Knowledge is Power
Disclaimer: I write purely for my own enjoyment, as usual all the good stuff belongs to JKR
Albus Dumbledore had no idea how long he sat alone in the great hall, reconstructing this mornings events in his mind and trying to figure out where it all went so horribly wrong. In a mater of a few moments he'd lost his gold, the brat Potter, half of the current third year and his four most senior members of staff, Albus still couldn't work out how it was done, where did that arse Potter get his information from? Marching into his school as if the little shit owned the place, if he hadn't put a stop to it half the bloody school would have followed Potter out the castle.
Albus had watched the older students wrestle with the prospect of leaving verses exams next year while the younger ones were gathering their courage to stand up in front of everyone in the hall, when he factored in the effect of the two Slytherins standing as well he now considered his estimate of half to be some what conservative.
He decided to go and visit Severus in the infirmary; they needed to have a long, serious chat with damage limitation at the top of the agenda.
Poppy watched the headmaster enter the infirmary and had to call on all of her professionalism just to be civil to the man, she more than anyone knew of Harry's injuries and some of the marks on his body had nothing to do with Hogwarts. Unfortunately protocol dictated that she report these matters to the headmaster who dutifully sent the young boy back to his abusers every summer.
Poppy had left the hall before Hannah made her vow and had no idea what had happened since, she was quickly coming to the decision that she could no longer work for this man all on her own.
"Poppy my dear, how is Severus?"
She hid her anger, letting her years of experience keep her from betraying the fact she wanted to strangle this bastard with his own beard but she didn't quite manage the civility, "your pet death eater is missing a hand and an arm just below the elbow, the amount of time he held it and the ferocity of that vile curse seems to have affected his magical core. Apart from that I'm afraid to say he'll live."
Dumbledore thought he was over the shocks for today but a healer, especially Poppy Pomfrey; being displeased that someone had lived was another blow to the normality of his world.
Poppy wasn't finished yet, "after today I am ashamed to be even associated with Hogwarts under your leadership therefore my resignation will be with the board before the day is out."
Albus was crestfallen, "Et tu, Brute?" he was not above using a little emotional blackmail to get what he wanted, at this point he was not above using any means at his disposal. To late he realised that he'd given information away without having time to formulate a plan to deal with it.
"Who else left then?" Poppy asked.
Albus knew he couldn't hide the facts of this morning, but he just wanted a bit of time to put the proper spin on them, "Minerva, Pomona and Filius all left with Potter and his band of fans."
The healer was elated, it looked like she wasn't the only one to grow a backbone today, "it would appear that you are going to have a busy summer headmaster, interviewing prospective staff members instead of interfering in that boys life. I'll save you a task and wont request a reference – it would probably count against me."
Albus stormed away towards the bed containing Severus only to find his way blocked by a rather large, black auror.
"Can I help you sir?" the deep voice boomed out.
"I'm just here to visit my friend auror, sorry I don't know your name."
"My name is unimportant but the fact that you called this death eater your friend is, this thing just used the torture curse on a young female student so I would advise you to leave here now before I arrest you for associating with a known criminal."
Why was nobody showing him the respect he deserved? "I demand your name auror and I will be taking this matter up personally with minister Fudge."
Shacklebolt just smirked at the old wizard, "Fudge is gone, he resigned this morning and having seen the charges that Madam Bones has in store for you resigning might be contagious."
Albus tried to bluster and push passed the auror, "I'll have you know that this is my school and that is a colleague of mine lying th…" the young pink haired auror had activated an emergency portkey and both she and Severus were gone from the castle.
"My partner may be young but she's almost as smart as she is quick, let me be as honest as I possibly can, the only thing as bad as someone getting their jollies from using the torture curse is the person standing idly watching. The leader of the light left two children to deal with a dark bastard like Snape, that puts you right near the top of my shit list."
Amelia Bones entered the infirmary with Dobby and couldn't fail to notice her auror going eyeball to eyeball with Dumbledore, she knew Shack could never win a magical fight against the old wizard, she also knew he had no intention of letting it become a magical contest. If Albus had even twitched Shack would have started breaking his bones, Dumbledore had made a serious miscalculation letting the physically powerful younger man get so close and Shack was like a magnificent black mamba ready to strike. She almost wished she could let him.
