Harry and the Stubborn Old Headmaster by teddylonglong

Information: You can find a story graphic as well as several chapter graphics on my newsgroup page.

Thanks: Thanks to Mushcorn for her absolutely brilliant beta-ing!

Disclaimer: All recognizable characters in this story belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.


It was the first Saturday morning of the summer holidays. Minerva McGonagall had come to visit her friend, Arabella Figg, a Squib, who loved cats as much as Minerva did. They had known each other for a very long time, and they were both members of the Order of the Phoenix.

"Would you like some more tea?" Arabella enquired, and Minerva gratefully accepted another cup, quickly conjuring a plate of her favourite biscuits. She had been so busy recently and was glad to be able to just sit and rest on this quiet morning.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and Arabella left the room to head for the door. "Ah, Mrs. Figg, could we leave the freak with you over the weekend? We'd like to take Dudley to the seaside until tomorrow evening, and you know what a nuisance the boy here is," Minerva could hear a woman's voice and straightened in her seat, curious as to what the woman's remarks meant.

A moment later, Arabella re-entered the living room with a boy of perhaps three years in tow. "Hello," Minerva greeted kindly, giving the small boy a piercing look before she let out a huge gasp. "Arabella!" she exclaimed, "Is that…"

"Yes, Minerva, that's Harry," her friend confirmed. "Harry, that's Minerva McGonagall, a very good friend of mine."

Harry gave the woman a shy smile, before he tried to hide behind Arabella.

"Hello Harry, how are you?" Minerva quietly addressed the small boy, confused because Harry Potter already had to be six years old and the boy here looked as if he was about three.

Unfortunately, Harry didn't show any reaction, and Arabella explained solemnly, "Minerva, Harry doesn't speak."

"He doesn't speak? What do you mean, Bella? I mean, he's not deaf, is he? You know, I knew him very well before his parents died, and he spoke a lot for his age," Minerva said, getting upset. She turned to Harry once more. "Harry, please come here and look at me for a moment. You know, I was very good friends with your parents. Has your aunt told you about your parents?"

Harry shyly threw the unknown woman a glance. 'She knew my parents? And she knew me before? She sounds so nice! Why couldn't I live with someone so kind!' he thought longingly, and a small smile played on his lips.

Minerva reached out instinctively intending to pull Harry over, flabbergasted that he flinched back forcefully. She gave Arabella a horrified glance before she said, "Oh, Harry, I won't hurt you, sweetie. Come, sit on my lap, and we can have a nice talk. Would you like a biscuit?"

Harry gave her a frightened glance. 'Doesn't she know that I'm not 'loud things like biscuits? They are only for proper people, not for freaks like me.' However, he slowly set one step in front of the other until he stood in front of Minerva, ready to run away any second.

Minerva smiled at the small boy, giving him a piercing look at the same time. "How old are you, Harry? Six?" she asked in spite of knowing the answer exactly.

Harry gave her a small nod. 'Yes, I'm six but as a freak I'm not 'loud to go to school like Dudley,' he thought sadly.

"So you're already attending Primary school?" Minerva continued to ask but this time, Harry shook his head.

"Only Dudley attends school, Harry doesn't," Arabella quickly explained.

"Is that true, Harry?" Minerva enquired, frowning when Harry nodded his head again. "Would you like to go to school too?" Minerva went on, and Harry gave her an eager nod.

"Then why does only Dudley attend school?"

"Minerva, the Dursleys obviously think that Harry is stupid, especially as he doesn't talk at all," Arabella replied quietly, and Harry blushed profoundly.

"I'm sure that Harry is not stupid at all," Minerva countered. "His parents were two of my best students, and as I said I knew Harry well when he was a baby. He was very alert. He is definitely not stupid. I think I'm going to have a nice talk with Harry's aunt when they return."

Harry gave her a nervous glance. Never before had anyone stood up for him. But the lady had just done that, hadn't she, telling Mrs. Figg that he wasn't stupid? He smiled gratefully at the kind woman.

Minerva smiled back and noticed for the first time what kind of clothes Harry was wearing. "Your clothes are much too big, aren't they? Shall I transform them into something nicer?" she asked the child.

Harry frowned and gave her a confused look. 'Tansform? What is she going to do?' He carefully threw a searching glance at Arabella, who gave him an encouraging nod before she explained to Minerva, "I don't think he knows about Magic, Minerva."

