Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In @nonsensicalrants
16: One Week Down

Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In

By NonsensicalRants

Chapter 16:

One Week Down


The remainder of the week was mostly a repeat of his first class with the third years, teaching the precursor to meditation techniques each and every student. Some took to it like water, most needed guidance. And that's what he was for

It wasn't a particularly difficult task, however. All he needed to do was find out any habits his students did when naturally absentminded. Do you often play with your hair absentmindedly? Great! Use that bad habit as a trigger to make your mind, well, absent. From pacing, to snacking, to slouching to twirling a quill. Each person is unique, hence the pointlessness of breathing and body awareness exercises when teaching people(particularly children) meditation.

The real hiccups he ran into were with the students themselves. Keeping a calm and cool exterior when encountering long dead friends was tough enough, doing so while two ex girlfriends reverted to horny teenagers was equally difficult. And so went his class with the fifth years, where Dennis Creevey, Ginevra Weasley and Luna Lovegood shared a table. And boy did they like to stare.

It may have been Snivellus' teasing, or the fact that due to his extrasensory capabilities he could actively FEEL what Ginny and Luna were putting off like a miasma of pheromones, but he got the feeling that if they were seventh years instead of fifth he would absolutely fall to temptation and lose his job. He committed to himself never to supervise a detention involving either of them. But isn't that what Filch and Hagrid are for? Hmm. What about Madam Pince and Pomphrey? He'd never had detention with either before which was partly because one of them didn't exist in his world, but still, he should ask them what their methods of detention are.

"I have them wash the linen and hospital gowns by hand with a galvanized washboard and hang them out to dry on the rooftop patio." Rebecca explained. "Only accessible through my office, if you're ever looking for a quiet place to sit and think away from students."

To think there were parts of the castle that even he hadn't been to. But something about how inviting the young healer had made her offer told Harry it might not be wise to accept, what with the whole him dating Bellatrix thing.

Irma Pince had a rather different answer.(A/N-1)

"If you so much as think about pawning off trouble makers on me, I'll reduce you to potion ingredients for Severus and Lily's next potion experimentation binge." She warned, likely unaware that he knew who Lily was. "I have a difficult enough time trying to prevent vandalism and theft of the fourth greatest repository of magical knowledge in the world, don't give me more work!"

Harry had to resist informing her that it was actually the fifth largest, as that would reveal he knew about the one place that comes close to matching the ICW's Magnus Fontis, the magical side of the Library of Congress and that maze beneath the Great Plateau that the Egyptians guarded like treasure. That could get him into legal trouble, owning one of those surgically installed portkeys was one of the only ways known to escape from Azkaban, after all.

He'd be willing to bet quite a few galleons that she had one such portkey embedded into her palm, but he'd never make such an accusation in public. Or Private for that matter.

Aside from that it was a quiet first week of classes. It was still too early in the year for tensions to be rising high enough that he'd have to break up fights, deal with bullies or overstressed students getting involved in self-destructive behaviors.

His study groups were going well and he continued to exchange increasingly awful Haiku's with the black sisters. They, thankfully, stopped sending collaborative ones and were sending them individually.

Tis a bad habit

Keeping your lady waiting

Be prompt in writing

B.W.B

Clearly Bella had taken his delay in telling her about his first day as a slight. Perish the thought.

Wear the green proudly

It suits you better than red

It matches your eyes

A.I.T

Mrs Tonks was speaking to him with a familiarity as if to imply she knew better than she did. He had to wonder how much personal information Bella was sharing with her sisters? He used to be worried that she might be sharing information on him with Voldemort sympathizers. Turns out he should have been more frightened of the entirety of Britain knowing every detail about their budding romance. What else is new?

He takes after me

Spoiled Rotten and so vain

He'll grow out of it

N.D.M

Well, at least she's somewhat self-aware. And in good humor. Hopefully his friendship with the woman in this reality would go more smoothly than in his universe. And not be build on the sandy foundations of life-debt triangle.

Aside from that all was peaceful and simple. He would teach the exact same thing to every group of students and helping those in need with homework. This still left him with plenty of free time to plan out his class schedule.

He knew he'd have to catch them up on palmistry(actual palmistry, not the superstitious bs used by soothsayers the world over), so he'd start with that. He needed to get them interested in basic philosophy and logic and try to get some economics in there to help them make accurate. Each of these things were vital in making accurate predictions of the future, both generally for society and for an individual. He added body language to his palmistry plans.

It was Friday when he finally had his second class with the seventh years. Before he could even give them the same song and dance about clearing their minds Draco and Hermione handed him a twelve page essay. Duel sided.

He then proceeded to actually give them the same song and dance about becoming absentminded and left them to their own devices. They quickly confirmed his suspicion that they had been hounding their younger years about the first actual divination test because they all had the hand of it within fifteen minutes.

