Training and Confrontations


Story Summary:
A sprawling tale set in many places and dimensions, as Harry finds himself, finds his abilities grow, and trains for that final confrontation with Voldemort. A H/L/Hr tale, with N/G, R/T, and a paternal Ron.

Chapter 09

Chapter Summary:
A sprawling tale set in many places and dimensions, as Harry finds himself, finds his abilities growing, and trains for that final confrontation with Voldemort. A H/L/Hr tale, with N/G, Remus/T, and a paternal Ron. Part I starts to conclude in the early August of 96.
Author's Note:
Leaving Britain

Chapter IX
Saturday, August 3, 1996

Diagon Alley was its usual busy self when the teens arrived, with escort, shortly before 2:00. After the funeral, none of the friends felt very excited about their visit, of course. Hermione's left side, which had been seriously injured at the Department of Mysteries, had mostly stopped hurting by early July, but the pain was back in full, due to stress. Ron had been scratching some of the scars left over from the brain attack as well.

The emotional pain had of course been there as well. The news of the attack had not reached the magical press, but the Muggle press was there in force. This had not kept most of the Hogwarts staff from attending, although Hagrid and Flitwick had to be under heavy glamors. McGonagall, Sinistra, Vector, Sprout, Pince, and even Madam Hooch attended (the Runes and Muggle professors were out of the country). These six witches managed to unobtrusively keep the Muggle press and photographers well away from Hermione.

Remus, Moody, Tonks, and two additional aurors kept a close eye on the crowd at the church service, as well as on the trip to the cemetery and the grave-side service. The Weasleys, Mister Lovegood, and Hermione's other friends stayed closer. Even Percy was present, although he seemed to be there representing the Ministry more than the Weasley family.

All four of Hermione's closest friends stayed closest (Neville hadn't been able to get his things ready in time to attend), although somehow Luna seemed to have taken the job of chief support. When Ron had asked about it, she had merely said that as much as she liked Hermione, the other three were closer to her, and she could provide more support simply because she wasn't hurting quite as much as the others were. In addition, to Ron's surprise, Fred and George not only behaved themselves, but also provided Hermione some comfort as well.

When the funeral was over, the five friends took their leave of most of the staff and the other Weasleys. Hermione would have liked to have rested, but they still had a lot of shopping to take care of, and with their escort (Moody, Tonks, and the other two aurors, who didn't speak to them), there wasn't much they could do except get on with it. By 4:00, they were finished, although their robes would be picked up later by members of the Order.

As they passed Fortesque's, Moody growled, "Do you think you five can sit in there and not cause some disaster to occur?"

"That would be up to the rest of the universe, not to us," Luna stated. Moody stared at her, shook his head as if to clear it, and sent them in. The two aurors left to patrol the area and Tonks went to find Remus while Moody went off to fetch Neville, who was supposed to meet them after buying a new wand at Ollivander's.

The group all got sundaes, although they ranged in size the Hermione's single scoop of vanilla with strawberries to Ron's six scoops (chocolate, chocolate chocolate chip, double chocolate ripple, chocolate marshmallow, dark chocolate, and chocolate surprise, with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and fudge syrups over a large warm chocolate brownie with whipped cream on top).

Ginny and Hermione were just trying to convince Ron that he certainly didn't need a second sundae, when they all heard a familiar and annoying drawl, although for once expressed in tones so soft no one other than the five of them could hear it.

"Well, well, well. Look who we have here. Weasel, Weaselette, Loony, Potty, and Muddy."

"Malfoy, go away," Ginny said, putting a firm hold on one of Ron's arms while Hermione held on to the other. Harry looked at Malfoy and recalled a curse out of Curses Your Crazy Uncle Should Have Taught You, one of his favorites of the books he had found the cellar stash.

"Why? I merely wanted to offer Granger her my condolences for joining the soon-to-be-growing list of orphans." He turned to Harry. "Feeling less lonely now?" He looked around. "Where's the orphaned Squib?"

Ginny started to go for her wand, but Luna stopped her.

"You never know when to be quiet, do you, Malfoy?" Harry observed just as softly.