It was just beginning to dawn on Albus that he might be in a spot of trouble here and, despite his better judgement; his hand was instinctively inching towards his wand when he heard the voice behind him, "everything ok here Shack?"
The auror's eyes never left Dumbledore as he gave Amelia his report, "all under control boss, this gentleman was insistent that he see his friend so Tonks removed the death eater to our secure location. Oh and I'm being reported to minister Fudge."
Dumbledore whirled round to face Amelia, "why was I not informed that Cornelius had resigned? As head of the Wizengamot it is my right to …"
Amelia decided to kick this old bastard where it really hurt, she had considered kneeing him in the nuts but felt trampling all over his pride would cause more pain. "Can it Albus, you have been suspended from the Wizengamot pending the criminal investigation regarding your dealings with Lord Potter."
"This is preposterous!" Albus roared.
Amelia Bones was the epitome of cool; "we have the Potter will bearing your signature as a witness, a will that you blatantly and illegally ignored. We have records from Gringotts showing you taking a serious amount of gold from the Potter vaults and move it to a muggle bank before it made it's way back to another vault at Gringotts under your control. If I can implicate you in any way with the debacle that denied Sirius Black a trial I'm prepared to take a witches vow that I'll make sure you personally become acquainted with his former cell. Now I don't believe I've left any room for ambiguity here, simply put you're in deep shit."
Amelia gave this a minute to sink in before continuing, "Lord Potter believes it's in no one's interest to allow this to become a long drawn out affair with the media crawling all over it, he has offered to drop the charges if you resign from the Wizengamot and as Supreme Mugwump. Your alternative is to fight the charges and risk losing being headmaster and even your freedom."
Albus was so depressed the goblins had found his secret stash that he magically resigned both positions there and then. Amelia had only added the Supreme Mugwump as a bargaining chip and would have let him retain the position as long as he resigned from the Wizengamot, she beamed a smile at Shacklebolt as the old man shuffled out the infirmary.
Ronald Weasley was in a greenhouse alone, he wasn't supposed to be alone but none of his fellow Gryffindors, any of the puffs or Professor Sprout had turned up yet. This gave the redhead time to figure out who was to blame for the severe down turn his life had just taken; Ron tried to put the events into some kind of order.
Friday night he was doing well with Hermione, playing up the injured leg and wining lots of sympathy. Ron's job was to get Hermione out of her knickers thus forcing Harry to go out with Ginny; the twins were helping with advice and even a book though it now seemed likely that only potions would work.
Saturday the pair walked into the great hall with Loony, insulted Gryffindor and announced that squib Neville was a great wizard.
Harry snogging Hermione in front of all the Weasleys was not a memory Ron wished to recall and then they had disappeared for the entire weekend.
Watching as Hermione smiled at the greasy git had almost required a change of underwear as he thought 'this is the girl I was going to try it on with?' As Snape lost his appendages, Ron lost any and all interest in Miss Granger, even he wasn't stupid enough to mess with power like that.
When Percy took his wand Ron had already decided his arse was not leaving his nice comfortable Hogwarts wooden bench, being around Potter could get you killed. If the family wanted in on the Potter fortune then some other berk could be the patsy, he was too young to die, and inexperienced to boot!
Unfortunately for Ron experience chose that moment to make an appearance, "aw, has the little lion been left all on his own? I know how it feels to be alone but it doesn't have to be that way."
Ron found himself grabbed by the ears and pulled towards a face that appeared to engulf him, within seconds he was sure his attacker was trying to remove his appendix orally by use of her tongue and a tremendous amount of applied suction.
He wasn't certain but his light-headedness could be caused by lack of oxygen to his brain due to not being able to breath for what felt like thirty minutes. Whatever the cause it was a dizzy Ron who was delighted that his mouth was suddenly free from obstructions and intruders, allowing air to once again flow to his lungs. He wasn't so delighted as the grip on his ears increased and his head was forced southwards, just what the hell was going on here.
