Partially Kissed Hero

Summer before third year Harry has a life changing experience, and a close encounter with a dementor ends with him absorbing the horcrux within him. Features Harry with a backbone.


69. Chapter Sixty-Nine


Harry stared about the clearing at the world's newest twelve dryads. It had started with Sybil Trelawney, gone to include Bellatrix and Narcissa Black (the latter of whom had become a Fairy Linden, aka a Fairy Lantern. A magic tree whose color, shape and bark was very attractive, not unlike the normal linden tree. But instead of leaflike flowers it bore little lanterns that fairies liked to dwell in. With the glow of fairies in and around its branches, it was a far superior ornamental tree than many nowadays have seen; but most had been cut down by wizards over four hundred years ago during that great gold rush on fairy wings, and because of limits imposed by the Statute of Secrecy the species had yet to make a recovery).

The transformation of the assembled volunteers had completed with Irma Pince, the Hogwarts Librarian.

Harry frowned. "What species of tree is that? I'm not familiar with it."

Rather to his surprise, it was not Hermione who answered, but a smiling Pomona Sprout. "I don't know what the muggles would call it, but among wizards its simply known as a Lacquer Tree because its highly toxic sap is used to create varnish."

"Why am I not surprised that she would become a poisonous tree?" Harry grinned. The librarian was not well liked among students. Feared now after the recent spectacle, but not liked.

"Not only that, but a valuable protector." Pomona nodded approvingly - and he had to remind himself the currently button-faced, thin strip of a girl that was bouncy and full of energy to a point where some would call her 'too cute to live' standing next to him was actually the spirit of a Whomping Willow.

Of COURSE someone like that would value the qualities of a protector!

On that account, he was a bit surprised she wasn't getting along better with Bellatrix Black, who had become a Silverthorn Spruce, another magical tree with the ability to defend itself. Actually considered something of a menace (which was appropriate) and one of the most dangerous magical plants alive (which, oddly, was also appropriate to this witch) they had the ability to fire their needles in huge volleys, hundreds at a time - which would be bad enough all by itself but, being magical, they could penetrate any of the available anti-arrow or anti-bullet charms, and were tipped with a slight venom capable of inducing hysteria and convulsions.

They were accounted as dangerous pests, the worst of all magical weeds, and strictly controlled. There was actually a bounty on them outside of a single, small reserve. Which made it just about the most appropriate tree anyone like Bellatrix Black COULD have turned into!

In the wild, those trees would fire on anyone, magical or not, from desire to watch them fall as often as not. But, seeing as how Bellatrix was a dryad she could control her tree (which was truly just controlling herself) to fire only on approved targets.

That made her even more of an element of defensive landscaping than Pomona was. Which, Harry thought belatedly, might be exactly why they didn't get along with each other yet.

Hermione chortled, and seeing who she was watching, Harry turned to her in confusion. "What's so funny about our Astronomy teacher being a Frankincense tree?"

All too willing to share in her merriment, she told him, "Oh, Harry. What is the single most famous reference to Frankincense in history?" At his blank look she offered, "The Nativity! The Wise Men bringing gifts to Jesus that first Christmas! And how did those Wise Men get there?"

"By following a star," Harry continued ruefully, now getting the joke.

Pomona, who appreciated hardiness in plants, also smiled and added her own two cents. "Frankincense trees are also considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that its been documented they can grow directly out of solid rock."

Harry looked to Hermione, wide-eyed. But she nodded along to confirm their Herbology Professor's words. "That's true, Harry. No one knows how they first get attached, but the frankincense trees growing out of solid rock form a broad disk at the base of their trunks that conforms to the surface of the rock. Actually, they are considered to give a superior form of incense to the trees growing merely out of broken rock or gravel."

Pomona smiled and granted her twenty points for the additional information.

Harry caught sight of their Muggle Studies Professor out of the corner of his eye. She was, of all things a pomegranate (and he hadn't the slightest clue why) chatting merrily with her friends among the staff, all of them taking joy in looking as young and pretty as women could possibly be.

