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((Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, nor do I wish that I did. I could never have produced the masterpiece that JKR has.))
A/N: I have the best Beta in the world. Her pen name is Pingo and my story would not be nearly as good with out her. She is the talent, I am just the story teller. I couldn’t write my way out of a paper sack with out her help. Thank you so much Pingo, you’re the best.


Chapter 5: School Registration and Orientation

Harry sat, waiting for Hagrid to return, utilizing the time to compose himself. Prior to his conversation with Hagrid it hadn’t occurred to him that his movements about the school and the school grounds might be limited. The possibility of this constraint sparked anger in him and Harry was attempting to suppress his resentment until he had a more complete picture of the situation.

A movement from up by the castle caught his eye. Harry focused on the movement and became aware that a person had exited the castle and was heading in his general direction. Harry watched as the individual came closer and right as Harry realized it was Percy Weasley, Percy waved at him.

Percy was wearing traditional Hogwarts school robes. He had grown his hair out and when Harry had seen him the day before at the Burrow he’d worn it lose hanging down over his shoulders, now however Percy had it tied back into a pony tail. A couple of years back Percy let his chin whiskers and mustache grow out into a thick well trimmed door-knocker beard. He’d also replaced his horn rimmed glasses with half lens wire rimmed reading glasses he wore low on his nose. Harry had never felt the changes in Percy’s appearance suited him but in this setting he looked scholarly and he actually fit in rather well.

Harry waved back at his brother-in-law calling out to Hagrid, “Percy is on his way down,”

Harry heard the door to Hagrid’s hut open and shut and saw Hagrid come out to join him carrying three mugs. He suspected Hagrid had been waiting on Percy’s arrival to rejoin him and he wondered why. Harry was feeling a little uneasy when he stood up and extended his hand to Percy, “I almost didn’t recognize you. Are you my escort?” Harry realized this last part came out a little sharp,

Percy nodded his head “yes” shaking Harry’s hand and cautiously said “Good morning Harry, Good morning Hagrid,” then in a friendly voice continued, “This day has been a long time in coming let me tell you. Harry, there is so much I have wanted to talk to you about but was unable to. I am so happy you are here,”

Harry thought he picked up on happiness and relief in Percy’s voice. He replied, kind of shocked at Percy’s demeanor, “I was under the impression I was being punished in some way, was I wrong?”

Percy gave Harry a huge grin, “Way wrong, let me assure you that this is no punishment,” He looked at Hagrid and the mugs in Hagrid’s hands, “Is one of those for me?”

Hagrid nodded and handed a Mug to Percy and one to Harry.

Percy took a drink, “Ahh, pumpkin juice always hit the spot, thanks Hagrid”

“Yer welcome,” Hagrid replied, “drink up, I’ve got me first class in bout an hour, need to get ready fer it yeh know,”

“We’ll be out of your hair in a few, I promise” and Percy took another gulp of his drink enjoying it.

Harry took a large swig of his own and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, “Percy. Why the escort? I know my to the headmistresses office,”

“We’ll get to that don’t worry Harry give me a chance,” indicating to Hagrid that he’d finished with his drink Percy handed him his mug, Harry did the same.

Hagrid took the mugs, “Will I be seein’ yeh tonight then?” he asked looking at Harry,

Harry shrugged and looked at Percy,

“We’ve set him up quarters in the old class room, out side the entrance to Professor McGonagall’s office, on the left hand side. You can visit with him there if you like,”

“Oh, all righ’ then, maybe I’ll see you tonight then Harry, Yeh better get that owl off to yer wife though as soon as yeh get to up to the school, dun wan’ her sendin’ me no howler that’s fer sure,” Hagrid, lifted the mugs slightly and nodded toward his hut indicating he was heading that way.

Harry reached up and patted him on the shoulder, “Thanks Hagrid, for the juice, well really for everything, maybe you can come join me for dinner,” looking at Percy, “I take it I’ll be dining in my room?”

