Chapter 3

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Chapter 3 – The Headmaster

Hermione had informed Flitwick of Harry's and Neville's absence from the mandatory breakfast meeting. He had replied, "Yes, I know. They and another student were called to the Headmaster's office before breakfast. They are still in the meeting."

Hermione paused, bit her lower lip for a few seconds before starting one of her series of questions without giving Filius a chance to answer.

"What have they done now? Are they getting detention? Are we all going to have an interview with the Headmaster? If one isn't scheduled for everyone, may I have one? I need to ask the Headmaster what…."

"Detention Miss Granger. None of this is any of your business – not that it has ever stopped you before, but it will stop NOW."

"But all I did was to ask a few questions" she wailed. "I did my duty as a Prefect by reporting the bad conduct and flaunting of rules by…."

Filius sighed before interrupting the girl and said "Miss Granger, for someone who prides herself on respecting authority, obeying rules and 'claims to be a friend' you are guilty of: (1) Not respecting the authority of the Headmaster by asking questions before his briefing; (2) not having any patience because YOU WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY THINGS THAT ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS AND YOU WANT TO KNOW IT IMMEDIATELY AND BEFORE OTHERS DO; (3) breaking rules when it suits your agenda but chastising others who break rules for whatever reason; (4) reporting Harry and Neville, probably to get them in trouble and/or because Harry didn't tell you that he had an appointment – with the Headmaster, no less – and thus he does or will know something that you don't; and (5) you will nag him and Neville unmercifully until they tell you everything about the meeting and make their lives miserable if they don't because they are not allowed to talk about it."

He was amazed that she had kept quiet and actually listened to him without interrupting. But that was probably because she was thinking up her plan of verbal attack.

"But…it is…unfair…to give me a detention for doing my duty. I caught a very bad cold the first time I was in detention." It looked as if she was holding back tears, but that would get her any sympathy or reprieve from Flitwick.

"Actually, it is you being unfair as your overwhelming curiosity is annoying everybody, especially you trying to induce others to risk punishment on your behalf, but most especially Harry Potter."

"However, you are in luck as the outside detentions are on hold as landscaping and terraforming are about to begin. Therefore, you will be assigned another duty, probably tomorrow, because the school will be introduced to the Headmaster at the evening meal – AND DON'T ASK ME ANYMORE QUESTIONS! Now off you go to your class and I will give you a note so you don't get another detention."

With that said, she was dismissed. Oh well, at least she had some news to rely to her fellow Gryffs.

By dinner time, most of the school knew that they would meet the new Headmaster at this meal and most came early. Although she would be shocked to know, as well as calling Harry Potter a sexist, Harry had told the Headmaster and Filius about an old Muggle saying "The fastest ways of communication are: telephone, telegraph* and tell a woman. I suggest you tell Hermione Granger about tonight's introduction and it will be all over the school before the last class."

Both wizards had laughed – after Harry explained what a telephone and telegraph were. "The telegraph has basically been replaced by faxes and there is a new thing called a computer that will probably be replacing them. Muggle technology is constantly advancing so who knows what the world will be like in another generation or two" Harry added.

Harry was still in the Headmaster's office discussing other matters when a house elf entered and informed them that all of the students and staff were assembled in the Great Hall so Filius said "Well it is 'show time' so we better make our entrance." Harry disillusioned himself and headed to the disillusioned table where Neville, Luna and a few others were waiting.

Filius Flitwick entered the hall and went to a dais centered in front of the staff table. Due to his height, he conjured a step stool and began THE revelation which would disturb all students and the staff who were not yet in the know. A sonorous charm was already in place, so after greeting the students and staff, he began the preliminary announcements.

"As no doubt you all know by now due to Miss Granger's gossiping (at which Hermione huffed at and gave Flitwick a deadly glare while others snickered), the Headmaster will be introduced to the students and staff. However, I have a few new…rules…to convey to the students." A groan was heard throughout the hall and a few murmurs about "starving" were heard from certain students.

"And that is the first rule. No one at Hogwarts is truly starving as food and beverages are plentiful and grumbling about having to wait for a bit before being served is nothing more than bad manners. This will cease starting immediately! Although throughout the centuries, students have known true hunger outside these hallowed halls due to Muggle famines or for cruel punishment. There are currently a few students who have known real deprivation, yet they are not the ones complaining" he stated glaring at such students as Ron Weasley, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, only to see Ron rolling his eyes and making a remark which Filius couldn't hear.

"Therefore, a spell will be placed by the Headmaster to give an electric-like shock whenever a new rule is broken. The more you break a rule the stronger the shock will become until you either stop or, in the case of some people, pass out from pain. If that happens, a more serious punishment will be administered." At this Ron merely snorted in disbelief. Filius couldn't wait for the boy to start learning as the charm would start immediately after dinner.

"New Rule No. 1: Complaining about waiting for food as well as bad table manners."

"New Rule No. 2: The use of certain unacceptable language and words as follows:

Slimy snake. A snake's skin isn't slimy, it is dry and mostly smooth except the scales are a little rough. In fact, some people find it pleasant to touch. (Guess who was snorting and muttering comments.)

