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Chapter One: Early Summer Correspondence

Harry Potter sat quietly in his room at 4 Privet Drive, quite honestly too tired to sleep. He wasn't allowed owl post and though it had only been two weeks, it was nearly enough to drive him mad.

Dumbledore had managed some arrangements, though--and as soon as he had his OWL results he would be allowed to use magic. After all, the OWLs were all that was required to be considered a fully trained wizard. NEWTs were needed if one really wanted to do anything in the Ministry, but OWLs were all that were required to be removed from the childhood magic restrictions. Tomorrow he would go to Mrs. Figgs' for tea, do some light yard work or what not for the woman, and she would give him his post. Mondays and Thursdays he was allowed out of 4 Privet Drive to go to Mrs. Figgs'.

Surprisingly, the Dursleys weren't too bad. Aunt Petunia in particular. Very odd.

He supposed he could finish his letter writing. Or, rather, add to it. Hermione and Ron had two letters each already. But he'd gotten "Extra Post" at supper. Dudley had brought it from Mrs. Figgs. Odd, that.

Harry inspected the four letters.


I've got the list of books that might be useful that you asked for. Dumbledore is quite worried about what you might be planning.

Harry glared at the paper for that. Bloody hell! He wasn't planning anything, not just yet! Staying alive seemed like a rather good idea to him though, and to do that it was logical he should start learning as much as he could. Hermione was almost as bad as Percy Weasley sometimes! Running to Dumbledore ... Harry really wasn't sure what he thought of that at the moment.

I'd like to know too. Harry, you don't ask for reading recommendations like this...

A bitter thought crept into his head ... afraid of competition for grades, 'Mione? Hermione was a brilliant witch, of not inconsiderable power, but she was as she had said their first year--books and cleverness.

Sixth and Seventh years would be a lot more than Books and Cleverness. After all, much of what they would (or rather should) be learning now was based on pure magical strength along with the books and cleverness.

Hermione went on in typical Hermione fashion about being "ever so busy" but not able to say more than that. About how he'd best not do anything rash without telling Dumbledore, but she supposed it wouldn't hurt giving him the reading list because it wasn't like he could get ahold of the books anyway. Dumbledore had the key to his Gringotts vault.

Harry could hear his teeth grinding by the time he got to the end of Hermione's prissy scoldings.

He felt guilty for that. And he wondered just how much of Tom was still in his head and how much was just him. He could not, would not listen to Dumbledore being spouted off as such a paragon.

And really, since Dumbledore was sooooo bloody concerned that Tom would sense him through the curse-scar link and be after Harry that much more (though how much more he could be after Harry was a bit of a joke; Harry was in the top spot on Voldemort's To Kill list after all) why risk Snape who was, a greasy bastard yes, but the Order's spy ... Didn't make sense, really, if one really thought about it ... and Harry had had loads of time to think the past two weeks.


Did it EVER occur to you that I might want something to do while sitting in my room staring at the walls and waiting for someone to BOTHER to tell me what the bloody hell is going on!


Ron's letter set him even more on edge. Whining about how successful the Twins' new business was. Though they had been working mail order and doing special orders at school for the past two years, they'd struck out after leaving school and were doing marvelously.

Throwing their bloody money around! Buying Ginny a broom!

"Ron, you are such a prat sometimes," Harry muttered at the letter. The twins would have bought Ron a new broom as well, Harry was certain, if he wasn't such a great big pain in the arse over anyone having more money than him.

He wrote a completely "oblivious" quick note back that he was glad the twins were doing so well and to tell Ginny congrats on the new broom.

A letter from Neville ... wondering if DA was going to continue and what Harry thought he should perhaps practice over the summer. Neville didn't have to worry about the childhood restrictions, he was already sixteen and lived in a wizarding home, so he could practice to his heart's content. Well, sort of. Only if his grandmother was around to sort out the accidents. Neville had improved vastly the last year or so, but he was still very much Neville.


Hello, how has your summer holiday been so far?

Sounds like you've been getting a lot of Defense Practice. I honestly don't know if the DA will continue, or really what you should work on next. Sorry. I don't have access to much here at my relatives'.

Perhaps your grandmother still has some of your parents' books? Anything they would have had on defense would likely be of use to you.

