Cho Chang/Harry Potter Hermione Granger/Viktor Krum Original Female Witch/Ron Weasley
Harry Potter
Action Suspense
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 02/06/2003
Updated: 02/18/2003
Words: 264,404
Chapters: 34
Hits: 87,813

Harry Potter and the Flying Squad

Horst Pollmann

Story Summary:
Fifth year in Hogwarts. Even before terms start, Harry is involved in the defence against an evil attack from the Dark Forces, something which ``later will be called 'The Hogwarts Express Accident' ...``In Hogwarts, many things are different - most of all, the joining of all four``Quidditch teams in the 'Flying Squad', for patrol and exploration services.``For Harry, this looks like a path toward Cho Chang, except that - well, ``maybe this should really be left to the story itself ...``At any rate, expect Giants, Goblins, and house-elves to play their roles in ``this fic - as well as some new characters.

Chapter 02 - Homework at Hogwarts

Chapter Summary:
Harry follows the invitation to Hogwarts, using the portkey he got. There, he learns about an evil plan of the Dark Forces to attack Hogwarts students and to win at once. The defense plan involves him because of his special abilities, in particular his Patronus. But the problem is - Harry's Patronus is far from being reliable.
Author's Note:
If this fic is truly English, then it's thanks to the efforts of two people:

02 - Homework at Hogwarts

In his room, Harry waited for the clock to turn ten. To the outside, nothing looked unusual, as he could be found in his room every evening. But there were two unusual things.

First, Harry had locked the door, using a wood wedge he'd prepared earlier, as a replacement for a door key that had disappeared two years before.

Second, he was wearing his wizard robes.

The bell in the nearby church chimed ten.

He grabbed the medal that was dangling above the robe. Before he even could rub it, the transit was taking place.

A short moment of disorientation, a sharp thrill from the memory of his last portkey trip, then it was over. He was standing almost exactly at the spot where he would have exited the Hogwarts Express.

A figure, some yards away, revealed itself as Sirius as it came closer.

"Hello, Harry. C'mon, let's go."

"Hi, Sirius. This gets more exciting by the minute. Can we talk now?"

"Talk, yes. At normal level, too, except that we might want to save our breath for the walk up to the school. But if you expect me to tell you more than I did earlier this evening, you're wrong. Some people are waiting for you."

"Can you tell me at least who they are?"

"Yes I could, but" - Sirius smiled briefly - "why spoil the surprise? Actually, it wouldn't be too difficult guessing most of them, since this is Hogwarts. Only one might come in as a surprise - well, maybe two."

"Thanks a lot. That's just what I need, a few more riddles on such an uneventful evening."

"That's the spirit, Harry. Save it, because you'll need it." Sirius wasn't smiling any longer.

They walked toward the school buildings.

It was an odd sensation, familiar and strange at the same time. The wrong season, the wrong time of day, all the students missing, but still it was the path to the place where Harry felt more at home than anywhere else.

Sirius broke the silence. "I can tell you about one person, and that one isn't around. Dont't expect to find Hagrid up there. He's off on some business."

"And of course you won't be able to tell me about the nature of that business, although you know. Am I right?"

"Absolutely. But don't worry - you'll hear about that in a few minutes."

They entered the stairs to the Entrance Hall.

Harry registered at once who was standing up from the seats and coming closer. It was Minerva McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor. She looked as happy as a cat in a swimming pool.

"Welcome, Mr Potter. Let's go upstairs; the meeting is being held in Professor Dumbledore's office." Not waiting for Harry's greeting, she turned and marched forward.

No doubt her anger was close to the boiling point.

Harry's mind started racing. An angry McGonagall ... It could mean anything, from very good to very bad, from his point of view.

As they went upstairs, murmuring could be heard through the door. McGonagall knocked and, without waiting for a reply, opened the door.

Harry followed, then looked around.

Albus Dumbledore sat in the middle of a group, smiling at him though barely so. To one side sat Professor Snape, looking like the survivor of a car accident. To the other side sat R.J. Lupin, ex-professor and werewolf. He also smiled, even more so when Harry, seeing him, couldn't resist a wide, happy grin.

The last person in the room was Madam Pomfrey, sitting at the corner of the table, her expression indicating that the next victims of the same car accident might be due soon.

Dumbledore said, "Welcome to the meeting, Mr Potter, and thank you for your following up on the invitation at such short notice. You know everyone here, so we can make the preliminaries as short as possible."

Harry murmured a greeting.

Snape nodded, looking tired and hurt, lacking the hostility Harry would have expected.

Lupin continued to smile.

"Harry," Dumbledore went on, "I'm using your first name to indicate that now comes the unofficial part, although it is more serious than any school meeting could be. This circle is a strategic committee dealing with our enemy - Voldemort and his companions."

The Headmaster paused a moment, then said, "Before we go into detail, I have to fulfill a promise I gave Professor McGonagall."

