Scion of Gryffindor
6 - Some Explanations
Harry / Tonks ship
Their first full day at Gryffindor Keep was spent in a whirlwind of setting up more wards, making banking arrangements, retrieving and moving furniture to everyone's satisfaction, and generally making their new home livable for the three humans, one house-elf, and a ghost.
After dinner, they had a long discussion about Harry's training. After much debate, they decided that Kingsley was going to teach him Occlumency and the basics of potions, Tonks was going to teach him charms and some basic auror techniques including silent casting, and Remus was going to handle transfiguration and apparition. Everything else was going to be done as-needed or as-wanted.
Godric then put in his opinion. "I'll teach you wandless magic."
Harry blinked. "Wandless?"
Godric nodded. "Sure. It'll be useful to be able to cast wandlessly."
"No question of that, but doesn't it require a very powerful wizard?"
"You ARE a very powerful wizard, Harry," Tonks countered.
"Listen to us, Harry," Remus said firmly. "You cast a patronus when you were thirteen. THIRTEEN! Only a quarter of adult wizards can do that. So I'm going to say this one time and one time only. You. Are. Powerful."
Godric looked amused. "There. Will you listen to me now?"
All four of the adults in the room smiled at Harry's gob smacked expression.
"Now," Godric said, shifting into a lecturing tone, "wandless magic requires a certain threshold of power before it's useful beyond the very basics. You're well beyond that threshold, so no problems there. The next obstacle is BELIEF. If you believe it's possible, then you can do it. Do you believe wandless magic is possible?"
Harry nodded. "I've seen both Professor Dumbledore and you use it."
"Do you believe wandless magic is possible for YOU to do?"
Harry frowned. "I don't know."
"THAT is the first thing we have to break through, then." He paused for a second to gather his thoughts. "All accidental magic is wandless. Apparating to the roof of your school, shrinking that sweater, removing that sheet of glass, and so on."
"What's this?" Remus asked, looking at Harry.
Harry himself was looking at Godric strangely. "I'll explain them later, Remus. I'm just curious how Grandfather knows those stories."
Godric smiled and completely ignored the implied question. "Wandless accidental magic is one thing. Wandless INTENTIONAL magic is something else again. Fortunately, you've already done some. If I recall the story, when the dementors showed up at your home last summer, you dropped your wand, correct?"
"You cast a Light Spell. THEN you picked up your wand."
Tonks's jaw dropped open. Kingsley's eyes went wide.
"Yep, wandless magic," Remus agreed with a bright grin.
"That was wandless magic?" Harry asked in surprise. "I mean, I was using my wand, wasn't I?"
"It wasn't in your hand, so it counts as wandless," Godric explained. "Try it. Summon Nymphadora's water glass."
Tonks growled at Godric.
Godric smiled at her before turning back to Harry and waving his hand in invitation.
Skeptical expression in place, Harry raised his hand. "Accio glass."
"Belief, Harry, belief," Godric chided his young pupil. "Accio glass." The glass smoothly flew over and into Godric's hand. "Try again, but this time BELIEVE you can do it."
Harry took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Focusing on the image of Tonks's plate coming toward him, he raised his hand again and intoned, "Accio plate."
Tonks's startled squawk caused Harry to open his eyes. The plate clattered to the tabletop halfway between the two of them.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked anxiously.
Tonks had her arms crossed over her chest. Wide-eyed, she cleared her throat and shakily said, "In addition to my plate, you tried to summon my shirt and my, uh, bra."
Harry blinked once before turning beet red. The three men in the room laughed.
Calming himself, Godric looked at Harry with gleaming eyes. "We'll have to do some work on your wandless control. Unless the goal there WAS to disrobe Nymphadora . . ."
Harry blushed brighter and started trying to stammer out an apology.
Snickering, Kingsley said, "You really should wait until at least the fifth date, Harry. Wine and roses wouldn't hurt. Maybe some soft music."
Tonks and Harry both tried to glare at the big man, but it was a half-hearted attempt at best.
"Aside from the, um, unstated targets," Godric said with a mostly straight face, "the fact is that Harry WAS wandlessly summoning the plate. My congratulations, Harry. It usually takes a wizard longer than the second try to get the required level of belief."
