The Many Faces of Harry Potter 29

“The Many Faces of Har—er, Adira Potter: Chapter 29”
By = Fayanora

Chapter Twenty-nine: House-Elves, Occlumency, and Weird Magic

Note 1: Text in 'Italics and British quotes' is Parseltongue.

Note 2: Once more, I apologize for the bits and pieces of canon dialogue/narration here and there.

Note 3: I have different styles for the internal speech of Alastair, Adira, and Zoey, and now #Iliana (bold, italic, underlined, and now between hashtags/pound signs because some people's computers don't do the B.I.U.).# and {Tier}.

*FAYANORA*

In early December, the weather started to become windy with lots of sleet, and that's what it was doing during one Care of Magical Creatures class. Luckily, with all the skrewts dead, Hagrid was teaching them about porlocks now, short little bipedal horse-like creatures covered in shaggy fur.

“They guard horses, see. An they're pretty mistrustful of humans. They can bite, just like horses, so be careful,” Hagrid instructed.

Al was squatting in front of one, which was looking up at him with narrowed eyes.

“Magic is bloody weird,” Al said. “Some of these magical creatures don't make any sense at all.”

“Whadda ya mean?” Ron asked.

“Well like this thing. It's only, what, two feet tall at best? How exactly does it act as a guardian to horses? Horses are taller than humans, usually, and with those hooves, they can look after themselves pretty well. What do they need porlocks for? What's this tiny little thing supposed to be able to do? I mean, it has hands, but why? What good are you, little porlock?”

As though in answer, the porlock glared at him and whinnied loudly, then started running at Al. Al started to laugh, but then the porlock grabbed him by the robes and threw him a good ten feet away, where Al fell in a heap with lots of cussing. The Slytherins burst out laughing at him.

He managed to get standing again, brushing grass out of his hair and clothes. Seeing he was alright, the Griffindors added to the laughter.

“I suppose I deserved that,” Al said.

“Well, well, well … this does look like fun.”

Al groaned, and looked over at none other than Rita Skeeter. Ron and Hermione glared at her.

“Who’re you?” Hagrid asked her.

“Rita Skeeter, Daily Prophet reporter,” Rita replied, beaming at him. Her gold teeth glinted.

“Thought Dumbledore said you weren’ allowed inside the school anymore,” said Hagrid, frowning slightly.

Rita acted as though she hadn’t heard what Hagrid had said.

“Ah, porlocks. How well I remember them. Oh, and Harry,” she said, spotting Al's scar. “So you like Care of Magical Creatures, do you? One of your favorite lessons?”

“My name is Alistair, you wretched woman,” he said.

At this, her face fell a little into worry, but then she recovered herself.

“Yes, Alistair, I remember you now. I just didn't recognize you. You look just like your godfather. Or is he your father?”

“No, he isn't my father. He's quite adamant about that. And remember that Adira looked like James back when she thought she was a boy. It's not possible to have two genetic fathers, so I don't know why I look like Sirius. Glad to see you remember my name now, though.”

“Yes, yes, but you didn't answer my first questions. Is Care of Magican Creatures one of your favorite lessons?”

“Yes,” he said stoutly. Hagrid beamed at him.

“Lovely,” said Rita. “Really lovely. Been teaching long?” she added to Hagrid.

“This is o’ny me second year,” said Hagrid.

“Lovely… I don’t suppose you’d like to give an interview, would you? Share some of your experience of magical creatures? I've heard some interesting rumors about this class. For instance, about a creature called, er... what were they now? Bang ended scoots?”

“Blast-ended skrewts,” Hagrid said. “They're all dead now, though.”

He glanced at Al, no doubt thinking of Chandra, but Hagrid had done as Chandra asked and wasn't treating any of them different for Chandra's actions.

“What a pity,” she said. “But you could describe them to me, could you not? The Prophet does a zoological column every Wednesday, as I’m sure you know. We could feature those bang-ended scoots as a sort of memorial for them? And then you can tell me all about them, like where they come from. I'm sure I've never heard of them before.”

Al noticed a dull red flush rising up out of Hagrid’s wild black beard, and his heart sank. Where had Hagrid got the skrewts from? He knew from Chandra that they were a hybrid of fire crabs and manticores, but surely Hagrid wouldn't be fool enough to illegally create an experimental breed?

“Not much point to it now,” Al said. “They're all dead, and Hagrid doesn't need any reminders of that painful memory.”

“Ah yes, so true, so true. But it's still up to Hagrid, of course.”

