Disclaimer: JKR gets credit. HP/SS slash sort of. English is not my native language please excuse errors.
Summary: HP/SS No career the boy who lives chooses seems good enough for the wizard community. They see him as their hero yet they don't see him but Severus Snape does.
Today was a bad day… one of the worse in his school career and now all he could do was wait. Wait for the Headmasters arrival and that of the other professors. Wait for their decision to pass or hold him back from graduating and completing the remaining few days before his final year at Hogwarts was officially over.
Harry slumped down in his seat. His hands twisting nervously in his lap, his eyes downcast focused on the wooden leg of Dumbledore's desk.
To say the day had not gone as anticipated would be an understatement…
The sad thing was he had woken in such a good mood. Of course he had been nervous it was after all the day the seventh years would present their senior projects, projects they had been working independently on all school year.
Each project was suppose to be an improvement upon an existing spell, charm or potion of your choice or you could choose an original idea.
He had taken the improve upon route… his idea was something the wizard community desperately needed or so he thought. It seemed only practical, really he was surprised someone hadn't improved up the idea before now. Though his research did indicate it had been tested several times without much success over the years.
He should have known it was going to go bad when he stepped upon the platform in the great hall. Everyone had scooted to the edge of their seats in high anticipation of what he was about to unveil. Photographers from several wizarding newspapers sat with their cameras poised. Fingers twitching on the clicker.
When he pulled the cloth off of his project people gasped and looked so disappointed, sitting back in their seats. It was then he had become hesitant and had the first inkling that perhaps this wasn't a good idea. He should have known but of course it was to late. The hall had broken out in whispers and several wizards began mocking and pointing, several witches in the back row that had smiled at him pleasantly earlier but had craned their necks to get a look at him when he stepped on the stage, but resumed their conversation at his mundane presentation.
Of course he had gone on anyways. Had to or fail instantly, he even demonstrated the item, which had woken the crowd up some what. But in the end his project had fail to hold the attention of most.
As soon as he had stepped off the stage professor McGonagall had cornered him, telling him to meet in the headmasters office after the final project.
And so he had… nervously, hesitantly…
His friends hadn't been overly impressed either. They had been supportive, friendly, but he could tell Hermione was itching to lecture him on his poor choice.
Of course Draco Malfoy had self assuredly walked up to him snickering that the boy who lived was going to fail for sure. The remaining goon behind him had laughed as well… whether it was Crabbe or Goyle he did not know, one was dead he knew that. Both of their projects had been impressive, though he thought that was more to do with professor Snape's assistance.
What he did know was that he was a little scared. The way the others looked at him, the way McGonagall had looked at him…. Could they really fail him? He was a good student otherwise. Nearly top in his year, behind a handful of Ravenclaws, Hermione and Malfoy.
He just didn't know.
The door to the headmasters office opened suddenly and in filed the heads of house.
Harry sat up instantly as McGonagall took the seat to the right of him.
Flitwick and Sprout to his left, the head of Slytherin stood with his arms crossed against his chest near the fireplace, out of the way, out of the setting sunlight that encased the room.
Dumbledore took his seat with little flair, crossing his hands on is desk. Harry leaned forward waiting for him to offer the customary lemon sherbet or tea, waited for him to offer a warm smile.
But he didn't.
Harry leaned back in his seat, the toe of his boot edging at the fading rug. He felt like a child sent to the headmasters office for the first time, deeply in trouble and awaiting punishment. He certainly didn't feel like a seventeen year old, soon to be eighteen year old man he was suppose to be.
It couldn't have been that bad. Several people had seemed interested in what he had to say… in his presentation at least. Harry sighed. Who was he kidding it had been a dismal response. Perhaps he should have listened to Hermione and done something more meaningful. Something that everyone would be talking about…. Or at least talking about in a good fashion.
But that wasn't what they were suppose to do. They were suppose to present something based upon the career path they were choosing… and he had.
He had improved upon and invented the first family riding broom. Not only was it geared toward family but toward the safety of the children. It had a cushioning charm. Magic binding seatbelts to hold the little ones in… not only that it had a permanent cloaking charm upon it. It was strong enough that a wizard could be riding along muggles on the freeway and no one would see them as long as they stayed on the broom.
He had gotten the idea after hearing several witches in Diagon Alley talking about how another child had gotten lost in the floo system and how the ministry had quite a time getting the young one out. And how she missed flying carpets cause they were so family friendly.
It had seemed just the thing the wizard community really needed.
And then Arthur Weasley had even mentioned something similar at one of the holiday gatherings.
It seemed like the perfect item to improve upon and it wasn't like he hadn't done his research on the matter.
"Harry," Dumbledore frowned pulling out a piece of parchment, "Harry," he said again and then again as if trying to figure out what he was going to say, "Harry… one of the guidelines of the seventh year projects was that it would relate to your chosen career path. A Quidditch broom does not do that."
