Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals 4

Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, is a young and abused Black boy with Asperger's syndrome, and is hated by his guardians, the Dursleys. A little over a week before his birthday, he discovers that he is also a wizard, and the Dursleys knew all along. Not only is he a wizard, but he's also famous in the wizarding world! An AU fanfic.

(Transgender character introduced in chapter 7)

"Harry Potter and the Trouble With Neurotypicals"
By = Fayanora

Note: A bit of harmless fanfic fun for no money, written by a fan who only WISHES she owned the Harry Potter rights.

Chapter 4: Hogwarts At Last

The rest of his month-plus time at the Burrow was pretty easy, a mix of socializing with the Weasleys or Luna, and hiding away in Ron's room to recharge. It was a little hard with the painfully orange colors of Ron's Quidditch team everywhere in that room, but if Harry read under the blankets with a magical torch he'd gotten for his birthday, he could manage it without a problem. The earmuffs occasionally helped too, whenever Fred and George started making loud bangs in their room.

On the day before he was to leave for Hogwart's, Harry carefully packed everything up and put it by Ron's door. Because of this, he was the first person ready to go in the morning, which gave him time to help Ron get ready, including finding Ron's pet rat Scabbers, who was sleeping in one of the kitchen cupboards, apparently after gorging himself on biscuits. It was difficult dealing with the panicky lateness of the Weasleys, but Harry managed it by putting his earmuffs on and reading his Transfiguration book. He had switched to that one because he realized History of Magic would be easy for him, and Transfiguration not as easy, so he wanted to get a head start.

They made it to platform 9 and 3/4ths with several minutes to spare, but still had to hurry to get their things aboard. Ginny hid behind Mrs. Weasley's skirts. During his short stay there, the only person who did not yet know Ginny had a crush on Harry was Harry himself, who was oblivious to such things.

Ron opened the door to the compartment where Harry was with relief. "There you are. Been looking for you. Ah, nose in a book again, why'm I not surprised?" Ron was grinning in amusement at his friend's swottiness. He closed the door behind him and sat down. "You're gonna be top of our year at this rate. Bet you could already do spells if you put your mind to it. You know we're allowed to do magic on the train, right?"

"Oh, that's good to know. I've been excited to try, now I have a chance." Harry put his book away and got out his wand. "What spell should I try?"

Ron shrugged. "No idea. Only spell I know is one to turn Scabbers yellow, but I don't think it's a real spell. Fred and George taught me."

"Did it work for them?"

"Well, they couldn't do it out of school any more than I could."

"Go ahead and try it."

"Okay. 'Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid fat rat yellow.'"

Nothing happened.

"Ah well, like I said, probably not a real spell."

A round faced boy came into the compartment just then, out of breath and looking woebegone. "Have either of you seen a toad named Trevor? He's missing."

Harry looked at Ron, who shook his head. "Sorry, we haven't seen any toads."

"He keeps getting away from me," the boy moaned.

"Well do you have a cage for him?"

"A cage that would keep a toad in but not break and be a danger to him? No."

"I think I read somewhere that glass can be enchanted to be unbreakable."

"Really? Well I'll look into that later. Assuming I ever find him." The boy closed the door, calling for his pet toad.

"Do toads come when called?" Harry asked.

"Regular toads, no; but magical toads might. Dunno."

A plump woman came by pushing a trolley full of food. "Anything off the trolley dears?"

Intrigued by the unusual treats, Harry bought a little of everything and shared with Ron, who was pleasantly surprised by Harry's wealth and generosity.

"When you said you had money from your parents, you weren't kidding."

"You think that's impressive..." Harry started, trailing off.

"Go on," Ron prompted.

"Well... I don't want to sound like I'm bragging or anything. But there was... well, I won't have to worry about money until after I graduate, at least."

"Makes sense, I guess. I think your mum and dad were Aurors. Not sure, though."

"Aurors?"

"Dark wizard catchers."

"Sounds like a cool job."

"Yeah it is." Ron looked at a Chocolate Frog card he'd gotten. “Dumbledore again. You want him? You can start collecting.”

Harry took it, and read the card:


ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
CURRENTLY HEADMASTER OF HOGWARTS
Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945, for the discovery of the twelve uses of dragon’s blood, and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and ten-pin bowling.

