Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Book 1: The Fracturing of Foundations
Chapter 5: Flights and Plights
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my editor Fezzik, as well as my other betas Athena Hope, Luq707, Mr. 3CP, Raven, Regress, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.
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Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Book 1: The Fracturing of Foundations
Chapter 5: Flights and Plights
September 12, 1991
The Grounds of Hogwarts
It was one of the nicer mornings since the students had arrived at Hogwarts. The sun was protruding out from under its position of rest behind the clouds, casting a soft light upon the lands below. The grass was still green and the leaves had not yet begun to shift colours, but there was the slightest hint of a chill in the air that implicated the coming of fast-approaching autumn temperatures. There was little more than a light, whispering breeze, which was all the better, for the last thing Harry wanted whilst riding a broom for the first time was to fly headlong into gale-force winds.
It mattered not how many times Draco reminded him of his father’s prodigious skill. Harry was not his father, and the last thing he wanted was to make a fool of himself in front of the entirety of Gryffindor House. Draco had persistently told Harry that everything was going to be just fine and that flying really wasn’t that hard, but Harry hadn’t dared let his hopes rise too high.
He was excited to fly, just not as much doing so in front of a house that had quietly ridiculed him ever since his sorting. The last thing he needed was to give them even more ammunition to work with. They were doing just fine without it, in Harry’s opinion.
Yet still, he was excited to fly. Even more so after his explorations that past weekend, when he had done just as he had vowed to do and found the trophy room he’d been seeking since the mention of his father’s Quidditch accolades.
Four days earlier…
Ever since Draco had made mention of it almost three full days ago, Harry had been unable to rid himself of thoughts of his father.
Yesterday morning, he had ventured out into the castle upon waking just as he had every day since his arrival. What was different about this occasion was that for the first time, he had a purpose. He was going to find the trophy room which likely contained the first remnants of either of his parents he would ever see. He wondered if there might even be a picture of them. He didn’t think it was too much to ask for, though he hardly dared to hope.
His search had been unsuccessful that Saturday, but this morning would be different; he was determined to ensure that.
Just as breakfast was drawing near and Harry began to worry he would be late, he found it.
It was a vast, dimly-lit room with no windows. Several torches flickered faintly on the walls, casting long, dark shadows across the room and causing the well-polished trophies, medals, and plaques to sparkle entrancingly.
There were awards of any shape and size one could imagine. Medals no larger than necklaces, shining medallions that looked as though they weighed five pounds each, masterfully crafted, creatively shaped trophies whose surfaces shone at the barest caress of light, and plaques taller and wider than Harry.
Harry was enthralled by the room, as he had never imagined, let alone seen anything like it. If not for his powerful motivations, he might have forgotten why he had come and simply stared on in wonderment at the countless number of both modern and ancient trinkets gathered before him.
He didn’t forget what had brought him here, so he shook himself out of his dazed state and walked carefully forward, taking great caution not to knock anything over. He did not doubt that even if anything was slightly jostled or misplaced, the Caretaker — a cantankerous old man named Argus Filch — would have him scrubbing this and other rooms until the end of time.
Harry searched for some time before he found anything related to the reason he had come. Funnily enough, the first thing he found was not related to his father at all, but his mother.
It was a shining medallion dated June of 1976. His mother had apparently received it for outstanding performances in her O.W.L exam in Charms. Best Harry could work out, she had performed magic well beyond the scope of the examination and had thus been rewarded. Not long later, he found a nearly identical medal for his father, dated from the same month and year. The only key difference was that he had received it not for Charms, but for Transfiguration.
Harry wondered how magic worked and was transferred. He knew that some traits were linked to one’s blood and genetic makeup and wondered whether or not magic fell into this categorization. If it did, it might have been possible that his father’s affinity for Transfiguration had passed onto him, which would explain what seemed to be an aptitude he held for the subject.
