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 10

Chapter 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, Remus/T, and a paternal Ron. Part I concludes and Part II starts on another world.
Author's Note:
The group travels to a different world, and Snape wakes up.

Chapter X

After dinner, Dobby showed the teens to their rooms -- taking six of the twelve suites (bedroom, sitting room, bath) that formed the top floor of a separate wing off the main building. There was a parlor that the suites were grouped around, and after getting cleaned up the six teens gathered there in their new light nightwear, dressing gowns, and slippers.

"So," Ginny started off, addressing Harry, "have you decided which option you're going to take?"

Harry shrugged. "Let's be honest. Do I really have much of a choice? This is a real chance to get the jump on Voldemort, and to get the training I'll need to kill him."

"Kill him!" Ginny, Ron, and Neville exclaimed.

"Oh . . . right. I'm not supposed to go into details, but I am supposed to be the one who has a chance to get rid of Voldemort."

Ron and Ginny looked concerned.

"Whoa. . . ." Neville was still trying to understand what that all meant, not knowing how much more concerned he might have been.

"Anyway," Harry went on, "I have to go for the third option. I know you'd all come if I asked, but. . . ."

Ron jumped in, "We didn't come here to be left behind!"

"None of us knew what was going on," Harry tried to argue, but none of his friends would hear that argument, let alone listen to it.

"Look," Ginny finally said, "the only question is do we go there completely."

"Will we do anyone, Harry or ourselves, any service by not going completely?" Luna asked. "There must be risks to training, and this is possibly a disorderly and rough world we're going to, but there shouldn't be that great a risk of death or severe injury."

"I'm with you, Harry, all the way," Hermione said.

"As I am," Luna added.

"I'm always with you, mate," Ron stated firmly.

"You'd be there for me," Neville said.

"And you were there for me," Ginny concluded.

Harry leaned over and rang a small bell, and Dobby popped into the room. "Could you please tell Remus, if he's available, that we're all going tomorrow, and that we're going all in?"

"Yes, Harry Potter," Dobby said. He seemed to be listening, and then said, "It may not be wise to disturb Professor Loopy and Miss Tonks for . . . a few more minutes.

The six teens blushed at that, and then started laughing. "No no no!" Dobby protested. "They are just talking together!" The teens laughed even harder. Remus was obviously still putting up some resistance to Tonks' tentative advances.

Severus Snape realized that he was laying down in a strange bed. A brief review led to a humiliating realization. In front of a number of witnesses, he must have been bested by a schoolboy. Worse, he realized he may have been beaten twice in less than a few minutes. He. Severus Snape, one of the great potion brewers of his generation and a man who played a very dangerous game with the most magically powerful evil wizard of the millennium.

And Harry Potter had bested him.

'If this bed is in that Weasley-hutch, I'll march down and tear a strip of hide off that boy, and I don't care what Dumbledore says! I'll testify at the boy's trial for underage magic!' he thought. He took a deep breath, not to cleanse his mind, but to give his body the oxygen boost it would need to start yelling.

Snape's breath caught as he realized that he was in the Hogwarts Infirmary, rather than at the Weasleys'. He gritted his teeth.

"Good morning, Severus," Dumbledore said cheerfully.

Snape reluctantly opened his eyes to see the serene expression of the Headmaster. "So, is the boy in custody yet?"

"Custody? For what reason? You attacked him, he defended, and without a wand. So, what proof do you have of any underage magic, other than your belief?"

"Without a wand?"

"Come, now, Severus. Surely Voldemort does not allow you to defend yourself with a wand. Come to think of it, does he always use his wand for Legilimency?"

"Of course he doesn't allow me to use my wand to defend myself; I'm merely surprised Potter has reached that point. And, of course, he uses a wand to attack. Everyone does!"

"I don't," Dumbledore stated. "In fact, I don't believe you always do."

"I do in order to access more than surface feelings," Snape argued.

"And didn't Harry read your mind during your lessons?"

"Well. . . ."

