Hello everybody, this is a new one-shot that came to my mind when I thought what should have happened if two things happened.
1. Harry was shunned by the whole school after the parseltongue incident.
2. When confronted with the information about Voldemort being back and targeting muggles, the muggle government didn't just roll over.
The result is this story. As usual I own nothing about Harry Potter, only this little idea. hope you like it.
Harry Potter sat in an empty classroom, as far away from the rest of the school as possible. It was just his luck. He had thought that first year had been an exception, that the school couldn't possibly be that dangerous all the time. Now he knew better. If the danger of students being petrified wasn't enough, he could have dealt with that, but now he was shunned by basically the whole school. Even his so-called best friends shunned him. Just because he could speak to snakes. Ron had accused him of being dark for being a parselmouth. He didn't even know what it meant before Hermione, in her best know-it-all attitude, had declared that she had read in one of her stupid books that speaking parseltongue was a sign of a dark wizard.
Harry was certain that it was absolute rubbish, but of course she had believed the books over common sense and logic. And here she had complained that wizards lacked it just last year when she had worked out the Potions riddle that Snape had set up as a protection for the Stone. The students were really nasty to him and he didn't really dare going anywhere but to classes and eating one or two meals a day in the Great Hall. At least the teachers prevented the worst abuse he had to face. Thankfully he had managed to get his trunk with all his things out of the Gryffindor dorm the first night that his house's members had shown their displeasure with his new-found ability.
This classroom and the bathroom next door now served as his bedroom and a place where he could at least wash up. The only showers he had access to, if he was careful and made sure to not be seen, were the ones down in the Quidditch locker rooms. But it was hard to sneak down there without being stopped by a teacher. After all, he was actually afraid to train with the Gryffindor team. While they mostly shunned him, not throwing him from the team because they simply didn't have a better seeker, he had noticed that Fred and George's bludgers were becoming more dangerous than ever before to him. Only his flying skills protected him from really bad injuries. Not that they would be able to train much longer. The first snow would soon be upon them and then there would be no training till the snow melted. He only managed to use the showers thanks to his invisibility cloak.
He honestly considered leaving Hogwarts. He didn't want to deal with the prejudices and the stupidity that was allowed to run rampart at this stupid school anymore. He didn't want to be the target of hurtful hexes and pranks all the time with no teacher helping him. They all turned a blind eye. The only thing they did was reprimanding others when they clearly broke the rules in front of them. Except for Snape of course. Otherwise they gave him platitudes that they couldn't do anything. They didn't want to act more likely, probably also believing the stupid thing about parseltongue being evil. And Madam Pomfrey always looked at him as if he was at fault for all the times he had to go to the hospital wing when the spells were too bad to deal with them on his own.
The only question was where to go. He would need money and that meant going to Gringotts. Did his parents perhaps have a house somewhere? If they did, he could perhaps get by. Looking after himself wouldn't be too hard. He had to do all the chores for the Dursleys, so doing them for himself wouldn't be too difficult. And with twelve years nobody in a supermarket would look twice at him if he bought normal groceries, including cleaning supplies. Many kids his age were sent to shop for those things by their parents. The only limitation would be that he couldn't simply buy things like a month's supply, but that would be hard to carry anyway.
The one question was how to get away. Well, he had managed to secure his broom and Hedwig had an excellent sense of orientation. She would be able to direct him to Diagon Alley. While it would be a flight of several hours, he could do it if he planned it properly. He could take more food from meals and store it for his flight. He didn't need to take everything with him either. Only those things that would be useful to him and that he didn't want to lose like the cloak and the photo album that Hagrid had given him. He didn't need the cauldron, the potions ingredients and the like. They could be replaced if he needed those later on. He would take the spellbooks, as he would continue practicing his magic once he found a way to not be found out if he did magic, and there had to be a way for that, as many of the students did do magic at their homes and didn't get letters from the Ministry. Then some clothes to change and the food that had to last for a day.
He had a backpack that was large enough for those things. His best bet to not be seen was to fly at night. It shouldn't be too difficult with Hedwig leading him. She was a nocturnal bird anyway. Plan in mind he started sorting through the books he had and left those he deemed not necessary back in his trunk. Like the whole set of Lockhart books.
It was one in the morning and Harry had written a letter to the teachers and the students, telling them to basically screw themselves and that he had enough of their abuse. His backpack was filled with bread, a bottle of water, some apples and two slices of meat, wrapped in a napkin. It should be enough until he reached London. Hedwig was ready to lead him. She had fully agreed that he shouldn't stay here where he was mistreated. She would take care to show him the way to London and prevent that they would be found before they had a good place to stay.
He opened the window of the classroom and made sure that the backpack, which he had placed the featherweight charm on, was secured on his back. He had considered flying under the invisibility cloak, but in the end that was impractical. He had put on black clothes including his winter cloak, a hat, gloves and a scarf, which would keep him warm and make spotting him more improbable. And at this time of the night nobody should be awake anymore. Tomorrow was a school day, so the teachers and students should be asleep. He climbed onto the broom and then shot out of the window, away from the place that had proven to be as bad as Privet Drive.
Harry arrived in London at seven in the morning, when it was still dark. He was tired after flying for six hours, but he would later have enough time to go to sleep for a few hours. The dose of pepper up potion that he had nicked from the hospital wing during his last visit there had kept him awake and warm enough. First he needed to find out where he could live and get money from the bank. And see if they could exchange gold into muggle currency. It would be easier to blend in with the muggles, as he had grown up in that world and didn't know a lot about the wizarding world. Thankfully Hedwig directed him to land in Diagon Alley itself, circumventing the danger of possibly being stopped at the Leaky Cauldron. And he was sure if anybody saw him, they would make sure that he was sent back to Hogwarts. And that was the last place where he wanted to be.
He entered Gringotts, thanking the stars that the goblins didn't know the meaning of closing the bank. While there were much less goblins on duty during the night and early hours of the morning, the bank never closed. It would cost them possible profit. So Harry went to the next teller and handed over his vault key.
"I wish to make a withdrawal, get a statement about the total assets I have at the bank and would like to find out if you have any records of the holdings of my family overall," Harry said politely.
The goblin inspected the key closely.
"Certainly, Mr Potter. Follow me, then we can get the file on your family's holdings. The newest statement will also be in there as well as the ledgers for your vaults. After that a cart driver will take you to your trust vault," the goblin told Harry.
Harry's thoughts raced. His vault was a trust vault? Did that mean he had more gold than what was already in there? That increased the probability of him having inherited a house from his parents where he could live.
Five minutes later Harry was handed the file and led to a room with two tables and four chairs.
"You may look over the file, but it has to stay in the bank. If you need a copy of a page, put the page in question into the blue folder, it has an automatic geminio charm on it, which will allow you to take those pages with you. Each copied page will cost a fee of two knuts. Ring the bell once you're done, then a cart goblin will come and take you to your vault," the teller informed Harry and left him alone in the room.
Harry didn't mind. This was actually very convenient for him. He quickly looked over the file and wrote the most important numbers onto a spare piece of parchment that he had stored in his backpack together with a quill and ink. He would have to buy a notebook and some pens in the muggle world later on. It was much more practical than the wizarding world's way.