Minerva gave Harry a thoughtful glance. "Harry, do you know that you are a wizard?" Ignoring the disbelieving look that appeared on the child's face, she continued, "Your father was a wizard too, and your mother was a witch, and I am a witch too."

Harry's expression became terrified, and he seemed as if he was on the verge of running away. Minerva smiled gently and said softly, "Harry, that's a very good thing. Haven't you done any strange things, noticing that you're different from your non-magical relatives?"

'Magic is real? I am magical? That's what is different between me and my relatives?' Harry's facial features slowly changed to a hopeful expression, and he gazed at Minerva with wide eyes.

Minerva laughed. "Do you know that you have exactly the same eyes as your mother? They are beautiful."

Harry felt his face getting red and quickly averted his eyes to the floor, eagerly watching the pattern on the carpet until Minerva's voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

"Now, Harry, let me show you what Magic can do, all right?"

Harry nodded eagerly. Slowly as not to frighten the child, Minerva pulled her wand out of her robe pocket and pointed it at Harry, quickly transforming his too large and holey jeans and sweatshirt into a nice blue summer outfit with green dragons all over the short sleeved shirt. Unsure about Harry's reaction she left the dragons unmoving for the time being. Harry let out a huge gasp and glanced down at himself in awe before he looked at Minerva and carefully mouthed a silent 'Thank you!'

Minerva and Arabella looked at Harry, horrified. His arms and legs that had been hidden under his long sleeved shirt and jeans showed countless bruises and welts, which they hadn't seen before. "Harry, what happened to your arms and legs?" Minerva asked flabbergasted and reached out again for Harry.

The child flinched back once more, feeling very bad about his own reaction. The lady was so nice and had given him such great clothes. He quickly sent an apologizing look to her, trying to hide his arms behind his back at the same time.

"Minerva," Arabella began slowly, "I have often thought that the Dursleys weren't treating Harry very well and I've told Albus about it several times. 

But he always told me that it couldn't be so bad and that Harry had to stay there because of the blood wards." She sighed.

Minerva shook her head, completely annoyed. "No, Arabella. I will not let Harry stay there. He deserves better than staying with a family who abuses him and prevents him from speaking and learning." She remained pensive for a moment before she asked, "Did I hear correctly that he is supposed to stay here until tomorrow evening, Arabella?"

Her friend nodded her head, curiously glancing at the teacher, who turned to Harry at the same time. "Harry, I'd like to suggest something to you. The Dursleys won't return until tomorrow evening. Would you like to come with me for a day? I live in a huge magical school, where I am a teacher. At the moment, we have holidays, so there won't be any students, only a few other teachers. But they are all wizards and witches, and most of them if not all knew your parents.

Harry gave the old lady a hopeful glance and his eyes started to twinkle happily when he eagerly nodded his head. Minerva thought for a moment. How could they travel together? The easiest would be the Floo Network but as Harry probably didn't know how to use it she'd have to travel close together with him. They could also Apparate but in that case she would have to touch the child too. Another possibility was the Knight bus, but was the effort really necessary? Maybe she could try to Apparate first.

Minerva looked at Harry determinedly. "Harry, there are several possibilities of wizarding travelling. However, the most convenient ways would involve that I pull you close to my side before we can travel. Would that be all right with you? You know that I won't hurt you, don't you?"

Harry couldn't explain why but he felt a huge wave of comfort coming from the nice lady. He somehow knew that she wouldn't hurt him and that he would be all right letting himself be touched by her. He hesitantly took one step after the other, slowly walking over until he stood just in front of the nice lady. "Very well, Harry," Minerva commended the child. "Now, we will Apparate, Harry. It won't hurt, but it might make you a bit dizzy until you're used to it. It would be the best if you put both hands firmly on my arms. You may not take your hands away; if you do, you might get lost. So be sure to hold on tightly."

Harry gave Minerva a tentative smile and hesitantly touched her arms, slightly relaxing when nothing strange happened at the touch. "All right, Harry, hold on closely, we'll leave now. Bye Arabella and thanks!" Minerva said and Apparated away, straight to the gates of Hogwarts.


Harry felt as if the world wouldn't stop spinning around. The next thing he knew was that he was standing on a road in Minerva's arms, clinging onto her robes as if his life depended on it. He blushed deeply and quickly took a step back, still feeling a bit dizzy like the lady had predicted. Harry gave her a grateful smile. He knew he should speak to her but he just couldn't get himself to speak.

