Okay, here is the long-awaited first chapter of my sequel to Forging Destiny. I can't promise really fast updates as I don't have that much pre-written thanks to not having that much time with working, but I have enough to start the story.
The normal disclaimer is valid which is I don't own anything of the Potter-verse, only my ideas about the changes. Happy reading.
New Ideas and Quidditch
Harry sat in a room with some of his friends from different houses at Hogwarts. He and his father had just returned from their summer vacation in France two days ago and now his father was busy with his duties as Minister of Magic. Thanks to over a decade of mismanagement there was still much to do at the Ministry, despite having had four months of cleaning up. One of the major projects was Hogwarts and that was the reason why Harry and nineteen other students were here in this room. From each house of Hogwarts there had been five students chosen to tell honestly where the major problems lay. First each of them had written down their opinions on each subject, the teacher and the resources used to teach the subject.
Next had been a brainstorming session how the students thought a certain subject could be improved, how a teacher could make the students easier understand a subject, what they wished to learn next to the existing subjects and so on. The results were surprising for the Educational Commission to say the least. Most students complained about Professors Binns and Snape, which wasn't that surprising, nearly all praised Professors Lupin, Hagrid and Flitwick and even the Slytherins wanted to add more subjects to the teaching plan and have more teachers to offer more individual support as the heads of houses were so busy that they never had time for things that interested the students like setting up a duelling club or a traditions club.
The research papers had been read as well and the members of the commission agreed that many suggestions were good and worthy of being implemented at Hogwarts. The Ministry had freed one hundred thousand galleons for this year to get things started at Hogwarts. Thanks to the goblins now properly managing the Hogwarts vault with Harry's permission the fund that the founders set up to keep the school running provided them with fifty thousand galleons more per year than it had in the past. That was only one change that had been made possible by Sirius acting as proxy for Harry.
Others were also in progress. All students of Hogwarts had been sent a pamphlet with suggestions for new school uniforms. That had been an idea the girls in Harry's year had come up with and that had spread through the other girls at Hogwarts. They found the standard robes to make them look undesirable and plump. So they had thought that they should simply come up with a school uniform that was looking better, still comfortable and much more modern. Sirius and Harry had agreed with the idea and after seeing suggestions for the school uniforms that were still practical, but looked much better than the robes, Harry as heir of three founders, even if only two were public knowledge, had okayed the pamphlets.
Now all students had time till the end of July to make their decision so that Madam Malkin and the other outfitters for Hogwarts could stock up on the new type of uniform. The teachers had been hesitant to go with it, Dumbledore had thrown a major stink, but in the end it was a decision of the students that was backed by the founders' heir Harry Potter-Black.
Back to the Educational Commission. They would analyse the results and hire teachers for new subjects and some for existing subjects like Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, History of Magic and Defence Against the Dark Arts. While Remus Lupin had broken the curse on the DADA position by coming back to teach for another year, there was much work to do in the subject that a second teacher would be more than needed. Especially as the students needed to catch up after years of incompetent teachers, Professor Lupin being the exception. On top of the existing workload the next years were of higher numbers. There had been more children born after the war had ended. Many couples had decided that it was finally safe enough again to have children after Voldemort was gone and the worst Death Eaters imprisoned. It would still take time to get the numbers of witches and wizards back to a level that was enough to keep the population in Britain stable as many young witches and wizards had been killed by Voldemort before they could have children or they only had one like in Harry's and Susan Bones' cases.
Finally the members of the commission thanked the students for coming and cooperating with the questioning. The students had been from all years third-year and up and five of each house. This ensured that they wouldn't get a too biased opinion of the state of things at Hogwarts. The chosen students were mixed of all origins and ranked from average to good in their classes. This had been done to get ideas how to improve the way classes were taught. After all, the average students would be able to better tell which kind of support they needed to become better at school. A genius like Hermione who could learn easily from books was simply no measuring means for normal students.
Sirius sat in another meeting concerning the security precautions for the upcoming important matches of the Quidditch World Cup. So far only the qualifications had been held and those had been all over the world in the nations that participated. Only the best thirty two teams would play on English ground. And those matches were to be secured. After all, with the TV now recording all the matches a security breach would be published really quickly. Thankfully he had managed to let Amelia hire more aurors and hit-wizards for the DMLE already. The force had been increased by half the existing numbers and the goal was tripling the original numbers. It would take time as the cadets needed to be trained first, but for now it was enough.