Mudblood: This is an insult, plain and simple. It will not be tolerated!

Any word or phrase giving an ethnic slur regarding an individual's sex, race, religion, heritage, blood, etc. is forbidden. A list will be posted in every common room so that there is no confusion.

Calling someone a Death Eater or Death-Eater-in-training or Death-Eater-wannabee also will not be tolerated. In case any of you didn't know, we have a resident Death Eater in the school and you will be turned over to him for any punishment he chooses, whether it is cleaning cauldrons, hanging from chains, being denied food, placed in one of our dungeons, etc. In any event…you will not like the punishment!"

"New Rule No. 3: Although not outlawed, pranking is…under consideration. If a prank causes mental, emotional and/or physical harm, too much embarrassment or is serious enough to warrant an honor duel, the consequences will be considerable and you don't want to know what they are. A word to the wise" he said looking at the Weasley Twins who, like their younger brother, were snorting and trading glances and trying not to laugh or even giggle. "They will soon learn the folly of their ways" Filius thought."

"New Rule No. 4: Duels, bullying, slurs on a person's House, no matter how humble or great, malicious and/or untrue and damaging gossip is also outlawed. If you have any questions or doubts about this, talk with your Head of House."

"New Rule No. 5: Many of you are fans or followers of Albus Dumbledore. Some are moderate, some openly supportive, some overly zealous and some…fanatical. Believe it or not, there are some people that don't have an opinion and just go along with the flow."

"Then there are those who LOATHE him, with good reasons, but other than Death Eaters, Dark Wizards or criminals you don't hear about them. Their opinions aren't given or asked because they know if they disagree with anything concerning the 'Greatest Wizard since Merlin,' they will be accused of all sort of 'sins' with the very least being dark or a Death Eater."

"As you Muggleborns probably know, the name of a certain Dark Lord is never said aloud due to the things that happened in the first war when his name was mentioned. Albus actually encouraged the saying of that name, knowing full well that WHEN – NOT IF – this Dark Lord came back from the dead – which as many of you know, HE HAS – there is a charm still in effect that saying the name will bring you to the attention of Death Eaters and in the last war, they showed up because your location was known and…well one can guess what happened."

"The same charm will be used for the name of Albus Dumbledore as HE IS A REAL DARK LORD." Filius waited for the noise of outrage, horror and even a few 'hear, hears' to die down before saying "No matter what is your personal opinion, his name is forbidden. You will receive the shock curse. No doubt some of you will use an alternate, but please remember You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the Dark Lord are already taken" he added with a smile on his face. Many students did laugh, but others, like Hermione Granger, the Weasleys and other die-hard followers just glared. But they would learn.

After using his wand to send sparks up to stop the din (at least trice due to the Gryffindors), he announced "Albus always considered Hogwarts as 'his school to do what he wanted with it' but that has stopped. The new Headmaster can because, in truth, IT IS HIS SCHOOL. I have the honor and pleasure of introducing you to Headmaster SALAZAR SLYTHERIN."

A dignified man walked out into the hall and headed towards the dais. Filius vanished his stepstool and went to sit down at the staff table. The hall was basically silent – except for the sounds of thuds when certain people fainted or just plain fell over. Then he began to address the stunned audience.

"Yes I am really Salazar Slytherin, one of the Four Founders of The Hogwarts School of Specialized Learning – which was the school's original name for several centuries for the school's and students' protection. The how and whys of my presence is a very interesting tale, but none of you have, what the military Muggles say, 'the need to know.' Therefore, it will remain a mystery and will not be spoken of except to those, such as the staff, who do need to know. Don't bother asking questions of me as they will not be answered."

"As Professor Flitwick stated at other briefings, Hogwarts will be resurrecting many of the former classes, shamelessly cancelled by the former excuse for a Headmaster, as well as new ones which should now be taught at Hogwarts. The world has greatly changed from my time and adjustments must be made."

"I will be making other announcements of rules, progress, the hiring of new instructors, etc. usually at the breakfast meal, but anything of vital importance will be told at the beginning of other meals and then posted on the…bulletin boards, I think they are called…in the common rooms of the four Houses."

"The only other revelation I will make now is that the dastardly…creature…from the Ministry of Magic, Delores Umbridge, has been tried by her peers for the various crimes she committed against many people but most especially at this school. She has been found 'extremely guilty' – as a certain student says – and will be executed before tomorrow's noon meal."

Many people couldn't control themselves and began to applaud, hoot and cheer until Salazar shot sparks out of his wand and called for silence.

"I have been persuaded to call for a contest. All may participate and to do so, simply write down on a piece of parchment the method of execution you would most want her to receive. The best suggestion will receive a prize, as yet to be determined, and the opportunity to witness the execution. If you have any questions – about this contest only – ask one of your teachers. All entries will be collected during the dinner meal."

Then with a charming smile, he ordered the meal to be served and took his place at the staff table.

*It was the 1990's and telegrams (which still exist) were used more often.