"Well, there's not much you can do about it, can you?" Malfoy hissed. "Don't think any of you scum are going to get off easily once we get a hold of you. If you're lucky, we'll kill you fi. . . ." Malfoy's mouth suddenly was gone.

Malfoy's eyes went wide as he realized what had happened. His hands went to his face and made frantic motions. "Problem, Malfoy?" Harry asked in a kind, but louder, tone. "Would you care to join us for some ice cream? I'm sure Ron would join you with a second helping. . . ." Malfoy ran out of the shop.

"Hey!" a voice yelled from the counter. "You didn't pay for that pink lemonade sherbert!"

"Here," Harry said, standing. "I'll ask him for it when we get to Hogwarts."

"But what do I do with it?" the cashier asked.

"Here, Ron!" Harry said.

"Pink lemonade?" Ron asked with a odd look at the bowl. "After a Chocolate Feast Sundae?"

"Designed for four," Hermione muttered to herself.

"We'll split it," Ginny said. She took a handful of spoons, and they all had a taste of Malfoy's sherbert. Even Hermione had a spoonful, giggling as she swallowed it.

After she did so, Hermione asked, "How did you do that?"

"Me?" Harry asked, with an exaggerated innocent air. "I'm sure some adult used their wand. If it was done wandlessly, why such a low-powered spell couldn't be traced. Of course, with a wand, anyone could have done that at any line-of-sight distance. Wandlessly, it would have to be under ten feet. And with a wand, the specific counter-curse has to be used. Wandlessly, I bet it wears off in an hour."

Harry went quiet as he saw Moody coming into the shop, a snarl on his face and a nervous Neville trailing behind. "Do I have to worry about some underage spell being traced here?"

"Why would any spell have been used here, other than the ever-freeze charms?" Ginny asked in such an innocent tone that Moody was actually thrown for an instant.

"Aye, right," Moody finally said dubiously. "How presumptuous of me. I'm sure someone else in here had reason to hex Malfoy's mouth off."

"Probably," Hermione agreed.

"I thought I saw him," Ron said. "I was surprised he didn't stop by and say hello."

Moody snorted, which made Luna and Ginny giggle. "Well, if you're all finished, let's get going."

The group, now including Remus and Tonks, flooed to The Three Broomsticks, where Hagrid had a large carriage waiting for them. Hagrid wasn't very talkative, mostly because he had a large bruise on his face, which showed that Gawp was still around.

Dumbledore was waiting for them in the entrance hall, as was Madam Pomfrey, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Flitwick. "I have your portkey here," Dumbledore said. "We are installing some new anti-portkey wards over parts of the castle, and are testing them as we go. One more portkey will never be noticed, let alone traced. But, before you go, how do we awaken Professor Snape?"

"Yes, Harry," Flitwick said, enthused to the point of bouncing. "We have a three-way bet riding on it! I say it's a Conditioned Sleeping Charm!"

"Nonsense!" McGonagall stated. "Those never last more than twenty-four hours, and generally don't work on anyone over the age of five!" she turned to Harry. "Somehow, you managed to induce a sleeping potion, didn't you?"

"I told you, I would have seen that," Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. "I say Harry used the Russian Sleeping Hex, since that lasts longer than twenty-four hours, although that should have been relatively easy to lift."

"I don't care what he did!" Pomfrey stated. She turned to Harry. "What did you do?"

"Sorry, Professor," Harry said to McGonagall. "Given a free choice, you're right, I would have loved to have slipped him a potion. Poetic justice and all that." He turned to Dumbledore. "I don't know what the Russian Sleeping Hex is, sir. You'll have to teach it to me." He turned to Flitwick. "How could I make a Conditioned Sleeping Charm last longer than twenty-four hours, sir?"

"You shouldn't be able to, my boy, but I have great faith in you."

Harry smiled. "You cast three consecutive Conditioned Sleeping Charms. You can use up to four different conditions for each casting, as long as they're very specific and possible. I simply made the first condition on the second Charm the ending of the first one, thus starting it; and the first condition of the third the ending of the second."

"I never heard of that working before," Flitwick said, puzzled.