As mass events were uncommon in the wizarding world, Sirius had looked up experts that lived in the muggle world and had them teach the DMLE the basics. A signed magical oath was after all a perfect measure to prevent the magical world being revealed to the muggles. Sirius had met with the Prime Minister already and had introduced himself as the new Minister of Magic one week after being sworn into office. He found the Prime Minister to be a very good conversationalist and they had exchanged ideas over a few hours. The fact that Sirius contrary to Fudge wasn't an arrogant jerk in the Prime Minister's eyes was a massive bonus for him.
Sirius finally explained certain things to the Prime Minister like how the magical world concealed itself, how little most wizards were able to blend in with the muggles and how he intended to lessen the rift between their two people. They worked out ideas how to ease the cooperation between their two law enforcements and agreed on meeting once a month to exchange news. The Prime Minister found it really ironic that the escaped convict that had been wanted only a year ago was now the British Minister of Magic. Sirius had to admit that it was quite unbelievable and humorous.
Amelia explained the plans on how the camp site would be organized and how problems with the muggles would be prevented. They would make sure that the muggles that normally led the camping grounds were sent on vacation during the time of the World Cup. Otherwise the obliviators would have to work overtime and it was much easier to simply put the whole area under muggle repelling charms. Sirius suggested having the Department for International Magical Cooperation take care of setting up the site to avoid conflicts among the Quidditch fans from all over the world. They could set up maps where each booked camp-site was shown and hand out small guides in the language of the visitors to them. It would be best to group those speaking the same language together. That way they could minimize misunderstandings.
The others agreed and the new head of Magical Cooperation promised to take care of the organisation.
Next point on the agenda was managing the masses before and after a match. While in the stadium it would be quite easy to calm whole areas down with runes embedded in the seats if necessary, but after a match was a different story. In the end Rufus suggested storing massive supplies of sleeping potion that could be thrown into pulps that were out of control and simply make the fighting parties fall asleep. It would minimise injuries on side of the DMLE officers and the fighters. The suggestion was also accepted.
Harry cheered for the Irish team when they won the semi-finals. This was so great. He had had to accompany his father to the matches of England, which had been taken out too early really by Transylvania of all opponents, that was embarrassing, Scotland, a bit better, but still already out of the equation, Wales who had lost because Bulgaria's seeker Krum had caught the snitch before they could score enough goals to go on, but otherwise the team had played well, and Ireland who were now progressing to the finals. And of course he would get to see both semi-finals and the finals no matter who was going to play. Next to Harry his friends cheered for the victory of Ireland against Kenya.
Harry had offered the tickets he had got through his father to all of his friends and to make things fair he had simply drawn the order in which they would be able to come with him. The Weasleys, Hermione and Neville had tickets for the finals through Ron's Dad who had got them from Ludo Bagman, so Harry didn't have to worry about that. He had got four tickets next to his for each match and so for the matches he had enough tickets to let them all see at least one match. Of course tickets for the later matches were more desired.
Harry knew that after the finals, which would be held between Ireland and Bulgaria, as the first semi-final between Bulgaria and Argentina had gone in favour of Bulgaria; there would be a get together for some important guests. He was expected to represent his country next to his father and be on his best behaviour. It was a small sacrifice, but he would get through this. He had learned French, German, Spanish, Italian and Bulgarian through magical courses that could be bought at Flourish and Blott's for two galleons per language. It was a neat trick to quickly learn a language through magic, but it was limited to one language per week and eight in six months. The brain simply couldn't take too much information at once.
But for the World Cup it was perfect and Harry now could converse with guests from other nations fluently, which was important. He didn't know why so few actually used the option. While it was a bit pricey to buy the courses, two galleons for fluent speaking of a language wasn't too much, especially as you didn't lose the knowledge over time. Once you went through the course, the information was put into your mind over night while you slept; you had the knowledge for the rest of your life. Hermione predictably had been angry that she hadn't known about the possibility before. She then had proceeded to also learn French and German. More her parents didn't allow her, but it was a good start for her.
Harry had also finally mastered his animagus transformation and got much praise from his father and his parents' portrait. His lessons in family history were taken over by his Dad's portrait while his Pa was at work. His Mum taught him more about Charms and Potions; her two top subjects at Hogwarts, though she had little to complain about his Charms work. She often gave colourful descriptions of what she wanted to do with Snape for sabotaging her son's and all students' education in Potions like he did. Harry had blushed hearing some of her curses while his Dad had been rolling on the floor laughing. Not that he didn't get a stinging hex at his rear for that. Harry wondered how his Mum could hex his Dad when they both were portraits. He would probably never know.