Harry looked around the flat he had decided would be his new home. It was fully furnished and was warded with the strongest kinds of wards that had been known to the Potters. No muggle would come and look for him here and wizards needed to be told the address. It was something called a family fidelius charm. The flat was small and only big enough for one person, which was probably why his parents hadn't moved in here despite the protection. There was one bedroom with a queen sized bed, a wardrobe that was larger on the inside than the outside, a small bookcase and drawers. The kitchen was about the same size as his bedroom at Privet Drive, with just a fridge, a stove, thankfully not a magical one, but an electrical one, a sink and some cupboards.
He had been surprised that electricity worked in the flat, but it seemed to have been a present of his maternal grandparents to his mother for graduation. He had found a document with the transfer of this flat to his Mum and Privet Drive to Aunt Petunia. His father had then simply added the wards to make it safer for his girlfriend. The lounge doubled as an office space. The bathroom had a combined tub and shower and a sink and toilet. Overall, it was more than enough for a twelve year old boy to live on his own. He would be able to study in peace, live like he wanted to and not be bullied by people that couldn't look past their own noses.
He had also got a set of muggle identification documents that would work for him if he decided to enrol at a muggle school again, or if he was asked to identify himself in general. The documents were spelled to make any adult ignore that he was a minor and needed parental consent for enrolling at a school. The goblins had told him that they could create that kind of documentation, for a fee of course. But those twenty seven galleons had been well spent. He was seriously considering going back to highschool in the mornings and simply learn what he thought useful of magic in the afternoons and evenings. The idea of finally being normal again was very tempting. After all, what did the wizarding world ever give him? At least in the muggle world he would be able to easily continue his education. He had only missed one year and that could be caught up quickly. He was smart and if there wasn't an angry aunt and uncle that would berate him for doing better than his cousin, he would have the grades to graduate with good marks and learn a respected profession.
The teachers at Hogwarts at first didn't really notice that Harry was missing. Only when he didn't come to class, they realised that they hadn't seen him at breakfast. Most thought that he was skipping and took points and assigned detentions. Their bad that Harry didn't appear anywhere the whole week till Saturday. Only then they started truly looking for him and after six hours of searching the castle, they found the classroom that Harry had used as a bedroom thanks to being afraid to enter Gryffindor tower.
Professor McGonagall took the letter Harry had written really badly. She hadn't even noticed that one of her students hadn't slept in his bed for over two weeks before he decided that the magical world wasn't worth the pain and ran away. With how they hadn't searched for him for a week, he could be anywhere. The things left behind in his trunk weren't anything special. Only some books he didn't think he would need, hand-me-downs from his cousin, many sizes too large for his small frame, two of his school robes, the trousers, shirts and pullovers were missing, and several other things.
When she confronted the Gryffindors and asked for information, they weren't feeling guilty in the least, saying that they were better off without that dark wizard and that the heir of Slytherin could die for all they cared. Only then the teachers truly realised how badly things had spiralled out of control. They hadn't known how much Harry Potter had been mistreated by the students. They had simply thought that he had only been pranked more than normally, but that it would blow over.
Searches in Diagon Alley didn't bring them any results. Nobody had seen the boy and the goblins stated client confidentiality and that nobody but the legal guardian of the boy could demand that they gave up his location, if they knew where he was staying that was. They hadn't been told, that much they told Dumbledore, when he tried finding out where Harry had gone. Dumbledore tried arguing that he was Harry's magical guardian, but the goblins denied that claim, stating that he wasn't his guardian according to their record, which never lied. They wouldn't give up the identity of Harry's guardian either though.
All attempts of others, including when Dumbledore presented Harry's aunt, were useless. None of them was his legal guardian. It ended with Dumbledore leaving Hogwarts for a few days to thoroughly search the Ministry archives to find out who his guardian was.
Harry Potter meanwhile couldn't care less about the chaos he had caused in the wizarding world and that they were searching for him. He sat in his lounge and read through the books for sixth and seventh year at highschool. He had easily managed to get an appraisal of the best schools in London from the London library as with him inheriting a massive fortune from his parents, they even had an account at the Bank of England in his mother's name filled with one and a half million pounds, he could easily pay for the best schools. While the ledgers had shown limitations that he had until he came of age, seventeen in the wizarding world and eighteen in the muggle world, he could always use the money he had for his education. That was always an exception.
He wondered why he hadn't known how wealthy his family had been before, but he suspected that nobody wanted to give him ideas of leaving the Dursleys for good. How anybody could think that he would see that place as home he didn't know, but Dumbledore, who according to Hagrid had left him there, had to be aware of Harry's reaction to being able to live somewhere else, or he wouldn't have taken steps to prevent that Harry found out. While he didn't understand too much about his finances yet, he knew that he was more than loaded and could easily get himself the best possible education far away from stupid Hogwarts. He could eat as much as he wanted, he could do things in his free time that he had longed to try, but was never allowed and he could finally be free of the stupid fame for something he didn't even remember.
Like he had suspected he didn't have much trouble with the material in any class. Maths was a little challenging, but it had been one of his favourite classes in primary school, so he could understand the concepts that had been covered in the one year he had missed. Right now it was the beginning of the Christmas break and if he wanted to get enrolled at a muggle highschool, he would have to go there when it started again in January. That meant that he had two weeks to brush up on the material enough to not stand out too much. Writing essays, biology, chemistry, physics, history and maths were about the most important areas he needed to have at least some understanding. Well, essay writing had been a favourite kind of homework at Hogwarts, so he should have that part covered.
Biology and Physics wouldn't be any problem, as he had mostly read books of that kind in the library at primary school during breaks to not be bullied by Dudley all the time. If he simply read silently, after eating the meagre meal his aunt had let him take each day, the librarian didn't bother him. Chemistry he didn't even know if they had started it already, he just knew that it was taught at highschool from a certain point on, just not which one. But there couldn't be more taught than the basics and he could cover those in two weeks. I maths his grade was covering fractions according to the books and if you got down the basic rules about that, you were going to manage well enough. Anything else he could ask a teacher if he struggled. It only had to appear that he had got the classes so far, just needed a little help here and there.
Perhaps he could say that he had been sick for a month and had therefore missed a lot of classes before he and his family had moved to London. The documents he had would make that story believed by his teachers. And the wizards were too stupid to control all muggle secondary schools to find out where he was. Probably they would look in Little Whinging, but there were simply too many schools all over England to find him.
Albus Dumbledore sighed tiredly in his chair. He had been running around trying to find out who Harry's guardian could be and the riddle was still unsolved. The Ministry records were faulty. While they had listed him as Harry's magical guardian, it clearly wasn't the case. The goblin records truly didn't ever lie. It was a known fact. His aunt wasn't his guardian either, even if she had functioned as that since November 1981. From what she had told him, more like yelled at him, she didn't have any documents for Harry and had never bothered to get them. They weren't needed to get him enrolled at primary school, the only thing she had done for him, because it was normal for a child to go to school. The neighbours would have talked otherwise.