Harry sat up, meeting the headmasters frown for the first time. He opened his mouth to argue.
But Dumbledore held up his hand, "It is up to us, The heads of house, as a group to make the decision to pass or fail you."
They looked at him, all of them, though he could not see Snape he could feel those black eyes burning a hole through the back of his head.
They waited for him to say something, anything in his defense but he knew no matter what he said it would seem stupid and childish, "…But its not a Quidditch broom…. Its a family broom… everyone in a household could ride safely on with their children, it has tons of protection charms on it…"
"Harry I thought you wanted to be an Auror… a family broom is not something Aurors would be interested in." Dumbledore looked past him as the door to his office opened allowing Kingsley Shacklebolt to enter.
"I believe you already submitted your application to become an Auror and you've already selected Shacklebolt as your mentor in the process… is that not so?"
Harry sighed heavily, looking over the room, McGonagall sat ramrod straight next to him frowning, Flitwick was digging through his pockets finally pulling a cherry sweet free, picked a piece of lint from it and popped it in his mouth. Sprout on the far side of him was digging under her fingernails trying desperately to dislodge a piece of dirt, unaware that the twigs in her hair were more likely to distract a person than the dirt under her nails. He wanted to turn around and look at Snape, but he didn't he was sure the man was glaring at him for disrupting his time, always his precious time.
He could feel the tension in the room build, he had disappointed them by picking something so simple to improve upon. Something so common as a broom. "Um…. About that…you see… I don't know if I want to be an Auror… Sorry King… ah… Auror Shacklebolt… With Voldemort gone I didn't really see the point." Harry twisted his hands till his knuckles hurt.
There was a slight titter around him, from the mention of Voldemort's name or the fact that he didn't want to be an Auror he wasn't sure.
"Mister Potter," McGonagall chide, "A great number of people are expecting you to enter the Auror training program come October…. There are still those that wish to cause harm in the wizard world. A great many death eaters are still on the run… families of those killed are depending on you to capture these men."
Guiltily Harry cleared his throat, he knew people were depending on him. After all he had said he would join the Aurors, Hell it had been a scrolling marquee on the front page of the Daily Profit the day he had applied. Not to mention he had spoken about it often with friends, families of those that had love ones die during the war.
But the war was over and had been for nearly six months, Voldemort was dead and it was final. Things were almost back to normal. The tired look that creased peoples faces during war was mostly unnoticeable now, houses had been rebuilt, the trials of Death Eaters were long over, "Oh… I…" Harry trained off his voice little more than a whisper.
"Can we get to the point." Snape hissed, "I like to think my time is more valuable than what Mister Potter is going to choose as a career."
"Yes of course Severus," Dumbledore leaned back in his seat. "The problem being Mister Potter has apparently chosen a career we have no knowledge of… And what career choice might that be Mister Potter?"
Harry press his lips together tightly, "I thought… perhaps I'd open my own broom store in Hogsmeade, they don't have one and a lot more people come through there than Diagon Alley," he finished quickly. He left off the underlying fact that half of Diagon Alley was under construction since the finally battle and the few shops that were still there were struggling to stay a float.
"You want to be a shopkeeper?" McGonagall barked, "A shopkeeper." she said it as if it was the most distasteful thing she had ever heard.She stood suddenly and began to pace. Harry turned to watch, her fists clenched at her side, her eyes pressed tightly together.
Snape backed up, now leaning against the fireplace, it was the first look he had gotten of the man since he entered the headmasters office. His face twisted, making a point not to look at Harry but at the ceiling which he seemed very enchanted with. Harry thought he was trying not to laugh.
It just made him feel worse, like he had let them all down in someway, Harry turned back to Dumbledore, "I just wanted to do something… quiet for once. Something that…", what was he going to say, something that wasn't going to have people throwing hexes at him, cursing him, dieing on him, something with out thought… well at least the last part would actually make Snape laugh, that he was sure of.
Harry slumped in his seat. Shutting his eyes. It wasn't going to happen. He could feel it before they said it. Dumbledore would dictate his life in this as well, as he did in everything else he did.
"Mister Potter please wait outside while we make our decision."
Harry rose trying not to look at McGonagall whom out of the corner of his eye he could see was shaking with anger. He looked back to the headmaster quite sure he should say something more in his defense. Perhaps even plead to Shacklebolt whom he had always liked.
But he didn't… if they wanted to fail him, well he would live with it… as he always did.
Harry shut the door behind him, his legs suddenly wobbly beneath him. He was about to toss himself in the only chair in the waiting room when he noticed it was occupied by a short balding wizard wearing a green coat, a proper wizard hat in hand.
"Mister Potter?" he smiled extending his hand, "I'm Mister Quality from Quality Quidditch Supplies."
To be continued…