- Character Bashing
- Alternate Universe
June 31st 1993 – Norwood Estate
The weather was perfect for a broom ride, but Harry had promised Sirius he wouldn’t touch his broomstick while his Godfather was away finishing his business at Gringotts and later his inspection and ward installation around Blackmoor manor. This would be the longest Sirius and Harry had been apart since their reunion, Sirius had begun instructing him in matters of estate management when Harry was well enough to wear the Heir ring three days ago.
Harry wouldn’t be alone at Norwood though, Atwater had arranged for Susan and Hermione to spend the day. The children decided to start their morning with a joint study session and managed to finish their Herbology homework before lunch. They enjoyed a picnic near the pond at the back of the property, pleasantly surprised to find that the House elves included some Chocolate frogs in their basket along with their sandwiches.
“I think these will always be my favorite, they were the first magical sweet I tried two years ago,” Harry smiled reminiscing.
“Who was on your first card?” Susan asked, opening her box, barely catching her frog before it escaped.
“Dumbledore,” Harry said. He cleared his throat, hoping his comrades didn’t notice the curtness his tone took. Feeling Hermione’s hand over his, he knew she had noticed.
“Are you a collector, Susan?” Hermione inquired politely.
The other girl shrugged, “I collect them because my dad did. Auntie Amelia gave me his collection and I like to see what they write differently over the years.”
Harry frowned, “So they’re not all the same? I mean, I guess when Ron told me he had five cards of Dumbledore I assumed he meant the same card,” he said confused, looking towards Hermione to check her thoughts on the cards.
“I would have thought they would be spelled to self-update,” Hermione said with a frown.
Susan shook her head, “That kind of spell-work would make them too expensive, if the cards weren’t a little different there wouldn’t be a point to trade with your friends; you’ll eventually get them all.”
“Hmm, are the differences notable?” Hermione asked.
Susan nodded, “Yeah, hang on a minute.” She moved away from the large tree she was leaning against and called out, “Ivy.”
They heard a pop and a house elf in a blue uniform appeared next to Susan, “Yes Miss, you be calling, Ivy?”
Susan nodded, “Can you get me the chocolate frog card collection box from my room, please?”
Ivy nodded and popped away, Harry let out a surprised breath, “That’s the first time I’ve seen a house elf in a uniform.”
Susan frowned, “What? Why wouldn’t they be? The service the house elves offer a magical is one of the ways they honor the symbiotic exchange of magic they need to survive. The elves at Hogwarts get their magic from the castle and they wear uniforms.”
“I suppose it’s silly to think all the cleaning, cooking, and laundry just happened by magic there.” Hermione shrugged, “But why haven’t we been taught about the elves and how to treat them properly?”
Harry frowned, stuck on one comment his new friend said, “You said the elves need magic to survive. I freed one from their family at the end of the semester because he was being abused, have I hurt him more now?”
Susan’s eyes widened, “I-I didn’t realize you could free an elf that wasn’t yours. We could ask Ivy when she comes back,” She offered in suggestion.
They waited a short moment when the Bones’ nanny elf popped back and handed Susan a box, “Ivy before you go Harry needs your advice.”
Ivy turned her big bright eyes towards Harry and he hoped he hadn’t irreparably damaged the elf who had tried to ‘save’ him the previous year.
“I met a house elf last year who belonged to another family, he did a lot of things to stop me from going to Hogwarts because he heard his family planned to do bad things there and he wanted to protect me. He had to punish himself a lot, his family was abusive so I helped to free him by tricking his master into giving him clothes. I didn’t know he would be hurt by not serving a family, he was so happy to be free.” He trailed off remembering Dobby’s delighted face at receiving a dirty sock from Malfoy.
Hermione nudged him bringing him back to the situation at hand, he cleared his throat, “Um, I need to know how to help him, or if I’m… too late.”
Ivy shook her head disappointedly, the children couldn’t tell at whom, “You be calling this elf now, Master Harry.”
Harry’s eyes widened, but nodded, “Dobby!” he called out.
They heard a pop, Harry felt arms wrap around his bent leg, “Master Harry Potter, Sir be calling for Dobby! How may Dobby serve the great Harry Potter?”
Before any of the children could respond, Ivy had grabbed one of Dobby’s ears and twisted it enough that Harry couldn’t hold back the wince.
“You has been a naughty elf, Dobby! Worrying your Master! Dobby should be explaining what be happening when you be freed from your bad family!”
Dobby spluttered and tried to appeal to the nanny elf who still had a firm grip on his ear, “But Dobby be afraid the great Harry Potter not be wanting Dobby! I never be far from my master, and be helping him in the Muggle garden when Master Harry go inside or drink water! And I make his mean Uncle forgets him!”
