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Life Support

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Meta, Wand, & Earth". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Magic is relative and the past impacts the present whether we like it or not. Harry's about to get some help from an unexpected but not unwanted source. With new students, new professors, and new allies, fifth year will be one to remember.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > General
Charmed > General
SkylarRoseFR151967,4731212733,0117 Jun 1113 Aug 11No

Surprises & Dobby (Sometimes Mix)

Eighteen: Harry
Author: Skylar Rose
Story: Life Support
Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy, Charmed is owned by Constance Burge. I write for fun, not for profit.
Summary: Magic is relative and the past impacts the present whether we like it or not. Harry's about to get some help from an unexpected but not unwanted source. With new students, new professors, and new allies, fifth year will be one to remember.
Warnings: Canon slash, character deaths (both canon and not), Original Characters
Timelines: See first chapter.
Word Count: 3,749
Acknowledgments: Thanks to Cmiller, Meneldur, Eureka, jupitersdaughter, EasterCat, Earthmage, & LadyBold for the reviews!
A/N 1: For those who commented on Ron's apparent OoC-ness—as always, there's more going on than people are aware. I hope this won't deter from the fic and I apologize if it upsets you. Thank you.

Illustration

“WAKE UP!”

THUD

“Summer, that wasn't nice!” Harry heard Polly scold as he groaned into the carpet he'd landed on. “How would you like it if we did that to you?”

“I'd laugh,” Summer answered as someone pulled him to his feet. Not having his glasses on, everyone was still very fuzzy. He blinked repeatedly as something seemed to come closer to his face until he realized what it was. Gratefully pushing his glasses up, he made a face when he saw Summer, Missy, and Polly were all standing in the bedroom he'd been sharing with the other boy since arriving at Sanctuary.

“You know, I believe her,” Missy, who was still holding his elbow, told her brother. “She really would laugh.”

Polly snorted but ignored the two girls to look at him. “It's nine,” he told him. “And the girls apparently found a stream nearby they want to check out.”

“Um...”

“Well, not nearby,” Missy hedged. “I mean, you could walk there but it'd be faster to take the horses...”

“Guys...”

“Wait a minute, what horses?!” Polly demanded. “This is the first thing I've heard about horses!”

“Can I get dressed?” he blurted out and the twins and Summer finally looked at him. “Alone?” he added pointedly.

“Dude, brother,” Missy said, waving at Polly. “Its nothing I haven't seen before.”

Harry felt himself go pink as Polly literally face-palmed. Summer was giggling as she grabbed Missy and dragged the protesting brunette out of the room.

“Well,” Polly said once the door closed. “At least you know Mis thinks of you as a brother.”

Harry threw a shoe at him.

Illustration

Despite his abrupt wake up call that morning, Harry was enjoying himself immensely. Summer, to his surprise, had invited Neville, Hermione, and Ron to the outing, so it was a rather large group that set out for the stream Missy had found.

Hermione and Summer seemed to be on good terms this morning, which confused him a bit—ever since their initial meeting, there had been some odd tension he couldn't figure out. He had a feeling some of the others—specifically Ginny, Neville, and Polly—knew what it was about but they weren't talking. Harry wasn't willing to get between the two girls, he had a feeling it wouldn't be good for his health, so he left it alone and hoped it would figure itself out.

Ron, on the other hand...Harry mentally frowned as he looked at the back of his friends head. Ron had changed this summer. He was quieter than he normally was and though Hermione hadn't seemed to notice, Harry had caught him multiple times in the divination section of the Sanctuary library, looking through books on prophecies. When Harry had asked him about it, Ron had gotten angry, asked why he couldn't study for class, and then stalked out the room. That night before dinner, he'd gone into the communal dining hall and found Ron and Mrs. Miller talking in low tones. They'd stopped almost immediately upon sighting him. Looking back at it...Harry was pretty sure the other boy was hiding something, something the adults knew about. It thought it might have explained his odd rejection of the prefect badge—the Ron he'd left at the train station two months before would have kept the badge and not said anything.

“Check it out!” Missy said and Harry shook thoughts of his friend from his head—he'd figure it out eventually. In between the strip of trees, he could just make out what looked like a slow-moving river. He saw Missy tilt her head as they all got off their rides. “Okay, it's wider than I remember.”

“It's the Sanctuary river,” Hermione said. “Man made—sort of. It runs around the entire castle and was originally supposed to act sort of like a moat but years ago a huge rain storm caused one of the natural streams nearby to connect to it. Half the fields were flooded before Mr. Harris and his construction crew dug out the pond down the way, to act as a release for the moat. I used to play here when I was a kid.”

“How long has it been since you've been here?” Summer asked.