“Rooms actually,” Percy replied nodding his head, “Mine are across the hall, both of you can join me if you’d like, I would enjoy the company,”

Harry saw that Hagrid was surprised by something but whether it was that Percy had quarters at the school or the invitation for dinner he did not know.

Hagrid grumbled “Sure, okay”

“Great, about half past six then, if it’s okay with you Harry?”

“Yea, sure, see ya then Hagrid,” Harry watch Hagrid headed toward his hut then He and Percy began their trek toward the school.

As they walked toward the castle Percy chuckled “So you thought you were being punished? I guess you would, most people think that’s what happened to me isn’t it?”

“You didn’t exactly do anything to alter their perception. So what happened?” Harry was feeling better but was still a little apprehensive about the whole situation,

“I volunteered,” Percy replied “Minister Shacklebolt approached me one morning and asked if I ever considered taking his place as Minister of Magic. That kind of surprised me but I told him the truth. I told him that at one time I would have called it my goal but that I had since decided that the power and responsibility was not for me,”

Harry was a little stunned at this and Percy must have noticed because he continued chuckling again, “That surprises you, does it? It surprised him too I suppose. He said he thought he understood though and several days latter he approached me with a project that would require me to be placed on what he phrased as “special assignment by the Minister” for an indeterminable amount of time. After he explained what the project entailed I jumped at the chance. Been on it ever since,”

“So why didn’t you ever say anything about it to any one?”

“The circumstances don’t allow for it. It’s a bit of a delicate situation. Let that suffice for now, okay?” Percy answered as they reached the huge oak front doors of the castle and entered the school.

They made their way up into the school and Percy continued, “My presence here hasn’t raised much of an interest. I confine myself to my quarters or Professor McGonagall’s office most of the time I’m here. I leave the grounds or arrive during times that will arouse the least attention. The staff has been informed that I am here helping the Headmistress and have been asked to take no notice of my presence. For the most part my being here has not had an affect on the activities or education of the students and the biggest advantage I have had in pulling this off is that I am a nobody. You on the other hand are still very well known,” Percy said this with an amused expression as they exited a stairway and entered the second floor that Harry remembered with the gargoyle that guarded the entrance to the Headmistresses office.

Percy came to a stop and pointed to a door on the left that Harry remembered had been the entrance to a large unused classroom, “That opens to your rooms, I think you will find them very comfortable,” He then pointed to another door on the opposite wall, “that leads to my rooms,” They continued down the hall and came to the gargoyle

Percy said, “Fred Weasley,”

And the gargoyle jumped aside saying “a good day to you sirs” revealing the revolving staircase behind it.

Percy and Harry stepped on the bottom stair and were moved upward. Percy began to chuckle, saying “She likes to use the names of her favorite former students as her passwords. Fred, George and Lee have all been used as passwords over the past four years more times then I can count. She has never used my name though. I think there is a suppressed mischief maker in our Headmistress if you ask me,”

Harry sensed a deep affection in Percy toward the Headmistress. He and Percy had never been what one might call close. Harry had learned to respect the man Percy had grown to become prior to his taking leave from the ministry but Percy had always maintained an air of superiority that put Harry off. However, as Harry observed Percy during this meeting, he began to see qualities in the man that he liked. Percy was at home here and appeared comfortable and he seemed to be trying to make Harry feel every bit as comfortable here as well.

When they reached the top of the stairs Percy knocked on the door to McGonagall’s office. The door opened on its own and McGonagall’s voice came out at them “Come in, Please come in,”

Harry could see Professor McGonagall sitting behind what looked like the same desk Dumbledore had sat behind. In fact the office looked almost exactly like it had when Dumbledore was Headmaster. The few exceptions were that Fawkes was no longer present, two new portraits of past Headmasters hung on the wall and Professor McGonagall had added what Harry thought must be a three meter by three meter square table surrounded by four chairs in the center of the office.

