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.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4240771/1/Partially-Kissed-Hero

6Likes
0Comments
23779Views
AA

3. Chapter Three

I I I

So many Ministry personnel had been running around Hogwarts the previous day, questioning people and generally getting in the way, that the first day of classes had been postponed.

Really, the near-death of one of the most famous people in the wizarding world, and clearly their most famous current student, had caused no small amount of an uproar. The staff themselves had been in no condition to teach, much less the poor students try to learn.

The emergency, and getting rid of the dementors that had caused that emergency, while protecting everyone from a repeat of that event until the deadly dangerous creatures were gone, had consumed most of that day, until it was just too late to start their morning classes on it.

Of course, the celebration of Harry waking up at lunchtime had pretty much killed any thoughts of trying to start the day with their afternoon schedules.

Harry, himself, was trying hard to come to grips with Voldemort's memories, so it had been useful to have a whole afternoon and evening to do so. In some ways they felt exactly like his own. He could recall the life of the Dark Lord as if it had been he who'd lived it, and yet... there was no feeling attached to any of those memories.

Harry knew the halls of Hogwarts better than he had ever expected to. The five years of research Tom Riddle had done finding the Chamber of Secrets had led him all across the castle, seeking out tiny silver snakes embedded in out of the way places, so one had to break virtually all rules of the castle to find them all.

That was deliberate, as Salazar Slytherin prized rule breaking as a talent, and his little game of hunt and seek was designed to test for it.

But it left Harry knowing more about the school than he'd ever imagined, including secret passages into all four common rooms, ways of tricking out the passwords to even more secure areas, the presence of a place called the Room of Requirement, and dozens of forgotten storerooms and corners scattered here or there.

However, Harry's newfound knowledge extended over far more than just the school. Tom Riddle had traveled all over Europe seeking for hints of dark magic and secrets that he could acquire. Surprisingly, he'd not bothered much with any other continents, as Europe's ancient and wicked underbelly had more than enough to satisfy him. But Harry knew of lost castles, dead and buried cities turned into catacombs, vampire covens, werewolf colonies and more; enough to really freak him out, to be honest.

Although, he really had no intention of freaking out. The old Harry would have done so, but the old him never could have survived, much less won, a soul-to-soul death match against the horcrux inside of him. Harry had been helped to do so, but he'd also been forced to overcome most of his own flaws in order to be strong enough to win that fight.

Those weaknesses were destroying him, so those weaknesses had to go, and the magical assistance he'd received had enabled the healing of them, which at last had been enough to win that little fight.

Otherwise he would've been another Voldemort standing there, wearing Harry's body like a set of clothes. And that was a chilling thought, as Harry now knew that had nearly been what happed to Ginny in the Chamber. One Voldemort was bad enough, but one soul guiding two bodies, or three?

No, that thought was just too terrifying to contemplate.

Of course, there was so much else to contemplate in there that it was easy to focus in on something else. Harry had, so far as he knew, all of the dark idiot's memories up to the very moment Voldemort had bounced a killing curse off of baby Harry's forehead. That meant that Harry'd also seen his parents. Of course, this was from Voldemort's perspective, and he was dueling them at the time, which was not so pleasant a memory to have, but if he could ignore that aspect of it, Harry could now recall seeing his parents alive on no less than four separate occasions - thrice while they defied him and escaped, and once when he'd ambushed them and they'd lost.

It was a bit odd of a memory to cherish, seeing as how they'd been flinging spells at one another on each of these occasions. But Harry knew it wasn't really him fighting his parents, merely the point of view of the window he was looking out of, so he could cheer each success on his parents' part, even though their attacks seemed directed at him.

Actually, thinking about that night brought several important facts to mind. One was that Sirius Black was no Death Eater. If he was, Voldemort would've known it! And secondly, it had been Snape who had brought the Dark Lord the information on that prophecy that led to the attack on his parents (and the bastard had even had the GALL to ask for Lily to be preserved and bound to him as a sex slave for his reward!). Third, it had been Peter Pettigrew who had betrayed Harry's parents, giving away the secret he'd kept for them.

