Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its wonderful cast of characters and settings are the property of J. K. Rowlings, Scholastic Books and Warner Bros. Films, I just get the fun of taking them and putting them in different settings. It's all only for fun and the praise of my readers because I get nothing but the reviews my readers grace me with. (Puppy dog eyes) the money goes to other people. Also a quarter of the credit for this story goes to darkshadowedrose she helped me feed the cute little plot bunny until it became a monster that wouldn't let go until it was down on paper.
A/N: Wow I look at the numbers on this story and am just blown completely away. Thank you I feel very honored and more than a little intimidated I would hate to disappoint all of you. I'm very sorry for the long delay I just have had horrible writer's block (3 months) on this story(believe it or not working Yet really did help.) I've had a bad case of tendonitis, and many other RL issues. This chapter took so long because I wanted to really think my way through the changes the committee was going to impose on Hogwarts. Anyway as promised a Christmas gift to you all. Look for monthly updates after this.
Harry Prongs Tatum Chapter 18
The weeks the committee came to Hogwarts were very interesting. They came in and observed classes. Three days after their arrival they put up a suggestion box so students could anonymously complain or make suggestions to improve the school. They pored over the lesson plans that had been turned in by the various teachers at the first of the year. They pored over the students work that had been turned in identifying places where students needed more instruction. It was a nerve wracking three weeks for the staff. The new potions teacher and his family arrived from Italy. He rapidly became a popular teacher and Severus Snape couldn't help but resent him. Snape did however maintain a professional demeanor in his dealings with the potions journeyman, and discovered that six months should allow the Italian to finish his mastery.
The students found it strange that the first and second Saturdays of the visit they were given long questionnaires to fill out. The Muggle born/raised among them recognized standardized tests but said nothing. They were also asked to fill out interest and Hogwarts experience profiles.
The Committee was alarmed when they noticed the segments in the questionnaires talking about a forbidden third floor corridor Albus refused to answer their inquiries saying it was nothing to concern them. Greiselda Marchbanks and Professor Tofty were firm in their response. "If it concerns the students of this school it concerns us."
Professor Tofty continued"Do not enter the third floor corridor on pain of death," sounds pretty damn concerning. Schools are meant to be a place of safety for students, physically and emotionally. Trolls and anything requiring a warning like that inside this school is unacceptable, not to mention bullying teachers. What exactly have you been doing Albus?"
"Nothing merely a favor for an old friend. Shall we discuss what the committee has found?"
"Hmm, very well, this time. Were you aware that for the Crown funding we are required to teach certain things? I think to meet the Crown's requirements a modern history and civics class needs to be added or perhaps the information merely needs to be added to the current history classes for third year and below. Arithmancy needs to become a required course starting in the first year through at least fifth year. A health and physical education class needs to be added. Back in the 1600's the Headmaster insisted a muggle defense course be taught. I might suggest that a squib could teach that one. And foreign language, we have always included some Latin but we cannot keep going backwards, most students couldn't come up with a grammatically proper Latin sentence even if they could read one, or we could teach goobledegook that would be pertinent or French, just something.
"In the founders time there was an Ethics of Magic course that was taught to the students in the first two years and it served as a basis for the code of behavior at the school. It was after Berthould Cox was pressured to remove it from the curriculum that we started seeing Dark Lords. Perhaps it needs to be reinstated. As to what exactly got taught back then I suggest you do some research.
"Young Mr. Silvestri is a good addition to the staff. Mr. Ketteridge is also a good choice. Hopefully he'll sort out the problems with History of Magic. However with the exception of Severus Snape, the Heads of House are overworked. And I suggest making the Deputy position a separate one entirely. You need to add at least one more teacher to each of the core classes: transfiguration, charms, herbology, astronomy. Defense is beyond unacceptable Albus. The first years have yet to learn a useful spell and the later years aren't much better. So I would recommend that you try to get two new teachers and give them a defined curriculum to teach from rather than letting them teach what ever they choose. Trelawney is a very poor divination teacher and you make no effort to screen which students take that class, surely it would be a better use of resources and the students time if you did so. Vector is a good teacher but with Arithmancy becoming a required course we need to hire an additional teacher. Babbling is a good teacher. Burbage, while good, has not kept abreast of changes in the Muggle world. She either needs to be replaced or get her training updated, if you choose to replace her I would suggest a recently graduated muggleborn rather than a pureblood who scored high on an outmoded exam. Kettleburn has requested that you find a replacement for him in the next two years, perhaps have him take on an apprentice teacher.
