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The evening of September 1st was a very silent affair. The teachers who still had the ability to talk were frantically trying to find a counter spell to the silencing charm placed on the entire student body. Up in Dumbledore's office, James and Sirius were being thoroughly interrogated on the matter, much to their confusion. They knew they hadn't pulled the prank but the fact that they and their two friends were the only ones who could still talk made them seem all the more suspicious. Remus and Peter had avoided blame as neither of them was magically strong enough to perform such a powerful silencing spell. James and Sirius, however, had enough power between them to pull it off.
The main problem the teachers faced was reversing the effects. As only the Heads of House and the headmaster were unaffected, anyone having lessons with any other teachers the next day would be in trouble. If the teachers couldn't speak, they couldn't teach. The students would also be unable to answer any questions in the classes with the teachers that could speak. The staff found the whole situation very frustrating.
Down in the Slytherin common room, Harry was enjoying the effects of the spell. Lucius was getting frustrated, as no-one was listening to anything he tried to say. He had resorted to writing things in the air with his wand, much like Tom Riddle had done in the Chamber of Secrets in Harry's second year. The Boy-Who-Lived was highly amused when Crabbe and Goyle merely stared at the written demands in confusion. After an hour, the miserable Malfoy headed up to the dormitories, silently grumbling to himself. Harry didn't stay up much longer himself, as he was finding it hard not to start laughing at the wildly gesturing Slytherins all trying to communicate with little success. He knew that if he started to laugh out loud, his new Housemates would realise he wasn't affected by the spell.
The next morning, Harry got up especially early and headed down to the Great Hall for breakfast. There was no-one there when he arrived, but that was fine by him. He wanted to make sure he was there before the Marauders so he could see the reactions of the rest of the school when they came for breakfast. He didn't have long to wait. Soon, the rest of the Houses started to pour silently into the room. Unfortunately for the Marauders, they came down late, meaning they were some of the last to arrive. Glares met them as soon as they entered, and they slinked off to the end of the Gryffindor table without saying a word. Harry smiled at his success. He had pulled off a great prank, and he didn't even get the blame. Spotting his friends sitting around the Hall, Harry sent them a quick mental message.
~Hey, guys, how you holding up?~
~Harry! Can you lift this spell? It's getting boring not being able to have a conversation with anybody. And the teachers are looking angry~
~Really? I hadn't noticed, `Mione~
Harry looked up at the head table and saw that most of the teachers were scowling and grumbling silently to themselves. Grinning evilly, Harry inconspicuously waved his hand again, silencing the previously unaffected teachers. Dumbledore and Professor Sewell were interrupted half way through a quiet discussion when they realised they could no longer speak. Harry averted his gaze before they realised who had cast the spell. He smiled smugly to himself. I have the whole school under my control, he thought, this could be fun
Meanwhile, at the Hufflepuff table, Hermione was watching her friend closely. She was starting to get worried about him. In her opinion he was taking the joke a little too far, and should have ended it the night before. She would never give him away to the teachers, but she decided it would be best if she had a little chat with him later on when they met in Harry's room.
After breakfast, the four headed up to Harry's room, from where they would be heading to Corvus Corax to meet the rest of the people going with them to Diagon Alley. When they arrived, Minh and Eustace were already waiting. Harry went straight over to them and gave them each a hug.
Hi Minh, Eustace.
Hi Harry, how was your first day?
It was fun! I did this prank at the feast last night, and I still haven't taken it off!
What did you do? Eustace asked eagerly.
Not much. Just cast a mass silencing spell on the whole school. No one can talk except for us four, and the Marauders.
Why did you leave my son and his friends alone? You can't have become that good of friends already.
Actually, I haven't spoken to them yet. I just told Ron, Gin and `Mione to keep quiet. When James and Sirius were the only ones in the Hall talking, they got the blame!
Harry, that's brilliant!
You're not mad?
Why would I be?
Well, I got your son a detention on the first day.
Ha! I should be mad, but that's just classic. The one time they didn't do anything and they get the blame.
Ahem, Minh said, I think it's time that you two `boys' finished your discussion. It's time to go.