“Yes, I suppose it is.”

“And you, Alistair, weren't you the one who killed poor Hagrid's scoots?”

“That was Chandra.”

Her face lit up. “Oh really? The, er... I mean, one of the voices in your head?”

“Are you trying to dig dirt on me for an article about how I'm crazy? I know what you think of us, Rita. You called me a 'foul little mutant' at the wand-weighing ceremony. No thanks, I have enough of people thinking I'm crazy.”

“I wouldn't do that, Alistair. I just want to get to know you, and understand you. Yes, I said something mean in anger that day, but I didn't really mean it. Just like I'm sure you didn't mean to call me a small and insignificant insect.”

“Of course I did, Rita Skeeter. Honestly, you're still upset over that? You must have gotten teased about your name loads of times in school, how could that have been new to you?”

She blinked, confused, then looked thoughtful. After a few moments, she cracked a wide grin, like a Cheshire cat with gold teeth.

“I see now, Alistair. Bugging me with insect puns because of my name. How sophomoric of you.”

“What, are you stupid, that that wasn't immediately what came to mind? Though there's another meaning for it that fits; you really are something small and annoying to me, Rita, just like an insect.”

“Oh now, Mr. Potter, we need not be enemies. I could be your best friend, make you look great to the world. It hurts that you don't like me. Just give me an interview, please? Then you'll see that I'm worth a second chance.”

“Tempting, really, but I know your reputation, and that 'mutant' comment still bugs me. You don't know how to tell the truth, and you always have something nasty to say about everyone. Even your compliments are back-handed.”

“Ah. Well aren't you the tough nut to crack? Anyway,” she said, turning back to Hagrid, “what about that interview about the scoots?”

“Blast-Ended Skrewts,” Hagrid said eagerly. “Er — yeah, why not?”

“Lovely. Well goodbye, Alistair!” Rita Skeeter called merrily to him as he set off with Ron and Hermione. “Until Friday night, then, Hagrid!”

“She'll twist everything he says,” Al said. “She always does.”

“Just as long as he didn’t import those skrewts illegally or anything,” said Hermione desperately. They looked at one another — it was exactly the sort of thing Hagrid might do.

“Hagrid’s been in loads of trouble before, and Dumbledore’s never sacked him,” said Ron consolingly. “And anyway, Dumbledore already knows the truth about what the skrewts were.”

“Yes, but I don't want the whole world to know, in case it gets Hagrid in trouble.” He frowned.

Later, in double Divination that afternoon, Al was confused but glad that Trelawney seemed to be avoiding him for whatever reason, rather than making more dire pronouncements of his death.

“I'm glad we didn't get homework,” Ron said. “I hope Hermione got loads off Professor Vector, I love not working when she is.”

But Hermione wasn’t at dinner, nor was she in the library when they went to look for her afterward. The only person in there was Viktor Krum. Ron hovered behind the bookshelves for a while, watching Krum, debating in whispers with Al whether he should ask for an autograph — but then Ron realized that six or seven girls were lurking in the next row of books, debating exactly the same thing, and he lost his enthusiasm for the idea.

“Just bloody ask him already! He gets asked all the time, I'm sure he's used to it by now.”

“But he's famous!”

“And so am I. What's your point?”

“Well that's different. He's older, and he's famous for, you know---”

“Actually doing something worth being famous over,” Al interrupted, “as opposed to being famous for something his mother did?”

“Er, yeah. I guess.”

They didn't find out where Hermione was until she caught them just before getting to the Fat Lady's portrait.

“Al!” she panted, skidding to a halt beside him. “Glad I caught you. I found my way into the kitchens!”

Ron perked up at this. “You found the kitchens? You can get in?”

“Yeah, wanna join me down there?”

Al, grinning inwardly with his suspicion about what this was about, said, “Yeah, Ron, let's go down. We can get extra pudding.”

“Excellent! Hermione, lead the way.”

'Thank you,' mouthed Hermione at Al. Al mouthed back 'You're welcome.'

They made their way down the marble staircase into the entrance hall, following Hermione. She turned left at the bottom of the staircase and hurried toward the door through which Cedric Diggory had gone the night after the Goblet of Fire had regurgitated their names. Al had never been through here before. He and Ron followed Hermione down a flight of stone steps, but instead of ending up in a gloomy underground passage like the one that led to Snape’s dungeon, they found themselves in a broad stone corridor, brightly lit with torches, and decorated with cheerful paintings that were mainly of food.

