Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In @nonsensicalrants
8: Practical Exams Part 2

Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In

Chapter 8:

Practical Exams Part 2


Arabella Figg's daughter, Ariana, reeked of the dueling circuit(And kneazles, but that goes without saying). It was a sports league that, like all the others Harry had dipped his toe into during his search for a career path after the war had ended, ended poorly for him.

His short stint in professional dueling wasn't as disastrous as that time Dudley convinced him to try out lightweight boxing, but it was a close second. And it was for completely different reasons. Whereas his pitiful boxing career ended with a concussion and broken jaw for him, his time in dueling ended with him being disqualified one too many times for nearly killing his opponents and spectators with spells that were technically within guidelines, but so overpowered that the referees and ring warders(people who managed the wards around the arena to protect bystanders) couldn't do their jobs effectively.

And he also got his ass kicked a lot too, seeing as all of his opponents were far better trained, and had far more experience. He lost the tournaments, but won the battles. So yeah, all around a failure.

Most of his other forays into professional sports, both magical and mundane, fared a bit better but he naturally landed on Quidditch. He had tried to deny himself said career, but he simply couldn't defeat fate.

Moirai : 2

Harry Potter : 0

Voldemort : -2.7

And now here he was facing a duelist who he could feel, in his bones, was as much of a natural at her sport as he was at his. No way was he going to beat her fair and square. So in the words of the great Lord Draco Lucius Malfoy of House Malfoy; time to play by whatever rules benefited him most.

"Scared Morrigan?" Arianna asked with a grin.

"You wish." Harry grinned back.

"Alright! Both of you to your separate corners." Tufty ordered.

Twenty paces each and they made it to their opposite ends of their "ring" and turned back on one-another. Harry realized his strides were quite a bit longer than Arianna's so had to close the distance by a lot before they could begin. Much to Arianna's giggling amusement.

Then Tufty began the countdown, from ten to zero.

Giving him a countdown before a fight was a dangerous thing to do, as it gave him plenty of time to prepare a barrage of simultaneous spells. One for each finger, on both hands.

Now, ten different spells would be a bit too much, even for him. But ten similar spells? That was easy, especially wandlessly.

You see, without the tricky movements and incantations a wand requires, all you need to cast a spell is concentration and the feeling behind a spell. A feeling that declared intent. Like the feeling of making somebody else giddy charging a cheering charm, or the genuine belief that the victim of your cruciatus deserves to suffer.

He naturally went with ten different fire spells. There are countless different ones that work differently, including one that specifically uses water as fuel(and what's 70% of the human body made of again?), one that uses carbon dioxide in place of oxygen(what do humans{and fire} exhale again?) And one that just eats other fire. Incendio was just designed to create regular old fire, and there were dozens of different spells that did exactly that.

But as different as these different incendiary charms and curses war, the intent and feeling behind them were always the same. And could best be summed up with two simple words.

BURN BABY!!!

"ONE!" Tufty announced the ending of her countdown.

Harry let loose all ten streams of fire and they barreled at her in a nice series of arks. If he could solidify the flames into ice they could be an art piece, but more artistic still was Arianna's defense against the onslaught.

She created three entire shields in concentric domes around herself.

The first was a vacuum bubble. A tricky piece of magic where to create a gap in the air around you and vacate it of all air, creating a vacuum through which fire cannot pass, but the heat and magic of it can.

Hence the second and third berries. One sapped heat away from her towards the ceiling, where it would rise and dissipate on its own, and one cloaking her entire body to soak up any residual magic. The third was a bit overkill, essentially a full-body protego to block any residual magic behind the fire spells, a spell echo as it were, which was rare but could ignite the clothes she wore if not accounted for.

Clever woman. He smelled Alaster on her.

By the time the spell even hit her first shield both of them were already moving - after all, to stay still in a fight is to die - and both were carving the air with their wands.

Harry threw off a couple stunners and a cutter with his wand, as he could do so with far more power than with his mere fingers. But by now he was already splitting his focus between the wanded magic and the wandless carving charms he was weaving with his off-hand. It took an extra toll on his focus as he was using his extrasensory abilities to carve the runes necessary beneath the floor tiles and under the bricks of the walls and pillars about them. As such his opponent got him with a slasher that took off his entire cloak and left a nice, thick gash in his shoulder.

She taunted him after the hit landed, but he was so deep in his concentration that he didn't even register what she said. In a normal duel he'd be flinging her around by blasting the floor beneath her, but he couldn't risk damaging the runic array he was so carefully drawing around them. Like a cage that would seal this match. So instead he followed it up with some conjured ropes, razor wire and chains that he animated with a silent bit of parselmagic.

Turns out legitimacy with parseltongue was so easy that even he, a genuine nitwit at the art, could perform it on even the most foul-tempered viper. Or conjurations slightly transfigured to have the heads of snakes. Same thing according to parselmagic. He didn't bother questioning such things.

Arianna tried vanishing them, no doubt thinking they were simple inanimate objects bereft of the magical imprint of life, but quickly discovered they were a tougher cookie to crack. Harry actually took pity on her after the thick, boat-chain viper batted her so hard with its tail that it sent her into a complete backflip to land on her face, by calling off the barb-wire vine snake with a mental command. Arianna took the time she gained from the delay of his pity to reduce the rope anaconda to ash with an incendiary charm of her own.

