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21 Cloak of Invisibility

    The two weeks Christmas holidays had began and Hogwarts was covered in a thick blanket of pure white snow. The lake was frozen solid and Harry took this chance with the Weasley twins to have an ice-skating competition that attracted a lot of attention.

    While the Gryffindor Common Room and the Great Hall had roaring fires, the cold corridors had become icy cold with the bitter wind that was having a constant battle with the classroom windows.

    The Weasley brothers were staying behind at Hogwarts with Harry since their parents were visiting their brother Charlie in Romania.

    Everyone Harry had been training had  progressed immensely in their training. Ron, Hermione, Daphne, Fred and George had long mastered Stage 4: Mana Infusion and had solidified their Mana Network to a very high level. They were very close to advancing to Stage 5: Mana Armour.

    Harry had them all focusing more on their physical training as he had discovered from experience how dangerous it was to advance to Stage 5 with a weaker physical body. He had explained to them how the body was simply a vessel for the magic they held in their body and how a stronger vessel was able to withstand a greater deal of pressure. Their control over magic had immensely grown and had won numerous points for Gryffindor and Daphne for Slytherin.

    Harry himself had grown considerably stronger physically. His control over magic was now above any seventh year and was steadily reaching the level of the Hogwarts teachers. He may not be a match for them yet in terms of battle prowess, but he was confident by the end of his third year, he could hold his own, if not win against them.

    Harry's duelling skills had sky-rocketed, both with a wand and wandless while training with Flitwick. He had also trained his Sharingan, albeit at a slower pace since he wanted to keep its abilities a secret. He was very closed to unlocking his Mangekyo Sharingan.

    Whenever he got the chance, Harry would put Malfoy's two cronies, Crabbe and Goyle under an illusion and make them do stupid stuff. One time while waiting for outside of the potions classroom, he had made them think their clothes - safe for the underwear - were on fire and they had stripped. As soon as he had dispelled the illusion, they had run away on embarrassment. Everyone had laughed so hard at the duo, they had tears coming out of their eyes. Even Snape felt embarrassed because of them.

    Harry had sent a note to his aunt and uncle saying he would be spending the holidays in Hogwarts until the summer break - not that they would miss him. He had also informed his uncle to be on the lookout for a few companies and to invest in them as he would get a nice return from them. These companies were what he knew from his previous life like Apple and Microsoft which he knew would make them very rich.

    Harry wanted to make use of the Dursleys as he was still too young to be making any money in the Muggle world. He did not simply want to make money in the wizarding world as he knew that once he expands his area of influence, he would eventually be in contact with the Muggle Prime Minister. He did not want to exchange Galleons for British Pound when he could make it through his his uncle.

    Harry had included in the note that he had inside information that they increase in value over the years a lot. He also included a few other companies he remembered that would give a faster return on investment. He had also included he would be in receipt of 25% of the profits they would be making as commission since it would be their money that would be used for the investment. From that, Harry was sure he would have enough to enter the property market in about two years time.

    Occasionally, Harry would play Wizards Chess with Ron and would flatten him every game. Ron's skills in chess had risen greatly as they shared pointers with each other.

    On Christmas day when Harry and Ron woke up at their usual time, Harry noticed a pile of presents at the foot of his bed. He looked over at Ron's bed to notice he had a bigger pile of presents and smiled. "At least the presents he gets is more than mine."

    "Merry Christmas, Harry," said Ron, smiling sheepishly.

    "Hn," replied Harry with a grunt.

    "You don't seem excited for Christmas," said Ron as he started opening his presents.

    "I don't see the point of getting excited," said Harry, shrugging his shoulders. "What are we even celebrating?"

    "According to Christianity, it's to celebrate Jesus's birth," replied Ron.

    "And are you a Christian?" asked Harry.

    "No," replied Ron, honestly. "But it's a national holiday so why not."

    "Well, celebrate it if you want, but I don't see any point," said Harry. "But I'm not one to refuse free gifts."

    Harry opened the first gift to find a roughly carved wooden flute from Hagrid.