Finally, they ended up at a picture of a still life of a bowl of fruit. Hermione stretched out her forefinger, and tickled the huge green pear. It began to squirm, chuckling, and suddenly turned into a large green door handle. She seized it, pulled the door open, and they followed her inside.

Inside was an enormous, high-ceilinged room, large as the Great Hall above it, with mounds of glittering brass pots and pans heaped around the stone walls, and a great brick fireplace at the other end.

“Alastair Potter sir!” a voice from somewhere around his navel said, and he looked down.

Dobby?” he said in amazement.

“Um, yes sir. Is sir not remembering Dobby is here?”

“What? You work here now?”

~It is the small green North Star,~ Chandra said in his head. ~The North Star who guided me in my lonesome time.~

Hermione opened her mouth to speak, but Al talked first. “Oh yeah, Chandra recognizes you. But he didn't remember you when he was here by himself earlier, so he didn't count you as really any more significant than the other house elves. And since he'd never seen a house elf before, he didn't know your clothing was strange for house elves.”

Dobby's clothes were indeed weird. He had done an even worse job of dressing himself than the wizards at the World Cup. He was wearing a tea cozy for a hat, on which he had pinned a number of bright badges; a tie patterned with horseshoes over a bare chest, a pair of what looked like children’s soccer shorts, and odd socks, one of which was the black one Al and the gang had used to trick the abusive Malfoy into freeing Dobby. The other was covered in pink and orange stripes.

“How are you, Dobby?”

“Dobby is well, sir. Dobby is come to Hogwarts looking for work, and Professor Dumbledore is paying Dobby, sir!”

The house-elves all around the kitchen, who had been listening and watching with interest, all looked away at these words, as though Dobby had said something rude and embarrassing.

“Sounds like something Dumbledore would do. Is he paying the other house elves, too?”

No doubt about it, the other house elves were looking very offended.

“No, Mr. Potter sir, he is not. Most house elves does not get paid, sir. They considers it a great offense to even suggest it. House elves likes work, even Dobby is liking work sir. But Dobby is... unusual for a house elf, sir. Dobby is preferring to be paid, sir, so Dobby can quit whenever he needs to, sir. Dobby is not wanting to be trapped with bad, mean, evil masters again.”

Something came over Dobby, and Al grabbed him before he could punish himself.

“You don't have to do that anymore, Dobby. They're not your masters anymore.”

“Thank you, sir. It is taking Dobby a long time to get over that habit, sir. Dobby is being the Malfoy's elf for decades, sir. All Dobby's life he is serving the Malfoys, but no more.”

“How old are you, Dobby?” Ron asked.

“Dobby is 60 years old, sir.”

“You're 60?

“Yes, Mr. Ronald Weasley, sir. House elves is living a very long time. House elves is getting as old as 150, sir, just like wizards! Only we is not showing our age, sirs and miss, until we is in our 120's.”

“That's amazing, Dobby! I would have guessed you were no older than your teens.”

Dobby chuckled. “Yes, house elves is often thought of as very young, sir. We is small and we is very different from humans, sir.”

“So, Dobby,” Hermione started. “You say house elves don't want payment. What do they want?”

“Most house elves is just wanting work, respect, kindness, and compliments on their work, miss. Most of us is not minding being servants to wizards, miss. We is getting housing, food, work, uniforms,” he said, referring to the spotlessly clean tea towels the other house elves were all wearing, which bore the Hogwarts crest, “and we is getting safety from the many creatures that eat elves, miss.”

Eat you? But you have magic!”

“Yes, miss, eat us. We has magic, yes, but... well... Dobby's teacher elf is saying years ago when Dobby is young, that we house elves was bred from wild elves. Wild elves did not have so much magic as us, and they was not as smart as us. Wizards is making us from them, making us more magical, making us smart, and binding us to them, but we is not minding. They made us, and they is supposed to protect us. Most wizards is doing that, in fact.

“There is being more,” he continued. “Even with our magic, living in the wild is hard. Dobby is living out in the wild for 2 years before he is finding work here, sirs and miss, and Dobby is not having fun with that. It is being a long and hard time, very difficult. Dobby is almost getting eaten many times, sirs and miss. Most elves is not wanting to do it. But Dobby is being through worse in his life, sirs and miss. Dobby is doing it all over again if he has to, sirs and miss.”

Hermione nodded. “Thank you, Dobby. I'm going to talk with the other elves. I believe you, but it's always good to speak with others, in case they tell me something you forgot, or have something to add that you wouldn't have been aware of from your experiences. See you!” she waved and took off to talk with another house elf.