Just before the passing of time necessitated his leave, Harry spotted the first major award either of his parents had received, though not for individual accomplishments
It was dated May of 1977, and it was the Quidditch Cup. Apparently, Gryffindor had captured it that year, and his father was listed as one of the chasers. It was a fact that both validated Draco’s earlier claim and filled Harry’s chest with an odd warmth that was difficult for him to explain and impossible for him to understand.
Back in the present…
For a very brief time, the memory of his father’s award and the odd surge of warmth had filled Harry with what he now suspected to be delusional confidence.
Now standing on the sloping front lawns of Hogwarts in front of not just his entire year set from Slytherin, but also their Gryffindor counterparts, Harry suddenly didn’t feel so confident. Draco had tried to break the tension with a jab at the lions for showing up so late, as well as the horrid state of the Hogwarts brooms, but it hadn’t quite managed to distract Harry from his own internal fears.
“Don’t worry so much,” said Draco with a wave of his hand, “you’ll be fine. Granger and Thomas are muggleborns who have never flown in their lives. If Longbottom’s grandmother has an ounce of sense, she won’t have let him anywhere near a broomstick, either.”
“Patil and Brown wouldn’t touch one if their lives depended on it,” put in Nott, nodding curtly in the direction of a pretty girl with olive skin and her friend.
“I doubt Dunbar or Midgeon have done much flying either, if any at all,” said Pansy, giving Harry a reassuring smile despite the fact she herself looked to be in a state not much better than his own.
Before Harry could worry any more, a middle-aged woman with greying hair, hawkish features and beady, yellow eyes strode into their midst, demanding their attention with her authoritative presence alone.
“Well, what are you all waiting for?” she barked. “Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up.”
Harry peered down at the broomstick nearest to him and realized at once that there was some truth to what Draco had been saying. The broom looked ancient and it was clearly battered. Some of the twigs were sticking out at odd angles. Some were so mangled they resembled porcupine quills more closely than what he thought the broomstick should have looked like. It appeared to him as though it would fall apart at any moment, and he could only assume it was magic alone that was holding the weathered old broom together.
The observation didn’t do Harry’s nerves any favours.
“Stick out your right hand over your broom,” called Madam Hooch at the front, “and say ‘up!”‘
“UP!” everyone shouted.
To his great surprise and immense relief, Harry’s broom jumped into his hand at once, but it was one of the few that did. His friends obviously hadn’t been kidding when they told him others would struggle, either.
Hermione Granger’s broom had simply rolled over on the ground, and Neville Longbottom’s hadn’t moved at all. Harry might have thought brooms acted like horses, reacting positively to a lack of fear since there was a quiver in Neville’s voice that only said too clearly that he wanted to keep his feet on the ground. This logic quickly fell apart as Harry tried to form it though, for he quickly realized he too was nervous; he just hid it much better than the pale and shaky first-year Gryffindor.
Madam Hooch spent the next number of minutes showing them how to mount their brooms without sliding off the end before she strode purposefully up the rows of students, firmly correcting their grips as she went. Most had their grips corrected, but Harry was one of the few who didn’t, something that surprised him greatly. Ronald Weasley had been one of the only others, along with Dean Thomas and a few of the Slytherins. After Draco had been so confident Thomas and some of the others would struggle, Harry’s faith in what his friend had said started to slowly slip, as one’s confidence in previous assurances often does in situations of great stress.
The process was furthered still more when Draco was among those who had his mechanics corrected, despite the number of hours he had spent preaching his experience on a broom to Harry and the rest of their group.
“Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off from the ground, hard,” said Madam Hooch. Harry listened intently, ignoring Draco’s string of muttered curses from beside him. “Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet, and then come straight back down by leaning forward slightly. On my whistle — three — two—”
Screams filled the courtyard as Longbottom shot into the sky like a cork before Hooch could finish her count. She called up to the rapidly rising figure, but it was to no avail. If he heard her over his own vocal protestations, Longbottom clearly had neither the confidence nor the ability to try and heed her words. Harry realized he would fall seconds before it happened, but the audible cracking sound that accompanied his forceful grounding still made him cringe along with all of the others.