On the weekends he had trained with his Pa on some other practical skills. Duelling, formally and fighting variants, warding basics, and some Transfiguration. Harry was very happy with how much he had learned so far. He could now finally control the power he had got on top of his former level. That had been annoying in the beginning. While he had been easily able to do spells, the accuracy wasn't always to his liking. He had been taught by his Pa that performing a spell with the right amount of magic was much harder than simply pushing all the magic you could into it. With some spells that could end badly, though none of them was part of the first four years at Hogwarts.
Those spells would come up at OWL level and later for NEWTs. In the beginning channelling enough magic was trying enough for the students. That's why silent casting was only taught after the OWLs. Beginners were busy enough to channel enough magic and perform the wand movements correctly to concentrate completely on the effect they wanted to achieve. Harry had to work on that during his weekend lessons whenever they were covering advanced magic. Which had only started during the last two months of the school year honestly. Other parts had been a higher priority.
Harry would continue taking lessons at the weekends this year to catch up on things about family history, training for being an heir and whatever his father thought would help him in the future. Thankfully Professor Lupin would continue teaching Defence. Harry and all of his classmates had been incredibly happy hearing that. Harry was also glad that so many changes were going to happen at Hogwarts no matter what Dumbledore wanted. The headmaster didn't have the power to go against the decisions of the heirs of the founders if they were backed by half of the student body. And many students were sick of how the standards had been lowered, how discrimination had alienated the houses from each other and especially the girls disliked how the uniforms made them look fat.
Harry wasn't an expert on the last part, but his Pa had told him that it was a girl thing that boys would never understand, and so he decided to simply take it as a statement. The new uniforms were really looking good in his opinion. Some traditionalists in the Ministry had complained when they had heard about the voting results, but as they weren't the ones having to wear them there was nothing they could do but whine, which was met with eye-rolling by their colleagues. Times were changing and those who couldn't adept would be left behind.
Now instead of bulky robes in black the students would wear dark trousers in either blue or black, a white dress shirt or blouse and dark coloured woollen V-neck pullovers with their house's crest stitched on the left side of the chest. For first-years there would be the Hogwarts crest until they were sorted, then a spell would alter it to match their house's crest. Girls could opt to either wear skirts or trousers as their uniform. Boys had to wear ties while girls got shawls in their house's colour.
During feasts the students would add robes that resembled capes. The robes would be in the main colour of their houses, meaning green for Slytherin, blue for Ravenclaw, yellow for Hufflepuff and red for Gryffindor. At the welcoming feast those robes would be handed to the first-years by their respective head of house during the sorting. It was a new part of the sorting ceremony that Harry had decided to include after the choice of school uniforms had been published. He thought it would be nice for the first-years to get something handed that made them feel included directly.
Thanks to the work of the Educational Committee many changes had been started. Snape and Binns had got sacked and new teachers were hired to take their places. The Ministry had ignored Dumbledore's protests and stated that no plan of his concerning using Snape as a possible spy again justified sabotage of the children's education. The Muggle Studies teacher had been given two years off to really learn about how muggles lived and during that time a muggleborn wizard was taking over her position. Muggle Studies was also made mandatory from first year on to enable the children to really blend into the muggle world and not stand out sorely. As no representatives of the Dark Faction with enough political clout were left that motion had passed easily. Additionally the Wizarding Traditions class that many students had wished to get was also made a mandatory class from first year on.
Charms, Defence, Transfiguration and Potions now had two teachers each. One for the first three years and one for the fourth-years and up. That lessened the work-load of the heads of houses immensely. Professor Flitwick had already announced that he would sponsor a Duelling Club and a Charms Club from the start of the new school year. Professor McGonagall while not starting any clubs was glad that she now would finally get at least a little free time after having done too much in her three positions at the school. For Potions an American Potions master and his apprentice had been hired. The apprentice would take care of teaching the first-years and helping watch over the brewing of the older years. From what Harry had heard his father tell after work the new teacher intended to first get a solid theoretical case on brewing techniques, ingredient reactions and ingredient preparation before allowing the students to start brewing. As far as anybody knew he was extremely strict, but also fair. Alone the second part would be a major improvement to Snape.
Trelawney meanwhile had decided to leave on her own, feeling insulted that the Ministry demanded her to prove her competence for teaching. The subject had been dropped from the lesson plan as true seers were rare and if a child showed signs of being a seer it would get supported and get lessons by an acknowledged seer on the weekends. There was little that could be taught though besides meditation techniques. The gift took over when it wanted and mostly the seer had to let it run its course while being a bystander.
Harry was really looking forward to the next year.