Dobby, Al, and Ron sat around, talking, with Dobby occasionally bringing them snacks or drinks. Al decided he wouldn't come here too often, to avoid ending up like Dudley from all the delicious food the house elves lavished on any witch or wizard clever enough to find the kitchens. The things Dobby told him about house elves were amazing, and he knew that he'd have to compare notes with Hermione in case the others didn't tell her the same things.

One of these things he told them in response to seeing the Marauder's Map. Al had been curious as to why elves didn't show up on the map, and Dobby had been fascinated by the map. According to Dobby, there was a huge part of the castle that was missing from the map, which according to him was the house-elf quarters, where all the elves and their children slept. And there were no child elves in the kitchens because elves didn't have to start working until they were 10, which was their equivalent of 17 or 18.

And after Al mentioned that the Chamber of Secrets wasn't on the map, Dobby changed the subject and showed him another room that wasn't on the map.

“Right here, on the seventh floor, sir, across from the tapestry of the dancing trolls. We is calling it the come-and-go room, or else the Room of Requirement. It is becoming anything you is needing, and you is just needing to walk back and forth three times thinking what you is needing the whole time.”

“That's brilliant, Dobby!” Al said, already pondering the possibilities for himself and Javier. They were still taking it easy, getting to know each other after their rather impassioned beginning, but it would make a nice place to have a private chat when necessary. He even felt Iliana's interest in the room perk up.

“Yeah, that's amazing!” Ron agreed.

“What's amazing?” Hermione asked, having returned from talking with the other elves.

They told her, in turns, about what Dobby had said. Hermione didn't seem so sure, thinking it was some mad idea of Dobby's, but when she talked to the other elves again, they confirmed the room's existence and purpose.

“Wow, that would be really useful. The things you could do there,” she said, thinking. “Dueling practice, summon a swimming pool to practice for the second task, maybe conjure a library full of cool books, especially Defense books... the possibilities are potentially endless!”

“Be a bit more roomy than a broom closet, too,” Ron said, sniggering.

“Oh like you'd know, Ronald!”

“Hey, just cuz I haven't doesn't mean I couldn't!”

“I really don't want to know. Really really do not want to know. Changing the subject now, you really should practice swimming, Al. With what you've told me of the Dursleys, I doubt they ever gave you swimming lessons.”

“Too true. They would have wanted me to drown. I just wonder how I'd get lessons?”

“Well I know how to swim,” Hermione said. “I don't like to, because it makes my hair poof into a giant ball of fuzz when it dries, but I could.”

“If you'd rather not, maybe I could find someone else.”

“I know how to swim, mate.”

“Yeah, but I doubt you'd make a good teacher, Ron.”

Ron looked thoughtful, then shrugged. “That's fair.”

~

The next day being Tuesday, they woke up as Adira. The day was normal for her, until dinnertime, when she got a message from Dumbledore to meet him in his office after dinner.

So, standing before the gargoyle, she said, “Malted milk balls,” which was the password. She briefly imagined Snape saying passwords like that, and giggled at the mental image.

She barely had her hand to the door when Dumbledore said, “Come on in, Adira.”

Shrugging, she opened the door, closed it behind her, and went over to sit in front of Dumbledore's desk.

“You asked to see me, Professor?”

“Indeed I did, Adira. What I have to say is fairly serious, too. No, you aren't in any trouble. It's about the horcruxes, and Voldemort.”

“What about them?”

“I have been growing concerned for some time, I admit. The signs are not looking good. I fear Trelawney's prediction last year may be coming true soon. I fear Voldemort may be working on a plan to rise again.”

“Oh? What makes you think that?”

“Your dream, for one. The disappearance of a ministry witch named Bertha Jorkins. Your confirmation recently that you recognized her name from the dream, as well. And other whispers. My sources in Albania also tell me that they can find no sign of Voldemort; he has left the country, it seems. Between that and everything else, I fear he may be in Britain again, working on getting his body back.”

Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my body to me, to me, Al sang in their head.

Shut up! It's not funny!

Sorry, dark humor.

She had let out a small giggle though, to which Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. “Al made a bad joke,” she explained.

“Ah.”

“Anyway, that is very concerning indeed, sir. I hope you're wrong. But yeah, with all that, I think you're right.”