“Merlin, its been years,” Hermione answered. Harry looked between the two girls curiously—an apparent truce seemed to have been made and he couldn't help but wonder what had brought it on. Summer had stormed into their little flat more than once, complaining about the girl and he knew from Ron and Ginny that Hermione had done the same. There was some talk among the slayers and wand users about locking them in a closet until they figured things out as it was starting to drive people batty. He focused back on Hermione as she frowned in thought. “Five years, give or take? It was before Hogwarts.”

“Hey, look what I found!” Ron said and the three of them looked over to where Ron and Neville were holding a piece of rope, tied to a tree. “What's this for then?”

“There's a deep bowl in this section of the river,” Hermione answered, moving forward. She fingered the rope softly, a small smile on her face. “You use the rope to swing into the air and then let go and drop in the water. I could do it dozens of times when I was younger and never get bored.”

“I didn't bring a swimming suit,” Ron said, face falling.

“Yes you did,” Missy said and from one of the bags she'd attached to her horse she pulled out several pairs of trunks. “Ginny grabbed them for me.”

“Wicked!” Ron grinned and he, Harry, Neville, and Polly went to find a clump of trees to change behind as the girls spread out the food—apparently, they'd been wearing their suits under their clothes in preperation. When the four boys returned, Harry found the girls had stripped down. Hermione had a full suit, Missy had a bikini, and Summer had a two piece that he suspected weren't actually supposed to go together—short boys trunks and a bikini top. He hid a smile when he saw the way Ron's eyes bugged at Missy and his jaw dropped at Hermione—Missy for the skimpiness and Hermione because Harry was pretty sure Ron had never seen her that, er, naked. Neville turned pink but tried to ignore it. Harry and Polly had already seen the latter two girls in swim gear before—more than once they'd gone to the beach when it was nice and sunny and both of these outfits actually covered more than their “sunbathing” suits.

Polly, wanting to test the rope before the girls used it (which earned him three glares and two amused snickers), went flying into the water first. The six watching all cracked up laughing when he broke water with a yell.

“Cold!”

“You get used to it after a while,” Hermione finally calmed down enough to tell them but she needn't have bothered—Ron and then Neville had both taken turns on the rope, joining the soon to be Hogwarts fifth year in the pool before she'd even finished speaking.

The water was icy but every so often a current of warmer water flowed past. A bit confused, he looked over at Hermione. He didn't even have to open his mouth before she was answering his mental question. “Only part of this water is from a natural source—the rest comes from the water well Mr. Harris set up—and the system heats the water before releasing it. Otherwise it'd probably be much colder.”

The next few hours were spent playing in the water, including a smooth collection of stone that created a bit of a slide into the deep bowl. By the time they started back for the castle, Summer, Harry, and Hermione were all blue tinged and Neville was pink from the amount of times he'd accidentally belly-and back-flopped into the water. Nevertheless, they were all happy and content.

Once they handed the horses back to their caretaker, they went back inside the castle, only to get stopped by Jesse. “Hey, mum and dad want everyone in the south courtyard in about an hour—think you can get a shower and dressed before then?”

“Of course,” Hermione agreed. She paused, a concerned look on her face. “Is everything all right?”

“Dad said its fine, just want to talk about Hogwarts or something,” he shrugged. “South courtyard, an hour. Oh, by the way, Harry, a house-elf showed up—Dobby, I think he said his name was? Funny little guy.”

“Dobby's here?” he asked, surprised. Jesse nodded, looking amused. “Where is he?”

“See, that's the thing,” he said gingerly, probably aware of Hermione's narrowed eyes. “Dad was complaining lunch might have accidentally burned cause Uncle Andrew tried experimenting with the oven again and before anyone could really tell him no, that he was a guest...”

“Dobby started cooking,” Harry finished, amused despite himself as Hermione's mouth tightened. “Well, at least he's probably happy—did he come for me?”

“Yeah, said he had something for you from McGonagall,” Jesse answered. “Dad has it.”

“I'll be down soon,” he promised. “Can you let him know I'm taking a shower?”

“Sure thing,” he promised.

“Hey, do you know if my parents are back yet?” Summer asked before Jesse could move off. “They went to get our school books for us.”

“Yeah, I think I heard your dad say he left them on your beds.”

Sure enough, when Harry and Polly got into the room a few minutes later, there were stacks of books and boxes of supplies they hadn't been able to get in California on each of their beds. Polly took his shower first, leaving Harry to look through the books he'd been assigned.