Truthfully, Harry now knew more about the events leading up to that night than any other person living. He also knew of Tom Riddle's precautions that kept him from dying fully. So he knew that his enemy was still out there somewhere, trying to return. What facts he hadn't known from Voldemort's memories could be filled in by Harry's own observances on his first and second year encounters with remnants of the villain.

Ack! So much to do!

Harry's first act on leaving the Headmaster's office had been to turn back the Time Turner twelve hours, to that morning, slip on his father's invisibility cloak, and go down to the Chamber of Secrets, thanking that bumbling over-eager dealer at the Safari Shop that had loaded him down with the equipment to render large animals down into their component parts.

Necessary for trophy hunting, but also for collecting rare ingredients, of which just about every part of a basilisk was one. Pity the eyes had been destroyed, as they were a focus of so much of the creature's magic they were immensely valuable, and could be put to a number of rare uses.

However, the creature's flesh was so poisonous that it had not decayed much in only two short months. A lack of scavengers down there helped a great deal in preserving the corpse, of course. So Harry had busied himself with rendering that giant serpent for magical parts while he'd thought over his situation and what to do about it.

The work had kept him calm and given him opportunity to ponder, just like working in Aunt Petunia's garden had once given him time to think. There was really so much Harry had to do it was stifling, and worse, the Headmaster had him under effectual house arrest, whether at school or at home. There were things he'd have to do, if he were going to defeat Voldemort, that just couldn't happen while he was trapped at Hogwarts.

Also, he got the strong impression he did not have very much time.

A day of thought had helped him settle out his priorities, however. And a good night's rest had helped also. There was still a great deal he could do while trapped at Hogwarts. The amount of things he wanted and needed to do were falling all over each other in a cascading flurry, everything wanting to be dealt with first. So he guessed that it didn't matter that he couldn't get to the outside stuff just yet, as he had more than enough on his plate at the moment of immediate needs to be seen to now.

Speaking of plates, he got up early and hurried down to breakfast so he didn't have to watch Ron's table manners.

When Ron did come down he was fuming, and plopped himself down to an angry seat beside Harry. "Your cat tried to eat my rat, I'll have you know."

'Ah! An opportunity! I was wondering when I'd get to bring that up,' Harry thought, before reaching into his belt pouch and producing four coins left over from his spending spree at the Alley that summer. "I'll tell you what, Ron. I'd rather not argue all year over this, so why don't you sell Scabbers to me? I'll pay you four galleons for him, and his cage."

Ron's jaw dropped. His anger evaporated, and he was off like a shot toward the common room to get his rat and make the trade before Harry wised up and changed his mind.

"Hello, Hermione, how are you?" Harry asked his best female friend as she appeared. Her answer was to go right to up him and give him a hug, which he surprised her by returning, holding it for long moments that reassured them both and left them feeling very happy.

"I'm a bit eager to get to classes, actually," Hermione brushed hair out of her face with a negligent gesture as she sat down beside him.

"Me too," he smiled, then leaned forward to whisper in her ear, "Dumbledore gave me the same schedule as you."

The girl fidgeted. "Harry... how could he? I mean... oh!" Her eyes widened as he let her catch a glimpse of the chain he had around his neck. Then she broke into a big grin and gave another hug. "Oh! We're going to have so much fun together! Do you have the books on Muggle Studies?"

"No, in fact I don't," Harry began, only to get interrupted by Ron returning with Scabbers in a rat cage.

"You aren't going to welsh, are you?" Ron put the cage before Harry, with a look of concern, sure that his friend had wised up while he wasn't there to watch him.

"No, here you are. Four galleons, and now I own Scabbers the rat," Harry put the coins in his best male friend's hand.

"Harry, you know you can only bring one pet to Hogwarts, don't you?" Hermione looked askance at this exchange.

"Yes," Harry nodded. "But I really wasn't planning to keep Scabbers at Hogwarts. Excuse me for a moment."

Harry picked up the rat's cage and left the Great Hall, only to return in a moment without it, and he was smiling as he resumed his place at breakfast.

"What did you do with Scabbers?" Ron asked.

Harry enjoyed his shrug. "Oh, I sent him someplace where I could keep him without breaking the 'one pet per wizard' rule at Hogwarts. That's all."