This was such a mess. He hadn't realised with all the trouble being caused from the opening of the Chamber, how the students had mistreated Harry. Oh, he had known that they had shunned him for speaking parseltongue, but he had been sure that part would blow over with time. And a bit of adversary wouldn't harm Harry. The problem was that he didn't have anybody while the school turned against him, and that it didn't end with shunning. No, whenever no teacher was close, students had hexed Harry and their spells had become more and more hurtful.
He was also cross with Minerva. She should have controlled if her students were present after curfew at least once a week in random samples. That would have told them that Harry wasn't sleeping in Gryffindor tower. The other three heads of houses did at least that and Severus even controlled each evening if all of his snakes were in their common room once their curfew came. Probably a sound idea if you knew that the Slytherins would otherwise use any chance to manipulate things to their advantage.
Minerva's reaction to the blatant disregard for Harry when she confronted her house had been to take two hundred points from them for breaking the most basic rule of Hogwarts, that being that every member of a house had a right to live in that house and not have to fear that his person or his belongings would be attacked. Things had really gone downhill when Gryffindor was harming one of their own and thought they had every right to do so. Even the snakes weren't as bad. They at least on the outside would never abandon one of their own. Thought he did suspect that Harry being a parseltongue, had he been sorted into Slytherin, would have been a reason for joy for them and not scorn.
He had called all the remaining members of the Order of the Phoenix to help with the search for Harry, but so far the boy was elusive. Nobody had seen him and nobody could find a trace of him. The Ministry was also demanding an explanation for why Harry Potter of all people had decided that running away from school was his best choice. It was a major headache for him.
Harry enjoyed his shopping trip. He needed a good amount of things before he could start muggle school, mainly a fitting wardrobe. He wouldn't be teased for his clothes by his fellow students this time around. So he got some basics like jeans, shirts, pullovers, jackets and shoes. He bought about ten of each at least to have some variety. He had finally chosen The City of London School as the one where he would attend. The appraisal for the school was excellent and the school sat directly at the shore of the Thames River. It looked great on photos and he could attend as a day student there. With his plans to study magic at home, he needed a school where he didn't have to live all year. It would also prevent anything like his experience at Hogwarts to repeat itself.
He didn't want to ever fear going to sleep again, just because he had to share his bedroom with others. That part had been why he had left the dorm and set up camp in the abandoned classroom.
Next to giving his wardrobe a makeover, he also gave himself one. He knew that his most distinguishing features were his messy black hair, the scar on his forehead and his glasses. Well, a stylist could dye his hair another, totally different colour, he could see if he could use contacts and perhaps there were ways to hide the scar with make-up. Not that anybody in the muggle world knew the source of the scar or its meaning, but better be safe than sorry. When the stylist asked what hair colour he wanted, he said, something completely different, but still not being too attention seeking. It ended being dyed a darker shade of blond, which Harry liked. It didn't look like the white blond hair of the Malfoys, but something that any natural blond could look like.
At an optician's he not only got contacts, but he got ones with a much better prescription than his old glasses. Well, the Dursleys hadn't gone to get his eyes checked after the initial diagnose that he needed glasses. Thank god that for children the national health agency took over the costs, or he would have been forced to go without or with ones that were totally wrong for him. He couldn't imagine that the Dursleys would have spent any money on him if they weren't forced. Next to the contacts he got new glasses as well as a replacement just in case.
He was determined to enjoy his life and take the best both worlds had to offer, even if he didn't plan to ever return to the backwards wizarding world. Screw them. He didn't need them to have a good life, now that he had a place to live away from the Dursleys.
It had been four years since Harry Potter had decided to leave Hogwarts. In those four years a lot of things had happened. The Chamber of Secrets had never been found and Ginny Weasley died down there. The school had nearly been closed, but Dumbledore, after the Board of Governors had sent him back to his post after suspending him on blackmail or threats of Lucius Malfoy, just managed to convince the Ministry to keep the school going. Over the summer a thorough search of the castle for anything dark or dangerous was done, but nothing turned up. The one good thing was that after a few more petrifications Hermione Granger had managed to put the clues together to the identity of the monster and after being unpetrified herself, she could inform the teachers what the monster was, namely a basilisk.
The students had realised, too late, that Harry Potter couldn't have opened the Chamber if he wasn't at school. And after running away early in December, nobody had ever seen him again. Thanks to finally knowing what the monster was, security measures were taken and crystals that had recorded the crow of a rooster were placed everywhere. The slightest indication of a snake being around triggered them. It was enough to assure the ministry that, if the basilisk should be able to leave the Chamber again, it would be killed immediately. The escape of Sirius Black in May of the same year was a shock that nobody really wanted to add to the strained atmosphere, but thankfully nothing bad happened.
The Ministry finally decided that he had probably gone to overseas instead of taking revenge against them. Still, it didn't change the fact that for a year they had dementors searching the country for him. It didn't go over well with the people, as the monsters influenced too many negatively and St. Mungo's had to work overtime to treat all those many that couldn't create a proper patronus to keep them away.
In 1995 there were rumours about Voldemort returning, but nobody really had proof and there hadn't been any incidents that indicated that he was back and active again. Dumbledore tried to convince the Ministry of it by pointing out that the dark mark was back in full force on the arms of the Death Eaters, for example the spy Severus Snape, but the Minister brushed anything like that away, having enough trouble keeping his position after the Black disaster. He didn't need another catastrophe and there was absolutely no proof of a return.
Voldemort tried getting to a prophecy that was kept in the Department of Mysteries, but he had to find out from a Death Eater that was freed from Azkaban prison that only those that a prophecy was about could take it from the shelf in the DoM. And to their disadvantage the other party to the prophecy, Harry Potter, had disappeared without a trace years ago. Many attempts failed and when he went in person in December of 1996, he was spotted by some Ministry employees that spread the information about his return. Not that he cared, he had managed to assemble his army again while nobody had been sure if he was back or not. He could strike when he wanted to. The one thing that soured his mood was that a member of Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix had managed to destroy the prophecy orb before he could get it. So he still didn't know the wording of the whole prophecy.
Over the following year he had attacked a few soft targets in the muggle world, but besides causing chaos and killing a number of people it didn't have any major effects. Even Voldemort wouldn't carelessly break the Stature of Secrecy.
In February 1997 the Prime Minister was informed what was going on and to say he was displeased with the incompetency of the wizards was an understatement. Especially as the Ministry tried to push the blame onto a teenager of all things, one that had left the wizarding world four years previous and who, according to a school headmaster of all things, was the only one that could defeat this Voldemort character. Once the idiot Fudge and the new minister Scrimgeour had left his office, he went to work. He needed to find out more about this and the first person he needed to find out what happened with was this boy, Harry Potter, that seemed to be the solution the wizards were depending on.
Harry was surprised to get an invitation to Number 10, Downing Street delivered to him on 15th May 1997. He really had no idea what the new Prime Minister could want to discuss with him. He of course had realised that the incidents that had been called accidents and natural catastrophes were caused by Voldemort and his flunkies. But besides keeping up with the material that he should have learned at Hogwarts in home schooling sessions, thanks to being found by his godfather, who had broken out of prison because he had worried about him, Harry hadn't had any contact with the wizarding world. Really, Sirius had overheard some aurors talking about Harry running away from Hogwarts and the school being attacked by the heir of Slytherin. It was enough to give him the incentive to break out and search for his missing godson. Even Sirius, who now had a new identity as Simon Potter and was registered as his paternal uncle and guardian with the authorities, was more than happy to leave anything about the wizarding world behind.