Of the regular classes he'd taken, Charms and Defense were the only two he needed new books for—Grade 5 of The Standard Book of Spells, Theory of Defensive Magic, The History of the Black Arts, International Policies on Dark Magic, and Black, White, & Grey: The Pro's and Con's of the Classification of Magic. He didn't have a book for physical defense—instead, he had what reminded him of the phys ed uniforms from his muggle school days. A Study of Demonology by Rupert Giles was required by anyone taking the Demonology, even if they ended up in the advanced class, but Spike had also gotten him Demonology 101: A Study of Demonic Creatures and How to Defend Against Them and the third edition of The Encyclopedia Demonica both co-written by Rupert Giles and Dawn Summers, which, he recalled, was Professor Harris' maiden name. In addition to these, History of Magic had undergone a major change—Bathilda Bagshot's book was being substituted with three new ones: Magics of the World, Muggle or Magical: A Study of Wiccan Practices, and Wicca, Wand, and Earth: Magic and the Differences in Application, the latter two having been written by Ms. Rosenberg.

In addition to the books, there was a new trunk next to his bed, gleaming mahogany with crimson and gold lining; it looked suspiciously like the trunk Spike had bought for all of Summer's books as, instead of a tradition opening trunk door, it had two doors, side by side, that opened out. Peering inside it hesitantly, he found it wasn't a book trunk per-say—though there was an entire section of shelves big enough for his books—but a full on travel trunk better than his own. Obviously magical, it sort of reminded him of that police box in the TV show he caught Dudley watching once without the Dursley's knowledge—bigger on the inside.

It was longer than normal—so much so that Harry realized that if set it up on its end and crouched low, he could walk straight inside to a room roughly half the size of his bedroom at the Dursley's. Each wall contained storage space, from a bookcase on one side, a set of drawers and a clothes pole on another, wall to wall square cubbies, some with built in drawers, covered the third. The fourth, where the “doors” were, contained a series of hooks and latches for his broom, plus a few small compartments along the one side for broom supplies. The other side had hooks along the top, for clothes.

“Ah, found it did you,” Spike said, poking his head into the room, followed swiftly by the rest of his body. “Found them at Diagon Alley—portable closets, according to the man I bought it from. Bit on the expensive side but perfect for students and those who travel loads—so I bought six.”

“Six?” Harry asked, startled, and Spike pointed at Polly's bed, where a second trunk was sitting, though this one didn't have the red and gold lining. “One for each of us?”

“Before you start arguing with me about it, its a birthday present from me and Bil,” he said and Harry, who'd been about to do that very thing, let it go. “It'll hold everything you have except Hedwig's cage and you can take it on a plane—there's charms in place so their scanners won't see anything but a regular trunk full of clothes and the airport people won't try going through it either.”

“Its like...like a bedroom only without the bed,” he said and Spike nodded.

“That's the point, I think,” he agreed. “Once you're settled in your dorm, stand it on its end and it'll get a bit taller, so you can walk in without having to duck.”

“Wicked!” Sharing a dorm with five other boys could, on occasion, get a bit cramped—having this meant less chance his things would end up under one of the other boys beds again.

“What about my old trunk?” he asked, looking at the item he was going to have to clean out in the next week and a half. “What do I do with it?”

“Well, you can use it for extra storage in the room—according to the man I spoke to, everything stays right where you put it, no matter how tumbled it gets—or we can call Wyatt to take it back to San Fran, put it in your bedroom,” Spike suggested.

“WHERE'D I GET A TARDIS?!”

Harry startled at the shriek from across the hall, in the room Summer and Missy were sharing. Spike started laughing as the blonde suddenly bounced out, an ecstatic look on her face as she practically jumped on her father.

“YOU GOT ME A TARDIS!”

Spike looked at Harry. “Apparently so many muggleborns kept referring to the trunks as TARDIS' that the owner of the shop looked into it—now he sells ones that look like police boxes. He said they're surprisingly popular even among the purebloods.”

Harry laughed as Polly finally came into the room, done with his shower. In a towel and nothing else, he looked over at Summer. “Out.”

“Daddy bought me a TARDIS!”

“That's nice,” Polly said, bemused. “Out. I want to change.”

Shaking his head in amusement, Harry gathered his towel and bath things as Summer was ushered out of the room by her father.

“Wait a minute,” Polly said, as Harry slipped into the bathroom. “TARDIS?!”

Illustration

Once his shower was done and Harry had gotten dressed, the rest of the teens had already gone downstairs. Walking down to the courtyard, he thought he could hear people whispering from outside but figured it was just those waiting for the meeting with the adults. Shielding his eyes from the sun, he almost jumped out of his skin at the resounding shout at his appearance.

“SURPRISE!”

Everywhere he looked, gold and red streamers, balloons, and assorted lions decorated the courtyard that was jam packed with his friends and assorted adults in his life. Many were wearing muggle party hats and as he stood there gaping, he was inundated with silly string courtesy of the Osbourne's and Summer.

“Happy Birthday Harry!” Sirius yelled, coming forward. “Did we surprise you?”