"Are you feeling all right?" Minerva asked, careful to speak in a soft, light tone to the child.

Harry gave her a nod, and for the first time in his life as far as he remembered he felt just a little inclined to break his self-imposed silence. 'Maybe sometime,' he thought and gave the woman an expectant look.

"All right, we have to walk up to the school, Harry. Look, do you see the huge castle over there?" When Harry nodded, she continued, "Let's go then and we'll just arrive in time for lunch."

'Lunch?' Harry wondered. Obviously, the lady hadn't been told that he wasn't supposed to have lunch. He only had a piece of bread and one slice of cheese along with water if he was lucky and if Uncle Vernon wasn't in an overly foul mood. He was pulled out of his thoughts when Minerva started to stride along the road towards the castle, and Harry hurried to keep up with her fast pace.

"Am I walking too fast, sweetie?" Minerva suddenly asked. "I'm sorry, Harry, I was just thinking about what everyone will say when they see you. I can imagine that they will be very happy to meet you. You won't remember but you were at Hogwarts several times when you were a baby. I sometimes babysat you when your parents had to go away for a day, and everyone was very fond of you."

In the meantime, they had reached the huge Entrance doors, and Minerva noticed that Harry looked around in awe. 'He's not the slightest bit stupid; how dare the Dursleys…' she thought before she asked, "Are you all right, Harry? We will now enter the Great Hall, where we will have lunch together with the other teachers. Okay?"

Harry gave her a short nod, a very nervous expression on his face. Minerva sighed, noticing the frightened look. "Harry, may I touch you?" she asked softly, and when Harry looked straight into her eyes and nodded slightly, she carefully pulled him into a hug, noticing that Harry tried hard not to flinch away. "Everything will be all right, Harry; the people here are all very nice," she told him calmingly and proceeded to open the door to the Great Hall.

Entering the Great Hall, Harry was so frightened that he didn't even notice how beautiful the room was. He only concentrated on keeping himself close to Minerva, hiding his face in her robes. Therefore, the other teachers didn't even notice that Minerva wasn't alone on her way to the Head table. When they approached the Head table, Minerva asked Harry quietly, "Will you give me your hand, Harry?"

Harry hesitantly put his small hand into the lady's larger one, now walking next to her. Minerva stopped behind her chair next to Albus and softly asked the lady, who was sitting on the other side to move to the next chair, so that Harry could sit between Minerva and the other lady. Then Minerva introduced him as Harry Potter and motioned him to sit down before she started to tell him who the people around the table were. Harry liked the people immediately although he felt a bit afraid of the old man with the long, white beard and the menacing looking man next to him. The lady to his left side was called Madam Pomfrey, but she had told him he could call her 'Aunt Poppy'. The man with the beard was 'Uncle Albus', but Harry couldn't remember all the other names.

When Minerva was finished with the introductions, food appeared on the table, and Minerva and Poppy filled his plate with several things that looked and smelled too good. Harry didn't know what to do; he knew that he wasn't supposed to have any of these things but these people told him to eat. He was still pondering what to do when he suddenly heard the man sitting on the other side of Uncle Albus say, "Maybe he thinks he's too good for our food as he is a Potter and as such, is obviously a pampered little brat."

Harry's fork fell back onto the plate with a 'cling', and his face turned white. "Severus!" Minerva scolded the man sternly. "What do you think you're doing, frightening an innocent child. He's nothing like his father, and he's not pampered either. On the contrary, he was abused and obviously neglected by his relatives. Now shut up, Severus Snape!"

"It's all right, Harry. Have your relatives not allowed you to eat at the table?" Poppy asked carefully, taking in the child's shaking hands and his frightened expression.

Harry gave his nice neighbour a slight nod, and she continued, "Now, Harry, here you're allowed to eat as much as you like. We even want you to eat as much as possible as you're much too small and too skinny for your age."

Feeling very consoled, Harry slowly started to eat. It was delicious, and Harry was sure that never in his life had he eaten anything so tasty. He could only eat a quarter of the delicacies on his plate before he felt completely full. Slightly regretful of leaving such nice food on his plate, he pushed it away tentatively and gave Poppy and Minerva grateful smiles.

"Can't you eat more?" Poppy asked concerned, and Harry slightly shook his head. "That's all right then, otherwise your belly might hurt later if you're not used to eating much," the nice lady Poppy told him, and Harry gave her a thankful smile.