Charity Burbage was one of the few who had successfully made her escape to France during the tumult of the Prophet Disaster. However, she had foolishly returned to England a few days later to reclaim some possessions left behind at her home, been captured by aurors, obliviated and sent back to work at Hogwarts. Most of the staff and students had been told she'd been out sick those few days, and accepted the whole situation without question.

Now they were all learning differently about each other, sharing Obliviated experiences. It would be a grim party except for the joy prevailing in their changes and the hope everyone felt in their futures.

"Harry?" Luna called, "We're ready over here."

The boy looked over and the device she and Poppy had been working on, the elderly, hieroglyph covered piece of pottery meant as an offering bowl was now glowing softly, surrounded by wisps of light like smoke.

According to the school nurse, this was the device they had used to 'kill' a potion so that Nearly Headless Nick could take it, and they were about to see if they could do the same to a dose of dryad cordial for Myrtle the Ghost.

And that meant it was time to summon the ghost.

"Harry," came the Queen's tired voice, sounding more than a bit sleepy in a mild and nourishing way. "Have you prepared a magic core for her?"

The boy glanced dumbly to his friends, who had no more answer than he.

A million autumn leaves fell, accompanying the Queen's yawn. "The great secret to these dryads and the longevity I expect to come for them is not so much their static protections as their magical cores. Armor, weapons and secrets have all been overcome before. But a human magic core allows her to defend herself from wizards in a way no nymph before has done, by using the same skills, devices and powers they use against her to protect herself. But ghosts are dead, and have no bodies for me to pluck magic cores from."

Harry smacked his lips, and saying, "I'll be right back," departed.

Minutes later he'd returned, dragging five ragged bodies floating through the air behind them. Stopping, he allowed his cargo to come to a rest on the green grass around him, revealing what looked like the corpses of victims of starvation, wrapped in tattered rags, remnants of finer clothes.

Looking askance on his cargo, he explained, "Azkaban is on low guard right now because there hasn't been a real threat in years. But they never guard the bodies of those prisoners who've been dementor kissed really well. If you want a living body to harvest magical cores out of, but no soul or anything to get in the way, these are it."

The boy made a face revealing his distaste. "In fact, if you want I know the spells to cause possession. We can summon the spirit we want, I can shove it into one of these bodies, and we can force-feed it the potion. The condition of the body shouldn't matter because that's getting replaced anyway. All it needs is to be alive, have a magical core and a spirit inside it, right?"

"That would work far better than killing the cordial, which I feared might give her a dead tree, but could not be certain, so I didn't say anything," the Queen's tired voice replied, smelling sleepy yet relieved.

Hermione blinked, and then declared, "That's brilliant, Harry!"

The boy rubbed his eyes. "Sorry. Not my idea. One of Tom Riddle's plots to come back in case he should die involved stealing one of the dementor-kissed bodies from Azkaban and possessing that as his new form. He had the routes and protections of the place memorized. He just didn't count on wards meant to help contain the dementors there keeping his spirit body out."

Luna cocked her head at him. "How many dementor kissed bodies did they have?"

He waved a hand toward the five near-corpses on the grass. "I brought their whole collection. They don't stay long in this condition before passing on, so it was easy to Confound the guards to believe they'd all died naturally and been properly disposed of. And I didn't want to leave any behind, since that IS one of the routes Voldemort hoped to use to return to life."

"You need one more," Luna told him directly and firmly, her Gift flaring up.

Harry thought about it. "Right. Back in one second."

He left and then returned again moments later. In his hand was a plushy. "Here, Albus Dumbledore himself. I just got him kissed, so this body now has no soul inside of it. Got a GREAT magical core, though." He restored it from plushy to petrified human form, not wanting the spell he'd cast transforming it to become permanent.

He presumed the petrification would be undone by the change to a dryad, as it was not HIS gaze that had turned the Headbastard to stone. And the way the Queen set it up, only magic he applied...