By now he was nearly finished with the runic array and merely commanded the two metal serpents to block the barrage of incoming stunners, cutters and piercers, which they did up until the point of their own total demolition. By which time, the array was complete and the duel was won.

All of a sudden and without warning - to arianna at least - gravity ceased it's hold on the arena and the two floated into the air as if they were suspended beneath the ocean. Their hair floated about their heads like ghostly lion manes, and their cloaks - or remnants thereof - billowed behind them like jet trails.

Ariana recovered surprisingly quickly and shot off a stream of firework sparks in his direction, only to be pushed back from the momentum the spell created against her. Harry fired off a simple gust spell to the side and the momentum likewise pushed him, this time out of the way of the oncoming spell.

Funny story behind this runic array. It was one of only a few he could carve without a guide, but that's because he himself created it… with a hell of a lot of help from Bill, Fleur and Hermione of course.

It all started back in 2001, when he and Dudley got into a bit of a war over Teddy's affection. You see, both of them adored the little tyke, and he adored them in return. Both the godfather and uncle would take Teddy on all kinds of adventures, and bequeath unto him all manner of gifts. Dudley had been winning with the use of a secret weapon that Harry simply couldn't compete with.

Video games.

And in July of 2001 Dudley had purchased a video game that would capture Teddy's undivided attention for the remainder of that year. But Harry had his own secret weapon unavailable to Dudley. And using that weapon - magic, obviously - he took the fantasy of the digital world that had nearly stolen his godson from him and brought it into the real world.

A simple ward field that gave air the consistency of water and made those within it weightless. That was step one. Step two was to throw in an oddly shaped ball charmed to be frictionless with the air/water. Step three was to introduce two teams of eight players. And so a new sport was born. A sport that wizards, Muggleborns, Muggle relatives to the first two, half breeds and more would all play and mermaids in particular would dominate. A sport that, by 2008, would start to encroach on Quidditch' dominance of magical entertainment.

Blitzball was born, and his godson was to become a star player. (A/N - 1)

Harry wasn't exactly a slouch in it either, but Quidditch was where he belonged and so where he stayed. But never again did Dudley get it into his head that he could usurp Harry's position as Teddy's favorite father figure. No sir, that never happened again. Draco and Ron were smart enough to not try in the first place.

Harry considered toying with his opponent now that she was completely flatfooted, but knew she was exactly the kind of survivor who could adapt to such a change in battle conditions in mere moments so got serious. As such, he swam through the air towards her, and he swam with the kind of intensity and force that would put anybody into a panic, so it was understandable that she would go with a kitchen sink tactic.

A kitchen sink tactic is when you throw every random, and different, spell you can think of when up against a situation you can't work out. It was actually a very good tactic to use when trying to nail an opponent while being flung around by the force of your own spells. Or when facing a creature or enchantment you've never even heard of before.

Unfortunately for her, Harry had enough training in blitz-dueling(because of course people got it in their heads to try dueling in zero gravity, and naturally Harry bombed at that too.) to dodge everything she could throw at him. Which included a few spells that were DEFINITELY tournament illegal. But it didn't matter. Within moments he was upon her.

A twist of her wrist here, a push on her head there and he had her in an armbar lock. Just in time too, because it was then that the runic array for the blitzball field lost what little charge he could give it on short notice and gravity reassured it's dominance.

They fell together, with Arianna in the unenviable position of being beneath Harry. He gathered magic around them and, shutting his eyes tight in concentration, cast a cushioning charm beneath Arianna so as not to shatter her skull, neck and rib cage as she landed face first. Another bit of wandless magic and be pushed a simple stupefy through his skin into hers, stunning her instantly.

"Bravo!" Professor Tufty congratulated with much clapping.

Yeah. It was a pretty fun fight. Now that it was over though he kind of wished he had saved that trick for a more worthy opponent. With another Voldemort running around every little ability he didn't know about could be the difference between life and death.

He really needed to start thinking of these things instead of barreling into fights without planning long term deceptions. Now that Draco wasn't here to scheme for him. He had rubbed off on Harry enough that he could do short term scheming, but long term was more valuable.

"Now, move over so I can run a few diagnostic charms on her." Tufty commanded.

He did as she instructed and she did as she promised. When the diagnostics showed nothing was broken or ruptured she cast a quick rennervate.

"Welcome back to the world of the living Arianna." Tufty greeted the woman as she rose to her feet.

Harry felt his eyes nearly pop out of his head in horror at the sentence. He suddenly felt very glad that neither of the Dumbledores were present to have heard that particular combination of words. It hurt Harry in the chest hearing them, and might kill either of the old goats.

"Oweeeee." Arianna groaned as she rose from the floor.

"Where are you hurt?" Tufty asked, concerned.

"My pride. It aches. Owie." Arianna goofed.

Harry allowed himself a small chuckle at her expense. She regained herself and turned on him.

"You're something else, you know that Mister Morrigan?" She said in lieu of congratulating him.