Harry looked a little bashful. "I've run into this kind of situation before."
His audience looked curiously at him.
Looking fearfully at Kingsley and Tonks, he said, "Technically what I did was illegal . . ."
Kingsley snorted. "We're not aurors any longer, remember?"
Nodding in relief, Harry told the story about using a time turner and driving off the dementors around Sirius. " . . . so the second time I was there, I KNEW I could do the patronus as I'd already done it. Since I knew I could do it, I did it."
Tonks was staring in shock. "Dumbledore and McGonagall let Hermione use a TIME TURNER for something so prosaic as taking extra classes? Don't they realize those things are restricted for a very good reason? Are they INSANE?"
"That's been open for debate for quite some time," Godric noted dryly. "At any rate, now that we know it's possible for you to use wandless magic, Harry, we can add that to the schedule. I'd also like to go over some of the older combat spells. As you have a phoenix feather wand, we know it can handle any power levels we might try to channel through it."
"I don't have a phoenix feather wand," Harry disagreed, his face falling.
Godric frowned. "But I thought that Fawkes -"
Harry interrupted him. "My old wand DID have a feather from Fawkes. My uncle broke my wand, so I had to borrow one from the Potter vault."
Godric's face suddenly looked murderous. "He BROKE your WAND? Is he naturally stupid, or does he have to work at it? Doesn't he know that your ability to defend that house was one of the few things keeping him and his family SAFE? Of all the acts of incomprehensible mental deficiency I've ever heard . . ." He trailed off, visibly calming himself. "Once we get a new wand for you, do you want to challenge him to a duel?"
"He's a muggle," Harry pointed out.
"So?" Godric asked coldly.
"I can legally challenge him to a duel over this?" Harry asked, surprised at this unexpected facet of his grandfather.
Kingsley answered, "It's frowned upon to issue duels but perfectly legal. For a gross insult of this magnitude, I'm sure a lot of the older families would definitely look the other way."
Harry shook his head over the whole thing. "Like I said, I borrowed a wand from the Potter vault." He pulled it out and laid it on the table.
Godric frowned down at it. "Is it as compatible as your old one?"
Harry shook his head again. "Not really, no. It felt the best of all the ones there, though. We were on our way to Ollivander's when Fudge stopped us."
"Fudge? What did he want?"
After Remus finished telling the story of their confrontation in front of Gringotts, Godric rolled his eyes. "Idiot. Well, that explains why you had to hire them, Harry."
"You heard about that?" Remus asked.
"How?" Harry asked in curiosity.
"I told you that I have a portrait in Hogwarts, right?"
Remus perked up in curiosity as Harry nodded.
"He heard some of the highlights of the Order meeting last night. He told me. That's how I knew to send you the portkey this morning."
"You were at Hogwarts last night?"
Godric shook his head. "I have a portrait here, too. Anyway, not having a good match on your wand is something that we need to take care of soon." He paused and looked thoughtful. "Actually, we don't really need to get you a second wand, do we . . . ?" He trailed off.
"I'd really like to have a better wand," Harry observed.
Godric shook his head. "That wasn't what I was thinking. Yes, you should get a better wand. But what I meant by a second wand was not buying you two. Just buy one and have a magical focus made instead."
"Isn't a wand a magical focus? You're talking about a custom made wand?"
"Yes a wand is a magical focus, but I was thinking of a different kind of focus, actually. A ring or bracelet, maybe . . ." He trailed off for a moment before resuming. "Several reasons to do it this way. Most importantly, a ring or bracelet wouldn't be lost to a Disarming Spell. Almost as important, custom making a focus, if you pick the right ingredients, makes for a much more efficient focus than the best of wands."
Remus and Kingsley looked fascinated. "You called the core an ingredient?" Remus asked.
"Ingredients are things more than the magical core. The wizard's blood and a hair are always in there, too. If you have others who love you and are willing to donate a hair, then that helps as well."
"Harry definitely has people who love him," Remus remarked to Harry's obvious shock. The werewolf smiled at him. "Yes, Harry, people love you."
"Don't you mean that they love The Boy Who Ruddy Lived?" he asked sullenly.
Godric scowled at Harry's tone.