Looking around sheepishly, Harry and Eustace greeted Yanika, Amelia and Heather before heading to the apparition point. Amelia, being a squib, was flooing into the Leaky Cauldron, but the rest were apparating. Once they all arrived, they headed to Gringotts, where Amelia changed some Muggle money while the rest went down to their vaults. When they were all back on the street, they agreed to split up to make the trip faster. The four students were supposed to be in lessons, however disorganised they would be, but had been given the morning off to get their school supplies. It was already ten o'clock, and they had to be back at Hogwarts for lunch at twelve. Hermione, Yanika, Amelia and Ginny decided to pick up books for everyone from Flourish and Blott's, Ron, Eustace and Minh would gather stationary and other bits and bobs, while Harry and his new friend Heather would go to the apothecary to get potions ingredients. They agreed to meet in Madame Malkin's shop in an hour to get their new robes.
As soon as they split up, Harry started asking the Obliviator about his mother, which is what he wanted to do all along. Although he knew from `Tea that Heather was his aunt, he wanted it confirmed from the source.
Heather, are you related at all to Lily Evans?
Yes, I am. I'm her older sister. Why?
Just wondering. I've heard about her at school. She was talking to Ron at the Gryffindor table yesterday. I just thought with you both having the same last name, you might be related
Yes, we are. She's my youngest sister. I have another sister, Petunia, who's the middle child. She's the odd one out, though, as she's just an ordinary Muggle. When I first got my Hogwarts letter, she was really excited. She couldn't wait to be eleven for when she got her own. When her birthday came and passed, she was really disappointed. It got worse when Lily got her letter. Petunia got really jealous, and hardly speaks to the pair of us now. Luckily she left home last year to marry some oaf called Vernon Dursley, so we don't see much of her these days.
She really wanted to be a witch? Harry asked in disbelief.
Yeah, she did.
Wow, that's bad for her.
Yeah, well, there's nothing she can do about it now. So, Harry, do you have any siblings?
Nope, it's just me. My parents died when I was young, so I probably would have had a younger brother or sister if they'd lived.
Well, Ron, Gin, and `Mione are like my family now. I don't know what I'd do without them. These last couple of years, ending up in strange times, I don't know if I'd have stayed sane if I'd been alone. The one good thing about not having a family, though, is that I'm not as homesick as the other three. Ron and Ginny especially miss their family. They have five older brothers, so just being the two of them has been tough. Hermione feels isolated as well sometimes. I think it's because she misses her parents, but unlike the other two, she doesn't have any of her family with her. At least Ron and Ginny have each other, so they're not totally alone.
What about you? Surely you miss home.
Sometimes I miss some of my friends, and my godfather, but most of the time it's a relief. At least here I don't have a madman out for my blood.
Is that what it's like in your time? How did that come about?
I can't tell you much. Preserving the space/time continuum and all. Voldie's still around in my time, and over the course of my life I've done rather a lot to piss him off. I'm his number one target, and have been for years. Two years ago when I landed in Celtic Scotland I was more than relieved. For the first time since I went to Hogwarts, I felt safe.
Welcome to my life.
Everyone met up at eleven as planned, and after a quick stop at the robe shop headed back to their respective homes. Over the hour they had spent alone together, Harry had made a firm friend in Heather, and she promised she would speak to him again at the next Order meeting. Once the four students and Minh were all back at Hogwarts, they headed to the Great Hall for lunch. The place, as expected, was completely silent except for the clinking of cutlery on plates. Harry immediately noticed that the teachers looked more than a little frazzled. He found their state of distress rather amusing, but Hermione didn't join him in his opinion. She sent a quick mental shove his way when she sat at the Hufflepuff table, indicating she wanted him to form a mental link so she could speak to him.
~What is it, `Mione?~
~Harry, I think you should lift the spell. This is going a bit far~
~Aw, `Mione, stop being a spoilsport. If it bothers you that much, lift it yourself~
This had never occurred to her. She silently fumed at her idiocy, being heavily reminded of her fist year with the Devil's Snare when she complained about not having any wood to make a fire. Waving her hand in the way of a counter charm, she was surprised when nothing happened. Looking across the Hall at the Slytherin table, she met Harry's amused smile.