"People keep telling me that, but somehow I can't seem to see it." He deflected the compliment. "And please. Hadrian."

He offered his hand and she took it jubilantly. Every freckle on her face seemed to shine with that smile.

"You're going to have to show me how you set up that ward field." She said. "Did you somehow put it up while we were fighting?"

Hmmm. To lie, or not to lie. That is the question. Inspiration struck and he decided to lie after all.

"Actually I set it up beforehand." He told her. "I knew you were coming."

That got Tufty's attention.

"How?" She queried. "Did you put some eavesdropping spell on me when I left to get Helena?"

Harry shook his head.

"Nope. I just knew. Ask professor Marchbanks how." He turned to Ariana. "And I'll teach you all about that ward under one condition."

Arianna nodded enthusiastically.

"I need you two to keep it a complete secret." He said in a conspiring whisper. "It's actually a trade secret I'm not supposed to show off. It's for a new sport I've been creating. I haven't patented anything yet and don't want competitors to try and steal the idea from under me."

Ariana nodded enthusiastically some more, but Tufty huffed.

"If I keep it a secret I won't be able to give you extra credit for your runes score you know?" Tufty said. "And with that display, of something you clearly invented, I'm sure I could raise you up to an Outstanding if you got an Acceptable or better in the written."

Ouch! That was tempting. But, the possible advantage it could give him in a fight was too powerful of a motivator. To say nothing of the fact that he didn't NEED a good grade in runes for any of the work he wanted. Especially seeing as an O would give employers drastically high expectations of his abilities that he simply wouldn't be able to meet. Then there was the little fact that he didn't want to take full credit for the invention of the blitzball field, when it had been a collaborative effort of four people, of which he was the least important.

"I'm sure. It's vital that you keep the blitzball field a complete secret." He told them emphatically, deliberately exposing the name.

Ariana perked up, exactly as he expected

"So that's what it's called? How's it played?" She asked.

"I promise to tell you all about it some other time. But only if you promise to keep it a secret." He promised.

She made a zipping motion over her lips and threw away the imaginary key.

"Alright! Go on and get!" Tufty ordered the younger woman.

And so Harry's encounter with the youngest Figg came to an end. He honestly looked forward to meeting her again. She was a breath of fresh air. Reminded him of someone.

"So." Professor Tufty commanded his attention. "I won't bother telling you what your final grades are, because even I won't know until my evaluations are compared to Marchbank's, but I will say this. Most testers can expect their average grades to drop slightly after scrutiny from outside examiners. If yours stay the same, or even rise above what estimate Marchbanks gave you, well, let's just say I won't be very surprised."

Was he blushing? He might have been blushing. Old people praising him always did that to him.

"You're dismissed." She said with a distinct tone of finality.


Harry apparated back into diagon alley to see a figure standing alone in the dark in front of Ollivander's shop.

At first he thought it might be a hunchback, but once he got closer he could see it was a woman propping a rather large aluminum container against her hip. An aluminum container whose contents he could smell from the entrance to the alley. It took a great deal of resistance to overcome the temptation to use his abilities to feel what was underneath that aluminum foil.

Instead he focused on the woman who, now that he was close enough to make out her face in the dark, smelled almost as amazing as the food she carried.

"Bellatrix?" Harry asked. "What are you doing here?"

Even in the dark he could see her roll her eyes at the silly question. Right, of course. He had asked her out and all that.

"Well, funny story about that." She said. "I was visiting my sister and niece for dinner, when a terribly fat white owl carrying a letter arrived. A letter detailing how Diagon Alley's latest bachelor was…"

She retrieved the letter from a pocket and held it up to read against the meager moonlight.

"Suffering from a sudden and unexplainable case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and wouldn't be able to cook his own food, yadda yadda, come have dinner with me." She summarized the letter he had sent her that morning.

… That whiskered old wanker! He had actually written his letter exactly as he dictated. Must have cast an illusion charm over it. If Harry had bothered to check it he would have seen through the deception, but was in too much of a zany mood to be bothered.

Ollivander had pulled one over on him. And he'd have to find a way to get him back. Problem is, benevolent pranks - that is, pranks which benefit the victim instead of harming or humiliating them - were tricky things to pull off. He'd have to sleep on this.

"And after much heckling, Andy and Nymphadora finally convinced me to bring you leftovers." Bellatrix finished her explanation. "So, are you going to invite me inside? This is a great deal heavier than it looks."

He knew she was a witch and fully capable of a weightlessness charm, but perhaps it was the weight of having to abstain from eating such delicious-smelling food as she waited on him that was the true ordela?

"Yup. Hang on a sec." Harry fumbled with the keys to let them both inside.

A flip of a switch and the lobby to Garrick's shop was lit up. He held the door open long enough for her to deliver the meal to the store counter before he locked back up. He didn't even need prodding from her to take her coat and hang it on the coat rack.

She wasn't dolled up in anything fancier than usual for her, which was still significantly fancier than his usual attire, so he believed her story that she had come straight from Andromeda's place. Not that she had any inkling that he knew who Andy and Nymphadora were.

He excused himself to the kitchen and fetched two wine glasses and a bottle of red.