Harry was astonished that the photograph was moving, even more so when it left the frame to wander off. Ron assured him Dumbledore would be back later.

They were three-fourths the way through the huge pile of sweets when the compartment door opened and a bond boy with slicked-back hair and a smug expression came in, two thuggish cronies behind him. "I heard rumors Harry Potter was in here. So you're him, then?"

"Uh, yes." Harry held out his hand. "Harry Potter. And you?"

"Malfoy. Draco Malfoy," the boy said, shaking hands. Ron snorted with laughter, and Draco turned to glare at him.

"Think my name's funny, do you? No--"

"Don't be rude, Ron," Harry said, cutting off Draco.

"Yeah, Weasley, don't be rude," Draco sneered.

"Draco," Harry said warningly. “Don't you be rude either, please.”

"What? You'd tell me not to be rude to a blood tr--"

"I had enough enemies in my old schools, I don't want any here. But Ron is my friend, and I expect you two to at least be civil to one another, if you want to be my friend too."

Draco and Ron both looked affronted, but Draco remained quiet and pensive, regarding Harry with immense curiosity. "Yes, of course," Draco said, his whole manner changing to one of refinement and politeness. "My apologies; in all the excitement of going to Hogwarts at last, I quite forgot my manners. Please accept my apologies. To... both of you."

"Apology accepted," Harry said.

Ron grunted. Harry and Draco both accepted this.

"Anyway, these here are my associates, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle."

"A pleasure," Harry said. "And this is my friend, Ronald Weasley. His family took me in for the last part of the summer."

Draco sat down next to Harry. There wasn't enough room for Crabbe and Goyle, at least not without Ron making a scene, so Draco had them remain standing. He then turned back to Harry, the strain of thinking before speaking obvious on his pale face. "You stayed with them? May I inquire why?"

Harry thought about it. "Well, I don't like my aunt and uncle very much, and the feeling is mutual. They're Muggles, and terrified of magic. Let's just leave it at that."

"I see. Well, since you were raised by Muggles, I doubt you've heard of my family before. We are very wealthy and have connections in the Minstry of Magic, if ever you need a favor. My father would be delighted to perform a favor for the famous Harry Potter."

"A generous offer. I'll keep it in mind. Please give your father my greetings."

"Of course. And... and give Mr. and Mrs. Weasley my greetings as well."

"I shall."

Ron scowled. Draco gave Ron a slight sneer when Harry wasn't looking.

"Well, it was a pleasure to meet you, Harry Potter. But I'm feeling a little peckish, so I'm going to go see if I can still get something off the trolley. Hope you're in Slytherin house with me, I could help you out much easier from there. Until later, Harry Potter."

"Likewise, Draco Malfoy."

Draco stood up and inclined his head at Harry. "Crabbe, Goyle, come." And with that, they left the compartment and closed the door behind them.

Ron got up and peeked through the door to watch them go. Once he was sure they were gone, he sat next to Harry (on Harry's other side so as to not get Malfoy cooties) and whispered, "What was that all about? Why are you being friendly with the Malfoys? His father was a Death Eater, one of the ones that avoided going to Azkaban."

"Azkaban?"

"It's the wizard prison for Britain and Ireland. Don't change the subject."

"It's like I said before, I've had enough enemies in my life already without making new ones."

"But he thinks Muggles, Muggle-borns, and blood traitors - people who like Muggles and Muggle-borns - are all scum. His family hates my family."

"Well maybe I can change their minds. I've been a victim of bigotry all my life, I refuse to just accept it here in the wizarding world, too. Even if it's futile, I'm going to fight bigotry. And making friends with people like Draco stands a better chance of changing his mind that declaring war on him would. He's just a kid, like us; he's just parroting his father's beliefs. But it's not too late to change his mind, you see?"

"I guess."

"You gonna be civil around him?"

Ron gritted his teeth, but nodded. "Yes, if he's civil with me."

Harry shrugged. "It'll do."

Just then, the door to their compartment opened again, startling them both. Harry recognized the new person as the black girl from Ollivander's; she was already dressed in her school robes. "Oh, hi Harry!" she exclaimed.

"Hi Hermione!"

"You two met already?"

"Yeah," Harry said. "We met in Ollivander's. Hermione... Granger, right?"

Hermione nodded. "Nice to see you again. Who's your friend?"

