Mad Eye walked silently across the rooftop of Malfoy Manor. He could hear the footsteps of Filius and Arthur behind them and all three were slightly nervous as they made their way closer and closer to the vent which they would use to enter the large house. Mad Eye cast his magical eye around the surrounding area but to his irritation he found that it could make out very little in the gloom in the room below – the room which he was about to enter. He wondered why his eye didn’t work in the dark but didn’t question it as he stopped when he reached a small vent in the roof. He waited a moment for Filius and Arthur to catch up. The looks on their faces both showed their fear but they were hiding it quite well. Mad Eye motioned silently to the vent at their feet and Filius looked at it dubiously; there was no way that he could fit in there. He bent down and removed the cover silently as Arthur glanced around at his surroundings, noting the way that the crescent moon hung in the sky, giving them a little light to work with, rendering the use of wands for light unnecessary. His eyes opened wide as he saw a figure moving about in one of the lower windows of the house and he opened his mouth to say something to Mad Eye but it was too late; Mad Eye had pushed him into the vent which magically expanded to fit him. A moment later he got to his feet in the dark room with Mad Eye and Filius at his side. The room was filled with light. “Welcome to Malfoy Manor.” Drawled a familiar voice as Lucius Malfoy stood before them. The room was filled with red flashes and cries of ‘Stupefy!’ as the three men fell to the floor.
Excellent Harry. Remus smiled as he sat with his fingers resting lightly on Harry’s hand. It was one week after Harry’s first lesson in wandless magic and he was picking things up fast. Remus’ eyes looked up at the various objects Harry was levitating in the air – their wands, the clock (which was screeching to be let down), a book and a small snow globe. Remus was sure that when he had been learning the skill for a week he couldn’t have done that, but then again he wasn’t as determined as Harry was to carry on learning until he fell unconscious from exhaustion.
Harry smiled slightly, he knew that he was doing quite well and he was enjoying learning this strange new branch of magic which no one else could do. He hovered everything in the air and brought each item back down, one by one until they were back in their proper places in the room.
“I don’t like you, young man!” The clock told Harry when he placed it back on the bedside table.
“Why not? I only levitated you.”
“And made me feel as if I was about to be sick at the same time!” The clock scowled at him but let it’s eyes stare up at the objects the boy was hovering with amazement when he was sure he wasn’t looking.
“How can it feel sick, it’s a clock…?” Harry muttered and Remus grinned.
“And a strange clock at that, just don’t question it.” He said with a smile.
“What now?” Harry asked him.
“Close your eyes.” Remus said and Harry did so, knowing by now that when he was told to close his eyes he generally entered the room in his mind immediately afterwards. “Watch this.” Remus said to Harry and Harry’s eyes widened as he watched his godfather get up off the bed and stand infront of him and begin to change his form.
“I am not that short!” Harry scowled indignantly as he looked down at Remus who was about a foot shorter than him but apart from that was his exact double. Remus concentrated a moment and grew so that he was the same height as Harry.
“You try.” Harry’s voice said although it came from Remus. At least it sounded quite like him, although there was a difference in his voice that he couldn’t quite place. “Concentrate on the way you want to look and just… change. It’s like transfiguration but on yourself.”
Harry concentrated as hard as he could on the image of Remus.
“No, you’re just projecting the image to me; try to change yourself at the same time.” Remus told him. They had been going through projecting images to one another earlier on which was why they had spent almost a minute sending images of things such as Snape in Neville’s Grandmother’s clothes to each other and other such amusing things. That was one of the definite advantages to using mind to mind communication or speaking through the room they saw in their minds as they were currently doing. They could see through each other’s eyes if they were in the same room mentally and could project images from their imaginations or memories.
Harry felt himself change as he grew taller and slowly turned into his mentor. It was a strange feeling but he was sure that he had felt it before somewhere. He looked to Remus who was smiling.
“Excellent, you look just like me.” He said as he returned to his natural form to show that Harry was still a couple of inches taller than him. Harry realised suddenly where he had felt that before.
“That’s how you become an Animagus…” He said softly and Remus looked at him uncomprehendingly for a moment. “That feeling- I felt it when I became my Animagus form with McGonagall back at Grimmauld Place. I can do it…” Harry said and a smile touched his face.
“You can try once you’ve finished this lesson.” Remus told him and Harry nodded.
“Can you change your image permanently?” He asked him as he let his hold on his form slip and he became himself once again.
“No, you would need unlimited strength to do that.” Remus responded, “I can hold a different form for around half an hour but you get stronger at it the more you do it.”
“Like me with running then.” Harry said, “I spent most of my childhood running away from Dudley and his gang and as a result I can run for ages.”
“Yeah, like that. Although generally you don’t need a gang and the threat of being beaten up to cause you to build up strength.” Remus said, smiling slightly on the outside but not on the inside. Unfortunately for him Harry saw straight through it, since they were in their minds. Harry opened his eyes but concentrated on staying in the room with Remus in his mind at the same time. It worked for a moment and the suddenly more translucent form of Remus smiled at him as his physical self began to twirl his wand between his fingers and in his mind Harry began to levitate things around the room.
