cywscross (cywscross) wrote,

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alea iacta est (pt.4)

Fandom: HP x Greek and Roman Mythology

Summary: Monday morning.



Morning comes, and Harry is the first to wake.  He opens his eyes and still expects to see the ceiling of his cupboard, dust and spiders all around him, except there isn’t anything of the sort, only forest green drapes and soft sheets and a four-poster bed, more finery than anything Harry’s ever had.  For a while, he simply lies there, basking in the freedom to do even just that.

Eventually, he does get up.  Usually, once he’s awake, he can’t go back to sleep again.  Aunt Petunia’s made sure to train him out of that.  So he pulls back the curtains and rolls out of bed, taking a moment to wriggle his toes in the fluffy carpet again before crouching down in front of his trunk.

Shower first, before the others wake up so he won’t be in the way, which means underwear, pants, shirt, and robes.  He can put on his tie later.

He grabs his toothbrush and toothpaste, glasses too before ducking into the attached bathroom.  As he strips and switches on the water of one of the stalls, he marvels at how useful and amazing magic can be because from the hallway outside, with how close the doors are built next to each other, you’d never be able to guess that there’s an entire fully furnished dorm room behind each one.

He lingers under the hot water for an entire fifteen minutes instead of the eight he’s usually allowed, feeling a bit guilty even though he’s pretty sure he’s allowed to spend as much time in the shower now as he wants.  He dries off, changes, and brushes his teeth before making his way back to his corner of the room.

Blaise and Nott are still asleep so he doesn’t feel too silly when he stops a few feet away and just stares at his huge bed and elegant desk and even the little basket at the end that Harry suspects is for dirty clothes, although he’ll have to ask Ody where they’re supposed to wash them once it’s full.

This is his space now.  Sure, past students have lived here, generations of them attending school just like him, but for now, and for the next seven years, this is his.  And he’s never really had that before.

He dumps his underwear in the basket, drapes his towel over it to dry, and folds his threadbare pajamas before leaving them at the end of his bed.  Then he takes a few minutes to poke around his desk, running a hand over the smooth dark wood.  There’s a round, egg-shaped lamp about the size of a melon, and it rests in a fixture attached to the upper left-hand corner of his desk.  There’s no cord that he can see, or even an off-and-on switch.  It’s cool to the touch but nothing happens until he fumbles for his wand and tentatively pokes it once, feeling a bit foolish.  But that’s when it lights up, pale green and bright, and Harry grins, delighted by his discovery.  He taps it again to turn it off, then begins checking the empty drawers and making a mental list of what he wants to put into each one.

He’s never had a desk before, or even a lamp.  Whenever he had to do homework, it was always laid out on his lap and the floor by the cupboard door, using the hallway light that seeped under the crack in order to make out the words or numbers.

He doesn’t have to do that here, and he’s so relieved he’ll be able to have that kind of freedom from now on, at least for ten months out of twelve, and that’s ten months more than he had before.

He opens his trunk again and starts getting ready for the day.  A glance at the clock on his bedside table tells him that there’s still an hour before breakfast starts being served but he might as well pack his bag now.  He doesn’t get his class schedule until later this morning, he recalls, which means he’ll have to take all his textbooks with him.

Parchment, ink, and quills too – he hopes there won’t be too much note-taking today.  He’s never written with a quill before, and he doubts it’s the same as writing with a pen.  He thought about practicing, back during the summer at the Dursleys when he was counting down the days to September first, but he didn’t want to waste any ink since he needs it to last the whole year.

Although, he remembers Ody mentioning something about ordering that eye-correction potion for Harry, the thought of which still puts a squirmy warm feeling in his gut.  But maybe Harry could order more ink that way too.  He’ll have to ask.

Once he’s done, he leaves his bag on his desk and turns to glance at Blaise and Nott’s beds.  He dithers a bit, wondering if it would be rude to wake them up.  It’s still only a little past six though, breakfast is at seven, and Harry doubts everyone would actually all go down to the Hall at that time.

