Harry Potter and the Magic of Music.
This is a Harry/Hermione story taking place in and before attending Hogwarts.
Rating is K+ with the possibility of raising it to T later.
JKRowling owns the characters and settings. I only play in her sandbox and make no money from this.
Chapter 9: Complications
The Room of Requirement seemed to be the ideal place to hold the music classes. It could be expanded to any size and was impervious to any magic that would affect a smaller room. Harry couldn't bring his aunt's piano in, however; the door wasn't big enough. The problem was solved when the room supplied a Grand Piano of superb quality. Of course he couldn't take the piano out of the room either, but that was a small price to pay. Friday after lunch the Ravenclaws had a free period and took advantage of it to experiment in the magical room. First to get a feel for what instruments everyone played, Hermione drew up a chart.
"I want everyone to list the instruments they play, favourite to least favourite, and any you think you might be able to play. Of course your own instruments should be listed first," she stated.
Luna Lovegood - Oboe, (Bassoon, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone)
Padma Patil - Clarinet, Flute, (Piccolo)
Daphne Greengrass - Violin, (Viola, Double Bass)
Tracy Davis - Celesta, (Harpsichord)
Su Li - Harp
Cho Chang - Viola
Hermione - Cello, Violin, (Piano)
Harry - Piano, Violin, (Celesta)
Terry Boot - Drums particularly the Kettledrum
The list was impressive and she could only guess what the other houses would supply to the list.
Albus Dumbledore was having a short conversation with Severus Snape about conduct towards a certain wizard and witch, when Fawkes let out a screech of indignation and hid his head under a wing.
"What?" asked Albus in surprise. "You're dismissed Severus, I need to attend to Fawkes."
The greasy haired Potions Professor quickly left, muttering to himself. "Special treatment for the brat and his mudblood! Not if I can help it!"
"Fawkes, my friend, what ails you?"
Fawkes looked up piteously as if to say, "Can't you hear it? They're hurting my ears!"
Albus understood at once. Harry must have decided to use the Room of Requirement. He knew that Fawkes was sensitive to music that wasn't his own and if he could hear the music from this distance, something extraordinary must be happening. Suddenly he felt it as well; a deep thrumming, getting louder every second seemed to be coming from the very walls of Hogwarts. Some of his silver instruments started shaking as several windows in his office shattered violently. Then he could hear the music and it frightened him. The notes started just below hearing range in the order of a few cycles per second, but quickly rose and gained power before becoming almost a screech, almost like fingernails on a blackboard. He clapped his hands over his ears and rushed up to the seventh floor and the room that Harry was using for practice.
By this time, the sound was quite painful and seemed to be out of control as he opened the door. What met his eyes were nine students, all from Ravenclaw, attempting to halt the playing of several instruments that had evidently been created by the room and were playing themselves. He watched as Mr. Potter lunged unsuccessfully at a miniature version of a violin that was screeching fitfully. Miss Granger was trying to control a quite mad conjured kettledrum that had finally broken free from Mr. Boot and had shattered several chairs on its way to attempt a departure from the room. Miss Lovegood was swatting at a piccolo that was letting out a piercing series of notes that got progressively higher. The rest were holding their ears as the sound was quite painful.
Albus waved his wand and the cacophony of sound ceased. "Mr. Potter! What have you done?" Albus yelled.
Harry looked at the headmaster and sighed. "I'm sorry sir, we were just sorting out who played what instrument and since some of the instruments were not here, I tried asking the room to supply them. We started to try out the various instruments, but several seemed to have a mind of their own and began a sort of competition to see which one could play the loudest. It got quite out of hand as you can see." Somehow Harry and Hermione had conjured ear defenders to protect themselves during the height of the calamity.
Albus sighed, this would not be good. "Children, I'm afraid I'll have to curtail the use of conjured or magically supplied instruments; it's too dangerous."
The properly admonished students nodded in agreement. "Yes, sir," they answered.
Shaking his head, the old man departed, now aware that the true power of music could not be underestimated.
At Potter Manor, Petunia and Monica had each received a letter from Harry and Hermione. Both smiled at how remarkably similar the letters were. Harry bemoaned the loss of the Grand Piano in the special room and Hermione told how the room had provided that piano, only to have to give it up when the room provided a wide variety of instruments that had competed with each other and caused quite a ruckus.
Both children were doing well, apart from that. Harry and Hermione were trying to figure out how to get Petunia's piano into the room. It was simply too large to fit through the door.
Petunia had finally begun to take the courses requited to complete her education. She'd been bright enough in the maths and was now studying calculus and financial management. After Griphook had provided a breakdown of Harry's assets, she had found that Lily had been a remarkable force in the financial world; making astute investments in both the muggle and wizarding world. Of course, she had no access to the funds or investments, but she could easily follow the decisions Lily had made. Brilliant, really and Petunia decided that she would start her own investments parallel to Lily's. But first, she had to obtain a university degree in finance to make sure she didn't misstep.
Thus began a self study program approved by Oxford. When she had obtained the necessary credits, she was told she could enroll. She'd forwarded her previous educational history to the Dean of Finance and had met with him yesterday. The Dean was a bit skeptical when he saw she was an older woman, but showed promise as he talked to her. She had been away from structured learning for almost twelve years, but retained everything she had learned to that point. When he asked her why she wanted to pursue a financial degree, she told him of her nephew's wealth and how she would have to guide him well past his school years. He was a child musical prodigy and would have no interest in financial matters, so it was up to her. She was reluctant to entrust another with the boy's finances, even though it had been well run up to this point. She was afraid that he would be taken advantage of once word got out.