"Do we need serving utensils? Plates or bowls?" He called back through the hallway.

"Just forks will do." She called back.

Harry shrugged and walked back into the store to see the remnants of a rotisserie chicken, scalloped potatoes and mixed greens on full display. Yup. Andy had definitely cooked this.

"No harm in eating like savages once in a while." She welcomed him back and reached out to pluck one of the forks out of his hand.

They were both hungrier than even he suspected because they dug right in. Soon they were so deep in conversation, and gluttony, that the wine was left forgotten and unopened to the side.

"... So that by the time this bird was finished in the oven, Theodore and Nym had already worked themselves up into a tizzy at the idea of any man asking me out on a date." Bellatrix went on. "So naturally I wasn't allowed to eat with them, since they wanted me to wait until you came back from your exams."

Harry hummed.

"No wonder you're as hungry as me. Having to sit at dinner and watch your extended family stuff their faces must have been torture." He said.

"Did you eat at all today?" She asked him.

"Nope."

"Then save the pity and fill your belly." She commanded as she got down another fork full of spinach and kale.

Harry couldn't quite place what Andromeda had used for the dressing in this salad. It reminded him of mediterannian food, some of the spices used for lamb shawarma, but with the distinct tinge of vinegar and sweetness of honey. Really helped the kale to go down. He probably wouldn't have been able to stand the greens otherwise.

"Tell me more about the Tonkses." Harry commanded.

And the starry woman obliged. And oh did she go on and on about her little metamorph niece. The girl who constantly confused her aunt for her mother as an infant, and would steal her makeup despite never having had any need for it. Just so she could feel more like her mature and beautiful aunt by trying to imitate her without the need of her shapeshifting abilities.

It's the most Harry had ever heard someone talk about the mother of his godson.

Andromeda had become a shell of her former self in his world. With Theodore, Remus and Nym dead, and the other scars of the war running deep, she had little to hold on to. Little Teddy was to become the one light in her life helping her to stay from that dark abyss that had swallowed so many others, and everybody had come together to surround that light and help it blossom in order to save Andy.

She and George were the two that everybody, absolutely everybody, made time in their days to see and chat with. From Draco funding outings and trips and fancy dinners, to Bill calling in every favor imaginable from other curse-breakers to bring over experts and artifacts that either of them might find interesting. And in the end, both had healed about as well as anybody else after the war, and became human again. But it had been a long, dark road and Harry never dared reopen those old wounds by digging for stories about the dead.

Bellatrix though? She was full of pride over the niece that had flood to Grimmauld place on her first night at Hogwarts because she had lost control of her abilities in front of the great hall. Wound up walking to the sorting hat with eyes of two different colors, legs and arms of mismatched lengths, buck teeth and a wild bird's nest of hair.

Oh how she had cried and pleaded not to go back to school. This was back when her appearance simply couldn't take hold of one thing at a time for very long, and she was such a shy little thing. It was a side of Tonks he'd never had the pleasure of glimpsing, but perhaps little bits of it had peeked through in what little time he had known her.

Eventually the food was all but gone, and their bellies were overly full, and so they both decided to call it a night. Bellatrix let him put her coat back on her before allowing him to lead her to the door.

Once through she turned back to him and seemed to realize something.

"Oh no!" She groaned and covered her face with both hands in shame. "We spent all that time talking."

She peeked a deep indigo eye through her fingers.

"And we never once talked about you! I'm such an inconsiderate date."

Harry couldn't help laughing from the belly at that one. She lowered her hands from her face and folded her arms around herself defensively instead.

"Not at all. And even if you were, I think we're both out of practice when it comes to dating." He consoled her and reached out to take one of her hands, which she reluctantly allowed. "So let's feel things out and discover how to date each other as it happens. Our own adventure."

With that he planted a kiss on her knuckle and bid her a goodnight. Without skipping a beat She appirated away with a smile.

He closed the door and walked past the old man who was now scarfing down what little remained of their meal remained and drinking a now opened bottle of wine. He ignored his snide remarks thanking him for not having loud raunchy sex on his counter and walked up the stairs hidden behind the stacks of wands. A short trip down the hallway, into his room and he finally flopped onto his bed. Exhausted and full of family cooking, he fell asleep without even removing his shoes.

Today had been a most excellent day.


The weekend passed by in something of a haze. This was partly because he kept falling into daydreams about a certain raven-haired heiress to the house of Black... and partly because people started acting oddly around him.

Young ladies kept showing up with boyfriends, or pictures of boyfriends, and asking him if they were to live long happy lives together. Then there were the elderly asking him about their impending deaths - which wasn't macabre at all - and some hedge fund manager Goblins asking him for stock advice.

That last one in particular sent his suspicions so high that, after assuring them that shorting Muggle tech companies like Google and Apple was an excellent endeavor - marched down to Ollivander's workshop in the basement.

"Garriiiiiick." He all but snarled at the men currently winding a thread of manticore heartstring into loops over his first attempt at a gamblers wand.

"Calm your tits, I didn't tell anybody you were from the future." Ollivander said without turning away from the soldering kit-like device he was using to work on the wand.