It was a worried Fred and George who eventually found a dishevelled Ron, making his way along the corridor by holding on to the wall, his ears sticking out almost at right angles from his head.
"Where have you been Ron, you missed lunch," Fred inquired.
Ron shuddered as he croaked his answered, "no I didn't"
George wouldn't let him away without knowing what was going on, "spill it Ron."
Ron for some reason had difficulty speaking so the twins had to play the yes / no guessing game.
"Have you been attacked?"
Nod of head
'Are you injured?"
Shake of head
"Did you get a good look at who attacked you?"
Full body shudders but a definite nod of the head in there somewhere.
"Was it a wizard?"
Venomous shake of the head
"A witch attacked you?"
Nod of the head
"What did she do to you?"
Ron hung his head in shame
In desperation Fred asked, "Did you get into her knickers?"
"What knickers," croaked Ron
"Way to go bro!" exclaimed George, "And do we know the lucky girl?"
A nod followed by another croak, "Millicent Bulstrode."
Fred put his arm around his young brothers shoulder, "sorry Ron, listen this attack really needs to be reported to Dumbledore."
Shake of the head followed by a faint, "can't."
George was very sympathetic, "Listen there's no need to be embarrassed, we understand."
Ron shook his head again, "can't, am seeing her again tonight."
The Weasley twins lost their lunch all over the corridor, as they were barfing up their breakfast as well the idea of the puking pastel was born, with the promise that Ron would be the test subject until it was perfected and maybe after as well.
Poppy was packing when the oddest-looking elf she had ever seen appeared next to her. "Excuse me ma'am but the castle is telling Dobby that you is leaving."
This was new thought Poppy, a house elf asking her a question after talking to the castle, "yes I am, I can't work here any longer."
"Would ma'am consider working for the great Harry Potter? Madam's friends have already agreed and you always take such good care of my master and mistress."
This was really new, she'd just been offered a job by a house elf, "Does Harry know you're making this offer?"
Dobby stood up straighter, "I know master Harry very well and the castle is worried headmaster whiskers is going to do something to keep you here, my first job is to help master Harry's friends and family. You have been kinder to my master than almost anyone else in the castle so I will help you get away before whiskers can use his wand."
Poppy was worried now, she had often suspected Albus was not as light as he tried to appear and, if she could believe this elf the castle itself was warning her against him. She looked around at her just started packing when the little elf seemed to read her mind.
"The Hogwarts elves will pack all your belongings and they will be brought to your new home, please let's just leave now."
Poppy had made up her mind, even if she didn't get a job with Harry Potter it would seem prudent to make like the proverbial shepherd and get the flock out of here. "Ok Dobby, I'm ready."
Seconds later they were gone.
Molly Weasley was on an emotional roller coaster, every time she thought of Harry with that mudblood witch she was depressed yet at the same time extremely angry that it wasn't her Ginny. Since receiving an owl from her daughter on Friday describing what happened in the hall and that Harry and Hermione were together the Weasley matriarch had been even more impossible to live with than usual.
When she read in Saturday's Prophet that the brown haired bitch was now his betrothed her anger had been so bad, and so loud that even the garden gnomes had packed their bags and legged it as far away from the burrow as possible.
This morning's Quibbler had effectively ended Harry's relationship with Dumbledore and his ability to influence Lord Potter's decisions on anything, including choice of partner. Molly was many things but she wasn't as stupid as people took her for, attempting to interfere with a betrothal of the head of an ancient and noble family would cost at least your freedom but more likely your life.
She was going to have to be subtle, Molly could do subtle, so Ginny wasn't going to be the primary wife but as a pureblood Weasley she could bring a lot to the house of Potter. Also as a Weasley she would easily outbreed the mudblood and Harry would always treat his children equally, yes there was more than one way to skin a Kneazle.
She was just congratulating herself on her plan when Percy's owl entered through the open window and presented her with the latest developments from Hogwarts, Molly was reading the letter until she got to Percy's boastful description of how he saved the family honour by not allowing the Weasleys to betray Hogwarts and leave with that upstart Potter.