"Harry is growing in power, Filius, and was very determined that this work," Dumbledore answered. "I doubt if there are five hundred wizards alive who could have cast consecutive Sleeping Charms, less than a hundred who could have made them work on an adult, and certainly less than two dozen who could have done it all wandlessly."

Harry blushed slightly.

"And the other conditions?" Dumbledore asked.

"The ones on the first charm was that he could not be awakened by you, Madam Pomfrey, or Professor McGonagall. I knew that Professor McGonagall was likely to show up to talk to Hermione and me, so I changed her condition to Professor Flitwick for the second charm."

"So, if any else casts a canceling charm, the second Sleeping Charm will finish, and the third one will kick in?" Pomfrey asked. The first charm should have worn off by then.


"And what are the conditions of the final charm, dear boy?" Flitwick asked, bouncing in excitement.

"There's just one more."

"And that is?" Pomfrey asked.

"He has to be kissed. On the lips. By one particular person. Nothing else will work."

"By whom?" McGonagall demanded dangerously.

"By Professor Trelawney."

The group was silent for a full five seconds, before Ron snorted while trying to contain himself. That set off Tonks, which in turn set off Luna and Remus, and then Ginny. Moody and the teachers seemed impressed, while Hermione merely rolled her eyes.

"Yes, well . . . perhaps we shall let Professor Snape rest a while longer," Dumbledore suggested.

Madam Pomfrey sighed. "I suppose that would be best. It will be bad enough when you tell him he fell victim to a charm designed to be used on over-active toddlers with dragon pox!"

"I hadn't realized that," Harry admitted. "Good thing it worked!" He realized now why it was listed under a unit called "Household Hints of Last Resort" in the book he had found it in.

"Yes, well, never mind that," Dumbledore said. "I have sent two house elves ahead to help out. You will be portkeyed back here the morning of the First of September. Mister Weasley, Miss Granger, and Miss Weasley will then go on to act as prefects on the train. . . ."

Harry looked at Ginny. No one had mentioned that she had been named a prefect. She shrugged.

". . . and the three of you will stay here and settle in. Alastor will be the primary Defense teacher, although Remus shall be here to help both Alastor and Hagrid." Dumbledore now directly addressed Harry. "You and Miss Granger may wish to continue the Defense Association. If so, Remus will act as the staff advisor. So. All of you touch this length of hose pipe, please. Oh, and here, Harry. I was afraid I might be wrong about the sleeping hex." He handed Harry a piece of parchment describing the hex.

As soon as they all were touching the hose, Dumbledore activated the portkey, and they were off.

After they left, Flitwick shook his head. "I knew that he had done it as well as having a good idea of how he had done it, but I still have a difficult time wrapping my mind around the fact that he succeeded with that Charm."

"Indeed," McGonagall agreed. "I don't understand. He's never like that in my class. Is he in yours?"

"No," Flitwick agreed.

"Harry doesn't realize it any more than you have," Dumbledore explained. "Harry is trying to match the other students in class."

The other three looked at him, puzzled.

Dumbledore sighed. "The Dursleys conditioned Harry never to stand out. So, while Miss Granger tries to match what you're doing, Harry is trying to match the class. He's both trying to learn, yet fighting his own power and instincts. He limits himself without knowing it."

He turned to Flitwick. "Has Harry ever mastered a charm first?"

"I don't believe so," Flitwick answered. "However, he is usually the second or third. . . ."

"Exactly. And what type of charm has he had the most difficulty with?"

"The Summoning Charms."

"So Harry, who spent ten years having his desires and smothered, has a great deal of trouble with magic that satisfy those needs."

"As a rule," Flitwick pointed out. "There have been exceptions."

"Of course. Harry is not a machine, after all." Dumbledore looked at the space that Harry had just vacated. "If he doesn't learn it this summer, we need to teach him how to access his magic with greater ease and confidence."

"I believe Miss Lovegood may be taking care of that," Flitwick said with a smile as Madam Pomfrey went to check on Snape.

The group (Harry, Luna, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville, Moody, Tonks, and Lupin) appeared in an entrance hall that appeared small only in comparison to the large space they had just left.