Said woman was sitting straight, face pale, lips tight.

"In the course of this meeting, Harry, I'm going to include you in activities that involve a high personal risk. In doing so, I'm going to violate almost every principle the school and myself hold - with two remarkable exceptions. Therefore, if you want to step out, if you need to step out, now or any time afterwards, say 'Stop'. Harry, is this understood?"

"Yes - I mean, yes, Professor."

"Do you want to stop right now?"

"No, Professor. But I'd like to know about the two exceptions."

A small smile accompanied Dumbledore's response. "I knew you would ask. One principle is that I'm going to use the person who's suited best for the task."

Harry beamed. A second later, his eyes widened in astonishment because - slightly, but unmistakably - Snape had nodded!

"The other principle I'm not going to violate is that the person, without denying the personal risk involved, is up to the task."

Now it was Lupin who nodded.

Recognizing the nod, Harry's mind was ready to make conclusions.

"There's a third reason," said Dumbledore into Harry's guessing. "It's not a principle, rather an axiom: we have no other choice, and that's why even Professor McGonagall has agreed to invite you, Harry."

Sure enough, it was McGonagall's turn to nod.

"Now you're probably full of questions, Harry, so it's time to answer them. We have gathered information about an attack that's planned by the Dark Forces. Their plan is as clever as we could have expected. You should hear it from the one who found out and had to pay for it."

Dumbledore turned to his right. "Severus?"

Snape's eyes met Harry's. For the first time in as long as Harry could remember, it was a look from peer to peer. Snape's first words, though, gave him the second shock of this evening.

"The plan I figured out is so cruel in itself, there's no need to emphasize any detail. Mr Potter, what Voldemort plans is this: at the end of the summer vacation, when all students return with the Hogwarts Express, the Dark Forces are going to attack the train. Their goal is to take all students as hostages, thereby gaining sufficient pressure on the wizarding world to win the fight right away."

Harry stared, unable to speak, unable to think about what he'd heard.

"For obvious reasons," Snape continued after a small pause, "students are useful as hostages only if their parents are wizards, if at least one of them is a wizard. Students with Muggle parents on both sides are useless in their opinion. So the planning is to - to kill them on the spot, using their deaths as a brutal warning to all wizard parents."

Harry's stomach contracted painfully. Killing Muggle-born students - that meant Hermione! This thought broke his stunning shock; slowly but steadily, a burning rage was building in him.

"And that's the aspect which brought you, Mr Potter, into our counter-planning."

Dumbledores voice cut in. "Are you going to say 'Stop', Harry?"

He twisted. "No I won't - they're planning to kill Hermione! These bastards - "

"You're right, Harry, still - watch your language." A quick smile smoothed Dumbledore's words. "We need cool minds, since there is a chance. Our advantage is that we know all about, thanks to Professor Snape, who just barely survived his task."

Harry had taken this conclusion already moments earlier, Even so, he sent a glance to Snape who, in response, didn't move a muscle.

"Furthermore, in addition to Miss Granger, there are just three more Muggle-born students for whom the planned attack is more dangerous than for the others - or four, depending on how you count."

Harry hadn't understood.

"Just counting students with Muggle parents, there are four. But counting students whose parents cannot be blackmailed by using their children as hostages, there are five. The fifth - "

"Is me," finished Harry. "Yes, of course. But it doesn't matter, I'm not going to say 'Stop' if that was the question."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, that's nothing particularly new to you, Harry. Also, we have reason to believe that the odds are better than the last time. Why and what might be your part in our plan should be explained by the one who came up with the idea."

Dumbledore turned to his other side. "Remus?"

Lupin's slumpy figure came forward. He put his hands on the table.

"Before explaining the role planned for you, Harry, let me summarize the strategic facts. They are important when considering our chances." Lupin paused, then continued, "The attacking forces will certainly include some wizards, but mainly there'll be Giants and Dementors."

This came as no surprise. Harry knew that the Dark Forces had conquered the wizard prison of Azkaban, had freed all prisoners, and had taken the Dementors with them. Giants as allies of the Dark Forces was something new, although he remembered Dumbledore predicting exactly such a manoeuver a few months ago.

"Our own forces also include Giants. Thanks to Professor Dumbledore's quick reaction, and thanks to the activities of Hagrid and Madame Maxime, we could win a fraction of their tribe for our side. It's a smaller fraction than the other one, I have to admit ... but very determined."

A few remarks, overheard not so long ago, not decipherable then, suddenly became clear to Harry.

"Without going into details of our battle plan, we believe we have good chances at defeating them. A crucial part is the protection for the students who won't qualify as hostages - if you'll pardon the expression. You see, Harry, if there were considerably more than four, it would be impossible. Furthermore, there's a second factor to our benefit - "

"Why would it be so different if there were eight or ten, or more?"