"Then why…"

"Because the whole town has a bugaboo about you being a seer." Ollivander preemptively answered his next query.

… was it because he got a get well soon bouquet for Mr Marchbanks in anticipation of the upcoming attack? Or had one of the examiners leaked something? Did he need to pay the Figg family a visit?

"And where did they get that idea?" Harry dared to ask.

"Probably from your seemingly supernatural ability to know instantly what wand is suited to a person just from looking at them. And your uncanny "talent" for making people feel like you already know them intimately." Ollivander explained. "Your poker face is awful."

Oh yeah! He did sort of fail to mask his foreknowledge of people's personalities and his rapport with them. That was a pretty big giveaway. At least they were going with the whole "he's a seer" angle instead of the "he's played around with a funky time turner" angle.

"Well alright then. I have a wizarding world to go screw with, so I'll leave you to it." Harry said in lieu of an apology as he closed the workshop door and made his way back upstairs.

Oh, it was too sweet of an opportunity to pass up. With people thinking he had special insight into their futures he had all manner of choices to make. He'd have to come up with bullshit predictions that would both irritate people, but also improve their lives down the line. But first, he had errands to run.

Namely, he had to check the afternoon newspaper for job ads. And the very first one, at the top of the classifieds table, in big, bold flowery letters ruined his good morning.

Sybill Patricia Trewlawney Sacked. New Divination Teacher Wanted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry glowered at the page.

Hmmmm. He recently had his first full-blown vision while taking his NEWT exams, half of Diagon Alley believed him to be a seer and a position at the premier school of magic in the country - and nexus of all major events in the world for some god damned reason - is in need of a Divination Teacher.

"What, could the universe POSSIBLY, be trying to…"

Just then a small tawny owl flew in and dropped a letter right onto his face, before flying back out.

"... tell me." He finished his rhetorical question and sighed.

The envelope was signed by both Professor Marchbanks and Professor Tufty.

He didn't even bother opening his results from the examiners. He simply placed it into another envelope and skipped writing any form of letter of introduction. Instead letting the envelope speak for him.

From:

Harold Edward Morrigan, Candidate for the Position of Divination Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

To:

Professor Minerva McGonnagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

He sealed it tight, cast a few protection charms around it and called Hedwig down from her perch. It was going to be one of those days. Or weeks, more likely.

Moirai: 3

Harry Potter: 0


The Order meetings as of late had been solemn events, as article after article of horrendous news came in. Today's was even more so than usual, with the news that Professor Marchbanks, an old friend of Albus', had been attacked and nearly killed by Voldemort personally.

The man had worked in the time room of the department of mysteries for decades, and Albus was under no delusions as to how great of a setback in the war it would have been if he had accepted Voldemort's offer. That everyone from Frederick to Severus merely shrugged at him when he revealed the news was disappointing, if to be expected.

"I just don't get why it's a big deal. Is he important?" George asked.

"It doesn't matter if you understand or not, Weasley, it matters that Dumbledore believes it is and so it is." Came Severus' snide remarks.

"Oh go jump off a building Snape!"

"I will remind everyone here that I have called this meeting into order and expect the professionalism that entails." Albus interrupted the match.

That reduced everyone back down to a simmer. Now that tensions had calmed back down, though reluctantly for some, he continued down the itinerary.

"I see the significance of Voldemort attempting to recruit Marchbanks is lost on you all. I suppose that may be for the best. But I'm sure the news of the attack on our colleagues has hit closer to home?" Albus queried.

The sight of their pale faces and withdrawn temperaments was all the answer he needed. The war had changed everybody, and even he was straining to hold onto a last glimmer of hope. That those who remained - not been killed by Death Eaters - were still holding strong was a testament to Albus's ability to select allies.

Albus motioned for James to report on the incident and he took the floor.

"I'm happy to inform you all that there have been no casualties. Both Alice and Frank managed to activate their emergency portkeys to get away in time." Said the last Potter. "I propose we devote resources to finding out how their location was discovered."

"A leak within the ministry perhaps?" Kinsley queried, before flinching as his words caused him to stretch the still healing wound on his cheek.

Alastor gave his usual indignant harrumph.

"The ministry is so full of holes it could be used as a sieve." Said Moody. "If we devoted all of our resources to trying to plug those leaks we'd be at it for another century, and by then the war would already be over."

Albus hated to agree with such a cynical viewpoint, but agree he did. Their resources would have to be spent somewhere else. But every option seemed to suggest similar impossibilities.

"We must find adequate safety measures for them somehow." Arthur Weasley said from his seat at the heart of his brood of redheads.

This was the first meeting they'd attended since the dreadful news of Charlie's disappearance had reached English shores. He was still missing, and now presumed dead. The now broken family had yet to recover from the blow.

"Neville is, after all, our last hope." Arthur finished.

The room responded with a collection of murmurs lamenting the poor boys fate, or long-winded sighs of malcontent. Severus was in the latter group and made this point known.

"The boy is an idiot. He can barely hold a wand and any potion he touches explodes. Completely incompetent."

Even Minerva, the head of house belonging to the boy in question, couldn't offer up much of a defense. Though she tried.

"He's barely sixteen. We should hardly expect him to be at the level of a dark lord." She said.

