Chapter 1 - A rebel bothers many people, a school of rebels bother much more.
A/N: Many thanks to mab70 for beta-reading this chapter and helping correcting my many mistakes! We will work together so the next chapters could be a better experience to you, readers.
July 30, 1991 - #4 Privet Drive, soon after midnight
"Mister Hagrid, you didn't need to come here and destroy our door. We received the Hogwarts letter. By the way, we received hundreds of them. I don't know why they insisted on sending so many. Knowing that I live with normal people in a normal neighbourhood, this quantity of owls around our house was very suspicious" explained the boy with a lightning bolt scar. "Thank you for your visit, but I have no intention on studying at Hogwarts. I couldn't answer before because you don't make it easy for non-magical people. No phone number, normal mail address, nor even a mailbox. I don't have an owl and none of those who came with a letter remained enough so that I could send my answer."
Hagrid couldn't believe what he was hearing. Not wanting to go to Hogwarts? Hogwarts was his life, he simply couldn't imagine anybody, and the last of the Potters in particular, would refuse the opportunity, so he tried again.
"But… Harry… you're a wizard! A famous wizard in our world! Surely you must go to Hogwarts. Your parents…"
"My parents died when I was too young to remember. I have no memories of them. All that I know is what my auntie could tell me and what I found in my mother's diaries. Do you know she spent her time at Hogwarts being mistreated just because she had normal parents? Do you know how many times she wished to abandon everything and come back to the normal world? I don't want any contact with such prejudiced and snobby people! I already have my future planned and I can assure you it doesn't involve any contact with this society of yours!" said the boy vehemently.
Harry then took a letter addressed to Minerva McGonagall, deputy headmistress of Hogwarts, which he had tried to send unsuccessfully before, and gave it to the enormous man in front of him.
"Here is my answer, mister Hagrid. I'm sorry you had come from so far unnecessarily. I hope you can find a simpler way for normal people like me to contact you in the future."
July, 30, 1991, Hogwarts' Great Hall, lunch time
"Are you sure you really don't want me to visit young Mr Potter, Albus?" asked Minerva of her employer.
"Don't worry, Minerva. I will personally take care of this matter. Please, register Mr Potter's presence as confirmed for the next year" answered the headmaster.
September 1st, 1991, Hogwarts' Great Hall, evening
Minerva finished her participation in the sorting ceremony for the new students, watching Mr Zabini walking to Slytherin's table. She had omitted one name in her list at Dumbledore's request. She then looked at him, seeking instructions about what to do now, and he simply pointed to her chair at his side, inviting her to sit while he stood up to address the students.
"We have one last student to be sorted today. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you… Harry Potter" he said while waving his wand to open a door beside the staff table, making a young boy with messy black hair to float to the stool where he was seated with the hat over his head.
'Well, where is the mind of this boy?' Harry heard in his head.
Not receiving any answer from the boy, the hat decided to try a little trick to obtain some kind of reaction that could help him sort the boy.
'You know, Albus is not happy with your behaviour, refusing to come to Hogwarts and all that. You must be very courageous to defy him so openly. That kind of courage would be typical of a Gryffindor.'
The hat waited for any reaction from the boy, but found none, so he tried again.
'It is not easy for someone as young as you are to hide his mind from me. And living with muggles, without contact with the magical world? Amazing! You must be a young genius to learn that by yourself. In this case Ravenclaw would be the perfect place to put you, they value knowledge above all else, you know?'
Again the hat waited, and again no response came from the boy.
'Well, you are very cunning, boy. Such determination and will to prove your value would surely grant you a place in Slytherin. It is the ideal house for people who are ambitious and able to persevere to obtain what they want.'
After another unsuccessfully waiting, with students and staff anxiously anticipating the result of the sorting and curious about the delay, the hat decided to do the choice itself.
'Well, I'll have to choose myself between one of these three houses. There is no way to put someone like you in Hufflepuff.'
'Where?' asked the boy, making contact for the first time with the hat.
'Hufflepuff' repeated the hat, happy to finally obtain an answer.
'Where?' asked the boy again. 'Speak out loud, I can't hear you.'