"Getting more teachers is non-negotiable Albus. Your current teacher to student ratio is thirty five to one, It needs to be more like sixteen or seventeen to one, twenty to one at most. Although Potions is now adequately covered you'll need to look at a second teacher in a few years when you replace Snape. Keep in mind Albus, birth rates soared in the three years following You-Know-who's defeat. Next years class is the last small one for the next eight years."
"How can I possibly? I have trouble enough getting teachers now." Albus protested.
"You currently require all teachers to work absurdly long hours and live in the castle. Just because you prefer to be a workaholic doesn't mean everyone does. If you reduce hours required and negotiate the the secondary requirement, perhaps it would be easier to get teachers."
"But the money required-"
"Your budget is mismanaged because in reviewing the expenses versus the income from the students and the government there are several questionable expenditures and several areas where expenditures are insufficient and others where they should be smaller. The goblins, the Board of Governors, and the Committee will be providing you with a revised budget to work with."
"Ignatius, surely you understand that I-"
Griselda Marchbanks sighed loudly, "Albus we have entrusted the children of Great Britain to you for many years, but your many commitments elsewhere have resulted in a grave disservice to the future witches and wizards of our world. We are still processing the student inputs, after we threw out the four hundred requests from purebloods to get rid of the muggleborns and vice versa, the ninety requests to make the school better by getting rid of specific students, we are still left with more than a thousand requests /suggestions of ways to improve the school. Which means we are facing an average of three requests/ suggestions per student. I would like to commend the creation of the Gym, is that correct? The school paper and the inter-house common room, several of the comments we got for those were positive."
Albus blanched. He had known about the school paper and the Gym but what was this about an inter-house common room? Was he really so out of touch with what was happening in his school?
Gilligan Ketteridge whistled as he walked from his office to his quarters. The quizzes he'd just finished grading from his fifth years looked promising. He entered his quarters and felt a chill. His quarters were in shambles if it were not for the layers of protective charms on some of his artifacts that he'd collected over the years he was certain several of them would be broken. His books had been shredded with the exception of the ones that he felt were irreplaceable that he kept in a locked and protected cabinet.
He called out, "Toby!"
A second later the small house elf that had been assigned to assist him popped into the room. It immediately started wailing and pulling its ears. "Toby be's sorry Master Professor Teacher sir. Rooms was clean when I lefteds."
Gilligan sighed, the little elf was all but collapsing and wetting itself in fear. "Repair what you can and clean the rest up. I'm going to talk to the Headmaster." Putting words to action he went to the fireplace scooped up some floo powder from where it was spilled across the hearth and called the headmaster's office.
After Gilligan was sent on to get Filius to help him, Albus was troubled. He was losing control of the school. He'd lost control of Harry and now he had something inside the castle that he didn't want. He just hoped and prayed the fidelius he put on the spare room of his office was enough to protect the stone in addition to the mirror. How was he going to test Harry? He needed Harry to be strong, but even more importantly he needed Harry's trust so he could guide him into destroying Voldemort. His reputation as the leader of the Light apparently wasn't enough to sway the stubborn boy and his position of Headmaster clearly wasn't enough either. But what would be?
And how was he going to keep Voldemort from getting his hands on the stone? He was mostly certain that somehow Tom had found his way to the castle and was trying to get his hands on a ready source of immortality. Things were just being so difficult this year.
Harry entered the defense classroom and felt three things, A wave of heat from his heir's ring, A stabbing pain in his forehead, and a wave of nausea. He tapped Kevin and said, "I'm headed to the infirm- Oh god!" He clapped his hands over his mouth and bolted from the classroom.