I I I

When Harry left the Great Hall with Scabbers, he passed himself on his way back in and gave his other self a jaunty wave. The other him went back in to sit with his friends and finish having breakfast, while the present Harry went to catch a floo ride, when he caught sight of McGonagall out of the corner of his eye, and sensing in her an opportune moment, rushed over to intercept the Professor before she made it to the Great Hall for her own breakfast.

She caught his approach out of the side of her eye and turned to meet him. "Ah, Mister Potter, was there something you wanted? If so, could it be discussed while I'm having breakfast? I wouldn't want to miss it, and my day is rather full."

Harry hurriedly shook his head. "No, Professor McGonagall. I couldn't think of food at the same time as this. Ron started a fight about how his rat and my cat didn't get along, so I bought his rat to stop fights from forming. Now, I know about a 'one pet per wizard' rule, and frankly I care for my cat a great deal more than anyone ever could for Scabbers. He's useless and lazy. So, I was wondering if you knew of a charm that could put him down painlessly?"

McGonagall looked at him with pinched lips. "You know, you could simply send the animal home to your relatives to keep for you."

"Accounting, Professor McGonagall. Cost for benefit." Harry corrected in a prim tone of his own, rather closely resembling Hermione. "Scabbers offers no powers, useful abilities or playful enjoyment, in fact he's so lazy he rarely wakes up. I have no affection towards him, and rats pee over every surface they cross - it's how they navigate, by smelling for their own urine trails. Frankly, it's gross. He's not worth the cost to feed and care for. But it was worth the galleons to save my friendship with Ron."

"Then I suggest you give the animal away, or let it go free," McGonagall primly declared in tones of disapproval, before turning her back and walking off, having nonverbally declared the conversation over.

Harry had a moment when he could see himself pressing the issue. In fact the appropriate words sprang to mind. He could just say, 'Oh, well I guess I'll try this, then, Diffindo!' and cast a Cutting Curse, carefully aiming it between the cage bars.

But he could already see where that would go.

Scabbers would explode into energy, trying to evade the curse (Peter was already terrified, having listened to Harry's conversation with McGonagall). So he might have to cast it several times, shaking the cage as he did so to tumble Scabbers back into the spell's path.

Professor McGonagall would turn around in shock at the sound of the spell, mouth open to deliver a sharp reprimand, and perhaps take House points. If his first spell missed she'd take the rat away, deliver several sharp and stinging reprimands, along with the punishments of House points and a detention or two, and then she would let Scabbers go free out in the forest somewhere, leaving Peter free to go his own way and get up to trouble.

Not acceptable.

On the other hand, supposing he hit, the cage would burst open to reveal Peter Pettigrew, thought dead, who would be trying to staunch the flow of blood out of his stomach, or someplace.

Even if Harry stunned the man to stop him from telling a string of lies to cast his surprising survival in a good light, McGonagall would see him as an old friend returned, squash any of Harry's objections (like she had many times before), and see to it that Peter went to the Hospital Wing, where he'd be put under the best of care by Poppy. And either he would be treated as a hero and welcomed back into the land of the living, or he'd escape to continue hiding out, or going about whatever foul misdeeds he wanted.

Whatever Harry tried would not be listened to, because he was a kid, and none of them had ever listened to him before. So he elected not to go down that path. Instead, he shot McGonagall a shy and disarming grin. "I'm sorry. No one ever taught me how to deal with pets."

He was about to go on, but the professor interrupted him, "You said you had a cat this year? What happened to Hedwig?" she asked in a concerned voice.

Harry gave her the look of a child eager to explain its good idea. "Oh! She is staying with Hermione's parents this year! I figure, I only use her for sending mail during the summer, and if I need to do so at school I can always use a school owl. But, this way they can send their daughter packages and letters without waiting for her to send them something first! Hermione can always use school owls to send mail to her parents, but until now they couldn't start a contact if she got busy with schoolwork or forgot, or whatever. Now they can surprise her, if they want to."

The Transfiguration teacher softened slightly at this explanation.

Harry gave a bright and deliberately charming little shrug, hefting Scabbers in his cage. "Anyway, I'd better go off and get this thing registered, and its powers examined, so that way whoever gets it will know what it can do. With your permission, Professor?"