"Hufflepuff!" almost screamed the hat and the boy, before the hat realized what happened, stood up, put the hat on the stool and ran to the designated house table, to the surprise of everybody, while thinking 'Oh, I'll have lot of surprises for them, they'll see. If I can help myself, I will never do what they expected!'
Sitting down, the boy looked to the staff table and was happy to see the stupefied look on their faces and especially the irate expression of the headmaster. 'Good', he thought, 'Let's see how much this old goat can take before expelling me. He will learn one way or another to respect people and never kidnap someone again.'
September, 2nd, 1991, Hogwarts, morning
"Wow, I can't believe it is so long since Hufflepuff won the House Cup!" exclaimed Harry to his new friends.
"Yes" answered the little redhead in front of him. "But maybe with you in the house we can change it this year."
"Oh, don't count on this. I'm here against my will and I'll do whatever was necessary so they send me back home. It is better you don't waste your time trying to win points because I'll probably lose them very fast."
"What do you mean, against your will?" asked an older student down the table.
"It is simple. I had plans to go to another school, so I refused Hogwarts' invitation. Your headmaster, that old goat over there, who smiles like Santa but behaves like a dictator, solved the problem by kidnaping me and bringing me here by force."
That shocked everybody around, but there was no more time for talking. The first class of the year was to start and everybody quickly withdrew. Well, everybody except Harry, who slowly finished his breakfast and then went to the library to see what he could find of interest there.
It was in the library that professor McGonagall found him more than an hour later.
"Mister Potter, you are not in class!"
"Madam McGonagall," answered the boy in the same style, "you are correct!"
"Twenty points from Hufflepuff for missing class, plus another ten for your disrespectful answer, and detention tonight with me. Now, follow me!"
"No" replied calmly the boy, making his teacher even angrier.
"What? What you mean, boy? It is an order!" she responded.
"I like it here, and I'm learning more than in class. Anyway, you already took points for my absence, so there is no motive for me to follow you to class as I have already paid for not being there."
"I have not given you license to treat me informally, and I expect obedience when I give you orders, Mr Potter. Twenty more points from Hufflepuff and another detention!"
"Don't wait me at the detentions, professor, I'll not be there" assured the boy, smiling mischievously.
"Do you know you can be expelled if you miss a detention, Mr Potter?" asked Minerva.
"Oh, please, do it now, professor, please?" begged the boy making his best lost-pup face.
Minerva was gobsmacked. Did the boy really want to be expelled? Strange! And how had Albus convinced him to come to Hogwarts? Something was wrong here and she decided it was time for Dumbledore to offer some answers before she acted too hastily and caused irreparable damage. Angry and confused, she turned and walked fast to the headmaster's office, leaving the boy free to return to his books.
Soon after, headmaster's office
"YOU WHAT?" screamed Minerva after hearing the way Dumbledore had dealt with the boy, bringing him to Hogwarts against his will.
"There was no other option, Minerva. I tried by all means to persuade the boy to come, but he was immovable. Harry Potter is too important in our world; we simply can't allow him to be elsewhere."
"But, Albus, he will try to scape…"
"He tried three times during the night. Don't worry, he is being monitored and will be captured whenever he leaves the castle without permission."
"He will do everything to be expelled! By the way, he has already started."
"And we will not expel him. Don't worry; I have a plan to force him to attend classes that I will implement starting tomorrow morning. Let him have today to explore the castle. This rebellion is temporary, Minerva. Soon he will see his friends doing magic, and he will want to learn too. There is no way a child so young and curious could avoid being interested in magic. And maybe it was for the Greater Good that he was sorted into Hufflepuff. Soon he will have friends who will help us to persuade him to participate in our world."
"I don't know, Albus, I really don't know. I hope you're right, but I think that Mr Potter could well be more stubborn than us. And if this rebellion spreads to others?"
"Harry is just a spoiled child who needs correction. We will educate him. Please, call a staff meeting for after dinner. I need to guide them on how to proceed with the boy."
September 3rd, 1991, Great Hall, morning
"How strange!" exclaimed Susan Bones to Harry after she received a letter. "Auntie Amelia answered my letter from yesterday. She answered everything I asked except about you being here against your will. She is the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; surely she would be interested about your case, Harry."
"Maybe your letter was censored" commented Sally-Anne at her side.
"How can we warn her if they are monitoring our mail?" asked Hannah Abbott.