Ron held out his hand. "Ron Weasley."

She shook his hand, smiling. "Oh, I almost forgot, have either of you seen a toad? A boy named Neville's lost one."

"Oh," said Harry, "so that's his name? He was here earlier, ran off before we could make introductions. Like we told him, we haven't seen Trevor yet."

"Oh, okay. Hey, who were those three boys in here earlier? They looked an unpleasant lot."

"Draco Malfoy was the blonde. The other two were Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. They were making introductions."

"Oh, well that's good. When I saw them, I was worried they were picking a fight or something." She looked at Ron. "Um... you have dirt on your nose, by the way. Right there. Ah, there, you got it. Anyway, I'm going to go help Neville some more. See you two later. Oh, and you should get changed, I have it on good authority we're almost there."

She left hurriedly, and Ron stared after her, bewildered. "Well that was an experience. But I reckon she's right, Harry, we should get changed. Even if she's wrong, it couldn't hurt."

Harry nodded, and so they got changed into their school robes and hats, the sky outside getting darker and darker. "Where is Hogwarts, anyway?"

"Dunno. Somewhere in Scotland. But they keep the exact location a secret, with magic. I know the village of Hogsmeade is nearby, cuz that's where the train stops, at Hogsmeade Station."

Thinking again, Harry sat down and began going through his books. One of the books he'd gotten was called "Hogwarts, A History." He silently chided himself for not reading this book sooner.

He only got to read for 20 minutes before the train stopped and everyone began getting out. They left their things on the train as instructed, since their things would go up separately, and followed Hagrid to a whole bunch of boats on the great black lake. Harry found himself wondering why they didn't just take the carriages up, as the older students were doing, but then he saw why: this route gave them a spectacular view of the castle for several minutes before it took them inside through a special access.

Grateful they were on dry land again, he trudged up the stairs with the others to the entrance hall just outside the Great Hall. McGonagall came to talk with them before long, talking about how the school houses would be like their families. Then she escorted them in, to stand in line before the Sorting Hat.

The old hat sang a song about the four school Houses first, Harry hanging on every word. Ravenclaw sounded excellent to him, and Griffindor sounded okay. He wasn't so sure about Slytherin, but was withholding judgment for now. He had no real preference at the moment, tough; he just wanted to end up wherever one or more of his two friends were.

Since their names were farther up the list than his, they both got placed before him. Both Hermione and Ron ended up in Griffindor, so Harry began to hope for Griffindor, too. He could still be friends with them in any House, but it would be easier in Griffindor. Also, he wasn't sure Ron would forgive him if he ended up in Slytherin.

Finally, it was his turn. The whole school went silent when his name was called, and then the mutterings began, about "the famous Harry Potter." He ignored it all and stepped forward, sitting on the stool. The hat was placed on his head.

"Difficult, difficult," said a voice in his mind, from the hat. "Plenty of brains, I see. Good heart, lots of bravery. Loyal, too, and hard working. Oh, and a thirst to prove yourself. But where to put you?"

Harry wasn't bothered too much where he went, of course, though it would be nice to be with Ron or Hermione, so he'd have at least one friend in his House; he concentrated on that.

"Ah yes, friends are important, Potter. Especially to someone who's never had them before. But you know, Slytherin would be an excellent fit for you as well; you could meet your true friends there."

He pondered that. He wasn't sure that was wise, given the House's reputation. Draco would be thrilled, of course, but that would complicate things too much. So he finally got firm about it, and decided not to go with Slytherin.

"Are you sure? You could be great, you know. It's all here, inside your head, and Slytherin would help you on your way to greatness, no doubt about that."

No, that's alright. I want to be with my friends.

"Well if you're sure, better be... GRIFFINDOR!"

The last word was shouted, and there was so much cheering Harry fought to keep a headache away. He removed the hat and went to join Ron and Hermione, who were already sitting together.

Once everyone was sorted, Professor Dumbledore - who looked like Gandalf, if Gandalf had been flamboyantly gay, gave a very odd yet brief statement before letting them tuck in. Food magically appeared before them in the golden dishes, and everyone began to stuff themselves like they were Christmas turkeys.

Percy was nearby, too, and Harry listened to the conversation as he ate, sometimes joining in. Partway through the meal, his gaze went over to the teachers' table and fell on a man wearing a purple turban, and a sallow, hook-nosed man with greasy black hair next to him, who was glaring at Harry with an all too familiar look of utter hatred. And, at the same time, his scar burned with pain.

