Disclaimer: Not Mine
Minerva sat in her office sipping tea and going over the lesson plans for the rest of the week. Each year she tried to update her agenda and keep current with what was popular in both the Wizarding and the Muggle world. Children no longer wanted to transfigure toy spinning-tops into bells or whistles; they wanted to use spiders and snakes. She settled for mice.
Sighing at the thought of what eighteen first years could do to the poor creatures, she looked out the window. Instead of seeing the expanse of blue sky and white clouds, over the mountaintops on the far side of the lake she saw a blur of robes and a screaming white face race by her window.
"Bloody hell," she muttered, gathering her robes and hurrying to the window to discern who it was.
A small first year sat precariously atop a broom, exhibiting both bad form and uncontrolled flight. She opened the latch on the heavy paned window, pushed it open and leaned out to peruse the scene on the lawn under her, searching for Professor Hootch.
"Wonderful," she snipped, unable to see any adult supervision on the ground below. Lifting her head, she again sought out the unattended student just in time to see him nearly miss colliding with the turret on the opposite side of the courtyard.
Narrowing her eyes and squinting into the light, she was startled to see Harry Potter to be the one clutching his broom handle as if trying to wring the life out of it, and sitting so stiffly that the slightest nudge of the handle against one of the stone walls would send him arse over teacup. Her hand went to her throat and worried her collar as she gasped to see near miss after near miss.
Fool child, she thought, and this is the one they pin their hopes on.
He leaned forward and stretched to grab something out of the air, something she could not make out at this distance. She lifted her spectacles to her eyes and sought with him until she saw the remembrall fly past her window and he right behind.
Harry looked back to the lawn to judge how high he was and half twisted to see where the flying orb had gone. Minerva pursed her lips and scowled, then turned quickly on her heel and hurried to the Headmaster's office, angered that the boy on the broom was the one and only Harry Potter. The same Harry Potter that Headmaster Dumbledore had stressed she kept safe and watched over at all times.
"My dear, Professor," he chided. "He is a boy, and all boys are apt to do things such as this on occasion. He is firmly on the ground, and although a little shaken, no harm was done. Although I am afraid one of his housemates has not been so lucky."
"No harm you say? Do you think something Madam Pomfrey could put right is the problem?" She folded her arms and looked down her nose at him. "Did you see him? Did you watch your little wonder child, the saviour of our world? Albus, he is undisciplined and unschooled in concentration. He sits a broom like a wooden stick doll not looking where he is going but where he has been."
"He did catch the prise, did he not?"
"Oh, he caught it alright, after three missed attempts with it in an arms reach, and at least six tries when it was so far beyond him it was foolish to release the broom to try."
"He will improve Minerva. He is only eleven and until a short time ago did not know this world existed."
"It is not the flying wherein lays the problem, it is in the concentration or rather the lack thereof. If he had concentrated, and kept his eye on the prise, he would have done better. Albus, if he lacks focus now, now when he has so much to learn whatever will we do? Add that to the fact that he can barely keep up in lessons and you can see the problem. He is so in awe of everything around him, he has even less concentration in lessons where it matters the most."
"Professor Snape reported that he did indeed seem more interested in his surroundings than in the lesson," Albus said as if thinking aloud. "I need to talk to …"
"No, we need to take action at once. He needs to learn Albus. He needs to know failure is not an option and to concentrate of what is before him instead of what is behind."
"He is in your house. Perhaps you can give him extra lessons."
"No, he needs to learn to focus, and if he does not, he must know the results of his failure will be quick and perhaps painful. He must learn, in short, how to think beyond his years and see beyond his nose."
Minerva left Albus to think of a plan to accomplish what must be done. She hated the thought of pushing Potter beyond his years, taking away his time with his friends and setting him apart from the rest. He was just a boy. Eleven years old and still full of wonder in a world that could no longer afford children the time to grow.
Too much like his father, she thought, too easy to challenge into some childhood prank without a care to the outcome. Too much like his godfather, too easily lead astray, and much too like his mother with her head in the clouds seeing everything but what was in front of her.
She looked up to the hills and sighed wondering what to do when her eyes happened to linger on the pitch. She smiled and turned on her heel. Quidditch would teach him focus, how to work in a team, rely on others, and if not the failure would be painful and public. Yes, she thought, she would make sure he learned to concentrate or break his neck in the process.