He poured a Mandrake Restorative Draught over the body, not wanting to take any chances. It slumped soullessly to the grass as soon as he did so.

Minerva sighed in wondering awe. "One fragment of the Headmaster's soul down, only twelve more to go."

Poppy needled him to transfigure all of the bodies into girls, just so as not to cause any unwanted complications, as none of them really knew what would happen if a male body took the cordial. Nor did they want to know.

Besides, Susan agreed with her, feeling it would be a little creepy to have girl ghosts possessing boys' bodies, even if only for a little while.

Luna had started mixing polyjuice.

Harry started looking around. "Where's Hermione?"

"Gone to get her parents," Hannah answered. "Luna insisted."


"Hi, Hedwig, old girl," Hermione lifted her arm and accepted the owl landing on her shoulder gracefully. Wizard robes were padded for that sort of thing. It must happen alot, she figured.

She checked, no return letter.

Hermione waited nervously in the park nearest to her home. She figured this was the closest place she could get that she was least likely to screw up by her fairy presence, here in the middle of the muggle world, and had sent a letter to her parents asking them to meet her there.

Already the slide on the jungle gym had slithered off somewhere. The swings had flown off after transforming into blackbirds, and the frame itself had simply grown bark and leaves.

And THEN it had walked away!

She would have nothing to sit on except that toadstools had bubbled up out of the concrete. Several were conveniently seat-high, others were table sized, and still a few more stood tall enough to be umbrellas, and all were solid and woody. In all it was rather pleasant, like sitting at an outdoor cafe. Still, she'd forgotten just how carefully managed and manmade some of these 'natural' environments were. The sprinkler system had spontaneously transformed into magical earthworms that weren't in any of her books (as none of the ones she'd studied had blowholes), and she suspected might be a new species, seeing as how they were swimming about in the lawn, spouting like whales and sending up little bursts of water every time they surfaced.

The whole scene was a little weird, but it was getting the lawn watered. Since the concrete paths may have spontaneously transformed into peanut brittle, though, that might not be such a good thing. They were beginning to get a little soggy, and she suspected they might run away. Which form of that expression they used would be the question.

Firenze was right. She couldn't dwell in the muggle world anymore. It was like she was tearing it apart just by visiting even for this brief little while.

What's worse, she could see it spreading. The asphalt of the roads nearby had begun to bubble where the edges met the park, and she wondering if that might be the beginning of a new tar pit, or something else.

In any case she didn't have much time. A group of school kids had come by, knocked down a giant candy cane that the street lamps had become, and run away with chunks of it. News would spread. She'd be drawing crowds soon.

Visibly she fretted, not knowing that this caused the environmental effects she was causing to spread yet wider and grow more intense as she bled out more magic in her nervousness.

A hardened lump of bubblegum that someone had spat out ages ago, and that had settled several inches deep into the lawn, suddenly transformed into a pink seed, germinated, and sprang into a tall tree right behind her - leaves a soft, bubblegum pink, chewy like gum and nicely flavored.

Though the girl didn't realize it, she was exhausting herself with the amount of magic she was pouring out in her nervous condition.

Hermione idly accepted the glass of pink lemonade a vending machine had waddled up and handed her, not noticing how furry or bearlike it had become.

"Hey, lady, are you a fairy?"

Hermione broke out of her cycle of worry to look up at the little five year old girl who'd addressed her. Five of her friends huddled behind her. It must be getting around lunchtime, kindergarten had let out.

She gave the girl a lopsided smile. "That's right. What gave it away?"

The little kindergartners looked up at her, wondering how she could be seriously asking. "How could you not know?" Their leader blurted, pointing, "You have butterflies and flowers on your hat, a jeweled crown," she pointed lower, "and a white dress on. Plus you have pretty bracelets and stuff."

Hermione had to admit, objectively, this was true. As the wind blew one of her blue locks of hair passed her face, she realized she hadn't even reverted back to her human disguise. She'd been so worried she'd forgotten!

"Plus, weird stuff is going on around you," one of her friends interrupted.