They had got him a new wand in Switzerland during a vacation to let him help Harry with his studies, but otherwise he worked at an office part-time. He didn't need to work to earn a living, but it was a necessary cover in the muggle world. He had helped Harry to move into a bigger flat in London, one with four rooms, kitchen, bath and even a nice balcony. Being born into the Black family, Sirius knew even more wards of all kinds than the Potters did and warded the formerly completely muggle-style flat to be secure for them, including another fidelius charm, keyed to only them. The flat had been rented out to an old couple, but the woman, who had survived the man by three years, had died three months before they moved in and the goblins had asked what to do with the flat.
As Sirius by that time had already moved in with Harry in his smaller flat and slept on the couch in the lounge, they had decided that it would be much easier to take over the larger flat. The smaller one was left in the state it was before Harry had moved in there and he planned to live there if he wanted to have his own place again once he was a few years older. Sirius didn't mind that at all.
The date for the invitation said that Harry and his guardian had to be there in two days at four in the afternoon. That was about two hours after school let out that day. It seemed that they had checked against his timetable or it was a complete coincidence, even if Harry didn't believe that. Well, you didn't refuse an invitation with the Prime Minister. So he looked through his wardrobe to find a suit that would be acceptable for the visit.
Sirius and Harry waited to be shown to the office of the Prime Minister. They were both on guard. None of them wanted to be forced to fight in the stupid war of the wizards. Finally they were asked to follow a secretary and walked towards the Prime Minister's office.
"Ah, Mr's Potter. Thank you for coming here today," the Prime Minister said smiling slightly and held out his hand.
"Minister Blair, a pleasure to meet you," Harry replied and shook the offered hand, after him Sirius followed his example.
"Please take a seat. I've arranged for some tea," Minister Blair said, waving his hand over to the tea set that stood ready on a small table in the middle of three armchairs.
"Thank you, Minister," Sirius said and took his seat, Harry being between him and the Prime Minister.
"How do you take your tea?" Minister Blair asked after pouring the tea for them all.
"No sugar, a dash of milk and a slice of lemon, please" Sirius answered.
"A spoon of sugar and no milk, please," Harry informed him.
Once they got their tea, they drank and did some small talk for a few minutes. Harry's schooling, his success in karate tournaments and the like being the topics. Then the face of the Minister turned serious.
"Well, gentlemen, I guess you wonder why I asked you here today," Minister Blair said.
"Yes, indeed," Harry confirmed. "It's not every day that a sixteen year old student is invited by the Prime Minister."
"Well, Mr Potter, we have a bit of trouble with a group of people that insist that you're the only one that can solve a problem that according to the investigations of her Majesty's secret service is of their own making. It was quite a bit of work to find you since my predecessor decided to at least give you a warning about the situation and see if you could help us understand more why they think they had a right to force a teenager into their war," Blair informed them. "You can probably imagine my surprise when a few days ago I got a visitor that I didn't expect after my taking over the office."
It was clear to Harry and Sirius what he was talking about.
"You're talking about the other Ministry?" Sirius asked carefully.
"Yes, that's a good description. Once I asked Mr Major about his dealings with them, he said that those visits were the part of the job that he definitely wouldn't miss. He gave me some information on the personalities of the people he had met and this Cornelius Fudge seems to be massively incompetent and I can see where their people came from in electing Rufus Scrimgeour. Even if keeping Fudge as an advisor in my opinion isn't the smartest idea if my predecessor is right about him," Blair commented.
"You could say that. I thankfully didn't have to deal with Minister Fudge in person, but I know that he tried to find me and force me back to a place that I left because my fellow students massively bullied me and the teachers didn't do anything against it, some even decided that I was at fault and took points and gave me detentions. I left the school after two weeks of this going on. I tried to get help from the teachers, but they told me to not exaggerate. Well, I decided then and there to screw them and live my life away from their backwards society," Harry informed the Prime Minister.
It confirmed for the Prime Minister that he had really the right person sitting in his office.
"I can understand that decision. I heard you're very happy at the London City School?" He asked.
"Indeed I am. The teachers are great, I've found friends that simply like me for myself and not for some stupid fame I got because wizards are stupid and think that a baby of fifteen months had anything to do with the fall of the worst dark wizard of this century. I think my parents did something to protect me. What that could be I have no idea. I can be a normal teenager there, do a sport I like and spend my free time hanging out with my friends, go to the cinema, watch a football game and all without being mobbed by stupid people," Harry confirmed.
"That's good to hear. Well, what I need to tell you is this: The Ministry of Magic has decided, because there seemingly was a prophecy made before you were born, Mr Potter, that you're the only one that can destroy this Voldemort character. I don't think that there is anything true about it, as I can't see the validity of deciding that an untrained teenager would be able to achieve more than trained policemen or soldiers," Minister Blair said. "They didn't have any success finding you so far, which only proves their incompetency to me, as we only needed half a year to be sure that you were the one they were looking for. After all, you didn't even change your name."
"I didn't think I needed to do that, Minister Blair. Potter is a very common name in the non-magical world as is my first name. Finding a special Harry Potter among all the ones named like that in all of Great Britain is rather hard. Not to mention that wizards have no common sense and can't operate well outside of the wizarding world. I was fairly sure that they wouldn't find me if I was careful," Harry informed him.
"Well, what I would like to ask you is if you have any kind of information that would help us prepare for more incidents like the bridge and this stupid mist that their dementors are causing," Blair wanted to know. "I have no intention to let you fight. You're just sixteen, going on seventeen in July. And while my informants have told me that wizards come of age with seventeen, you're living in the non-magical world, which mean that you'll be a minor for a bit over a year and that's not an age where you should think about fighting in wars. There are good reasons why child soldiers are outlawed."
"I think I can help you more in this regard than Harry, Minister Blair," Sirius now spoke up. "I've experienced the last war that Voldemort waged against the wizarding world and know how he operated back then."
Blair gave him a serious look.
"I would definitely appreciate that, Mr Black," he said, surprising both of them. "Don't look so surprised. While your documentation may have fooled the normal places, when we checked Mr Potter's identity and background, we also found out your true identity. At first we planned to arrest you and send you back to prison, but we were confused why you hadn't acted against your supposed primary target in years. And considering what a kind of nonsense the Ministry of Magic has been telling us all the years, we're willing to give you a fair chance to explain yourself."
"That's more than I ever got from them, Minister," Sirius said. "The basic story comes down to it that I was framed and nobody bothered to properly investigate my supposed crimes. Peter Pettigrew, one of the people that I supposedly killed in Manchester, was a wizard like me. We also thought he was our friend and he was entrusted to be the secret keeper in the charm that kept Harry's family hidden from Voldemort. The effect of the fidelius charm, which was used, is that nobody but the secret keeper can tell anybody the location of the place that was put under the charm. I played decoy to add an additional layer of security to the protection. If the Death Eaters hunted me down, Peter and Harry's family would have been safe. But as the fact that Voldemort found them shows, he has told him. All signs at his home pointed to him not being forced out, so he had betrayed them.
