Disclaimer: We all know how these work, I acknowledge that J. , Warner Bros. and Scholastic own Harry Potter and all other characters and settings from cannon, and I get to write whatever I please and even add in characters of my own as long as I don't get any money. The no money sucks but there you go, at least I don't get lawyers knocking on my door. Addendum: If you recognize a name of a character from elsewhere it isn't mine.

Harry's Hero by Silverfawkes

Chapter 8

As October turned to November Harry grew more bored in his classes and leaned more and more on his independent studies to keep himself happy. Socially he found himself connecting to older students more than his peers as older students investigated the school wide study group. He didn't leave his peers behind but he helped older students begin to build the same connections between each other that the first years had been building.

Most of the teachers were puzzled because the tensions that had existed for as long as they could remember between students of different houses were gradually fading. McGonagall, Flitwick and Sprout thought it was the most wonderful thing. Snape was too busy trying not to break his oath to pay attention to what was happening to the school as a whole. It was a week before November began when Severus Snape finally cracked and asked the Deputy Headmistress and the Headmaster to meet with him.

"Yes, Severus, what is it you need?" Minerva was concerned for her colleague. It hadn't escaped her that as term went on he had grown more distressed and his changes couldn't help but be noticed.

"I'm afraid I must give notice. I will finish out the year, but teaching has never been my first choice of career. You will have to find another Potion Master next year."

"Severus, how can you possibly consider leaving me in the lurch like this?" Albus said. "What if-?"

"Albus, this was always your plan, your way! Not once in all your planning did you ever consider the thoughts, feelings, or needs of your pawns in this chess match you have with the Dark Lord. I may believe the Dark Lord is still out there, I have promised to help bring him down, but I no longer trust that the path you want our world to tread is the correct one. I think you've lost it, old man. You have forced me here, under your thumb, to do your bidding all these years since I took the prophecy to Voldemort, unknowingly betraying my best friend. But I CANNOT do this anymore. I beg you let go before you destroy me, this school, and our world. I feel like I'm on the verge of being destroyed, I can't do this anymore. Please, let me go. Please, Albus. Be the good person I've always believed you to be not the ethically bankrupt person the press has painted you the last few years."

"And if he comes back, Severus?"

"If he comes back we can revisit this issue."

Minerva felt somewhat confused by the conversation between the two men. But she was also aware that Sirius and his allies were working to remove Dumbledore from the school anyway.

"Thank you for giving us so much notice, Severus. I will of course consult you with regards to your replacement, both as Potion Master and Head of Slytherin House." She thanked the Potion Master.

The prank Harry planned for Dumbledore would be epic. The old man wouldn't be able to resist the multicolor robe based off the costume from the Joseph and His Technicolor Dream-coat musical. Harry laughed. The coat, like Sirius' band-aid the day he left London, wouldn't radiate magic because it would be dependent on Dumbledore's magic. The spells were all being done as quilting stitches done in thread the same colors as the fabric they were being stitched onto. The trick was going to be how to turn it off. Since the coat would transform with him it had to have a separate turn off switch. Harry decided on a using a potion to turn it off, because it would be easier and less traceable for it to be delivered that way. He had thought Miss Parker would frown on his little project, but she liked the complexity of the spells required enough that she wasn't saying anything. Dumbles had tried twice more to corner Harry, but Minerva played the Head of House card and interfered before the old man got to the point. Harry learned via Fred and George that the students found the cerberus that was guarding the third floor corridor. Which meant the stone had many protections beyond the ones he'd seen in Severus Snape's mind, probably one from each major field of magic and the students were undoubtedly in danger courtesy of the Headmaster.

Harry did spend a few hours each week making sure that his first year friends were actually learning defense, and he was relieved to see Hermione relax a little and start to make some friends. Ron Weasley was still a pain in his backside every chance he got. Harry suspected that his own attitude only served to egg the other boy on. He and Dean Thomas had managed to organize pickup football matches in one of the larger courtyards on Saturdays two hours after lunch. Of course those games only happened on days when the weather wasn't horrible which now that winter had set in wasn't often.

Then came the morning that a large parcel carried by four owls arrived for Harry. Harry opened it wondering what Sirius has sent him. He opened it inside was a letter.

Hey kiddo,

Now that winter has set in, I imagine the pickup games are getting hard to do so here's my answer. ENJOY! Until we get Albus out we can't do the fitness center we talked about. I have lined up a goblin architect and one of the muggleborns' parents that is an architect to draw up plans for one. The construction workers will probably be a mixed team of house elves, goblins and wizards/witches.