Which left him an hour and a half to read and critique the 24 page essay on the inherent magic within Muggles. And it was one hell of an essay.

Beyond it being barely coherent with each paragraph alternately being written by one or the other, with commentary by miss Bones thrown in, the amount of information crammed in could have easily been stretched out into an essay twice as long. He was suddenly thankful that Harry and Ron's habit of bullshitting their way through essays was one neither of these three ever picked up.

At least their spelling, grammar and paragraph spacing were perfect. He had nightmares about the dressed single block of chicken scratch he was promised he'd get eventually.

And so he did his due diligence and actually graded the essay as he read their arguments, and by the end of it was thoroughly disappointed in his friends. He finally, regrettably, had a chance to open his bottle of red ink and scrawled a big, fat A for acceptable on the final page.

He checked the clock and discovered there was still twenty minutes left in class. And so after quickly checking, for what must have been the hundredth time in just as many minutes, that his students were managing to keep their minds cleared he addressed the class.

"Alright everybody, I'm letting you out early since you decided to study ahead." He told them.

Que the fanfare.

"I'll see you all Monday. Expect a more practical class this time." He warned. "Mister Malfoy, Miss Granger. Please stay behind."

The two excitedly approached his desk as their peers filed out. That excitement vanished when they saw their grade.

"An acceptable!?" The chorused.

"That's like C!" Hermione added, and Draco scowled at the reference to Muggle schooling.

It was actually more like a C plus, but he knew telling her that wouldn't console her.

"That's because it is acceptable." He told them. "I told you, or at least strongly hinted, I would be grading you based on the quality of your research and arguments. And while the latter was worth of an exceeds expectations, the former was not."

He took the essay back from them.

"Miss Granger, your position was that the theory of Muggles being inherently magical but incapable of using deliberate magic due to psychological factors cannot be possible." He summarized. "And your reasons were that if this were true adult Muggles, when they found out about magic, either by marrying a witch or wizard, siring a witch or wizard themselves or by going off the deep end and suddenly believing thesmelves Jesus reincarnated or an esper. But we don't see that happen. Is this a correct summary of your position?"

"Well, I also argued that squibs wouldn't exist if this were true. And that most children believe in some form of magic or another, by way of father Christmas, miracles in the case of religion, or superstitions about luck or I'll omens." She said.

Harry nodded.

"And Draco, you argued that it was likely because of the very incidents I exposed you to. The people dying or going missing due to accidental magic and that if magic was purely genetic Muggleborns simply would never exist, or certainly not in the numbers we see if it was simply a recessive gene. Is this a fair assessment?"

Draco hesitated.

"I had other things I wanted to argue, but I didn't want to be too... caustic, I think, is the word Susan uses when Granger and I get heated."

Ohhhh. He was starting to understand why their essay had been so lackluster.

"Do you mean to tell me." He ground out. "That you two agreed to do collaborative, argumentative essays together, and then missed the whole point of doing so by refusing to criticize each-other's arguments and points... out of fear of hurting each-other's feelings?!"

They had the decency to look abashed at that.

"Well, when you put it that way. It does make it sound like we're being a bit..." Draco began.

"Cowardly?" Hermione offered.

"Yes. That. But you don't understand sir. She and I have gotten into really heated discussions. One or both of us had to go to Pomphrey in a few occasions."

Oh Harry knew full well. Even after their Hogwarts days those two were volatile together. Volatile, but occasionally brilliant. Hermione had given Draco several black eyes like in third year when he mouthed off - and in a few of those occasions he had even been right - and he had returned the favor exactly once.

Ron had been there. But even he was too surprised at the venomous thing she had spouted at him that he couldn't bring himself to be enraged at the blonde ponce knocking her lights out. Draco, on the other hand, had the decency to look horrified about it.

They never talked about that incident again. But they also never stopped making jokes about Draco's devotion to gender equality. And Hermione toned down her venom for the reformed Slytherin.

"And what holes in both of your theories did you think you missed?" Harry pushed on.

"Well, I think she missed out on the variability of magic in individuals." Draco admitted. "Not all witches and wizards are created equal, regardless of belief in magic or ones abilities. To the point that even having the term squib is less a definite title, than it is a spectrum."

This was exactly right. There are witches and wizards out there so weak in magic that they can't do anything more advanced than a levitation charm. But they are a witch and wizard all the same.

"Correct. There are many people in this world born with so little magic that it's barely noticeable. In fact, a large portion of the Muggle population, due purely to centuries of breeding, are such people. So yes, most Muggles are incapable of advanced magic. But Apparition, especially accidental, isn't advanced. Especially not when in a place flooded with magic, like the deep wilds or ancient cites where weak Muggles can unintentionally tap into wells of power not their own." Harry explain. "Also, Free hint. What are the two biggest signs that a person is particularly gifted in magical prowess?" Harry pressed.