It was unusual to see things from the physical point of view at the same time. He just saw objects moving around of their own accord through those eyes, but through his mind he watched them intently, moving things carefully and not breaking his concentration. It was difficult to hold up both sides and Remus was very impressed – they hadn’t gone over keeping concentration balanced between the two sides yet and Harry had clearly been practicing on his own as his physical self curled up in a more comfortable position and in his mind he lowered the objects to the ground. He let his mind slip back into his body and he groaned and held his head in his hands as it began to pound unpleasantly.
“Too much strain on your mind, Harry.” Remus said as he reached out to the boy, “Here…” Remus reached to his head with his right hand and rested his fingertips on his temple.
Harry felt a strange sensation of revitalisation as energy rushed into him. He blinked and looked up at Remus when he realised that his headache was gone.
“What was that?” Harry asked him.
“A slight healing spell which I hope you never use.” Remus said to him.
“It gives your energy to someone else. You can transfer it easily enough by touching your fingertips to their skin and forcing energy into their body.” Remus said, “It’s used to save lives generally if someone’s bleeding to death or something along those lines. There is an incantation for it but I can’t remember it anymore since I don’t really need it.”
“Can I try?” Harry asked and Remus nodded. Harry took Remus’ hand and held it with his own. He pushed gently through the barrier of his skin but instead of entering his mind he pushed his energy into him. Remus pulled back his hand sharply and Harry looked up to him, wondering whether he had done something else instead.
“You did it correctly.” Remus said as Harry leant against his chest, “But you gave me a lot of energy and I don’t want you fainting or anything.”
“Okay.” Harry said softly.
“I don’t want you to use that unless you absolutely have to, and I mean that.” Remus said to him, “You keep your own energy for yourself unless someone really needs it. I know you, you’d give someone energy they need but it would be at great cost to yourself and I do not want you dying because of it.” Remus finished.
“I won’t use it.” Harry said, “Is that healing magic?” He asked suddenly.
“Yes. Madam Pomfrey taught me it a long time ago when I was in the hospital wing.” Remus said to him.
“Do you think she’d teach me healing magic?” Harry asked him and Remus thought for a moment before answering.
“I’m really not sure. She might because she likes to teach and she likes students to take an interest in healing but then again she’s busy and she hates me at the moment.” Remus replied and Harry looked up to him.
“Really? Why?” Harry asked, intrigued.
“Well there’s been sort of a war between the staff recently, me, Severus, Minerva and Filius against Sprout, Trelawney, Madam Pomfrey, Madam Hooch and Professor Sinistra.” Remus explained.
“Teachers don’t have wars.” Harry said.
“They do. We’re a lot more interesting than you’d think. Although that’s generally because we don’t want to seem too interesting to the students…” Remus smiled. “Anyway we’ve been attacking each other all week and yesterday I sort of turned her room upside down.”
“What?” Harry laughed, “How did you do that?!”
“Well I took advantage of the fact that no one was in the Hospital Wing at the time so I charmed all the beds onto the ceiling with Filius’ help.” Remus grinned and Harry laughed.
“What did she do?” Harry questioned.
“She had a fit.” Remus replied, “She came marching into the staffroom to demand that whoever did it put it back but Minerva, Severus, Filius and I hid before she came in.”
“So what happened then?” Harry asked.
“Very little, she’s still trying to get the beds down as far as I know.” Remus smiled mischievously. “It was revenge though, Filch sent that damned cat of his to the top of the stairs and Filius fell over it and down the stairs. Could have broken his neck.”
“It was you who burnt Madam Hooch’s brooms!” Harry laughed.
“Not me. I think it was Minerva actually.” Remus said and Harry grinned.
“You can’t be serious.” Harry said.
“Deadly so.” Remus said, “But if Pomona hadn’t put Devil’s Snare in Snape’s coffee…”
“He did poison Trelawney.” Harry pointed out.
“She had that coming.” Remus told him, “She fancied him after all.”
“And anyone who fancies Snape deserves it.” Harry agreed. “Is Flitwick alright now then?”
“Yeah, he’s fine. He’s still not talking about what happened though, none of them are.” Remus said, “Minerva reckons they had to do something pretty awful to get away from Malfoy.”
“Like what?” Harry asked, intrigued.
“Not sure, kill someone?” Remus suggested. “Lucius Malfoy came up to the school yesterday though and had a good complain about me.”
“What!?” Harry demanded. “What did he say?”
“Cool it, cub.” Remus smiled at him. “Not very much really. The usual complaints that a filthy half-breed such as myself shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near children, let alone hired as a teacher.”
“What did Dumbledore do?”
“He told him that he hired the staff and that I was a good teacher and he was the only one who complained.” Remus said.
“No doubt he dragged Draco into it somehow.” Harry said.
“Naturally, he said his son was too intimidated to return to class.” Remus said. “As it happens I had given Dumbledore my memory of that class in the pensieve upon his request earlier on in the day so I think he knew he was coming.”
“I take it he wasn’t pleased at seeing his son look incredibly unintimidated then.” Harry said.
