The Economic Power He Knows Not: Year Three
This is the beauty of fan fiction. We make it up as we go along!
(AN: Third Year for me has always been the "quiet before the storm" so to speak. Fourth Year is the Tournament and the beginning of the Second Blood War in canon. In this story, Harry continues to build his power base making friends and art. I promise, the fourth and final installment will include more money-making/spending schemes.)
Monday 5 July, 1993 Pottery and Ceramics Exhibit, London Museum of Art
Harry Potter was in paradise! There were so many displays of such beautiful works of art he couldn't turn his head fast enough! He had arrived early in the morning before the museum opened with his lawyer Ted Tonks, his girlfriend Hermione Granger and his best friend Neville Longbottom to speak with the museum's curator. The previous day he had swung by briefly to check out the display and witnessed one of the amphora glow a bright blue. The glow was located on a tiny maker's mark on the base. He had been told last year that if anything that glowed belonged to and was made by a member of his family.
While Neville and Hermione waited in the lobby, Harry and Ted met with the curator to introduce themselves and prove Harry's place in the family. The curator was ecstatic to finally meet someone from such an artistically prolific and legendary family. The curator was told that the National Secrets Act as well as the identifying method to determine which pottery belonged to the family shrouded certain information about the Potter family. The curator was curious but signed all non-disclosure agreements before being told the existence of magic, the general history of the Potter family and Harry's efforts to reintroduce the Magical Crafts and Arts Program to Magical Britain.
The curator was stunned by the revelations presented to him. Harry gave a brief demonstration of magic; he made the curator's teacup dance on the desk before reverting it back to normal. He also pointed to a vase whose maker's mark glowed blue and said that only pottery and other ceramics would do that if a member of his family were within five feet of the object.
Harry and his entourage were led on a private tour of the exhibit and all marveled at the abundance of pieces. Hermione was reading the information tags and taking notes, Neville was deeply impressed and privately wondered about his own family. Was there anything in the world that bore their mark? What was his family's legacy?
Harry was taking pictures at a rapid pace with a small camera he had bought the previous day. He didn't want to miss anything. The curator talked with him asking about his efforts and his own creations. Harry described the Light Reactive Color Changing glaze he had developed with his Potions teacher and the vase he had gifted his aunt. He also described the sculpture he made and donated to the Ministry of Magic's Atrium. He spoke about Potter's Place at Hogwarts and the slightly modernized Rituals, Blessings and Ceremonies that he led. He also spoke about the efforts to influence the Ruling Council and the voting public to fund the program he envisioned. The curator was deeply moved and impressed. He mentioned to Harry that the museum offered classes, seminars and other services for those who were interested in pursuing a career in the Arts. He wished that he could see the sculpture in the Atrium, Harry suggested that he speak to Mr. Tonks about getting permission and a special pass.
The group continued on after the curator excused himself to open the museum to the public. Neville was impressed and in awe by what he saw, felt, heard, tasted… the non-magical world was truly an eye-opening experience! His prior experience with the wider world was limited to the discussions held with the non-magically born and raised. The group stopped by the London Arboretum and Botanical Gardens so he could see the plants in their natural environments. They had a bit of problem getting him to leave at the end, he kept wandering off to examine another plant but it was all in good fun. They ended the day by stopping to eat at McDonald's so Neville got to experience fast food.
Tuesday 6 July, 1993 Dursley Residence
Harry was in his room writing a letter to Headmistress McGonagall. He congratulated her on getting confirmed by the board in her new role. He described his adventure to the museum and an idea that came about while visiting a non-magical restaurant at the end of the day. He wondered if there were any classes to teach the Culinary Arts. He explained that many families couldn't afford to have a house elf to do the work and cooking. He expressed his interest in expanding his dream of an Arts program to include everything that could be classified as an Art. He asked if they could possibly ward a room to be shielded against magic so non-magical artists of all kinds could visit the school and give seminars about their fields of expertise.
He suggested that if the school board wouldn't approve the expense of hiring a Culinary Arts teacher then alternatively, the school could have a house elf teach the class. They were already available, they knew their subjects and there was no need to setup anything special in the castle.
He spoke about his excitement about starting the New Year and learning the subjects of Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. He described the new reality of his home life now that his aunt had access to small amounts of magic. He smiled briefly at the memories of his aunt's attempts, successes and failures with the first and second year potions textbooks. He related that he had never seen his aunt so happy before. Her demeanor and attitude towards him changed. She smiled more and would help out when he had to work on his summer homework. His uncle had improved as well, the potion Harry had given him last year had been used up and his uncle had been asking for more. The two of them began having intelligent discussions on the economic and social issues between the magical and non-magical worlds. Even his cousin had changed, before Harry started at Hogwarts, Dudley had occasionally beat him up or chased him but now, whenever a teacher assigned him homework that had to do with 'mythological' creatures, Dudley would turn to Harry and bombard him with questions. He eventually got Dudley his own copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them to keep. He even got his uncle to sign his permission form to allow Harry to visit Hogsmeade on the weekends.
He signed off his letter wishing her a good summer and his hope that the most exciting part of the coming school year was the expansion of the Arts Program.
Wednesday 18 August, 1993 Argus Boyle's Farming and Sheep Ranch
Sirius Black was cursing his lot in life, his physical condition or the lack of it, and his remaining best friend. Why the idiot had to move out to such a remote location was beyond him at the moment. Then he thought about the job that his friend had managed to secure and laughed at the thought of a werewolf as a sheepherder. Talk about the irony! He could've apparated closer to the last known location but figured that if Remus had been out in the hills long enough, he probably hadn't heard the news about Sirius' release and exoneration. Remus was likely to attack and kill him where he stood unless Sirius could convince him of the truth.
Sirius crested another hill and spotted the herd of sheep grazing in a sheltered valley. He could just barely make out his friend sitting in the shade of a craggy tree located along a small stream. He grunted in exasperation and slowly climbed down the hill. He got within hearing range and called out to the wayward shepherd.
"Talk about the irony. Did your employers know about your furry little problem when they hired you, Moony?" he joked.
Remus' eyes narrowed suspiciously at the approach of the man dressed in clothes totally inappropriate to the environment. Only one person alive knew that nickname and his condition but that person was supposed to be locked away in prison for the betrayal of his friends and the murder of twelve non-magicals. He drew his wand and aimed it at Sirius.
"Hold it right there, Sirius. Give me one good reason I shouldn't capture you and turn you in to the authorities."
Sirius grunted, "I'll give you five. One, it was Harry and his friends who discovered my innocence. Two, I have a Letter of Pardon and Exoneration from the Minister of Magic himself. Three…three…well, that's really all the reasons I have. I also have a letter from Minerva McGonagall. She's been promoted to Headmistress and is in need of a new Transfiguration teacher, I recommended you and so she's offering you the position."
Remus scanned Sirius' face looking for any signs of deceit. He had been hurt too many times to trust another so easily any more. He liked the peace and quiet that came from sheepherding. The human interaction was kept to a minimum, he only saw the rancher briefly when it was time to shear the sheep and to pick up his paycheck. His heart desperately wanted to believe his old friend but he would have to verify.
Sirius handed over the Letter from the Minister and Remus ran his wand over the surface checking for hidden potions or spells. It came back clean so he opened it up and read the contents. Based on the magic within and the Minister's signature, Remus concluded it be genuine. He looked into Sirius's eyes and could see the truth there as well. Finally after a long moment, Remus Lupin broke down and started crying in relief and long held anguish of the loss of his friends and pack.