"I cornered him in Manchester and planned to hand him over to the aurors, special police forces if you want a good equivalent in the non-magical world. The problem was that he shouted for all to hear how I had betrayed James and Lily cut off his own finger, blasted open the gas line, which's explosion was the reason for the twelve dead people, and transformed into a rat to escape through the sewers while I was found at the scene, laughing, because he had hit me with an overpowered cheering charm, and I was sent to Azkaban prison without ever getting a trial. It was 'obvious' that I had to be Voldemort's right hand man, after all I was a Black and all Blacks are dark wizards. So they didn't bother with giving me a fair trial. I could have easily proven my innocence back then if they had questioned me under truth serum," Sirius explained bitterly.
It was a very sore point for him.
"You mean to tell me that we had to endure those happiness sucking demons called dementors all over the country for a year and organised a never seen manhunt, because they didn't follow the law?" Blair asked enraged.
"Yes, sir. Even in the wizarding world everybody has the right to a trial, but the Wizengamot, the body that is tasked with judging cases and approving laws simply ignored that. I wasn't the only one they threw to the dementors without a trial either, I'm just the only one that managed to escape and survive there that long. And the only one that kept his sanity," Sirius added as an afterthought.
"What do you mean, Mr Black? What effect does long-term exposure cause?" Blair asked worriedly.
"Dementors take all the happiness you have and only leave you with your worst memories. The cold they emit is only a side effect. Many lose the will to live and simply stop eating. Others break under the effect of only having their worst memories to think about. It's hell on earth," Sirius said sombrely. "But the worst about them is that if they kiss you, they take your soul. That's what those lifeless people have experienced. They were kissed by a dementor. You could compare it with being brain dead. Only their bodies haven't caught up to the fact that they have died."
"Good god, that's really serious. What can be done to protect people against them?" Blair asked shocked.
"The patronus charm can protect somebody, but it's a very advanced and difficult charm and many adult wizards can't use it properly. It takes a lot of mental strength to call up a really happy memory and concentrate that positive energy into the charm. That produces a corporeal patronus, which takes the form of an animal," Sirius said.
"Could you demonstrate?" Blair asked intrigued.
"Sadly not. I can't use it anymore after all the years with the dementors and Harry still has a few months before he turns seventeen and the trace leaves him. Outside of a warded place the Ministry of Magic could track him down if he used magic. And we want to prevent that they find him. We want nothing to do with them after all we were put through," Sirius answered.
"I see, well, I don't want you exposed to them either. Are there other ways to get rid of dementors? Fire for example, as you said that they emit coldness?" Blair asked.
"I honestly have no idea. Nobody ever tried that as far as I know," Sirius pondered. "I guess it would have to be hotter than normal fire. A normal incendio charm wouldn't work. That's the basic fire charm wizards learn and is often used to light fireplaces," he added at the confused look of the Prime Minister.
"So for now no solution. We can only try to isolate the areas where these monsters have chosen to breed. At least we now know how to detect them a bit. Well, then what can you tell me about the methods of that terrorist, most probable targets and so on? Our military would love to take him down," Blair addressed Sirius, who told him everything he knew over the course of two hours with some snippets of information thrown in from Harry from his first year at Hogwarts, where Voldemort had possessed his DADA teacher.
Blair was busy taking notes. He would put them to good use. After they were done with their conversation, Harry and Sirius were invited to stay for dinner before they left to return home, assured that at least the muggle government would do what it could to end the threat of Voldemort.
Albus Dumbledore couldn't believe it. During the last raid of Voldemort the muggles had reacted with unprecedented violence against the Death Eaters. From the thirty or so Death Eaters, twenty five had died being shot with firearms. At least four more were severely injured and had barely escaped with their life from the place they had attacked. He couldn't understand why they would do so. How would the Death Eaters be reformed if they were killed like that? And among the dead were many prominent purebloods. That wasn't good. Many lines would die out if that continued. But his inquiries at the Ministry didn't give him any useful information. They were as surprised as he was. Nobody had expected that the muggles would react like that.
And they had to have been prepared for a situation like that one. The muggle aurors had shot before even giving a warning. He didn't know that they had weapons that could kill as easily as a killing curse. Perhaps Kingsley Shacklebolt could tell him more about this. The Ministry had placed him as an assistant to the muggle Prime Minister to prevent that Tom and his followers could get him under their control.
Kingsley sat at the meeting of the Order of the Phoenix at the Burrow, which was their current headquarters as they couldn't use the school for fear of being overheard. Secrets simply didn't stay secrets at Hogwarts, no matter what. He had known that this discussion would be coming up. He was after all the only one that had any kind of insider information on the politics of the muggle government.
"So, Kingsley, what do you think is going on with the muggles? They never before reacted like that against Death Eater raids," Dumbledore wanted to know.
"There is a campaign to warn all muggles against a terrorist group that has been detected in Great Britain," Kingsley said. "All muggles were warned through the radio and the telly how the terrorists look like, how they act and what to do if somebody spots them. All over the country there are strategic bases of the army with soldiers trained to deal with them. They can be at any point of attack within ten minutes normally. The muggle police is also briefed on the situation and informed that in doubt they are to shoot first and ask questions later thanks to the danger each member of the terrorist group poses. I would guess that they got insider information, perhaps from a muggleborn that returned to the muggle world. After all, it is a known fact that the Prime Minister is informed about magic. By giving him the information about the way the Death Eaters worked in the last war, they wouldn't even need to break the Stature of Secrecy."
"That definitely is a problem. Especially as the immediate killing of the Death Eaters could lead to more trouble and desperate actions from Voldemort. Any signs of Mr Potter?" Dumbledore asked.
"Nothing at all, like usual. I'm not even sure if the boy is still in England," Moody commented. "In his place I would have gone to the States, Australia or another English-speaking country. There are more than enough of them after all. I would think that after four years we would have found him if he was still in England."
"True, Alastor, I don't think he would be here anymore either," Remus Lupin said sadly.
He had hoped to find Harry before Sirius could get to him, but at least the life monitor spell that the headmaster had on Harry was assuring them that he was still alive. None of the other things they had tried, like scrying for him had worked. He regretted to never have met the kind of person that had grown from the baby he had known.
"And any kind of monitor will stop working on the thirty first July," Molly Weasley added resigned.
None of the adults had liked to hear the reason for Harry's flight from Hogwarts. She had sent her children violent howlers, but what was done was done. She still grieved for the loss of her little girl. Sometimes she wondered that if Harry hadn't been driven away from the school, she would still be alive. But it wasn't really the fault of her other children that Ginny had died and they had blamed themselves massively for not having been there to help her when the heir and his monster had taken her down there. Now she only wanted to see that her other children survived the war and that they could finally have real peace.