"And I am curious. Why did you claim you were fully teaching Harry, when in fact you merely attacked him, time after time, until his defenses were rubbed raw? You neglected all the steps recommended for any new student, let alone one such as Harry, with natural defenses against the Imperius."

Snape was in a very uncomfortable position, and not just because his bladder was bursting.

"Yes," Dumbledore said, with absolutely the sternest expression Snape had seen on his face in years, "yes, it's time we had a serious discussion about your role, Severus."

At the late breakfast the next morning, the teens were instructed to show up in the light clothes and sandals provided, and nothing else besides their wands. Luna and Ginny were told they could bring the books they needed to revise for the O.W.L.s, and the four Sixth years also placed books to bring as well (for once, Harry had more than Hermione). They had to leave their clothes and most of their other possessions, so their trunks were mostly empty.

So, shortly before noon, they gathered in the parlor near their suites, ready to leave. None had seen anything exactly like their clothes before. Each had a pair of white cotton underwear, much like boxer shorts with drawstrings, and study leather sandals. The girls were also given a band of cotton cloth, which Winky had shown them how to adjust. They each wore a lightly woven, fitted tunic of mixed linen and cotton, all the same neutral color. The boys' hung just above the knees, the girls' just below. Each had a sheath for their wands. Ginny and Luna wore their long, straight hair in loose braids, while Hermione wore hers more in a loose bun. On Remus' orders, Harry's glasses were in his trunk.

"Are you ready?" Remus asked.

"As ready as we ever will be," Harry retorted.

"Then follow." Remus turned and stalked off. The teens followed him out of a back entrance and through a garden. As they approached a small hill, they found Tonks by an entrance which had been dug into the side, and they went into the ground, and down a set of stairs.

They had probably descended fifty feet under ground when they entered a chamber. Later comparing notes, neither Hermione nor Luna recognized more than a quarter of the magical symbols which adorned the chamber in gold leaf and marble reliefs.

Their trunks were arranged in a circle around a small open flame, and each person sat on their trunk. They all joined hands, except for Remus. Tonks on one side of him and Harry on their other each placed a hand on one of Remus' knees.

They were instructed to close their eyes. Remus poured a small oil-based potion onto the fire, and began a chant in a language none had ever heard.

The chant when on and on, for what later Remus would say was about twelve minutes. After the first few minutes, the teens each thought that their heads were spinning, and during the last minute or two, the ambient light seemed to be growing brighter.

Finally, Remus stopped the chant, and said in a relieved voice, "We're here."

To their shock, he was right.

'Here' was a large, intact stone circle.

It must have been thirty yards in diameter, the stones over fifteen feet in height and nearly six feet wide. It was a bright, almost cloudless day.

"Greeting to you, Lord Travelers," a voice called out. "May we approach?"

"One moment," Remus called back, standing. "Stay seated," he hissed. "Now listen to me very carefully. We are guests on this world. You will keep you opinions of their social and political structure and customs to your selves. Doing anything else will endanger our mission. Understood?"

The teens grumbled their agreement.

"Hermione?" Remus asked.

"I can guess what you mean, and I won't be baited, but I will do my best," she answered.

"Very well. Now, all stand and get behind me. Trust that I know what I'm doing, and don't volunteer to do anything for anyone unless I ask for it or unless only we can hear it."

None looked happy at that, but they did as they were told.

"Who addresses us?" Remus demanded.

"I am Hogar, a reeve of Lord Dumbledore," the man said. "I have wagons just outside the sacred space, if your lordships would consent to leaving the sacred circle and bringing your luggage. . . ."

"Where is Lord Dumbledore's steward?" Remus demanded in a stern tone. "Why isn't he here to guide us?"

"I don't know, lord," the reeve answered with a hint of fear. "He said to tell you he was delayed, to take your luggage, and to provide you with the magic brooms and directions."

"I see," Remus said, obviously displeased. "Very well. Go to the wagons." He turned to Harry. "Harry, grab your glasses."