"Ow!" He cried out, unwittingly.

"'Samatta?" Ron asked through a mouth full of ham.

"Nothing, just another headache starting. Too many people in here." It was at least partially true, he was indeed fighting another headache.

"Hey Percy, who's that man next to the guy with the turban? For that matter, who are they both?"

"Oh, the man with the turban is Professor Quirrell," Percy said. "He teaches Defense Against The Dark Arts. And the other man is Professor Snape. Snape wants Quirrell's job, never gets it for some reason, though, despite the fact we go through one DADA teacher a year."

"What does Professor Snape teach, if not DADA?"

"He teaches Potions."

Harry groaned. It figured, the one class that sounded the most interesting was the one taught by a man who already didn't like him. He wondered why Snape hated him. He also wondered if there was any way to get the man to change his mind about that hatred.

There were some warnings and announcements after the feast was over, including a strange one about it being deadly to go to a forbidden corridor on the third floor. Harry made a mental note to learn where that was so he could avoid it. But before long, Percy - a prefect - began leading them all to the Griffindor common room, and up to their dormitories. Harry managed to get a dormitory with Ron, Neville, and one other boy named Seamus Finnegan. Their things were already there, fortuitously, so he changed into his pajamas and went to bed, falling asleep almost at once.

The first school day that next morning was very uncomfortable for Harry. He was just trying to find his way to classes in the confusing corridors, but people kept trying to look at him due to his unwanted fame. He ignored it best he could, though, so he could focus on the task of finding his way to classes.

Worse, though, was trying to write anything with quill and ink. Hadn't wizards ever heard of ballpoint pens and paper? He suspected they only used parchment because they made it magically; true parchment was a pain to make as well as to use, without magic. Harry kept messing up his page with ink blots, and whenever the ink didn't blot, it didn't come out at all.

By the end of the day, he was so frustrated that he went to Professor McGonagall, his head of house, to ask if he could use pen and paper.

She nodded after he explained. "Ah, Potter, you're far from the only Muggle-raised person to have that concern. We don't accept assignments on paper, of course, but here, I have something for you." She handed him a purple quill. "This quill is charmed to release ink more smoothly, and the tip has been transfigured to be rounded, as well as a hardening spell put on the tip and shaft to make them hard as metal. And there's a simple spell to put horizontal lines on a parchment. Watch me."

She pulled a piece of parchment from a pile, pointed her wand at it, and incanted, "Membranis linea."

"Cool," he said. "So this quill will work like a ballpoint pen, but on parchment?"

"Yes, it will. Oh, while you're here, here's a few spares. You can even give them to your Muggle-born friends like Miss Granger," she said, giving him a handful of spare purple quills. "Anyway, try the spell yourself."

Putting the quills in his bag first, he pointed his wand at a new piece of parchment, and incanted the spell, "Membranis linea." It worked.

"So I can turn parchments in with these lines still on them?"

"Yes, Potter, you can. Professor Snape may not like it, but if he says anything, let me know, and I will remind him of Professor Dumbledore's stance on it."

“Thank you. Oh, and what if I need to correct a mistake?”

“There's an erasure spell, lapsus delens, to erase a mistake completely, and lapsus rectus is used to fix a mistake by replacing it. For the second spell, you have to be concentrating on the word you wish to have replace the mistake with, when you say the incantation, which makes that one a little more difficult.”

He wrote down a sentence with a mistake made on purpose, then tried the more difficult correction spell first; it worked, erasing the mistaken word and replacing it with... well, it was an entirely different wrong word, but he'd practice with it later. He then tried the simpler erasing spell, and the word disappeared.

"Thanks a lot, Professor. I really appreciate it."

“You're welcome, Mister Potter.”

Having the special quills helped a lot. The parchment still felt weird under his fingers, but the quills worked perfectly, just as easy as a ballpoint pen, but better because it was refillable by dipping the tip into an ink pot. As McGonagall predicted, Hermione and a few other Muggle-borns in Griffindor appreciated them too. Before long, news of these quills spread, and by the end of the week, he saw people in Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and even a couple people in Slytherin using the purple quills. And even purebloods could be seen using the spell to make guidance lines on the parchments.

