Disclaimer: Not mine. JKR's
Edited as of 21 September 2012.
Introducing Harry Potter: Detention and How he got out of it
Peace in Stonewall Primary and What Became of It
"Here's the thing, Headmistress. If - and I'm only saying if of course – but if you actually believe me to be in any way responsible for my cousin and his friends'…accident then let me set the record straight with the things you hold me accountable for."
Mrs Spencer, the newly appointed Headmistress of Stonewall Primary who had thus far succeeded in achieving a period of peace lasting twelve days, knew very well that the careful balance of that peace (or perhaps what was left of it) was now resting delicately in the hands of Stonewall's most notorious student.
A little on the underweight side, made only more obvious by his ill-fitting outfits, his intelligent, almost glowing emerald eyes that lurked behind his crooked glasses helpfully made up for his small frame. He had a delicate face, the type that screamed innocence if not for the mouth that seemed to be arranged and tilted into a permanent smirk.
It had only been twelve days since Mrs Spencer had first begun her endeavour as Headmistress, but twelve days were enough for anyone to acquaint themselves with the strange child.
"Harry," she sighed, eyes darting to the clock that hung behind him. "Please, by all means proceed."
And proceed he did.
"Half an hour ago, my cousin Dudley drags himself and his goons – friends sorry – to your office complaining about certain…changes that had occurred in him. For reasons beyond the known, Dudley's nose seemed to resemble a pig's, beyond what his typical appearance usually suggests.
"Of course, the first person they blamed was me. But let me take a moment to list the things they give me credit for."
Here was the curious thing about Harry Potter – troublemaker though he was (and Mrs Spencer dared to say that anyone with a decent training in teaching could sniff his mischief as soon as they saw him), there was one thing he was better at than sending the school into chaos.
Harry Potter, unfortunately for the majority of the students who disliked him and made it their business to get him into trouble, also had the quickest mind Mrs Spencer had yet to see in a child his age, with a matching sharp tongue that seemed to talk his way through any loophole. For the various enemies the boy had accumulated on the playground, this meant that most times he would emerge from whatever scuffle they had dragged him into both unscathed and as the victor. As such, despite being the boy who had sat the most times in the Headmistress's Office (four hundred and twenty-two including this one), Harry Potter's record was undoubtedly the cleanest in Stonewall Primary.
As for how he did it, Mrs Spencer's predecessor Ms Colby had remained strangely quiet.
"Somehow," the boy continued, "I seem to be responsible for altering the looks my cousin was gifted with at birth. If that's what you're suggesting madam, which given the detentions you've issued me with seems to be so, then you're accusing me of having, well, magical powers.
"My so-called magical powers, madam, must have allowed me to magically change my cousin's nose from one unfavourable shape to another. Maybe I chanted a curse or set the fairies on him, but magically - for no doubt it was magic – Dudley Dursley's nose transformed into a pig snout. In your eyes of course, how could there be any other explanation? How else could you punish Harry Potter, the boy that all four of his friends witnessed to be standing on the opposite side of the playground when Dudley sprouted his nose, for being the sole offender to my cousin's plight?"
Mrs Spencer sighed. As the boy continued, she took the time to rub her temples, nursing the growing headache with futility. That was the other thing Harry Potter excelled at – giving his teachers headaches.
"Well then, Mister Potter," she finally said after he had finished. "Since you seem so adamant in defending your innocence, why don't you give me your explanation to these recent…developments amongst your classmates?"
Harry Potter's smirk grew. "As growing children, Headmistress, there comes a time when a boy reaches his adolescent years and his body begins to undergo certain changes. Come to think of it, this is hardly a phenomenon as girls only do the same. We've never questioned sudden height growth sprouts or other body parts undergoing change. We don't give a second thought to voice changes or hair sprouting in various places, or even sudden acne eruptions like Piers just the other day. The journey through puberty is, I have heard, a perilous one full of obstacles and embarrassment. Why then should we make any fuss out of Dudley's passage into adulthood when instead, we should be encouraging him to embrace these changes of nature with pride and accept who he is?"
Mrs Spencer blinked. She opened her mouth, ready to say something, then for many times thought better of it. "You think this is the result of puberty?" she finally spluttered.
Harry shrugged. "Care to come up with a better explanation, Mrs Spencer?" He leaned in, eyes glinting. "After all, surely even you cannot believe in magic."
For a moment, the young boy's expression seemed to change. No longer was he amused but the frown and that bitter turn of his mouth suggested to the Headmistress something else he hadn't told her. Something that ran far deeper than what Mrs Spencer would ever understand.
"Perhaps they never told you, Headmistress," he said, sounding ever so bitter, "but there's no such thing as magic."
Minutes after Harry Potter had finally left her office, Headmistress Spencer was nursing her headache with a cup of tea.
Peace, however, had yet to settle, for after moments of being established, it was once again disturbed, this time by an interruption at the fireplace.