Business wise MCP network here in the UK goes up next month and I have acquired contracting rights with all the cell phone companies so they should work anywhere an ordinary cell phone does. There is now a contract with the British Ministry of Magic with Potter Black Industries for us to supply cell phones, computers and training to the workers at the ministry. Isn't that great?

I've also lined up a network for the distribution of basilisk venom. I've decided that for liability purposes we should probably treat it the way we do controlled substances in the muggle world. Malcom and Mai Reynolds are heading it up stateside, and are helping with the controls worldwide. We should be ready to start distribution in three months give or take a couple weeks. Will Shreedevi be ready by then? I'll ship you more sheep next week. We've contracted with the Longbottom Nurseries for the dung. I've put it just under the price for dragon dung at least for the first year or two. If it's as imbued with magic as we expect we will probably be able to raise the price to match if not exceed in a year or two.

As for your idea for creating a cross-cultural database when we do a census, it is slowly catching on. It helps the muggle PM and the royals like the idea. Beth thinks it's a very sound idea to build trust and increase a safely monitored interaction between the worlds. Even Lucius and Lady Longbottom favor it. We figure it will also help us to keep tabs on the raft of candidates that we'll be seeing form up starting next month. The first elections are going to be held in May, and candidates have to announce by January.

The triplets keep asking how long 'til Harry comes back. They miss the weekends you used to spend playing with them something fierce. I miss seeing you too. I know we talk on the phone when things come up but it's not the same as seeing you in person I miss the hugs, and the way we bounce business ideas back and forth. I 'm trying to remember exactly how I started teaching you the business so I can do it with Jamie, but he doesn't have your attention span or your determination and work ethic and the girls aren't interested either. Oh well, maybe they'll be interested when they're older.

I'm very pleased with the reports of your progress from your tutors, and Rachel should start showing up next week. Jarrod and Miss Parker are both highly complimentary of your work with them. They've also complained to me about Dumbledore's attempts to either observe or stop their lessons with you. I think as a result Miss Parker is rather looking forward to the outcome of your prank. Be sure and get lots of pictures will you?

In the meantime enjoy the movies.

Love, Padfoot

Harry pushed the packing material away. When he saw the projector and DVD player he grinned. "Movie Nights here we come!" He thought. He looked up at the table where the teachers sat. He looked at his Head of House. He hoped to catch her eye. He would need a half day or more to get the projector and sound system up in place in the Great Hall. He really looked forward to introducing movies to the pureblood segment of the magical population. Hopefully the creativity his fellow students would see, would inspire their own creativity, and revive the currently stagnating magical population. He checked to see what movies Sirius had sent. He laughed when he saw "Sword and the Stone" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" He knew both movies would garner mass amusement in the magical crowd. "The Star Wars Trilogy", "War Games", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Chariots of Fire", "The Right Stuff", "Ghandi", "Dirty Dancing", "Top Gun" Harry's eyebrows rose at the last two. They were a touch racy in terms of sex, especially for first and second year students, but they would also raise awareness of what muggles were currently capable of and the more current muggle social viewpoint regarding sex. "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" while that one was a very funny movie Harry wasn't completely sure about showing it in a school full of teens. Then again it might raise awareness of how magical or muggle, teens were teens. He noticed the intended screen was shrunken in the bottom of the box . It was the only part of the configuration that could be. The electronics- while able to use magic for a power source, and tolerant of magical surroundings- were too delicate to take shrinking or weightless charms hence the four owls to bring it.

"What do you got there, Harry?" Fred Weasley asked.


Several heads at the Gryffindor table snapped in his direction filled with expressions of disbelief. Harry couldn't help himself: he laughed. "Give me a hand, I need to get this stuff up to McGongall's office before class. I think I know what most of us will be doing Friday night."

Harry spent Friday afternoon systematically going through, assembling and mounting the screen, projector and sound system. McGonagall as Deputy Headmistress had given permission for the enterprise and was as curious as a cat about what Harry was doing. She wasn't the only one. Flitwick had also made a beeline for the Great Hall after his classes to observe. Harry was a little bothered by the audience, but went about properly enlarging the screen and mounting it in the Great Hall from one of the support beams above the teachers' table. Then came the finding the right place to mount the projector. Harry was glad he was a good flier because he had to concentrate not only on what the broom was doing he also had to work the various levitation charms to lift the various pieces of the mount and hover while he screwed them into place. Once he had the screen and projector in place he had to work even longer to figure out the speaker placement for the best sound and balance the speaker output with various charms. It was time for his private lessons before he was done.