Their immediate sense was not so much of the space but of the bright, almost dazzling light. It was a light that seemed to illuminate the world in ways which light in Britain only did on the rarest of occasions.

"Where are we?" Ron asked, before anyone else could.

"There are many answers to that, Weasley," Moody answered. "If it still appears on any Muggle map, then it's a small island in the Adriatic, barely within the southern territorial waters of Croatia."

He turned to Hermione. "You should know this. When were the European Ministries organized?"

"Between 1648 and 1698, in Muggle terms between the ends of the Thirty Years War and the War of the League of Augsburg, for wizards between the settlement of the Easterling Wars and the Gringotts Compromise after the Great Goblin Rebellion, not to mention three Grand Councils, the first. . . ."

"Very good!" Moody broke in wisely before Hermione to carry on. "Now, what were the Ministries?"

Hermione shrugged. "Basically, they represented the major European nations of the period: Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands -- although the Spanish Ministry agreed that what was then called the Spanish Netherlands, more-or-less Belgium today, could be administered as part of the Netherlands. Let's see . . . Denmark, which included Norway and Iceland. Sweden, which included Finland. Russia, Poland, and Switzerland. The Austrian and Ottoman Empires. Even though Italy wasn't united, they formed a Wizarding Ministry. Germany, then the Holy Roman Empire, was even less united, but insisted on forming a separate Ministry apart from the Austrians."

"And today?"

"The Ministries are roughly the same, although many of the Continental Ministries allow a great deal of scope for modern Muggle national borders. The Austrian Ministry still controls the old Hapsburg Empire, and a member of a magical branch of the Hapsburgs still holds office as the titular head of state as a magical grand duke."

"We'd give you House points if we could," Remus said warmly.

"How about the Ottomans?" Moody asked.

"That Ministry really only exists in name," Hermione said. "Some of the Muggle-born and Half-Bloods collaborated with the Nazis, and then even more collaborated with the Communists, which resulted in many persecutions of the magical communities, especially in. . . ."

"In where?" Ron asked, wondering what Hermione had just realized and clearly not remembering when this was gone over in History of Magic.

"In Albania," Harry answered, "which isn't terribly far south of here."

"I think it's about a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty kilometers south-southeast of us," Moody agreed.

"So?" Ron demanded.

"That's where Voldemort hid out on and off for over ten years," Harry said.

"And most of the wizarding communities were broken by the Communists in the 1960s," Hermione added. "There are areas where no Muggle is safe because of that. Greece has been partially organized separately since the mid-1800s, but Romania and Bulgaria have just finished their reorganizations."

"That's why Charlie could get that job in Romania," Ginny said. "The Romanians had let things go downhill in the Seventies and Eighties."

"The Communist Ministry allowed over-hunting," Hermione said. "It was about the only way to bring in Galleons."

"Anyway, because this island is right on an old boundary line, even though that boundary no longer exists, it means certain sorts of magic can't easily be detected," Remus said. "A great-grand father of Harry's noticed this over a hundred years ago, and bought the island. So, this is also part of the Potter Trust, although it wasn't bought by a Potter."

"Who was it bought by?" Neville asked, before anyone else could.

"Albertine Dumbledore, the middle of the three Dumbledore brothers, now deceased," Moody answered.

"You mean. . . ."

"Yes, you're Albertine's great grandson by his first marriage, Dumbledore's great grand nephew. A connection, although not a very close one," Moody said, "even by the most liberal wizarding standards. Still, after all the wars of this century, he and Aberforth are actually your closest male relatives on the Potter side."

"That explains a fair amount of a lot of things," Harry said. "Still, I'm guessing the magic is the most important thing here."

"It is," Remus agreed. "What Albertine did was create an astral portal to another dimension, another world."

"They really exist?" Hermione said eagerly. "They aren't just arithmatical constructs? Mere theory?"

"Of course they are real," Luna stated. "Where do you think Tolkien got his stories from? That was all real, just not in our dimension."

"What?" Hermione protested.

"That has never been proven," Lupin stated firmly. "Still, Tolkien's world is similar to two of these other worlds. Similar, not the same."

