with this story. Harry origins are very much standard superhero fare, after all.
And so, we have eponymous Dawn Hogwarts, and with Dawn comes a lot of answers to plot points over the past eleven chapters. But now things are a lot more serious, and a lot is going to change.