Madam Hooch bent over Neville, her face nearly as pale as his own as she examined his prone and shaking form with clinical intensity. “Broken wrist,” Harry heard her mutter. “Come on, boy — it’s all right, up you get.” She turned to the rest of the class. “None of you are to move while I take this boy to the hospital wing! You leave those brooms where they are or you’ll be out of Hogwarts before you can say Quidditch! Come on, dear.”
A still quietly sobbing Neville Longbottom allowed himself to be led off by their instructor, who still shot suspicious glances over her shoulder every so often until she was no longer able to do so.
No sooner were they out of earshot than Draco burst into laughter. “Did you see his face, the great lump!”
Most of the gathered Slytherins joined in, but Harry wasn’t amongst them. A deep frown marred his features, though he hid it from those present the best he could. He liked Draco and he didn’t want to upset him, or any of his other friends, but he still found it very difficult to laugh at somebody like Neville. It was too reminiscent of what Dudley had done to him for much of his childhood and something about it seemed wrong.
Yet despite his inclinations against his friends’ actions, he held his tongue.
“Shut up, Malfoy,” snapped Parvati Patil.
“Ooh, sticking up for Longbottom?” jeered Pansy. “Never thought you’d like fat little crybabies, Parvati.”
That shut Patil up effectively. It was rather well done, though the exact subtleties went over Harry’s head. He did notice how nobody seemed to openly rage at Pansy for her remarks though, and he had a strong suspicion that wouldn’t have been the case had it been Draco who’d interjected.
Speaking of Draco, he had darted forward and snatched something up from the ground. It took Harry a moment to identify exactly what it was he held but the point was moot, for Draco announced it loud and clear not a second later.
“Look! It’s that stupid thing Longbottom’s gran sent him.”
The remembrall glittered in the sun as he held it up, and Harry’s gut tightened as conflicting emotions raged within him, just as they had hours earlier in the Great Hall.
Draco had received another batch of sweets, as had Harry, courtesy of the same package. He was still trying to wrap his head around the Malfoys’ generosity and had not yet managed it, but he was profoundly grateful, nonetheless.
“Care for a stroll?” Draco asked Harry, Crabbe and Goyle.
“Where to?” Harry asked as the two larger boys nodded in agreement with his question.
Draco smirked and tilted his head in the direction of the Gryffindor table. Longbottom of all people seemed to be temporarily holding court, showing something off to the small crowd of first years gathered around him. Obviously, whatever he had received was interesting at the very least, as well as out of the ordinary, in some regard.
Harry shrugged, not really caring one way or the other as he followed Draco to his feet and followed him across the hall, coming to stop behind where Longbottom, Weasley and some of the others were sitting.
The round-faced boy seemed to be holding a small, glass, spherical something that Harry had never seen before. The small amounts of sunlight streaming down from the enchanted ceiling far above caught the glass at eye-catching angles, causing it to glitter in the light, giving off the impression that Longbottom was showcasing some sort of long-lost treasure.
A long-lost treasure that Draco snatched swiftly from the boy’s grasp, drawing the attention of all gathered at the table as he examined the mysterious object with obvious interest. The glass… something seemed to be filled with vivid, reddish light, and Harry wondered exactly what it was.
His thoughts suddenly became much less important when Weasley and Finnigan sprang to their feet, going for their wands. Harry drew his own instinctively with lightning-like reflexes, hardly realizing he had drawn it at all. Crabbe and Goyle just cracked their knuckles imposingly, but only Weasley had actually managed to get to his wand before Harry had his own drawn, halting Finnigan from pulling his from its resting place.
The moment seemed to stretch on as Harry started questioning what exactly he had just done and whether or not it was the right thing to do.