"Tolkien was a wizard?" Hermione asked, dazed.

"Unknown," Remus answered. "The best evidence is that he was a very weak Muggle-born, never invited to Hogwarts. However, remember there was a wizarding war at roughly the same time as the Muggle First World War. We know for certain he mixed with some of the wizards on leave in Paris."

"That doesn't matter," Moody growled.

"True," Remus agreed, "or at least it can wait. The important thing is we can still access one of these worlds from here, and won't be detected."

"Why would we want to?" Ginny asked.

"Good question," Remus answered. "First of all, we can fully train you there. There are no restrictions on underage magic, because everyone there knows about it."

"Does that mean most people there are magical?" Hermione asked.

"No. About ten percent are, a much higher proportion than here," Remus explained. "They form the ruling class. About eighty percent are what we would call Muggles. They form the peasant class, and part of the trades class. Squibs and their families form the merchant class and the rest of the trades class. Technologically, the Muggles and Squibs are living what we might call a late medieval lifestyle. The magical community lives more in a late classical lifestyle."

Hermione cocked her head and asked, "Then what's the difference for the merchants and peasants?"

"The peasantry and merchants in the late Roman period geared their production for towns and cities, even if peasants and other farmers formed about sixty-five percent of the population instead of ninety percent, as in the medieval period. The upper class, the magical class, live on estates that are closer to Roman villas, rather than castles and most of the peasant production is geared for them. There are no cities, and so far as we know, the largest town is about six thousand people."

"Now," Moody broke in, "you each have decisions to make. First of all, you can stay here with me. I won't be going. Second, you may partially go. Your mind is there, you will remember everything that happens, but your actual body stays."

"We should mention that there's a time difference," Remus added. "One day here equals about eleven days there. We'll be there twenty days, which will be two hundred and nineteen days there."

"Right," Moody agreed. "Anyway, with the second option, there will be no physical changes. Third, you can go in a physical sense. The second way, none of the physical changes, the conditioning, will be transferred. The downside to the third method is that if something goes wrong, if you're injured, well, you're injured. In the second state, you can be killed with the Killing Curse or some other swift method, but anything else will merely send you back here early. In the third option, well you're there and whatever happens happens."

The teens thought about that, and finally Ron said, "So, we can be hurt there, but can come back if it's serious and we won't be hurt here, but with the last option, if we're hurt, we're hurt because we're really there?"


"What kind of training will we be doing?" Harry asked.

"Full magical combat training with the second option," Tonks answered. "With the third option, you'll be doing physical combat and conditioning as well."

"Fine," Harry said. "When do we start?"

"We?" Ron asked.

"Me, Remus, and Tonks," Harry answered. "I'm not speaking for the rest of you."

Before anyone could speak up, Remus stated firmly, "We'll leave at noon tomorrow. You have until Nine in the morning to decide."

"Come on," Tonks said. "Let's look around."

Author notes: Answers to questions: will Harry try and escape Dumbledore?s plans? No. Harry got away for a while, and now he wants to be with his friends and train with some direction. Plus, he knows that he has to live with Dumbledore over his shoulder for at least another year, and has a lot to learn.

Can everyone do wandless magic? Hermione and the others really don't do wandless magic. It's not common in this potterverse (unless you're comparing it to things like parseltongue), let's say 1 out of 100 having any real ability once puberty kicks in (it seems like it might be more common, in uncontrolled form, in young children in canon).

Molly as a guardian, especially for Hermione: I grant you, when I wrote the 1st draft of chapter 8 weeks ago, I thought Hermione would need a guardian for over a year. Rowling blew that up last week. So, for six weeks or so. . . . Would Molly really let go? As another reviewer wrote or owled, two of Molly?s children left the country and Percy won't talk to his family. The original thought was that Luna knows that Harry needs Hermione as well as herself, so they need to learn to work together (not as closely as they're going to end up, however). Under the new time scheme, that doesn't make as much sense, so we?ll leave that Hermione thinks highly of the Weasleys, but doesn?t want Molly to have any real control over her for any length of time.