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FIC: The Inquiry (G)



Title: The Inquiry
Age-Range Category: Four
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Snape and the Board of Governors
Author: reynardo
Rating: G
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
Summary: In Harry's first Potions class, a cauldron exploded and Neville ended up in the Infirmary. This is the aftermath.



Inquiry into the injuries received by a first-year student in the first Potions class of the School year, 1991.



PRESENT:

Board of Governors:
Amelia Bones (Presiding), Lucius Malfoy, Cornelius Fudge, Dolores Umbridge (observing only), Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Kinglsey Shaklebolt, Broderick Bode, Bartemius Crouch, Alastor Gumboil.

Teacher: Professor Severus Snape (Teacher, Potions, Hogwarts)

Scribe: Mimsy (House Elf, Hogwarts)

Mimsy is only to transcribe what she hears.


Madam A. Bones (Ministry): Please start the transcript now, Mimsy. This is a meeting of the Board of Governors, being held at Hogwarts School on Monday 9th September 1991, at 3pm in the Headmaster's office. Professor Snape, we would like to thank you for attending this meeting at such short notice.

Mimsy, you may write Professor Snape's responses however you wish.

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Madam A. Bones: This meeting was called because, once more, a student has been seriously injured in a Potions Class.

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Madam A. Bones: The student concerned, Neville Longbottom, sustained a very nasty case of boils. Luckily Madam Pomfrey was more than up to the task, and he was easily healed, but the repercussions, the complaints to the Board…

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Madam A. Bones: Professor, we do need to take this seriously. This isn't the first time a student has been injured in your class.

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Minister C. Fudge: Potions exploding. Potion flasks imploding. I believe there was a complete cauldrom meltdown some years ago that resulted in the evacuation of the entire dungeons, and required a week's solid decontamination of the potions classroom before it was safe to allow the students back in. It won't do, you know. It just won't do.

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Minister C. Fudge: Not to mention the ongoing cost to students in burned-out cauldrons and damaged clothing.

L. Malfoy: If you please, Minister…

Minister C. Fudge: Very well, Mr Malfoy. *inaudible mutter*

L. Malfoy: Professor Snape, I know some member of the staff consider that what happens in Hogwarts should stay in Hogwarts; that the knocks and burns and breaks that occur to students while they are here are just a normal part of growing up. And I'm sure that many of the past students at Hogwarts have found themselves tougher, more resilient as a result of their travails. I certainly did. And while I do not have much patience for the mumbles of Muggles, I believe that one of their philosophers, Nitchy? Nertcha? No matter. He had a saying: "Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger."

Yet the complaints have become irksome – for the Board. As a result, we do at least need to consider some way to reduce the number of incidents that occur each year. Narcissa would never forgive me if anything were to happen to Draco, for instance.

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

D. Umbridge (Jnr. Inq.): Hem hem.

Madam A. Bones: Investigator Umbridge, please remember that you are here as an observer only, and have no input into these proceedings.

D. Umbridge: Certainly, Madam Bones. But if I might?

Madam A. Bones: Oh very well.

D. Umbridge: Perhaps, Headmaster, the experiments are a teeny bit too difficult for the dear children? After all, they have been protected and nurtured in the home environment, or not exposed at all to potions and nasty compounds while they grow up in the Muggle world. Maybe it is just too much?

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: I would remind you, Junior Investigator Umbridge, that the Hogwarts curriculum was created in collaboration with the highest authorities both in Britain and overseas. The course requires a great deal of knowledge and ability by the time the students undertake their NEWTS examinations, and thus it is far better to start them as early as possible.

D. Umbridge: But if the students continue to sustain these injuries, the poor little poppets…

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: There will be no further incidents of this sort, I should think. Am I right, Severus?

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: Indeed, I have some plans that might solve our little problem here. It's already well known that the Muggles have implemented a stratagem they call "Occupational Health and Safety". They use protective clothing when they're handling dangerous items, they wear special belts in their cars when they go driving, and they even use Pot Holders when they cook.

B. Bode (Ministry): As if a set of belts is going to stop something like this ever happening again.

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: You may well scoff, Broderick, but one day you may well mistake a solution of Jimson Weed for one of Tomato Leaves, and end up in a rather nasty situation.

B. Bode: I WOULD DO NO SUCH THING!

Madam A. Bones: Now now, please, a little peace and quiet while we hear Albus out. Headmaster?

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: Thank you, Amelia. As I was saying, Muggles tend to ward themselves in a non-magical physical way when handling dangerous things, and even the young ones are required at school to wear white coats and weird goggles. Perhaps…

Madam A. Bones: A brilliant idea, Headmaster! Require the students to wear safety goggles and laboratory coats while they're in the Potions classroom, and then …

K. Shacklebolt (Auror): … then they will be protected if and when something like this happens again.

L. Malfoy: Which it will, given what I heard about the class.

(pause)

L. Malfoy: From Draco, of course! My son writes to his mother regularly, and told her all about the debacle.

Alastor Gumboil (Ministry): Undoubtedly.

B.Crouch (Ministry): But who will pay for these … goggles?

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: Not the school. Hogwarts has never been very well off, and we cannot afford to buy these items.

Minister C. Fudge: Well, the Ministry certainly can't afford them!

(Babble and pandemonium break out among the board until Madam Bones quietens them)

Madam A. Bones: Please, witches and wizards, this is quite obviously an expense the students can deal with themselves. We merely add it to their list of essential items that they need to purchase at the beginning of the school year. And for this year, we will have to ensure that the items can be purchased somewhere. Perhaps Madam Malkin's?

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: Or at Potage's, when they buy their cauldrons? I'm sure you could order the robes …

Madam A. Bones: Laboratory coats.

Headmaster A. Dumbledore: … laboratory coats from a Muggle supplier, and I know there are facilities to allow for that sort of thing.

Madam A. Bones: Excellent. Are we all agreed, that from now on, the students in the Potions classrooms should be wearing safety robes and goggles when handling the potions, expecially those first years who are prone to this sort of accident?

(General agreement mumbling from all present)

Madam A. Bones: And you, Professor Snape? Does this meet with your approval?

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

Madam A. Bones: I'll take that for a "yes". Thank you, Professor Snape, for your co-operation in this matter. We won't be needing you any more this afternoon. When you go out, would you ask Madam Hooch to step inside, please?

Prof. S. Snape: grunt

(Professor Snape left the room)

L. Malfoy: It's all bloody Augusta's fault. Her little darling grandson – if he wasn't such a nincompoop! In the space of one week, to blow up a cauldron and fall off his broom – and then she complains to the Board. It's really far too much.

Madam A. Bones: Please, Lucius, keep your personal comments to yourself.

L. Malfoy: I would, except that that dratted little House Elf has written down every word!

Madam A. Bones: Bother. Mimsy, pause the transcription, please.

Here the transcript ends.
Tags: author: reynardo, category: four, type: fic
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