Draco had been the instigator, after all. Why was exactly did Harry had defend him? Judging by everything he knew, Draco was in the wrong. But he liked Draco, and he didn’t want to see him cursed or hurt. It was an agonizing dilemma. What was more important — friendship or morals? Harry had never known friendship before and he had never exactly been lectured on what was right and wrong. His ideas on morality were likely jaded. The only thing he really knew was that bullying was horrid, and this did sort of seem like bullying.
But he liked Draco.
Merlin, this was complicated.
“What’s going on?” said a sharp and familiar voice that snapped Harry from his deep, philosophical train of thought. Professor McGonagall now loomed over them, staring intently at both groups with narrowed eyes.
“Malfoy’s got my remembrall, Professor,” Longbottom moaned almost at once.
Scowling, Draco quickly dropped the remembrall back on the table. “Just looking,” he said, and he sloped away with Crabbe and Goyle behind him. Harry shot a conflicted look towards the Gryffindors that might have been considered apologetic before trailing in the wake of his three friends.
“Anything interesting?” Theodore was asking when Harry retook his seat beside Draco.
“Just a remembrall,” the blond dismissed, returning easily to the plate of food in front of him.
Harry glanced furtively around, wanting to ask a question but not daring to actually do so. Having been conditioned against doing such things for most of his life, Harry found asking questions to be rather difficult.
“Is something wrong, Harry?”
Obviously, he hadn’t been subtle in his contemplations, and Pansy caught him out almost at once, causing him to sigh deeply. “What’s a remembrall?” he asked, hoping the question didn’t come across as too ignorant or foolish.
“Oh yeah,” said Draco, sending a sympathetic look in Harry’s direction. “Sorry, I sometimes forget you don’t know these things. A remembrall helps you remember things you’ve forgotten. Longbottom’s was glowing light red because he had forgotten something.”
“It has another purpose, too,” said Theodore.
Draco rolled his eyes. “I was getting to that, Nott.” He turned back to Harry. “If you’ve had your memories blocked, or removed, or whatever, a remembrall will let you know. It can even sometimes bring them back, depending on how they were blocked. A lot of old, powerful families have them lying around just in case. They’re not perfect, but they’re dead useful a lot of the time.”
That made a degree of sense, but Harry shuddered at the idea of having his memories taken from him. That did not sound at all pleasant, and the idea of anyone playing with his mind was one that greatly disturbed him.
Back in the present…
“Give it here, Malfoy!” shouted Ron Weasley, darting forward and brandishing a large fist menacingly at Draco. Crabbe and Goyle tensed, obviously ready to fight back if needed.
Draco’s lips just curved upwards. “No, I don’t think I will. I think maybe I’ll help Longbottom out. Maybe if I give him a good enough reason, the stupid oaf might even learn to fly.” Crabbe and Goyle snickered as the frown Harry wore deepened. “Hmm… where to put it? Maybe… up a tree?”
“Give it here!” Weasley bellowed, marching towards Draco with stiffened shoulders and a resolute expression.
Draco lazily tossed the remembrall towards Harry, who almost missed it in his shock, horror, and conflicting tumult of emotions.
It was on instinct alone that he managed to deftly snatch it from the air, and he had never been so conflicted in his life as when Weasley had whirled, snarled, and charged towards him.
Given the opportunity to think rationally, Harry would never know what he would have done. Fear overrode his natural train of thought as Weasley bore down upon him, and he hastily threw the glass ball back to Draco, not wanting to get pummeled by the much taller red-head who looked as though he would punch a hole through Harry’s face if he got within arm’s reach.
The distraction was all Draco needed.
He caught the ball easily just as he mounted one of the brooms and rose steadily into the air. It didn’t seem as though he had been joking about his abilities now. His grip might have been wrong, but Draco looked very comfortable in the sky, and he leered down at Weasley with obvious arrogance and no small amount of smugness.
