TITLE: Falling on Deaf Ears
DISCLAMER: I do not own any of the characters or anything else recognisable as that of JK Rowling.
WARNINGS: Contains mentions of abuse and disabilities (Deafness)
PAIRINGS: None planned, Def no slash
SUMMARY: When Harry arrives at platform 9 and 3/4, it is a great surprise to everyone when he is deaf and severely injured. After being healed by Madame Pomfrey, he and Severus work together to reintegrate harry back into society. What will they uncover when they work though the problems of his past.
AUTOR NOTE: Please note that where there are the *, this is someone signing whilst talking. Would anyone like to be my beta reader as I am dyslexic, and many people have been stating their difficulties in reading my work. I do not wish to lose readers due to my grammatical incapability's.
WORD COUNT: 2635
"Harry," Ron shouted at him "Come on, it's the Quidditch trials, you need to come and watch." Bleary eyed and confused by what was being said Harry pulled himself up.
*Was sleeping. * Ron understood the sign for sleep and that resulted in a very grumpy face.
Harry reached over and pulled the curtain back over Ron's face so that he could change in peace.
He could hear Ron pacing outside.
"HArrrryyyyy," Ron whined "Hurry up." Harry had only been inside a matter of moments before he appeared.
Ron grabbed his hand and started running out of the tower, Harry following behind.
It became apparent that the only thing that would slow Ron down, was the mountains of food in the Great hall. Harry managed to spend a full 10 minutes eating his breakfast before Ron's patience ran out and he had to leave.
Severus had been watching the pair from the staff table, a blank expression on his face.
Up in the stands, Ron and Harry were sat watching the Quidditch trials. Harry was pleased the nurse had changed his glasses, he could now see what was happening.
Ron spent the next two hours attempting to teach Harry how Quidditch was played, what each of the balls did, who the players were and who of the students trying out would work for each position.
Harry had not clue what Ron was talking about but that didn't stop him smiling and enjoying the morning.
The Chaser and Keeper trials had been first, Harry watched as they threw a large red football between each other and then aimed at the large hoops at the end. He assumed because Ron kept pointing at the ball and saying Quaffle, it was not a football. He also picked up that the people throwing at the hoops were called chasers and the person defending the hoops was called the keeper.
Ron held up 7 fingers, pointing to the first three he said "Chaser," pointing at the fourth "Keeper," and then the next two "Beaters are up next". He was right, soon the game changed completely. There were several dummies hoovered around the pitch and two black balls who could move on their own were released.
The captain, "Wood," Ron kept saying, sent up pairs with bats. From what Harry could make out, they just needed to use the bat to hit the ball so that the ball hit the dummies. Simple but the "Bludgers" seemed to have a mind of their own. The first pair missed every time, the second pair were reasonable, and the third pair were excellent. Harry could tell from the red hair that they were most likely related to Ron.
Finally, Wood flew up into the air with a bucket of golf balls.
The remaining students mounted their brooms and flew up into the air. Wood threw the golf balls in many different directions. Not a single student managed to catch one. Wood did not appear happy, neither did Ron. "We haven't had a seeker since Charlie left. Hope we find someone else we won't be able to compete."
The team seemed down, the high energy that had been around the pitch for the try-outs had disappeared. "Let's go and get some lunch, they are done now anyway."
Ron stood and walked off, Harry had to jog to keep up with him.
Reaching the Great hall, the pair found Hermione sitting eating lunch. Next to Harry's plate was another piece of parchment. This time, it was a circle split into sections. *The circle represents your plate. Each of the foods on the table has a symbol. You need to match the symbols so that the plate looks like that of the picture. * Harry smiled, Severus was serious about helping him.
Taking a few sandwiches, a banana, an apple and a chocolate bar, he settled to eat the food with his friends.
Ron and Hermione had been talking to each other for about 10 minutes before Hermione tried to bring Harry into the conversation. *How are you Harry? *
Harry smiled again, although she did not know much, he felt special that she had learnt something to make his life easier. *Alright thanks. *
Hermione seemed to have noticed him placing everything very precisely onto his plate. Pointing towards it she smiled and put her thumbs up hoping to reassure him that he had done it right. The blush from Harry showed he had understood her intentions.