“Yes, and the worst part is, I was hoping to find and destroy his horcruxes before he had that chance. But it has not been an easy task. I've been scouring the country for information about his life which might lead me to more horcruxes, but it is slow going. People don't like to talk about him, after all. And you know, I don't even know how many of the foul things he has. But what is concerning me more is what will happen if he returns. For the fact that you can feel his presence when he is near, and see what he is up to in dreams, strikes me as rather ominous, given that your scar hurts every time it happens. If not for that, I would just assume it is Alastair's Seer ability.”

“But you think it's something else?”

“Yes. And I fear it's a connection that might go two ways, once he regains his body. I've been trying to find him to stop him, too, but that has borne no more fruit than the horcrux quest.”

“Well what does he need to resurrect himself? If you know that, you can use it to find him, maybe?”

“That is an avenue I have been exploring as well. But the information about those rituals is hard to come by as well, especially for someone as famous for being a Light wizard as I.”

He sighed, then continued. “Alas, one of the pressing concerns now is teaching you occlumency, an art designed to protect the mind from intrusion by legilimency, so that if I am correct, you can close your mind to Voldemort once he returns to power. For I fear he may eventually work out the two-way nature of the connection, and send you false visions to manipulate you. And if I am wrong, then occlumency will keep him from being able to pull secrets from you in person, the way legilimency usually works, so it is a good idea anyway. And best to teach you now, while he is still too weak to be a threat.”

Ask him why he's so concerned about this. What makes him think this connection exists?

“What makes you think this two-way connection exists? How do you know it isn't just Al having visions?”

“I do not know that, of course. But I am concerned. Tell me, did your scar hurt when you had the vision about the Goblet of Fire?”

“No, it didn't.”

“And that is why I am concerned. Your vision of Voldemort, as well as your sense when he was near in the first year, both made your scar hurt, but your other vision did not. I suspect something else is at work here. Something happened when Voldemort tried to kill you. The same thing that transferred his parseltongue skill to you may be responsible for your visions of him, and your sense of when he is near.”

“What do you think it is, though?”

“I have only suspicions, and one strong suspicion in particular. I would like to tell you what it is, and I will, but I wish you to learn occlumency from me first, so I can be sure that the information will be safe in your head.”

“Okay, that sounds good to me.”

“Excellent. Now, I do believe your Chandra Rahasyamay already has a natural knack for occlumency, but if I am correct, it only works when he is Out. Or when he is awake, perhaps. May we start now, as a test?”

“I suppose so. What's this going to be like? What is legilimency, anyway? And have you discussed it with Sirius?”

“Yes to your last question. Here is a permission slip he has signed,” Dumbledore said, showing her a letter.

It said, simply, 'Professor Albus Dumbledore has my permission, as Adira Potter's guardian, to teach her and the other Potters occlumency,' with his signature at the end.

“Alright. But what about my other questions?”

“Legilimency is a magical practice that allows the legilimens to peruse the surface of another's mind, in search of information. A skilled enough legilimens can even manipulate you into thinking of certain kinds of memories in his search for information. It is not mind reading, though, not exactly. The human mind is complex, many layered, and ever jumping around from one thought to the next nonstop. So it is rather like trying to piece together a Muggle movie by taking photos of the film as it is rolling, except there are multiple films running at once, even in the mind of the average person. With luck and skill, the legilimens can use the images and feelings glimpsed in your mind to interpret them accurately. Even, I fear, in a mind as unusual as yours.”

“Okay. So how does it feel?”

“I am not really sure how to describe the experience. Any description I give will be a metaphor at best. But it should call up memories and images to your conscious mind.”

“Alright. So, er... should I sit or stand?”

“I think stand, it is the best way to learn. Standing makes you more alert than if you were sitting down, which is why it is a good learning aid.”

Adira stood up, adjusting her glasses, and Dumbledore stood up as well, brandishing his wand.

“Should I have my own wand out?”

“Yes. Though this is a test, I will want you to try to resist me however you can. Try to use your mind first, though.”

“Okay,” she said, getting out her holly wand. “Go ahead.”

Legilimens.”

The office swam in front of her eyes and vanished, image after image was racing through her mind like a flickering film so vivid it blinded her to her surroundings.

She was Iliana, flying in a Quidditch game. She was Zoey, sneaking into the Slytherin common room to put a spell on Malfoy. She was 11, releasing the snakes from the zoo and Al was calling 'Fly, my pretties!' with her old voice, since that was before they'd started transforming. Then she was Al in second year, fearfully using his only weapon, his voice, to talk the basilisk into--

NO! That's dangerous and PRIVATE! Al yelled in their head.

The room returned in time for her to see Dumbledore reeling backwards.

