Harry's Island Realm

                                             Chapter 07  

 “Harry, I think you should wear your other dress robes, they were much more impressive,” Draco said as he spotted Harry escorting Madam Zalinka towards the great hall. As his potions tutor she was invited to all feasts out of courtesy.

“Show me,” Sabina ordered as she raised one immaculate eyebrow as she looked at her student.

Stepping to one side, Harry waved his hand down his body and once again donned his Ming the Destroyer robes. Tilting his head to one side and waiting for her to comment as madam Zalinka chuckled in glee.

“Yes, yes they do nicely, the robes fit you better than they ever did Ming,” Sabina chuckled as she once again took the arm of her student. “I agree these should always be the robes you wear on occasions you need to dress up.”

“Draco, Miss Greengrass.” Harry said with a tilt of his head and smile at her gaping shock, “Shall we…” Escorting his tutor to the end of the table he pulled the chair out for her and seated her. Once he had, he moved and stood at the end of the table until all those he invited for the meal joined them.

Ignoring the whispers and pointing, Harry scowled as the headmaster made some nonsensical speech about Halloween. Nodding his head as he clapped his hands once, the food, already plated and prepared appeared. Picking up his goblet he raised it and as he welcomed his guests to his table the great hall went silent as they watched on, some in wonder, some in jealousy and others in confusion.

“Welcome, to my table on this night of All Hallows Eve, when the veil between the living world and the next is at its thinnest. On this night we celebrate the lives of those who have departed.” Raising his cup and taking a sip he said, “Welcome.” Setting his goblet down he turned to the large bazaar and with a wave of his hand it roared into life.

Up until now, Albus was allowing the farce to go one, but when he saw Mr. Potter take a small serving plate and place food offerings on it he rose to his feet to stop him. “Mr. Potter cease and desist at once.”

Looking over his shoulder, Harry said in an even voice, “I asked for and received permission from the school board to observe a traditional All Hallows feast headmaster.”

“But you are excluding the Muggleborn,” Albus tried to make him see reason.

“I do no such thing headmaster,” Harry snapped back. “If no one shows them or explains our traditions and why they are important, how will they know. Or are you implying the Muggle born or new bloods as my mom called them are not deserving to know our traditions and participate in them?”

“Sit down Albus, you are making a fool of yourself,” Augusta Longbottom hissed at him. As part of the board who gave permission she felt it was her duty to make sure no one interfered. “Mr. Potter, on behalf of the Board, I apologize for the headmaster. Please continue.” Plus seeing her Neville sitting at the table of honor she felt an untold amount of pride.

“Thank you Madam Longbottom,” Harry told her with a slight bow. Centering himself he started over. “On this night as the sun wanes and the dark rises, the veil between worlds thins. And on this night we honor those who have departed from our world, we honor them with a feast,” he said as he walked over to the fire and stood behind it so his guests could see him.

“I honor my father, who gave all to ensure I survive,” Harry said as he stared into the flames. “While an arrogant Pureblood scion while growing up, he did grow up and took up the mantle of a man to be proud of, I honor James Potter, my father and invite him to sit near the veil and enjoy the feast with me.” Sliding a small portion of the food into the fire he smiled as an image of his father appeared above the flames and smiled down at him.

“I honor my mother,” Harry said as the image faded away. “One of the first Historical Inventors in the past three hundred years, her devotion to her craft and ingenuity allowed her to create the means to block the killing curse. No greater love hath a parent than to lay down their life for their child. Lilly Potter, I honor thee and invite you to sit near the veil and enjoy tonights feast with me,” he said as he slid the rest of the food off the small plate into the fire. Setting the plate down next to the bazaar he smiled as an image of his mother appeared above the flames and gazed down at him.

Gesturing a hand towards his table he said, “My guests, if any wish to honor the departed, please stand and approach the flames with your offer.”

Standing up, as the oldest of the guests, tradition had it she was to go first, Sabina, who had already prepared a small token of a portion of her meal made her way to the fire. Staring into the flames she said, “My love, I wrap the joy we had around me each night as I fall to sleep, I honor thee, Micheal Zalinka and I invite you to sit near the veil and enjoy the feast with me.” Placing the plate on top of Harry’s she smiled into the image above the flames.

Standing before the fire, Draco knew of many relatives he could honor this night, but there was one he truly wished he had gotten to know, “On this night as the veil is at its thinnest I honor my brother, born and taken soon after. I invite you to sit at the edge of the veil and join your family and get to know us as we feast in your honor.”

Smiling in pride as her son stood up and participated, Narcissa’s fingers dug painfully into her husbands arm as she hissed out, “how did he find out?”

“I…I, don’t know,” Lucius said in absolute shock.