Hermione raised her hand and then blanched when Harry answered with a raised eyebrow. They weren't in class, after all.

"Performing magic at a particularly young age, or at a particularly old age." She recited.

That was also exactly correct. While Harry didn't hold the world record for the oldest person to have accidentally inflated a relative while angry, thirteen was pretty old for accidents like that. And it was an incident that became widely known purely because of what it implied about how potentially powerful he was.

Meanwhile Voldemort still had accidental explosions of magic into his seventies. What did that say about him? Beyond, you know, him being emotionally immature enough to throw temper tantrums in his twilight years.

Yeah, he was that ridiculously powerful. Towards the end there he was more magical being than human.

"Are you saying... Ohhhh!" Draco said in realization. "If a witch or wizard is weak enough in magic, and doesn't develop what little they have from a young age, then like any other muscle or mental acuity it will decay with age and be nonexistent by adulthood."

Harry nodded at Draco's conclusion.

"It's more analogous to language." He said. "Children so horribly mistreated as to have never learned how to speak or socialize, by a certain age, are never able to learn how to do so at all. It is lost forever."

That wasn't the only similarity between language and magic, however. But that was a strange and esoteric area of magical theory. Let's just say there's a reason spells are spelled "spell" and leave it at that.

"But surely there are people born with no magic at all?" Said Hermione.

"Theoretically that isn't even possible." Harry said. "Magic is required, or a by-product of(It's debated) life. No living thing, to our knowledge, has exactly zero magic. And very few nonliving things. But, we have theorized what a person truly born without magic would behave."

They both hung on his every word.

"Magic would be unable to touch them. Taking the strange phenomena of those who are particularly weak in magic being unable to see many creatures, like dementors, and turning it up to an extreme." He explained. "Simply put, a living being, or object, completely devoid of magic would be immune to every spell, enchantment, potion or ward."

He had that same look on his face when he first heard that little theory. But it checked out. Such a thing would be particularly useful for all kinda of black ops. It was why so many government agencies and extra-legal organizations of... questionable moral standing have attempted to create such a being.

"Killing curse?" Said Hermione.

"Like a light breeze." Answered Harry.

"Fiendfyre?" Asked Draco.

"Fiendfyre specifically targets objects or living things particularly magical in nature. It was, after all, invented as a means of destroying cursed objects, not as an offensive spell." Harry answered. "You should know this, mister Malfoy.

By the look on his face Harry knew Draco would be asking his father to verify that one with Rookwood as well. Harry would very much like to meet this hnvierse' version of Rookwood. He was a brilliant man, turned mad by Azkaban in his world. And arguably unfairly so.

"And I would also point out, that even Muggle adults particularly weak in magic perform magic all the time. Accidental or focused, but nearly always unintentionally." Harry explained. "For example, a few years ago there was a manhunt for somebody who was harassing a Muggle man by enchanting his keys to vanish after a certain amount of time. It turns out, he kept thinking his keys had gone missing and accidentally vanishing them himself."

They both laughed at that one.

"More common scenarios are people believing a home or place has a dark history and manifesting magic around them as shades or poltergeists, full on hauntings. More magically gifted people, divorced from their magic, develop something like proto-obscuri. Demons, in their own minds, that gaunt them incessantly. That isn't getting into accidentally created Tulpa, manifesting wants and desires for long term goals in what, to the observer, seems like a run of good luck or the universe, or god, smiling upon them as they walk their path."

They nodded to every word. Harry was starting to think he might be cut out for this type of work.

"Now." He finished. "I'm going to give you one last chance to earn an Outstanding on this collaborative essay. I want five pages, single sided, by Monday. AND I want you guys to get into each other's faces and scream about what you think is right or wrong on this topic. Call each-other names, hell, come to blows if you have to. But you two together? I have all the faith in the world that you can get to the bottom of any mystery if you let your thesis, to her antithesis, come together as synthesis."

Hmm. Maybe he should use Hegel as a base for reasoning skills in his class? He wasn't as dry as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Probably better for keeping children's attention.

"You're dismissed." He told them.

They nearly sprinted from his classroom, and in the process knocked over poor Susan who had been listening in on their conversation from the top of the stairs.

Her aunt must have taught her some right proper sneaking for him to not have noticed her.

"That'll be ten points from Hufflepuff Miss Bones!" He called down the stairway as they fled. "For the dropping of eaves!"


He was ready so ready to see Bella again. And tell her all about his week. Unfortunately, that would have to wait until the morning.

He had already made an appointment that Friday evening to meet with his five sponsors and first group of volunteers for his Werewolf rehabilitation center. The place of meeting? Why, the lovely baby blue shrieking shack, of course!