“Most impressive for a first time,” he said. “Er, I take it that was Alastair yelling?”

“Yes, sir. Um... how much of that did you see?”

“Just bits and pieces here and there. I recognized the incident that led to us meeting for the first time. That was, I have to say, fairly amusing, how Alastair referenced the Wizard of Oz.”

“Yeah, that was pretty funny alright. Did you see anything else?”

“I saw the basilisk. And I saw young Zoey up to something, but I could not discern what.”

Adira grinned.

“Anyway now... if you please, could you wake up Chandra? I do not need you to transform, I just wish him to be awake and co-conscious with you, for another test.”

“Um, okay.”

Chandra? Chandra? Are you there?

There was no response.

CHANDRA! WAKEY WAKEY!!!

There was an internal groan.

~What is it you desire, Sarcastic Defender?~

Just stay awake and co-conscious for now, okay?

~As you wish.~

“He's awake and co-conscious, as you asked.”

“Good. Ready? Legilimens.”

The room swam again, but this time she saw a different series of images. A mountain stream through a small wooded area, the water gently burbling. The ocean, its waves pounding against the rocks. A sunlit summer day in a field of wheat, a farmhouse in the distance. A thunderstorm, the sky dark and ominous, occasionally forked with lightning. Then the mountain stream again.

Her vision came back. Dumbledore had lifted his wand.

“Now there, that is perfect occlumency! Chandra, it seems, is a natural at it. He resists without resisting, keeps intruders out of your mind with simple images of nature, which is one of the many ways occlumency can work. As Alastair demonstrated, an act of willpower can force someone out, too. And yet another method would be to show the intruder a modified version of one's mind, so they do not even suspect that what they are seeing is false. But that one is very advanced.”

Adira didn't know what to say to this. Finally, she decided to say, “Cool.”

“Yes. Of course the best would be that last one, but any of the other methods would be adequate. I wish the rest of you to learn one or more of the occlumency methods, for those times when Chandra is not available. But unless you have any questions, I think that will be enough for tonight. I will let you know when the next lesson is. Do you have any questions?”

“Um... not right now. But if I think of any, I'll write them down for later.”

“Excellent. You may go now, Adira.”

“So Dumbledore is teaching you guys occlumency?” Ron asked to confirm, after she'd told him.

“Yes. He reckons there's some kind of connection between Voldemort and me,” she said, ignoring his flinch at the name. “The same thing that lets me speak with snakes, in fact. Whatever that is.”

“And Chandra is naturally good at it?”

“Yes. Now can we stop with the questions? I've got homework to do.”

~

Wednesday after dinner was another Dueling Club meeting, and again Adira got paired with Javier. He had improved slightly over the weeks they'd been doing this, and wasn't such an embarrassment anymore, but he still had a hard time ducking or dodging, his reflexes were still slow, and he still had a hard time thinking of spells to cast while under pressure.

Moody was there, too, adding his expertise to the club by teaching them about using spells to incapacitate the opponent, or otherwise prevent them from casting. One such spell was a horn-tongue hex, that made the tongue grow a tough shell of keratin which made speaking pretty much impossible until it was reversed.

“Lasts longer than Silencio, you see. A lot longer, if they don't know the counter-hex. Doesn't stop them from casting non-verbally, of course, but still useful to learn. If you want to stop them casting non-verbally, too, a Confundus will do the trick pretty well.”

While Adira was dueling, Chandra was thinking. He'd been doing that a lot since being woken up the day before. He'd especially been thinking about his magic. He was so deep in thought, now, that he didn't notice a nearby duel go off the rails, with Ron and Malfoy tossing other spells around than the one they were supposed to be learning. But he sure noticed when a Stunner hit Adira in the face.

Instead of falling over, though, Chandra grabbed control of Adira's body and righted it just in time.

“Interesting, Potter,” Moody said, making his slow way over to her. “You took a Stunner right to the face, Potter, how are you still standing?”

“The stunner did fly, taking out my sister dear. I, Chandra, was near.”

“First strange riddles, now bad haikus? I'm starting to wonder if you just enjoy being annoying, Rahasyamay,” Moody said. “At least I'm assuming that's you. But anyway, that's fascinating. Adira got stunned, but you didn't? Stunners aren't supposed to work that way. Must've been a weak one. You got lucky.”

As Moody left to get back to teaching, Chandra stood there in Adira's body. Switching the holly wand to his left hand, he said, “Well perhaps we shall now be on even terrain, young artificer?”