"It seems I won't have external help" answered Harry. "But don't worry; I'm happy with your support."
"It is the least we can do" said Ernie McMillan. "Kidnap is a crime. You should not be here against your will."
"Will you attend any class today, Harry?" asked Megan Jones.
"Not if I can avoid it. See you at lunch" answered the green-eyed boy seeing his friends leaving.
Harry was happy with his choice for Hogwarts' House and didn't understand why Hufflepuff was bad-mouthed by the others. As soon as he explained his situation the whole house was supporting him. That was a very united and cooperative group of people, with a strong sense of justice and solidarity. All they need to shine is a good leader and, if Harry couldn't go back home soon, he was willing to be that leader.
However his thoughts in that direction were interrupted by the arrival of the headmaster.
"Harry, my boy, please follow me to your classroom."
"No, thank you" answered the boy preparing himself for a long debate.
"Sorry, my boy, but you don't have another option" answered Dumbledore while using his wand to bond and float the boy. "Your rebellious behaviour is no longer acceptable. I know that my actions could be interpreted as a little drastic, but in the future you'll understand and will thank me."
"If you think I'll ever thank someone for the crimes of trespassing, kidnapping and false imprisonment you're more senile than I thought possible" answered Harry sarcastically. "Will you also torture me?"
"No! Not directly for sure, but if you insist with this unacceptable behaviour maybe I would need to take some unpleasant measures" answered the headmaster. "I hope you'll not force me to that point, Harry. Hogwarts is the best school of magic in the world. You can learn a lot here. Ah, here we are!"
And that was the start of an unpleasant routine for Harry, with Dumbledore floating the boy to each classroom, silencing him and jinxing him so that he couldn't leave his seat. In his free periods he was restricted to the library, with a ward inhibiting his departure without Dumbledore's permission. There was no way to force the boy to pay attention to the classes or to do his homework except for a Imperius, but Albus hoped that he eventually would be convinced to cooperate, at least to avoid boredom.
September 5, 1991, Potions lab, morning
A flaw in Albus' plan was to underestimate the hostility of his potions master against the Potters. Severus Snape didn't believe that a first-year would be capable of causing him any problems, and he was eager for an opportunity to chasten the boy if he tried. So, as soon as Albus left the laboratory, Snape cancelled the charms on the boy and started to attack the 'new celebrity'.
By some last minute change, Hufflepuff had the unpleasant company of the Slytherins to share the class. That the Slytherins consider the Puffs to be fools and losers was stated since day one. The worst was the teacher's behaviour. Instead of putting a stop to the mockery, he encouraged and participated in the scorn.
Harry remained silent and calm at all the provocations Snape and the Slytherins did to him; he was silent but not so calm when the provocations targeted his parents; and finally silent but furious when they attacked his new friends in Hufflepuff.
When Snape positioned himself right in front of Harry, looking down on him with a sarcastic smile, Harry started searching for what he could do against that abomination who gave a bad reputation to the title of 'professor'. Unfortunately the malevolent giant bat had his wand in hand, and could react fast if the boy tried anything, unless if…
"Oh, that is a difficult question, Mr Malfoy" said the teacher while turning to face the androgynous snob who seemed to be a favourite of the greasy vampire of the dungeons. "If whether Potter's idiocy results from bad genetics or the influence of the filthy muggles he lives with is a question that…. AHHHHHH!"
The boy had reached his limit, and took his chance when the teacher had his back turned to him, and his wand arm over Harry's table. Taking his knife from his potion kit, the boy put all his strength and weight in a downward blow on the teacher's forearm. The knife passed between the two bones in the forearm of that monstrosity before sinking two inches inside the wood of the table top, fixing the man's forearm there.
Using the screaming and panic to his advantage, the boy broke Snape's wand and quickly ran away from the class. If a direct attack to a teacher wouldn't grant his expulsion, nothing more would. But Harry didn't trust the old goat to do what is right, and his only assurance was that the game would escalate to a new level.
September 5, 1991, headmaster's office, early afternoon
"Ah, my boy, it is a great disappointment to see someone give in to the temptation of violence!" started Dumbledore.
"Indeed, headmaster, it was really sad to see an adult abusing unprotected children" the boy answered simulating the same sad look of the old man.