Molly was beyond angry, her magic was boiling and she needed an outlet to release her famous temper on, she saw Percy's owl and her wand was in her hand in an instant.
Post owls are incredibly intelligent animals and Hermes recognised the danger and tried for the window, a reductor curse forced an emergency course change, five reducto's later and the poor bird couldn't see a thing for dust and flying debris, being able to feel the heat of the flame curse was an entirely different matter as the terrified owl found the staircase and headed up, anywhere that didn't contain this maniacal human was all Hermes was hoping to achieve.
Molly was firing the flame curse blindly into the dust determined to cook that bloody bird when she heard the ceiling give a loud groan and creak. The chubby witch suddenly realised just what she was doing and performed an emergency apparition out to the garden, she was in such a hurry that she spliced herself, leaving her hair behind.
The now bald chubby witch watched as her house mirrored her dreams; it collapsed in on itself and burned to a crisp, leaving nothing but cinders and ashes. To make matters worse the bloody owl shot out an upstairs window just as the house was coming down.
The ministry had recorded the intense spell work and thought that a departmental head's residence was under attack, four aurors apperated in to find Molly rolling on the grass while kicking, screaming and punching the ground like a toddler in a tantrum, she was immediately portkeyed to St Mungo's and admitted to the spell damage ward while they attempted to diagnose what the attackers had done to the poor witch.
As the kids sat around the pool Dean was working on his t-shirt design, he'd got the mock up done on paper and was now studiously applying his creation to a white t-shirt. Unbeknown to Dean this was drawing him far more female attention than his phoney posing and cheap chat-up lines ever did. The girls were noticing Dean was not bad looking and talented to, he had just been moved to the top of the rather short list of eligible boys at the Potter Institute.
While this was taking place a meeting of the adults with Harry and Hermione was in full session on the terrace, Harry was doing what he did best, making it up as he went along. Harry had learned to trust his instincts and follow where they led, the difference now was that he had Hermione in his head filling in the blanks and keeping him out of too much trouble.
"Our original premise was to hire tutors for four students and cover a wide range of subjects, as our numbers have increased I would like to establish what courses the institute will be able to offer it's students and who else do we have to employ. We also need to examine the actual building and determine if it's suitable for teaching the courses we want to offer. Pomona I would like to offer you the headship of the institute, you are a brilliant teacher who always puts the needs of her students first and wont think twice about telling Hermione and I if we screw up when trying to get this place up and running. Minerva I would really appreciate your help on the administrative side of running a school but I want to stress here and now there will never be a house system at our school."
His former teachers were wondering just where this version of Harry Potter had come from; they'd never seen him so assertive.
"We will also need your input into what equipment and furniture we'll need for the institute, we're building classrooms from scratch so use your experience to design the rooms to be fit for purpose, money should be no object but we really don't need solid gold desks." Hermione cracking jokes was something else her former professors were going to have a hard time getting used to.
Minerva had a question niggling at her brain so decided to ask it, "Miss Granger, what did you say to Pomona to convince her to take the job?"
Hermione just smiled, "when she asked about our greenhouses I told her we didn't need any because of the climate, I also mentioned that the soil around here is volcanic and, as everyone knows, with the application of some dragon dung compost these are probably the best growing conditions to be found anywhere."
"Are you sure you want me to be head?" Pomona asked?
"Absolutely!" answered Harry "I think we should be honest here, Minerva and Filius are brilliant teachers but not the leader we need especially starting from scratch." Both nodded to show there were no hard feelings and they agreed with his assessment.
"Well I would be happy to teach Herbology and Potions, I think the subjects should be more closely linked anyway."
Filius put in his two Knuts worth, "like Pomona I would be delighted to teach charms and runes, I would like to include wards in the syllabus as well."
Minerva indicated that she would teach transfiguration and arithmancy as everyone turned to Remus who appeared to be daydreaming before giving a shudder and rejoining them.