“Er... I suppose so. I don't know if I feel comfortable dueling you, Chandra,” Javier said.

“My magic is open to me. I need only feel the feelings to unlock the spells.”

“I guess.”

“If it helps,” Adira's voice said, now taking on a familiar harsh tone as the dragon heartstring wand ended up in their right hand, “you can duel two at once.”

“You can do that?”

“His words ring true. I hold the left side, he holds the right.”

“Well, okay.”

“As interesting as that would be,” Moody said, returning again, “for a two on one like that, I think I'd rather see you go against young Mr. Malfoy.”

“Yes, because that worked out so well the first time,” Al said, still with Adira's voice.

“Well that secret is out already, so I wouldn't worry about it,” Moody said.

And so Al and Chandra, controlling Adira's body, fought Malfoy in a duel that was 'anything legal and not too harmful goes.'

“And no snakes this time, Malfoy, or I'll turn you into a mouse and have Mrs. Norris chase you. Ready? One, two, THREE!”

The fight was intense, and mostly involved Al versus Malfoy. But Chandra was thinking, because with Al doing most of the work, he could take his time and be clever about what he did to help. After almost a minute, during which it looked like Malfoy was winning, Chandra made his move.

Only, without meaning to, he forgot to say the incantation. And in point of fact, he'd let his mind wander a bit too much and felt the wrong sort of feelings for what he wanted. But something happened to Malfoy, anyway.

“AHHHH!” Malfoy shouted, falling to the floor as though he suddenly weighed 500 pounds, his wand rolling away from him.

Al and Chandra blinked in surprise and looked down at Malfoy. He looked like he'd been glued to the ground so firmly that he couldn't move. He could speak, and was cussing a blue streak, but he couldn't move at all.

“Interesting effect,” Chandra said aloud. “Not what I was going for, but in retrospect perhaps this is better.”

“Why, boy? What were you trying for?” Moody asked.

“I was trying to make him fly in the air.”

“I didn't hear you say any incantation. Did you cast it silently?”

“Er... yes,” he said, deciding not to tell the man any more than that, in case his suspicions were wrong.

“Well clearly you said it wrong in your head somehow. Here, Malfoy, I'll undo it for you.”

Moody cast a spell at Malfoy, and they saw the light of a spell, but Malfoy remained stuck to the floor. Confused and intrigued, Moody cast some diagnostic spells on Malfoy instead.

“Wow,” Moody said. “This is weird. I've never seen a spell like this in my life, and that's really saying something. Also, mis-cast spells usually have some relationship with the intended spell. This... I don't know what this even is. The arithmancy on it is highly peculiar. Doesn't even look like Western magic. It reminds me a little of African magic, but also of Chinese spellwork. And yet it's neither of those things.”

“Stop bloody commenting on it and GET ME OFF THE FLOOR! Please. Sir.” Malfoy said, irritably.

Everyone else in the room, who had long since stopped to watch, were laughing at his predicament.

“Hold your hippogriffs, boy, I'm working with magic I've never seen the like of in over 80 years of being an Auror. You're going to have to be patient and quiet while I work out the arithmancy necessary to figure out the counter-curse. Unless Mr. Rahasyamay wants to take a crack at reversing it?”

“I shall ponder the question, too,” he agreed, and started thinking.

Chandra rubbed the tip of his wand against his chin as he thought. Moody was too preoccupied with doing complicated maths with conjured parchment and quill to tell him off for this. But after a few minutes, Chandra pointed his wand at Malfoy and concentrated on feelings of lightness.

Without the warning of any incantation or spell-light, Malfoy lifted off the ground and into the air, shouting.

“AHH! GET ME DOWN! GET ME DOWN!”

“Oops,” Chandra said, to general laughter and applause. “A genuine error on my part, White Ferret. Hold on, I'll get you down.”

But Malfoy had managed to grab his wand before he'd flown into the air.

Accio floor!” he shouted in desperation.

He immediately went flying right at the floor, hitting it with a loud smack.

“That was most unwise, White Ferret.”

Just then, Adira woke up and retook control of her body.

“What's going on? Wait... oh. Oh!” she started giggling, then turned to Malfoy, intending to nudge him with a toe, but he was up in the air again.

“Foolish boy. But at least I know how to counter a Wingardium Leviosa,” Moody said. And sure enough, in several seconds he had Malfoy on the ground again.

Rennervate,” he then cast, once Malfoy was down. The pale boy woke up and looked around, turning pink with embarrassment.

