Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Tower of Pime


by Quillian 3 reviews


Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-08-29 - Updated: 2007-08-29 - 10985 words


CANON DISCLAIMER: Some dialogue is taken from the book, particularly the first Potions lesson. Also, some hints are made towards Dumbledore’s initial encounter with Tom Riddle and Dumbledore’s own youth, as well as Snape’s Patronus (as told in Books 6 and 7 respectively).

This chapter is approximate to Book 1 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), Chapter Nine, “The Midnight Duel.”



The next morning, Harry was followed by whispers and murmurs wherever he went. Everyone was asking each other if they had seen him, seen his face, or even seen his scar. Harry just did his best to tune them out as he navigated through the castle’s halls.

At breakfast, the Heads of Houses were going about, handing out schedules to their students. No sooner than Professor McGonagall had handed out the schedules to Harry and his classmates than did hundreds of owls come into the Great Hall.

It was a bit of a shock, but Harry quickly adjusted. As he looked around, he saw the other students getting letters from family and friends, and even some care packages in the mix. Hedwig had nothing for him this morning, but that was fine. He was still just glad to see her, and so with a strip of bacon and stroking of her feathers, she reciprocated in gratitude and flew off to the Owlery.

Over that first week alone, Harry got a feel for the kinds of classes which he would be taking for the rest of the year, as well as beyond that. By Friday, he had had Astronomy with observant Professor Sinistra, Herbology with patient Professor Sprout, History of Magic with boring Professor Binns, Charms with excitable Professor Flitwick, Transfiguration with strict Professor McGonagall, Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell.

Harry also learned quickly about how to interact with (or, in some cases, avoid) some of Hogwarts’ other denizens. The ghosts and even some of the people in the paintings were more than willing to provide directions to lost and confused students; however, Harry learned fast enough to avoid chaos-loving Peeves, as well as the grumpy caretaker Filch and his pesky cat Mrs. Norris.

Initially, Harry was afraid that if he did too well in his classes, people might catch on to how he knew a lot more than practically any other student his age, and then they would ask questions. But after seeing how brilliantly Hermione Granger did in just about all of their classes, he figured he would just do the same, doing the best he could do.

While he was still unsure as to how make friends, he still did his best to get to know his fellow first-year Gryffindors, or at least their names. Aside from Ron Weasley, there was round-faced, forgetful Neville Longbottom, a black boy named Dean Thomas (who showed exceptional artistic skills), and an Irish, sandy-haired boy named Seamus Finnigan. Aside from Hermione Granger, there were only two other first-year girls in Gryffindor: The dark-haired Parvati Patil and blonde Lavender Brown.

Harry also decided to get to know the students from other Houses; after all, just because he was a Gryffindor, that didn’t mean he couldn’t get along with those other students. So, once or twice, he would go to the library to do his homework there, meeting with the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws from his year. Even after the first time Harry met them, those other students were so taken by him that they wondered why he hadn’t been Sorted into their respective Houses, since he could be so hard-working and cooperative (like a Hufflepuff) and brilliant and wise (like a Ravenclaw).

But as for the Slytherins… Harry wasn’t quite sure what to do about them. It seemed like all the Slytherins in his year had ties to Voldemort and his minions, or were sympathetic to that same cause. The Slytherins in his year alone didn’t seem like the kind whom Harry would simply introduce himself to and try to make friends with. Over time, Harry would make his observations and conclusions about them. As someone whom Harry wanted to avoid, Draco Malfoy was a given, as were his friends and bodyguards, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. Another boy named Theodore Nott also had a father who was a Death Eater. Blaise Zabini was something of a wild card, but he would have to look into that later. Girls like Pansy Parkinson, Millicent Bulstrode, Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis appeared to simply support the boys in the matters of their pureblood beliefs (although, he also noticed, Parkinson and Bulstrode were the most vocal in their yes-saying support, while Greengrass and Davis preferred to just let the other two girls do it). So, in the end, Harry decided that if any Slytherins were to come to him, claiming that they did not follow these same beliefs, then Harry would work from there.

Harry figured he would get to know the older students, especially those in Gryffindor, later on when he had more time. But for now, his first priority was homework.

He had observed the homework habits of some of his fellow Gryffindors. For example, Hermione enjoyed her own homework, rushing right through it with ease; if she ever got any answers wrong and had to correct them, then she didn’t show it. Ron, on the other hand, was the kind to leave his homework off to the last possible minute whenever he felt like it. Harry humbly considered himself to be in a happy medium between the two extremes of devotion and laziness when it came to one’s homework.

But whenever he had some free time, Harry would simply find some place to be by himself. He knew he had an opportunity to make friends, an opportunity which couldn’t be spoiled by the Dorsey’s; but for some reason, he held back, unsure of what he should do. In some ways, his new school life was an opposite of those in primary school; before, no one could see him as just another ordinary boy because he was shunned and marked as a target by Dudley, but now, everyone was in awe of him because there was something special about him, one which made him different, even by their standards.

And quite frankly, Harry wasn’t sure which bothered him more.

The being who had called himself “Oannes” was hard at work.

He had been told by Headmaster Dumbledore himself, as a token gesture of trust, about how the castle was currently playing host to another special object being guarded there. Some of the teachers had contributed to its defense by setting up certain traps in the path to it.

However, it when it came to the defense of this particular object, the one which he was responsible for, Oannes wanted to be the one to set up the defenses for it. He was very thankful to whatever higher powers there may have been that the humans known as Melbourne and Claire Woolley were able to read the ancient cuneiform writing all over the clay box and decipher the long-dead language.

Like the other object, this particular object had certain properties over the powers of life and death, which naturally made it a very desired and coveted target. It was known, at least to anyone who had read one of the oldest tales of heroes in times long gone.

While the other object – the Philosopher’s Stone, if he recalled correctly – was hidden somewhere safely in the bowls of the castle itself, Oannes found out that whatever space was left in the castle might not have been enough for what he had in mind.

However, he could at least have the opportunity to go to the object’s hiding place hidden somewhere within the castle itself.

According to Dumbledore, the third floor corridor was off-limits to students. Just as a gesture of trust, Dumbledore showed him exactly why it was off-limits, especially with that big beast over the trapdoor.

There may still be room for what I have in mind in that third-floor corridor, Oannes thought to himself.