“Unintimidated really isn’t a word you know.” Remus said with a slight smile, “He told Dumbledore that being loud, brash and rude is his way of showing fear.” Harry raised an eyebrow, “I know. Seriously unconvincing. But of course Lucius’ visit has the whole staffroom debating on just why Malfoy walked out of my class at the start of the year.”
“I reckon it was to try and show you up and see if he could make anyone else leave.” Harry said and Remus nodded.
“That’s what Minerva thinks as well.” He said. “Snape’s getting like Mad Eye though – he reckons it wasn’t really Malfoy at all and it was an impostor.”
“Alright then, why would an impostor walk out of your class?” Harry asked.
“That was Filius’ question to him.” Remus said. “Snape said he didn’t know and left it at that.”
“I still don’t know why Mad Eye didn’t turn up yesterday for my Apparition lesson though…” Harry said, voicing a thought which he had had for quite some time.
“I know,” Remus said, “Maybe he was too tired for it, he hadn’t been out of the hospital wing for that long.”
“True, but you’d have thought he’d tell me.” Harry said.
You would have thought so… Remus agreed mentally but let the subject drop – it was one that Harry would probably contemplate for hours before coming to a decision which was not only most likely incorrect but also irrelevant to everything since he couldn’t get back the lesson he had lost.
“Love you, Remus.” Harry murmured softly as he felt himself slipping into sleep as he leant against his guardian. Remus felt a smile touch his face and warmth spread through him. He fought the urge to ask ‘really?!’ and contented himself with wrapping both arms around him.
“Love you too, Harry.” Remus replied and felt Harry smile against his chest. Harry fought hard not to hug his guardian as hard as he could and refuse to let go. No one’s ever said that to me before… He thought, partly happily and partly sad. They stayed close like that for a few minutes, enjoying each other’s company and not feeling the need to speak until Remus broke their silence.
“Are you going to try and transform then?” He asked him and Harry nodded, pulling away from Remus and standing up. He focussed hard on his Animagus form and remembered the way in which he had changed in his mind. He felt the beginnings of that same sensation in him as he thought of a thestral and then… nothing. Harry scowled and tried again but still he couldn’t manage it.
“I want to know why this is so difficult for me!” Harry said suddenly, giving up for the time being and Remus got to his feet.
“It’s going to be difficult, you’ve not been learning for that long really and it can take years to manage.” Remus said soothingly.
“But I know now, I know how it’s meant to feel and I can make it feel like that at the beginning but I can’t quite do it… There’s something wrong and I want to know what it is.” Harry said.
“Go see Minerva then, she’s not doing anything at the moment.” Remus told him and Harry nodded.
“Alright, I’ll see you later then.” He said and enveloped his godfather in a quick hug before leaving to Remus’ living room, the occupant of aforementioned room walking behind him. He took some floo from the fire place and threw it into the flames. “McGonagall’s office.” He said clearly and stepped through the fireplace leaving Remus on the other side.
Remus smiled as he sat down on the sofa and conjured himself some hot chocolate. He felt very happy at the moment, Harry had told him he loved him and Merlin knew he loved him too. He was the only son he would ever have, he knew that. Then again he was perfectly content with him despite the fact that he was not his biological father. Harry needed him, he knew that much, and that was enough to keep him around even if Harry managed to hate him. He brought the cup of chocolate to his lips and smiled before taking a sip. It was a shame that there wasn’t a Wizarding version of hot chocolate he thought as he curled his legs up on the comfortable sofa and stared into the flames.
“Hello Harry,” Minerva said without looking up from her desk.
“How did you know it was me?” He asked.
“You’re the only one who seems to use the floo around school.” She explained.
“I don’t understand why the staff don’t.” Harry said.
“We just forget and start to walk somewhere.” She said, “We get halfway to wherever we want to be and then wonder why we didn’t floo there. Anyway, what was it you wanted?”
“It’s the whole Animagus thing.” He said to her and she looked up from her work and motioned for him to go on, “I know what I need to do, I know how it feels when I transform and when I was with Remus a bit ago practicing wandless magic I felt the same when I changed my image in my mind –” She looked at him questioningly at this point “– never mind…” Harry said and carried on, “Anyway, I made that feeling again. As if you’re forcing yourself to take on the image of something else.” She nodded.
“That’s exactly what you have to do.” She agreed.
“But that’s the problem!” He said, “I know what I’m doing and I know how to make myself feel like that and I concentrate on the thestral I’m supposed to become and nothing happens!”
She looked at him thoughtfully for a moment before coming to a decision.
“Come here, Harry.” She said and pointed her wand at him, speaking the same spell that she had done when they were back at Grimmauld Place during the summer which had shown his Animagus form in the shape of a thestral.
“Oh my…” She murmured as she stared down at him. He was no longer the little black winged foal he had been before.
A/N: Intrigued? Good. Don't kill me for this, I can explain exactly why Harry's animagus form has changed, I'm not just changing things and saying 'well he didn't really like the idea of being a thestral, so he's going to become a goat instead' that will not be the case... honestly. Anyway, I will get the next chapter up on Saturday morning (or at least morning at GMT) and it shall be called 'The Troubles of the Teachers' as you can guess, it may have the teachers in it. :o)
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