And that's truly grand about breeding those plants of yours! I hope all the sprouts are doing well...

He continued on taking his cues from Neville's note, answering the questions the other boy had asked. That quickly settled, Harry moved onto his next and final letter.

The final envelope he noted had the Hogwarts crest upon it.

Dear Mister Potter,

I am writing to inform you that your life-time ban on Quidditch has been rescinded.

The results of your OWLs have been delivered to Hogwarts and will be sent out posthaste.

Headmaster Dumbledore has decided to reintroduce the practice of Apprenticeship. You are one of the students considered for Apprenticeship Studies. If you so choose, you will be removed from your classes and bound to Hogwarts for the next 5 years, and another 10 years after that to whom you will be apprenticed to. This is not a commitment to be entered into lightly.

You will have an advisor and be taking Advanced Studies in the following Classes:

  • Herbology
  • Transfiguration
  • Potions
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • Ancient Runes
  • History of Magic
  • Magical Theory
  • Divination
  • Charms
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Basic Medimagic
  • Muggle History
  • Muggle Studies
  • Languages (French, Latin, Greek and Anglo-Saxon to begin with)
  • Flying
  • Astronomy
  • Arithmancy
  • Muggle and Magical Geography
  • Magical Law
  • Etiquette
  • Traditional Practices
  • Genealogy and Ancestral Magic
  • Horseback and Pegasi-back Riding
  • Muggle Driving
  • Driving Magical vehicles
  • Apparition
  • Animagus
  • Art
  • Music
  • Enchantments
  • Weaponry

Apprenticeship Studies Students will be picked up by the Hogwarts Bus and brought to School on 15th July to begin. They will be removed from their houses and be given a tower of their own.

Your reply will be expected with outgoing Mail on Thursday 11th July.

Minerva McGonagall,
Deputy Headmistress Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry read the letter three times.

There were several other documents, including the contract to participate in the Apprenticeship Studies Program, which listed only a few days per year and one week off in the summer for the next five years.

A second note said simply,


Should you choose to go into the Apprenticeship Studies Program I will see to getting your things. Anything other than required supplies you may order by owl at a later time.

Professor M McGonagall.

He really was thinking about being an Auror, but...he could do that after Apprenticeship. And this sounded a lot harder than the regular classes ... more to learn, but perhaps more useful than transfiguring a pincushion to a doormouse and back again.

Harry looked over the supplies list.

Nearly 40 books, plus what he assumed were the regular sixth year class books. Quills, ink. Canvasses and Paints? Lute, flute, lyre. HARP? Gray robes, black robes, dress robes. Dragon hide boots, helmet, gloves, ankle length jacket, trousers, tunic, belt. Interesting. Sword? Daggers, dirks, stilettos.

NINE different cauldrons, THREE pages of potions supplies. Woodworking tools, potter's wheel, clay, metalworking and jewelry making tools. Metal wire of every type imaginable different weights and widths. Numerous crystals and gemstones. Journals. Longbow, crossbow, arrows and bolts. Oil pastels, charcoals. Sketchbooks, inks specifically for artwork, paintbrushes and specialized quills for drawing and caligraphy. Long list of sheet music, and blank pages lined for music to bloody compose.

Briefly, he wished for Ron and Hermione's opinion and wondered if either of them had been offered a place in this Apprenticeship study program. Then he looked at the list of things covered in the studies and winced ... Genealogy and Ancestral magic rather seemed to lean toward Pureblood, or at least half-blood being a requirement. The whole idea had the feel of Ancientness and money to an extent. The Weasleys would never be able to afford a tenth of the supply list.

No, Ron and Hermione wouldn't be in Apprenticeship studies.

Music and Art? Well, that was all well and good when you didn't have a prophecy hanging over your head that said you had to kill a dark wizard to save the world or die trying.

Still, Basic Mediwizardry, weaponry, driving, apparition, animagus...there was simply too much that could possibly help him defeat Voldemort. Far too much; he couldn't pass it up.

Professor McGonagall,

I accept placement to the Apprenticeship Studies Program.

Enclosed are my shoe, trouser, shirt and robe sizes (approximately; I've grown a bit, and am guessing a size or two up on most of what I last bought).

Also is attached is a list of books that I am interested in acquiring.

Professor Dumbledore has my Gringotts key.

Harry Potter


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