Remus was day dreaming, he was gazing at this new Pomona Sprout before him, her usual attire of old dark soil covered robes and beat-up hat had been replaced with a light blue set that did wonders for her. He was also guessing that she wore many layers of cloths under those old robes as her 'Molly Weasley' figure had slimed down drastically. Considering that summer in the Scottish Highlands consisted of the last week of May and the first week of June, the layering of cloths was understandable for someone who spent most of her day outside the castle. With no plants to pull her hair all over the place Remus was coming to the conclusion that Pomona was an attractive woman who was at most ten years older than him.
His glance shifted to the beautiful Emma Granger and could see the woman Hermione would become, how did these Potter men manage it? In Remus's opinion Lily Evans was the best witch he had ever met, they had spent some time together over the years as both were the Gryffindor prefects, and he had thought his friend James was the luckiest man alive when he started dating her. All the marauders had fancied Lily but knew James was besotted with the girl, as soon as they started dating James had confessed that this was the one he was going to marry and not one of his friends doubted that would be the case.
Now Harry had a witch that could rival Lily and was going to marry her in a matter of weeks, Remus couldn't find it in his heart to wish them anything but happiness, if anyone deserved some joy in their lives it was Harry and Hermione.
He then thought about his former head of house and the strange relationship between her and Filius who seemed to follow her every action and word like some lovesick puppy. The image of Minerva in leather leading Filius around by a leash just popped into his head and would require to be bleached or obliviated later, the involuntary full body shudder the image produced drew him back to the present where he realised everyone was watching him.
"I've been in contact with the Italian ministry and their syllabus would appear to be a bit more demanding than Hogwarts" the former heads of house looked at Remus in disbelief, "apparently the purebloods were finding some parts of the curriculum difficult so the ministry had it altered to prevent them being proven to be magically inferior to the mixed and first generation witches and wizards."
Pomona just shook her head, "why am I not surprised?"
Minerva was starting to see things more clearly now that her Dumbledore blinkers were removed, "and Albus just stood back and let them? Are you saying that Hogwarts is producing sub-standard graduates?"
"Yes'" answered Remus, "compared to Europe and the USA, the purebloods tend to stay in Britain where their power base is but the others are forced to move abroad or into the muggle world to find meaningful work. They get there only to find gaps in their education because of bigotry in Britain."
"Do you mean to tell me after paying all that money for Hermione's years at Hogwarts she would have been unable to find work while receiving a sub standard education that would deny her opportunities abroad?" Dan Granger was angry.
"The only answer I can give you is Yes, but as Lady Potter she will have a lot less problems though some will always look down on her, as they do Harry and just about everyone here with the exception of Minerva." Remus was on a roll about his least favourite subject; "Sirius is classes as a blood traitor, me as a dark creature, Pomona and Harry as mixed blood while Filius is mixed race."
'Why are you a dark creature Remus?" Emma asked.
It was Hermione who answered for the embarrassed man, "Remus is a werewolf mum, that means once a month he drinks a potion and curls up in front of the fire in his wolf form. As a precaution he always locks himself away from everyone and turning into an animal is something both Harry and I wish to learn, both Minerva and Sirius have animal forms."
Sirius was quick on the up-take and had seen where Hermione was steering this conversation, tying werewolf transformation to animagus was not correct but if it helped the Grangers come to terms with his friend then he was all for it and Padfoot made an appearance.
Minerva also gave credence to the deception by pouncing on the table in her cat form and prancing over to the Grangers.
"I'm really touched people but there will be no lies here, what Hermione forgot to mention is that while Minerva and Sirius can change there form at will I have no control over mine, the potion I take allows me to retain my mind otherwise I become a beast. I was bitten as a child and have had to live with this most of my life."
Dan got up and made his way over to Remus and held his hand out, "pleased to know you Remus."
Emma thought if Hermione could hug him so could she, so she did, "thanks for looking after these two for us."
It was with moisture in his eyes that Remus continued, "Thanks everybody, now I would like to teach defence and history of magic if that would be ok."
Hermione had a smirk on her face, "now if we can convince Dr Granger and Dr Granger to teach muggle studies that gives us nine core subjects, I don't think we could teach care in this environment and I wont even consider divination. If any students show sign of being a seer then we could reconsider."
