Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.



6. Dumbledore the Delusional

Albus glanced down at his now unwanted lunch and reckoned losing weight was the least of his troubles. Minerva's news had once more robbed him of his appetite. "Are you certain Barchoke was serious about removing Harry from Hogwarts? Filius said the boy was sent here to mingle with his peers."

His deputy attempted to get across the seriousness of the situation. "When Barchoke heard about yesterday, he appeared ready to behead Filius in the entrance hall. Barchoke may have sent Harry here to mingle with his peers, having his son forced to kill a troll to save his friends was never part of the deal."

The headmaster was a shrewd enough negotiator to know that going into any meeting where the other party held all the cards was not conducive to getting the result you wanted. Albus couldn't think of one single thing he had to bargain with. There was more than that disturbing him though, Harry had terrified him yesterday. "I just can't get past the image of that young boy casually wiping the blood off his sword, using the vest of the troll he'd just killed. He's certainly not what I expected."

Pomona just had to comment on that. "The first year timetable sees me teaching Harry more than anyone else, a miniature James Potter he's not. The lad is polite, courteous and shows no sign of the arrogance that plagued his father at the same age. He is also physically taller and certainly broader than the skinny boy an eleven year old James was. He's already attracting the attention of witches a few years older than him."

Minerva had to chip in her two knuts worth into the pot too. "I saw the pair greet one another before heading off to lunch, Don't doubt for a second that there is not a very close father / son relationship present between Harry and Barchoke. I'm starting to think that Dursley did the right thing by taking the child to Gringotts."

This drew some looks of disbelief from her colleagues, Minerva though was not for changing her opinion. "I watched those muggles for a full day and protested against Harry being left there in the first place. The fact that they gave the child away proves I was right. It would seem to be pure luck that Harry appears to have been raised in a nourishing environment."

An upset potions professor put his knife and fork down. "You seem determined to deny me the same nourishment. All this talk about that brat is ruining my appetite again." Severus' sarcasm valve was stuck on fully open, he was not having a good Friday. "I intend to complain to the board of governors about the alternative potions class that took place this morning..."

He wasn't given time to properly get into his rant as Minerva cut him off with a question. "On what grounds do you intend to complain?"

Severus was staring at the deputy as if she had just asked the stupidest question he'd ever heard. "Are you serious Minerva? Potions being taught inside Hogwarts by a goblin, the board will never allow that. It's degrading to the rest of the staff..."

Again Minerva jumped all over him. "I am reliably informed that Master Pitslay is the premier potions master of the goblin nation. After observing him teach a class this morning, I am confident the students he teaches will be at the very least on par with the best that your class produces." From the pained expression on his face, you could be forgiven for thinking Severus had a fish bone lodged in his throat. His mouth was open and moving but no decipherable sound was coming out. "You also need to take into account that Augusta Longbottom is a very influential member of that board, and her grandson is one of Pitslay's students. Did I mention Hogwarts latest tutor hopes to be finished the first year curriculum before Christmas?"

To Severus, here was proof that this goblin had no idea what he was taking on. "Good luck with that! Weasley just managed to melt the first cauldron of the year, I fear it won't be his last as following simple instructions appears beyond him. The only reason he's not spending the evening in detention with me is because he apparently has a prior detention with you."

Since Severus decided to bring up one of her cubs at lunch, Minerva thought some retaliation should be on the menu. The Head of Gryffindor knew just how to tweak his large nose some more. "Mr Crow has obviously been having private potions tuition for a while now, Pitslay has him brewing the wit-sharpening potion next week. If I'm not mistaken, that's usually done near the end of fourth year?"

That was all it took to see the potion master's napkin hit the table, the very thought of James Potter's offspring as a potions protégé was enough to see Severus heading back to his dungeon. Dumbledore was only partially paying attention to what was happening between three of his heads of house, most of the headmaster's attention was still on what to do at the meeting after lunch. This had the potential to be bad, Harry - whatever he wanted to call himself - leaving Hogwarts would be a disaster.