“Come and get it, Weasley,” he called down.
“Don’t!” screeched Hermione Granger, wide-eyed. “You’ll get in terrible trouble—”
But Weasley wasn’t listening.
He had already mounted the broom and was now soaring skywards, shooting towards Draco like a vengeful meteorite. The blond barrel-rolled, causing Weasley to sail harmlessly through the space his head had occupied just a second earlier. As soon as he turned, Weasley rocketed at Draco again, but this time he was ready for an evasive maneuver. Draco tried to dodge to the side, but Weasley thrust out his elbow, which slammed painfully into the bridge of Draco’s nose, causing him to elicit a loud yelp and for a thick, steady stream of blood to begin trickling from his nostrils.
He sneered in hatred, obviously livid as he glared back towards Weasley, hovering some ten feet in front of him. “Fine!” he spat. “You want the stupid ball? Catch!”
The next thing Harry knew, Draco had hurled the remembrall towards the ground, and he suddenly felt extremely guilty for what was about to happen.
Except it didn’t.
Weasley dove like a madman, earning collective screams from those gathered far below. Screams that turned into exclamations of awe and wonderment as, right before it looked as though he would fatally headbutt the grass, Weasley’s hand shot out and closed around the remembrall. He just barely managed to pull his broom out of the dive in time to avoid certain disaster, though his feet did clip the ground, sending him sprawling and rolling across the grass like a misshapen football.
Harry’s guilt lessened.
And then suddenly returned when he saw Professor McGonagall striding towards them, shaking with what appeared to be rage as she glared towards her student with a gleam in her eyes Harry could only assume to be anger.
Draco looked extremely smug despite his crimson mask, but Harry couldn’t help but think Weasley could have avoided whatever punishment was about to befall him had he just handed the remembrall over.
Those thoughts dominated his psyche even after the class was told to return to the castle in light of what their lesson had devolved into. He was so lost in conflicting thoughts as they walked back up towards the oak front doors that he hardly noticed Pansy fawning over Draco or Theodore cursing Weasley’s name.
He was too consumed by emotions that were as alien to him as the sweets Draco’s family had been sending.
That night, at dinner…
Harry still hadn’t gotten over his raging emotions by the time his contingent entered the Great Hall for dinner some hours later. To his dismay, Draco immediately made his way towards the Gryffindor table. Harry wanted to make off towards their own, but all of them were following, so he could do little more than accept whatever was about to happen.
“Enjoying your last meal, Weasley?” Draco asked when they came within range of the boy and his friend’s. The blond’s eyes looked like angry storm clouds in his current state of mind, but Weasley merely smirked back at him, something that made Draco look a lot less sure of himself.
“You’re a lot braver now that you have your friends to back you up,” snarked Weasley, glaring at all of them in turn.
Harry saw Theodore’s jaw tighten as the boy visibly twitched, obviously desiring nothing more than to draw his wand and curse Weasley into oblivion. Harry himself had a feeling the Gryffindor boy would have been much less confident had the staff table not been full. He knew they couldn’t do anything to him without getting in immediate and serious trouble.
Draco clearly knew it too, for he sneered viciously at Weasley. “I’ll take you on any day, Weasley,” he said, actually sounding completely confident and deadly serious. “How about tonight, in the trophy room?”
“Tonight?” he asked, obviously not having expected Malfoy’s sudden streak of boldness.
“Yes, Weasley, tonight. How about at midnight? There shouldn’t be too many teachers around by then, and we should be able to duel and get out of there before any of them find out what we’re doing.”
Weasley’s jaw set. “Fine, you’re on.”
“Who’s your second?” asked Theodore.
Ron hesitated. “Seamus,” he said after a moment of thought, “what about yours?”
“Harry,” Draco said immediately and without so much as a thought.
Harry had to fight the widening of his eyes very hard as not to reveal exactly what he was thinking.