Currently, he was living in an underwater house at the bottom of the lake, dwelling among the native merfolk. Even now, more than before, he was very far from his native waters in the Persian Gulf (his small abode in the Mediterranean Sea was more like an “outpost” of sorts where he could conduct research). However, he still managed to keep in contact with the other beings he knew, who belonged to various other aquatic species. Through these other friends of his, Oannes managed to acquire a few new interesting creatures…

On Friday morning, Harry got three messages in the mail.

The first was from Hagrid, asking Harry if he would like to visit the caretaker in his hut, since he had Friday afternoons off.

The second was from the Headmaster himself.

Mister Potter,

I would like to meet you in my office and discuss something with you later this afternoon after your classes, preferably before dinner. Do not worry, for you are not in trouble of any kind.


Headmaster Dumbledore

The third was from Pim.


I realize you must be busy lately, especially during this first week of school. In which case, I hope you are keeping busy and learning something, while enjoying yourself at the same time.

So, how was your first week at school? I am most curious.

Your ever-caring guardian,


Harry first responded to Hagrid’s and Dumbledore’s messages.

To Hagrid he wrote:


Thanks for inviting me, I’ll be there later today.


To Dumbledore he wrote:

Headmaster Dumbledore,

I’ll be in your office later today as you requested.


Harry Potter

“Hedwig, please drop these off,” Harry said, smiling. “I’ll give you a letter to deliver to Pim once I write it later.”

Hedwig hooted dutifully and flew across the Great Hall to deliver the respective responses to the headmaster and gamekeeper. Once that was done, Hedwig flew by Harry one last time, and so he tossed up a strip of bacon which she deftly caught in mid-air with her beak and carried away with her to the Owlery.

A few moments later, Harry heard a small groan from Ron. “What is it?” Harry asked, turning to face him.

“Double Potions today,” Ron lamented, “with the Slytherins.”

“That’s bad, isn’t it?” Harry asked, just for clarification.

“Very bad,” Ron sighed.

“I’m also wary of Snape,” Harry said. “Earlier this week when I just happened to pass him in the hall, he gave me this dirty look… as if I shouldn’t be here.”

Ron shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not sure how that man thinks, and even then, I’m not sure I want to know.”

So, steeling themselves for the worst, the first-year Gryffindors went into the dungeons, with its corridors colder than the rest of the castle.

The first-year Slytherins were already there, and barely a few moments later, Snape approached them from another corridor, with his black robes billowing behind him.

After unlocking the door, he immediately said, “Well, enter… or must I invite you all in?”

They all took seats, ending up in pairs – Harry and Ron just happened to sit down together – and waited for whatever would happen next. To Harry, this place was creepy enough without the pickled animals floating in glass jars all around the walls.

As Snape was going down the roll call, he paused for a moment when he reached Harry’s name. “Ah, yes,” he said softly. “Harry Potter. Our new – celebrity.”

The Slytherins all smirked to themselves, and Malfoy even chuckled a little, and Snape made no attempt to stop it. Harry kept his face neutral, but he narrowed his eyes just a little.

Once Snape was done with the roll call, he made a small speech about potions, and Harry silently noted that Snape was the kind of teacher who could keep a class quiet with little effort (probably through fear and intimidation).

Snape then have the class a moment or so to digest his words, and then got straight down to business.

“Potter!” he suddenly shouted, making the rest of the class jump. “What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

Hermione’s hand shot up in the air, which Snape ignored.

Harry thought for a minute, and finally came up with an answer. “The Draught of Living Death, sir.”

Snape didn’t show any kind of reaction. And then he asked another question.

“Where would I look if I sought to find a bezoar?”

This one took Harry a few extra seconds before he remembered it from his Potions textbooks. “In the stomach of a goat, sir.”

Snape actually frowned a little. “So, I see the great Harry Potter had the common sense to open a book before coming to class after all.”

Now it was Harry’s turn to frown. Wouldn’t another professor be overjoyed that Harry could recall these things off the top of his head?

Finally, Snape had one more question, just to see if he could finally throw the boy for a loop.

“One more question, Potter. What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?”

It took Harry almost a minute to figure this one out, and Snape was just about ready to say something else and move on when Harry finally realized that it was a trick question. “They are the same thing, and are also known as aconite.”

Snape did his best to keep his eyes from widening, even a little. Did a non-Slytherin just answer not just one but all of his three start-of-term questions correctly for the first time in the decade which he had been teaching here?

Finally, the Potions Master spoke again. “Please put your hand down, Miss Granger. This is not a request.” As Hermione lowered her hand, both looking and feeling embarrassed, Snape turned back to Harry and said, “No one likes a show-off, Potter.”

While the rest of the Gryffindors stared at Snape (Harry kept his neutral face on), the Potions professor smirked and then turned to face his own Slytherins.

“Mr. Malfoy,” he said smoothly, addressing the blond boy. With that, Snape proceeded to ask Malfoy a few other questions, ones which were so daunting that Harry didn’t know them, and was sure weren’t in his potions textbook. This was obviously very advanced Potions material which Malfoy seemed to understand (and maybe Hermione as well, since she had her hand raised once again).

“What happens when you add powdered silver to werewolf hair?”

“The werewolf hair decays and leaves a fine powder, sir,” Malfoy said confidently.

“Good,” Snape nodded. “What would you get if you added sunflower seeds to vampire blood?”

“The vampire blood would congeal and harden around the sunflower seeds, which would also incidentally make it proof against sunlight.”

“Excellent. And what would happen if a fully-grown Chinese Chomping Cabbage was fed a meter of bamboo?”

Malfoy got the first two questions right, but the third question he had trouble with. After he admitted that he didn’t know the answer, Professor Snape asked aloud, “Does anyone else have the answer?”

No one’s hand went up except for Hermione’s. “Anyone?” Snape reiterated, looking around but acting as if Hermione didn’t have her hand raised. Finally, he said, “Well, since no one knows, the answer is –”

But Hermione suddenly blurted out, “It’s a trick question, sir; nothing would happen because the Chinese Chomping Cabbage doesn’t eat bamboo.”

Snape glared at her, making her finally put her hand down, and even cower in her seat.

“I don’t recall asking you for the answer, Miss Granger,” Snape said coldly. “Five points from Gryffindor for interrupting me, Granger.”

“But it was the right –” she tried to say.

“Do you want to make it more?” Snape countered. Hermione instantly fell silent.

“As for you, Mr. Malfoy,” Snape said with a small smile which none of the Gryffindors found comforting. “Ten points apiece for each question… so twenty points to Slytherin.”

Now the Gryffindors were all gaping. Malfoy smirked, especially in Harry’s general direction.