Filius led the father and son to the headmaster's office and handled all the introductions. Barchoke sat with Harry beside him, waiting to see what happened here. Dumbledore had requested this meeting, before the troll incident took place, so the first move was his.

Albus was left really with only one choice. When your opponent held the stronger hand, your options were either bluff or fold. Folding was not an option here so bluff it was.

"On behalf of the witches and wizards of Britain, I would like to offer our sincere thanks for doing such a superb job of raising young Harry here. I feel it's time though that Harry Potter returned to the magical society and asked you here today to discuss if we can reach some sort of agreement on how this could be achieved."

"I'm sorry headmaster, that's just not possible..."

"Oh come now Barchoke, of course it's possible. I've been holding back the press and the ministry from interfering but I don't know for how much longer I'll be able to manage that."

The answer Albus got was as unexpected as the source it came from. The anger and venom in the voice of one so young was certainly disturbing, but the information given out was what really startled the headmaster. "Bring it on Dumbledore! I'm sure the press, and the ministry would like to know how I was dumped on a muggle doorstep. A letter tucked in my blanket and Voldemort's horcrux in my head. A really stellar decision from the leader of the light that night, a decision he had no legal right to make!"

Pomona couldn't miss that her three shocked colleagues were turning shades of grey or green, she needed more information. "Just what is a horcrux?"

Harry's voice was once more respectful as he answered the head of Hufflepuff's question. "It's some of the darkest magic known professor, to split your soul and store part of it in a separate container requires you to commit murder as part of the ritual. After he killed James and Lily Potter, something strange happened and I ended up with a bit of Voldemort's soul attached to me. This is something Voldemort's obviously deliberately done more than once too, and he can't be truly killed while a part of his soul still survives. My father took me straight to a goblin healer to have the piece in me removed and then destroyed, why didn't you do that headmaster?"

Minerva was remembering that night as if it was yesterday because Dumbledore's words had struck a chord with her. She had instinctively known something wasn't right but had accepted his assurances at face value. Minerva shouted his own words back at Albus. "Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy! That's what you said - though you never did say what it would be handy for? You knew there was a horcrux inside that bairn and yet you did nothing about it?"

"I had but a mere suspicion, and I was not aware that a procedure existed to successfully remove a horcrux from a living host. Usually they would be imbedded in an inanimate object that would need to be destroyed." Dumbledore attempted to redirect the anger in the room at a different target than him. "What I'm more concerned about here is that an eleven year old knows about the foulest dark magic imaginable - what kind of a parent are you that would teach a child that?"

Harry was on his feet, ready to defend his father against all comers, when he felt a familiar hand on his shoulder. "Remember your training son, this is why you work so hard."

Everyone could see Harry take a deep breath and regain control of his emotions. He sat back down and apologised. "Sorry father. Losing your temper loses your focus, losing your focus can cost you the battle. It's hard to sit here though and listen to this old fraud berate you when his crimes should have seen him in Azkaban."

Barchoke turned his attention to the rest of the company. "My son is of course correct. An infant had been hit with the killing curse yet you didn't even arrange for a healer to check his health. Instead of being cared for, the saviour of magical Britain gets taken to the Dursleys by the Hogwarts groundkeeper..."

"I trust Hagrid with my life!"

"From a man with no honour, I'll treat that statement with the contempt it deserves. It also hasn't escaped my notice that you refuse to offer a defence as to the illegality of your actions that night, could that be because they are indefensible? My son is well aware of his past - and what the future holds for him. It's clear to me this is information that you also hold but have chosen not to reveal to even your closest comrades."

Dumbledore couldn't believe this was all coming out today. His words to Severus were proving to be true, this boy knew far too much. "This information should not be known by mere children..."

Barchoke growled his question at Dumbledore. "Even though a child managed to do what you could not? My son is prophesied to be the only one who can defeat Voldemort yet you would have him raised by muggles until he was eleven. We have to ask the question why?"

That was one question he had no intention of ever answering, Albus once more attempted to turn the argument back onto the goblin. "You are training a human child to be a warrior for the goblin nation, I've heard of nothing but training and lessons. I wanted him to have a normal childhood..."