"Part of our strategy is that we're not going to public our information. Otherwise, what's left of order and spirit in the wizarding world would collapse immediately. It's essential to publish this story with the headline 'Defeat of the Dark Forces' ... That's why we can't put a squadron of combat wizards on the train. Now, if we had to protect more than what fit into one compartment, our own forces wouldn't be sufficient - I mean the forces that can be put into the train without raising suspicion."

"Which is me?" Suddenly, Harry's mouth felt dry.

"Which is you, plus somebody you'll appreciate very much."

Seeing Harry's glance, Lupin added, "No, not me - yes, I'll be in the train, but hidden. You'll travel with a pet animal."

Harry jerked his head around.

Sirius nodded. "Yes, Harry - you and I."

"Luckily," continued Lupin, "even the dark wizards aren't able to kill as cold-bloodedly as this situation would require - with a well-known exception, of course, but for some unknown reason, Voldemort will not be leading the attack. No, they'll send Dementors to do the dirty work. And by now, it should sound quite familiar to you."

Harry felt relieved and at the same time frightened. "You mean I have to sit with them, and when the Dementors arrive, all I have to do is to conjure up a Patronus gallopping around to chase them away?"

"That's it, in your own remarkable words. And listen, Harry: that's your task, no matter what's happening around. You won't leave their sides, whether Dementors arrive or not. None of the other students are at risk for their life."

"Yes, I see."

Harry was thinking ahead. "Professor Lupin, I - erm, I don't routinely conjure up a Patronus. So - "

" - you might benefit from more practice. Certainly, even if I recall that you made one of the most brilliant Patronuses I ever saw. Harry, unless you say 'Stop', you'll spend an awful lot of time with me as your trainer until the Hogwarts Express is on its way."

A wide grin was Harry's reaction. Working with Lupin ... what an appealing thought, especially since it probably meant that he would stay at Hogwarts.

Dumbledore interrupted his speculations. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I gather our meeting has reached its goal. With respect to the bedtime of our youngest combatant, and since I'd like to have a few words alone with Harry, let's come to an end. Thank you for your cooperation in this desperate fight, for your tolerance" - he nodded toward McGonagall - "and for your spirit in the days to come ... Good night."

* * *

The others were gone. Sirius had explained that he would wait for Harry downstairs, then he had left as well. Now Dumbledore asked, "How do you feel, Harry?"

"To be honest, I'm a little anxious. Partly, it's the task I'v got to do, but what's bothering me more is that they're planning to kill Hermione. By the way, who are the other three?"

"The youngest is a first-year, Damon Harker. Then there's a second-year, Rupert Tyrrell. The third Muggle-born student balances out the statistics because she's a girl. She might even raise your spirit as much as Miss Granger does."

As much as Hermione? Who might that -

"Her name is Cho Chang."


Dumbledore gave a faint smile. "Yes, by coincidence ... You're still not saying 'Stop', Harry?"

A suspicious thought crept into Harry's mind. "Why do you ask now, Professor?"

"Because your task is difficult enough without emotional stress." Dumbledore's face was bare of any expression.

Harry blushed. "I don't know what you mean, but the answer is the same as before. I'm not going to say 'Stop'."

"Thank you, Harry. I know your qualities as a fighter, and I know that there was always a lot of emotion involved. When the moment comes, you're able to muster a clear mind and a high morale. That helps me living with the thought of sending you against those creatures ... You know, there would be two people who could never forgive me if we failed - one is myself, the other is Professor McGonagall."

The little joke broke the tension.

Harry asked, "Practising with Mr Lupin - does that mean that I'll stay here at Hogwarts?"

"No, Harry. You'll use the portkey to travel back and forth. Your sessions will take place between eight and ten each evening."

"But why - why do I have to stay with the Dursleys?"

"One reason is that any unusual change right now is the last thing we need. So far, the other side has no idea that we know the complete plan. That reminds me, Harry - until you've entered the train, the people you met this evening are the only ones to know what's going on. Once on the train, I leave it to your judgment whom to gather for help. But not before. Is this understood?"

"Yes, Professor Dumbledore. And the other reasons?"

Dumbledore smiled. "I have reason not to talk about the other reasons, Harry. Let me tell you this much - that place provides better protection than you would expect. And besides, I have a strong feeling that your situation there has improved quite recently."

Harry blushed again. "Did Sirius talk with you?"

"No he didn't. We talked, of course, but only technical matters."

Harry still looked questioning, but Dumbledore wouldn't tell him more. So he left and went downstairs, where he found Sirius.

Walking back to the railway platform, Sirius gave him some more details. His godfather would be on the train in his dog shape, officially as a pet animal of Hagrid's that Harry was bringing to Hogwarts.

The thought of Sirius at his side was comforting. In contrast, the thought of explaining all this to Cho Chang was enough to keep Harry sleepless for a long while, lying on his bed at Privet Drive.