So did Remus, but he was a lot scarier. "I loved you as a nephew long before you got that title, Harry. Now get it through your thick skull. I love you. So do Molly and Arthur. Ginny, Hermione, and Ron."
Harry relented, now looking slightly embarrassed.
"Uh, oh," Kingsley chortled. "Which one do you think hit the nerve?"
"Ginny or perhaps Hermione," Remus guessed.
Harry rolled his eyes. "That's my best friend and my best friend's little sister you're talking about."
"You can love them without wanting to snog them," Godric noted in amusement. "After all, you love Remus and Arthur, right?" He tilted his head. "Unless you WANT to snog Remus."
Harry shook his head. "Nope. I like girls, Grandfather." He snorted in self-deprecating humor. "Despite my track record."
"Yes, that Chang girl. At any rate, you might want to think of as many people, preferably of differing types, who would be willing to donate a hair toward your wand."
"What are the requirements and what do you mean by different types?" Remus asked.
"Actual love isn't really needed. Deep respect, affection, like that is the more important criteria. It has to be to HIM and not to his title as there is no emotional connection to the Boy Who Lived icon. Different types means just that. A long list of witches and wizards isn't nearly as useful as fewer numbers but more variety. You, Remus, are a werewolf, and that will help. James and Lily, if we can find hairs, would also be good as they're direct blood relations."
"Animagi? Metamorphmagi?" Tonks asked.
"Would other species help? I expect Dobby would donate without any problem. Buckbeak is already a friend, or at least as much of a friend as a hippogriff can have," Remus added.
"Yes, yes, and yes," Godric answered. "The more, the better. Getting someone who might or might not have enough of an emotional connection is better than not. One of the steps is to weed out the non-contributing ingredients."
"That's what that was!" Harry suddenly exclaimed, wide eyes on Godric.
Tonks and Kingsley, after their eyes finished sweeping the room at the unexpected outburst, asked, "WHAT?"
Godric smiled. "Indeed, Harry."
Harry sank back in surprise. "Wow," he said quietly.
"WHAT?" Remus had now joined the chorus.
"He gave me one of his hairs," Harry explained.
"Forgive the somewhat personal question," Tonks said slowly, "but haven't you been dead for like a thousand years?"
"Yes, Nymphadora," Godric agreed.
Tonks glared at him for his repeated use of her first name. "You've kept a hair since that time?"
"More than one, but yes."
"THAT'S why James did that!" Remus said with a look of comprehension.
"NOW what are you on about?" Tonks asked in aggravation.
"Just at the end of seventh year, your father shaved his head," Remus said to Harry. "Sirius and I had no idea why James would do that. He claimed it had been hexed off by Snivellus, but we knew it wasn't. He never explained why."
Godric smiled. "He did? Good. It is a tradition in the Potter House to do that for this reason, among others. I wasn't sure that he did it." He turned to Harry. "Looks like another trip to the Potter vault is needed in the near future.
"At any rate, that makes at least two —"
"Three," Tonks interrupted.
"Four," Remus instantly corrected.
"Er," Kingsley looked momentarily embarrassed before running a hand over his bald head.
Everyone else laughed.
Wicked grin in place, Tonks then opened her mouth.
"No," Godric interrupted her. "It has to be naturally grown hair from the head. Both reasons are in order to retain the maximum amount of residual magic."
Tonks collapsed back in her chair with a pout. "Drat." She suddenly frowned. "If it has to be naturally grown —"
"Metamorphs are the exception," Godric assured her. He turned back to Harry. "Where was I?"
"Four hairs," Harry answered, amused by the antics of the "adults" in the room.
"Yes, four hairs. I suggest you begin thinking of who else you may ask. While looking for your father's hair in the vault, you could check for Lily's, too."
"Something for another day," Remus reminded Harry. "Anything else about Harry's training since we're all on the subject?"
Nobody spoke, so after a moment, Harry said, "Not on my training, but about you, Grandfather."
"Certainly. What did you want to know?"
"You said when we met that the Weasleys are related to you and therefore me?"
Harry looked hurt. "Why didn't anyone tell me?"
"I doubt anybody, including the Weasleys, know about it," Kingsley said. "You're aware that most of the pureblood families are interconnected to some extent, right?"