    "It seems the timeline hasn't changed to the point of unpredictability yet," thought Harry as he smiled. "Now, to use my Sharingan or this flute to put fluffy to sleep ... hahaha ... such a difficult choice ...!"

    Harry opened the second, much smaller, parcel that also contained a note.

    "Harry, we've received your note with your present and have considered your advice. We hope it proves fruitful and you will know when you come home in the summer. We have enclosed your Christmas present. From Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia."

    Harry took the fifty-pence coin that was taped with the note.

    "What a weirdly shapped coin," said Ron sounding fascinated. "This is money?"

    "You can have it," said Harry, tossing the coin to Ron. "Give it to your Dad, I'm sure he'll appreciate it."

    The next two presents were as expected, a hand-knitted emerald green sweater from Mrs. Weasley with a large box of homemade fudge and a box of chocolate frogs from Hermione.

    The next one was unexpected as Harry received a good looking robe. It was not tailored like the Gryffindor uniform. However, it had silver linings stitched around the edges of the robe. When Harry wore it, he noticed the shape of a winged unicorn stitched across the right chest of the robe. Once Harry read the note, he instantly knew who it was from.

    "Harry, who sent you this robe?" asked Ron, shocked.

    "It is from Daphne," said Harry casually. "It looks high quality."

    "Harry, these are the Premium Robes of Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions," said Ron in an excited voice. "It must have cost her a fortune."

    "She must really like me to send me this gift," muttered Harry with a smile.

    "Harry, you have to treasure this robe," said Ron. "This is not a robe you can get easily."

    "Worry not, Ron," said Harry. "I look after precious presents very well. This will come very handy."

    Harry opened his last present and as expected, it was the invisibility cloak. Harry opened the note to see Dumbledore's narrow, loopy handwriting.

    "Your father left this in my possession before he died. Now it is time I returned it to you. Use it well.

    A very Merry Christmas to you."

    "Harry, is this what I think this is?" asked Ron, his excitement doubling.

    "Yeah, an Invisibility Cloak," replied Harry, smiling. "It's about time that old geezer gave me this."

    "Who sent it to you?" asked Ron, not taking his eyes off the cloak.

    "Dumbledore," replied Harry. "It once belonged to my father."

    Harry spent the day with the Weasley brothers, laughing, joking, acting silly. When dinner came, he enjoyed the Christmas dinner that was laid out in the Great Hall with all the students that had stayed behind. He may not celebrate the occasion, but he was not a fool to not enjoy himself in the perks it brought.

    Since the day he had crossed over to this world, he had worked very hard and thay hard work heavily paid off. He was on top of his studies to the point where he could ace his exams even if they were held the next day. He had advanced in his training to the point where he could duel toe-to-toe with any fourth or fifth year student. The only aspect that he was falling short on was the school's curriculum, however, he could still easily rival any second year when it came to knowledge. Before the holidays began, he had asked all his teachers, safe for Quirrell, if he could start practicing the second year materials during class. They had responded that they would make an exception for him and allow him to sit his first year exams after the Christmas holidays and would then teach him the second year materials so long as he passed them. This made him very happy even if he could not sit the classes with the second years.

    The holidays had come to an end and during the first week of term, he was excused from classes so that he could sit the exams. Harry told Ron, Hermione and Daphne about it at breakfast on Monday morning and all three had shocked expressions plastered on their faces.

    "I knew you were good, Harry, but not to the point where you'll be taking the end of year exams only after the first term," said Daphne, still shocked.

    "The stuff aren't that hard for me," said Harry, shrugging his shoulders.

    "What's going to happen with your classes, Harry?" asked Hermione.

    "I'll still be attending with you guys for the rest of the year, but I'll be studying second year materials," said Harry.

    "Then that means come next year, you'll be with the third year students," said Ron sadly. "We won't be in the same class anymore."

    "What are you talking about?" asked Harry, raising an eyebrow. You three may not be ready for exams yet right now, but if you three want, I can help you prepare for both first year exams as well as second year exams," said Harry.

    "How are you going to do that?" asked Ron, confused.