Harry just had to butt in at that. "How was a normal childhood going to enable me to defeat a dark wizard that's already had the country on its knees once before?"

"The prophecy states you will have a power the dark lord knows not - I believe that power to be love!"

Albus now had everyone in the room staring at him in disbelief, it was left to Harry to come up with a reply. "No wonder he was so upset when I killed the troll, the headmaster probably wanted me to give it a hug and make everything all better. Is that what you had planned for my confrontation with Voldemort, kiss him to death? Sorry but no chance, I intend my first kiss to be with a girl."

"Now you're just being silly Mr Crow..."

"What? And you were serious with that love dragoncrap? I think we've heard all we need to, don't you father? There is nothing for us here."

Barchoke nodded with pride at his son. "Just to address your earlier point headmaster, you and I can't 'do a deal' on my son returning to the wizarding community. The reason for my refusal is that the entire issue will be purely Harry's decision. That decision will not be influenced by me, and certainly not by you. Know this though, whatever decision he makes, Harry will have my full support and always be my son. A son I'm very proud of."

The proud father now had their undivided attention. He'd just announced his son was the only person who could defeat Voldemort and they were waiting to see if Harry would be staying at Hogwarts. "I came here today - at your request - to discuss my son's future. A normal childhood sounds idyllic, until that is it equates to my son being dead before he's out of his teens. Without his lessons and training, neither Harry nor his friends would have made their teens. They would have perished under the club of a troll in the Hogwarts infirmary - all while supposedly in your care! I had hoped we could reach an agreement here today, not on what's best for me or you Dumbledore but for Harry. Clearly that is not something you are prepared to do headmaster, therefore I will have to look elsewhere."

Minerva couldn't decide whether she was going to tear Dumbledore a new one or throw up her lunch and make his robes even more colourful. The Deputy Headmistress was also having trouble deciding if today's meeting could have went any worse. She desperately wanted to get out of that office but had something that needed to be said first. "I shall show you out sir, the air in here is suddenly tasting rather foul. I feel I must offer my apologies for the small part I played in your son being deposited with the Dursleys. In my defence I will say I objected strongly to him being left there at all, and the headmaster also waived aside my concerns over young Harry's scar."

This was better than Barchoke had hoped for, here was an opening the goblin intended to exploit. Hogwarts making Harry her champion had really just confirmed what they at Gringotts had already suspected, Harry's future was in some way tied to Hogwarts. Here was his chance to deal with the deputy, and exclude the headmaster entirely from those discussions. Now Barchoke could keep Harry in the castle and stick it to Dumbledore's pride at the same time. That was all good to the goblin. "I accept your apology and would appreciate the chance to talk with you professor, it will give me the opportunity to make arrangements for my son and his friends to also receive private defence lessons. As I just stated, I have no faith in the headmaster or his decisions. I doubt if he will be able to find a competent replacement for the one that was possessed by Voldemort."

Albus wanted to demand to know how they had obtained that information but was too relieved at learning that Harry obviously wasn't leaving the school to complain.

Barchoke though had a parting comment for the headmaster. "With regard to your threat of the press or ministry, my son was one hundred percent correct. Bring it on Dumbledore. It should be obvious by now that we, unlike you, have nothing to hide. I will agree that Voldemort making horcruxes is not something we want on the front page of the Prophet, or banded about the ministry."

The goblin didn't want Dumbledore to think he agreed with anything else the old wizard was up to, his last comment ensured that message came across. "On the other hand, you are no longer a young wizard. What would happen if you should pass away and no one else had access to the information you fanatically hold to yourself? Do you even have a contingency plan in place or are you so conceited as to think only you could possibly achieve what needs to be done?"

This was all Barchoke intended to say on the matter. McGonagall then left with the father and son, both she and Barchoke now turning their attention to arranging a defence tutor for the Monday's and Thursday's that the first year Ravenclaws were timetabled for that subject.

Filius could hardly contain himself long enough to let Minerva lead them out, they could barely have made the bottom of the staircase before he rounded on Dumbledore. "After all my warnings, you tried to bully Barchoke into relinquishing his son?"