One by one, those at Harry’s table stood up and honored a family or friend, or in Neville’s case, his parents. It was telling as he called on them to join him at the edge of the veil, their images appeared. As his last companion returned to the table he raised his goblet once more towards the bazaar and said, “to those who have departed and join us tonight, we welcome you.”

“We welcome you,” Draco and the others toasted.

Hermione had been watching carefully. Studying what everyone did and said and how a ghostly specter of the loved one called on appeared. Not to be left out, she placed a selection of food on a small plate, that she had wondered why it was on the table and walked purposely over to the fire, ready to fight for her right to follow the ritual. Glancing at Harry as she stood before the fire she saw his small nod and smile and felt empowered. Starring into the flames, she said, “One this night as the veil is at its thinnest I call upon my grandmother Sally, the one who inspired my love of learning, to sit next to the veil and join me as I enjoy the feast in her honor. Sliding her food into the flames she smiled as tears of joy ran down her face as an image appeared, “Grand-mama,” she whispered in joy as her grandmothers face appeared and smiled down at her. Moving back to her seat she paused long enough near the table Harry Potter sat at to say, “thank you,” in a voice filled with joy.

Flabbergasted as student after student stood up, Albus could not fathom why they would consent to join in a necromantic ritual that he had banned all knowledge of from the schools library. Unfathomable he thought as he missed the point of the ceremony or the fact it was not necromantic in nature.

“Oh, dear,” Minerva whispered as student after student started to line up so they could honor family or friends, this was getting out of hand. Looking to her right she whispered, “Pomona if you would help me.

Seeing Minerva and Pomona leave the head table, Filius did also. Grinning as Albus groaned in horror he joined his fellow heads of house as they created Bazaars for their students to place their offerings in. Before anyone could light the flames he called out, “Mr. Potter as the host who started the sacred fire for tonight, would you be so kind as to…”

Standing up, Harry nodded his head as he smiled, moving over to each bazaar he cast the fire and nodded as the students thanked him.

Twenty minutes later, Harry glanced at the Bazaars and saw one or two people left, and looking up at the head table he scowled, “gentleman, ladies, it seems the staff are being remiss. Neville, if you would handle Gryffindor, Susan,” seeing her nod and Draco stand he grabbed his goblet and together they went to stand between the bazaars and the head of the house tables.

Standing in front of the Ravenclaw table as the last student sat down, Harry glanced to either side of him and together the four of them spoke, “to those who have departed and join us tonight, we welcome you.” Raising his goblet in a toast he smiled as the students who had participated toasted and said loud and proud, “we welcome you.”

Glancing at the head table and the professors, some of who looked ashamed at forgetting the welcoming, he returned to his seat. Looking at his guests he said, “that went better than I expected. I thought I would have more of a fight on my hands with the headmaster.”

“Grandmother made sure the board knew they were all invited,” Neville told Harry. “While she does not agree with a lot of the board on issues, our traditions and why we practice them are close to her heart. And” he pointed to the Bazaar and told him, “By having Granger, a Muggleborn not only participate but be answered, proves her point. Just because they are Muggleborn does not mean they are unwilling or can’t participate in our traditions.”

“I did notice the Muggleborn were first to rise after Granger finished,” Draco said with a contemplative look on his face. “If they continue to respectfully participate and take to heart our traditions, I can see the term new blood replacing Muggleborn or Mudblood easily in a few years.”

“My Gran says that headmaster Dumbledore has done more since becoming headmaster to grow the divide than anyone,” Neville offered.

Silently fuming through the whole meal, Albus finished his meal and stormed out. Further infuriated when none of the students paid any attention to his storming out.

Leaning over, Lucius told Augusta, “would you be willing to talk to the board into authorizing a traditions class and bringing back our traditions at the school?”

Glancing at the Bazaar her grandson had contacted his parents at, Augusta nodded slowly, “I do believe I would. Yes, it past time our traditions were taught once again, get with me tomorrow and between our two factions we will push through the class, to start right before Yule.”

“Thank you, Mr. Potter for hosting me,” Sabina said as the dinner came to a close. “I shall see you for your next lesson.” Curtsying before leaving the table she made her way over to Hogwarts potion master. “A word second level master Snape.”

“Of course first level mistress Zalinka,” Severus said smoothly while wondering why she wanted to talk to him. Following her out into the hall he moved to one side and waited for her to tell him what she wanted.

Not being polite about it, Sabina told him, “I have investigated your classes by disillusioning myself and sitting in an out of the way area.” Seeing him stiffen and open his mouth she told him, “Hold. There is no doubt in anyones mind that you are a talented and skilled potion master. Achieving second level mastery upon your first mastery test. That is not or was ever in question.”

“Some masters are not meant to teach beginners and you are one of them.” Sabina told him, “I have discussed this with the guild and they are in agreement. This shall be your last year teaching, you are better served, personality wise, to brew and research. As such the guild requires you do so.”