"Yes, that's truly unfortunate. Well, Kingsley, do you think that there is any way to influence the muggle minister to stop the killing of all the Death Eaters?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, not if I didn't use the imperius curse, which means that way is out of the question," Kingsley replied. "The muggle government has a strict no-tolerance and no-mercy policy with terrorists. Any other employee at the office that I asked only told me that it was the only thing that worked in cases like those. They were more concerned about finding a way to help people with the spreading depression bouts in certain regions. Those are the ones where the dementors have taken up residence."
"Can't the Ministry do anything against them?" Bill Weasley asked. "After all, the muggles can't even see them."
"They are too thin spread as it is already," Dumbledore sighed. "Thanks to Cornelius not listening to my warnings until Voldemort was seen in person at the Ministry, the aurors are undertrained and there aren't enough of them. Not to mention that many of Voldemort's followers have managed to get into important positions inside the Ministry."
The others didn't like this anymore than him. They knew that their fight was really difficult, especially as they didn't only have Voldemort and his followers to deal with, but also incompetence and corruption at the core of the Ministry.
Over the next year Voldemort and his followers learned the hard way that attacking muggle targets only led to dead Death Eaters and others crippled for life, as no healer really knew how to tend to injuries from their weapons. And the response to their attacks on any target that was halfway interesting in regard of numbers of victims was too fast for their liking. It was as if the muggles had ways to spot them within seconds of them appearing somewhere. Their fighters were at the scene within at most ten minutes. Not really enough to truly spread fear. People knew to get away whenever they appeared, which decreased the number of victims too much for their liking.
And the more time passed, the more inventive the muggles became. Civilian muggles seemed to have got their hands on some kind of potion that caused their eyes to burn and force them to cry uncontrollably. It made it impossible to perform a proper raid. Others that tried to attack muggle women in close quarters to take them for some fun later on, got hit with something that knocked them out like a stunning spell. But muggles didn't have access to magic. It wasn't something they understood, but it was annoying.
And somehow the muggles had found about three of their bases and had blown them up while a high number of the Death Eaters had still been in there. And they still didn't know how that was possible. They couldn't be seen in the warded houses, so how did the muggles find them? And repeatedly at that. Voldemort was really angry, especially as it was counterproductive to kill his incompetent followers or torture them too much. Some potential Death Eater recruits had also refused to join, stating that while they fully supported the agenda, the chance to die before they could continue their lines was way too high to risk involvement with the Death Eaters.
Right now Voldemort had about ten inner circle members left and about twenty grunts. That was ridiculous. His spies at the Ministry, thanks to a lack of other things the Ministry was occupied with, had also had to tread very carefully, as they had lost a good number of their comrades in the cleaning that the stupid bitch Bones, whom had managed to escape injured from the attempt to kill her, had started with the backing of Scrimgeour. On its own the Ministry of Magic wouldn't have any chance. They were too incompetent and there had been too many of the true cause working there. But with the muggles taking out his fighting force all the time and undermining his recruiting, they got the time they had wasted under Fudge somewhat back.
And the worst part was that they managed all that without Harry Potter or Albus Dumbledore leading them.
Prime Minister Blair was content with the success that the British Army had against the magical terrorists. What Black had told them about the patterns of their attacks and their lack of understanding in technology of any kind had been spot on. And it hadn't been too difficult to find some witches and wizards born to non-magical parents, what the wizards called muggleborns, in the military to assist the government in tagging the Death Eaters. They were eager to get back at the type of people that had basically ruined their lives. Investigations had shown that the wizarding world had a bad habit of promising those eleven year old children the world when they offered them places at their magical school Hogwarts and then, after seven years of schooling, they didn't suffice for the jobs in their stupid world. But thanks to being out of contact with the normal world, they also didn't have the needed education to get other jobs that they would have got if they hadn't chosen to attend Hogwarts.
It was galling how these people decided that they had a right to destroy the futures of countless children, just because a small part of their population, those that had managed to somehow keep control over that world in 'pureblood' hands, didn't see the children as pure enough for them. Some even only saw those as a means to strengthen the old bloodlines. It was horrible. He had already ordered an investigation into the numbers and identities of those muggleborns that had trouble in the normal world. He would make sure that they got help. They were British Citizens after all and their government would look out for them. There were plans in work, but first they had to get rid of the terrorists.
There weren't many of the group left, but they still couldn't relax. As long as they didn't manage to get the leader, this Voldemort, they wouldn't be safe.
Harry proudly showed Sirius his report card for his passed A-levels. He had graduated among the top ten of his year with especially good grades in physics, chemistry and maths. Not that his other grades were anything to scoff at. Harry planned to go to university to study maths and physics to become an engineer or teacher. He hadn't completely decided which part yet. And taking a few classes in education science wouldn't be too much for his schedule. He hadn't heard anything about the problems of the magical world, except for the occasional report about a successful counter attack of the British Army against them. The Prime Minister was taking the threat very serious. And as far as they could tell, the British government was very good at taking the threat out.
Overall Harry didn't really care how they did it, he was just glad that he didn't have to deal with it at all. He was free to live his life like he wanted to.
Once the graduation ceremony was done, Harry and Sirius went home to celebrate Harry's results with a great lunch and Sirius had organised tickets for a popular musical that evening. Harry's girlfriend Gillian would accompany them as well as Sirius' girlfriend May. Both girls had no idea about the magical world and so far the two males didn't plan to change that fact. Only if things became really serious, they would reveal their true nature to them. In that part the Statute of Secrecy had it right. You had to be careful whom you told about the fact that magic was real. There were too many people that would either abuse it or persecute those that could use it.
Prime Minister Blair was very satisfied when he heard that finally the last cell of the terrorists that had come from the wizarding world was taken out. Their leader was confirmed to be among the dead, meaning he could report to her Majesty that the threat was dealt with. Now they only needed to make sure that the stupid wizarding ministry finally did its job and prevented something like this from happening again. Really, putting all this responsibility on the shoulders of a teenager. One, which he knew, thanks to getting regular reports about the behaviour of Sirius Black, whom the British courts had cleared of all charges back two years ago, was truly happy to be a normal young man. He was enrolled at the Imperial College London for Physics, Mathematics and Education Science. According to his A-level results, he would have a bright future.
He was glad to see that this young wizard hadn't been trapped in the magical world. Perhaps once he was done with his studies, he would be open to assist in their project. But right now, the most important thing to do was cleaning up the mess that the magicals had caused. It was time that he had a very pointed discussion with the other minister.
Albus Dumbledore wasn't a happy wizard. The muggles had ruined everything. Old magical families were completely gone now. Following Voldemort had been their death sentence. The muggles had caught each and every Death Eater that had survived their attacks on them. Now there weren't enough witches and wizards of the old lines to keep the status quo. While he had always championed the muggleborn rights to get a magical education, he was aware that their ideas were too radical for their world. It wasn't right to change things that had worked for centuries in his opinion. But now they didn't have much of a choice. His attempts to find Harry Potter had completely failed. The boy had vanished to never be seen again.
And nobody would ever think that Neville Longbottom, the other possible candidate for the position of being the Chosen One, could save them from Voldemort. In the end it hadn't mattered. The muggles had had enough of the incompetence of the Ministry of Magic and acted on their own. It was something he had always feared, but never truly thought would happen. But now it had and he had to pick up the pieces and try to repair whatever damage he could.