~Ok Harry, what have you done?~
~I set the spell so only I could lift it. Otherwise Dumbledore would have had it ended by now. Before he lost his voice, that is ~
~What? It's just a bit of harmless fun~
~It's not harmless when it disrupts people's education~
~But, `Mione ~
~NO Harry. Lift it. Now~
~Ok, ok, I will. But don't tell anyone I have. I want to see how long it takes people to realise they can speak. It looks like they're not even trying now, and just using gestures. It may be a while before anyone realises~
With a wave of his hand, Harry lifted the spell on everyone. As expected, he sat there for the next twenty minutes in a silent Hall. Thinking they still couldn't speak, the staff and students weren't even trying anymore. When it came time for classes, Harry and his friends picked up their timetables and headed off to their lessons. Harry had double potions with the Gryffindors. When he went in the dungeon room, he took a seat at the back of the class next to Ron. He hadn't had chance to make friends with any of the sixth year Slytherins, as the only ones he had spoken with were Lucius Malfoy in seventh year and Severus Snape in fifth year before he had pranked everyone. His new House gave him a funny look when he sat next to a Gryffindor, but just ignored him after that. When Professor Sewell came into the classroom, she shot red and green sparks into the air to get everyone's attention. After pointing to the board and gesturing for them to write, she started to put the potion they would be making up on the board.
Harry thought it was funny when one of the Slytherins blew up their cauldron half way through the class. Professor Sewell ran over and made to shout, but stopped herself before she had chance to realise she could speak. Instead, she closed her mouth and made angry gestures at the bemused looking student. Harry sat rocking on his chair in silent mirth, trying his best to hold in his laughter. Ron noticed he was starting to turn purple and lifted an enquiring eyebrow.
~She doesn't know she can talk. None of them do~
~You lifted the spell?~
~Yeah, at lunch. `Mione made me~
~Are you saying they've been able to talk for two hours, and no-one's noticed?~
~Yep. They all assume they can't, so they don't bother to try. Some of the other classes may have worked it out, but as you can see, no-one here has~
~Two hours? You're serious?~
Ron couldn't control himself as well as Harry, and burst out laughing. Everyone in the class immediately whirled around and stared at him in astonishment. Professor Sewell was the first to recover and headed over to the boys in the back. Seeing that Ron could talk she tried it herself and was surprised when it worked.
Mr. Weatherby, more laughing from Ron, What is the meaning of this?
I'm sorry, Professor. Harry was just telling me that we've been able to speak since lunch, and no-one's figured it out yet.
And how did you find out, Mr. Ev- Anguifer?
I realised at lunch time when I was coming out of the Great Hall, Harry lied, I didn't want to say anything, incase it was just me and I got in trouble for being able to talk.
And how did you tell this to Mr. Weatherby?
Harry gave her a pointed look.
~You were in the Order in 1944, Professor. Surely you remember I'm a telepath~
Oh, yes. I'm sorry, I forgot. Nevertheless, Mr. Weatherby, ten points from Gryffindor for disturbing class, and five will be awarded for letting us know that we could talk, despite the unorthodox method used.
Yes, Professor, Ron said, getting himself under control.
When everyone went into dinner that evening, Harry was amused to see that only about half of the students were talking. After a few minutes, the rest all tried to talk, and found that they didn't have a problem. Looking up at the head table, the Boy-Who-Lived realised that Dumbledore had a look of relief on his face. Looking closer, it suddenly hit Harry how much pressure the whole thing had placed on the aging headmaster. A knot of guilt settled itself in his chest as he realised how affected the whole school had been. He felt even more guilty when he realised that he enjoyed having the power to do something like that. The thought frightened him a little, but he tried to put it to the back of his mind.
As soon as dinner ended, Harry left to head up to his room where he was to meet his friends. When he got there, Minh and Eustace were sitting in front of the fire, chatting away to Gallatea. When he came in, they all greeted him as he took a seat next to his grandmother. A few minutes later, everyone else arrived, and they spent a good hour catching up on everything that had been going on. Eventually, with a whoop, Peeves came floating through the wall and grinned at the group.