Stiffening in anger, Severus wanted to rage, then again as he held his tongue and actually thought about it, he loathed teaching. He finally told her, “Albus will not allow me to do as I wish, so I am stuck teaching.”

“Irrelevant,” Sabina snapped back. “He has no say in guild matters. You will resign and move into a field that suits you and will allow you to grow. You and he have no choice as the guild has spoken in this matter.” Seeing he was conflicted she told him, “Direct his ire to the guild master. Come June first you are to present yourself to the guild hall in Italy, afterwords, if you wish to remain in Britain you may, after you register your lab.” Holding his eyes until he nodded she told him, “You will be happier as a researcher and private brewer, we both know this. Good evening to you master of the second level.” With that she turned and walked away, not giving him a chance to say anything.

<<>>

Several days had past and Severus had had conflicted loyalties. But the deciding factor on whether to follow Mistress Zalinka’s orders was the official communique from the guild. Now he had no choice in the matter. Leaving in search of Minerva, she as deputy head, he decided he needed to start with her first, so he had backup when approaching Albus.

Finding her in the hallway on the way to the great hall for lunch he called out, “Minerva, a moment if you will.” Once she changed direction and moved over to where he was standing he told her, “I will be resigning from my post at the end of term.” Seeing her stare at him he added, “The guild has ordered my resignation and demands I attend them come June first in Italy.” Deciding to be bluntly honest he told her, “they are not happy with my teaching skills and…” Shaking his head he said, “As I said, I give you as much notice as I was given. I received official orders from the guild this very morning.”

“Your mastery is not in questions is it Severus?” Minerva asked the questions that worried her most.

“No, just my ability to teach other than at the apprentice level,” Severus admitted grudgingly. He had to admit they were right.

“Personally I will be sorry to see you leave, I will miss your dry humor and wit,” Minerva said with a wry smile. “What will you be doing?”

“Pure research and private brewing,” Severus admitted as they started to walk towards the great hall.

“An incredible opportunity for you Severus,” Minerva did not quite gush but it was obvious she was pleased by his answer. “Have you told Albus yet?”

“No,” Severus admitted slowly as they entered the great hall and spotted the object of their discussion sitting at the head table. “I was hoping,” he hesitated to admit, “that you would join me. With all the changes enforced on the Headmaster from outside, he has not been in the best of moods.”

“You mean he has been in right snit like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum,” Minerva said with a scowl. “Accepting resignations falls firmly under my purview, so leave Albus to me. I believe your last scheduled exam is on May the twenty fourth. You may leave on the morning of the twenty fifth as long as you have submitted the grades for your classes.”

“Thank you Minerva,” Severus said with a hitch in his voice.

“I wish you all success Severus,” Minerva told him as they parted.

<<>>

“You know Harry, we never see you anymore, except in history or Astronomy,” Draco complained as he sat down across from Harry as he sat at the Slytherin table. He had taken to eating each meal at a different house table. “Why is that?”

“My other classes are runes, Care of Magical creatures and I alternate between the three core classes I am excused from, once a week for private instruction.”

“Because you do magic differently than we do?” Daphne both pointed out and asked.

“Yes,” Harry agreed, then added, “so I’m not bored out of my mind, as I much prefer to be at home. Which is what I think Professor Babbling intended,” he told her with a thoughtful look.

“Draco, I wanted to forewarn you about an invitation to an event you will be receiving tonight,” Harry said to get Draco’s attention. Seeing his excitement he told him, “the details of the dates are on the invitation, but I wanted to forewarn you about the vow that will be required.”

“Vow?” Draco asked as he looked at Harry questioningly.

“Not to repeat, share or pass along in any form, knowledge of where my home is or what you see, learn or are shown while there,” Harry boiled it down to the lowest denominators.

“And the dress code?” Draco asked as he considered the requirements, they did not seem to onerous so far.

“Extreme casual,” Harry grinned, “there is a reason why I am as tan as I am. Which reminds me, if you burn easily you might want to bring a sun screen potion with you. Though I did ask Mistress Zalinka to include it in this months classes, a year early she tells me, so if needed I can have some on hand or brew it for my guests.”

“Out of curiosity,” Daphne said conversationally, “who all is invited?”

“Right after Yule,” Harry said to increase the mystery surrounding the event, “Four people will invited to my home as a test of sorts. We will be at school during Beltane, so the next holiday I would consider inviting people over would be at the summer solstice.” Seeing her look down her nose at him he smiled slyly, “Draco of course is one of those invited as you just heard, and Neville is one of the others. Family,” he said as he pointed to Draco who swelled up in pride causing him to roll his eyes, “and an ally of my family’s. The other two were chosen because out of their family, they are the only ones who research our traditions and they amuse me.”

Groaning, Draco wanted to hit his head on the table if it was not un-Malfoy like and be commented on, instead he whined, “Why them? Truly Harry, why them?”