Two hours later Uncle Reg had been called in to consult.
"So Harry I want to make sure I have this straight. You felt fine this morning and through lunch but you went to DADA and you felt pain in your scar, your heir's ring warned you someone was accessing your mind and you got very sick to your stomach."
"How do you know someone was accessing your mind?"
"My ring heats up. It's happened before."
"Yeah once in the great hall after dinner It was like someone suggested I do something, but while I might be curious I'm not stupid. The other time was the night of the confrontation in the headmaster's office. I'm sure it was the Headmaster that time. But it was different this time...It was like I couldn't see who was doing it but I recognized it, and it felt slimy and it hurt like someone was stabbing me in my scar. What does it mean Uncle Reg?"
"I'm not sure. I'll do a few scans and see what they tell us but after that I want you to eat. And after that Medi-witch Pomfrey is going to give you some dreamless sleep so you can get a good rest." Reg ignored the scowl that formed on Harry's face and pulled out his wand.
Hours later Reg was still puzzled by his results. As much as he hated to do this, Hogwarts was the man's territory and the Headmaster was likely the only one who could answer his questions. But how to do this from a position of power...
Tuesday Harry had heard the older defense students talking about a demonstration duel between Flitwick and Snape on Saturday and he really wanted to see it. Quirrell talked about how spells could be used to fight with but Harry knew that for him to understand what Quirrell meant he needed to see just one duel so he could understand the dynamics involved. He made his mind up to sneak in and observe and he knew exactly how he would do it too. Wednesday a week ago one of the large Gringott's owls brought him a package that came with instructions to open it when he was alone. Harry had done so only to discover a silvery cloak and a note that read. "I finally managed to pull this from the grasping hands of Dumbledore, use it well."
In the dueling hall just off the Defense classroom that Saturday the students in NEWTs Defense gathered. Most of them were very excited to get to see a demonstration duel. It was so much better than the hum-drum classes taught by their professor. Most of the defense students were purebloods from Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Gryffindor, with a few odd Hufflepuffs thrown in for good measure. Almost all of them attributed their success in the course not to their lack luster professor or his predecessors but instead to families that bent the rules and saw to it they had private defense tutors in the summer. The Snakes were busy making bets with the Ravens as to which of the two professors would win today's duel.
Miles was one of the few who knew the terms of the duel between the Professors as one of the referees. He knew Professor Flitwick was determined that Harry would have his apology on bended knee in front of the Great Hall. He also knew Professor Snape's pride. His eyes would have to be their sharpest to make sure there were no slips in the rules especially since both Professors knew more than a few dark spells. The rules were set that neither professor could use a spell of higher level than was taught at Hogwarts which he knew was figuratively tying a hand behind their backs. In any case he really couldn't wait.
The dueling hall consisted of risers of seats raised and warded from spells performed on the central platform, today those seats were filled most of the way up. Unknown to any of the rooms other occupants Harry sat under his cloak in a topmost corner seat.
As professors Flitwick and Snape entered they shook hands then went to they own ends of the platform. When Miles shouted begin they turned and by mutual agreement took turns trading spells verbally so their students would know what spells were being thrown. They started with the first year cirriculmn and worked their way through the seventh this took a while but not as long as many of the students would have thought because they were being thrown at a furious pace. Then the duel got very interesting because it was at that point the Professors stopped verbalizing their spells and started firing them in creative patterns, and chaining three to five spells together.
Filius dodged a cutting curse followed by a levitation charm followed by a disarming hex, and returned fire with a impediment hex, aquamenti, freezing charm of which the first missed the second hit and Professor Snape jumped away before the third hit but now there was an ice patch on his end of the platform.
Professor Snape winced as the aquamenti hit. He would have to delay his next attack until after he dried himself or Flitwick would take advantage of his wet state. Damn it!
Professor Flitwick took advantage of the slight delay to perform a conjuration, a small terrier appeared and started to randomly attack Professor Snape.