Fellow Marauders, welcome back. Peevesie's missed you all. Had to play pranks myself, I did. Not as much fun. That one today was brilliant, though. A stroke of genius!
That was you?! `Tea exclaimed, looking at the sheepish foursome.
It was Harry, Hermione piped up, earning herself a glare from the boy in question.
Oh, come on! You have to admit it was a good one.
Yes, but you did let it drag on a bit.
True, I must admit. You won't tell Dumbledore, will you `Tea?
Would I do that? Your old time partner in crime? Betray a fellow Marauder? Never!
That's the spirit.
Seriously, Harry, I'm getting worried about you. I heard the confrontation with Lucius Malfoy you had yesterday, and you were acting very out of character. And then letting the prank go on so long
I'm sorry, `Mione. I'm fine though.
Harry, I'm not so sure
Leave it, Hermione.
I said leave it.
Hermione, I'm fine. Leave it.
Hermione looked at her friend skeptically. He didn't seem to be acting like he usually did, but she decided to leave it for now. She would monitor the situation, and if it got any worse she would talk to Ron and Ginny about confronting him. After another half hour, with the old Marauders planning some pranks to rival the new generation, everyone started to leave. Minh and Eustace went back home to their house in Godric's Hollow, and Ron and Hermione went off together to have some time alone as a couple. After Peeves floated off to annoy Filch, `Tea turned to the silent Harry and Ginny.
Alright, you two. I need to talk to you, you in particular, Harry.
What's up, `Tea?
Harry, when are you going to move on?
I mean, I'm dead, and you have a life to lead. When are you going to move on with your life and get a new girlfriend?
What's brought this on?
Well, I was talking to Ginny at the feast, and she seems to have feelings for you.
I know, `Tea, and I must admit, I feel some less than platonic things for her, but I just don't think I'm ready
Harry, it's been over a year for you
But you've had a thousand! You've had time to get over me, but I'm not there yet, Harry said, before turning to the watching redhead, Ginny, I do want to go out with you in the future, if you'll have me. But we discussed this when we were captured. I'll let you know when I'm ready.
I understand Harry, and you're worth the wait.
So what's the problem, he asked, turning back to the ghost.
I just want you to be happy, that's all.
I am, `Tea, but just don't push me. Please.
Harry sighed. When they had been the only three left in the room, he felt something like this would be happening, but he just didn't feel ready to have a relationship with Ginny. He felt a little off at the moment as well. Hermione had been right to be concerned, and he was regretting shouting at her. Deciding he would speak to her in the morning, he said his goodnights and headed back down to the Slytherin Common room.
Much to Harry's relief, the sixth and seventh year Slytherins were given their own rooms. Due to the nature of Slytherins in general, it was deemed unsafe to have the older ones in a room together. You never knew when you were going to be betrayed by a year mate. It was easier to split them all up. It wasn't such a big problem for the younger years, as they didn't know as many spells, and they weren't as dangerous at that age.
When Harry got back to his room, he sat down with one of his Dark Arts books and started to do some bedtime reading. He was disturbed from his learning by a hesitant knock on his door. Going over, he cast a charm that would allow him to see through the door without the person on the other side realising they were being watched. Much to his surprise, Harry found the young Severus Snape standing outside his room, shifting from one foot to the other and looking nervous. With a sigh, the sixth year pulled the door open and ushered the younger boy inside. When they were both seated, Harry started the conversation.
What are you doing here, Severus?
Um I'm really sorry for disturbing you, but I just wanted to thank you.
Harry looked at the boy in amazement. He was nothing like his older self. For one thing, the icy Potions Master would never thank anyone for anything.
What are you thanking me for?
For putting Malfoy in his place. He's been mean to me since I started. I think it's because our fathers are friends.
Ah, yes. The infamous Satanus and Caligula.
You know them? Severus asked in confusion.
Yes, quite well, actually, but I'm not prepared to say how.
Oh, that's alright.
So, what does Malfoy do to you?
Oh, he's not that bad. He just orders me about. He's two years older than me, and he's threatened to hex me if I don't do what he asks.
But why do you put up with it?