When dinner was finished, Minerva turned to Harry. "Harry, Aunt Poppy is our Healer. She always helps the students when they are hurt or sick. Now, I would like you to go with her for an hour until I come and take you to my quarters as I have to speak with my colleagues about something." When Harry gave her an obedient nod, she continued, "I also want Aunt Poppy to have a look at your many bruises and welts on your arms and legs. She will give you a salve, which will make them go away immediately. Can you show me that you're a big boy and let Aunt Poppy check on you and heal your arms and legs?"

Harry looked very unsure but nevertheless nodded his head. Of course he was a big boy and the two ladies were really nice. He knew that they wouldn't hurt him. He slowly trailed after Poppy through the empty castle to the Hospital wing. Suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks. The pictures on both sides of the hall… they were moving, and the people in the pictures even talked to them. He threw Aunt Poppy an enquiring glance and she laughed and told him that pictures in the wizarding world normally moved around.


In the meantime, Minerva had told the others what she had found out about Harry's treatment at the Dursleys. Everyone agreed with her that it would be irresponsible to leave the boy with his relatives and that he should been brought up at Hogwarts – everyone except for one Albus Dumbledore.

"Yes, yes, it is unfortunate, but you have to think about the blood wards. We can't have them here as Harry doesn't have any family here. Therefore, he has to go back to the Dursleys I'm afraid," the old man told his colleagues.

"No!" Minerva shouted at the Headmaster. "He's not only mistreated, he doesn't even speak. He has no education whatsoever. How do you think he'll be able to attend Hogwarts in merely four years? He won't be ready at all!"

"Albus, I believe Minerva is right. As much as I despise an offspring of James Potter, we cannot let an innocent child be abused and neglected because of blood wards. We will well be able to protect the boy here at Hogwarts."

Minerva gave Severus a grateful look. She wouldn't have expected him to speak in favour of little Harry. "Thank you, Severus," she said thankfully.

"Maybe we can allow the child to visit here during the weekend, but he still has to live with his relatives most of the time," the old Headmaster insisted.

"Albus, that's utter nonsense," Filius Flitwick threw in. Voldemort is gone, so what is the problem? Merely the remaining Death Eaters? How are we going to teach a deaf child that has been abused and mistreated all his life knowing that we had the chance to change the conditions for him?"

Suddenly, the fireplace flared green and Poppy's commanding voice could be heard. "Albus, I need you here in the Hospital wing. Now please!"

Albus hurriedly left the Great Hall, and Minerva gave her colleagues an exasperated look. "What are we going to do? How can we change Albus' mind? Harry is such a cute boy, and I have always loved him as if he were my grandson…" She slowly trailed off, trying to keep the tears off her eyes.

"Don't worry, Minerva. We are all on your side, and we will think of something," Pomona Sprout said calmingly.

"If Poppy assesses that his relatives have abused him, she is obliged to contact the Ministry and report the child abuse. Then the Dursleys would end up in Azkaban and wouldn't be able to raise the child," Flitwick threw in.

"Maybe she should refrain from reporting if she values her position…" Severus started to voice his opinion.

"Ah, let him throw her out. We will all go with her. Without teachers, the old man can just close Hogwarts, and we can open our own school together," Rolanda Hooch laughed.

"However, we can tell Albus we brought the child back, but in fact keep him here all the time or at least most of the time, hiding him from Albus," Severus suggested.

"But what if he asks the Dursleys about Harry?" Hooch asked curiously.

"I will accompany Minerva tomorrow to bring Potter back and I will plant a memory into their minds that the boy came back and was living with them but that he just gone to play with a friend," Severus said firmly. "However, don't expect me to care for the child, you know that I despise any Potter, the son as well as the father!" he added sternly.

"Thanks for your help anyway, Severus," Minerva told him, smiling at the young man, thinking that he resembled Harry a lot. Then she sat back and thought about Flitwick's suggestion. No, it wouldn't help to have a process against the Dursleys; she'd have to accuse Albus of placing Harry in such danger in spite of knowing the consequences, which meant abuse, neglect, no education and probably no future if he wouldn't start to speak soon. Fortunately, her colleagues all seemed to be on her side, and the Minister of Magic was a childhood friend of hers, who had always despised Albus and would be glad to have a trial against the man, ridding him of his position as Headmaster of Hogwarts.

Minerva thanked her colleagues and determinedly strode off to the Hospital wing to look after her small child and start her fight against the Headmaster.