"Harry, I'm talking about you and not the professor."
"Albus, I'm talking about that aberration you call a teacher and not about me."
"Mister Potter!" intervened an angry McGonagall. "You will treat the headmaster with due respect!"
"Headmaster!" retorted the boy in the same tone. "You will treat Mr Potter with due respect!"
Both adults exchanged a concerned look and sighed discouraged. Some rebellion was expected, as the boy was brought to Hogwarts against his will, but a direct attack against a teacher? It was more than three centuries since that last happened, and the student was immediately expelled. But expulsion was exactly what the boy wanted, and what Albus could never grant.
"Harry, violence is a wicked path that only leads to more violence and the dark side of Magic. We would need to take drastic measures to avoid this path…" tried again the headmaster.
"So we would dismiss the greasy abuser? The kind of provocations he did… tsk, tsk… it is really a shame" said the boy.
"Harry, I talked to several students that were present to the scene and they confirmed that your attack was totally…" started again the old man.
"How many of them were not from Slytherin?" interrupted Harry.
"That is not the point, Harry. What matters is that…" tried the headmaster once more.
"That you're a bigoted old goat who does not want to know the truth because it doesn't serve you!" concluded the boy with vehemence before he closed his eyes, put fingers in his ears and started humming aloud, refusing to cooperate anymore.
September 5, 1991, Great Hall, dinner
If his situation as victim of a kidnap won the sympathy of his peers in Hufflepuff, now his attack on Snape gained him allies in Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, as the exuberant applause he received when entering the Great Hall for dinner proved.
Dumbledore was ready to stand up and reprimand the students for their exulting with a violent action when McGonagall stopped him with a hand on his shoulder and a single comment: "Albus, do you really want to have all the school against you at this moment?"
September 6, 1991, Great Hall, morning
To the great consternation of most of the students, Severus Snape was back for the next breakfast, after regenerating the nerves in his arm. Dumbledore was at the edge of his patience with the angry professor who wanted a chance to severely punish the boy before expelling him from school. For security reasons the boy would not be forced to attend Potions classes and Severus, highly vexed, had agreed to stay away from Harry.
But Dumbledore's problems didn't stop there. His teachers had already left for their morning classes but most of the students, notwithstanding being warned two times, were still seated at their tables in the Great Hall, with no intention of going to classes. What surprised the headmaster the most was that even some Slytherin students were present, but he believed they were there not to help Harry Potter but to see him expelled after the attack no their Head of House. Anyway, that was of no importance. The important point was that, for the first time in the history of the ancient institution, Hogwarts was suffering its first general students' rebellion, and Albus didn't know what to do.
September 6, 1991, Great Hall, lunch
Dumbledore came running to the Great Hall and felt relieved seeing Quirinus calmly starting his lunch. 'Good, it wasn't him' he thought while recovering his breath. 'But then, where is the stone? And who took it?'
The worst was that, except for the door in the third floor, which leads to the first protection, the Cerberus Hagrid christened Fluffy, there was no sign of the presence of anybody in the other parts of the track to the stone. If he hadn't enough on his hands with the rebellion led by young Harry, now the stone was missing! For a moment Dumbledore felt all the weight of his advanced age on his shoulders, and considered if it wasn't time to retire. Pity there wasn't anybody able to assume the responsibility for the future of magical society.
September 7, 1991, Great Hall, morning
After a whole day with no classes due to the students' rebellion, Albus was happy for the weekend. That would give him two days to think about how to act.
As a punishment to the rebellious students the headmaster sealed the doors of the Great Hall so that they would pass all the day in that confined space, except for the inevitable visits to the restroom. If Dumbledore had hoped the boredom of nothing to do would weaken the determination of the children, he found himself seriously disappointed.
What was seen during all day was the greatest inter-house party in Hogwarts' history, having the Hufflepuff table as its centre and the boy-who-lived as its leader. Even part of the elitists' students of Slytherin participated in the adventure, although they kept their distance from most of the Gryffindors. Albus saw with concern some of the friendships Harry was making, and even thought to force the students to remain at their own tables as additional punishment, but after Severus was twice ignored while demanding exactly that, even enforcing his commands with the deduction of hundreds of points from the other three houses and threats of detentions, the headmaster thought it was for the best to save his yet denigrated image from more damage instead of fighting a battle he didn't hope to win.