"And yet look at what other great wizards have managed to accomplish by his age?" Severus countered. "At sixteen I invented and published no fewer than forty two innovations for advanced potions. Longbottom? He's near the bottom of his class in most subjects."

"Perhaps if we gave him a more… regimented training program." Alastor broached a topic he knew by now was taboo.

Dumbledore stamped down on that train of thought before anybody could consider it.

"We are not turning longbottom into a living weapon." He said definitively. "I have seen what those kinds of "training" programs do to men. And it will not be the craft of black operative assassin's that is the power the dark lord knows not."

Moody, and several others, groused under their breath but acquiesced to his authority.

Remus was the first to muster up the bravery to continue the conversation.

"I do agree with Severus." He said. "We must stop putting all of our hope into a boy barely on the cusp of manhood, and begin considering the possibility that he either is not the subject of the prophecy, or that the prophecy simply wasn't legitimate."

"I agree." Albus confessed, much to the horror of some present. "In fact I've changed tactics into working from that assumption for some time time now. Hence why I fired Sybill this morning."

That caused a new wave of confused shouting between his allies, and so Albus got up from his chair and moved to the kitchen where he poured himself another cup of mint tea. By the time he sat back down the arguments had calmed back down.

He turned his attention to Severus and James.

"What of Lily? Will I be having my potions master back in time for the new school year?"

Both men shook their heads.

"She keeps herself locked up in her lab, experimenting with that thrice-damned charm." Said James. "She doesn't even talk to me anymore. Although I can hardly tell the difference…"

Severus jumped in where James left off.

"She asked me to cover her school duties again." Said Severus. "As much as I despise the title of substitute teacher, and the duties it entails, it looks like your students will have to suffer me for at least a few more months."

Albus nodded.

"Kingsley, despite the daunting task, since you are on light duty from your injuries I am assigning you the job of trying to find the leak which nearly led to the Longbottom's, and your, death." He commanded.

Kingsley nodded.

"It will be slow work." He said.

"Story of my life." Sirius scoffed.

Before he could add to the thought they all heard a commotion outside as someone entered Grimmauld Place. Soon the telltale signs of a late member trying to get past the charms on the door let them all know it was a friendly, before the familiar face of Ariana Figg popped through the doorway.

"Sorry I'm late everyone." She said as she closed the door behind her and put the charms back up. "I've been hitting the dueling pit like a madwoman all weekend."

She kissed her mother on the cheek, gave Nymphadora a high five, and made her way over to Sirius, whose lap she soon occupied.

"But BOY do I have some amazing news for all of you." She preempted.

"Who died?" Moody asked.

"Nobody, you morbid arse! Geez." Ariana said.

"Well, get on with it woman." Moody countered

"Okay. So. Friday a young man came in to sit, or re-sit, his NEWT exams. He must have been homeschooled or something because I've never seen or heard of him before." She explained. "Anyways, the examiners were so impressed with his abilities that they decided to switch things up and have me duel him. Just to see if he was up to snuff."

"Okay, that's fun, but what's so diverting about that?" Fred asked curiosity. "Not that it isn't an interesting story and all that, but how is it order business?"

Ariana beamed at him.

"Simple. Because we are going to recruit this guy."

Silence met her declaration.

"Um. Why?" Perceival asked from his place beside Arthur.

"Simple." She answered. "Because he kicked. My. Arse!"

Everyone had something to say at that.

"But I've seen you duel! You're amazing!" Said George.

"You beat aunt Bella not two weeks ago!" Said Nymphadora.

"You seem rather cheerful about the loss, dear." Said Sirius.

"Well he was a whole lot better than me. Bellatrix's wand started acting all funky or else she would have wiped the floor with me." Arianna calmed down their disbelief easily. "And of course I'm happy! I learned so much about what areas I need to improve on. Been working on them ever since."

"Okay, I admit this man is interesting." Fred continued in his usual skepticism. "But is there more to it? I assume you wouldn't bother recommending we recruit him if he was just a good dueler."

"Right you are Freddie." Said Arianna. "And I think we need to recruit him because he doesn't need a wand."

"Huh?"

"What do you mean? He has his own wand?" Minerva asked. "Doesn't everybody? Presuming they can afford the ludicrous price hikes on everything these days."

"Oh no, I mean he performed most of the magic in the duel wandlessly." She explained. "He still used a wand, and his spells were more powerful with it, but I'm eighty five perfect sure he could have still beaten me while wandless and naked."

Once more, silence met her claim.

"Impossible." Molly said simply, putting all of their thoughts into words.

"We're witches and wizards. Nothing is impossible." Ariana retorted.

Everyone turned to the headmaster. To he had been enjoying the interruption, and the opportunity it provided him to enjoy his tea.

"I have seen feats of magic in my life that even I still have trouble believing happened." Dumbledore said carefully. "I have witnessed people shatter time and send into existence a tangled web of alternate timelines. I have seen people reach across the veil separating the living from the dead and bring things back from the other side. I have seen gateways opened into umbral planes to unleash greater demons on armies that could do little in fighting back with heavy artillery."

He allowed his words to sink in before continuing.