Hermione was about to try to put her off by asking what she meant when a pixie flew up and served them all half-sandwiches, which it laid out on little leaf plates, after it had seated their party around the toadstool table. The vending machine came by again, serving all of them drinks.

As the little girls ate their sandwiches, patiently waiting (for five year olds) for an explanation, Hermione decided her story of being made up for a play just wasn't going to cut it.

"Totoro!" One of the kindergartners pointed to the former vending machine, which grinned widely. "I know you! You're Totoro!"

Deciding that it didn't matter what the kids called the vending machine, or what she told them since Obliviators would be visiting everyone around here shortly, she shrugged, "Yes, that's Totoro. Anyway, I am fighting against an evil wizard who has legions of werewolves and giant spiders at his command, and I came here hoping to meet a mortal couple because their daughter is in danger and they must go to her."

"Danger? What danger?" Hermione looked up to see the older woman who'd snapped that out, having not noticed the children's chaperone before.

Oh, well. One more to be Obliviated. Didn't matter. The Ministry was cleaning up after this sort of thing all of the time, and it helped her in a way she couldn't describe to talk about it, even in a joking way.

Hermione threw back her head and proclaimed in a good impression of Luna, "In the first place you have to believe there are fairy worlds as well as normal worlds, magic worlds as well as ordinary ones, and that Wonderland and Oz are both real places, Rapunzel was real girl, and other fairy tales are simply documentaries, for the most part."

"So there was a real Alice in Wonderland?" a child wondered out loud.

"Of course! I've met her!" Hermione laughed brightly, feeling relieved, she didn't know how. "In fact I am very good friends with her granddaughter, Luna. Dorothy of Oz is her great-aunt! And Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are her many times removed great grandmothers!"

Seeing jaws drop wide open and eyes glaze over, looking beyond her shoulder, Hermione glanced that way, seeing only a grin. "Oh, hello Cheshire."

The rest of that cat faded into view. "Hello yourself, Princess."

She handed him a biscuit that the vending machine, now named Totoro, had insisted on giving her.

"You spoke of danger?" the chaperone demanded.

"That's right," Hermione felt happy to be back on subject. Then, deciding that she didn't need them anymore, reached for her bookbag. When she did not find what she wanted on the top she threw open the flap and climbed down the stairs inside, returning moments later with a small stack of books.

These were part of the Boy-Who-Lived series of stories written for a magical audience while Harry was still in hiding. She'd gotten them long ago, before she'd met him, and the boy and his fame were nothing alike, so she'd stopped caring much about these false tales.

Waving her wand, she caused them to float in the air before her tiny audience, not noticing it was growing as other children and the crossing guard joined them.

A wave of her wand opened a floating book to the appropriate page. A picture of Dumbledore, because no book could be printed in their world without singing his praises, it seemed like.

"In our world there is a terrible dark wizard named Albus Dumbledore. He has great power, but most of his danger is due to the fact that he can present himself as a light wizard - much like Saruman did in Lord of the Rings. Doing this he has deceived countless good creatures, and made them into his slaves. For this reason we call him the Master Manipulator, or the Twinkling Tyrant, because of the ways his eyes twinkle when he smiles."

She waved her wand and more pages turned, this time showing a picture of a very young baby Harry with his parents. "But a young boy was prophesied to defeat him."

Harry wasn't, but it made for a good story; and did away with all sorts of tedious explanations they couldn't understand anyway.

She flipped more pages, showing Voldemort attacking them at Godric's Hollow. "So Dumbledore sent his twisted servant, Voldemort, to destroy him."

Flip, a page turned, showing Voldemort's defeat at Harry's hands. "Only something special happened. The bad wizard used a spell that had never been blocked or stopped before. No one had ever been touched by it and lived. But Harry did. That is how he came to be known as The Boy Who Lived. He not only stopped it, he turned it back on the wizard who attacked him. The magic of the boy was so strong this terrible dark wizard, servant to an even more terrible dark lord, got destroyed instead of him."