Albus was scowling all through dinner that evening he really hadn't liked that he had been overruled by both his staff and the board of governors into allowing this "mooty" night. In his day students were encouraged to study. But instead tonight the Great Hall would be reconfigured and the student body would be watching something called "Star Wars". As if the children needed to be exposed to war between stars. If the student body liked it, nights like tonight would be happening every two weeks much to his displeasure.

At exactly seven forty five dinner disappeared.. The tables floated up and over the students to the back of the Hall and the first years enthusiastically moved the benches so they faced the teacher's table. Harry gleefully set the example by transfiguring the bench he moved into a row of comfortable seats. Many of the sixth and seventh years followed his example as did Professor McGonagall. Harry then summoned the screen down and locked it in place then went to the back of the hall where he had placed a cabinet to house the DVD player, the soundboard for the speakers, and the projector controls. He activated them, then raced back to his seat between Neville and Draco. Draco was practically bouncing in his seat, He couldn't wait to be able to discuss the movie with his fellow Slytherins.

To say that movie night was an eye-opening experience for the teachers and students of Hogwarts was to understate the case. In the week that followed discussions and debates raged through the school. What were muggles capable of? Harry found himself giving impromptu lectures about how movies were made. What were the ethics of magic use? When the discussions of the movie and the debate about magical ethics took precedence over the upcoming Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff quidditch match, Harry knew if there was ever a time to influence the future of the magical world it was then. So he asked Minerva if they could organize a formal discussion panel and ask the Minister of Magic, the Chief Witch of the Wizengamot, and head of DMLE if they could participate. He posted notices in all the common rooms asking for questions for the panel from the students. He asked Sue and Draco to help him moderate. Moving the British Magicals into the modern era really needed to start with the young, and he knew it.

Harry couldn't help but smile,things were going so well. Now if only his classes were going better. Perhaps he needed to think of some more pranks, light a figurative fire under a few of his professors.

Two days later Harry was slipping from the potions classroom. Getting past the wards Snape kept on his classroom had been very tricky. He had heard the seventh years were brewing Dreamless sleep today, and thought it was a perfect opportunity for a prank. Ordinarily pranking and brewing potions didn't go together, but these were seventh year students. Odds of a catastrophic reaction were very low, especially with a Potion Master like Snape. Harry had lightly coated the bottoms of all the cauldrons with a mixture of olive oil, billywig stingers, menthol, and eucalyptus. A tablespoon per cauldron when mixed with Dreamless sleep's first five ingredients would result in a vapor that would make the person inhaling it talk in a high squeaky voice for a day. The nice part was it took about an hour to take affect, and it didn't affect the dreamless sleep at all. Smiling he made his way back up to the Great Hall. Dinner that evening was punctuated by high squeaky voices of the handful of seventh years taking potions that made most everyone laugh while Professor Snape scowled at everyone and resisted all attempts at getting him to say anything. Harry and the rest of the Gryffindors still got the chance to snicker over the voice change; their next potions class took place before the effects wore off.

The next day, Harry cast an illusion of an acromantula behind Quirrell during defense class. He was careful to have it descend from the shadows up by the ceiling.. It worked better than he expected. Quirrell ran out of the room shrieking. Not only did he give Quirrell palpitations, he made Ron Weasley faint dead away. Harry gave himself away when instead of joining his classmates in the mass exodus he started snickering. Susan who was almost out the door stopped.

"You prat! You did that!?"

Harry lost it and started to really laugh. "Yup." he said as he dispelled the illusion.

Harry got a detention scouring the trophy room with Filch for that one, but he didn't really mind. It had been worth it, finding out Ron Weasley was afraid of spiders. Besides Sirius would be disappointed if he never got detention.

Rachel felt a little odd as she walked up to the castle in the predawn gloom. It had been most of three months since she had last seen Harry. She had still been in the hospital in India when he had his send off to Hogwarts although Remus had shared the pictures. Sirius had done a lot to support her as she recovered. He had encouraged her to take time off; siting the fact she had taken very little time off during Harry's pre-Hogwarts years. The fact was though, she missed her young protege. She missed their spars because he was one of the few that could really challenge her. What he lacked in strength he more than made up for in speed and originality. She figured for the next month or two she'd get more from their spars than he did.

She wondered how his animagus studies were progressing. She wondered if he was bored, if he was she pitied his teachers. Even at Stuart-Cavanaugh Harry had demonstrated he was a bit of a prankster, add a lack of stimulation and Harry might come up with ways to amuse himself that would leave the recipients wishing he was better occupied.