There was disbelief in Filius' tone but anger was easily the dominant emotion detectable in his voice. "If that didn't convince me you were at the very least delusional, your 'power of love' comment certainly did. I believe Barchoke when he said he came to Hogwarts today to see if there was any way he could work with you to help his son, both just left here knowing that to be impossible. That boy has, by any standard, already led an extraordinary life - he's not yours to do with as you please."

Dumbledore was getting fed-up with people thinking they could speak to him whatever way they wanted. "Don't overstep the mark here Filius! Remember, you work for me."

"Actually, I work for Hogwarts. Please let me know by the end of the day if you want to take any action that changes that status, I've just heard of a defence tuition position becoming available that greatly interests me. I can also guarantee the lessons would not be held in Hogwarts, Barchoke would have Harry following me right out the door." Filius left behind a clearly angry Dumbledore as he stormed from the office.

Pomona attempted to make Albus see sense regarding this matter. "The lad will now be receiving private tuition for two of his subjects, potions and defence. Add to that, Minerva will need to figure out exactly how he performs his transfiguration before she can be of any help and you've just pissed-off the lad's head of house and charms professor. Albus, you're hanging on to Mr Crow by the skin of your teeth." She had a wry smile at her next observation. "I doubt I could get anyone to bet against what will happen the first time Binns mentions 'goblin rebellion'. Can you even doubt there will be a private history tutor on their way to Hogwarts too? That class might just have all four houses clamouring to join."

Albus knew all this, it was also only a matter of time before the press and the ministry were crawling all over this situation as well. Pomona then tried a different tact. "I've known you for over two decades Albus, so my position on this matter should not be a surprise to you. On the one hand I have a wizard who clearly doesn't trust me yet expects instant obedience to his somewhat questionable actions. Of all the staff in Hogwarts, the only person you have shown a modicum of trust in is the most sour, spiteful and petty man it has ever been my displeasure to teach alongside. Do I need a dark mark on my arm and claim repentance before you decide I might be allowed to know anything of importance?"

She could see her barbs were hitting their target so Pomona continued. "On the other hand, a goblin I've just met trusted me with information that could rock our world. He did this clearly in an attempt to gain my support for his son. Since that same boy is the one prophesied to fight Voldemort, then you must know he already has mine. I could never support a dark lord so my position on this is crystal clear, I will do everything in my power to help Mr Crow achieve the result we all want. Minerva and Filius will certainly reach the same conclusion that I have, we just can't understand why you are not standing squarely beside us?"

His half-moon glasses were currently lying on his desk while Albus tiredly rubbed his eyes. "Of course I want to see the end of Voldemort but the issue is not as black and white as it's being painted. Prophecies are at best vague, being fully understood only after their completion. The actual prophecy doesn't say who will win, only that one must kill the other. Watching that young boy so casually taking a life terrifies me more than I can say. The last thing we need is for one dark lord to be defeated, only to be replaced by another - this one with full Gringotts backing and a goblin agenda."

Pomona wasn't standing for that analogy. "If my choice is between Voldemort or a young man who calls a goblin father and has a muggle born witch for a best friend - again not a difficult decision for me. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts Albus, and mine are all screaming at me to help that boy any way I can. Ten years ago we miraculously escaped the dark alternative, I never want to go back down that road again."

"Do you honestly think that child can defeat Voldemort?"

"He did it before Albus, and that was without a sword. Hogwarts obviously knew about the prophecy and still made Harry her champion. If you can't trust Hogwarts then I'm afraid there really is no hope for you. That's not to say the boy won't need all the help he can get, and you could probably help him more than most. Take a long look in the mirror Albus, and then decide if you can live with yourself if you don't support Harry."

Pomona left the old wizard to his thoughts, Albus was sitting at his desk with his head in his hands.


Ron Weasley had a scrubbing brush in his hands, cleaning out a boy's toilet. The brush was certainly a more effective tool than his now held together with spellotape wand.

