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15 Hogsmeade

    The area around Harry instantly changed into a barren open wasteland. He looked around and found nothing except the dry land that seemed to have been derived of water for an eternity. The setting sun changed into hues of tangerines that merged with the sky. The clouds appeared as if they blushing as they hung like cotton-candy at the touch of the warm sun.

    Suddenly a hologram appeared in front of Harry in the shape of an athletic middle-aged man in a three-piece suit. The man had a strong jaw line and a sharp tanned face and piercing eyes.

    "Damn, this guy looks good, and I'm not even into men," thought Harry.

    "Good evening, welcome to the Dungeon World," spoke the hologram in a deep voice.

    "You are ...?" asked Harry.

    "My name is Charles Whitecloud, the Dungeon World interface," said the hologram. "I am to be your guide in this world."

    "What is this place?" asked Harry in a curious tone.

    "This Dungeon World is a folded dimension that draws it's powers from the World's energy to allow challengers to hone their combat abilities," explained Whitecloud. "It is divided into a multitude of levels where every challenger has to clear. Through the clearance of each floor, the challenger's battle prowess will increase until the entire dungeon is cleared."

    "How many floors does this Dungeon World have?" asked Harry.

    "It is currently unknown the total number of floors as this dungeon has not been explored yet," replied Whitecloud.

    "What is the requirement of clearing this floor?"

    "There are two requirements for clearing this floor; one is for challenger to be of Level 10, whereas, the second is to defeat the floor boss."

    "Will the floor boss only once I reach Level 10?"

    "That is correct."

    "How do I level up?"

    "Through the completion of a training program, learning new skills and through defeating opponents, be they from this Dungeon World or from the outside world."

    "Very well, I'll return once I've reached Level 10," said Harry.

    "Understood," said Whitecloud, nodding his head. "You are able to exit this world by simply thinking 'Cast Off'. You can also enter this world by thinking 'Cast On'."

    "I appreciate the information, Cast Off," said Harry as he instantly returned to the Room of Requirement. "I better learn the Patronus Charm first."

    While keeping an eye on the time, Harry delved into learning the Patronus Charm and very soon, six hours had passed.

    Harry was not able to master the charm, however, despite his mana reserve getting depleted, he had made considerable progress. He had found out that his the amount of magic in his body was not sufficient to successfully cast the spell and sustain it. However, he was sure that by next week he would be able to master it.

    After quickly replenishing his mana reserve through absorbing the mana particles in the air, Harry found it had once again become more sturdy and whole.

    With a smile on his face, Harry collected his stuff and went out of the Room of Requirement. He looked around to ensure no-one was around, and took out the Time-Turner. He turned the dial back six times to indicate six hours. After he had travelled back six hours, Harry went back to the Gryffindor Common Room. He went straight to bed thinking; "I'm spending way too much time on these two."

    "I can't believe you can now cast the Patronus Charm, Harry!" exclaimed Hermione as she got comfortable in her chair.

    It was now Saturday evening, and Harry was in the Gryffindor Common Room with Ron and Hermione. He had spent the weekdays with practicing his martial arts in the morning with Ron and Hermione, going to classes, going to the library to study until it closes, and finally going to the Room of Requirement after using the Time Turner. As for today, he had spent the morning in the library with Daphne, then used the Room of Requirement with the help of the Time Turner after lunch and stayed there for the rest of the day.

    He had managed to finally master the Patronus Charm just before dinner and his Patronus animal had given him a great surprise. Harry could already imagine Flitwick jumping in surprise when he sees it.

    "It wasn't easy," said Harry with a slight smile. "Look at how tired I am."

    "Harry, you need to rest!" said Hermione with a face full of concern. "It's only the first week and you're already wearing yourself out."

    "It's alright, Hermione," said Harry. "We're having tomorrow off to not only recuperate but to also celebrate this dunderhead's acceptance into the Gryffindor Quidditch reserve team this afternoon."

    Both Harry and Hermione looked at Ron as a goofy smile was plastered on his face.

    "Alright! Celebration!" said Ron, jumping on his chair.

    "Seriously, you're like a child, Ron!" exclaimed Hermione, folding her arms around her chest.

    "What do you expect, Hermione?" asked Ron. "I'm only eleven."

    "Yeah, so are Harry and me," said Hermione, pouting her lips.

    "You two are nerds, so you don't count!" retorted Ron, continuing to jump.

    "Hmph!" snorted Hermione.