The classes themselves were a mixed bag. Harry wasn't sure what he thought of herbology; the magical plants were interesting, but working with them reminded him a bit too much of the yardwork Aunt Petunia often made him do.

History of Magic disappointed him; it was a fascinating subject, but Professor Binns made it extraordinarily dull with his monotonous lecturing. It was too much for Harry, and he didn't know how Hermione managed. It was so bad that he decided to try to find out if there were dictation quills that would take notes for him.

Charms was cool. Professor Flitwick was so short that Harry wondered if he was half goblin or something of the sort. The tiny wizard, standing on a pile of books to see over his desk, fell over with an excited squeak when he read Harry's name on the class register.

When Harry had guessed McGonagall would be strict, he had been right. But though she was strict, she was fair. After warning them to not mess around in her class, she demonstrated transfiguration by turning the furniture into a pig and back again. Their own task was much simpler, though: matchsticks into needles. By the end of the lesson, only Harry and Hermione had managed it. Having two students in the same class do so well the first day made Professor McGonagall beam with a rare grin, and they both got points for Griffindor from her.

Their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was a bad joke, as Professor Quirrell was a fraidy cat who stuttered a lot. The classes had him jumping at his own subject half the time, and he didn't seem to like to talk much about his personal experiences. Harry wondered why the man didn't transfer to something less frightening, or retire.

By Friday, Harry had figured out how to navigate to his classes, and even Ron had sorted it out. But it was also the day of their first Potions class with Professor Snape, a double period with the Slytherins. From what he'd heard over the week about Snape, Harry thought the man sounded worse than he'd feared. He would later realize he'd had no idea how bad the man was.

That morning in the Great Hall, Harry got a letter from Hagrid. It was not Harry's first letter, since he'd gotten one from Luna on Tuesday. This letter asked him (and his friends, too, if they wanted to) to come over to Hagrid's house after classes that day. That was good; he'd have something to look forward to, after Snape.

They waited down in the dungeons outside Snape's door, and before long he appeared, ushering them in. Then he, too, took roll call. When he got to Harry's name...

"Ah yes," Snape said softly, "Harry Potter. Our new... celebrity."

A few of the Slytherins sniggered, including Crabbe and Goyle. Draco motioned to them to shut up, though it looked like an afterthought. It seemed Draco had taken Harry's words to heart and was trying to stay on Harry's good side, though. It made sense; who wouldn't want the famous Harry Potter on their side? Well, except for Snape, of course.

"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art that is potion making," he began. He was barely louder than a whisper, but he had their complete attention and they caught every word. "There is little foolish wand waving or incantations in this class, so many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really comprehend the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind and ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death. If you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."

Harry had already been interested, but Snape's speech had him absolutely enthralled. Hermione, too, was on the edge of her seat, eager to prove she wasn't a dunderhead.

"Potter!" Snape snapped suddenly. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"

He remembered this from his Potions book. Ignoring Hermione's outstretched arm, he said, "A sleeping potion so powerful it's called the Draught of Living Death."

Snape looked impressed, despite himself, and very annoyed about that fact.

"Lucky guess. Let's try another one: where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"

"In the stomach of a goat, sir."

Snape seemed to be waiting for something. When Harry didn't continue, he made an impatient motion and said, "And what does a bezoar do, Potter?"

"It will save the person you use it on from most poisons."

The professor again looked very torn between a desire to continue hating Harry, and being impressed.

"So you opened a book before school started, did you? Trying to suck up, no doubt? Potter, what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"

Hermione bouncing in her seat for attention was a little annoying, but he again ignored it. "There is no difference, Professor. It's the same plant, a flower that is also known as aconite, and is pretty common in England. It's also poisonous."

The look on Snape's face was beginning to resemble the angry look on Uncle Vernon's face. "Sit DOWN," he snapped at Hermione. "I see, Mister Potter, that you are every bit the arrogant know-it-all that your father was. Not only famous, but with a need to show off as well. Five points from Griffindor for your insolence, Potter."

