Remuneration for Instructional Services

Author's Note

This story is the result of a bit of thinking on Take no Umbridge that couldn't go in that story. The muse would not be denied, so you got this short that whose future should be labeled like the pipes on the Enterprise (no bloody A, B, C, D, or E) GNDN.

"Albus, we have a problem," Griselda Marchbanks said, as she entered the Headmaster's Office. It had been three days since the end of the 1995 to 1996 term, and the final grades for OWL students were done and being prepared to send out to their professors.

"I do hope we don't, Griselda," Albus Dumbledore said, looking up form his own paperwork. "The last time you said that we had to bring in sixteen students to retest their OWLs in Charms."

"No, not with the tests themselves," Griselda said. "Though there was an interesting disparity in Defense grades this year, not a single outstanding and only one exceeds expectations from Slytherin in OWLs this year. Mister Potter was a class by himself... and he's where the problems starts."

"I find that surprising," Albus said. "Harry Potter is rarely, if ever, the source of a problem. Solution yes, but source? Every time I have thought that, I have been wrong."

"I assure you that he is at the very least the center of the issue I have," Griselda said, as she pulled out a stack of papers.

"Center of an issue, that I can believe," Albus replied, looking down at the papers that she had pulled out. "What problem is Harry at the center of in ..." He read from the top sheet. "... notification of students grades in Ordinary Wizarding Levels?"

Griselda pulled out a sheet of paper from the stack. "I have here a notification for Hogwarts Defense Against the Dark Arts Instructor Harry James Potter on the grades that his students Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Ronald Weasley, Susan Bones, Hannah Abbott, Lavender Brown, Seamus Finnigan, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Dean Thomas, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Ernie MacMillan, Zacharias Smith. All of which, by the way, received Outstandings, some of highest grades we have had in Defense in decades."

"I see."

"I should note, that on the master list, Mister Potter is listed as self-taught this year."

Dumbledore's left eyebrow rose. "And the issue is?"

"I investigated further, and it seems that since October of this past year, Hogwarts has apparently been employing two Defense Against the Dark Arts Professors. One of these professors, the more successful of the two, judging from both OWL and NEWT scores, was not being paid, against all Hogwarts rules."

"Then we shall have to rectify that immediately," Dumbledore said. "And given the exceptional performance, I should think that Mister Potter was worth a great deal more than Professor Umbridge." He pulled a sheet of paper out from his desk. Across the top was the title, 'Dumbledore's Army.' "I believe that this is Harry Potter's class roll. Can you remove these students from Professor Umbridge's totals?"

"Certainly, Albus. And I shall note that by doing so Professor Umbridge will be falling below the required standards, thus not be receiving her final check. Mister Potter, will be receiving the OWL student count bonuses." Griselda said, looking down the list. "And if I'm not mistaken, the NEWT bonus, as well, since the Weasley twins stopped by for private testing at the ministry shortly after their departure from Hogwarts. It is not often that students who leave two months early earn six NEWTs each, two days after they left, not that they want that spread around."

"I always thought they knew more than they tested. I shall keep it under my hat, Griselda. Minerva will not like the news, however, that her bonus streak of ten years ends due to a fifth year moonlighting as a part time Defense instructor. Alas, all good things must end."

"Indeed Albus. I shall see to the delivery of Mister Potter's copy of this, and I trust that a suitable deposit, as we have discussed, will make it's way to him?"

Harry Potter placed the letter in front of his Aunt Petunia. It was a true measure of his shock in receiving it, that he handed it over when his aunt had found him sitting there shocked. He listened as his aunt read it outloud.

"Dear Mister Potter,

"I write this letter to inform you of the Ordinary Wizarding Levels (OWLs) results of your students in your first year teaching at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Thirteen students, plus yourself, were found as having you as their Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, as honestly answered on their written examination. I am proud to say that despite your youth, one hundred percent of your OWL year students received an Outstanding on their exam. In fact, on the practical level, your students scored in the top hundred scores this century.

"Enclosed are their individual scores. As you are a first time professor, who took your own OWLs this year, please be aware that your fellow students will likely remain unaware of their scores until late July. Please keep these scores confidential from students other than the recipient.