The children watched wide-eyed, Harry turned to Hermione, “He used magic on Uncle Vernon?”
Hermione tore her gaze from what was turning out to be the scolding of a lifetime for Dobby, “It’s more than that, Harry. I think he bonded to you, when you freed him from the Malfoys,” Hermione whispered.
“I’ve never seen Ivy so mad,” Susan whispered in shock while shaking her head.
“You be apologizing now and explain yourself!” Ivy released Dobby’s ear and pushed the elf towards Harry, before folding her arms watching the elf closely.
Dobby stepped closer and tugged up the pillowcase cover that had slipped down his left shoulder, “Um, Dobby be sorry, Master Harry Potter. When yous be freeing Dobby from mean Master, yous magic be promising to take care of Dobby in exchange so Dobby not go to sleep forever. Dobby accepted. Dobby knows you not be needing elf, but Dobby promises not to be a burden. Please don’t be tossing Dobby away like vermin.” He pleaded, but jumped when he heard the growl from Ivy, “But Dobby understands if you does, Master Harry Potter, sir.”
Harry shook his head in bewilderment, “Why weren’t you honest with me, Dobby?”
The elf shrugged his shoulder, “Dobby just be wanting a family, a nice one… Harry Potter nice wizard so he be nice family for Dobby,” the elf whispered.
Harry found Hermione in tears and Susan had Ivy in a hug, “I’m not going to cast you away, Dobby. But we need some rules,” He said firmly.
Dobby straightened hopefully and listened closely, “First, I never want you to punish yourself again; if you think you’ve done something wrong, come to me and we’ll figure something out. Second, I want you to wear a uniform. Maybe Ivy can help you get one?”
Dobby and Harry turned earnest eyes to the still cross nanny elf, who simply nodded.
Harry took a deep breath, “Right, third, I never want you to lie to me or hide things from me again. Fourth, please just call me Harry. And fifth, we’ll have more rules as needed. Deal?”
Dobby nodded, his large ears flapping and his grin taking over most of his face, “Yes Master Harry, I be promising! I go with Ivy now to get Dobby’s uniform!”
The children sat there in stunned silence, Susan was the one to break the silence with a giggle, “To think this all started over chocolate frog cards! No wonder you guys get into so much trouble at Hogwarts.”
She opened her box and held out two Dumbledore Cards, “The first one, is from my Dad’s collection, it’s the first edition card about the Professor printed in 1956. The other is one I got last year.”
Position: Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts (1953- present), Status: Mundane
Is touted for his hand in ending the Global Wizarding War in 1945, Dumbledore defeated the Dark Wizard Grindelwald and then brought him before the authorities of the magical world, ending nearly twenty years of war.
Professor Dumbledore has a mastery of transfiguration and is reported to have worked with Master Alchemist Nicolas Flamel on various projects.
– (Circa 1956)
“Well, that’s different than what we’re used to,” Hermione muttered and held up the newer card to confirm the information.
Position(s): HEADMASTER OF HOGWARTS (1966 – present),
Supreme Mugwomp of the International Confederation of Wizards (1989 – present) ,
Chief Warlock on the Wizengamot (Britain) (1990-present)
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark Wizard Grindelwald in arguably the most epic duel of all time in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and ten-pin bowling.
-( Circa 1992)
“It seems like their trying to rewrite history,” Harry muttered, “Look how they made the defeat of Grindelwald seem so, I don’t know, legendary in the newer card.”
Susan nodded, “It does seem weird, I wonder if his new card will have the reason he was removed from the Wizengamont and the ICW,” she wondered before she returned her cards back in her collection box.
“What did you guys decide to take for electives next year?” Susan asked.
Harry winced, “I planned on Divinations and Care of Magical Creatures, but that was just following Ron’s advice. I’ve talked to Sirius about them and he thinks I need to drop Divinations and take Ancient Runes or Arithmancy, but I haven’t contacted Professor McGonagall yet.” He said
Susan nodded, “If you don’t have the gift for seeing, Divinations would probably be a waste of time. I’m taking Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures, and Muggle Studies.”
They turned to Hermione who shrugged, “I haven’t decided yet, Professor McGonagall has extended my decision date,” she said convincingly enough that Susan believed her, but she knew she didn’t fool Harry.
“Choosing third-year electives, my how time flies. The first decision that will affect the rest of your lives,” Atwater said walking up to the trio, “Would you care for an introduction in every subject? You still have time to change your minds on your selected courses.”
“Oh that would be lovely,” Hermione jumped up excitedly, and the other two soon followed.
“Will we have enough time to cover all the subjects before we have to go home?” Susan asked.
Atwater nodded before beckoning them to follow him, “If we use a bit of magic responsibly. We’ll have all the time we need.” He confirmed.