Things didn’t exactly improve for the Gryffindors as the lesson went on, especially after Snape put them all into pairs and set them to the task of brewing a simple potion to cure boils. As they went about preparing the ingredients for the potion, he went around criticizing everyone except the Slytherins, thus proving his bias to all present. Personally, Harry thought he was probably one of the few who were doing the best, even under the pressure. Just as Snape was praising Malfoy and the others for doing the simplest things in some so-called “perfect way” (such as stewing horned slugs), Neville somehow managed to melt the cauldron which he and Seamus were using. Fortunately, Snape managed to stop most of the burning, ruined potion before it could spread all over the class and burn things and even other students, but not before Neville managed to get some of it on his arm. After Snape had Seamus take Neville to the hospital wing, he suddenly rounded on Harry, who was brewing his own ideal potion which probably rivaled Mafloy’s.

“You there, Potter,” he snapped. “Why didn’t you tell Longbottom not to add those porcupine quills? Trying to make yourself look better, Potter? Ten points from Gryffindor!”

For all his incredible patience, Harry had finally had enough, and he was just about to say something to Snape when Ron subtly nudged him and whispered in his ear, “Don’t do it, trust me.”

While Snape was at the back of the room, belittling some other Gryffindors, Malfoy laughed softly and whispered to him from across the aisle. “You Gryffindors must really be unintelligent, Potter.”

With a quick glance to make sure that Snape couldn’t see or hear them, Harry smirked and calmly whispered back, “Yes, Malfoy, you’re right… you’re so smart that a Muggle-born Gryffindor had to correctly answer the question which you couldn’t.”

However, what Harry didn’t realize was that at that particular moment, Malfoy had been adding one last ingredient to his own potion, but Potter’s unexpected comeback took him by surprise. He never would have expected Potter to respond with a witty comment like that.

Whatever Malfoy was adding to the potion in his cauldron, he dropped the entire thing in; for the next few moments, it bubbled loudly and ominously. Finally, it exploded.

However, Malfoy was smart to figure out what was going to happen, because he quickly took out a lid and slammed it on top of the cauldron, and with all of his might (along with some help from Crabbe and Goyle), he stopped the cauldron from exploding, although he had to open it just a crack to allow the steam and some of the pressure to escape.

Of course, Snape was immediately drawn to the situation at hand, and with a spell which Harry had never heard before, he magically stopped the potion from trying to erupt from Malfoy’s cauldron. However, the damage was already done to the cauldron; even though Harry really didn’t know anything about the kinds of damage which could be caused to cauldrons, it looked bad enough to him.

All activity in the room ceased, which was just as well, since everyone else was done with their own potions. Snape was obviously not in a good mood – or rather, to be more precise, he was in an even worse mood than usual. His eyes swept over the class with one look, and with one glance at the clock, he said that class was dismissed, they had to do this particular assignment for their homework, and that they could leave after they cleaned up their stations.

But just as they were leaving, Snape said coldly, “Potter, stay behind.”

Everyone in the class looked at him – the Gryffindors with fear, the Slytherins with glee – but none of them wasted any time in leaving.

Once the two of them were alone in the room, Snape took a moment to glare at Harry in order to intimidate him, but the Gryffindor just looked back at him unfazed.

“So, Mr. Potter,” Snape said, “you think you are too good for everyone else? That everyone else must look bad so that you must look good?”

“With all due respect, sir,” Harry said carefully, “what are you talking about?”

“Amazing, Potter, you are so quick to astound everyone with your so-called intelligence, but right now, you decide to play dumb.”

Harry just looked at him blankly.

“I am talking about your nature of showing off in class, making everyone else look foolish so that you can look great. Thought everyone would just bow to you because you spouted off a few facts, did you?”

Now Harry allowed himself to speak a little more defensively. “What, are you angry at me for answering the questions correctly?” he said as politely as possible. Inside, however, he was seething a little; what kind of twisted teacher got mad at his own students for doing well in class?

“No, Potter, it is more than that… I am also talking about how you let Mr. Longbottom ruin his own potion, thereby putting the entire class in danger,” Snape sneered.

Now Harry just gaped at Snape incredulously. “Now wait just a moment,” Harry said, feeling his patience beginning to wane. “Seamus was Neville’s partner, he was the one working with Neville on their potion. So, unless I had eyes in the back of my head which would have let me know if something was going to happen…”

“Don’t get smart with me, Potter,” Snape cut him off, before Harry could finish pointing out the rightfully obvious. “And as for the incident with Malfoy’s potion… well, I do not know what happened, but I am absolutely certain that you had something to do with it.”

In that moment, much of Harry’s patience evaporated, as well as his sense of honor, and finally, he began to lie a little if it meant defending himself. “With all due respect, sir, Malfoy wasn’t paying attention to his own work when he dropped his ingredients in his own potion.” That and the fact he was too busy taunting us Gryffindors, he added in his head.

“Don’t take that tone with me, Potter,” Snape said in a tone of his own, one which was definitely worse than any tone which Harry had used so far. “I know your type. You are the kind who will do anything to make others look bad if it means making yourself look good. You do not even concern yourself if some innocent people get caught in the way of your escapades designed to make yourself shine. You are no better than –”

However, at that point, Snape suddenly stopped himself from saying anything after that.

“You are dismissed, Potter,” he said at last. “Leave.”

Now that completely surprised Harry. First Snape was ranting at Harry, and now he just wanted him out, just like that?

“No better than who, sir?” Harry asked, morbidly curious.

“Never you mind, Potter,” he snapped. “Now leave. Get out of this classroom!”

“Funny, you were the one who wanted me to stay behind in the first place…” Harry muttered under his breath.

“Out!” Snape yelled, and Harry bolted like a rabbit, fleeing from the room. The Potions Master was left alone in his classroom, beginning to fume and now too angry to take points for whatever Potter had muttered under his breath.

Arrogant brat is just like his father, Snape thought to himself, finishing in his mind what he had been saying out loud. He was right, after all. How could he be wrong, especially when it came to Potters?

On his way to lunch, Harry was silently fuming inside.

It was as though Fate had been aware of his departure from the so-called “care” of the Dursleys, and so it was decided that now Harry must endure being the presence of some new, different people instead. Only now, instead of Dudley Dursley, Harry had to put up with a different spoiled, pompous boy named Draco Malfoy.

And if Malfoy was like Dudley, could the analogy possibly extend to Profesor Snape as being like Uncle Vernon? Completely devoted to watching over said spoiled, pompous boy, and completely oblivious towards said boy’s faults and problems while constantly attacking someone else (usually Harry) for all other problems, even the problems which didn’t even exist.