He decides to leave them for now.  He can always come back in an hour or so to wake them if they’re still asleep, and that would still leave plenty of time for them to get ready for the day.

So he grabs the map on his nightstand and slips out of the room, quietly shutting the door behind him before making his way up the gently sloping hallways until he comes out in the Common Room.  The walls are stone, with tapestries ad intricate snake designs decorating them tastefully.  Leather sofas and low tables are placed in various parts of the room, along with a row of study carrels on the far side, and a set of shelves and cupboards at the back.  The fireplace is empty at the moment but Harry remembers the merry fire crackling in it last night.  Two large windows are built into the wall on each side of the mantelpiece, and fish swim by outside the way they do down in the dorms.

A glance around draws him over to the entryway of the passage that leads to the entrance.  A piece of parchment has been tacked up on the ornate bulletin board hanging there:


*a new password will be posted here every two weeks for twenty-four hours

He’ll have to remember this.  He did watch Gemma Farley give the password to the stone wall yesterday so he knows how it’s done but he’d hate to be locked out or make a fool of himself if he ever forgets to check.

He lingers for a moment before turning back and wandering over to the cupboards.  He wants to explore the rest of the castle, but at the same time, it feels a bit daunting to go by himself.  Besides, he’s not quite sure whether leaving the Slytherin dorms at six in the morning counts as breaking curfew.  But maybe Blaise might be willing to come with him if Harry suggests the idea later.

He looks over the cupboards instead.  There are rows upon rows of books here, everything from potions to transfiguration texts.  He doesn’t touch any of them, not sure if he’s allowed or if there’s some process to borrowing them, but they look like they’ve been read numerous times so maybe Harry will have a chance to read them later.  They look a bit too advanced for his age and current level of knowledge anyway.

The lowest shelf though holds only a couple books, but each are as thick as a phonebook, and those Harry does flip through when he sees them titled Clockwork Delivery: School Edition, Clockwork Delivery: Literature Edition, and Clockwork Delivery: Furnishings Edition.  Inside, columns of pictures line the pages, with name and a short description underneath each one, things like bookbags and day planners in different colours with what seem to be different functions, quirky-looking plants and pretty baubles that look like things girls might decorate their rooms with.  Also, ink!  And books.  Lists and lists of books, and not just textbooks either.  There’s a whole section of fiction that Harry salivates over for a long moment, eyeing the prices and realizing he can actually probably afford at least a few now with the money he has.

“An early riser then?”

Harry jumps a foot in the air when a voice from somewhere behind him interrupts his perusal, and he spins around immediately, half-guilty for getting caught and half-relieved to find Ody standing by the stairs of the boys’ dorm, already dressed in pants and a shirt but not all the way to robes like Harry yet, and drinking from a mug of something in one hand.  His hair isn’t quite messy – certainly nowhere near Harry’s bird’s nest – but it gives the impression of just having rolled out of bed for a shower and nothing else too.  Somehow though, Ody still manages to look perfectly presentable.

“Um, yeah, a bit,” Harry stammers out.  “I was just curious about…” He waves an awkward hand behind him.  “I mean I can, right?  Or do I need permission?”

Ody quirks a lazy smile as he makes his way over.  “No, no permission needed.  The books here are for Slytherins to borrow.  Most of these-” He comes to a halt beside Harry and runs a finger along the spines of one shelf of books.  “-are basic and general enough for younger years to learn from and for older years to do some review if they so wish.  But I think you were more interested in these, yes?”

He rests a hand on one of the catalogues, and Harry nods sheepishly.  “Am I allowed to order from them?”