"Right," Harry answered. "Shall I take care of the trunks?" he asked softly.

"We don't want any of us to be mistaken for a servant on this world," Remus pointed out.

"Since I won't be using my wand, they won't know who's doing it," Harry replied, putting on his glasses and securing his trunk.

"Alright. There's a chance that this is a test, or even an ambush. I go first, followed by the trunks. Then Harry and Luna, Ron and Ginny, Neville and Hermione, then Tonks. Everyone, on alert and wands out. Harry, carry yours in your left hand."


Once outside the circle, they could see they were in a land of forested, rolling hills. The circle was atop a small knoll, and the area was clearcut in roughly a circle, a little less than half a mile in diameter at the widest part. A wide paved road was about fifty yards to the east of the circle, running roughly north and south. Two wagons, each yoked to two pair of oxen, were just finishing turning around to the south.

Remus led them to the wagons at a fair pace. The eight trunks easily stacked into just one of the wagons, and Harry secured them against movement with a simple charm. Hogar carried a stack of somewhat ragged-looking broomsticks over to them. Ron just managed not to comment on their appearance.

"Such directions as I already have," Remus said to the reeve coldly, "is that the town is about two miles to the south. The turnoff to the Dumbledore estate is a little more than two-thirds of the way there."

"Yes, lord," the reeve answered. "It is the third of three roads that turn east before town. It is the first estate on the road."

"Very well. Carry on. We shall of course arrive before you. Or do we need to protect you on your way as well?"

"No, my lord," the reeve answered. "There have been no green wizards nearby in over a decade, and no dark wizards in about a hundred and sixty years."

"Carry on, then," Remus said dismissively while Tonks distributed the brooms.

The reeve looked at them, bowed, and went to get the ox-drivers started. Remus led the group back about twenty feet.

"I don't like this," Remus said. "The steward should have been with him."

"And would the steward would have been a wizard or a squib?" Hermione asked.

"A moderately-powered wizard without an important family, or a low-powered relative."

"Dumbledore?" Harry asked.

"Descendants of the middle brother," Remus said simply. "He found a home here, and so these are some very distant relations of yours. By their time line, he died more than five hundred years ago, although it was about fifty for us. James and Sirius came here three times, the summers before our Sixth and Seventh years, and again after we left Hogwarts. I was with them twice and Lily was with them that last time -- thank goodness Peter couldn't come any of the summers. Anyway, by their time line, that first visit was over two hundred years ago. I know the Headmaster looks in at least twice a year on his relatives, and arranged all this."

"I wonder if these brooms are as bad as they look," Ron said, looking at his.

"Shall I give some of them a quick test run?" Harry asked.

"Well, do yours at least," Remus said, setting his down. "Everyone step back and keep a close eye on Harry. Be ready to grab him if something goes wrong."

Harry also set his down. "Up!" he commanded. The broom did as it was commanded. Harry mounted it and took off. Harry did a quick series of turns, and came back in less than two minutes.

"It's no racing broom, that's for sure," Harry said. "If they're all like this, they should be safe." He handed his to Hermione.

"What's this for?" she asked.

"Unless you want me to spend half an hour testing everyone's, shouldn't we be going?" Harry asked.

"I suppose," Remus said.

Harry turned to Hermione. "No offense, but you and Neville are the least experienced flyers, so I though you'd want the one I tested."

"Thanks, Harry."

Harry turned to Neville, who shook his head. "Unless we're going to be flying high, I can do this. I was actually practicing all July on an old Comet."

"Then let's mount up," Remus said. "Local custom says we either fly over the road, or over the verge to the right. We won't hurry until we're out of sight of the wagons."

They flew in a different order they had come out of the circle. Remus flew first, followed by Hermione and Ginny (with Ginny on the outside), Neville and Ron, Luna and Harry, and Tonks. Remus, Tonks, Ginny, Ron, and Harry could easily fly with one hand on the broom handle and with their wands in the other, and Luna could in an emergency.