“How long have you had this planned?” he demanded, hugging his godfather.

“About a week,” he answered as people surged forward. “We decorated while you were gone earlier.”

“You were in on it?!” he demanded of the six fifth years he'd spent the morning with.

“Of course we were in on it,” Hermione said. She smiled, obviously pleased with herself. “We were the distraction.”

“And Dobby?”

“Dobby is here, sir!” the house-elf said, popping up. “Professor Lupy invited Dobby sir! He says Dobby is Harry's favorite house-elf sir!”

“He's right,” Harry laughed, looking around at everyone who was there. “This is great but my birthday was weeks ago!”

“And we didn't get a chance to really celebrate then,” Ron said. “So...party now.”

“It's official Hermi,” Nicole announced. “That one's spent too much time with us muggles.”

More than one person snickered at the look on Ron's face. Dobby left then, going over to help Ms. Rosenberg with the food—from the looks of the things, Dobby really had had a hand in helping cook. It wasn't a full meal but finger-foods and other odds and ends. The cake was huge, made to look like a quidditch pitch, complete with the goal posts and hovering quidditch players that appeared to be made entirely of icing. His mouth watered just looking at it.

A nearby table was piled high with presents in every conceivable color of wrapping. Not just the wizards had gotten him things this year—many were from those in the Council, plus several brightly wrapped boxes from the Charmed Clan.

“Hey Harry!”

At the sound of the voice, Harry whirled around, face brightening. “Wyatt! Chris! What are you doing here?!”

“Mom and Dad couldn't make it so they sent us,” the older boy said, pulling him into a hug with the two Charmed Ones. “How's things been?”

“Great!” he said, thrilled with their presence. “How'd you know about the party?”

“Uncle Spike called, asked if we could orb over,” Chris answered. “Mom sent the stir-fry you like, plus presents.”

The party went on for several hours, much like the slayer celebration had. The stir-fry was a hit and Dobby, upon learning how much Harry liked it, declared he was going to travel to San Francisco to speak to the “Great Witch Mistress Piper” to learn how to make it. That sparked an hour long conversation between Chris and Dobby on the Charmed Clan and Hogwarts that culminated in Chris promising to take Dobby home with him, so he could spend some time “on vacation” with the meta family that had taken in Harry. The vacation part earned him huge points from Hermione, who proceeded to talk to the bemused man about SPEW. When Harry had quietly suggested perhaps he should go and “save” his brother, Wyatt had simply laughed and walked in the opposite direction.

Harry's gifts were wide and ranging—from a wand holster and book of defensive spells from Remus, to a protection stone from Wyatt, apparently infused with his own magic (the Earth wiccans at Sanctuary had gone slightly nuts over that, actually). Summer, being Summer, had gotten him a pack of hand-made coupons—for things like free class notes when he was feeling lazy and free “revenge pranks” on the person of his choosing.

Piper sent him, among other things, a framed picture him standing in front of the manor with her, Leo, Wyatt, Chris, and Mel and it looked so much like a family photo his throat had tightened for several minutes. In looks, Wyatt and Chris each took after one of their parents, with Wyatt having the fair coloring of Leo and Chris the darker tones of Piper. Melinda, on the other hand, had managed to get the dark black hair of her aunt Prue—which just so happened to be the same shade as Harry's own. Putting them all together...he just seemed to fit.

Sirius, on the other hand, got him a two way mirror, telling him he'd have the other one and anytime Harry wanted to talk, he just had to activate it. Sirius also gave him a ring that had been his father's—silver, with an ornate blue P, it had been passed down from father to son for seven generations on the eve of the son's eleventh birthday. Before he'd died, James had given it to Sirius to put in his vault for safekeeping in case something happened as Harry wouldn't be able to access the Potter family vault until he was of age. Sirius had had Remus go and get it from Gringotts a few days previously, deciding it was time he had it.

Those two were his favorites of the gifts, each for different reasons. The things he had of his parents were few and far between so anything was special to him—to know the ring was a family heirloom just made it that much better.

Piper, for the family she'd given him that summer—he loved the Weasley's and knew they considered him family but never once in the four years he'd known them had he felt the urge to call Mrs. Weasley Mum or Mr . Weasley Dad, not even in the Hospital wing after the third task. No matter how much they treated him as a member of the family...there had always been a line none of them had been willing to cross. The Halliwells, on the other hand, had not only crossed that line within a few weeks of his arrival, but hadn't seemed to realize there was a line in the first place. When he'd commented on it once, Henry Sr. and Coop had both laughed and proceeded to tell him how they'd met their wives.

As he laid in bed that night, full of too much good food and surrounded by numerous gifts, Harry decided that out of the handful of birthday parties he'd had, this was undoubtedly the best of the lot.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Life Support" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 13 Aug 11.

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