    "Hermione, not like that," said Harry, sitting up. "You sit up straight, have a bit of an arrogant look on your face the way Malfoy does - yes, just like that - then go 'Hn'."

    "Hn!" snorted Hermione.

    "Yes! That's it! Hahahaha! You've done it much better than I'd expected!" Harry praised Hermione as he laughed. "Oh wow, look at Ron's face! Hahahaha!"

    "Harry, you're already making a monster out of her, can you not turn her into a bigger one!" cried Ron with a horrified expression.

    "Harry!" called out two voices in unison. "You're a hard man to find, Harry. We've been looking for you all week!"

    The trio turned around to see Fred and George walking up to them.

    "I've been busy, guys," said Harry. "What do you guys need?"

    "We wanted to congratulate you for making team! Wood told us!" said the twins in unison.

    "Guys, one at a time!" said Ron.

    "You too little brother for making reserve," said Fred. "Mum and Dad will be very happy. You should send them an owl."

    "I will," said Ron, beaming with happiness.

    "By the way, are you two busy tomorrow?" asked Harry, looking at the twins.

    "Not really," said George. "What do you need?"

    "I've got a proposal for the two of you that you can't possibly turn down!" said Harry, with a confident smile. "Meet me here at dawn."

    "Now that's interesting!" said George with a smile.

    "We'll see you at dawn then," said Fred.

    "And I'm going to sleep," said Harry, getting up. "I may be fine mentally, but I'm dead tired mentally."

    "Goodnight, Harry," said Hermione.

    "Goodnight! See you all in the morning," said Harry, waving his hand.

    The next morning, Harry woke up as per usual at dawn, fully refreshed. He changed out of his pyjamas after having a shower and grabbed the extra food from yesterday before going to the Common Room. He ate while he waited for a few minutes until Fred and George also arrived.

    "So Harry, what is this proposal of yours that dragged us out of bed at this hour?" asked Fred, yawning.

    "Have the two of you thought of what you're going to do after you graduate from Hogwarts?" asked Harry.

    Fred and George looked at each other. "Not really. It's a bit early to be thinking about that, don't you think?"

    "Perhaps," replied Harry. "But it's better to start early, no?"

    "I'm assuming that whatever proposal you have involves us, right?" asked George.

    "You're right," replied Harry. "Not just the two of you, but also your father who works at the Ministry."

    "We're listening," said Fred, fully awake.

    "I have a business proposal that will not only make us money but also to increase our reputation with the Ministry of Magic," said Harry. "However, your father will be the front of our venture and the three of us will act as the suppliers. However, news about us will be kept confidential."

    "How confident are you about this venture of yours?" asked George.

    "Have a read and you tell me," said Harry, handing out two small stacks of papers.

    Fred and George took them and began reading. Harry closely watched their expressions changing from curiosity to shock and finally to utter excitement.

    "Harry, if this works out, we'll be filthy rich!" said Fred, excitedly.

    "That's right, Harry!" said George. "How did you even think up of this?"

    "Secret!" replied Harry mysteriously. How could he tell them he was poaching their idea and improving it.

    "We're in!" said Fred and George simultaneously. "But Harry, how are we going to get the fundings for this? This is going to cost us a fortune!"

    "Not necessarily," said Harry. "We're going to send a prototype of each item to the Ministry and once they see their effects, they'll send us the materials and we'll do the rest. The best part of this venture is that we will be the only ones with this method, resulting us in having no competition."

    "When do we get started?" asked Fred, unable to maintain his excitement.

    "Not so fast!" said Harry. "We're not ready yet. Don't forget that this is a long-term business venture with thousands, if not millions, of Galleons on the line. We have to take this step by step. Here, take this training plan and follow through it. We will meet every Sunday at dawn to share our progress. Don't forget to focus on your studies as well. We can't fall behind on one thing just so we can succeed on another. I don't have to remind you secrecy is key, do I?"

    "Worry not, Harry! Our lips are sealed!" said Fred and George at the same time.

    "I don't know if I can get used to their simultaneous speech," thought Harry.

    Harry left them to go through the training plan as he went for his usual morning workout. He had checked his status while he was waiting for the twins and was both Happy and surprised at his improvement. Not only had he fully mastered the Patronus Charm, but he had also learnt all the spells from the textbook Snape had given him to read. Harry had also gone through the other three textbooks Flitwick had given him, but he had yet to fully internalize its contents. It would take him another week at most to fully internalise its contents. He would not have been able to achieve this feat had it not been for the Time Turner and the Sharingan.