It was the first September 2004 and it signalled the start of a new school year at Hogwarts. Just one thing was concerning for the teachers sitting at the head table. There were shockingly few new first-years starting this year. True, there had only been major increases in births in the remaining magical families after the death of Voldemort had been confirmed, but nonetheless, this year had been born in 1992 and 1993 mostly. A peaceful year. But here there were only about thirty new students. About the same number as in the war years. When Professor McGonagall read out the list, they heard many names they recognised. What none of them realised was that another school was taking away a majority of the students that normally would have come to Hogwarts.
The Queen Elisabeth Academy in Cornwall was a new private school, therefore the student numbers were still fairly low. According to the information in the official archives, the school was founded on initiative of Prime Minister Blair with the full backing of the Queen herself for especially talented children. Teachers at all primary schools had got a pamphlet what to look out for and in case certain incidents took place, they were to inform a special office in the ministry of education. The ones working there would then send out a team to see if the child that was suspected to be suited for the school really had the abilities that they were looking for.
Nobody needed to know that the office was made up of muggleborns and halfbloods that had gone to the muggle world because they didn't manage to make a living in the wizarding world. They were looking for magical children to inform their parents about their special abilities and explain certain incidents as soon as they happened, contrary to the Ministry of Magic that still thought that obliviation was the solution to all secrecy problems. The school had been founded because the Prime Minister was angry how the wizarding world treated children from non-magical background. And as Hogwarts didn't do anything against the prejudices and horrible behaviour patterns, the Queen decided to sponsor a new magical school that was run by her proper government.
The teachers were either witches or wizards that had gone to the non-magical world, squibs or family members of magicals. The school also didn't restrict the children to either the magical subjects or the non-magical ones. No, this school's job was to teach both. It would let the children have the chance to learn control over their magic, which was necessary to ensure the safety of all people, but also to have them ready to learn jobs in the normal world. They would learn to blend in with normal society and lead productive lives.
Some of the teachers were muggleborns that had been cast out of the wizarding world or had just left early on because they didn't want to take the bigotry anymore. Others had degrees in teaching as well as their subjects. Those that didn't have full teaching degrees were given a one-year long course in how to teach classes of certain ages. As transporting the children to school each day from all over the country wasn't possible, the school was a boarding school like its competitor Hogwarts. Still, the fees were much more reasonable and the education a lot better.
Harry Potter thought it was ironic how he had been invited to teach at this school, when he had thought he would leave the wizarding world behind completely. But the idea was simply too good and too important to not support it. He had got his degrees in teaching, physics and mathematics a year ago and had helped set up the concept of Queen Elisabeth Academy from the beginning. His wife Angela was the sister of a muggleborn witch and was also part of the staff here. They had met at university as they both were studying to become teachers. Harry had decided two years into his studies that teaching was the way for him instead of being an engineer.
Angela's subjects were mathematics and biology. Which was how they had met. They had shared lectures in mathematics and had worked on projects together. As the school was still very new, the teachers wouldn't concentrate on one subject each. Which was stupid anyway. In all non-magical schools you had to at least cover two subjects to have a chance at getting a job as a teacher. Thanks to having kept up with his magical studies, Harry could have easily passed his NEWTs in Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, Runes, Arithmancy and Defence Against the Dark Arts. He just didn't want to inform the Ministry of Magic where he was. He was better off without them.
Instead, when the school had become reality, he had done some competency tests at the ministry of education. The great part of the school was that they didn't discriminate against those of mixed heritage or those unlucky children that were bit by werewolves. Sirius, who was going to teach Transfiguration and Runes, had argued with the ones leading the project that they could increase their student numbers easily if they offered to take these children next to the normal young witches and wizards. And with certain security precautions taken, nobody had anything against allowing all children into the school. There were laws against discrimination after all.
Right now Harry would be teaching physics, Arithmancy and Defensive Magic. The number of students for this year was about one hundred and thirty. They had students up to fourteen years of age, as some older siblings of new first-years had decided that they didn't like it at Hogwarts that much and that changing to QEA was a smarter decision. The school would grow over the years once their reputation spread more. The muggleborns that had been thrown away by the wizarding world had their own networks and they would make sure that their children and the children of their friends would attend QEA instead of Hogwarts. This way they had a good future to look forward to.
Minerva McGonagall looked over the list of students enrolled at Hogwarts. For the last ten years they had massively falling student numbers and she really couldn't explain it. Hogwarts was the best school for magic in England. Everybody knew that. And still, there were at most forty children in each year. Overall there were only two hundred and fifty students studying magic at Hogwarts. And now she finally had at least a clue that they had got a competitor in the field of education. One of the muggleborn first year candidates had said that she was already enrolled at Queen Elisabeth Academy and couldn't wait to go there and learn like her older cousin.
Ever since Dumbledore's death three years ago, she had led the school she held so dear. But things weren't going well for them. She had checked the list of potential students against the enrolment list and they were losing about two thirds of the potential students now. She needed to find out what this Queen Elisabeth Academy was and if there was a chance to get students back from there to return Hogwarts to old glory. Otherwise she really feared for the wizarding world's future.
So she had called one of her brightest students, Hermione Weasley nee Granger, into her office. She had taken over the Transfiguration position from her when she became headmistress of Hogwarts. Hermione was muggleborn after all and could know what was going on.
"Thank you for coming, Hermione. As you know, we are stumped as to why two thirds of all potential students for us decided against accepting their place here. And more often than not, the parents inform us that their children were already enrolled at other schools and they didn't want them to come to Hogwarts. I first thought that thanks to the return of You-Know-Who they were going to schools like Beauxbatons, but recently I have heard rumours about a Queen Elisabeth Academy. Do you know anything about that?" McGonagall asked.
"No, headmistress, I haven't heard about it, but I can see if I can find anything out. From the name it sounds like a muggle school though," Hermione frowned.
"I thought similarly and therefore, as you're muggleborn, I thought you would have the greatest chance to find out where our students go. From the register, we mostly have purebloods or halfbloods from old wizarding families attending, but no muggleborns have come since 2006. And many of the older ones have also transferred to other schools, but we don't have documentation to which schools they transferred. It's an enigma for me," McGonagall admitted.
"I'll look into it and then inform you, headmistress," Hermione promised.
It had taken Hermione a month between teaching her classes to find out anything substantial about Queen Elisabeth Academy. The school wasn't widely known it seemed, but once she managed to get in contact with an old teacher at primary school, she got more information, even if it wasn't a lot. Seemingly the government, and that meant the muggles, had given out pamphlets to the primary schools when to call a special office of the Ministry of education. Interesting about the pamphlet was that it was charmed to make the teachers that called the line that was in the pamphlet believe that the children simply had shown exceptional abilities in their normal subjects or at athletics.
She determined the charm as a weak compulsion charm. The school, according to the information, was somewhere in Cornwall and would educate the children up to their A-levels. She just didn't understand. Why would the muggle government get involved with the education of witches and wizards? That was the job of Hogwarts and the ministry of magic. Well, at least she had managed to confirm that Queen Elisabeth Academy was a magical school.