Funny how the universe balances itself out, Harry thought to himself, recalling some philosophical discussions with Pim, and not always in your favor.

Of course, Harry knew that he couldn’t just leave some place because he didn’t get along with some people there. No matter where people went in life, they would run into some people whom they couldn’t get along with. It was just the way things were.

Before he even realized it, he was standing at the threshold of the Great Hall, where people were just beginning to enter for lunch. Wanting to be alone, or at least for the moment, Harry sat somewhere at the middle of the Gryffindor table, a fair distance from any of the other few Gryffindors who were already sitting there.

He stared down at his empty plate for a few moments, thinking to himself, when he suddenly noticed someone else sit down across from him.


“Harry,” the round-faced boy responded. He still looked a little upset, and, to Harry’s dismay, looked to be in awe of talking to the great Harry Potter. “So… what happened in Potions after I had to go to the hospital wing?”

“Snape basically blamed me for your mistake and took ten points off of Gryffindor for it,” Harry said in a flat voice.

Neville stared at him in disbelief. “That’s outrageous!” he exclaimed.

“I guess not to him,” Harry said with a little bitterness in his voice. Deciding to try and change the subject, he asked Neville, “How’s your arm?”

“It’s feeling better,” Neville said, flexing it. “Madame Pomfrey fixed it up within minutes.” Then as an afterthought, he added, “I’m not looking forward to next week’s Potions lesson… or any Potions lesson, for that matter, as long as Professor Snape is teaching it.” Here, he visibly gulped, nervous at the very thought of Snape.

“You know,” Harry said, speaking so suddenly that he surprised even himself, “I probably would have done just fine if it wasn’t for Snape and how he does things. I know I’m just a student, but his teaching style – if it can be called that – leaves much to be desired.”

“But who else would teach us?” Neville pointed out.

“I suppose we could try learning on our own,” Harry said. “You know, outside of class. Maybe with a teacher’s permission, we could try stuff on our own, without Snape.”

They would have discussed the idea further, but then the rest of their fellow Gryffindors came in, having gone up to their dorms to do whatever they needed to do before coming down to lunch. “Let’s discuss this later,” Harry whispered to Neville, who nodded in agreement before both of them ceased discussion about their idea of learning Potions without Snape.

“So, Harry, what happened with Snape?” Ron asked, piling food onto his own plate.

“I think he just wanted to yell at me a bit more,” Harry said flatly. “The less said about it, the better.”

“I don’t like talking about Snape either,” Ron said with a hint of disgust in his voice. “At least we have the rest of the day off. Besides… food!” And with that, he eagerly dug in.

“Actually, Hagrid invited me for tea in his cabin,” Harry said optimistically. “It’ll be good to get a chance to talk to him again.”

“Sounds like fun,” Ron said through a mouthful of chicken. “I heard about him from my brothers… think he’d mind me tagging along?”

Harry shrugged. “I don’t see why not.” But then he remembered something else. “But first, I need to see Dumbledore in his office after lunch.”

“Dumbledore?” Ron gasped out after guzzling a lot of pumpkin juice. “Why would he want to see you?”

Harry shrugged again. “I dunno… he just said he wanted to meet me.”

For the briefest of seconds, Ron looked a little suspicious, but the next moment, he just shrugged it off, and went back to devouring his food.

After lunch, Harry went towards Dumbledore’s office, wondering what the Headmaster wanted to talk to him about.

Soon enough, the Headmaster came into view, standing next to an ugly-looking stone gargoyle. “Ah, Mr. Potter, so good to see you,” Professor Dumbledore said, with a small smile and some twinkling in his blue eyes. “Come.”

Turning to the gargoyle, he declared “Gummy Bears!” and the next moment, the gargoyle jumped aside and the door behind it opened. With that, Dumbledore led Harry up a spiral staircase which rotated on its own, making Harry think of an escalator (which, by definition, it probably was). They entered through a door with a brass griffin knocker on it, and lo and behold, they were in the Headmaster’s office.

It was a circular room, with portraits of past headmasters and headmistresses snoozing in their frames. There were also some strange silvery, spindly devices (whose functions Harry could only guess at) on a few tables scattered all over the room. However, there was also a bird’s perch, which was vacant at the moment. Perhaps Dumbledore had his own personal owl which was currently out on an errand?

Harry was just looking at some object on another table… or rather, two objects. They looked like two halves to a block, and on both sides of them, there was a distinct kind of wedge-shaped writing. Back when he was in primary school, when he was hiding in the school’s library, he would sometimes flip through books about ancient civilizations, and he was reading about those civilizations which once existed in the Near East, he frequently saw images of clay tablets with that same writing on them.

Cuneiform, Harry thought to himself. Even though he really knew next-to-nothing about those civilizations, and even though he certainly could not read any of their languages, he could still see the writing and know it was cuneiform.

Dumbledore gently cleared his throat, bringing Harry back to reality. Turning around, Harry said, “Oh, I’m sorry, sir, I was just looking at this.”

“So was I, actually,” Dumbledore said, smiling a little. “I had it out because I was looking at it earlier. An old student of mine sent it to me after it was found, so for the moment, I am merely keeping it safe. I think now might be a good time to put it away for the time being.”

Dumbledore used his wand to levitate the two near-identical pieces, and then wrap them in a thick, dark cloth. Once that was done, the bundle flew into one of his cabinets, which promptly closed after it was stored inside.

“Please, take a seat, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore said kindly. “May I offer you a lemon drop?”

“No thank you, sir,” Harry said politely.

“Very well,” Dumbledore said in return, getting down to business. “First of all, I just wanted to see how you were adjusting to this school.”

Harry thought about it. “Well…” he began. “I think I like it, although it’s only been a week.”

“You’re right, of course. However, there is something which I must talk to you about, concerning your safety.”

Harry noticed that the twinkle in Dumbledore’s eyes was gone, and so now he paid close attention.

“I need to know where you have been for the past year or so, Harry.”

Harry felt something like a weight drop in the pit of his stomach; in fact, he didn’t even notice that the headmaster had called him “Harry” instead of addressing him as “Mr. Potter.”

“I know you fled from the Dursleys’ residence after an incident with them which spiraled out of control. I also know that you somehow ran into them again a few months ago at a zoo.”

Dumbledore decided not to bring up the damage which Harry caused through accidental magic, and rather pretend, at least for now, that he was ignorant of it.