"NEWT scores are expected to be sent to you and your fellow professors some time in the next week.

"It is my personal hope that you will continue to lend your considerable teaching talents to Hogwarts during the next year.


"Griselda Marchbanks, Wizarding Examination Board."

Harry was still staring at nothing when his aunt finished reading. When his aunt handed him back the letter, something that he found extremely odd, especially since she hadn't looked at the second page. That was entirely out of character for her, Harry knew. When she'd collected the mail for the couple at Number Seven, she'd read all that she could without disturbing it. Her nosiness would not allow her not to.

"I do hope you got paid for that," Aunt Petunia shot. "Good teachers are hard to come by, and should be rewarded appropriately."

Still somewhat shocked, Harry looked up at his aunt. "Good teachers ... you think I'm a good teacher?"

"With your entire class getting Outstanding on standardized tests," Petunia began, "And I'm sure you were not teaching to the test, I should say you are quite good. I never got to use it, but I've got a degree in Elementary Education. I know what a good teacher looks like. I remember those reports from your first few teachers on how you liked to help out, and if you think that Dudley would have learnt his letters without you ... well I love my son, but he's no genius. Not that I'd ever tell him that, mind you. I never could figure out why you stopped helping your teachers out."

Harry couldn't stop himself from mumbling. "Dudley beat up anyone that I offered to help."

"Are you saying my son is a bully?" Petunia shot back.

With sudden confidence, he looked his aunt in the eye, and said what he had been wanting to say and be believed since he was seven years old. "Yes. He beats up anyone smaller in the neighborhood than him. His favorite pastime is Harry Hunting. If I hadn't learnt to run, I would have ended up on the roof more than once. As it is, he made my school life miserable. I once wanted to be a teacher, you know. After no one stood up for me when Dudley beat up on me, well, I didn't want to become like them. I torpedoed my science grade one year, deliberately, and no one said a single word. I don't trust teachers. Some of them earn it back, but those are few and far between. You and Uncle Vernon taught me that I had to rely on myself. I could count that any help I needed wasn't going to come."

Harry took a deep breath, suddenly realizing that his rant had gone far from his initial subject. "So, yeah, your son is a bully. He may have told your that he was drinking tea at Piers' house? If he's at the same place as yesterday when he said that, he's at the playground panting big blue D's on the slide and beating up little Mark Evans."

"Excuse me, Harry," Petunia said, her face going from shock at Harry's statement to determination. "I think I need to go to the playground."

Dolores Umbridge was just about to leave Saint Mungos. She had recovered from her encounter with the centaurs, and had great hopes that she might resume her post at Hogwarts, despite Cornelius's recent ousting as Minister for Magic. She hadn't resigned. True she'd spent the last week of school in the Hospital Wing, but that was totally understandable. True, the ministry had required a check up at Saint Mungos, but that was also understandable.

The Hogwarts owl that had delivered the message was white, just like that blasted Potter's owl. Oh it wasn't that owl, but it was the same type. She opened the message and read it.

"Notice of Adjustment of Rolls.

"Dear Professor Dolores Umbridge,

"Upon examination of OWLs, which as you know are conducted with special quills, ensuring honest answers, we have adjusted your rolls for the year, and hence your compensation. Of your fifth year class, thirteen have been retroactively transferred from October on to Harry James Potter. Ten students have been retroactively transferred from November on to Professor Serverus Snape. Nine students have been retroactively transferred from September on to Professor Alastor Moody.

"While there were thirteen students who achieved Outstanding OWLs, all of these were students of Harry James Potter. The Average OWL score for the remaining eight students was Dreadful. As such, we have no choice but to end your employment as Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

"Furthermore, the transfers indicate that you did not teach all of fifth year. As such we are adjusting your compensation based on this. It has been removed from your last paycheck. Regrettably this leaves you remaining pay as two knuts. Further adjustment may be necessary based on the upcoming NEWT results, forthcoming next week.


"Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster, on behalf of the Board of Governors.

"Enclosure: payment of two knuts."