Hermione stopped in her tracks; that was the second reference to time Atwater had used, it couldn’t be a coincidence; two days after Professor McGonagall informed her that she would use a time-turner to get to all her classes. Did he know?
Atwater met Hermione’s gaze briefly before turning to look at the others, “I have received authorization from the Department of Mysteries to show you this little bit of magic, with the strictest instructions that you understand the seriousness of abusing such magic is met with the heaviest of penalties.”
He had all of their attention, but the one he was most concerned for was Miss Granger, when he had found out that McGonagall was handing over a time turner to the thirteen-year-old simply for the reason that the girl couldn’t decide which electives to take, it added another layer of his investigation into Hogwarts nonsense. Hermione wasn’t the first student to be curious about all subjects and the school used to offer introductory material and the potential uses of each to help the students narrow down their choices. McGonagall had offered those lessons to Lily Potter nee Evans when the girl was twelve, so he knew that the woman knew to offer the lessons before a device that could unravel the fabric of existence into the hands of a teenager.
If Hogwarts refused to inform their students properly, then he would. As head Unspeakable, he had access to the Time Chamber and to the time turners, he chose the turner with one of the shorter duration leaps.
Once they were in the library, Atwater took out a schedule he had worked on. He perused it quickly checking his watch and nodded, “Yes we arrived just in time,” he murmured.
“We’ll keep our discussions per subject between forty-five minutes and one hour, I need you all to listen to me carefully when we use the time turner. Time-related magic is unstable, and serious breaches in the laws of time result in catastrophic events.” He warned them gravely.
Harry frowned, and looked to Hermione who seemed to tense up, “You alright?” he whispered. She gave a curt nod.
“We’ll begin with Muggle Studies, the insulting bit of this course is that it is taught by a pureblood, who has never set foot in the muggle world and the textbook assigned is written by a pureblood, who paints muggles in a very unfavorable light,” Atwater said watching his young companions’ reactions. He would say he was surprised that Susan was the most outraged.
“How can the board of governors allow this?” she huffed before crossing her arms, “I’ll write Professor Sprout in the morning, I’ll have no part in that nonsense!”
Atwater smirked, “You are very loyal my dear, but a bit hasty. If you are to ever hope to be a Director of a department in the Ministry, you need to have received a passing level OWL in Muggle Studies,” he stated and watched them process his comment.
“But muggle-borns and half-bloods would probably skip the class because they know the muggle world already,” Harry frowned.
Atwater nodded, “Exactly, the most qualified member in a Department would be overlooked for promotion, because of a pesky OWL score, so how would you work around this law, until it is changed in the Wizengamot?” he prompted.
“Can we study independently, and sign up for the OWL exam?” asked Hermione, her eyes wide, she reached for a paper and self-inking quill to take notes.
“An excellent thought, my dear. The ministry requires that you state any courses you plan to study independently in order to take the OWL exam when you sign up for your electives, the last date is Yule of your third year. If you are looking for independent study for your NEWT exam, the last date to sign up is Yule of your sixth year.”
“That’s not fair! No one would know this, and let’s be honest Uncle Avery no one cares about their future jobs at thirteen!” Susan protested.
“Except Purebloods, and politicians who have the ambition and cunning of Slytherins, right?” Harry asked sarcastically.
Atwater tapped the side of his nose, “Right you are Harry. Would you like to try your hand at a muggle studies exam? I won’t be testing you on every elective, but I think the exam will be informative especially for Harry and Hermione.” He reassured.
The three peeved teenagers nodded, they each sat a distance from one another around the library, Atwater informed them the exam time was forty-five minutes.
Harry had to shake his head at the absurdity of the first multiple-choice question.
A device muggles use, that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly?
- All of the above
The trio turned in the exam in less time, even Susan was done in thirty-two minutes. Atwater waved his wand at the papers, “Well done all three of you, Hermione and Harry you scored an Outstanding, Susan you scored Exceeds Expectations.” He beamed at them.
“Please tell me that exam was a joke,” Hermione was nearly in tears, Harry stood from his desk and sat next to his distraught friend. “No wonder the wizarding world has no respect for muggles if that is all they acknowledge of the muggle world!”
Atwater smiled sadly at the girl, “I’m afraid my dear, that these were the OWL exams from this May.”
Harry ran his hand up and down Hermione’s back as she wiped at her eyes, “We have a plan then; we’ll sign up for independent study and take the OWL for Muggle Studies. I’m not wasting more brain cells until they fix that course.” He said resolutely.
The girls nodded and Atwater smiled, “we’ll have a little snack, and then we’ll turn back time, repeat this hour with a different elective in another location of the estate. A very important lesson when dealing with time magic; you must not see or be seen by any version of yourselves.”