"And while I have never encountered anybody capable of doing wandless magic at a higher level than second year spells, or a single fourth year spell, it is nowhere near being beyond belief for me." He finished. "There are people out there with inborn talents that are just as amazing, from natural born legilimens'' he paused to indicate Severus " to natural born metamorphmagi."

That got everybody to sit back and, he hoped, allow themselves the privilege of expand their definition of impossible just a smidgeon.

"And this man's abilities are things we have all heard of existing, so why be surprised?" He queried. "History is replete with men and women uncommonly powerful with wandless magic."

"But surely those are myths and legends?" Said Mel Bradley.

"No smoke without fire." Sirius shrugged. "And if my woman says that's what happened, then that's what happened."

Severus nodded. Even he couldn't have doubts about Ariana's contagious honesty.

"Needless to say we need to recruit him." He said.

"Why so?" Dumbledore asked.

That actually threw Severus off center, and so they all got to witness the rare event of him sputtering.

"Be-cause he is very powerful?" Snape said slowly. "And we cannot allow him to fall into enemy hands?"

Dumbledore made a non-committal noise.

"He is unique, but that does not mean he is powerful." He explained. "Just because he can do wandlessly what each of us can do with a wand doesn't mean he can do it with greater skill or finesse, nor that he is capable of any magic beyond any of our abilities."

It was a rather long-winded way of saying "let's not make any assumptions about him beyond what we actually know", but he liked the sound of his own voice.

"What was the young man's name?" Molly eventually asked the obvious question.

m

"Hadrian something or other." Arianna answered.

Both Nymphadora and Romulus perked up at the name.

"Hadrian Morrigan?" Nymphadora offered.

"Yeah! That was it." Arianna confirmed.

And then Nymphadora broke down laughing.

"Ollivander's apprentice?" She specified.

This time Dumbledore and Minerva perked up. This was news to them.

"Garrick has taken on a protege?" He asked, allowing his genuine surprise to seep into his voice.

"Meh. More like an assistant." Nymphadora said. "He has an uncanny ability to match people with wands instantly! Better than Ollivander can. The whole town is convinced he's a psychic of some kind."

Arianna perked up at the last part.

"That explains it!" She exclaimed. "Whenever I cast a spell, even from a blind spit of his, it was as if he knew it was coming ahead of time! Like he could sense it! Maybe he has some kind of battle divination?"

"I've never heard of Divination being used in such a manner." Remus countered dubiously. "And one borderline unheard of, near impossible talent I'm willing to believe. But two? Advanced wandless magic and, ehem, battle divination?"

Again they all turned to Dumbledore.

"Tom Riddle was a natural born Parseltongue, a natural born occlumens and a natural born legilimens." He countered. "Two extremely rare abilities is hardly unheard of, though my skepticism rises."

"That's hardly the most unbelievable thing about him." Nymphadora drew then all back in, and Albus felt himself bracing for a bombshell, and yet still was not ready for the next words to come out of her mouth. "He's banging my aunt."

Half of the room choked on their own spit at the revelation, but none harder than Sirius.

"Bella?" He asked.

"No! Aunt Cissa is having an affair on Lucius' smarmy ass with Ollivander's errand boy and let me catch wind of it. Of course Bella!" Came Nymphadora's scathing sarcasm.

Albus couldn't decide which scenario was more scandalous, but knew he wasn't going to get anything productive done while the entire order meeting descended into giggles and speculation. And so, he tuned them out and finished his tea.

As they went down the rabbit hole of conjecture Albus noticed one of their youngest members, Romulus Lupin, wore a pensive look on his face. Quiet and inquisitive was his normal mode of operation, but the deep suspicion thrown in told Dumbledore just as much as a legilimency probe would.

"Romulus? Is there something you would like to share?" He interrupted the chatter and brought the boy out of his reverie.

"Err." He said hesitantly and looked to his father.

Remus nodded in encouragement and Romulus started.

"This man, Hadrian, did he have wild black hair and deep green eyes?" He asked Arianna.

"Yup."

"Tall and lanky? Gave off the impression like you had known him your entire life and were already friends?"

"That is an excellent choice of words." Arianna confirmed. "Describes him to a tee. You've met him?"

"Yeah." Romulus nodded, sharing a look with his father. "He helped me buy a book the other day. A newt study guide, ironically enough. The doorman at the store wouldn't let me in so he pretended to rough me up, while conspiring to help me get a copy of the book I needed."

This Hadrian fellow really got around. Alastor put Albus' feelings into words better than he could have.

"I know I say this a lot, but damned this is suspicious." Said Moody. "A man claiming to be a member of a lost family, who is potentially dangerously powerful, suddenly shows up in our world and manages to warm up to the premier wandmaker of our country and the two premier duelists of our country, even going so far as to date one of them. He also manages to become acquainted with two order members, a close relative of an order member and sister in law to one of the highest-rankimg Death Eaters I. the dark lord's forces. To top it all off, he shows sympathies to the plight of werewolves. All while remaining completely under the radar, so well that we're only learning about him because one of our best wants to recruit him."

It was a suspicious set of circumstances indeed.