“You should get to the hospital wing, Malfoy. You hit the ground pretty hard with that stupid summoning charm, and now your nose is bleeding. Rest of your face doesn't look great, either. Honestly, summoning the floor, what were you thinking? I know you're smarter than that! Now GET!”

Malfoy ran out of the room, everyone laughing.

“And you lot,” Moody said, turning to Adira. “I'm guessing you're Adira again, am I right? Don't answer that, it's not important. Just tell Mr. Rahasyamay he needs more practice before he starts trying to use his magic in combat. I don't know how he managed to mis-cast that badly. Sure, it was useful this time around, but it's best to know what you're doing so you don't kill someone by accident.”

Adira nodded. “Understood, sir.”

“Good. In retrospect, it would've been safer for me to figure out the arithmancy on that spell. Anyway, that's enough excitement for one night. Dueling Club adjourned.”

~

After the strange events of the Dueling Club, Adira was in her room, with Chandra wielding the holly wand in his left hand, experimenting with the new form of magic he'd discovered. Or rather, it wasn't new; in retrospect, the golden killing curse and the other accidental magic he'd done had been the same thing. Similar to the usual sort of accidental magic, but more controllable.

At least, more controllable in theory. Chandra was having mixed results with his experiments. The first time he accidentally set something on fire, Adira insisted he cast on rubbish only. Now there was rubbish on the ceiling, the wall, floating in the air, and once he'd managed to accidentally Vanish an old parchment. In another experiment, two pieces of rubbish had suddenly become very attracted to one another, and were now stuck so firmly neither she nor Chandra could get them separated.

“This is fascinating, is it not?” Chandra asked her aloud.

“Yeah, I guess. It'll be useful if you figure out how to do it properly. You haven't been using any incantations. I'm not sure how you're activating the magic without an incantation.”

“When it happened earlier, I felt a tingle. Both times, the tingle. It is the tingle that does it. I have figured out how to replicate the tingle.”

“Well that's useful. Ugh, here we are talking aloud to each other.”

Chandra pointed his wand at another piece of rubbish and Adira felt the tingle he'd mentioned. The crumpled-up sweets wrapper got squished to the floor like Malfoy had, but worse.

If only you could do it consistently, Al thought.

~I am new to this, Sarcastic Defender. Patience.~

Do you even need the wand? I seem to recall you casting those gold killing curses wandlessly.

~I do not know. Let me check.~

Chandra put the wand back and tried several times to cast wandlessly. On the third time, he got water to come out of his finger like the aquamenti charm did with a wand. Stopping it from doing that took a bit more work, but once he got it to stop, he attempted to clean up the mess wandlessly, too. That took a dozen tries before he glared at the puddle in frustration.

I also seem to recall you doing magic with songs, as well.

Nodding, Chandra thought of which song to try. When he settled on one, he started making a scrubbing motion with his hand and sang, “I've been through the desert on a horse with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain...”

He had to sing a few more verses, finally losing himself in the song, before it kicked in and the water evaporated.

First, Al thought to him, using a song with lyrics that include 'in the desert, you can't remember your name,' is probably a bad idea. We got lucky this time, but next time we might not.

~Ah yes, that is an excellent point, Sarcastic Defender.~

That said, have you tried looking for books on wandless magic? I've heard many African wizards don't use wands because of the witch hunts still going on there.

~Sounds like a good idea.~

They stopped what they were doing then to write a letter to Sirius saying 'If you haven't already gotten us a gift, Chandra would like some books about wandless magic from around the world. It appears he's got a knack for it and would like to learn more.' They sent it off with Hedwig and then went about trying to get rid of the garbage that was all over everywhere from Chandra's experiments.

Endnotes: Bit of a shorter chapter, but the next place I wanted to go didn't really fit in this chapter.

I have no idea what porlocks actually do, as it doesn't really say on the wikia aside from “horse guardians”; their response in this fic is completely my own invention.

Adira's first legilimency experience goes the way it does here because she's already calm, since Snape isn't the one teaching her, Dumbledore is. Also, I favor the theory that in canon, Voldemort was watching the lessons through Harry's eyes and so Snape had to teach him poorly to maintain his cover. Helped, of course, by the fact that Snape is already a piss poor teacher. Though how much of that is also an act, I don't claim to know.

Point: “The name 'Adira' being so different from 'Harry' is confusing.”
Counter-point: Several people who originally knew me by my deadname - which started with a T, had two syllables, and sounds nothing like 'Fay' - had no apparent problem calling me 'Fay' when I told them that was my new name. If they could adapt, so can you.



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