“I am not angry at you, Harry, and nor are you in trouble,” Dumbledore reassured him in a calming manner. “But for your own safety, I need to know where you were and who was taking care of you – that is, of course, assuming that you were not surviving on your own somehow.”

Harry was thinking fast, and doing his best to remain calm and appear innocent in front of Dumbledore. He also recalled from his own personal experience how lies seemed to be more believable if you mixed in some truth with them.

“Well,” he began, “someone found me. He took me in and raised me for the past year or so, ever since I… ran away from the Dursleys. That’s just about it, really.”

“What does he do for a living?” Dumbledore politely inquired.

“Oh, he’s a merchant,” Harry said. “He travels around a lot. He’s been around for quite a while, traveling to lots of places, mostly around the Mediterranean Sea. He usually rents a place whenever he’s in Britain.”

Well, the parts about being around for “quite a while,” traveling around a lot and mostly around the Mediterranean were true, and “saying that he usually rents a place whenever he’s in Britain” was quite an understatement and something of a half-truth. However, they were also very vague, and Harry wanted to keep it that way, unless he was asked for any further details.

“I see,” Dumbledore said calmly, apparently not detecting any kind of lie. “Is there any chance I could talk to him?”

“I’m sure you could,” Harry answered, “but I don’t know how soon that will be until I can speak to him again. Right after he dropped me off at King’s Cross yesterday, he left for a string of business trips. He probably won’t be back for months.”

“Surely he doesn’t leave you all alone?” Dumbledore asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, of course not, if I can’t go with him, then I stay with this friend of his, and she looks after me,” Harry said easily, thinking of Galatea.

Dumbledore had a feeling that Harry was hiding something, and was about to press further when something occurred to him.

Oh, come on, that’s enough already! said a voice in his head, chastising him. That poor boy has already been through enough with the Dursleys, which, let us not forget, you helped set up! Why don’t you give him the benefit of the doubt just this once?

Whatever Dumbledore was going to say next in his inquires about Harry, he stopped himself from saying it. “I do not mean to pry, Harry,” he said calmly. “As the Headmaster of this school, it is one of my duties to make sure that my students are safe.”

Harry nodded. “I understand.”

“I’m sure you didn’t want to talk about the Dursleys again,” Dumbledore said, “but I also needed to know because of the fact that if wizards and witches knew the truth about your home life, it would be chaos for both worlds, and a major step backwards in wizard-Muggle relations. I assume that you know already about some of this world’s prejudices?” After Harry nodded affirmatively, Dumbledore continued, “If those people who still cling onto those prejudicial views got wind of your… ordeal, they most likely would not hesitate to play on it, mostly to suit and further their own agendas.”

Harry nodded with complete understanding. Now that he recalled it, Hagrid did mention something, back when they first met, about people hearing about Harry and his Muggle relatives, but then dismissing it as false. But then something occurred to him… “How do you know about my life with the Dursleys, sir?” he asked carefully.

Alright, Dumbledore thought to himself as he realized that he may have said something wrong, time to really lie. “Most other wizards around here do not read Muggle publications, but as soon as I saw a report about a Dursley family and one Harry Potter, I quickly took it upon myself to investigate.”

Harry nodded again. “I understand, sir.” Then, after a moment, he asked, “Do you have any idea how I ended up with them?”

Dumbledore carefully chose his words in his head before saying them out loud. “I believe that you were placed with them, because they were your next of kin,” he said at last, deciding to say “You were placed with them” rather than “I placed you with them.”

“I have to wonder exactly who decided to place me with them,” Harry said, sounding just a little bitter.

Dumbledore nearly winced, but he managed to hide it. In retrospect, he may have deserved that and had it coming.

“Well, that is all,” Dumbledore said, wrapping it up. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Potter. You may leave.”

“Thank you, sir,” Harry said as he got up to leave. He was at the door when the headmaster suddenly spoke again.

“Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore said, but then hesitated for a moment.

Dumbledore wanted so badly to apologize to Harry, he really did, but if he were to apologize to Harry, he would have to explain exactly why he was apologizing, and then the boy would probably never trust him again, which couldn’t happen. So, at least for now, he had to lie to Harry, to an extent.

Finally figuring out what to say, he said to Harry, smiling, “I am glad that you are alright.”

Harry stood at the door for a moment, and finally said, smiling back at the headmaster, “Thank you, Professor Dumbledore. Good-bye.”

After Harry left, he sat there and began thinking to himself, his smiling face now replaced by a thoughtful one. True, he had gotten some answers out of Harry… but now his answered questions had been replaced by more unanswered questions. Well, that would change in due time.

For some reason, Harry reminded Dumbledore of another student he once had, decades ago. So different and yet just a little similar at the same time…

Subconsciously, Dumbledore began to compare young Harry to another young wizard whom he met centuries ago, and compared his own memories of Tom Riddle with those of Harry Potter, plus Hagrid’s own reflections of the latter…

Tom Riddle, arrogantly demanding explanations and even demonstrations about magic from Dumbledore…

Harry Potter, humbly asking for answers and the truth about his past from Hagrid…

Riddle, arrogantly relishing about how he knew he was special all along…

Harry, humbly accepting the truth about how he was special all along…

Riddle, gloating about the aggressive things he could do to people if they annoyed him…

Harry, describing the passive tactics he could use to avoid people who might want to hurt him…

Riddle, saying how his mother shouldn’t have died if she was magical, and therefore powerful and maybe even invincible…

Harry, accepting that even with their magical powers, his parents were not all-powerful and invincible…

Riddle, self-sufficient that he was, demanding that he be allowed to go to Diagon Alley by himself, even though he had never been there before…

Harry, self-sufficient that he was, letting Hagrid escort him to Diagon Alley, since he had never been there before…

Riddle, trying on the Sorting Hat, and sitting there for a few moments before he was declared a “SLYTHERIN!”…

Harry, trying on the Sorting Hat, and sitting there for several minutes before he was declared a “GRYFFINDOR!”…

Riddle, sitting at the Slytherin table, calmly observing his new House-mates interact, but not making an effort to get to know them…

Harry, sitting at the Gryffindor table, letting his new House-mates interact before making an effort to get to know them…

Riddle, growing up to be the evil and feared Lord Voldemort…

Harry… what would happen to him?

That was the question which had been haunting Dumbledore ever since Harry was born.

What will happen, Dumbledore thought firmly to himself, is that I will make sure that Harry Potter vanquishes Voldemort, and does not become a tyrannical monster like him.

