An alternate history of the Wizarding World
The Hogwarts Board of Governors were meeting to discuss a special case; a frighteningly powerful child of muggle, or perhaps squib, descent. He had been found in a poor muggle orphanage. He was named Tom Morvolo Riddle.
Headmaster Dippet watched the Board with a faintly interested expression that was purely feigned. He'd done his duty by carrying Deputy Headmaster Dumbledore's concerns for the boy to the Board, but he didn't really care what they decided. He only found muggleborns tolerable if they had wealth to bring into the wizarding world. This particular muggleborn was destitute at best.
The Head of the Board, Albert Bones of House Bones, frowned deeply as he considered all that he'd heard. Something needed to be done about the child, that much was clear.
He was powerful. Very powerful. Only eight years old and he was already capable of wandlessly casting low level hexes.
On the other hand, he was an orphan without a single knut to his name. The boy would need magical training and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was very expensive.
Bones looked over to his Second, Caldimus Marshbank, only to have Marshbank slide a bit of parchment along the table to him. Bones glanced down and read through what was written and sighed sadly. He nodded and turned to his other side.
Tiberius Rookwood was the Treasurer of the Hogwarts Budget and thus carried enough power to be considered Third on the Board. He slid the parchment to Rookwood and raised an eyebrow questioningly.
Rookwood glanced down at it, and then paused to read it thoroughly.
"The first option…well, that is to say the budget could conceivably cover the costs, but only if we abandoned plans for building the Quidditch Pitch." He frowned and shrugged lightly, "Unless, of course, we were able to get enough in private donations to replace what was taken."
Bones watched as the four remaining members of the Board; Theodonus Nott, Damarkus Diggle, Clarrissa Umbridge, and Jasper Jugsen, exchanged mildly alarmed and confused expressions.
"Hem, hem." Madam Umbridge broke in. "I don't understand how the disposition of one mud…uh, muggleborn child could possibly effect something as important and worthwhile as our efforts to build a Quidditch Pitch for Hogwarts."
Bones shared a look with both Marshbank and Rookwood. All three of them thought the point was obvious, however…since she asked Bones would have to explain it. Any decision could not be made in ignorance. Slowly, Bones stood up and began to explain that which should not need explanation.
"This child…if the reports are correct, knows absolutely nothing of magic or the wizarding world and yet he's managed to do that which only happens once every two or three generations…and even then, the only recorded instances of it has only ever been in the oldest and most powerful of pureblood families."
At her confused expression, he continued.
"The child has managed, even without understanding the power he has at his fingertips, to tame his accidental magic and forge it into powerful wandless magic."
"But…but…but…" The sputtering came not from Umbridge, but from Jugsen. "How is that possible?"
Headmaster Dippet shrugged and made a vague gesture of uncertainty.
"I've not seen the child myself as the investigation into the matter was handled by my Deputy, however I can tell you that this phenomenon is not unheard of. Usually when it does, the child can reliably do one or two small things such as summon a beloved toy or light a candle in a dark room. It only happens rarely that a child can control their accidental magic to such a degree and is considered an indicator of great power and potential."
Bones nodded in agreement. "Exactly."
"Indeed. That the child has done so without any true knowledge or training is amazing." Marshbank said. Then he frowned thoughtfully. "That he has channeled this ability into hexing his fellow orphans is…disturbing."
"Well," Bones said, "It's been a while since the Hogwarts Board has been faced with such a decision, forty five years ago, in fact. And this time the child's ability makes it even more important."
"Decision?" asked Diggle.
Marshbank picked up the parchment and waved it. "Forty five years ago the Board was approached in regards to a talented muggleborn named Turpin. The Turpin family was impoverished to the point that they could not afford the tuition to Hogwarts for their son. They appealed to the Board for free or discounted fees so that their child could attend."
Umbridge and Nott made faces of faint disgust.
"Well," Marshbank continued, "the Board voted between several options and eventually decided to partially pay for the boy's schooling. After he graduated, Turpin found employment and made payments to the Board until his schooling costs were reimbursed."
"So…" Jugsen asked, "what are the options we have to decide between?"
"There are three options." Bones stated. "The first is what was chosen for Turpin. The Board would pay for the child's schooling. In the Turpin case it was only a partial payment as the family could afford to cover about half of each year's tuition. In the Riddle case, it would be the full payment of tuition as Riddle has no funds to pay for any of it. Then, after his graduation, a payment schedule would be set up to replace the money."
Umbridge nodded, "And that's why it would affect the building of the Quidditch Pitch…because the cost of tuition for the mud…hem, hem, I mean child, would come from that portion of the budget."