The fireplace, an oddity in the Headmistress's Office that had strangely been installed five years ago under the insistence of the previous Headmistress, had suddenly lit up in vibrant flames of green.
Mrs Spencer jumped, the cup in her hand falling to the ground and staining the once pristine carpet with hot tea.
Nothing however could compare to what had occurred next.
As a teacher for well over four decades, Mrs Spencer had her share of surprises. Up until an hour ago, the strangest thing she had encountered in her career had been Dudley Dursley's pig snout.
This, however, took the cake.
For out of the green fire stepped a man, a man dressed peculiarly in a cloak of some sort and looking extremely exhausted.
"Jesus H. Christ," she said faintly.
The man, having noticed her, frowned a little. "I'm afraid you're a little mistaken there, madam. The name's Augustus Bones, representative of the Ministry of Magic, the Improper Use of Magic Office."
Mrs Spencer's mouth opened.
Her mind whirled back to the last moments she had spent in the company of the former Headmistress, during which she had surmised that Mrs Colby's early retirement was due to mental instability…
"Of course, I imagine your predecessor has already informed you of our presence," Augustus Bones continued smoothly. "Let me assure you that this…interaction we have between your world and ours is not a common occurrence. To my knowledge, there is only one other purely Muggle place the Floo Network makes exceptions for, and that's the Muggle Prime Minister's office. We've only taken the precautions necessary in installing the Floo passage out of convenience. Harry Potter, as you know, is a student of your school."
"Harry Potter," she prompted echoed.
The Headmaster of Stonewall Primary was dumbstruck. Harry Potter; of course. She should have known that whatever strange, inexplicable incident occurring in Stonewall would undoubtedly lead to him.
Augustus Bones took her words as the signal needed for him to elaborate.
"Harry Potter, you see," he continued, "is a rather unique case. In our line of work, average underage wizards typically initiate around twenty Minor Infractions of accidental magic before they begin their formal education. In the rare case that their magic becomes Volatile or At Risk of Exposure, the Office is notified and Obliviators are sent to moderate the memories of any non-magical persons involved.
"In the case of Harry Potter however, nothing is typical. The child undoubtedly causes my department the most disturbances out of the past century's records of underage cases, so often that the unofficial name of the Improper Use of Magic Office has become the 'Harry Potter Office'. The story of our exploits has become a legend in itself, and the amount of press coverage we receive is more than what even the likes of Lockhart is willing to receive. And believe me Headmistress Spencer; that is truly saying something."
Augustus shook his head in incredulity. "That, precisely, is also the reason why the Floo Network has allowed us an entrance to your office. Believe me, Harry Potter's exploits have yet to end. Despite the growing weight of endless consequences falling on him, his days of reigning the Harry Potter Office are far from over."
"Hang on a sec there," Mrs Spencer finally said as she regained the control of her senses. "You're saying the boy isn't normal, even by your standards?"
"There is no question, madam, that Harry Potter is anything but special," Augustus answered firmly. "From a young age, Mister Potter has defied all norms. There is much to speculate about his future."
Augustus circled the room, taking his time to inspect the items Mrs Spencer had arranged around her office.
"Let me elaborate a little for you. I realise that the Muggle tradition for inheritance tends to dictate its travelling down the bloodline. Picture, however, a community far smaller than yours, in which even those with what we consider to be the most diluted of magical blood still has flowing in them the blood of a hundred ancient houses, ancestors of the houses around today. Unlike you Muggle folk, our inheritance is not bestowed by merely having the blood of one house or another in our veins. No, our magical inheritance is given by worth. It is the worthiness of the man whose veins flows with the blood of his ancestors that truly decides the extent of his inheritance.
"And Harry Potter, well…as a child, perhaps some of his inheritance has already manifested. The boy survived the Killing Curse for a reason after all, though that is still largely speculation…But in the years to come, his powers will exceed even the wildest of legends that surround his story. The child you have in your hands is not a mere boy, madam, but a prince."
Mrs Spencer blinked at the word, finally something her whirring mind could grasp. A prince? Truly?
"Expect, therefore, regular visits from our people. I will, of course, notify you before we begin any memory modification. On the children, not you I mean," Augustus hastily reassured Mrs Spencer, perhaps sensing the horror that had crept onto her face. "The Office came to the decision that as you are an authority figure currently fixated in Mister Potter's life, it would be wise to keep you slightly informed."
As he finished, Augustus turned to the window, peeping through the half-opened blinds at perhaps the view of the playground which the location of the office conveniently offered. Perhaps he spotted the boy he was looking for, for he smiled for an instant.
"Rest assured, that boy will go far, madam."
Outside, the children were playing happily. Harry Potter was somewhere among them, she was sure. It was such a beautiful day, with the bright sun lighting up the playground like some idyllic setting to the perfect childhood. She could almost hear the birds chirping outside in agreement.
At that point precisely, Mrs Spencer came to an unfortunate conclusion: For the years to come, peace at Stonewall Primary would never again see the light of day.