But maybe, just maybe, he was giving Harry too little credit. Unbidden, as much as he tried to block out those memories from so very long ago, memories of his own youth came back to Dumbledore, haunting him, plaguing him…

Combine that with seeing Harry look accepting of Dumbledore’s not-entirely-true explanation before he left…

Silently moaning, he placed his head in his hands, thinking to himself, I’m a bad person, I’m a bad person, I’m a bad person…

After he left Dumbledore’s office, Harry went back to Gryffindor Tower to get Ron, and so the both of them went down to Hagrid’s hut.

“So, what did Dumbledore want to speak to you about?” Ron asked, curious.

“Something private,” Harry said casually, but Ron got the point and dropped the subject.

From there, both of them went from Gryffindor Tower to the school’s grounds, down to where Hagrid’s small wooden house stood on the edge of the Forbidden Forest, adorned with various things such as a crossbow and a pair of galoshes. For the first week of September, the weather was still beautiful, as though summer was trying to hold out for just a little longer until autumn finally set in.

However, they were almost there when an enormous black boarhound came rushing up to them, barking loudly. As quick as he tried to be, the big dog actually managed to tackle Harry to the ground. For a very brief instant, he had an unpleasant flashback of Ripper, but unlike that little brute of Aunt Marge’s, this dog was quite friendly.

“Fang!” a familiar voice shouted towards them; it was Hagrid, striding up to them with his massive steps. “Hey Harry! That’s just me dog, Fang.”

By now, Fang was circling Harry and Ron eagerly, looking far friendlier than Ripper ever did, or indeed, any other dog which Harry had ever encountered or met.

“Come along now, my house’s jus’ over there!” Hagrid shouted, and after Fang retook his place at his master’s side, they all went to the house together and entered.

Harry took in the sight of Hagrid’s one-room home, with its hams and pheasants hanging from the ceiling, its massive bed in the corner covered with a patchwork quilt, and a copper kettle boiling on the open fire. After having spent most of his life so far with the cupboard under the stairs as his bedroom in the Dursley household, he didn’t know if only one room could be considered cozy or comfortable enough for anyone.

“It’s a really nice place, Hagrid,” Harry said.

“Why thank you,” Hagrid said, beaming. “Make yerselves at home. I’ll have tea and rock cakes ready in no time.”

They kindly accepted the rock cakes – shapeless lumps with raisins which almost broke their teeth – but at least the tea was fine. After Harry introduced Ron (who was scratching Fang behind the ears), Hagrid made some comment about “another Weasley” and “how he spent half his life chasing away Ron’s twin brothers from the forest.”

“So you got any other siblings who’ll be comin’ in the future?” Hagrid asked Ron.

“Well, after me, there’s only my sister Ginny… she’ll be starting here next year.”

“Ah, I’m sure she can’t wait. So, how’s yer brother Charlie? He always was good with animals.”

“He’s having fun at the dragon reserve in Romania, nearly getting burned by dragons every day…”

“Good ter hear. I know he’ll be fine, yer brother.”

As Hagrid and Ron talked more about the latter’s family, Harry saw and read a cutting from the Daily Prophet whose headline caught his attention: GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST.

The ongoing conversation seemed to fade into the background as Harry focused on the article, reading it. Certain things in particular stuck out in his mind: Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July… The vault that was searched had been emptied the same day…

Something clicked in Harry’s mind.

“Hey Harry, you alright?” Hagrid asked.

Harry jumped in surprise, as if the ambient noise and the sound of the conversation had been suddenly turned back on.

“Huh? Oh, sorry… was just reading this,” Harry said, putting the clipping aside.

“Yeah, I know… scary, isn’t it?”

“Hagrid,” he said, remembering that small, grubby package, “weren’t we at Gringotts the day this happened?”

Hagrid didn’t exactly look him in the eyes. “So we were,” he said gruffly. “Coulda been any vault there. There’re always things goin’ in an’ outta Gringotts. They don’t say which vault it was, do they?”

Harry looked at the clipping again, and finally said, “No, it doesn’t.” But he caught the message which Hagrid was trying to silently send him: Let’s not talk about it now.

“How were yer classes?” Hagrid was now asking them.

Harry casually answered about how his classes were okay, his professors were nice enough… at least until he got up to the part about Potions with Snape.

“The subject itself wasn’t so bad – I really have no problem with Potions – but not the way he teaches it, or how he acts towards us,” Harry said. “Actually, the way he acted towards me in class… you should have seen him, Hagrid. He acted like I tried to hurt him once or something.”

Hagrid couldn’t quite meet Harry’s eyes about this, either. “Harry,” he said slowly, “I’ll admit that Professor Snape isn’t the nicest man around, but I wouldn’t worry abou’ it. He’s still the best Potions Master around – and Headmaster Dumbledore wouldn’t allow someone dangerous ter teach here.”

Harry had a feeling that Hagrid was hiding something from him regarding Snape, but didn’t press the issue. (On the side, Ron made a facial expression to express his disbelief that Dumbledore would allow someone like Snape to be at Hogwarts at all.)

Soon enough, Harry and Ron had to leave to return to the castle for dinner, but even after the topics of the Gringotts break-in and Snape, the three of them still managed to have a nice conversation about various other things.

But on the way back to the castle with Ron, Harry privately thought to himself about Hagrid’s unwillingness to talk about those couple of different subjects. The questions kept circling around in his head. Exactly why did Snape hate him so much? Did the break-in at Gringotts have anything to do with that small, grubby package? And now that he thought about it… wasn’t there a second item which Hagrid had retrieved?

After he was done with the last class for the day – and indeed, the week – Professor Snape, the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House, smoothly returned to his office.

Among the dark yet comfortable furnishings, Snape sat back and his chair and poured some water from a nearby pitcher into a cup before drinking it (he wasn’t in the mood for a stiff drink at the moment).

Harry Potter…

Just thinking about the boy made Snape feel some kind of inner, phantom pain, even if no part of his body was physically hurt just by thinking about him. From the moment that Potter first entered the Great Hall, Snape just knew that the boy would be trouble, as an arrogant, attention-seeking young celebrity. Snape had heard rumors over the summer that the young Potter was being abused and neglected by his Muggle relatives, but with just one look at how healthy he was, Snape just knew it couldn’t be true.

No, that Potter boy was a menace, just like his good-for-nothing father, and when he made a mistake, Snape would be there to punish him for it. He would learn soon enough that he couldn’t get away with the same antics as his father.

James’ face.

