Posting this for all of those folks who lurk on the ProBoards and PM'd me that they couldn't read my link!
Enjoy the ridiculous fluff!
The Sound of Magic
"Sir," Franz practically whispered as he gave a faint knock on the open door of his employer's study. Captain von Trapp hadn't heard him. He sighed and tried again, slightly louder and with a desperately tiny throat clearing.
"Mmm? Yes, Franz," he said without looking up from the daunting stack of correspondence that had built up while he had been more happily occupied with his fiance's kisses.
"Uh, sir there is a, uh, I really can't believe I am going to say this but," Franz paused to rub a hand across his brow. "Well, it's truly preposterous and-"
"Is it the children? Maria?," Georg interrupted, suddenly concerned and rather shocked that they would manage mischief when they had the excitement of an almost new mother at their disposal.
"No, they are fine. Out on a the grounds playing a complicated game of Blindman's something or other with Fraul-I beg your pardon, with the future Baroness Von Trapp."
"Then what seems to have you so flustered, Franz? Has Max passed out somewhere again?" Georg gave a chuckle but did wonder in the back of his mind if that might actually be true.
"No, sir. Actually, Herr Detweiler is in the foyer, with the, well for lack of a better word, the guest that won't leave. Even when chased with a broom."
"You chased our guest with a broom?" Georg raised a brow in the beginnings of one of his severe reproachful stares.
Franz blanched a bit but soldiered on, "We didn't have the shotgun handy, sir."
"A shotgun! And just who is our guest?"
"An owl, sir."
"Yes, sir. A large owl. With a, er, well it appears to be a letter."
"Excuse me?" Georg asked, making a mental note to check the liquor cabinet as soon as may be.
"We haven't been able to get close enough to ascertain whom the letter might be for. It keeps flying up into the chandelier…" Franz trailed off looked slightly embarrassed to have to admit to even having the conversation he found himself involved in.
"What kind of an owl?" Georg asked, shrugging into his coat.
"I have no idea sir. I admit to being woefully uneducated on nocturnal predatory fowl." Franz sniffed a little haughtily, as if he didn't have enough to do about this great house that he should also brush up on his ornithology.
"Never a dull moment, probably flew in by accident," Georg mumbled gesturing for Frans to proceed him through the door and into the hallway where he could hear Max already, chortling at the owl and chatting it up as if it were a pretty girl at a party.
"What in the hell?" George caught himself murmuring as he rounded the corner and noted that there actually was an owl, a large one in his foyer. He glanced over at Franz who simply gave him a haughty little shrug of 'I-told-you-so' before thrusting a broom handle into his employer's hands and scampering off. All the while muttering to himself about owl retrieval being above his pay grade.
Georg started to descend the stairs slowly, so as not to disturb the bird, or Max who was still talking to it as though they might make a date of it tonight.
"Yes, you are a pretty thing aren't you? Yes you are! Such lovely feathers! You look interested in my strudel plate, yes you do. Would you like some?" Max crooned, holding a delectable little tidbit of strudel in his outstretched palm, encouraging the owl to come down from the chandelier.
Georg came to a full stop on the stairs, watching in shocked disbelief as the owl dropped the letter neatly onto a silver salver tray on a hall table and accepted the strudel from Max's palm as though it did this sort of trick everyday. Georg gave Max a delighted grin as he continued to feed the owl pieces of pastry.
"Can owls have strudel?"
"Haven't the foggiest," Max whispered, "But this one seems to like it and it's not trying to snap my fingers off like it did to Franz. Here you are honey, last little morsel for you there," Max kept his voice mellow as he tossed the last of the food to the bird who caught it neatly.
"Good show Max!" Georg exclaimed, "Perhaps instead of a singing group you and the owl could perform in the festival." Max shot him a withering look before both men turned to watch the owl again. She appeared to be observing them as well before she gave a fluff of her wings and what Max would later swear he thought looked like a little bow before flying off through the open door and out into the broad daylight.
"Well, I never!" Georg mumbled, half stunned, as he descended the rest of the stairs at a rapid clip and Max turned to grab the letter from the tray. "Who is it for?"
"Yes, says right here, Master Kurt von Trapp, 54 Aigen, Salzburg Austria. And in glittery green ink, how novel! I do like it," said Max turning the letter in the light to make it shimmer in the light.