Entering the office and Harry took a moment to acknowledge two of the portraits of past Headmasters. He smiled at the portrait of his mentor, Albus Dumbledore and nodded his head receiving a twinkling knowing smile in return. He then turned to the portrait hanging next to Dumbledore’s, this one was of Severus Snape and Severus looked back at Harry looking more relaxed and happier then Harry had ever seen him. Harry smiled at him and nodded his head. Severus sneered back in his usual way but his eyes held none of the malice of the past, in fact Harry saw that his old potions teacher was glazing at him with a look of pride in his eyes.

They move toward McGonagall and she got up and made her way around to the front of her desk to greet them. Harry was surprised when she said “Harry, thank you for coming,” and made to hug him. When Harry kind of pulled back she said, “I think a hug between friends is in order, don’t you?” and she patted his cheek warmly then hugged him in a friendly way.

Harry hugged her back uncomfortably and then pulled away saying, “I’m sorry Professor you will always be a friend, a close dear friend but I am having some trouble separating our friendship from the fact that you now seem to unexpectedly be my boss and I have no idea what my job is,”

The Headmistress smiled and motioning them to have a seat at the square table in the center of the office “Harry please, unless we find ourselves in the company of students I would prefer you to continue to call my Minerva as you have for years, please sit and be comfortable.”

Percy held a chair for McGonagall and Harry waited until she was seated before taking a chair on her left. Percy took the chair to her right. “I apologize, Harry for any disruption in your family life or any unnecessary concern this might have caused. When we break for lunch perhaps you should send Ginny a note quelling any fears or anxiety she may be having. Percy argued that we should approach this whole thing in a less formal way, I guess maybe he was right,”

It had been a year since Harry had seen the Professor. She had looked very good back then but today she appeared tired and older than Harry had ever seen her look. “Are you ok Profess-er-Minerva?" Harry looked at the Headmistress with a worried expression.

She replied waving of his concern “Oh yes, I’m fine,”

But Percy interrupted looking a little concern and chided the Headmistress “She has been putting in to many hours, pushing herself to hard the last few months. I keep telling her to slow down, that we will get there. Even Madam Pomfrey has tried to intervene,” he gave an exasperated hand jester directed toward the Headmistress and looked directly at her with a gleam of admiration in his eyes, “but will she listen? No!”

McGonagall sat up a little straighter and collected herself attempting to ward off the concern being directed at her, “I am fine,” she said sternly to Percy then looked at Harry saying, “besides most of our work for the time being is done, now it’s all up to Harry,”

Harry groaned inside. This did not sound good. It sounded to him as if a large responsibility was about to be thrust upon him. Harry didn’t mind normal mundane, day to day responsibilities no matter how large. Marriage, raising children, even the dangers of his job he could handle and even enjoy but he’d lived most of his young life with the consuming responsibility of the magical would on his shoulders and he didn’t think he could go back to those days. Warily and a little angrily he asked, “What are you two planning on getting me involved in, how big is this?” Harry tried to gulp down his dread.

McGonagall and Percy both looked concerned and confused at the look of terror that was evident on Harry’s face, finally the Headmistress seemed to come to an understanding and in a in a soothing motherly manner she reached out to him “No Harry it’s nothing like last time, if you do nothing, life will go on as it has been, what we are trying to do is simply to help things along a bit, but we can’t do it with out you, no big wars, no deaths, no danger to your family just helping things improve a little. Its important work but it’s not like the last time okay?”

Percy now understanding as well added apologetically, “Oh my, Harry, I am so sorry, we could never ask you, would never ask you, you have done more than, oh my no.” He failed to find the words to express himself and he ended by shaking his head and looking down at his hands.