But the renowned headmaster of Hogwarts was worried with the range and calibre of the friendships young Harry was making. To the niece of Amelia Bones, the powerful Head of DMLE, and the son of the wealthy muggle banker Finch-Fletchey, he was now adding the mischievous and resourceful Weasley twins, the too smart for her own good Hermione Granger, the heiresses of the powerful families Greengrass and Moon, the quiet but worrisome Zabini, members of important foreign families like the Chang, Roskhov, Patil, Mounier, Zabaretto, Li and Gutierrez. The boy-who-lived was showing to be too lively and sociable for the headmaster that had been dreaming of a shy and downtrodden Gryffindor boy looking at him as a mentor and protector.
Only the half of Slytherin table closer to the staff table remained apart from the intermixing of students, looking at the others with disdain, if not open rage. They deemed that improper behaviour and would never be caught in the company of what they considered the mob of Hogwarts. But they were few, and their opinion was heard and respected only between themselves.
Dumbledore's thoughts were interrupted by the sudden and unexpected arrival of Madam Amelia Bones with some aurors. As she started walking to the far end of Slytherin's table, where her niece was now sitting beside Harry Potter, Albus stood up immediately and put himself in her path, trying to discover what she was doing here.
"Amelia, what a pleasantly surprise! What can I do for you? Would you like to follow me to my office?" he asked the serious woman.
"No, Albus, I'm here to see my niece…" she started to answer but, seeing her niece pointing frenetically to a boy at her side, she completed "…and a friend of hers."
There was no need to ask who this friend of Susan was. Albus was thinking fast, trying to decide the best course of action. He could use his magical guardianship over the boy to forbid him to follow Amelia but, besides disrespectful, this attitude would be suspicious and could dispose Amelia against him. He didn't know what she would discuss with her niece, and he decided it was best if he could use the boy to participate in the meeting, so he could defuse any dangerous situation before it exploded on him. His decision made, he called the two children and guided them and Amelia to his office. Amelia tried to avoid his presence but he played his card of 'interested guardian' to include himself in the meeting. As soon as they were seated she started the talk.
"Susan, why I didn't received a letter from you these last three days? You promised to write daily for the first couple of weeks."
"I needed to bring you here to talk to you in person, auntie, as the headmaster is censoring our mail" Susan answered with an angry look towards the headmaster.
"Albus?" inquired Amelia, also looking angry.
"We only censored information regarding Harry Potter. As his guardian…"
"You mean kidnapper, don't you?" interfered the boy.
The talk continued tensely for several minutes, while Amelia was slowly discovering that the boy-who-lived didn't want to be at Hogwarts but was forced by Albus to stay. She also discovered the rebellion the boy had started against what he considered as crimes perpetrated by the headmaster. Amelia sympathized with the boy's pledge, and was proud of the way her niece had helped him and found a way to bring her here, but the law was clear.
"Harry," she told the boy, "unfortunately, as your legal guardian, Dumbledore has the right to determine what education you must receive and where you must live, and there is nothing I can do about it if he doesn't break the law."
The boy thought for some time before he asked: "What happens if our esteemed headmaster suffers an accident and dies? Can I go home then?"
His question shocked the three other people in the office. Albus was agape, and started in his best grandfatherly way: "Harry, you can be serious about…"
But was once more interrupted by the boy with a cynical: "Wanna bet?"
September 7, 1991, headmaster's office, afternoon
Amelia really couldn't interfere in the specific situation in which Harry Potter was, but all the students of the school confined in the Great Hall and without classes? She was sure that Fudge would like to know about it so she was fast in warning him.
Dumbledore stood up slowly, with pain in his knees after his forty minutes talking with the Minister of Magic in the floo, even with him conjuring a pillow to attenuate the effects. The content of the talk was as unpleasant as the position it obliged him into. In short, Hogwarts must be functioning normally by Monday or it would have a new headmaster the following day.
Harry Potter was the leader of the riot, and not staying at Hogwarts his main claim. Those were the two points on which base a plan.
September 7, 1991 – Great Hall at night
"Attention! Your attention, please!" exclaimed Dumbledore before the start of dinner.