The children made proper appreciative 'ooh', and 'ahh' sounds.

"Naturally, the Twinkling Tyrant realized he had to have this new power, and so he has been trying to destroy Harry Potter ever since."

Telling things eased her heart, and soon both she and her audience became so engrossed in the tale she'd been spinning that she never noticed the news van that pulled to a halt outside the park, spilling reporters, alerted by the man with binoculars and a camera with a telescopic lens (who insisted all he did was bird watching) that had phoned them.

Their cameras and microphones had spontaneously turned to leaves and twigs and one very surprised walrus before they got within a hundred years of her. So by the time they'd called in reinforcements, the press had learned to keep their distance, and tuned in only with long range pickups.

Hermione had been speaking for an hour before she noticed a commotion as police tried to eject the newest news van to arrive. Startled, the girl looked up from her tale of how the Dark Lord Dumbledore used his wicked mind control magic to take over the wizard police sent to arrest him, to see her park of somewhat unnatural reality surrounded by policemen, who had signs and barricades up a safe distance around the effect that turned all of their equipment into assorted things (they were still trying to control the infestation of four hundred bright pink weasels that liked to scurry up people's pants and sing about how lonely they were - no one even knew what those weasels had been before being transformed), and the crowds beyond that barricade stretched as far as the eye could see. Most people had cameras or binoculars out.

A news van, a new arrival, had tried to push through this so they could film the main attraction - her. And the fuss this caused had alerted her to the audience she had brought.

Storytime stopped.

Hermione would have left right then, being dreadfully embarrassed, realizing at last that the only reason the Ministry Obliviators were so late getting on scene was that Dumbledore still controlled their minds, and Dumbledore was not available right now to give them any orders. Being mind controlled, they had no initiative of their own, so did nothing without orders.

As she stood up to leave, however, she spotted her parents' faces among the crowds. The people she'd been waiting for were right there, probably arrived soon after the barricades went up.

Well, Luna'd said to get them. Luna knew what was needed. Who knew WHY this was needed, but this might be the last time she'd see them alive if she didn't get them. They might die in an accident, or be murdered, or... actually all she really needed to know was that they were needed. That was enough.

If they were needed, then not having them was bad. If not having them was bad, then having them was a good thing. And she didn't know if she'd wasted too much time already.

Hermione started striding imperiously towards the barricade.

Seeing she'd noticed her audience at last, a pair of bobbies approached her. At least she assumed they were bobbies, they were wearing leathers that looked like they'd been bought from the local pawn shop, and had 'POLICE' written across them in chalk.

Oh, yeah. Uniforms made by factories out of cloth made by machines had probably not survived her aura too well. For that matter neither had their badges, or utility belts, or shoes. The two burly cops were barefoot as they interposed themselves in her path.

"Hold it, miss. You're to come with us to answer a few questions."

She gazed coolly at them. Were they idiots? "Your station house could not survive my presence. Nor could any prison, nor any street you drove me down for that matter. All this," she waved a hand to indicate the fairy land around them, "is involuntary. I could sooner stop breathing. The longer I stay in your world, the more damage I do to it. So if you'll excuse me, I'll just get done with the errand I came for."

She tried to walk around, only to be blocked again. One of them tried to lay a hand on her, but all without meaning to her aura flared with fire, burning all things to ash in a circle three feet wide around her.

The man REEKED of vice and dishonesty, and her unicorn nature was repelled, acting automatically to trigger her other innate defenses.

The cops had both jumped back too quickly to be burned, although the one held his hand as though it'd gotten a bit too warm for comfort. The other held one of his arms in the air - obviously a signal. If Harry had arranged this, that would be to alert someone at a distance, probably to do something if his arm dropped without some counter signal ahead of time.

So they probably had a police or royal marine sniper out there. Or four or five. It's what Harry would have done.

Four more bobbies were approaching, all dressed the same, all burly men (mostly because none of their weapons or gear could survive coming near her) obviously intending to enclose her - although after that latest display of fire, none of them were looking too keen on the concept.