He didn’t know the first thing about duelling. Had it not been for random snippets of conversation over the past week and a half he had been privy to, he wouldn’t have even known duelling was a thing that wizards did. He supposed that during their practice session last Friday night, he had been the most successful of their group in the practicing of spells, but still…
Even if he was the best candidate, he wasn’t sure he wanted to. He still felt horrible about what could have happened to Neville’s remembrall, and he had nothing against Ron Weasley. He didn’t approve of how he had elbowed Draco in the nose twenty feet in the air. That could have ended in disaster, but Draco had technically started it, so…
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how one viewed the situation, Harry never had the chance to accept or deny.
“Fine,” spat Weasley, now glaring at Harry as if he were Voldemort reincarnated.
Draco looked supremely smug as he led them back towards the Slytherin table.
“What did you do?” asked Harry in a low hiss of a whisper. “I don’t know anything about duelling! I know some spells, but—”
“Calm down, Harry,” said Draco, rolling his eyes and grinning as the group took their seats at the Slytherin table. “We’re not actually going to that duel.”
“Of course not.” Draco sounded as though the fact was the single most obvious thing in the world. “We would definitely get caught. The racket a duel would cause in the trophy room would be awful.”
“You’re going to go to one of the professors?” asked Pansy, nodding along as she suddenly worked out exactly what Draco was planning.
The boy smirked and nodded. “Exactly.”
Harry still felt conflicted. For a split second, he debated warning Weasley about what was to come.
He dismissed the idea almost at once.
It would be foolish to do so and his friends would be upset with him, which was the last thing Harry wanted. Moreover, Weasley had accepted the duel. He wasn’t being forced into anything and it was his fault if he decided to break curfew by several hours.
He wasn’t sure it was the right thing, but Harry nodded along, deciding at that moment he would do nothing to prevent the events from transpiring.
Late that night, in Gryffindor Tower…
Ron Weasley shook with both terror and fury as he unsteadily settled into his four-poster bed, regretfully listening to the sobs of Neville Longbottom in the background as he had done so.
Everything had gone to hell as soon as he and Seamus had left for his duel with Malfoy and Potter.
They had found Neville locked out of the tower as soon as they had stepped outside, and they had then been accosted by the walking tornado that was Hermione Granger. Honestly, that girl threw so much at him sometimes that Ron felt like his brain would short-circuit. Worse still, the Fat Lady had been gone, locking them all outside and leading to Neville and Hermione following them to the trophy room.
When they entered, no Slytherins were waiting for them, and no Slytherins showed up.
They were instead almost caught by Filch, who had obviously been tipped off by Potter and Malfoy, and was on the hunt for any bold enough to break curfew. They fled at once, running blindly through the halls at speeds that Ron was sure he would have never achieved under normal circumstances until finally, they came to stand outside a locked door, suddenly cornered and desperate for an escape.
Until Hermione had unlocked the door and revealed the terrifying monster within.
Ron had thought being made the new Gryffindor seeker would have been the craziest thing that happened that day, but that baffling bit of reality didn’t hold a candle to the three-headed monster that loomed behind the locked door leading to the out-of-bounds, third-floor corridor.
He had wondered, for a brief bit of time, exactly what Dumbledore had been thinking by allowing that thing into the school. He still wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but after Hermione had pointed out the trapdoor under the monster’s massive paws, he had a new question in mind.
What the hell was Dumbledore hiding?
I know this chapter may have seemed like a canon rehash, but the events did lead to some rather different results. Namely, Ron replacing Harry as the youngest seeker in a century. Primarily though, this chapter was used to show exactly where Harry’s character is at in this story, as well as to not-so-subtly show that I will not be incessantly bashing Ron as most Slytherin Harry stories do. He will actually be getting a lot of limelight in this fic, so I hope you all enjoy me doing pretty much the opposite of 90% of Slytherin Harry stories.
Please read and review.
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