The Dean carefully considered the salient points and agreed that Petunia could begin a self directed study program and when she was brought up to speed, would be able to attend.
Petunia thought she saw one flaw in the offer. She would want to be with her nephew in the summer, but apparently that was not a problem for the university. She could study at home for the time the courses ran that conflicted with her schedule. In any case, it wouldn't be a problem, as the university term started in early September and finished in May. The mathematics classes were held in the Andrew Wiles Building on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in North Oxford.
It would take Petunia almost a year of intense study to qualify to attend classes. She chose to take two years home study to make sure she would be good enough to enroll.
Monica and Wendell encouraged her and when Harry found out, he was enthusiastic and supported her. Money would not be a problem, he assured her.
Meanwhile Petunia relaxed and enjoyed the little bit of free time she would have before she started the Mathematics program. She knew it would be a long time before she saw Harry again, although he promised to be home for Christmas.
She bought the necessary books and played the piano when she could. Cody took care of the manor and managed the other elves to make sure that Mistress Petunia was never disturbed when she was studying.
Letters continued between the children and the parents and things settled down.
Autumn brought the changing of the colours in the trees and a new set of flowers and shrubs decorated the garden. Petunia would walk the grounds as often as the weather held and indeed it was a pleasant autumn. She gazed wistfully at the empty stables, wishing she had a horse to ride. She's loved horseback riding when she was young, along with her sister Lily. That ended with Vernon, as he thought of it as too nancy for him and Dudley. Unfortunately, she no longer had the time to indulge, but a stray comment to Monica and Wendell changed that.
"Petunia," Monica remarked when she heard Petunia mention horses. "You have stables, why don't you get a horse? In fact, why not get several, I know I'd love to horseback ride with you on the weekends. I'm sure Wendell would as well. We used to go to my grandmum's farm in the summer for a ride. Hermione loves horses, and I'll bet Harry would too."
Petunia sighed, "I-I'd love to but I'll be too busy…"
"Nonsense Petunia, you need a bit of exercise to break up your studies. The exercise will do you good and I'm sure Harry and Hermione would love it too."
In the end, Petunia relented and five horses were obtained from a reputable stable. Dusty and Spats looked after the horses and exercised them regularly. Petunia named hers Lily, after her sister. Harry's would be named JC (JayCee) after his father James Charlus Potter. Monica named hers Emily after a favourite aunt. Wendell thought about a proper name for a stallion for several days before deciding to name him Orion, after the constellation. Orion was black with a distinctive pattern of white patches that reminded him of the star cluster. Hermione's horse would be Emilia, taken from Shakespeare's "A Winters Tale".
Both Harry and Hermione were ecstatic when they heard the news.
As autumn slowly faded and the weather grew colder in Scotland, Harry and Hermione took to wearing heavier clothing in the drafty castle. They had finally got the piano into the Room of Requirement, through a bit of tricky transfiguration Professor McGonagall had managed.
Professor Snape was barely tolerable in his classes and seemed to be biding his time, bent on revenge. Although Ravenclaw shared the class with the Hufflepuffs, Snape seemed to prefer the Puffs and regularly awarded a few grudging points to them instead of the Ravens. Daphne and Tracy were looked on a traitors by the sour faced professor who thought that at least Daphne Greengrass should have been in Slytherin. He knew his godson Draco coveted the girl. Draco took it as a personal affront when she had been sorted into Ravenclaw and Severus couldn't agree more.
As November slid into December, the chill winds and rain slowly turned to snow and the Potion Dungeon was an unpleasant place to be. Students from the seventh year took to casting warming spells but Snape removed them as soon as the class ended. It would not do to foment revolt among a class ready to graduate.
Harry and Hermione discovered that their magic helped keep them warm, but worried that the rest of the class suffered. Hermione had discovered that a certain tune, hummed softly would generate just enough heat to keep them warm but not enough to be noticed by the greasy haired professor. They had complained, of course, as had the rest of the class, but the professor claimed that the cauldrons should keep them warm enough. That proved false when ice started to appear on the outside of the cauldrons and the fires would not heat the ingredients properly. Snape sneered at their attempts to brew correctly and the class was awarded a zero, even though Harry and Hermione had managed to produce an acceptable result.
Again Hermione took umbrage with the unfairness of it all as a low growl of notes manifested in the room, this time produced by the filled potion vials sitting in front of the greasy professor.
Growing alarmed, the class quickly exited. Snape turned a shade of while reminding one of spoiled milk and made to draw his wand. Too late, as the potion vials danced to an ominous tune seldom heard. Backing away, Snape glared at the hated pair, knowing they were to blame. He then compounded the error by trying Legilimency on Harry and Hermione, forgetting what had happened last time. A ringing sound in his mind was the only warning before the expected explosion of the potion vials occurred, spraying him with poorly made boil remover and glass. The glass cuts opened the way for potions to contact his skin and a horrible scream sounded as he felt the effects enter his hands and face. Then he collapsed.
Harry had not expected that, and hurried to the fallen professor. "Hermione, get help, quickly!"
Hours later Professor Severus Snape lay bandaged in the infirmary with Madam Pomfrey keeping an eye on the much disliked Potions Professor. "What happened Severus?" she asked.
"I-I...I don't remember," he looked puzzled at the mediwitch. The aftereffects of the accident had so disoriented him, that he simply couldn't remember. It would be weeks before he could sort it all out in his mind.
Harry and Hermione were interviewed by Albus, but they had no idea what had happened. They had described the events leading up to the accident but really had no idea as to the cause.
Albus had an idea, but would withhold is opinion until Severus had recovered. The man needed a good talking to.