    "Sigh ... sometimes I wonder if you have any brain in that thick skull of yours," sighed Harry in exasperation. "You're still not realising that I know ALL the materials for the first year curriculum and I'll be starting the second year curriculum from next week you lazy ass! As long as you lose an hour of sleep every night and double your efforts, you can still ace your exams for both first year and second year exams."

    "But Harry, will we be allowed to sit two years worth of exams together?" asked Daphne.

    "Daphne, you're forgetting who you're talking to," said Harry, narrowing his eyes. "I'll vouch for you guys as long as I feel the three of you are ready. But my words alone will not make much difference if you do not show sufficient competence. Since all of you started training with me, how has your spell casting been? Have any of you found any class we have had difficult after me tutoring you?"

    All three of them kept quiet. They knew that Harry was right. This was especially true for Ron who had made great improvement in both his theoretical knowledge and his magical abilities.

    "All three of will be ready to take the first year and second year exams together with my help," said Harry with confidence. "Of course, Ron will struggle the most out of all three of you.'

    "Why is that?" asked Ron.

    "Sigh ... you're not as motivated to study as these two girls," said Harry, sighing. "You're smart but you're lazy and a procrastinator and the only reason you've even improved as much as you have is because we're not messing around and you're spending most of your time with us."

    "Wow, that's spot on, but kind of harsh to point it out with no hesitation," said Daphne in surprise.

    "You can continue as per normal and I'll still tutor you as per normal, Ron," said Harry. "You will still be able to progress fine. But if you want to take the first and second year exams together, you have to make changes to keep up with the demand. I have no intention of being in Hogwarts for seven years when I can graduate early."

    "When are you planning to graduate?" asked Hermione, who has been quiet all this time.

    "If everything goes well, I want to graduate by the end my fifth year in Hogwarts," said Harry. "If not, by the end of sixth year."

    "What are you going to do once you graduate?" asked Daphne who could not help but be curious. "You must have thought about it since you want to graduate early."

    "I want to travel around the world," replied Harry without hesitation. "After that, I will either become a teacher here at Hogwarts and eventually become Headmaster or work to become the Minister for Magic. Or maybe I'll become both at the same time."

    "Has anyone told you you're crazy?" asked Daphne.

    "No, but if you do, you'll be the first," said Harry, smiling.

    "You're crazy," said Daphne, returning Harry's smile.

    "So guys," said Harry. "What's it going to be?"

    "Count me in," said Hermione immediately. "I have no intention of falling behind you anymore than I already have."

    "Me too," said Daphne. "The quicker I get strong, the quicker I'll be able to find a way to break my family's curse."

    "Sigh ... how can I be the only one between us that always lags behind," sighed Ron. "I'm in as well. This is going to be a busy year."

    "Alright, I'm going to give you three a copy of my notes to study," said Harry. "Study between yourselves as much as of it as you can this week. I'm going to be busy with my exams this week. Once I'm done, I'll watch over your progress."

    "Mr. Potter," said McGonagall as she approached him. "Here is your exam timetable for this week. I wish you good luck."

    "Thank you, Professor," said Harry with a smile. "I have good news to share with you."

    "What is it, Mr. Potter?" asked McGonagall, raising an eyebrow.

    "Ron, Hermione and Daphne have covered about seventy percent of the first year materials and will finish everything by the end of January," said Harry. "After that, I'll be teaching them the second year materials. I'm June, they'll be ready to take both the first year and second year exams together."

    "Hmmm ... I admit they are ahead in their studies, but I'm not so certain they'll be able up cope with they pressure," said McGonagall, looking at them.

    "If they are able to demonstrate their competence in both the theoretical and practical aspect of the subjects, can you please allow them to take their first year exams at the end of the month?" asked Harry. "I'm sure they'll be able to pass their exams with flying colours given the chance."

    "I'll keep an eye on them in Transfiguration and I will inform the other Professors about this," said McGonagall after a few moment's pondering. "I will allow it as long as I am satisfied with their progress for the next fortnight."

    "Thank you, Professor," said Hermione brightly. "I promise we will not let you down!"
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