Harry was getting angry with Snape, but years of experience taught him to hide that anger, so he did. Besides which, nothing would be served by adding rudeness atop perceived arrogance. Snape had clearly decided to hate him, for whatever reason, and since the reason did not appear to be anything Harry had done, he didn't think there was any more chance of changing Snape's mind than there was of changing his uncle's mind. The reference to his father seemed to mean it wasn't racism, at least, or not just that. Snape clearly had a personal vendetta against Harry's father. He decided to just do the best he could in class and not give Snape more reason than he already had, to single him out.

"As for the rest of you," Snape said to the class at large, "why aren't you writing all this down?"

At that, everyone hurried to get out their quills and write down Harry's answers to Snape's questions.

Things got little better in that class. They were paired up to work on a potion to cure boils, and Snape swept through the class like an angry vulture while they brewed it, glaring at everyone and criticizing everyone but Malfoy, who he seemed to have a soft spot for. He was praising Malfoy when Neville's cauldron melted in a noisy smoking mess, burning holes in things. Neville himself was drenched in it, moaning in pain.

"Idiot boy!" snarled Snape, clearing the potion away with his wand. "I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking it off the fire? Take him up to the hospital wing," he added to Seamus.

"Potter! You're so smart, why didn't you tell him not to add the quills? Thought he'd make you look even better if he got it wrong, did you? That's another three points from Griffindor!"

This was completely unfair, of course, but Harry was no stranger to being unfairly accused of things, so he let it slide, despite being angry about it.

"I don't know how you stayed so calm back there," Ron said later as they left the dungeons, "but it's a good thing you did. I hear Snape can get really nasty. But don't worry too much, Fred and George get points taken away from them all the time. Anyway, can I go with you to Hagrid's?"

"Yeah, he said you and Hermione could come over too if you wanted. Where is-- oh, there she is."

Hermione came running up at that moment to greet them and ask them about their day. Harry invited Hermione to join them real quick first, in case he forgot later.

At five the three of them went to Hagrid's house, a little wooden hut that was barely big enough for a normal person, let alone a giant of a man like Hagrid; he also had a big, cowardly dog named Fang living in there with him. While they were at his place, they found a copy of the Daily Prophet saying "Gringott's Break-In Latest," an article about a break-in at Gringott's on 31st July.

"That was my birthday! Hagrid, that was several days after we were there! I wonder what they were after."

“No idea. So, uh, how's your school week been, Harry?” Hagrid said. Harry immediately launched into an account of his week, especially about Snape.

After they left Hagrid's, Ron turned to Harry and said, "Hagrid sure was nervous about that Gringott's break-in. Every time it came up, he looked really uncomfortable."

"Did he?" asked Hermione. "I didn't notice."

"Nor did I,” said Harry. “I wonder why." He thought about it a moment. "Well, he did get some top-secret package from Gringott's the day he took me there, something tiny in a grubby package. I don't know what that was, but it could be whatever the would-be thieves were looking for, given how difficult it is to break into and out of Gringott's."

It was a mystery, a real mystery. And as Harry's librarian in Little Whinging could attest to, Harry loved a mystery.

Later Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting in the Griffindor common room, talking. "I love these classes, except for Snape of course," Harry said, "but I miss Science. I even miss Maths. I'm not great shakes at Maths, but I still think it should be taught. Also Art. I'd like to know how to make drawings and paintings that move."

"What's Science?" asked Ron. Harry and Hermione stared at him incredulously. "What? It's a legitimate question."

"Science is the study of the way the world works. Things like the laws of motion, animal anatomy, how plants work, so on."

"How plants work? Well they just work with magic, don't they?"

"No Ron," Hermione said patiently, "they don't. Animals don't work with magic, either. If they did, there would be no Muggles."

"So how does a plant work, then, eh?" Ron asked, a slight challenge in his voice.

"Well first," Harry said, "All living things are made up of these things called cells."

"What, like prison cells?"

"Well, that is how they were named, but no. A cell is a tiny living thing, so small you have to use a microscope to see it."

"Microscope? Is that like, the opposite of a telescope?"

"Yes, actually, that's a good definition," Harry said. "I should bring a microscope into Hogwarts, one of the ones that just uses light, not an electric one. I could show you cells.

"Anyway," he continued, "the smallest living things are single-celled organisms called bacteria. But animals and plants are multi-celled organisms, so we're made of trillions upon trillions of cells."

"Bloody Hell!" Ron exclaimed.