She was surprised when a house elf met her just inside the entrance doors. "If Miss bes following Hattie I'll bes taking you tos the Earl."

"Thank you, Hattie."

They went up the stairs. Seven floors worth then down a hall to a door across from a tapestry where there were trolls in tutus. "In the come go room Miss."

Rachel opened the door. The room looked exactly like the workout room at Sirius' place in Maryland.

Harry, who had been stretching, bounced to his feet and bounded the ten feet to the door to envelop Rachel in a hug. "It's so good to see you!"

"I missed you too, kiddo!"

"You're all better now?"

"Almost as good as new. I'm likely a little rusty, so go kinda easy on me."

"I will. I'm probably not in top form either kata are only good for so much. I'm mostly warmed up just need to finish stretching."

They did some team stretches. While they stretched, they talked about the animagus transformation.

An hour later they moved to the changing rooms on either side of the room, and changed into robes for the day. Harry had asked Rachel to stay for breakfast so he could introduce her to his friends.

At the Gryffindor table many of the older students were surprised by the good-looking adult witch, who cheerfully joined the first year students and they wondered who she was. Minerva knew that she worked for Sirius and had been one of Harry's tutors for a long time. Dumbledore took a bit of exception to her presence however.

"Who is that? He almost scowled looking at the Gryffindor table.

"Rachel Luttrell, she's one of Harry's tutors." Minerva answered. "Martial arts, I believe."

This brought a completely cross look to Dumbledore's face. "It's not right for that boy to have all these strangers brought into the castle. What if one of them was on Voldemort's side?"

Minerva frowned. "I am certain Sirius screens his employees vigorously."

The owls started to arrive. Dumbledore was surprised when amongst his mail was a box that once removed from the owl delivering it grew into a large one. He opened it. Inside was the most fabulous robe he had ever seen. It had all the colors of the rainbow and was quite simply breathtaking. He looked for a card. He found it. Happy belated birthday. He immediately checked to see if it was in some way trapped but all his spells came back negative. "Oh my." he said as he lifted it from the box. He conjured a mirror behind the teachers' table and pulling the robe from the box held it up so he could get an idea of what it would look like. It was quite simply the most splendid robe he had ever seen.

Down at the Gryffindor table Harry noted the arrival of the large box for the Headmaster. He gave Rachel a slight nudge and his eyes started to dance as Albus pulled the robe from the box. When the mirror was conjured, several other students around the Hall noticed the activity at the teachers' table as well. Harry sincerely hoped the robe would prove too hard for the Headmaster to resist, so he was delighted as he saw the Headmaster swirl his wand for a switching spell.

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore had a scant moment to admire himself in the new robe before to his great surprise he was transformed into a goat complete with a long white beard. "MAAA!" The startled bleat echoed through the Great Hall drawing the attention of everyone.

Between the beard and the half moon spectacles it was obvious what had happened. Many of the students who didn't particularly care for the Headmaster burst into guffaws, and they weren't the only ones, most of the teachers, even Snape, also started laughing.

Minerva bit her lip to keep from laughing, however she couldn't help but smile at the somewhat appropriate image that was now before her. "Old goat" was how she often thought of him when he was manipulating things but now he was, at least outwardly, a goat and it was all she could do to maintain her decorum. She was startled as several cameras flashed from around the hall. Perhaps it was time to call things back to order. "Yes, students, it is very funny. It's time for classes now. My first class, go to the library and revise switching spells while I assist the Headmaster." She wasn't sure which of the school's resident pranksters had gotten the Headmaster but she had a suspicion it was one of her lions.

Still laughing, Harry and his classmates headed to Herbology and Rachel was snickering as she exited the castle with them. Harry winked and said, "Show Sirius the memory of that, he'll get a kick out of it."

Rachel laughed, and nodded before heading to the Hogwarts gates.

Late that night Harry spelled his shoes with silencing charms pulled on his dad's cloak and slipped into the Great Hall. There he placed spells that would transfigure the clothes of anyone sitting there at 8:39 a.m. tomorrow, which would likely mean the entire school would be hit, since that was when the post owls delivered. Tomorrow he would give everyone a taste of modern uniforms and he intended to have a petition for students to sign stating which they preferred, the modern uniform or the traditional one.

He had an agenda and wasn't afraid to use pranks to his own advantage. He was going to wait a week before giving the Headmaster the potion that would change his magical signature long enough for him to shed the robe that was causing him to be a goat.