“Of course,” Ody nods.  He takes another sip from what smells like really strong coffee before setting it aside and flipping Clockwork Delivery: School Edition to the very back.  “Clockwork Delivery is an owl-order service with a good reputation – punctual, with fair prices and decent-quality merchandise either produced themselves or purchased from other shops.  Their main branch of operation is in London but they’re a worldwide business.  They have other editions too, not just these three, like Potions or Botany, but those include wares such as poisonous plants or dangerous brews,  which are not things that children or honestly even the ignorant should be ordering.  But these are more… school-appropriate, so here…”

He motions Harry closer and gestures at the form attached to the back, with spaces to fill in a person’s name, what they want, and when they want it by, regular order or speed order, even gift-wrapped or not.

“You rip this out and fill it in,” Ody explains.  “They’re self-replenishing for as long as this edition is the most recent one.  See the serial number down here?  It matches this catalogue.  When the business puts together a new one, this will automatically retire itself, and the order forms won’t be of any use anymore so remember not to use an old form for a newer edition.”  He glances at Harry.  “Were you thinking of ordering something?”

Harry hastily shakes his head.  The ability to spend money still feels like a foreign, vaguely illegal concept to him, and even though a part of him wants to start buying whatever he wants right away, the rest of him cringes just thinking about forking over galleons for things he doesn’t really need.

“Maybe later,” Harry says.  “I was only… curious.”

Ody hums and doesn’t push, flipping the catalogue shut and picking up his coffee again.  “Curiosity is good.  It helps you learn.”

And Harry can’t ever remember anyone say that to him before.  But Ody just smiles again, patient and kind, and doesn’t comment if he happens to catch anything out of the ordinary in Harry’s expression.

“I sent off Athena – my owl – last night for an Optic Adjustment Potion,” Ody says instead, easily, casually, like it isn’t downright weird for anyone to do anything for Harry without even asking for something in return.  “It won’t get here until Wednesday unfortunately so you’ll have to put up with those glasses for a few more days.”

“That’s alright!”  Harry rushes out.  “I- You’re already doing so much for me, and Penelope fixed my glasses anyway so there’s no problem, so, um, thank you.”

Ody inclines his head, and before any awkward silence can linger, Harry jumps on another topic to keep the conversation rolling and his embarrassment at bay.  “You have an owl too?”

“I do,” Ody tips his head at the nearest armchairs, and they’re soon settled in two of the ones closest to the empty fire grate.  “But Athena prefers her freedom so she flies to Hogwarts every year.”

Harry frowns, and it only takes a few seconds to remember a few of his history lessons from school.  “Athena like the goddess?”

Ody’s mild expression doesn’t change but the look in his eyes sharpens anyway, and Harry feels like he’s stumbled on something he shouldn’t again, just like when he asked about the language Ody, Penelope, and Nestor spoke on the train.

“Yes,” Ody replies without missing a beat.  “Like the goddess.  They still teach that in muggle primary then?”

Harry nods, and then shrugs a little.  “Sort of.  It was part of a chapter in history class.  The teacher only went over the pantheon when she mentioned Greek culture.  Mostly, we learned about people like… Alexander the Great.”

Ody’s eyebrows go up, and he makes a noise at the back of his throat like he’s terribly amused by this, but he also brings his mug up so Harry can’t see if he actually smiles this time.

Their conversation turns to school again when Ody asks if he’s ready for classes.  Harry admittedly rambles a bit about how he hopes he’ll get Defense today first and that there won’t be too much homework by the end of the week and that he’ll like the teachers (and maybe they’ll like him in this new school where there’s no Dudley and nasty rumours spread by the Dursleys and he’s allowed to do his best).  But Ody just listens, and he tells Harry a bit about each of his future professors when he asks.

Snape worries him the most, Harry thinks, when Ody describes the man’s acerbic tongue with the slightest curl of disapproval to his lip, because if this is someone even Ody seems to dislike, then Harry wants nothing to do with him.  Which is a problem because Snape teaches Potions and he’s their Head of House.  Ody just advises him to keep his temper in check no matter what Snape says, and pay close attention, study ahead and always know each class’ material inside-out.

