Chapter 5: Back to school
So, I'm mentally 18 years old, I've been out of primary school for nearly 8 years, and now I'm back, in the body of an 8 year old. It was all a bit awkward but I managed. It's important to leave a good first impression after all.
"Hello everyone! Today is a very exciting day as we have a new student! Say hello!"
"Uh... hello? I'm Harry Black."
"Harry here just transferred to our school. He's skipped two grades, but as he's not the only kid to do so in this class I am sure he'll be fine. You can find a seat and sit down now, Harry."
So I looked around the room and chose the empty place next to the only other child of my age, a girl with very bushy hair.
"Hi, I'm Harry."
The schoolwork back in fourth grade was ridiculously easy. It also seemed to be that way for Hermione, even though she skipped grades without time traveling. So far, at least. She's really smart for her age. I guess the rumor of canon her being written as the self-insert of JK Rowling is at least partially true. I probably should tell her about magic sometime soon but I didn't get a good opportunity to do so yet.
But hey, the first day of school isn't even over yet.
"Hey, you! You're the new one, right?"
Hermione tensed up as a rather large boy approached us while we were talking during the break.
"I am. And who are you?"
"I'm Tyler. And if I can offer you a bit of advice: Stay away from Hermione. She's weird."
"In what way?"
"She's a complete know-it-all. And there are rumors that she... isn't normal."
Sounds like there was an incident with accidental magic at school earlier.
"And what are you?"
"From what I can see, she's the best performing child in our class, perhaps the entire school. You, on the other hand, aren't. But instead of striving to improve yourself to keep up, you take the easy way out and belittle her accomplishments. You, dear Tyler, seem to be a bully. And if I can offer you a bit of advice: Stay away from both of us."
"You... you're even worse than her!"
"Considering that what you seem to see as her bad trait is her intelligence, I'll take that as a compliment."
Being 18 mentally is a bit of an unfair advantage. Tyler turned around and walked away to his group of friends, and Hermione next to me seemed completely surprised that someone was backing her up.
"Does he bully you often?"
"Not really. He mostly just avoids me."
"And makes it difficult for you to find friends?"
"I had a bully like that at my old school. Dudley Dursley. Made sure that nobody was my friend. Hunted me around. Cheated by copying me and accusing me of copying him. Called me a Freak, because I'm obviously not normal. And you know what the worst part was?"
"He's my cousin. I've been living with the Dursleys, my Aunt and Uncle, ever since my parents died, and they've only been encouraging him."
"It was. Luckily my Godfather adopted me a while ago and that's behind me now."
"Have you ever had a friend?"
I had, in my old life. Harry Potter didn't. And I don't know how to classify Remus and Sirius.
"Do you want to?"
"You mean. if I want you as a friend?"
"Yeah, that's what I meant."
School was progressing well. I obviously knew everything already, but made a honest effort to only be as good as Hermione, which still meant top of the class.
Outside of school my magic classes went pretty well as well. I only really learnt the basics of most Hogwarts classes, since I would take those later, and instead spent most of my time learning dueling (in case I was attacked) and obscure magics such as Occlumency (can't have Dumbledore or Snape reading my mind), wandless magic (it's apparently best taught young when you're not too used to channeling magic through a wand) and I managed to convince Sirius to teach me the Animagus transformation too.
Eventually. For now I was just barely able to do an Expelliarmus, I knew the theory of Occlumency but without a Legilimens I trusted I couldn't practice much, and I was able to wandlessly levitate a paper clip a centimeter above my hand. But for an 8 year old it's something.
"Hey Harry, what are you reading there?"
"A book on Occlumency. Really fascinating."
"Never heard of it. What is it?"
"It's a meditative technique to clear your mind and arrange your memories."
"So, it's supposed to make you smarter? Aren't you already smart enough?"
"No, it's supposed to prevent people from reading your mind."
"It supposedly works much better than tinfoil hats."
"Oh Harry, you've got a weird sense of humor."
"Oh Harry, I didn't know you had a dog!"
"It's my Godfather's. Padfoot, that's Hermione. Hermione, that's Padfoot."
"Hey Hermione, what are you reading there?"
"Oh hi Harry. It's Matilda by Roald Dahl. It's really good,"
"Oh yeah, I've read that ages ago. I really liked it. Used to be one of my favorites."
"Really? It just came out!"
Dang it. Completely forgot about the time travel. Well, it's probably best if I'm honest with her.
"Yeah, you see, I'm actually a time traveler from 2019, and I'm a bit older than I appear, so that's why I remember reading about it years ago."
"Oh Harry, just admit you didn't read it and tried to be talkative."
Okay, maybe that wasn't the best idea.
"Okay, I admit. So, what's it about?"
"It's about this girl, Matilda, who likes to read a lot and she's good at school, but nobody believes her and the headmistress hates her, so she learns to move things with her mind and gets the headmistress to resign by making it look like there's a ghost in the school."
"She kinda sounds a lot like you, if I think about it."
"What, because I like to read?"
"No, because you can move things with your mind, of course."
She flinched a bit. I guess she did once move something with her mind.
"I bet you could if you tried!"
Okay, I've made a huge mistake. I completely forgot that I'm in the body of an 8 year old, and not a very strong or large 8 year old at that.
And now I've got a group of 10 year olds ganging up on me.
"What do you want, Tyler."
"I want to teach you a lesson about why you shouldn't have tried to out-freak the freak girl."
Oh great. Now I'm the Freak again. I could magic my way out, but using my wand would let the Ministry know I'm here, and my wandless magic... I can levitate a coin now.
Last name basis? Is Tyler trying to be Muggle Malfoy?
One of the other boys took a look at the book I had been reading.
"What's that? Matilda? A girl's book?"
"Give it back."
"Oh, you want me to give it back?"
"It would be better for your own wellbeing if you gave it back. I borrowed it from Hermione and she doesn't like it when her things go missing."
"So you're threatening us... with her?"
I'm threatening them with the girl that has the potential to set her teacher's robes on fire, brew illegal potions and come up with a truly nasty magical contract, but they obviously don't know that.
"I'm informing you that it would be better for you to give it back and apologize."
I did notice that she's standing right behind them and she's looking rather angry,
"Like that's going to happen, Black. You're delusional. Of course you are. You are just as abnormally freaky as her."
"DON'T CALL HIM A FREAK AND GIVE THAT BACK!"