The Professors had been watching the interesting interactions. They had seen Harry read an invisible piece of paper with intent, then the trio smiling and attempting to engage in conversation.
Snape was asking Professor Sprout about some potion ingredients he needed still. The apothecaries really did not understand the need for ingredients to arrive on time for lessons. "I do wish I could help the boy," Pomona started, "I don't know how he will manage in my lessons safely."
"It is a difficult one, I am hoping to discuss the matter in the staff meeting tonight. Do you have any suggestions?" Severus replied, "Poppy and I don't have the time to accompany him to every lesson."
Smiling at the trio, Pomona started "I think your answer lies with his friends. Teach them to understand signs and teach Harry to understand the spoken word at the same time." Pausing as though finished but then continuing "You could teach the staff some of the basics too, would help keep him safe around the school."
Severus was not happy. It was one thing working with one student, but teaching a group of children, and Gryffindors to boot, could be the end of him. "Humph".
Professor Sprout laughed to herself.
"Think about it Severus, I remember not too long ago a certain red head showing a better side of you, its your turn to show you care." By this time all the staff had left the table and there were very few students left sitting in the hall.
Catching the Potter boy's eye, he signed *Meet in my office, bring your friends. * He stood and walked off.
Harry was excited, he didn't know why his friends would need to come to his office, but he hoped they would be able to learn some more sign language.
*Come with me. * He desperately hoped that at least Hermione understood what he was saying as he moved out of the hall.
Hermione did understand, Ron just looked at the pair leaving and called "I've not finished."
"Oh Ronald, come on." Hermione called back.
Grabbing as much food as he could, Ron stood to follow.
*Where? * Hermione asked. She had learnt the basic questions in hope of being able to improve conversation skills.
*Snape's office. * That was beyond Hermione's skill level, but she tried not to show it.
Ron had finally caught up with them. "Why we going down to the dungeons? I don't want to spend my afternoon with the bat."
"It is a good job that Harry does not understand what you just said" Severus snarled walking up behind them.
All three jumped.
"Hello Professor, I hope it is okay, Harry seemed to want us to come with him." Hermione said nervously.
Snape inclined his head. "I asked Harry to bring you both here." They had reached the door to his office. "*Please come inside. *"
Harry rushed in and sat behind the desk, the other two were slightly more hesitant but took Harry's lead and sat behind the desk also. "*I have invited you all here because I want to offer my support. *" Everyone looked confused. "*I am willing to help Harry teach you both to sign. I will not teach you myself, Harry is more than capable of that and I feel it would help your friendship to learn how to communicate. *"
Harry signed a simple *Thank you. *
Hermione seemed excited and ready to work. "Oh, I'll learn loads, I think sign order is really difficult, there is so much to learn…" She was talking very fast.
Ron did not look happy. Snape heard him say under his breath "More school with the slime ball."
"You have been given an opportunity to join your friends' world. I will not help anyone who is not grateful." Hermione nudged Ron in the ribs and gave him a dirty look. "*Let us begin. *"
*Sir, I do not know how to teach anyone sign. * Harry said nervously.
Severus translated what he said and then carried on "*No, but by you signing words and hearing the translation, we can help both partied to learn what is needed. *" Realisation dawned on them.
*Thank you sir. *Harry said smiling. *Can we start with basic greetings? *
"*Yes, Harry, I feel that would be appropriate. *" Severus said.
Ron and Hermione were quick learners. The covered the basic greetings and the letters of the alphabet. Harry had also managed to learn these in English. Severus realised how much this would help and arranged to meet the trio twice a week to learn more. "*Make sure you practice between sessions. I will not be helping dunderheads. *"
It was late in the evening. Gryffindor tower was packed with students enjoying the first weekend of the year.
The twins were pulling some practical joke unsuspecting students while Percy was attempting to keep them under control. Hermione was going homework. Ron was playing wizards chess with another first year. From the amount of pieces Ron had in front of him, the other student was regretting agreeing to the game. Harry was sitting alone. He did not know what the time was, but he knew the sun was gone.