"He is not ready, Minerva." Severus strode back and forth in front of her fireplace. "Albus would not take kindly if his little project is injured."
"It is nothing more than a classroom demonstration, but it will make the others see him as one of them. We cannot allow the publicity that he has been receiving to go to his head and make him think everything will just fall into place for him. He needs to work harder."
"Pit him against someone else. Anyone in Slytherin can hold a wand by the time they are five, and will not be playing."
"Truthfully, Severus, I expect him to be thrown on his arse. Better he learns it now, when he has time to learn, than to think he is better then he is." She scowled at him. "Just make sure it is year for year. None of your pulling in a seventh year to go against him."
"I have a couple of first year girls I could…"
"Don't you dare," she felt her lip twitch. "Even I would not be so cruel as to have a girl show him up at his age. You know how Muggles raise their children. Give him a couple years to learn new ways. He will learn that our girls fight every bit as good as our boys in time."
"Have you spoken to Lockhart? He may object to my interfering with his demonstration."
"As if you care," she sniggered. "I may suggest that the two of you first demonstrate to the students what he expects and then I will turn a blind eye to the results."
Professor Snape raised his eyebrow, turned on his heel and went to find Professor Lockhart.
"How in the name of Merlin did his name even get entered?" Minerva fumed, slamming her palm on Albus' desk. "You knew about this you old fool. You knew his name was in the competition."
"I assure you I did not," Albus thundered, coming to his feet and scowling at her.
"You called, Headmaster?" Severus Snape stood in the doorway, looking between the two.
"Yes, Severus, I did," Albus cast a final look of warning to Minerva and waved Severus to a chair. "I take it you are aware of the recent … problem … we are faced with."
"Yes, Headmaster," Severus intoned. "However, it is easy enough to undo."
"We cannot," Minerva hissed. "We have spent the past few years encouraging him and claiming we trust him to become a great wizard, now we call him a liar and yank him out of a competition because he is too weak and foolish?"
"Yes." Snape folded his arms and looked straight ahead.
"Albus, he does not have the common sense of a newt." Minerva paced, taking long strides, her green robes catching the air behind her. "Unless that Granger girl is going to tell him what spell to use I fear he will not make it to the second round with all his body parts. He has no imagination. None."
"What a shame he does not know to ask for help." Severus looked at her coldly. "It is time he learned that lesson as well."
"It is one of the Weasley boys that are bringing the dragons, is it not?" Albus peered over his spectacles.
"He would never consider asking." She glared at Severus. "He was raised Muggle. He would think of it as cheating."
"Minerva," Severus lifted an eyebrow and looked down his nose. "Did you bother to give him the rules of the games? Does it ban the use of … knowledge?"
"Or course I did you oaf. However, if you remember back to your fist days in these walls you were much the same."
"Days, Minerva, the key word here is days. He has been here years." He sniffed and flicked a piece of lint from his robes.
"I quite agree, Minerva." Albus leaned back in his chair and pondered what to do.
"It can't come from Professor Snape," she stopped pacing long enough to shot him a look of disgust. "He would discount anything you said as giving wrong information just to trip him up."
"And from you, Minerva, he would know you were … cheating."
"Albus," Minerva turned away from Snape's smirk and rounded on the Headmaster, "I do not care how you fix this but fix it you will. He needs to have certain information."
"In all fairness, Minerva, I do not think giving him an unfair advantage will help him." Albus peered over the top of his spectacles. "In this I am in complete agreement with Severus. However, if the same information is given to all that participate, it will solve that problem and perhaps keep him safe."
"Since when are you above a little…to coin a Muggle term…stacking the deck?"
Albus raised his eyebrow and looked quizzically at Minerva as Severus snorted his laughter. "She has a point old man."
"I have never … stacked the deck. I have only done what I must to insure certain…outcomes."
"And what we must do this time is give the boy a heads up on what the challenges are. Severus, the first should be easy, knowing his association with the Weasley boy and Hagrid. It is the water test you need to work on." Minerva raised her chin as if daring them to argue with her.
"And the last?" Severus spat. "Do you expect someone to draw him a map? Perhaps Lupin is available."
"Enough," Albus said, standing up to signal the end of the meeting. "He will be able to signal for help and be removed if the final challenge becomes too much. I agree with Minerva that the first two are far too dangerous for a child that age, the third will test his resolve, not his life."
A/N: Just little drabbles as to me it never made sense that a child was allowed to do all Harry did.