The professor considered it a moment before sharply nodding, leading him at a brisk pace back to her office. As they did so, Harry muttered, just low enough for her to hear, but as if talking to himself, "Although why anyone would want... I mean, rats pee over EVERYTHING! Even your hands if you pick them up! Which, if you think about it, Ron was handling him all of the time, and NEVER washed his hands before eating, and didn't use utensils much, just grabbing things to put on his plate or into his mouth..."

The professor turned slightly green, but pretended not to hear.

McGonagall led him to her office and opened up the floo, sending him off with a sharp, "Make sure you are back in time for your classes, Mister Potter!"

He nodded and disappeared into the fire, with a sharp call of, “Ministry of Magic!” as his destination.

'That was rather well played,' Harry congratulated himself on a performance having accomplished his goals more than adequately as he spun through the magical transport system. By igniting McGonagall's fears of him destroying it, she was inclined to speed any alternate option. Giving the animal away was her own suggestion, but registering a beast so it could be certified harmless and not some concealed menace was a standard measure - and one that the Weasleys could never have afforded to take on an ordinary rat Percy had just found out in their garden.

So, rather than having had to sneak out of Hogwarts, McGonagall had sent him on his way herself, following a course of action she herself suggested - preparing papers for the rat so it could get another owner.

Arriving at the Ministry, Harry quickly ducked behind a potted plant and discretely spun himself back two hours, then used the intervening hours to start a number of legal procedures.

The whole Ministry was still in an uproar, which he shamefully used to its full advantage. They'd 'done him wrong' and were eager to be seen making things right, so he got special attention to all of his grievances.

Sadly, there was no official record of Albus Dumbledore having placed him anywhere. Apparently people just believed the old coot when he'd promised them things like, 'Harry Potter was placed with his relatives, where he'll be safe.' Note that statement - there was no actual indication that Albus had done the placing, only that he knew that Harry had been placed. He could, at need, haul in some disposable underling to blame for the 'lapse in judgment' or some such for having effectively enslaved the Boy-Who-Lived to bitter enemies of his family, who hated everything magic with a burning passion.

And, actually, he'd probably already set up Hagrid to suffer that fall for him, if such did get divulged and a scapegoat became necessary. After all, it had been the Groundskeeper who had done the leg work of taking Harry from the ruins of his parents' home and delivering him to the doorstep of the Dursleys - it would be simplicity itself for the Headmaster to disclaim any knowledge about how horrid the conditions there were.

Albus simply hadn't been informed, that's all. Surely, if he'd known how bad it would have been for young Harry, he would've stepped in. But, sadly, Hagrid had never told him any specifics that could have revealed such danger!

It was all the Groundskeeper's fault. Harry could already imagine the tears of perfectly faked remorse Dumbledore would summon as he planted all of the blame for any reported mistreatment squarely on Hagrid, for not having done any due diligence at all in investigating those wicked muggles.

I told you to do that? Why, Hagrid? How could you have misunderstood me so badly? What I'd said was...

No, the Headmaster's dodge was already in place. Of that, Harry was certain. He'd never be caught under the falling anvil of responsibility should reports surface about the nightmare of Harry's upbringing, enslaved to his enemies who'd personally hated him and everything he stood for.

Nevertheless, Harry made precisely that report - because that was what the Dursleys were, bitter enemies of his family, who hated everything magic with a burning passion. And he had been their slave for ten full years.

He also made sure to make a good sob story out of it.

A normal child would feel guilt and shame, and conceal at least some aspects of the truth in order to gloss over the worst of it, fearing as though they themselves were to blame for their treatment. Harry had no such inclination. He wanted the Dursleys to suffer. He wanted them stripped of their power over him, so he never had to put up with them ever again.

He made sure to have an auto-notes quill going under his chair when he was giving his testimony before the Aurors and Underage Magic office, where he was making a case for his emancipation because of "the barbarous cruelty of those torturous creatures who'd abused him so horribly."

Sadly, Harry couldn't tie the Headmaster to that publicly. There was just no proof. However, there would be a few who knew the truth, and would be able to connect the dots. If any of them chose to come forward, well, gravy. He did not either expect or require that, it would just be nice.