"Although vexed, I decided to give in to the pressure you students exercised in favour of one of your companions. Even being unpleased with the result, and considering that some excesses were committed by you, I'm proud of seeing you forgetting for a moment your personal and house antagonisms in favour of a common cause."
"Harry Potter is no longer a student at Hogwarts! As you can see, he already is gone from us, and you'll no longer see him floated from class to class. Tomorrow we return to our normal activities but, for now… help yourselves to another wonderful meal!"
The headmaster listened to the students' celebration with a smile on his lips, and contemplated with happiness how the absence of a charismatic leader was helping to return things to their proper place. Slowly the students, mixed between the four house tables, going back to their own tables. Meanwhile, the teachers were congratulating him for solving another crisis, and nobody suspected that Harry Potter was not back home but confined to rooms in an underused wing of the fifth floor.
September 8, 1991 – Headmaster's office, morning
If Albus Dumbledore expected a calm and relaxing Sunday, with his school back to normality, he was serious disappointed.
His ideal world was broken as soon as mail was delivered. The Daily Prophet was publishing, with a headline on the front page, an open letter from Harry Potter telling, in a very unfavourable viewpoint, all of his experiences in the magical world and with the Hogwarts' headmaster in particular.
Furthermore, although the rebel student had refused to participate in classes, he certainly took note of what was happening around him and to the complaining of the other students, and included in his letter very harsh criticisms against the curriculum, disciplines and teachers of Hogwarts.
The petulance of that brat, attacking and condemning centuries-old traditions and pointing to defects and flaws in the school that Albus Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class, Hogwarts' Headmaster, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, had administered for decades! And with rational and well-grounded arguments, no less!
As soon the children started to read the article, they also started mixing in little groups to conspire, ending with the creation of a committee with a prefect from each house plus the head couple demanding a meeting with him. And they wanted to know about a plan to implement the changes the boy-who-lived prescribed, threatening immediate strike until the plan was approved! And Fudge's deadline was still running!
September 08, 1991 – Bones' residence, morning
Amelia finished reading the Daily Prophet with a roguish smile on her lips. The great Albus Dumbledore apparently found a rival to his stature! And in the figure of a child only eleven years old, no less! Fantastic!
The main point was that the boy never got close enough of her to put a letter to be followed to the Daily Prophet in her pocket. Had he convinced Susan to do so? That seems the most probably answer, but that was a bit worrying. The boy was smart, even too smart for his own good, and her niece was a naïve girl with a record as a hard-core fan of the boy-who-lived. Amelia would need to keep a close eye on their relationship to protect her niece from a broken heart due to some future deception. Maybe a new visit to Hogwarts must be done soon. Amelia must give some advice to her niece, perhaps even a special 'Talk'.
September 8, 1991 – Edge of the Forbidden Forest, early afternoon
Rita Skeeter was on cloud nine, so happy she could burst. She had made a risky bet… and won! It had cost her a favour from an Unspeakable, something hard to obtain, but the profits more than compensated for the price. She could contact and make a deal with the boy-who-lived, currently the greatest source of news in the British magical world!
Everything started with a letter from the boy reaching the head-office of the Daily Prophet, with a drop of blood and a hair to establish its authenticity. Rita soon realized the great opportunity that dropped into her lap. Two of the most famous and important personalities of the magical world were measuring forces, and she would like to know, and to publish, every step of that fight.
Nobody saw her taking the boy-who-lived's hair, with which the Unspeakable she knew some secrets about could localize the exactly position of the boy inside the tri-dimensional maze that was Hogwarts.
Dismissing her reluctant sidekick, Rita flew as a beetle up to the window of the room where Harry Potter was, and spoke with him. It was a hard negotiation; she expected to find a scared and naïve boy, thirsty for the chance to tell his side of the story. She found a calm and rational young man, in perfect control of his emotions and the situation.
Nevertheless, the agreement was advantageous. The boy would give her daily reports about the events inside the school, in the form of questions and answers that Rita would published as exclusive interviews. She had to promise to make no additions or modifications to the text, a limitation that she definitely didn't like to do, but the boy was immovable on that point. It was that or nothing. As that was so much better than nothing, she was forced to agree.