Kingsley shrugged. "There you go. You're probably related to just about every pureblood name at some level or another. They generally don't keep track of it more than three or four generations back. That's what the old family tapestries are for if you're really curious about it."
"Yeah, I saw the Black one." Harry grinned at Tonks. "Though there were a couple of names blasted off of it."
Tonks looked inordinately proud. Everyone chuckled at her.
Harry turned back to Godric. "Grandfather, you mentioned that Voldemort's Killing Curse damaged my core?"
"What's this?" Remus asked in concern.
Godric waved a hand to calm the werewolf. "When Riddle tried to kill Harry all those years ago, I think his Killing Curse fractured Harry's magical core. Not enough to be noticeable under normal circumstances, really, but still damaged. When I met him on his birthday, I did what I could to heal it, thereby releasing his true potential."
"Two questions," Tonks said, looking curious. "First, who's Riddle? Second, if you healed some magical damage, does that mean he'll be more powerful than he was?"
"'I am Lord Voldemort' is an anagram for 'Tom Marvolo Riddle,'" Harry explained. "Slytherin, head boy, class of '45."
Godric nodded. "Very charismatic young man, I've heard."
"Charismatic enough," Harry muttered, remembering that he'd effectively seduced Ginny in her first year.
"Lord Gryffindor -" Remus started.
Godric sighed. "Am I doomed to have this conversation with everyone?" he asked the ceiling. "Call me Godric, Remus. That goes for all of you, actually. Harry here is the current holder of the title of 'Lord Gryffindor,' not I. Now, what was your question?"
Remus looked unconvinced, but asked his question anyway. "Why did you wait until Harry's sixteenth birthday?"
"According to the ancient laws of magic, sixteen is the age of magical majority."
"Then why did I have to wait until I was seventeen before I could legally use magic?" Tonks asked in annoyance.
"Shortly after Hogwarts was founded, the general practice was to wait until after graduation to freely use magic. Once the Ministry was created, they put legislation through that made it the law. However, the purebloods left the loophole in place for the oldest of the families."
"That's fundamentally unfair."
"Yes, it is. This is just one of the smaller and least talked about examples of that. You need to understand that the old laws very subtly favored the purebloods. Or at least the family lines in your case, Harry."
"Before we get sidetracked with a discussion of pureblood arrogance and their attempts to legislate their delusion of superiority, I have more questions for our host."
Everyone blinked at Remus's interruption.
Godric abruptly laughed. "Rowena would have loved you, but I'm rather glad Alistair chose you for my house. Ask your questions, Remus."
"If you spoke with Harry on his sixteenth birthday, did you do the same with James?"
"I waited until he was home from Hogwarts for the next summer, but I did speak with him, yes."
"Why didn't he tell me?" Remus sounded hurt.
Godric sighed. "I asked him not to tell you, Sirius, Peter, or Lily. It wasn't anything against you four. Considering the fact that I'm here and haven't moved on to the next dimension, it was imperative my existence wasn't leaked to Slytherin's heir. Remember, rumors of a leak in the Order were already circulating by that point."
"My mother didn't know?" Harry asked.
"I spoke to Lily after she was pregnant and before they went into hiding. She knew she had wed the Heir of Gryffindor and was bearing the next one. She was actually quite chuffed about it."
"I can imagine," Remus said with a grin.
"Any other questions, Remy, or can I ask mine now?" Tonks asked.
"I cede the floor to the lovely metamorph, Mistress Nimma," Remus said gallantly.
She stuck her tongue out at him. "Godric, if you're a ghost, why do you appear to be solid?"
"Merlin's ghost wrote a book called, How to Live Now That You're Dead. Every ghost is given a copy when we decide not to move on."
All four of the living magicians in the room stared at him.
He rolled his eyes. "Can't you people take a joke? It's just a glamour."
Shaking her head to bring herself back on track, Tonks asked, "If you've been floating around, forgive the pun, for a thousand years, what do you do with all of your time? I've never heard rumors of you being around, so you can't be all that active in the magical community . . ."
"Oh, I have several projects going on at any given time. For instance, between meeting Harry on his birthday and this morning, I spent my time translating the text that's in the Kama Sutra into Mongolian."
A bunny used here was donated by Art.