Sirius had triple checked everything in preparation for the finals of the Quidditch World Cup. So far everything had gone perfectly, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. He was a bit sorry that thanks to his many appointments his son got to see him little during the week, but Harry didn't complain. He had known before that being Minister would take a lot of Sirius' time in the beginning and his friends were more than happy to have Harry over to hang out. Thanks to having a floo at home Harry could visit Neville, Ron, Susan and all the others he wanted to see whenever he wanted and they had time.
Sirius knew that Harry had spent long days at the Weasleys flying and playing Quidditch, helped Neville set up a new greenhouse at his home and went shopping with Susan and Hannah after losing a bet with the red-haired girl. He had taken it like a gentleman and carried her bags until he could unsuspiciously call a house elf to bring them back to the girl's home. Though he had got a day with two beautiful girls out of it and he didn't see Harry complain about it. He was noticing girls more and he was ready to face Harry having a girlfriend soon. There were some girls Harry had said were pretty and whom he wouldn't mind dating if he found them as interesting character wise as they were from their looks.
The finals would start at eight and he would be glad when everything was done. As great as Quidditch was, it was strenuous to have to deal with his representative duties on top of the still on-going cleaning at the Ministry. They had probably got rid of a third of the useless workers, but there was still a lot to do. The processes needed to be made much leaner and faster. While weeding out the corrupt workers had been top priority and had happened within the first month of his taking the job, the monster that was sleeping under the mask of the Ministry of Magic was fighting them at every corner. Probably they would only win after two years of hard work. But as long as they could cleanse one department after the other, starting with the most critical ones, they would manage. And thankfully right now there was no sign of Voldemort. Dumbledore was also keeping silent for now. No doubt the old man was planning something to get back into the game, but he would do everything to cut him short wherever he could.
Harry's safety depended on him isolating Dumbledore. The man was crafty and hadn't played the political game for as long as he did by being stupid. No, he was lying low and watching what happened. He knew that he couldn't do much until he got an opening. And until then he would wait and collect his power. Still, the first opportunity Sirius got he would make sure that Dumbledore would have to let go of some of his political influence, starting with the ICW. He could play the time card. And he had powerful arguments. Due to Dumbledore having to fill three positions many things had Hogwarts had gone down the drain. He wouldn't openly accuse Dumbledore of doing things intentionally, no for that he had still too much of a good reputation. No, he would argue that understandably with higher age he couldn't continue to give each position his full attention that he could give it years before when he took them up.
So to ensure that he could fill his position at Hogwarts properly he would ask Professor Dumbledore to give up one political position. He knew that Dumbledore would choose the ICW position as it didn't give him any direct power in Great Britain. The Chief Warlock was much more useful for him right now. He didn't want to have him pushed out of all positions until he was sure he could counter whatever plan Dumbledore thought up if he wasn't busy with other duties. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer was the motto. As long as he knew where Dumbledore was he could counter his plans. More, at Hogwarts he could do the least damage because Harry could take complete control over the castle if necessary and would take over the wards for sure once he turned sixteen. Right now he was too young for that.
His magic wasn't mature enough. It was strong, but even a highly powerful child that had more raw magic than an average adult wizard wouldn't be able to keep wards under control. Magical maturity started with fifteen. The first stage of puberty would be over and the second stage start. From the fifteenth to seventeenth year of life of a magical child its magic settled and was more in balance with the child's body. That was the major reason why the most important tests were done within that period. Before starting maturity a child wouldn't be able to take the strain from most spells. Magical maturity didn't mean, as many thought wrongly, that the magic of a child grew, it meant that the raw potential a child had become accessible to it. The effect was similar, so the mistake was understandable. But the potential of a child could be determined once it showed the first accidental magic. The sooner it happened the bigger the potential. Sirius knew that Harry had shown accidental magic with a few months.
Harry sat in the top box which his father had reserved for the Quidditch World Cup to host all the important guests that came and got to sit with the British Minister of Magic. It was the final match of the World Cup and it was a fantastic show-off. On the one side the Irish with their spectacular chaser chain and on the other Bulgaria with their star seeker Viktor Krum.
The stadium was really great. It had been specially built for this whole event and Harry knew that everything here would be recorded by a JWT team and tomorrow morning those that didn't come here would be able to see the complete match on TV. And as it was the finals, there was more pressure on the team to make everything perfect. Different angles of viewing, comments on tactics, explanations of manoeuvres accompanied the visuals. The crystals and TVs had become an absolute hit once the World Cup started. Those that had them told their friends that didn't what they could do and often viewing parties were held where the latest great match was watched. Each crystal could record up to eight hours of material, so there hadn't been a problem so far with the matches. Only one match had gone on for longer than the eight hours, but after seven hours there had been a break for the players to get exchanged and eat something, so the ones recording the game had then been able to make a cut and use a second crystal.