September 9, 1991 – Great Hall, morning
Dumbledore couldn't believe what was happening. He always had such strong ability in controlling the sheep with half-truths and vague promises! But the students received his little speech about possible future changes in Hogwarts with an initial disdain that soon turned into boos and protests, finishing with the students deciding for on a general strike.
If the situation was already ugly on his side, Rita Skeeter's interview with Harry Potter in the Daily Prophet revealing that the boy was still confined to Hogwarts was the trigger for the revolt. Some of the students now marched to the fifth floor to free the boy, while another party created interference to detain the teachers in the Great Hall. Were these students unable to understand that they were going against the Greater General Good?
Meanwhile, Harry Potter enjoyed his newly acquired friendship with the Hogwarts elves. He'd only found out about the existence of these interesting little creatures on his first day at Hogwarts, when one of them appeared at Susan's request to change the beds. The boy immediately realized the importance of turning into allies these beings capable of doing magic without wands; to jump from one place to another of the castle without worrying about banalities like walls, closed doors and magical protections; and a myriad of other awesome magic tricks.
The elves were very friendly, and felt sorry for the boy locked up alone; taking turns keeping him company and answering all his questions about the magical world and the elves themselves. It was so unusual for a wizard to give them attention that the elves were very happy to help him in all they could.
However, that morning his lesson on elven magic was interrupted by the sudden appearance of several other elves in great agitation.
"Master Harry Potter, sir, Hogwarts needs a hero and the old headmaster has ordered not to be pestered. Hogwarts needs a hero now!" said one.
"Master Harry Potter, you need a hero's outfit," said another as he snapped his fingers, covering the boy with armour like the ones that adorned the statues in the corridors of the castle.
"Master Harry Potter, sir, you need a shield to protect yourself," said the third, and a shield appeared attached to his left arm.
"Master Harry Potter, sir, you need a weapon to kill a giant beast," said another still, and a richly ornate sword, bearing the name 'Godric Gryffindor' engraved on the blade, appeared in his right hand.
"Master Harry Potter, you must now save damsels in danger," concluded another elf, and the confused boy disappeared from his quarters reappearing at the end of a corridor, ahead of a group of first-year girls who included his friends Susan and Daphne. In front of him, an adult mountain troll, four metres tall with a mighty, stinking mass of muscles, was slowly advancing toward him with a wooden club larger than the boy's leg in his hands.
Taken by surprise, the boy decided to act his part, bellowed, and rushed toward the beast, trying to hit it with a swipe of his sword. It was ugly! The sword was so heavy he let it go before he got close enough, but still the troll did not go unscathed. Though the sword had missed the monster's breast, its tip fell on the beast's toe, severing it. As the troll howled, Harry quickly disengaged himself from the shield and most of the armour, which only hindered him.
Lighter and loose, Harry looked back at the troll and had an idea. He ran to the beast, and taking advantage of the fact that one of the troll's legs was flexed, he jumped onto its thigh and with both hands pushed the sword through the beast's open mouth from below. The sword pierced the roof of the troll's mouth and entered its brain, killing him.
No sooner had the great troll plummeted to the ground, and his elven friends reappeared.
"Master Harry Potter, sir, you have beat the giant troll and saved the maidens!" exclaimed one.
"Master Harry Potter, you must now beat evil wizard too!" shouted another.
"Come on, Master Harry Potter, sir, you're late!" said the third who snapped his fingers, making the boy disappear from the hallway and into a room where three elements stood out: a harp playing alone, a huge three-headed dog, and the stuttering Professor Quirrell.
"Harry Potter! You will not stop me this time! I'll kill you once and for all," snarled the no-longer-stuttering professor before shooting a spell in his direction.
Harry ducked to avoid the spell that ended up destroying the harp. The boy noticed the amazement in the teacher's eyes, which looked startled at the dog, who immediately showed signs of awakening.
The boy noticed his position, behind the huge dog, and the teacher's, directly in front of the beast's central head, and acted on impulse again, delivering a powerful kick to the infernal dog's butt.
The dog awoke suddenly and, seeing the adult directly ahead, attacked him at once. Meanwhile, the boy closed his eyes to not see the carnage, thinking 'I'll be the dessert!'
Fortunately, his elven friends, satisfied with his performance, took him away before the beast could finish the main course.