    Harry's Sharingan had also upgraded to level two due to both its usage and Harry's improvement.

    After finishing his workout, Harry went to the Great Hall for breakfast where he found Ron and Hermione. Daphne also joined Harry at the Gryffindor table, much to the annoyance of other Slytherines and surprise of Gryffindors.

    "We're going exploring today," said Harry after finishing their breakfast.

    "Where are we going?" asked Daphne with curiosity.

    "I thought we were going to celebrate my selection to the Quidditch team," said Ron with a frown.

    Harry looked around to make sure nobody was listening before quietly saying, "We are. I've found a secret passageway that leads to Hogmeade."

    "What!" explained Ron.

    "Ron! Shut up! Do you want everyone and Filch to find out about it?" hissed Harry.

    "Of course not! But Harry, first years aren't allowed to go there!" whispered Ron.

    "That's right, Harry! We shouldn't go! We'll be expelled if we are caught!" whispered Hermione.

    "Then we have to make sure not to get caught!" said Harry in a quiet voice.

    "What are we waiting for? Let's go!" whispered Daphne, her eyes sparkling.

    Harry, Ron and Hermione looked at her.

    "What?" asked Daphne. "Harry's right. Nothing's going to happen if we are not caught."

    "Daphne, I never thought you were so adventurous," said Harry in a surprised tone.

    "Just staying at the school grounds and studying is boring," said Daphne. "Life is an adventure and we have to make the most of it."

    "Where did that come from?" asked Ron quietly.

    "I read it in a muggle book I found last month," replied Daphne.

    "Daphne, I love you!" said Harry, hugging her. "You see, guys? Life is an adventure!"

    Daphne's face had turned scarlet red and she seemed like she was about to faint.

    "May I ask what you four are whispering about?" said a voice behind the four students.

    "Professor, good morning," said Harry, when he turned around.

    "Good morning to you too, Mr. Potter. I hope you're not plotting to do something you shouldn't be doing,," said McGonagall.

    "Of course not, Professor," said Harry with a bright smile.

    "Mr Weasley, congratulations on making it to the Gryffindor Quidditch reserves team at the tryout yesterday," said McGonagall.

    "Thank you, Professor," said Ron with a slight blush at being praised.

    "Training starts next week and I hope you will not let us down," said McGonagall. "Mr. Potter, this package arrived for you this morning. Take good care of it and make sure you do not make the sender regret giving it to you. This note also came with. Good day."

    "Thank you, Professor," said Harry, taking the package from McGonagall. "The sender has my gratitude. Good day."

    "Harry, what's in the package?" asked Daphne.

    "It's a broomstick," replied Harry.

    "But Harry, first years are never allowed a broomstick!" said Daphne.

    "You'll find out I'm the exception," said Harry, smiling mysteriously as he opened the note.

    (DO NOT OPEN THE PACKAGE AT HERE!

    Mr. Potter. This package contains a Nimbus Two Thousand broom as a gift from me to you.

    Make sure you take care of it carefully and I wish you luck in your upcoming matches.

    Looking forward to the team bringing in the Quiditch Cup this year.

    Professor McGonagall)

    "Harry, it's a Nimbus Two Thousand," gasped Ron in a trembling voice.

    "I suppose that's the punishment for breaking rules," huffed Hermione.

    "Hermione, relax," said Harry, waving his hand. "You're too uptight."

    "Harry, you've been selected in the Gryffindor Quidditch team?" asked Daphne, greatly surprised.

    "Yeah, I'm the new Seeker of Gryffindor," replied Harry.

    "Harry, you shouldn't be revealing information to the enemy team," hissed Ron.

    "Ron, it's alright, I trust her," said Harry. "Besides, it's not going to make any difference if Slytherine knows about me or not. The team that's going to win is Gryffindor."

    "You shouldn't underestimate Slytherine Quidditch team, Harry," said Daphne. "They're strong."

    "I never underestimate my opponents, Daphne," said Harry. "But you should know that  Gryffindor is no pushover. You'll see."

    "Now if you could excuse me, I need to put my new present away," said Harry, smiling from ear to ear.

    Fifteen minutes later, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Daphne were standing in front of the one-eyed witch's statue. Harry touched the statue and muttered, 'Dissendium'. The statue shifted to reveal an opening to allow a fairly thin person through.

    Harry smiled and said, "Hogsmead, here we come."
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