Snape again had to pause in his attacks to banish the nuisance dog. All the while dodging spells. During one of his dodges he stepped on the ice patch and slipped to his knees. Damn he had forgotten that patch was there it was only luck that kept him from getting hit by an expelliarmus. Instead of jumping to his feet he dropped the rest of the way to the floor of the platform and using momentum rolled completely to his feet. He saw a smile of approval from Flitwick.
Spells everything from a simple wingardium leviosa cast on Snape's boots to an incarcerous to even Patronus Charms were used. The students witnessed shields and even transfiguration being used in combat. Harry was absolutely entranced never would he have imagined magic could be used this way. Quirrell's descriptions just didn't do it justice. It seemed the only limitation was your own creativity.
In the end it was some of Professor Flitwick's chained spells that caught Professor Snape. Snape formed a shield to block a string of cutting curses but it didn't defend him against his cloak being summoned in a fashion that it was pulled up over Snape's head and he didn't see the stunner that finally felled him as he struggled to keep his footing after stepping on a newly created ice patch.
A few minutes later Professor Snape awoke to Professor Flitwick's enervate. He began to swear under his breath. Professor Flitwick ignored him and cast some healing charms on some of his cuts that were bleeding rather profusely. Their eyes met for an instant then Snape's dropped and he nodded his head. Now all he needed to do was think of the words he'd say to the young Ravenclaw.
Lord and Lady Clearwater read the latest letters from their grandchildren and their ward. Lady Desi said, "I don't think Penelope or Randall realize how much influence on Hogwarts life Harry is having."
"Well that's all to the good isn't it? Speaks well of young Harry's political savvy if he can institute positive change and he is willing to share the credit. Speaks well for the future. I'm not so sure about these changes to the Hogwarts uniform but I suppose young Harry has a point."
"A point dear?"
"He makes a good argument based on the Statute of Secrecy. Actually he phrased it as a question. He asked which was it , is the magical world superior to the muggle or were wizarding kind afraid of muggles? Because if it was the former then why hide and if it was the latter then we need to change with the times so we stand out less."
"Hmm, I suppose you're right. It is an astute observation on his part. I guess that means Penelope and Randall will be getting muggle version Hogwarts uniforms for Christmas like they asked. I'll order with Miss Thompson tomorrow. Oh and don't forget Griselda and Nell are coming for dinner on Saturday, I wanted an update on the Hogwarts changes."
"I would bet Albus has his knickers in a twist." Lord Ben said gleefully.
"Darling you sound so overjoyed by that, why?"
"Desi, I know and you know that most of the wizarding world believe the sun shines from that man's backside. I was there in the Wizengamot chambers when he appointed hardline conservatives to handle the trials and investigations after the last war. As a moderate I wasn't even considered, not that that bothered me much, but there were questions I and others had that went unanswered because of who he appointed. And there's the fact that although he talks the tolerance and peace and equality of muggleborns and reform for those of mixed blood unless they are useful to him he actually does as little as possible to make that a reality. Eighty percent of his appointees in the ministry are from pureblood families. And well, there are Randall's reports of bigotry at Hogwarts.
"And now there's what we've seen with Young Harry. As Young Harry's magical guardian he owed it to him to be sure of the young man's safety, he failed. He owed him sound management of his properties. Grashak has confirmed that it was under Dumbledore's advice that James ran things into the ground. If it weren't for safeguards Charlus had in place Young Harry would be a pauper now. He allowed the Ministry to make a historic site of the Godric's Hollow Cottage without reimbursing the Potter family for the value of the property. He owed him at least a semblance of privacy he did noting to stop all those authors from writing their sensationalist ...well, crap, as result Harry is gawked at and is a target for fans even as he tries to be a normal boy going to school to learn to be a wizard. Not to mention having the boy grow up in ignorance of what it means to be a Lord Potter. Even now I'm not sure that's fixable, Harry being so adamant that he's a Tatum, according to Penny."
"Give the boy time and a chance to connect to his roots. With his interest in history it will happen, perhaps we should see that he gets opportunities to speak with his ancestors portraits."