Long before he boarded the Hogwarts Express, the youngest Weasley male was well aware that the boy-who-lived would be in the same Hogwarts year as him. Ron had been certain they would both be in Gryffindor together, and surely best friends before Halloween. The strong smell of disinfectant seemed to emphasise that, like everything else in his life, even his dreams turned to shit.

His only meagre crumb of comfort was that this detention got him out of one with Snape. Potions today had been a nightmare, and Ron couldn't see that improving any time soon. Having to listen during dinner while Neville prattled to Parvati about just how good his potions lesson had been almost gave Ron indigestion. The part about no homework was the clincher though, something had to be done.

He'd tried to charm his way into the boy-who-lived's good graces, Ron had been very firmly and publicly rejected. It was time to try more devious methods, namely his twin brothers.

With a broken wand, two weeks' worth of detention and losing Gryffindor fifty points - family honour needed to be defended here. Ron was positive he could spin the story to get his brothers unleashing a prank war against a certain first year. That should see Ron getting what he wanted before he called off the twins. An invitation to join the very exclusive club that was potions nirvana - no homework and no Snape!


Hermione had actually enjoyed her run this morning, especially after getting confirmation Harry wasn't leaving Hogwarts just yet. They were heading down to breakfast and Padma was teasing her that she may join them for morning exercises. It was actually quite cute to see just how clueless Harry was as he mistook Padma's teasing about Hermione being alone with him for genuine interest in their morning exercises. Their friend had quietly confided in Hermione last night that no pureblood witch or wizard would ever run for pleasure. Apparently the concepts of keeping fit or jogging hadn't quite taken off in the magical community.

All three were looking forward to doing some exploring after breakfast since this was the start of their first weekend inside Hogwarts. The trio had just taken what was quickly becoming their normal seats when a ghostly head came through the wooden table.

"Good morning to you young champion, allow me to introduce myself. I am Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington, the Gryffindor House ghost. I'm afraid some of my students arranged for your breakfast to be tainted so I wouldn't recommend eating anything at the moment."

All three quickly pushed the food away from them as Harry questioned the ghost. "Sir Nicholas, can you tell me who did this?"

"Oh the Weasley twins are notorious pranksters, beginning to rival even your father and his friends..."

Their conversation was interrupted there by loud laughter emanating from the Gryffindor table. One glance was all Harry needed before the three of them headed straight over there. Neville was currently sporting a large pair of donkey ears and was braying every time he attempted to speak.

Ron Weasley was laughing the loudest, certainly not an attractive sight since his mouth was full of food at the time. "Hey Neville, someone made an ass out of you!" He then proceeded to laugh even louder at his own joke.

Harry wasn't laughing, he was furious. As Hermione and Padma took Neville with them to sit at the Ravenclaw table, he headed straight for the headmaster. "Sir, what action are you going to take against this bullying of a first year?"

Albus was beginning to think the fates hated him, why couldn't he be allowed to eat a meal in peace? "Bullying Mr Crow? I think you are mistaken. This was merely a simple prank, something I can assure you that your father was very fond of."

"You must be mistaken sir, goblins don't believe in pranks. They would look on that as an attack on their person, and react accordingly. Since it was only receiving a warning that stopped me also being a victim, I would still like to know what action you are going to take over this unprovoked attack?"

Severus couldn't take any more of this arrogant boy. "Go back to your table and mind your manners. This is the way young witches and wizards behave inside Hogwarts. If you are so determined to be a goblin, go back to Gringotts where you obviously belong."

Snape's mention of Gringotts reminded Harry of yesterday, and of his training. Now would not be a good time to lose his temper, a different approach was needed here. Harry gave a mocking bow before replying. "Thank you for explaining that to me sir, There is no mention of this pranking phenomenon in either Hogwarts a History or the students handbook. I do not need nor want special treatment and shall just have to do my best to fit in."

Harry walked back to his place at the Ravenclaw table and picked up his knife and fork.

"Harry, what are you doing? Eating that will see you turn the same as Neville."

Harry made sure everyone could hear his answer. "You heard the professor Hermione, this is the way we're supposed to behave. Just because we think this is nothing but juvenile bullying doesn't matter, why should we be treated any different from everyone else?"