And yet… at the same time… even with his father’s looks and that horrid scar on his forehead… there were those emerald green eyes of his.

Lily’s eyes.

Those eyes were probably the only saving grace to young Potter’s appearance, in Snape’s own opinion. Just some kind of reminder that there still might be some kind of hope yet for the young Gryffindor.

Sighing to himself, Snape thought back to some of his earliest, happiest memories (most of them involving a certain girl with auburn hair and identical green eyes), lazily waved his wand, and said, “Expecto Patronum.”

A silver doe sprang from Snape’s wand, and began to lightly prance around the office before coming back to its caster and standing before him.

“I know I swore to protect him,” Snape said, aloud and yet to himself, “and I intend to do that… and I just hope that there’s more of you in him than just his eyes, Lily. I don’t think I would be able to handle it if he turned out like his father. I hope he doesn’t… for his sake.”

As the silver doe faded away, Snape sat in his office, surrounding himself with only his thoughts.

Quirrell was in his office, filled with so many different artifacts, both Light and Dark.

He sneered to himself. Light and Dark, Good and Evil… such useless, incorrect ways of labeling what they favored and what they feared.

“Quirrell,” a voice hissed from behind his head, through the wrappings of his turban.

“Yes, Master,” he said humbly, and without that ridiculous stuttering.

“I have lain dormant for this first week of school,” his master. “Fortunately, this act seems to be fooling Dumbledore.” (Here, the name of the school’s renowned Headmaster was spat out, almost like a foul curse.) “Any news on how to get to the Philosopher’s Stone?”

“None yet, my Lord. I still cannot figure out how to make my way past Hagrid’s beast, alive and unharmed. Those ancient Greek wizards knew what they were doing when they bred and enchanted Cerberus dogs to guard whatever needed to be guarded.”

Of course, both Quirrell and his master knew the Greek myth about the monster named Cerberus, the giant, three-headed dog which guarded the entrance to the Underworld.

“But please, rest assured, Master, I will find the way past that infernal beast soon enough…”

“Hopefully, ‘soon enough’ will be very soon,” his master said, softly yet dangerously and pointedly.

Quirrell gulped, showing true nervousness this time. “Yes, my Master… of course.”

“Good,” his master said quietly. “That is all for now. Carry on, my humble servant.”

After dinner, Harry remembered to write to Pim.

Making sure that no one else was around to see him, Harry took out a pencil and a sheet of paper, and began to write.


Well, I’ve finished my first week at Hogwarts, and so I’ll write to you about it now.

I think my year might be one of the smaller classes in the school. I’m only one of eight new Gryffindors (five boys, three girls). Maybe the war against Voldemort had something to do with it.

Our Head of House is Professor McGonagall, the Transfiguration teacher, who is also the Deputy Headmistress. She’s strict, and I’ve heard other Gryffindors say they wished that she “favored” us, but then again, I’ve read and heard about other people in the past who favor their own but are tougher on them than the others.

Professor Flitwick is a little guy who teaches Charms, and he seems nice enough.

Professor Sprout teaches Herbology, and she seems nice enough.

Professor Binns is our only professor who’s a ghost, and he teaches History of Magic. One word: BORING. Droning on about a certain subject can’t be the same as teaching it, right?

There’s not much to say about Professor Sinistra, who teaches Astronomy.

Quirrell, who I met in Diagon Alley on my birthday, teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts. I think his class might be a bit of a joke. He now has this big purple turban (which smells funny, by the way), which he claims he got from an African prince for getting rid of some troublesome zombie, but when someone asked exactly how he did it, he quickly explained that we wouldn’t understand or be able to deal with the more gory details.

Just today, I met probably my least favorite professor, Snape, who teaches Potions. The man obviously knows his stuff, but his idea of teaching seems to be to give us directions and make us figure it out on our own, only to snarl at us whenever we do something wrong. Oh, and he’s obviously in favor of the Slytherins. I think they could try and murder someone, and he’d find some way for them to get away with it. I could give you some examples of how he’s so biased, but I don’t want to subject you to my ranting unless you really want to know about it. The other thing about Snape is that he seems to hate me the most, more than any other typical Gryffindor, and I have no idea why. I didn’t even know him until I first came to Hogwarts, so it’s not as though I could have done anything to him.

The school itself just seems too magnificent to describe. There’s the Great Hall which shows the sky itself above, all the different staircases, all the different talking portraits…I could go into more detail if you wanted me to.

Harry was just about to finish writing the letter when he suddenly remembered something else, something which didn’t make him feel comfortable..

Pim, I just remembered something else! Just earlier, Headmaster Dumbledore called me to his office to talk about where I’ve been since I ran away from the Dursleys when I was nine years old. Well, I didn’t exactly lie, but I only vaguely told the truth. I told him that you found me, and you’re a merchant who has been around for a while and who travels all over the place, but mostly around the Mediterranean, and you rent out a place to live whenever you’re in Britain. When he asked if he could meet you, I told him that you had already gone on a business trip and wouldn’t be back for months. Now Dumbledore will want to meet you as soon as possible. I’m really sorry about this, but I didn’t know what else to do! I couldn’t stay silent and not answer his questions, because then he would have known that I was hiding something! Now what do I do?



Harry quickly rolled up the piece of paper and sealed it as though it were parchment, and then went out to go to the Owlery and find Hedwig.

“Hey Harry,” Ron said. “I’m about halfway done with my Potions homework, and I think I need a break. What are you doing?”

“I’m going to the Owlery to send a letter,” Harry said casually.

“Mind if I tag along?” Ron asked.


Ron finished writing a sentence in his essay for the Potions homework, and as soon as he was done, he bounded over to Harry, glad to get away from that tedious work.

Several minutes later, they were at the Owlery, looking for Hedwig.

“Hedwig?” Harry called out as he was careful to step around the owl droppings and remains of meals. “Hedwig, are you here?” He was also looking at the multitudes of owls in the rafters as he called out, looking for her; he knew that only male snowy owls were pure white, while female snowy owls had their white feathers flecked with small black bars.

There was an affirmative hoot from overhead, and Hedwig came fluttering down from her perch, fully refreshed after sleeping for most of the day.

“Hello, Hedwig,” he said happily as he stroked her feathers. “I need you to send this to Pim. Are you up for the journey?”

Hedwig hooted as if to say “of course” and took the letter in her beak. “Good girl, Hedwig,” he said appreciatively. “Have a safe flight.” With that, he walked over to the window with her and watched her take off into the sunset.