The group responsible for the crystal production had also come up with another hit, a best-off series. The matches were cut to only show the most impressive scenes during the match, cutting the actual time down considerably. So the eight groups that had competed for the sixteen spots got a crystal each for their matches in combined fashion, the same for the next rounds. For the semi-finals and the finals there would be more scenes shown than on the other best-off crystals. Harry hadn't had the opportunity to watch more than one of them, but he was impressed with the idea. It was a lot like the sports news on TV that Uncle Vernon had always watched on Saturdays.
Harry was grateful that he didn't have to wear formal robes. This was after all a sports event, so good-looking semi-formal clothes would work.
The ones with him were Alicia Spinnet, Emilia Grey and Keith Belarus. They had won the draw for the tickets for the finals. Of course there were also the Weasleys with Hermione and Neville in the box. Harry was wearing an Ireland rosette in support of the last team from the British Isles. And the attack force of the Irish was incredible. He had never seen such great tactics from chasers. Though the abilities of Krum were also fantastic. It was clear why he was the currently best seeker in the world. Harry really wanted to test some of the moves Krum had used on his own firebolt. He wondered if the bet that Fred and George had talked about, they had bet Bagman that Ireland would win but Krum catch the snitch, would work out for them.
While he knew that thanks to their increased effort in their schoolwork to get internships they wanted at JWT their grades had skyrocketed much to the shock of most Professors, he didn't think they had that much money to be careless risking it in a bet. While there was a good chance that it would happen, the Irish only needed one more goal to pull away one hundred and sixty points which would make the catch of the snitch useless for Bulgaria to win this, he was worried about his friends. He knew of their dream of opening a joke shop. Well, a joke shop with some side-lines of products that would sell well even if they weren't classical joke products. They had told him after returning from the JWT tour their father had given them that they had realised that there were lots of products that the wizarding world hadn't thought of inventing before.
They had a number of ideas that would work out and they had promised themselves that they would use the time they had left at Hogwarts to do market research and find ways to create their future products. Harry meanwhile was thinking that if he could win the twins for JWT it would bring him immense profit in the future. Perhaps if they wanted to be their own boss he could set them up with starting capital and get a share in the business. At least Mrs Weasley had been so happy about the OWL results of the twins, eight OWLs each with O's in Charms, Potions, Transfiguration and Ancient Runes and E's in Muggle Studies, Herbology and DADA and an A in Astronomy. Nobody had expected for them to perform brilliantly like that. That they had failed History wasn't a problem. They blankly said that they hadn't learned at all for that OWL as it was impossible to stay awake in Binns' classes and had used the time they would have needed to spend learning the History book on their other subjects, especially Potions.
While Snape was an arse and they could easily learn what they needed in Potions otherwise, if the reform of the Hogwarts education that had been announced after Sirius had been elected Minister meant that they got a new Potions teacher and he or she still required an OWL they didn't want to miss that chance. With a proper teacher there was a lot that they could learn which would help make their products better.
Harry saw that Ireland scored again, if Krum now caught the snitch the result the twins had foretold would happen and after Krum got hit into the face by a bludger Lynch seemed to have spotted the snitch. Krum swiftly followed. It was a neck-on-neck dive which led to Lynch kissing the ground again and Krum catching the snitch. Ireland had won but Krum caught the snitch. The twins were grinning massively when they held open their hands facing Bagman.
Harry was playing the epitome of the perfect son of the Minister of Magic during the reception after the match. He knew how important this was for his Pa and he didn't want to disappoint him. So he made polite conversation with the state guests, talked to the Quidditch players and congratulated them to their spectacular performance and commented on his thoughts on changes that his Pa had started at the Ministry. He would rather celebrate with his friends in private, but he had no choice.
Thankfully the security measures worked out perfectly so far and nothing had happened to disturb the happy Quidditch fans. There had been some small frictions between Irish and Bulgarian fans, but the security force had everything under control. Around two in the morning Harry could finally excuse himself to get some sleep. He used the portkey he had been given to get back home as it would be too dangerous for the Minister's son to sleep at the camping ground. He knew that his Pa would also portkey home once the reception was over.
Okay, that's it for today, it's more or less the introduction to a few changes. The main part will start next chapter. I will try to update at least once a month.