She wasn't sure what he was up to until spotting Harry's slight wink. Even though she though he was nuts, Hermione began eating her breakfast too. As this had now gotten everyone's attention, they all saw Padma join them in breaking their fast. When there were four pranked students sitting at the Ravenclaw table, Ron Weasley's laughter reverberated around the hall. "Told you he was an idiot! Imagine eating food you knew was pranked."

Ron was interrupted by the Head of Hufflepuff. "Ten points each to Mr Crow, Miss Granger and Miss Padma Patil for displaying not only courage, but loyalty to a friend."

Minerva was right behind Pomona, though she was reprimanding one of her cubs. "Mr Weasley, stop braying like a donkey. This isn't a farmyard so please learn some table manners, otherwise you may find yourself with a trough instead of a plate."

These announcements brought widespread applause and saw Harry stand and bow toward both professors, his long ears well worth the price of what he now saw. His head of house must have erected some kind of privacy shield because Master Flitwick was clearly shouting at an angry Snape yet there was no sound. It was a big-eared but satisfied Ravenclaw who now sat back down to finish his breakfast.

The four friends went for a walk outside the castle while waiting on the prank wearing off, their ears were only just beginning their journey back to normal when they were approached by a pair of identical redheads.

"Really well done this morning people, you managed to reverse the prank back on us."

"Yeah, everyone knew who was to blame so we've been getting sniggered at since. Clever way to get most of the hall on your side, that's never happened to us before."

Harry was pleased to discover that his voice was now back to normal. "You know of course that was only the beginning? Goblin honour dictates that I retaliate against you and your brother. We've never met before so it must have been him that put you up to this, big mistake guys."

"What do you make of this George?"

"Yeah, little firstie kills one troll to save a few lives and suddenly thinks he's ready to take on the infamous Weasley twins."

"Don't know what things are coming to? Youngsters today, no respect for their elders."

The one apparently called George became serious for a moment. "Why the hostility toward Ron? If you had to sit beside him at mealtimes we could perhaps understand..."

Harry found himself liking these two, even if they were related to Ron. They both oozed the personality and charm that was sadly lacking in their younger sibling. "Your brother tried to barge his way into our group. When that didn't work, he reached for his wand and fired a curse at Hermione. He couldn't even do that right though and hit Padma instead. That's why the girls were in the infirmary when that troll attacked."

The twins shared a nervous glance, "That's not exactly the story he told us."

Hermione huffed at that news. "Why am I not surprised. Your brother is a jackass yet we all end up with the matching mule ears at breakfast. I'm with Harry for a little payback."

Both twins laugh at this. "Looks like we've got some competition in the pranking stakes, we'll have to watch our food from now on."

"Oh slipping someone a potion is so old school, we four intend to be a little more imaginative than that."

This had the twins laughing again at the audacity of these first years. "Young Harrykins, you've got some nerve."

"Yes, George and I look forward to seeing just what you and your mini-marauders can do."

"Just remember the prankster's motto - Don't Get Caught!"

They walked away leaving the other three all staring at Harry, Padma was first to crack. "You have a plan, right? Even the older Ravenclaws don't mess with the Weasley twins, and apparently for very good reason."

"Relax Padma, we'll just have to unleash our secret weapons on them. Ron Ron, his twin brothers and not forgetting Snape."

This made Neville even more nervous. "Eh, Harry - I'm actually in favour of forgetting all about Snape. If I never have to see him again it will still be too soon."

Padma quickly agreed with Neville but something Harry had said got Hermione thinking. "Wait until we hear what these secret weapons of Harry's are first before we all start panicking."

This earned the witch a smile from her best friend, before he then let them into his ideas. "Well our first secret weapon is Neville, he's our inside man for Gryffindor house - and Weasley payback. Next, I happen to have some recipes for goblin potions that will see Snape sneering out the other side of his face."

Neville was shocked at his friends depending on him, this had never happened before. "What do you need me to do?"

Harry could see Neville was practically shaking with fright but determined to do his best. He quickly reassured the Gryffindor. "All we need is information Neville. Until we know more about them, we won't be able to figure out the best way to get back at the Weasleys. If we were to slip the twins a potion, the entire thing would just escalate. I want to put a stop to this, not make it worse."