They flew fairly slowly, only about 12 mph after they got away from the wagons, which was probably about two-thirds the top speed of these brooms in any event. They said nothing, and the flight took about twenty minutes.

Neville, Remus, and Hermione saw that it was around noon in the mid-to-late spring. The woods looked like a mix of northern Europe and eastern North America. The first turnoff of the wide paved road was to a slightly more narrow but equally well-paved road. The next one east as well as one of the two they passed to the west were to dirt lanes, while the other one west was to a very unkempt-looking set of ruts.

The turn to the Dumbledore estate was a well-kept graveled road. Only a hundred yards up the road, they ran into fields on both sides of the road, where grains were growing, and soon they came to a turn-off to the south. The turn-off was also well-graveled, and Remus, flying highest, saw the quantity of gravel lessened about fifty yards further down the road, and then turned into a paved drive.

On either side of the lane to the Dumbledore villa were vineyards, showing that they were in slightly warmer climes than England, as Neville identified these as wine grapes. Remus had them put their wands away before proceeding.

The villa quickly came into view. Like most true ancient country villas, this one looked inward, rather than out. It was a large building, three tall floors high, with thick walls and no windows on the ground floor, and narrow ones on the upper floors.

"I thought they didn't live in castles," Harry said. Although not as high as the few medieval castles he had seen, this covered more ground than most.

"It's not really a castle, as you'll see from the inside," Remus answered as he landed. "However, they are built for defense to a degree."

"From those green wizards, whatever they are?" Ron asked.

"Oh, no," Remus answered with a smile. "Those are more thieves and highwaymen, criminals if you will. They tend to attack travelers in more isolated areas than this."

"It's well-warded, too," Harry said, looking over the villa and the territory.

"It is," Remus agreed, "but how can you tell?"

"It's weird. It's never happened before, but I can almost sense them," Harry said frowning.

"You'll learn what that means during our time here," Remus said, "or at least I hope we will."

"Who are you?" a stern voice challenged. A man was now standing in front of the very sturdy-looking front door. Except for being tall and having reddish hair, Harry didn't think this man looked anything like Dumbledore.

"Lord Dumbledore?" Remus asked.

"I am Alton of House Dumbledore," the man answered. "Who are you?"

"I am Remus, and this is Dora, and our students Harry, Luna, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Ginny. I was told by Albus Dumbledore that we were expected and would be welcome."

"Where is Mordag?"

"Is that your steward?" Alton nodded, and Remus answered, "Hogar, your reeve, told us he was unable to meet us, and that we should come on ahead of the carts."

Alton frowned. He looked at them, and seemed to linger on Harry for a moment. "Carts? How many carts were there?"


Alton said, "Wait here." He opened and went through the door. In less than five minutes, he and five other wizards appeared, along with three witches.

"You can probably guess what has happened. We shall go rescue your things. We will need the broomsticks."

"Shall any of us come with you?" Remus offered.

Alton hesitated. "No, thank you."

The six wizards and two of the witches took off, leaving them with the youngest of the three witches. "I am Alicia," the young woman said. She was sturdily built, and looked to be in her early twenties. "I am married to Astor, great great-grandson of the current Lord Dumbledore. I regret that you have been given such a poor welcome to our world." She snapped her fingers, and two younger women, in their late teens, appeared. "These are Rora and Lita, who will be your servants while you stay with us."

She turned to the serving maids. "Take them to the baths. They shall be given refreshments when they meet with his lordship."

Alicia led the eight into a strange new world for all of them, even Remus.

Author notes: This will be the last update until around New Years. While I will not separate the parts of the saga into separate stories like I have before, Part II will last from Chapter 10 through 22. At the end of Chapter 22, the group returns in late August to get ready for Hogwarts. Chapter 23 will be set in Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express. Enemies will strike down two of the sextet at the end of that chapter. In Part II, the group learns and uses combat skills, Harry utters the only line cut from the movie 'Blazing Saddles', Ron becomes the first of his siblings to accomplish something, and all the group grows and goes through changes.