"A marvelous trick that," he said, showing Georg the rapidly changing prism of colors on the crinkling parchment paper.
"Who could possibly be sending Kurt a letter via owl?" asked Georg, reaching for the letter and flipping it over to look for a return address or a stamp that might mark the location of its origin.
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," read Max, squinting a bit as be started seeing the school crest begin to bleed onto the back of the envelope, rather like, well, that was preposterous! He had started to think it had appeared as if by magic, must have been that tricky ink. He stared down into the swirl of his bourbon glass and then carefully set it onto the table and took a step back.
"I have never heard of such a school, one of his mates must be setting him up with an elaborate prank, do go and ask one of the maids to have him come in please, right now," Georg gave a huff and reached into his pocket to retrieve the his pen knife and began slicing into the top of the letter. He heard Max calling out from the doors that opened onto the terrace.
Gingerly slipping the neatly folded pieces parchment from the envelope, lest it contain another prank for Kurt, Georg flipped the letter open and read the contents with an increasingly open mouth.
"What the devil...Max!" He shouted down the hall, "Fetch Maria as well!" Georg began flipping through the other pages of the letter rapidly, his eyes crossing as he read lists of ingredients for potions, textbooks by people with frankly ridiculous names and something or other about being able to bring a toad as pet.
Hearing Max return from shouting everyone inside, he thrust the letter into his chest, "Look at this! Who would go to such trouble to play a joke on my son?"
Max glanced down at the heavy paper in his hands and began to read:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Armando Dippet (Order of Merlin, Third Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Kurt von Trapp,.
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
As you are from a non-magical or Muggle family, we have arranged for one of our Professors to meet with your parents on July 10th at 2 o'clock to answer any further questions you might have regarding our school.
"Today is the 10th," Max said, digging into his waistcoat to bring out his pocket watch, "And it's almost two o'clock now."
"Did you read the letter thoroughly? The part about them sending a Professor from the school to visit? Because we are, what did it say? Oh yes, Muggles, is that a derogatory term? It looks quite official, surely a school wouldn't be calling people names in a letter..."
"I only read the first ridiculous sentence. Not sure if you're aware or not but Kurt is not a wizard!"
"Well, no, not as such, but what if someone does show up?"
"You cannot be serious Max!" Georg have a bark of laughter and snatched the letter back from Max.
"Well, I admit that the entire thing seems farcical in the extreme but, well, there was an owl and that looks very credible, sending a representative from the school and all of that-"
"Surely if one of my children could do magic I would have known by now Max! This is a joke, when Kurt gets in here, if he ever gets in here, I am sure there will be a logical explanation for all of this."
"What was that 'Mmm" for?"
"I just think you should keep an open mind is all."
"Max! You really are ridiculous! Kurt is a normal boy, except for the appetite and there is nothing magical about his table manners I assure you!"
"Speak of the devil!" Max exclaimed, throwing an arm out and grasping a confused and worry eyed Kurt by the arm. "Come on in my boy and please shed some light in this mysterious letter, which was delivered by an owl no less."
"An owl? A real owl? Why didn't you call us in to see the owl Father? I should like to have seen a real owl! And here in the house! I really-"
"Yes, sorry Father."
"Which one of your friends is most likely to be playing such an elaborate prank on you? Or, more to the point, what did you do to them that required such a highly organized retaliation, which included an owl! Inside our home!" finished Georg, waving the letter about in his hand.
"Father," Kurt stammered, "I haven't seen any of my friends since the spring school term, and no one I know has a trained owl! If they did they would have bragged about it before now!"
"And what of this?" Georg asked as he thrust the now wrinkled parchment into Kurt's hands. "What is this Hogwarts? Something you lads made up at school?"
"Hog whats, sir?" asked Kurt, letting his eyes read over the first page on the letter. "Uh, I'm sure I have no idea, but I have been accepted! And Mr. Fortener at school said no place of higher education would have me after I exploded that chemistry set on class. I swear Father I never meant to explode that glass, I was so angry at Gerhard for adding the wrong thing to the mixture and-"
"Never mind that Kurt, your special affinity for things around you exploding with no cause has been well documented around this house. I simply don't understand…" Georg trailed off and gave his son a reproachful look.