Feeling very relieved and embarrassed, Harry put his hands palms up on the table and said “Sorry about that, why don’t you tell me what I am supposed to be doing. That way I’ll be able to stop with all the silliness,”

McGonagall with a nod of her head and a smile took out her wand and silently cast a spell. The outer edges of the room became dark, the area around the table was the only area of the room that was not affected by the spreading darkness, “That was to give us some privacy, What we say and what we do inside this lighted area can not be seen nor heard by any one outside of it. It has been made clear to us that this is a requirement. Once the doors to your quarters are closed similar charms placed on those rooms will also provide you this level of privacy. This is all very sensitive knowledge” She looked at Percy, “Shall I start off then?”

Percy nodded yes and the Headmistress began Harry’s education, “We simply want to end the discrimination the magical world has for people born of magical families that have no magical ability, people who are referred to as squibs. We also hope to end the shame and abuse that the magical family of a squib suffer. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but ran into, well, a stumbling block, one I didn’t have the skill to circumvent.”

She paused briefly allowing Harry to ask, “This can’t really be so hard can it?”

Percy answered ruefully, “From the surface you wouldn’t think so would you? But when Minerva first began looking into the issue she found it entangled with very strong old magic and out of fear for the unknown consequences and on the advice of Dumbledore she backed off until she could untangle it. So now you know the goal. You will come to understand is that it will be a delicate undertaking to accomplish and there are some dangers with messing around with old magic. What you will come to understand is that most of the danger involves the sharing of what we have learned. To avoid the danger, don’t share it.”

Harry shook his head slightly “Percy the last ten years you worked in the ministry were dedicated to resolving prejudices and persecution of half humans like Hagrid and nonhumans like the giants, goblins and elves. The progress you achieved was admirable. Was old magic was some how involved there?”

“Old magic is a weird thing Harry, I didn’t realize it at the time, but yeah I think to some extent old magic helped me out and to a greater extent it blocked some of my progress. The old magic we are talking about here seeks a balance, seeks to preserve, it hides itself much like the way we use magic to hide our existence from the muggles. We simply don’t see it or are diverted from recognizing its true nature, even when it’s right under our noses, we some how miss it. Voldemort learned this the hard way. In this case old magic uses squibs to provide balance, to preserve the magical world we know and ensure that an all important connection is maintained to the muggle world.”

It was hard for Harry to grasp the full meaning of what Percy was saying, “I still am not getting the full picture here. What I know of old magic has to do with my mom and the way I was protected by her love and the way she sacrificed her life for me,”

Percy and McGonagall both nodded in agreement and Percy continued, “Harry if she had known her sacrifice would have protected you and the results her sacrifice would come to, it would have broken the laws of old magic and you would have died with your parents. When you walked out into those woods to lay down your life, you had no idea that the sacrifice you made, even though it didn’t ultimately kill you would have invoked old magic. Your selfless act protected the rest us forever from Voldemort. Even if he had not died he would have been powerless to harm anyone again. If you had known this fact however, old magic’s laws would have been broken and the out come would have most assuredly been much different. I’ve worked for four years to untangle the old magic surrounding the existence of squibs and we have to make changes with out revealing the truth about the role squibs play to bring about balance or we could bring an end to the human race, both magical and muggle,”

Sounding a bit indignant Harry slapped his hand on the table, “wait you said that I would not be placing my loved ones in any danger, that you would not ask me to carry the weight or the responsibility of all that I love on my shoulders again, now you say this could bring an end to everything?” he sounded miserable and angry as he finished and he looked from the Professor to Percy with a steely glare.

McGonagall held up her hands, “Harry, he said it could, not that it would bring an end to the human race. We are talking about hundreds of years from now. The affects wouldn’t be immediate. But most important, we have a plan to bring about change that we feel will not ultimately break the laws of old magic. What we are asking is for you to listen and for you to learn what Percy has documented over the last four years. When you understand all that we think we do and if you agree to go forward then we will explain to you your role. If you don’t agree to move forward then the only stipulation we have is that you keep this knowledge to yourself.”

Percy added with wry smile, “Consider this your registration and orientation to the school of old magic.”

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please leave a review and let me know what you think.

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