"Yes. Now plant cells, at least the ones in the leaves, take in sunlight and use that sunlight and something called carbon dioxide - CO2 - from the air, and turn the CO2 into sugar. They store the sugar, then use oxygen to burn the sugar for energy when they need it."

"And they do that without magic?"

"Yes. It's a chemical reaction."

"Chemical reaction?"

Hermione defined a chemical reaction, which by necessity included explaining elements and atoms. Ron was so fascinated that they explained what atoms were made of, too. "Wow, that's impressive. So the whole world and everything in it is made of these tiny atoms? How small are they? Can they be seen?"

"I'm not sure if Muggle scientists have seen one yet," Harry admitted. "I'll have to check. But they're so small, they can't be observed directly."

"Wow."

"If you think all that's interesting, Ron," Hermione said, "I have more for you. Have you heard of electricity?"

"Yeah, that's what Muggles use to make lights and power a lot of their things. What about it?"

"Remember the electron?"

"Wait, are you saying Muggles know how to strip electrons off atoms and harness them?"

"Well, yes. Electrons aren't attached to atoms, they just orbit atoms. And they tend to move around in their orbits and between atoms anyway. Lightning is electricity."

"Really? COOL!"

"You know," said Harry, "maybe, since Hogwarts doesn't teach these things, we should make like, some kind of club where we study Science, Math, and other Muggle subjects. I suspect wizards could do a lot with Muggle learning, especially some of the higher sciences like quantum physics."

Before Ron could open his mouth, Hermione said, "Quantum physics is too hard to explain right now, even if I understood it myself."

"Yeah, same here. In fact, it kind of baffles even the scientists."

Ron looked almost stunned. "You know, if you wanted to start a club like that, I'd definitely join. It kind of makes me wonder what Muggle Studies is like, too, but we won't find out until third year, it's an elective course."

"Really?" Hermione said. "You'd think, with all these Muggle-borns, and with so many Ministry jobs involving working with Muggles, that Muggle Studies would be a required course, at least for anyone who isn't Muggle-born."

"Yeah, and I could really use Wizard Studies as a course. I've been in this world for a month and a few weeks, and I've already come across a bunch of cultural stuff wizards and witches all take for granted that I could really use some help with."

Hermione nodded. "Me too. Maybe we could ask McGonagall about it? Even if there isn't one yet, maybe they'd start one up if there was enough demand. We should find out who else is Muggle-born and have them talk with their heads of houses, too."

"Who teaches Muggle Studies? If they're any good at that class, they might understand Muggles enough to teach a Wizard Studies class."

Hermione pulled a piece of parchment out of her bag suddenly, and started writing down everything they'd said regarding Wizard Studies, so she could remember. Then, on another piece of parchment, wrote down ideas for the club they were thinking of making, for Science and Maths and so on.

"Back to that club idea," Hermione said, pulling her bushy hair back into an Afro puff to get it out of her face, "we need a name for it?"

They sat there, silently thinking about it for several minutes.

"Muggle Academia Club?" mused Harry.

"Ooh, I like that one. Because all subjects of learning are academia, and 'Muggle academia' would specify subjects in the Muggle world."

"I'll have to figure out how to buy Muggle science and maths books, among other subjects, via owl order."

"Yeah," said Ron. "Or, if that doesn't work, you could give a list to a willing adult, tell them where to go, and they could buy those things for you. They'd have to convert their gold to Muggle money first, of course, but they could do it.”

"We'll also have to find out how much the required books would cost, first."

They continued talking about that for another hour, before going up to bed. As Harry lay there trying to get to sleep, he mused that he now had three things to occupy his thoughts: Wizard Studies, the Muggle Academia Club, and the mystery of the thing Hagrid had taken from Gringott's on Dumbledore's orders. That made it very hard to get to sleep, but finally he managed it, those thoughts still going through his mind in his dreams.

Note: No, I am not a Harry/Draco shipper, so this will not be going that direction. I reserve the right for Draco's and Harry's tenuous acquaintence to fail at some point and become enemies, I just think this Harry has a hard enough time coping to make new enemies needlessly.

Also, I am aware that lapsis delens and lapsis rectis aren't canon. I looked through the official lists of canon spells and couldn't find any correction spells, so I made a couple up for this story. I don't know how good the Latin is, but considering that the canon spells are a mix of good Latin, pseudo-Latin, and non-Latin, I don't think that really matters.



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