It took another two months for her to find the school. It was really well-hidden and no school's teacher could tell her more than that it was located in Cornwall. So the only thing she could do was apparating over the country, looking for a place that was protected against muggles finding it. And when she did, she was surprised how weak the repelling charms were. The only persons they targeted were those that didn't know about magic. All others could easily enter the school grounds. It was as if the Statute of Secrecy didn't bother the people here. She decided to investigate things closer.
It was a Friday afternoon and she could see that there were still classes in session. The school building didn't appear to be magical at all. It looked like a normal muggle school building. There also were three large houses, seemingly built about a hundred years ago, that were surrounded by beautiful gardens. Overall this school looked like what she had seen in pamphlets of universities. A building for studies and some houses where boarding students could live. She entered the building and was soon met by a blonde woman.
"Good afternoon, how may I be of assistance?" The woman asked kindly.
"I was curious about this school. I had heard about it from friends and wanted to find out more about it. I wasn't really aware that there were other schools that taught magic in Britain next to Hogwarts," Hermione said, keeping to the truth mostly to not cause suspicion.
"Ah, yes, we get that a lot of times. I guess you're a first generation witch?" The woman asked.
"First generation?" Hermione asked confused.
"What they call muggleborn at Hogwarts," the woman explained.
"Yes, I am. Though I have never heard the other term," Hermione admitted.
"I guess you wouldn't if you stayed in the wizarding world. Headmaster Black decided that we needed to take measures to keep discrimination as low as possible. Therefore we don't distinguish between blood-status and such nonsense. We simply see any child that attends here as just a witch or wizard. And the only thing that distinguishes a first generation witch or wizard from those that had one or more magical parents is the lack of information before the ministry of education was made aware of the child's ability to use magic," the woman explained.
"How are you getting around the Statute of Secrecy when you're working together with the non-magical government?" Hermione wanted to know.
"That's easy. The office that is responsible for us is made up of first generation magicals or people that have magical family members and are aware of magic existing. Prime Minister Blair arranged this when he came up with the idea to create a school where children were taught the normal subjects that all non-magical children learn next to subjects that allow them to control their magic. It works splendidly I have to say. When we started ten years ago, nobody could have foreseen the immense success that our model would have. By now we get practically all the first generation witches and wizards here, as their parents are really relieved to know that while their children learn how to use their special abilities, they will still be able to get good jobs after graduation.
"It was actually the disregard of the Ministry of Magic for first generations that created this idea. Prime Minister Blair didn't like the fact that thanks to prejudice and bigotry bright young people didn't have any chance to live the lives they deserved, because after finishing at Hogwarts they couldn't find proper jobs in the magical world. Disillusioned many returned into the non-magical world and had to take low-paying jobs and attempt to get some education at the same time to get a qualification for better paying jobs. Many didn't manage that and out of a lack of options many ended in the military. Our goal is to prevent that from happening and we're really successful so far. The first graduation years have given us very promising feedback.
"All universities fully accept the A-levels that our students sit at the end of seven years of studying here and businesses also take our students for traineeships. Of course it still depends on the grades that our students achieve, but with being a fairly small school compared to other British schools, after all, there are less magical children than non-magical ones, we managed a very good support of our students," The woman pointed out.
"I see," Hermione said, her head spinning. "How many teachers do you have? I know that Hogwarts has one per subject and they don't manage the kind of support you indicated."
"Ah yes, the old model of having one teacher per subject. We have at least three teachers per subject. We need that as we, since five years ago, have also taken to accept squib children into our school. They don't have all the magical classes of course, only those that don't require active magic, like magical creatures, which is one of the most popular subjects by the way, or herbology, which is part of the biology course. It's fairly easy to find those children as well. Just look out for children whose background is spotty and who simply appear from nowhere. All orphanages have standing orders from the government to inform the office if a child like that appears.
"They then send out a team to find out if it is a squib child that was cast out of its family or not. Here at our school those children get a way better chance to find into the normal world than being left to their own devices. After all, most wizarding families don't take care of them after they fail to show magic. We simply took the initiative to help them. They can easily make their way in normal society after graduating from Queen Elisabeth Academy," she informed Hermione.
"Wow, I have never heard of anything like that. But it sounds like a good idea. I saw the buildings a way back. Does this mean you're a boarding school?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, it's simply not possible without relying on the idiots at the Ministry of Magic to set up transportation options that would allow us to operate as a day school. And we don't want those bigots meddling in our affairs. Screw them," the woman declared.
"Can any magical child attend here?" Hermione wanted to know.
"Of course. Though we normally only have children from families that live in the non-magical world and those with mixed heritage. We don't advertise that we exist that much. As I said, we want nothing to do with the Ministry of Magic. The children with magical parents normally attended non-magical primary schools or have relatives that told their parents about us being better in educating the children. Though we have gained a good support among the non-violent werewolf community and the families with children of mixed heritage. I think right now we have two children that are part siren and three part Fae. The werewolf children are about ten I think. We have a strict non-discrimination rule here and especially my husband does enforce it. Not that it's needed that often," she informed Hermione.
"This sounds really interesting. Do you by any chance have some kind of pamphlet that I could take with me? I would like to find out more about your concept, as it seems to be very progressive. While my children are still too young to go to any school, I would like to have proper information before I sent them to any school to learn control over their magic," Hermione asked politely.
"Of course. We have them over there," the woman said and led Hermione to a board with a box full of pamphlets next to it.
"Thank you very much for your help, Mrs…" Hermione said.
"Ah, sorry I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Angela Potter. I teach biology and mathematics," she introduced herself.
"I'm Hermione Weasley, nice to meet you, Mrs Potter. If you don't mind the question, why don't you teach any magical subjects?" Hermione asked.
"Well, Mrs Weasley, I'm non-magical. I got invited to teach here, I'm actually one of the teachers that have been here since the founding of the school, because my sister like you is a first generation witch, not to mention that my husband is a wizard. The only thing that teachers here have to add to the normal qualifications of teachers at non-magical schools is that they have to already know about magic in one way or another," Mrs Potter explained.
Hermione was shocked to find that part out, but she then took her leave, not noticing that a man with black hair had stepped next to the woman she had talked to.
"What do you think the wizarding world will think when she tells Professor McGonagall why they're losing more and more students, dear?" Harry asked his wife.
"I have no idea, but I think I made it clear that we won't take any meddling from the Ministry of Magic and that we're sponsored by the British government. Perhaps this will work as a wake-up call. I'm just glad that our boys won't have to go to that horrid castle like you did for one and a half years," Angela declared.
"True. If Prime Minister Blair hadn't come up with the idea for this school, I would have rather taught them control over their magic myself at home and sent them to a non-magical school. I liked my school and Sirius made sure that he didn't overload me with magical subjects," Harry stated.
"Yes, but this is so much better. And I had to keep my laugh in when I saw her. As if we didn't know how the teachers at Hogwarts look like. It was so much fun rubbing into her face that we were better than her precious Hogwarts," Angela laughed a little.
Harry joined her. It had been his best idea to leave the wizarding world behind. He loved being a teacher, he loved having a family of his own and he couldn't care less about how things were going in the wizarding world. Like his wife had said: Screw them!
And done. Please tell me what you think of the idea.