He spent a good hour tidying up and even baked a loaf of banana bread - because it makes any home smell amazing! - so they might have something to snack on over tea and legalese.

If tonight went well then they would be able to shelter their first batch of lycanthropes by the next full noon on the 26th(A/N-2) and if he was doubly lucky he might find a piece of land by then as well during his weekend trips with Professor Marchbanks.

Hopefully he'd be able to get it done a few days before the full moon proper. Symptoms come be nasty even before the day in question for some strains.

With banana bread and a fresh pot of tea prepared he stood by the door with seconds to spare, and at exactly eight pm his guests announced their arrival with a knock on the door.

He smoothed his dress robes with his hands, cleared his throat, squared his shoulders and pulled the door open... only to then feel like falling to his knees when he came face to face with a woman who had the most beautiful pair of green eyes he had ever seen in his life.

Everyone had lied to him. His mother's eyes were so much prettier.

"Whoa." Said Lily Potter, as she glanced between her husband beside her and back at Harry.

It would have been nice of Dumbledore to have told him who his new benefactors were.

"Welcome to my humble operation." Harry managed to push through his breaking voice. "It's so nice to finally meet you in the flesh."

Oh, owe. The wording. Poor choice of words. That hurt. That hurt a lot. In fact, every face in the group that greeted him was like a punch to the gut.

Lily. James. Sirius. Remus. Even Peter was there, and he looked so much better than he'd ever seen him.

But there was a sixth face in the crowd. One he remembered from his trip to the bookshop.

"I told you!" The boy from the book store hissed to Lily and James.

What he had told them Harry didn't dare to ask. Instead he raised up the best occlumency shields he could manage and committed to suffocate the overwhelming emotions threatening to overtake him. He would pay for it when the shields came down, but he'd pay for it when these strangers weren't there to see it.

"I would like to thank you all for agreeing to meet with me to discuss my nonprofit." Harry greeted, almost wincing at the robotic tone of voice brought about by his occlumency. "Could I interest you in some tea and banana bread?"

This was going to be a very long night.


Notes:

You see this. You see this right here? Do. You. Know. What. This. Is?!

It s a chapter. Published ON TIME BABY! Less than a week since the last chapter. I'm gonna do this again next week. Mark my words.

A/N-1:

So I just looked up madam Pince to find out what her first name was and I have to say, WOW. She looks very different in the movie to what I imagined her being in my head-canon. Dressed all classy and... witch-like. I always imagined her as a cross between Filch with an extra X-chromosome and a younger Ms Fowl from Jimmy Neutron, not a younger goth Minerva. I kinda like it.

A/N-2:

That's right, I did my due diligence and looked up the Lunar calendars for 1996. I'm trying to do a good job here

The Black sisters initials stand for the following

Bellatrix Walburga Black(Name origins obvious)

Andromeda Irma Tonks(Irma black is her grandmother)

Narcissa Druella Malfoy(named after her mother)

Reviews:

ChangeMe4574 Wrote:

The twins... made a map of their own? Are actual successors to the Marauders?

A couple of spelling mistakes:

weary of any gifts-wary of any gifts

earn houseplants-house points?

Response:

Not even close. And thanks, tackled them.

MisguidedPenguin Wrote:

Your beard is glorious.

Response:

Nonono. My beard WAS glorious. It is important to know when to use past and present tenses my child. This is a situation where past tense is more appropriate.

David12leca Wrote:

wooohoo an update.

i cant read your stories while having a few bevies because you throw in all these little tidbits that i have reread like 5 times the hiaku section destroyed me last night. but i like the little touch and has me wondering what was going on at the black get togethor.

Response:

I Actually Like hearing what parts of a chapter make people legitimately laugh. I'm trying to refine this process of making good humor and storycraft. Always feel free to share when something leaves you breathless.

Whynot Wrote:

Good to see the story going forwards and thanks for the response. I still have doubts whether obliviators and lack of training would be enough, especially considering that everyone being capable of reality warping with belief would create a massive change in society and history, but this is your story and I like it as it is.

It also made me look for another story I had forgotten and have now read again with much pleasure; I don't know if it's already been asked, but have you heard 0800-Rent-A-Hero? It's a fairly similar story, but more edgy and sadly long dead.

Response:

If I could respond by linking to Bison screaming "Of course!" On loop for two hours, I would. Of Course I've read 1 800 rent a hero. I've read all, or at least I think all, Harry in an alt universe story. But Open to recommendations if you know of an obscure one I might not have heard of.

deepdiver Wrote:

Actually when you had Minerva as Head Mistress on the envelope, and we then saw Albus, I had mentally ret-conned it to where that was part of his divination application... a tongue in cheek; To the Future Headmistress...

Response:

You! You I like.

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