Standing and signing a quick *Night. * to his friends, he moved up the staircase.
Standing beside his bed and using the help sheet again, he had a shower and climbed into bed.
Meanwhile, in the staff room, there was a heated discussion.
"Severus, please could you give us an update on the progress of Harry." Dumbledore asked.
"The boy is smart and desperate to learn. His friends have started learning sign language to help his development and he appears to be learning words of English fast." Severus explained, "He has remembered the information from his lessons well, even without any notes. I do not doubt he will have caught up with his peers soon."
Minerva interrupted, "How long will you allow this to continue. It is clear the boy is not suited to this environment. He should be sent elsewhere to catch up."
"Now my dear, surely you cannot truly believe that Harry Potter the boy who lived would do better anywhere but here." The headmaster stated, leaving no room for argument. "We need to protect him and help him develop. Lord Voldemort is not dead and it seems foolish to assume that Harry will not be a target again."
Minerva stayed quiet.
"Please continue Severus." This time it was Professor Flitwick who answered.
"I have developed a plan to cover everything needed for the first-year syllabus by the end of they year. I do not worry about his academic ability."
Everyone was in thought about what the potions master could be referring to.
"I feel I need to have an input here Headmaster if I may?" Poppy started. Receiving a nod, she continued. "From what I have seen of the boy, he has an extensive history of injuries, malnutrition and neglect." The room remained silent. "If this was any other student, I would be contacting the department of Education and Children to report the family for abuse."
Dumbledore was still smiling, "Now Poppy, surely the situation cannot be that bad."
"The boy has extensive injuries of which many have caused lasting damage, he has been abused to the extent of loosing his hearing and is severely underweight. I wish to do a more thorough scan to determine the state of the boy but must wait until he is more stable." Poppy argued.
Severus decided now was the time to join the conversation. "As you know, every year, there are student from my own house who show signs of abuse. I have not only seen traces of the, but it is obvious that this boy has been abused. I do not care about his status or name; his family must be brought to justice."
"I have to agree," Minerva countered, "He shies from touch, is hesitant to reply, does not know the most basic actions which a child should know. You must do what is needed for this child."
"I will not fail him, I will do what is needed." Dumbledore said. Severus noticed that he did not say what he would be doing. "We need to discuss each of his lessons to make arrangements for him. Please could you each tell me how Harry managed in each of your subjects. Minerva, would you go first."
Frowning and the abrupt change in topic, but replying as needed, she said, "The boy has amazing magical ability. He was not only able to transfigure the object in advance of his classmates, he was able to do so without a wand or uttering a single word."
Flitwick decided to comment next, "I have to agree professor. For a boy who did not understand a word of the instructions given, he was able to perform basic magic like his classmates. He did appear shocked and worried by the performance however which is something I feel needs to be addressed."
"Harry was the only student able to complete his star chart during the lesson and complete it correctly at that."
"Harry seems very able in the greenhouse, he recognised weeds amongst the plants with my picture guide and cleared an entire flower bed alone." Pomona frowned, "Clearly result of his traumatic childhood."
"What did you find Professor Quirrel?" Dumbledore prompted.
Frowning, "The boy appeared distracted by a headache during my subject. He worked silently on what appeared to be a colouring sheet which I confiscated."
"Why would you do that? I have instructed him to complete those sheets." Severus growled. "No one is to draw attention to his need to complete Childrens work."
"Now then Severus, I do not think Quirinus aimed to cause problems, he was merely helping his student to focus." Dumbledore countered. "And what say you Professor Binns?"
"Much the same as Quirrel headmaster. The boy did not listen to a word I said and instead used a quick quotes quill, or similar product, to take notes." Again the stare from Severus could have killed, if he were not already dead.
"The first flying lesson is scheduled for this week Headmaster, I can give you more details at the next meeting." Madame Hooch said hoping to prevent an argument.
"Good, good," The headmaster said, "I feel all is correct then. There is much else to discuss, let us move on."