“Professor Snape is a bitter man who does not get along with very many people, especially when those people are children,” Ody informs him matter-of-factly.  “But it is also true that he shows a certain… partiality to his own House, so as long as you work hard, there should not be a problem.”

Harry nods vigorously.  He has zero intention of getting on Snape’s bad side.

They spend another fifteen minutes chatting – with Harry probably doing most of the chatting, but Ody is easier to talk to than anybody Harry’s ever met in his life – before the first of the Slytherins, all upper-years, trickle upstairs, impeccably dressed although still looking faintly disgruntled, mostly due to the earliness of a Monday morning.  A few students give them lingering glances but they don’t pay Harry any extra mind, and after a nod in Ody’s direction, they simply fan out, taking various seats in the Common Room and checking their bags or drifting together and starting up their own quiet conversations.

“Well, I believe I should get ready for the day myself,” Ody says, polishing off the last of his coffee before rising to his feet.  Harry scrambles up as well, suppressing the urge to apologize for keeping Ody for so long.

“Right, I should too,” Harry nods as they head down the stairs to their respective dorms, and then he can’t help adding hopefully, “I’ll see you later?”

“At lunch,” Ody agrees easily, lifting a calloused hand to ruffle Harry’s hair before turning to open the door to his dorm room.

Harry waits until the door shuts and then hurries on towards his own room, flushing a little as he half-heartedly pats down his hair.  Which doesn’t actually do anything – he knows that from experience.  Besides, he doesn’t really mind.  It’s… nice, to have someone treat him like… like Ody does.

He slips back into his dorm just as Blaise is coming out of the shower.  Nott is sitting on the edge of his bed, looking like getting up is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, although a more guarded expression takes over the grumpy one the moment Harry steps inside.

“There you are,” Blaise says before Harry can decide how he should react to Nott’s reaction.  “Merlin, you’re a morning person, aren’t you?  My mother would love you.”

He doesn’t seem to expect a response so Harry doesn’t give one, if only because he’s not sure what to say to answer that either.

…He thinks his social skills probably need some work.

“Were you taking a look around the dungeons or something?”  Blaise asks next as Theo shuffles into the bathroom and shuts the door behind him.

“No, I was just in the Common Room,” Harry tells him, hesitating briefly before plucking up his courage again, “But I was wondering if maybe you wanted to explore a bit after classes are over?”

“Well I’d hate to have to bother the prefects if you get lost wandering around on your own,” Blaise smirks through that roundabout answer but Harry thinks he looks a tiny bit pleased too.  Far more importantly, the other boy agreed to do something with Harry, and that’s exhilarating all by itself.

He ducks his head to hide a smile, busying himself with his tie instead.  He’s never had to wear a tie to anywhere before but he had the foresight to pay extra attention when Vernon did it every morning after he realized it would be part of his school uniform, and he spent days practicing in the mirror, so he manages to get it on straight almost as quickly as Blaise does.

It only takes a few more minutes before Blaise is hefting his bag as well, Harry having already slung his own over his shoulder.

“Shall we?”  Blaise motions at the door.

Harry glances uncertainly at the bathroom door, but when he looks back at Blaise, there’s a much more calculating tilt to the slant of his gaze even as his expression remains light, and Harry feels like he’s being tested again.

Well, Nott’s not his friend anyway so there’s no obligation to wait for him, is there?

So he straightens and nods, moving forward without hesitation, and something in Blaise’s shoulders relaxes again.

The hallway is empty when they step outside.  The other two doors belonging to their fellow first-years remain shut so either they’re still inside or they’re already gone.  Harry eyes them warily, hoping Malfoy doesn’t choose this moment to come out too.

“Don’t worry,” Blaise gives him a nudge, smirking again as they head up the hall.  “It’s Malfoy.  There’s no way he isn’t still standing in front of the bathroom mirror.”

Harry snorts.



Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.

Tags: alea iacta est 'verse, blaise zabini, crossover, greek and roman mythology, harry potter, hp series, my fanfiction, mythology, odysseus, theodore nott
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