Hermione drew herself tall. "By the authority of the Fairy Queen, who was old when this island was new, I command you to let me pass."

"Sorry lass, canna let ya do that," one replied.

"Don't make us use force, miss," another replied.

Now her gaze grew frosty. "I know you're just doing your jobs, but I'm afraid that I really have to be getting home now." She quirked her lips. "Or I just might turn into a pumpkin."

One of them feinted while two of them rushed to grab her hands.

"Which would make you the mice."

Ignoring the six small rodents now racing about her feet in confusion, the girl called back to the shocked school crossing guard who was the closest adult witness of this exchange, "Tell them they'll be human again at midnight! Although I can't do anything to make the first one who'd tried to grab me any less of a rat than he already was when he met me!"

Really, there were good, honest cops in this world. But that man wasn't one of them! His aura was positively revolting!

No one tried to oppose her as she resumed her walk towards the barricade, although cameras and directional microphones tracked her every step and swish of her long, blue hair.

Equipment started to short out on her approach, but no one seemed to care.

She'd just about reached the line of people when a hint of white in a now defunct camera caught her eye, and she reached forward into the lens like it was an open window, drawing out a familiar white dog.

"SPAZ!" the girl cried out, laughing as the happy dog licked her face while she held him up in surprise. She just had nuzzle her wriggling prize. "We thought we'd lost you when that awful movie projector ate you!"

Spaz' reply was to continue to lick her face thoroughly. She giggled.

Out of the awestruck silence witnessing this scene, one voice cried out, "Are you a good fairy?"

"The best!" Hermione winked at whoever it was, well, in his general direction, anyway, before tucking the dog under her arms and resuming her walk to her parents.

"I lost a tooth!" One child who had squirmed past the barrier, only to be caught and held in his frightened mother's arms volunteered.

Hermione couldn't resist herself. "You have? Let me see. That's right, that's a tooth, alright. I'll make sure to alert the tooth fairy to this at once!"

"Don't worry, your Majesty, I've already relayed the message," her Hat spoke aloud to the shock of her whole audience. "One of them will be with her shortly, unless you'd rather do the exchange yourself?"

This rather shocked Hermione to her bones, as she'd felt she'd been joking. But rather than force the family to put up with government types camped around the child's bed all night, pulled out a gold coin and accepted the tooth in trade before quickly hurrying on.

"Tell Santa I've been good!" Another child yelled out.

"Sorry, I would never lie to him! And that's a naughty look you've got if I've ever seen one!" In truth, he was a greedy bully if she read his aura right.

Privately, she was starting to wonder for the first time since she was four if there might not be a real Santa Claus after all. If so, Luna was probably related to him.

"Are you a fairy princess?" A reporter appeared in front of her, waving a dead fish about that used to be a microphone.


"Do you live in a castle?"

"Yes. It's invisible, and the Laws of Physics have nicely agreed to arrange for the circumference of the property to equal zero without shrinking the inside so my poor pet dragon doesn't have to kill any nosy solicitors. Now do be a good parrot and fly away and stop bothering me."

The now transformed reporter did so, with an accompanying noisy squawk.

That 'revert at midnight' was a useful trick. She'd have to remember it.

Finally she reached the barrier, and the two pale faced bobbies who stood guarding that part of it had turned about to face her, now dressed entirely in cold cuts, with a banana in each holster.

Someone must have given the order, because several shots rang out. Full metal jacketed slugs ran into her anti-bullet shield with about as much effect as flicking oil droplets at an anvil, before falling to the floor as real slugs dressed in jackets of slimy mucus.

The dog under her arm let out a playful bark, tongue wagging.

Suddenly she recalled that she could turn invisible and did so. No one would know in the coming confusion that two muggle dentists disappeared.


Author's Notes:

I actually didn't intend to write that last scene at all. She was supposed to fetch her parents without anything interesting happening at all. But then I couldn't do that, and it just kept growing and growing.

Sometimes this story surprises even me.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...