“They are inventive and not satisfied with the status quo,” Harry told him then shocked him to the core, “If it was not for their bravery to stand up to their harpy of a mother, I do believe they would have been sorted into Slytherin, the sheer ambition the two have is unbelievable.”

Looking at the two clowns, Draco didn’t see it. He would have to keep a closer eye on them to find out what Harry saw in them.

Following Draco’s gaze, Daphne narrowed her eyes in contemplation as she gazed at the two pranksters. But one thing she noticed, Harry had only invited boys and she had to ask, “So only boys, is there something wrong with girls? Or are you still in that girls are icky stage,” she said sweetly.

“I doubt any self respecting parent would allow their daughter to be alone with boys for several days without supervision Daphne,” Harry told her with a raised eyebrow. “A single day, during a holiday with a large number of others, that I can see happening. But as I said, this a test of sorts. My parents wrote books for me and told me if I decided to attend Hogwarts I would find myself surrounded by enemies, the vow ensures those I invite home will not be an enemy and could truly be a friend or ally.” Spotting the headmaster starring at him he mumbled out when he saw him stand, “Wonderful, just what I did not need.”

Making his way to the Slytherin table, where his wayward student sat, Albus looked down as the object of his interest refused to look up at him. Frowning he cleared his throat and said, “Mr. Potter, if you would join me in my office.”

Refusing to turn and look up at the man which would put him in a position of power, Harry said as he cut up his food, “How inappropriate headmaster. You do know by Hogwarts charter, you are to serve the summons through my student advisor or head of house, do you not. I have to wonder,” he said as he used the fork to stab some chicken to be brought to his mouth, “why you are singling me out this way, in public no less. Do you wish the student body to come to the conclusion you are taking me task for some imagined slight in an attempt to damage my reputation.” Chewing his morsel and actually having time to sip from his glass before the headmaster could put together a coherent reply was saddening really. “As soon as I have finished eating and have collected Professor Babbling I will do as you so churlishly demand headmaster.”

Glancing around the table and seeing the cold stares directed his way, Albus had made a crucial error, he should have waited until supper, when Harry would have been at the Gryffindor table if he followed his fair schedule of eating a meal at each house table. Stomping away in a snit, he thought he was making a tactical retreat, instead he was seen by the students of being forced away in defeat.

“You really don’t like the headmaster do you?” Daphne asked in a whisper as the headmaster walked away.

“No, I really don’t. He is a thief and disrespectful,” Harry said quickly. “And he tried to have guardianship over me awarded to himself. And because of magic and Potter family law, his actions caused my estate to go on hold for over nine years and I will be spending a further year straightening it out. As it is, I’ve spent upwards of eight hours every Sunday since September first working on fixing the mess he made and this past Sunday I finally finished the British holdings and now get to start on those holdings in other countries, so no, for the sheer amount of paperwork he has created for me, no, I can’t say he has endeared himself to me.”

As Harry finished eating his lunch, half of Slytherin and part of Ravenclaw where mentally writing letters to their parents to inform them of what they had overheard.

Wiping his mouth with his napkin, he placed it on his plate and stood up, Harry told them, “If you will excuse me I need to catch Professor Babbling before she heads out.” Walking up to the head table, he stopped in front of Professor Babbling and waited until she finished her conversation, before saying, “Excuse me professor,” when she looked at him he told her, “evidently the headmaster has ordered me to his office. I informed him that after I had eaten I would collect my advisor, he did not seem happy with that.”

“Minerva,” Bathsheba raised her voice slightly as she caused all conversation at the head table to stop. “It seems there is a problem that I will need the backing of the deputy headmistress in the headmasters office. Seeing Minerva scowl out of the corner of her eye she stood up, “Let’s go Mr. Potter, the sooner we get this over the sooner we both can get to class.”

“Enter,” Albus called out as he sat behind his desk in a position of power. Startled as Minerva walked in he blurted out, “Minerva, is there a problem?”

“You tell me Albus,” Minerva replied as she stared over her glasses at him, “What is so important that you had to bypass Mr. Potter’s head of house?”

“I’m afraid it is a private matter, Minerva,” Albus said in his best disarming and knowing voice.

“I’m out of here,” Harry said from the doorway as he turned and headed down the stairs.

“Albus,” Minerva hissed out angrily, “What are you playing at? To demand a student leave their meal for a private matter? I sometimes don’t know what goes through that mind of yours, if the thought even goes through your mind. Do you even think of the consequences of your actions?” pausing to let him answer any of her questions she finally spat out, “Well?”

“You both have class in a few minutes, you can leave,” Albus said sullenly.

“Headmaster or no,” Bathsheba told him in anger, “Do not pull this stunt again, or I will call the school board myself.”

As he watched the two witches leave his office he murmured, “They just don't understand.”



 

 

 

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