In the end, after a full examination by a team of St. Mungo's Healers and Mediwitches, who confirmed his report of massive, long term abuse, neglect, overwork and near-starvation, Harry was free to go take advantage of his next opportunity while the Ministry caught fire in righteous indignation over this newest scandal, launching off onto their next crusade on behalf of their precious Boy-Who-Lived.

Fame was a weapon, something that Dumbledore understood all too well. And certainly a part of his having kept Harry locked up and isolated was to ensure that the boy never learned how to use his own reputation.

Well, too late for that. Tom had been an expert on fame before he'd chosen fear. He'd built himself up from a know-nothing nobody without a respectable old family name to the leader of House Slytherin whose peers willingly swore allegiance to him and his cause. Selfish pureblood bigots fought for him and died for him, seeing his ambitions as their own.

That takes no small amount of skill, and Harry had inherited that. It was time to put it to good use.

Actually, Harry had a number of things to be pursuing at the Ministry that morning, and the very least of such would be to destroy one of Voldemort's servants, and in the same motion helping to free a possible ally of his own.

Peter Pettigrew's destruction was not actually high on Harry's list of things he had to attend to. There were too many things he counted as emergencies for that. No, Death Eaters were strictly 'targets of opportunity' as far as he was concerned. It was just that Peter had fallen practically into his lap.

And, of course, there was also the issue of Sirius Black. Voldemort knew the man was not a Death Eater, his secret right hand man, or any of the things that poor escaped prisoner had been accused of. And, since Voldemort knew it as of the time of his death, Harry also knew it.

So, there was an innocent man out there, close friend to his parents, a good if not spectacular dueler (the only Marauder other than James to have stood up to fight Voldemort personally and lived to tell of it), who was being hunted like a mad dog, and who just happened to also be Harry's godfather.

Well, call him naive, but it seemed to Harry that a blitz attack was going to be the only way to slip anything by Dumbledore in the Ministry. Riddle'd cared little for details of all of the internal politicking going on there. During his first rise, it had been Lucius' playground, and Voldemort had been content to give orders and demand results.

It wasn't like he could pursue his own aims there in person, after all.

However, even though his perspective was second hand, Tom knew that Albus had been a shrewd player on that battlefield. One would think the old man's power base was at Hogwarts, but during political struggles at the Ministry of Magic it was clear that canny old codger never lost a battle there he did not intend to lose.

And the few power struggles at the Ministry Dumbledore did choose to lose he'd always try to arrange in such a way so that shortly afterward, everyone could see what 'fools' they'd been for not having trusted him all along! Thus increasing his influence and power, as rather than being seen as a sinister tyrant who always got his way, he was viewed as a noble voice of reason that people ignored at their peril - because he was always proven right in the end.

No, Dumbledore didn't have to be the Minister of Magic. He already wielded all of the power there through his colossal reputation.

Harry wanted his freedom. But he suspected that Albus would fight him so hard on that issue that Voldemort might have an easier time getting his body back than Harry would of getting emancipated. So, having thought through that, he'd already resolved to put more than one iron into the fire.

Whoever this Sirius Black person really was, he almost had to be better than the Dursleys. And, if he wasn't, his record was shady enough so that Harry could get himself withdrawn from his custody in an instant, if that was called for. So, it was a very small risk to him to set whatever wheels had to be put in motion for him to be cleared of all charges, and granted custody of Harry.

He would prefer emancipation, but would take a different guardian if that was all he could get. And blocking both of those, when there was currently a surge of 'Help our poor Harry' feelings running high all around, ought to at least tax the old man's abilities.

Hopefully, the old man couldn't block everything forever.

Harry would prefer to set on a third course for freedom, but that would have to wait. He had a complete set of secondary options, but none more that could be pursued while these present plots were brewing.

There was a young lady, just out of Hogwarts, at the pet registry center of the Ministry. Oh, it had a funky, self important name, the Registry of Magical Creatures Sub-Department, a smaller attachment to the Department for the Disposal of Dangerous Magical Creatures (where, according to memories acquired from Tom, there was still a loyal Death Eater working). But, in order to sell a creature as a magical pet, you had to pass it through here.

Peter was frantic at being there, understandably so. Still, it did him no good whatsoever to scamper around his cage, since Harry had been wise enough to put some very strong locking charms not only on the door, but also the major joints, so it couldn't even come apart under the rat's thrashing.