"Oh right!" Sirius explained with a snap of his finger. "The Morrigan family are one of the fourteen aren't they?"

"Were." Mel piped up. "The last lord died out in world war one."

"Correct." Said Severus. "And they are related to, Rowena Ravenclaw. Descended from her cousin I believe. If he has proper claim to the family name he could become politically powerful as well. He could be entitled to a seat on the Hogwarts board of governors and Wizengomat. Or at least the right to assign a proxy to either or both."

More suspicious with every new detail.

"William, I am assigning you the task of sniffing out any information you can on our mysterious friend. If anybody has information, it'll be the goblins." Albus ordered.

Just then a massive white owl flew in through the kitchen window to land on the table in front of Minerva. The whole room went silent, either at their own stupidity for forgetting to ward the window for eavesdropping, surprise at the fact a snowy owl could be that overweight and still fly, or anticipation was anyone's guess.

It proffered a letter to the Headmistress and she promptly took it. She simply stared at the front of the envelope with her usual stern expression.

"I will give you all three guesses as to who it's from." She said. "And the first two don't count."

"Oh I don't need to guess." Said Nymphadora. "That's Morrigan's owl. She delivered a letter to aunt Bella while we were making dinner."

"What does he want?" Moody asked skeptically.

"Well he signed it as "Candidate for the Position of Divination Professor for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" so I presume it's an application." Minerva said before opening the envelope.

Inside was… another envelope. He noticed her smirk at the inner envelope before tearing it open too.

"It's just his newt results." She said. "This cheeky bastard sent an application that consisted solely of his unopened, and uncopied newt results."

When she unfolded the card inside her eyebrows jumped up to her hairline.

"Seems like a rather arrogant thing to do." Ron commented.

"He is right to be arrogant." Minerva said before passing the piece of parchment to Albus.

When he received it one look at the results was enough to make his eyebrows jump high enough to be confused for hair as well.

"Alastor?" He said to the retired Auror. "Add "is a perfect candidate for a job at Hogwarts" to the list of suspicious circumstances regarding this young man."

After all, it wasn't every day that Marchbanks or Tufty rated somebody as deserving a Mastery in any field, let alone in divination. And while they were not qualified to dish out a proper mastery diploma, an M in your newt report card in place of an O was the next most impressive thing.


Notes:

I. Positively. HATE. Blitzball.

Playing it in the video game was the most boring and frustrating thing on the planet. But a real life version using wizarding magic? I'd get crunk over that! You better believe I'd be all over that sport.

With that said, A/N-1 is for me to ask you all:

What game, activity or other jsnoirstion from a video game do you think would take the wizarding world by storm? All it takes is for one Muggleborns to have played the Jak and Daxter trilogy and say to himself in 5th year. Hm. You know what would be bitchin? Fucking a-grav sooners that's what. To hell with brooms."

Reviews:

Wrote:

I like how Harry is skilled but not too skilled. Question: could Harry make some sort of super wand for a certain subject and then use that in certain situations?

Response:

No but Ollivander could. Wands specifically suited to different tasks is not a new concept, but a wand as unto an elder wand for a specific branch of magic or individual spell? There could be a market for that.

Kryn Womble Wrote:

Ah my favourite version of Harry. The laidback, magical law-disregarding delinquent with an eccentric flavour of humour and sanity.

On a side note, when is the Bella/Harry ship sailing?

Response:

I believe my chapter speaks for itself, no?

BigglyVocab Wrote:

I liked how you bragged about being better than the other writers that abandoned this story, and then you proceed to spell a metric ton of words wrong. Multiple per chapter. Wow.

Response:

You will not goad me into defending my atrocious spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. Even with the fact that I type all of this on my phone… yes, really. But that's not a good enough excuse, so I have finally gotten proofreaders.

With that being said, I AM better than those other writers who attempted to adopt this story before. Because unlike them, I didn't copy and paste the original but actually rewrote it from scratch. The moment I wrote a single paragraph I proved myself a better writer than … Celillia and Sir Jinx, who just copied and pasted Cosette-Aimee's original work without making a single change.

A Lot better, thank you very much.

Exodus12345

He should easily be on their level by this point. Why are you making him weaker? He has had an extra 9 years to train and after going through a very bloody war it would only make sense for him to train to be even better so he never loses people like he did in that war again.

Response:

Well that's partly Harry underestimating himself, as others have done to him all of his life. But also no, Harry is not as powerful as Dumbledoreor Voldemort after ten years of dicking around in different careers, fields of magic and lifestyles. But he doesn't need to be stronger than either to win a war, and that's what matters.

manroyal277 Wrote:

*looks at the updated date* Please don't be abandoned, please don't be abandoned, please do... In all seriousness this fic is sooooooo good. A well executed concept, great theme , a likeable Harry and a possible Harry X Bella pairing! It's got everything I need. Also it's completely okay if you don't feel like writing this fic anymore. I just wanted to know if you are planning to continue this fic.

Response:

*Looks at review posted date* nope. Not abandoned. In fact you posted your review exactly one day after I started work on this chapter. And it's not a matter of how I feel. I'm writing my fics until they're finished, or until I no longer can. I'm stubborn that way.

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