Dolores knew where Potter lived. She raised her wand, and prepared to transport herself. Unfortunately for her, she was still within the wards of Saint Mungo's. So when she cackled loudly, and attempted to leave, her splinching was truly epic. Her cries of rage from where her head ended up on top of the vanishing cabinet, nearly had her transferred to the Janus Thickey Ward. As it was, it was another two weeks before she was released.

Both the OWLs and NEWTs results were now in, and letters officially distributed. Professor Dumbledore could no longer delay the midsummer staff dinner. It was traditional for the bonus for the most Outstandings in both the NEWTs and OWLs to be presented. In the past, a few departing Defense Against the Dark Arts Professors had won one or the other of the bonuses. Minerva's streak of ten years for OWLs had been proceeded by one of those Defense Professors, and she'd tied with Remus Lupin for NEWTs a couple years ago. In both cases, he'd invited the professor in question back for the meeting. In the case of the late Professor Diedre Fenestra, who Dumbledore had actually thought had beaten the curse, it had been her last dinner.

Dumbledore figured that Harry was probably safe from that curse, at the moment. Of course, that did not mean he was entirely safe from the other members of the Hogwarts staff. All too often he'd been the target of one or another of the staff, usually the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. Dumbledore had not sent an invitation to Professor Umbridge. As far as he knew, that professor had not actually tried to kill Harry, though she'd come close to doing from some reports that he'd heard, and he didn't want to give another teacher of that subject a chance during the summer time.

That was why he was waiting in a antechamber to the Staff Dining Hall for Harry to arrive by port-key. Harry appeared with his usual windswept hair, but surprisingly wearing a gray suit coat with his Gryffindor tie and dress pants. They looked brand new. "Good Evening, Harry," Dumbledore greeted.

"I hope so, Professor," Harry replied. He apparently noticed Dumbledore's gaze. "Aunt Petunia insisted that I get these. She said they were proper professorial attire. Apparently teaching, no matter what the subject is very respectable." Harry rolled his eyes that the thought.

"I see," Dumbledore said, though he didn't really. "Come, your arrival should complete our company."

"What is Mr. Potter doing here?" Severus Snape asked drily.

"Tradition," Dumbledore said, as vaguely as he could. "Harry, the seat to my right is yours."

"Oh no, he can't have," Snape began. "It's not enough that he's the spitting image of his pureblooded, privileged, get every thing his own way, father, but he can't have somehow beat Minerva..."

"Please, Severus, be civilized before the guests, for once," Dumbledore admonished. "Your bitting wit can be a treat, but wait at least until desert." Snape rolled his eyes, but went silent.

Everyone sat down at the table. Snape took the seat as far as possible from Harry. Dumbledore shook his head. Everyone had gathered, so there was no reason to delay the announcements. "As you know, it is traditional to award a bonus to the staff members who produce the highest number of Outstanding OWLs and NEWTs, as well as any staff member whose students break a record score in their subject. I shall start with the last. Severus, you have once again managed to produce a new record for an student's Potion's OWL, with Mr. Blaise Zabini very narrowly beating out Mr. Malfoy for the honor, both of which beat Mr. Percy Weasley's previous record. A fifty galleon bonus will be in your next check."

Snape got some polite applause, which Harry joined.

"Minerva, I am assured that you will be greatly surprised, that Mr. Harry Potter, here, has managed to earn you fifty galleons for his Transfiguration OWL. Regretfully, you own me ten of that, as you were betting on Miss Granger."

McGonagall nodded, and favored Harry with a brief smile, as everyone clapped.

"And now for the two awards I'm sure you're all waiting for. With thirteen Outstanding OWLs, one hundred percent of all the students he taught Defense in counter to Professor Umbridge, Mr. Harry Potter earned himself a hundred and fifty galleons. Mr. Potter also tied with Severus for NEWT outstandings, which of course earned both of you an additional three hundred galleons from Hogwarts and the Wizarding Examination Authority."

"Potter, I'm keeping the trophy in my office."

As usual, Compliments, Complaints, Comments, Corrections, and Critique accepted eagerly.