Peter's efforts just annoyed the young lady, who had to cast her stunner several times in order to hit the frantically evading rat. And, by the time she'd succeeded, the pretty young witch was greatly annoyed at the critter.

Then she started her regime of diagnostic spells, meant to certify a critter as harmless.

Peter was anything but.

A dark magic detection spell came up a faint positive. This was apparently rare enough to raise a daintily plucked eyebrow on the girl, although Harry imagined that she shouldn't be too surprised. Those who kept the really dark pets never made the mistake of trying to register them as harmless. But the boy also made note of the spell, as it just might have been reacting to Peter's Dark Mark, and a spell for revealing those would be terribly useful if Tom should come back and start getting some new recruits.

Harry already knew what Tom knew about his old ones, of course.

Naturally a positive, even a faint one, on such a fundamental part of the pet certification process demanded additional scans, and deeper ones, and once again Harry made careful note of the spells the young witch was using, as he could imagine far more uses for them than just certifying pets.

One of the great weaknesses of the magical world was that, unlike muggles, they did not have enough common sense to apply good solutions to several problems. A muggle with a cigarette lighter could and would start any sort of fires, whereas a wizard with a cigarette lighting spell would light cigarettes. And only rarely was that strictly a limitation built into the spell itself.

Apparently, Peter had been a naughty person, because he came up badly on enough of those spells to clearly alarm the young woman, enough so that she called in Auror support - an interested party from the Department for the Disposal of Dangerous Magical Creatures was already on hand by then, having been only just next door.

Then it came time for the big event Harry had been waiting for, the animagus revealing spell, and one part Peter had panicked over, because he knew it would expose him (and one very good reason why he couldn't truly expect to have hidden out with a family more wealthy than the Weasleys, as there were too many dangerous magical critters out there NOT to pay the seven sickles for the extra bit of security registering your pets offered most people).

Pet shop animals came already certified. But the 'Oh, I just found this on the lawn, can I keep it?' sort of pets did not. But there were enough flesh-eating slugs and other things out there not to trust most of the latter sort, thus the whole registration process in the first place.

As expected, once the revealer spell hit Peter, he became Peter again, and no longer Scabbers the Rat.

To the surprise of the young lady, the disposal expert, and the Auror (but not to Harry) Peter had already overcome the stunner and made a mad dash for freedom the very instant his increased size broke him out of the cage.

Harry brought him down with another well-placed stunner, right in the back. What he'd wanted to do was launch a pair of blasting curses to blow out the rat man's legs out from under him, so he could never run away under any circumstances, ever again.

But a bloodthirsty image would not suit the Golden Boy of Gryffindor.

"Wha... what did you do that for?" the witch sputtered dumbly.

Harry shot her a sharp look. "This is a suspicious character! Don't you think it a bit odd that Scabbers the Rat was a MAN?! Why would anyone choose to hide out for twelve years as a FAMILY PET? Huh!?" While the Auror and other 'responsible adults' stared in mute shock, Harry bent low and searched the stunned Pettigrew's clothes, surreptitiously palming both wands he found on him, noting in pleasure that one of those was Voldemort's. Then he lifted the man's left arm up to show off the dark mark to the trio. "Would you look at that? This man is a Death Eater."

"Pettigrew?" the Auror's voice strangled out, even as she'd come closer to examine him herself, and confirm indeed that it was he.

Peter chose that moment to surge up once more (Harry's stunner had been deliberately weak) and dash away again. This time a pair of blasting curses did take out his knees from beneath him, blowing off both legs near the hip.

After all, a stunner hadn't worked, and from the way Harry had positioned himself, between and slightly behind the adults, the Auror would think the disposal agent had done it, and the disposal agent think the Auror did. A minor Confundus on each, and both would even believe they'd thrown one of the pair of spells, intending to stop the man by aiming for the floor ahead of the suspicious character.

Now Harry permitted himself a small, and wholly internal, grin of satisfaction. Workers at the Ministry were idiots, the lot of them. It was inevitable that someone among this circus of fools would have permitted the animagus to escape in one unguarded moment.

But even a rat had to have legs with which to flee on.

I I I

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