"Father, I don't have any idea. I swear. You know I haven't been up to any mischief, well not since Fraulein Maria arrived anyway. She wouldn't have stood for it and I haven't wanted to be unkind to her," Kurt said shaking his head. "But Father, it says the school will send a Professor to talk with you, perhaps when they arrive this will all be sorted and I can go back out and fish with Fredrick?"
"Perhaps, in fact it is almost precisely two o'clock, when this so called professor fails to show we shall simply consider all this a prank and I might enquire as to which of your mates might have access to an tamed owl. Ridiculous," Georg muttered. "And where is Maria? She would get quite a laugh out of this I imagine.."
"Gretl took a fall while we were playing, she was getting a bandage and singing her cut all better out on the lawn. I'm sure she will be in as soon as she can, Father."
"Right then," sad Max clapping his hands together, "Shall we wait at the door for our distinguished guest or shall we go and sit in the study and have a cigar or a drink. I think the bourbon may have gone off, Georg. Might switch to something else.." As the gentlemen and young man filed into the study there was a sharp rap the front door.
"You have got to be kidding me!" exclaimed Georg. "Surely this joke has gone too far!"
Noting that Franz was advancing toward the doorway Georg stopped him with a light touch on his shoulder, "Oh no, thank you Franz, this is one time I really must insist on answering the door myself." Georg strode to the door and yanked it open, fully expecting a child to fall through and felt his mouth open again an uncharacteristic shock as he took in the guest on his doorstep. The guest with a long white beard, bright flashing purple robes and, well, if he wasn't mistaken a bloody wand in his hand.
"Good afternoon, you must be Captain von Trapp," the odd man stuck out his hand and looked at Georg expectantly. "My name is Professor Albus Dumbledore, of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am delighted to make your acquaintance, sir," he said, wiggling the outstretched hand until Georg remembered his manners and thrust his hand out as well. They shook, rather longer than usual but the odd bespectacled man seemed very pleased with the exchange.
"May I come in?" Dumbledore asked.
Georg simply stepped aside.
"What a marvelous home you have here! And built without magic, you Muggles are an amazing lot! I am sure you have dozens of questions for me but, ah! This must be young master Kurt! It is a pleasure to meet you my boy! Oh, you have the look of your great grandfather about you, of yes. He was a fine man and a finer wizard, excellent with Charms. I do wonder what you will excel in? Although I hear you're quite adept at explosions, in chemistry class, yes?"
Kurt nodded, mouth gaping.
"Ah, perhaps an affinity for potions then! Right well, are we going to go further into the house or would you be more comfortable right here in the foyer?"
Both men and the boy in the room simply stood, no words seemed adequate or necessary.
"Very well," Dumbledore said happily, "If you don't mind I do prefer to sit when doing these interviews, they can be tedious," he said, as he waved his wand and squashy brocade armchair appeared in the foyer with a light pop.
Max let out a string of expletives that he hadn't used since his days in the navy, Georg simply stood stock still, and Kurt reached out and touched the chair to ascertain its reality before backing up to catch their guest with his eye.
"Sir, that was utterly brilliant!"
"Yes, well when you finish at our school you will be able to do that in your sleep my boy. I teach Transfiguration, so you'll be learning that bit of magic from me. So much talent in this family! You have a younger sister as well, a Gretl? She shows great potential and I look forward to meeting her in a few years time. Now shall we-"
"Georg? Darling are you in here? Gretl had a nasty scrape and-" Maria broke off at the scene in front of her.
"Professor Dumbledore?" she asked, hurrying over to the arm chair and touching the man on the shoulder.
"Maria? Maria Rainer! My girl, how have you been! I haven't seen you since you left school a few years ago! You look marvelous! We have missed your voice around the halls of the school! As I always say, music is a magic beyond what we can teach in the hallowed halls of Hogwarts!" Dumbledore exclaimed, enveloping her in a hug.
Georg simply stood still, his prodigious and much vaunted intelligence having taken a holiday in the midst of this, whatever this madness was.
"Georg," Maria spoke, threading her arm though he bearded mans, "About that wicked childhood I had, perhaps I had better explain.."
**I realize that I took terrible liberties with the Harry Potter timeline and I apologize to any fans I have offended. I have no idea who would have been the Headmaster at during the early twenties, but I am guessing Dippet because Phineas Black would have been a very old man in the twenties!**