“Lovely owl,” Ron commented.

“Yeah, I know she is.”

With that, both of them made to return to Gryffindor Tower. However, at one point, Harry heard an unpleasantly familiar voice…

“Quick, in here,” he muttered, grabbing Ron by the shoulder and making them duck into a nearby alcove.

Hiding in the darkness, they could hear Malfoy drawling out loud as he passed by with his friends, Crabbe and Goyle.

“So, practically a day after the Sorting Ceremony, I get this letter from Father. Of course, he has better taste and sensibilities than to send me a Howler so everyone could hear it, so instead he sent me a handwritten letter. He basically yelled at me in the message about picking a fight with Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived who saved us all from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Honestly, how could I have known that that particular trunk could have been his? According to him, I should make an effort to be nicer to Potter, treat him with some respect, even though he is the Boy-Who-Lived and a Gryffindor to boot… but just between you and me, I think it’s more so that if I act nice to him, he might not see me as such a bad person after all… maybe I could even convince him to join our side…”

And as if on cue, Crabbe and Goyle chuckled.

As the trio of Slytherins continued on their way to the Owlery, Harry and Ron made sure that they were gone, came out of their hiding place, and continued on their way back to Gryffindor Tower.

“I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand that ponce Draco Malfoy,” Ron began to rant. “Typical scheming Slytherin, always trying to figure out how to do bad things to other people, just so he can look good…”

Ron continued ranting like that for the rest of their walk back to Gryffindor Tower. By the time they made it back to the Fat Lady, Harry finally said, “Ron, could you please give it a rest with Malfoy? I’m really tired of hearing about him.”

Ron looked at Harry as if snapping out of a funk, and with a small “sorry,” they both entered.

As Ron was scanning the common room, on the look-out for Fred and George so he could avoid them if he had to, Harry added, “Besides, when you talk like that, you sound a lot like Malfoy himself.”

“What was that?” Ron said distractedly, still looking around for his twin brothers.

“Oh, nothing, Ron…”

Pim was busy at work in his tower, looking for some way to solve his own personal energy crisis. Even now, the tower was functioning on absolutely minimal power, just enough to sustain himself and anything or anyone currently inhabiting it. So, for now, he himself was fine, Galatea was fine, the owls were fine, and everything else was fine.

He just needed a new energy source… as well as a way to make the tower itself more energy-efficient.

It was probably a flaw, he decided, one which he had made when constructing the tower more than a thousand years ago. Well, it was time to fix that.

Pim had read about this new Muggle invention known as a “solar panel” and considered the possibility of placing solar panels on the top of the spire, to collect sunlight for energy. That was certainly worth a try. But he still needed something else…

He had read and learned about nuclear power, and somehow, that seemed like a good alternative. Pim certainly understood what was involved in making and running a nuclear reactor… but somehow, that seemed like quite a stretch.

Well, as long as he had a solution by next summer, when Harry would be staying there for another few months, that would be good in itself.

Pim then sensed something coming his way – an owl. It was Hedwig.

The snowy owl soared gracefully into the level of the tower which was now serving as an Owlery. Pim’s avatar appeared there to greet her.

“Hello, Hedwig,” he said warmly. “What news do you have for me?”

Galatea entered the room and accepted Harry’s letter, since she could physically move it and open it.

As Hedwig joined the other owls, Pim and Galatea read the letter together. Pim nodded to himself as he silently read it, going through the descriptions of teachers and classes (although he grimaced a little at the sound of this Snape character)… but then he could feel Harry’s panic as Harry described the meeting with his Headmaster.

“Well, this certainly makes things a little complicated,” Pim said aloud, “but I suppose this was inevitable.”

Still, Pim felt a little amused by the clever half-truths which Harry told, about Pim and what he had been doing. A merchant, huh? Pim thought to himself. Yes, actually, I did some freelance work as a merchant or courier over the centuries…

It was also kind of funny, since Pim had been reading up on the age of exploration from five hundred years previous, when Christopher Columbus and other explorers sailed the oceans and discovered new worlds. In fact, just the previous night, Pim was reading up on how Dutch sailors managed to get Japan to open up to the rest of the world after centuries of isolation. (He also thought it was kind of funny that “Pim” should just happen to be a pet form of the name “William” in the Dutch language.)

Taking the time from his research on powering his tower to write out a response, he had Galatea retrieve an old Muggle typewriter which Pim had required, along with some paper, and began to type out a response.


Thank you for telling me about this. I think that, given the circumstances, you did the right thing in doing what you did. At least you were able to think on your feet, and that’s good.

Don’t offer any more information unless you are asked for it. But if you need to supply a name just to satisfy their curiosity, just tell them that my name is William Verdediger. (It’s Dutch, just in case you were wondering.)

I am working on creating this convincing new alias for me right now, and with any luck, it will be quite believable. Hopefully, if all goes well, I should be able to put in an appearance before Christmas.

May you continue to do well in all your classes… and do not let that Potions master bring you down.



With that, Pim finished the letter and then allowed the ink to dry. Once it was dry, he sealed it, but then left it there on the table which the typewriter was currently sitting on. He then called to Hedwig, “Please, Hedwig, rest here for the night… you can deliver this to Harry in the morning.”

Hedwig hooted back in confirmation.

Now, back to the tricky business of finding some way to magically power his tower… at the moment, he was stuck between solar power and nuclear power.

Well, maybe the occasional lightning strike might help…

A/N: So, we see how the canon conflicts with the original stuff…

Regarding the chapter title… self-explanatory.

Okay, so Harry doesn’t know that Dumbledore was responsible for him being placed with the Dursleys… yet. Trust me, when Harry finds out, it won’t be pretty!

As for the strange but definitely human writing on the clay box… yeah, it was cuneiform, the writing system used by ancient Sumerians and other ancient Mesopotamian peoples as far back as 3000 B.C. It was also what Oannes was drawing on the sand to communicate with Dumbledore a couple of chapters back.

Regarding Snape… he has this debt to Lily to repay, concerning Harry, but at the same time, he’s too wrapped up in his untrue beliefs that Harry is a near-copy of James, so he sort of sees it as his duty to “make sure” that Harry doesn’t turn out like that. I tried to show him as being logical and yet delusional at the same time.

Regarding Pim’s fake name… “Pim” just happens to be a Dutch pet form of the name “William” (thanks to Laume for pointing that out!), and verdediger is the Dutch word for “protector” or “guardian” (thanks to Kidduffet for the translation!).

(First posted: August 29, 2007)
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