Bones nodded. "Yes."
Then he shrugged and continued explaining the options.
"The second option is that we could locate a patron to cover the costs of Riddle's education personally. We, as the Hogwarts Board, would be responsible for writing up the contract of patronage as the sponsor and enforcing it with both parties."
"However," Rookwood cut in, "please note that if we choose this option it is magically binding. As such, if we cannot locate a willing patron for the child, then the Board itself will be bound to fulfilling the decision and we as members will automatically become the child's patron. We will be magically bound to pay for his education from our own private funds and then he would have to split his time as an indentured servant between us."
Bones nodded and clarified the issue. "There are seven of us and seven years of schooling. It would work out that each of us would pay for one year of schooling and then be granted two years of indentured servitude to repay the expense."
Umbridge leaned toward Jugsen and whispered, "I'd rather not have a mudblood in my home…even one that's enslaved to me." She shuddered and Jugsen smirked.
Bones ignored that.
"The third option is the most extreme. The child's magic would be locked with a full Decarte's Prisoner Bind. This will prevent him from accessing any of his magic at all; both accidental magic and the trained ability to cast. Once that is done, the child and anyone close to him would be obliviated of any knowledge of magic."
Several members sucked in a breath of surprise at that. Full prisoner binds were painless physically, but they rendered a person a squib until or unless the bind was removed. It was almost never used, even with the most hardened of criminals because the shock of losing their magic could often kill a person; especially when done to older wizards and witches or to those with fragile health.
"Now, now…" Rookwood held up a hand. "I know it sounds harsh, but keep in mind that when used on children this bind is not dangerous to their health at all. Also, in the case of muggleborns, they are already well versed in living in the muggle world so they don't have to relearn how to do even the most basic of things. In fact, it's considered to be merciful if the child can't be brought into the wizarding world as he is generally safer for muggles to be around without any accidental magic."
Bones waved his wand in a precise pattern and five jars appeared. One was engraved with the Hogwarts Coat of Arms and the other four had one of the Coat of Arms representing the four Houses. He incanted a spell and then tapped the Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor jars. Before each Board Member appeared four glass marbles; each one either green, yellow, blue, or red in color.
"Vote Hufflepuff if you believe that Riddle should be given the same opportunity as Turpin. We will fund his education from the budget and he will have a pre-determined length of time to repay the costs. Vote Gyrffindor if we shall draw up a contract of patronage which he shall repay with a pre-determined length of time in indentured servitude. Vote Slytherin if he should be administered the full Decarte's Prisoner Bind. Vote Ravenclaw if you wish to defer the decision of his permanent disposition for one full year. As the child is only eight years old, we can safely revisit this issue twice."
Each member regarded the colored marbles and then waived their wands over them. Three were banished back to their House jars while the forth was banished to the Hogwarts jar as their vote. Once everyone had voted, Bones tapped the Hogwarts jar with his wand and seven marbles floated out.
Two yellow, one red, and four green marbles rose up into the air.
Bones closed his eyes briefly and silently mourned the loss of potential that the child, Riddle, represented. He wondered what the child might have accomplished in his life if allowed the opportunity to flourish with his magic intact. Then he opened his eyes again and nodded. He had a duty to perform.
"The Hogwarts Board of Governors has spoken. Tom Marvolo Riddle's magic shall be locked in a full Decarte's Prisoner Bind so that he may stay safely in the muggle world. It is our greatest hope that his life be a happy and fulfilling one."
Waving his wand, Bones banished the marbles back to their respective House jars and turned to Marshbank.
"Caldimus, please draw up the document stating our decision. Once it's completed, we can all sign it and I'll affix the Board's seal over it to authenticate it. Then we can send a copy to the Ministry so that a member of the DMLE who is authorized to cast the bind can be taken to young Riddle and the necessary obliviations can be done to the muggles at Riddle's orphanage."
Marshbank nodded. "Of course, Albert."
It didn't take but ten minutes and then Bones was reading over the declaration. He sighed sadly. He hadn't wanted this. He, himself, had been one of the Hufflepuff votes. He believed that every magical child deserved a chance, but this time he'd been overruled. He only hoped it was the right decision.
Sadly, and with great regret, Albert Bones signed the document and then passed it along to his second. Marshbank signed, then Rookwood, Jugsen, Umbridge, Nott, and Diggle. Finally, it made its way back to Bones and he touched the parchment with his wand and incanted. The seal for the Hogwarts Board of Governors shimmered into existence on the document making it official.
It was only a matter of time before Tom Marvolo Riddle was rendered a squib.