Well he's older. And he knows more spells than me. And he disapproves of my loyalties. He says that if I don't do what he says he'll tell my father.
What's wrong with your loyalties?
Severus' eyes widened when he realised what he had mentioned.
I shouldn't have said that!
It's alright, Severus
Call me Sev.
Alright, Sev. It's alright, you can talk to me. I won't judge.
But, we're Slytherins
You have a lot to learn about your new House, Harry. The first rule here is that you don't trust anyone.
Well, you can trust me. And I'm prepared to trust you. I think we both need friends here, so why not be friends with each other. If you give me your trust and be my friend, I'll help you with Lucius.
You can't fight my battles, Sev said, a familiar scowl on his face. Harry smiled when he saw it, realising that the greasy git he knew in the future was in there somewhere.
I don't intend to. I intend to teach you how to fight your own. If you trust me, and let me help you, I'll teach you how to stand up for yourself. You'll find the skills useful in the future.
What sort of skills?
Before I tell you, I have to cast a secrecy charm on you, so you can't inadvertently speak of it to anyone else.
You want to cast a spell on me?
Yes. Trust me.
Sev looked into Harry's eyes and saw the sincerity in them. After a minute thinking over his options he hesitantly nodded his head. Harry smiled and waved his hand, muttering under his breath. Sev's eyes widened when he realised his new friend was doing wandless magic. When he was finished, Harry beamed at his charge.
Now, what do you want me to teach you?
Did you just do wandless magic?
Yes, I did. I can teach you some, if you like. But I have to warn you, you will have to at least appear to be using your wand in lessons. You don't want to give away the fact that you can use it. Save it for battles in the future, when the element of surprise could save your life.
What makes you think I'll be in battles in the future?
There's a war on, you will have to pick a side.
As if I have a choice, Sev muttered under his breath. Harry pretended not to have heard and continued.
I also think you should learn the animagus transformation.
Really?! You could teach me that? Are you an animagus?
In response, Harry turned into his beautiful snow leopard form, startling the younger boy. Severus watched in awe as the leopard stretched out its pure white wings. When Harry turned back, he watched the fifth year in amusement.
Obviously, your form wouldn't be the same, but you get the idea. I'll teach you wandless magic, the animagus transformation, some weapons work, and a whole host of advanced spells. How does that sound?
Why are you doing this? We've only just met.
Because I want to. I think by the time Lucius has spread his poison around the House, no-one else will be friends with me. It's going to be a pretty lonely year if the whole House hates me. I need a friend. Besides, I like teaching, it's fun. And I think you will need the training in the future.
Can I use what I learn on the Marauders?
Who? Harry asked, acting ignorant. After all, he thought, a new student couldn't be expected to know about them yet.
The Marauders. James Potter and his friends. They're the resident pranksters, and think they're so superior. I'm one of their primary victims.
Well, we'll see about that. My friend Ron and I used to be pranksters at our old school, so I think they'll have a run for their money this year. Do you want to help?
Do I ever! Anything to get back at them for all the times they've humiliated me.
Well, I'll warn you now. I'm likely to make friends in other Houses, because I have one of my best friends in each House. Ron's already getting friendly with them, so if I do get to be their friend, please don't abandon me. I'll still be your friend, and I have no intention of helping them with any of their pranks. In fact, if I find out about any against you in advance, I'll let you know.
But they're horrible
Please, Sev. Call it a favour to return the favour I will be doing you.
Well alright. But as long as I don't have to be civil to them.
Oh, no! That's fine.
Alright, then. I'd better get to my dorm, it's getting late.
Yeah, and I have some homework to do.
Before I go, can I ask you something?
Sure, anything, but I can't guarantee I will give you an answer.
Whose side are you on? In the war, I mean.
All I'll say on the matter is that Voldemort and I go back a long way, and I will never bow down to him. Other than that, I do not pass judgment.
Alright. G'night Harry.
As the door closed behind the young Potions Master, Harry let out a loud sigh. He was surprised at how little the boy resembled his older self. Thinking about what they had talked about that night, he wondered if he had a hand in creating the cold and efficient spy he would come to know in the future.