"Now here's the big, big question, do we stick with the students we have or accept new admissions? I would like everyone's opinion on it and unlike Albus I would like it to be your opinion." Harry glanced around the table and waited for their first answer.
Pomona decided if she was going to be head then she should get her opinion in first, "I think we should look to take more students but younger than our current intake, this way we build up to OWLs and NEWTs. Some of the younger Hogwarts students may be interested and I would be delighted to offer the new pupils an alternative to Hogwarts."
Minerva was smiling, "I agree with the headmistress, I know of at least one Weasley that was desperate to follow us here."
"There will be no Weasleys attending the Potter Institute!"
The venom in Harry's voice shocked the ex Hogwarts staff even more than the statement though Dan Granger's follow on comment led them to believe there was information that was personal, and it must be bad judging by both reactions.
"Are you sure Harry," asked Dan innocently, "there's a lovely cliff here just begging for a certain red head to be flung off it."
Emma had seen a whole new side to her husband in Gringotts and thought Dan was more than capable of killing the boy who tried to drug their daughter for sex, shit she'd help kill the bastard herself.
Remus signalled to a bemused Sirius that this would be discussed later before adding his opinion, "is there any way to get a hold of the list of children down to attend Hogwarts this summer?"
Minerva sighed, "it was in my old office, I wish I'd thought to lift it."
Dobby chose that moment to appear with Poppy and pulled the list out of one of his precious pockets, "sorry Miss Minnie but you went and forgot this when you left the castle."
The thought of McGonagall as Minnie Mouse cracked Harry and Hermione up, "Dobby you are simply the best!" Harry told his beaming friend as Poppy was welcomed to the group.
Draco Malfoy was in trouble, the beating he received at the hands of Longbottom and the mudblood destroying Snape had left him powerless in Slytherin, add to that he hadn't heard from his parents despite the fact he had been sending owls daily since Friday.
Pomfrey had healed him pretty quickly but his godfather didn't look to be leaving the infirmary any time soon, he was going to have to send another owl and not looking forward to explaining to his father how Snape was taken down by a mudblood, at least Longbottom was a proper wizard.
Even Crabbe and Goyle were distancing themselves from him and he would have to keep his wits about him to make it to the end of the week unscathed, thankfully it was end of term on Friday.
Snape awoke in a cell and immediately noticed the bandages where his arms ended prematurely; he was going to rip that mudblood's throat out with his teeth.
The ex-potion master felt fear run down his spine, normally when he was this angry he could feel his magic fizzle around his body but there was nothing happening. It was as if there was no magic in his body, trying to raise his occlumency shields brought another shock and a cold sweat to his forehead; he was like an open book.
Snape had spent years perfecting his shields and had reached the point where he could even neutralise the effects of Veritaserum, Dumbledore had better get a move on and arrange his release before the aurors started questioning him.
The death eater was unaware of Dumbledore's new status and that Amelia was en route to his cell with Kingsley, Tonks and a good supply of truth serum.
The meeting broke up with Harry and Hermione heading through the château towards their friends and the pool, Dean had finished the t-shirt and held it up for their approval.
Harry put his hand on the shirt and pushed some magic into it, "now that's what I call a t-shirt!" Harry proclaimed.
The rest of them apparently agreed as they stood in awe at the now animated design, showing the Hogwarts express with its wheels turning and smoke belching out the stack. Dumbledore was the driver and as he leaned out the engine a large X appeared over the picture with the words 'taking the P.I.S.S.' superimposed over the design. The back of the shirt proudly proclaimed Potter Institute for Sorcery and Spells.
After Harry cast a duplication spell the unofficial uniform of the institute was born, it would turn heads in Diagon Alley this summer.
Albus sat at his desk that was covered in paperwork Minerva would normally have taken care of; it had always been the headmaster's responsibility until he had gladly passed it on to his deputy.
Something caught the attention of the old man and a slight twinkle was back in his eyes for the first time since breakfast. Potter's oath prevented the brat from being a student at Hogwarts, but didn't preclude him from being a contestant.
A/N Please Review