They sat beside the Black Lake in the weak September sunshine, throwing ideas in and out of their grand plan. Scheming revenge against those who have wronged you was certainly a pastime worthy of any goblin. It was only when Harry announced what his other secret weapon was though that his friends started to believe they could actually pull this off.


Something was certainly off with Fred and George as they entered the Gryffindor common room through the portrait hole later that evening.

"Detention with Filch, I can't believe we got caught."

"That's the least of our worries Fred, the map's stopped working and none of the secret passages would open for us."

"How are we going to cope without access to the kitchens? The only portrait working for us is the Fat Lady."

"Yeah, and even she didn't seem too happy to be opening for us. What is going on?"

George nudged his twin, drawing his attention to the first year sitting holding a book up to hide his face. It was hard to miss that this first year was struggling to hold his laughter, and that was more than enough to raise the twins' suspicions.

"Good book there Neville?"

"Or were you finding something else funny?"

That was too much for the young wizard, the laughter he'd been holding back burst forth.

"Are you getting a bad feeling about this George?"

"Oh yes, brother of mine. Could it be that the mini-marauders have struck back?"

It was a clearly thoughtful Fred Weasley who answered his twin's question. "The timing would suggest that, but I have no idea how they could be involved?"

Between his bouts of laughter, Neville was able to give them a clue. "Hogwarts doesn't like that you decided to prank her champion, the castle is now closed to you."

The horrified look on the twins' faces set Neville's laughter off again.

"Little Harrykins wouldn't do that to us?"

"We have stuff hidden all through the castle, and now we can't get at any of it!"

Both sank onto a sofa as the reality of what Hogwarts working against them meant. "The ghosts told Filch what we were up to..."

"..and the portraits led him straight to us. We're going to get away with nothing!"

Neville was still chuckling to himself as he made his way up to the dorm. He couldn't wait to tell his friends what had just happened, and to see the next part unfold at breakfast tomorrow.


Breakfast was Ron's favourite part of the day, closely followed by lunch and dinner. He was unaware that was all about to change. He was just contemplating what to grab for his first course of second helpings when his plate disappeared.

"Hey, I wasn't finished with that!"

This though was only the tip of the iceberg. As Ron reached for more food, the serving platters would disappear before he could get his hands on them, only to reappear once he'd moved back out of range. The guile, effort and determination shown by the boy as he continually attempted to stalk more food was light years away from his lackadaisical performances in all of his classes. Unfortunately, all he had to show for his sterling efforts during the rest of breakfast was providing entertainment value to the other diners. Most of the hall was now laughing at him.

It was left to Neville to deliver the coup de grace. "It would seem that Hogwarts has taken Professor McGonagall's advice to heart. You eat like a pig so your plate vanished when the castle thought you had eaten enough."

It was slowly beginning to dawn on Ron he'd been pranked, though the rest of the hall had reached that conclusion ages ago.

Severus Snape certainly had, and thought this was just more evidence that the Potter boy was his father's son. He had stood there yesterday and said goblins didn't do pranks yet pulled one the very next day. The potions professor was certainly not going to miss this opportunity to point out that he was correct to the rest of the senior staff, and that's where the trouble really started.

You could have heard a pin drop in the great hall as people stopped breathing while they attempted to understand what they'd just heard. All eyes were now glued to the Head of Slytherin, who was currently standing at the staff table with both his hands covering his mouth. It didn't help though, the deep, raucous laughter escaped between his fingers.

That the sarcastic and sneering form of Severus Snape actually knew how to laugh was a surprise to all, that he was currently standing performing that feat in the great hall was shocking enough to freeze staff and students alike.

As Snape's laughter became more uncontrollable, his eyes held no humour in them whatsoever. Those black orbs were focused on the one person in the entire hall who was nonchalantly eating their breakfast. Harry Crow may have the titles of boy-who-lived, Hogwarts Champion and slayer of trolls but his prank on Snape just elevated him to superstar status amongst his peers.

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