The Potioneer's Assistant


Tuesday 1 September 1987 St. Grogory's Primary School

"Good morning, class! My name is Miss Honeybloom and I will be your Primary Three teacher."

Harry Potter could barely keep his eyes open. He didn't have a good night sleep or even a good breakfast. His aunt and uncle along with his cousin kept him up all night preparing for today. His uncle had him washing his car inside and out then had him clean out the garage and sweep the front porch. His aunt then had him tend to the backyard's hedges and bushes. His cousin just got in the way and slowed him down which inevitably led to Harry getting punished by his aunt and uncle for being "lazy."

He tried to keep up with the other students but gravity took hold of his head and he fell asleep at his desk. When the other kids went out to play at recess, Miss Honeybloom asked him to stay inside with her.

"Harry? Is there a reason why you couldn't stay awake in my class? Am I that boring?" she asked gently.

Harry just looked at his feet and shook his head negatively.

"Harry, please look at me." He raised his head and looked at his teacher.

Belinda Honeybloom gazed into his luminous green eyes. She could see the hurt and anguish behind them and made the personal decision to help and damn the consequences! She knew who Harry was, she knew what happened to his parents and made the decision to help the little boy who lost his parents to a madman. For Miss Honeybloom had a secret; she was a witch.

"You know that you have your mother's eyes, Harry?" she inquired of him.

Harry's eyes immediately focused in on what she had said, "Y-you knew my mother?" he stammered.

"Mm-hmm…she was a couple of years older than me when we went to school together but I could never forget those eyes. She was an uncommonly wonderful person, smart as all get out, friendly to a fault until someone triggered her temper…Heh, and what a temper! She was known to frighten upperclassmen into submission even as a First Year."

Harry listened in wide-eyed rapture as Miss Honeybloom reminisced about his mother, father, their friends and the magical world. She showed him her wand and performed some basic magic tricks like lighting the end of it using a Lumos Charm, transfiguring a small frog from a rubber eraser and making bubbles appear.

"Miss Honeybloom? Do you know why I have to live with my aunt and uncle? They hate anything to do with magic. They…they say it's not real. I've had dreams…"

"Yes, Harry?" When he hesitated again, "I promise that you and I will still be friends and that this conversation will not reach your relatives."

"I've dreamt about a black haired man with a dog-like bark of a laugh riding a flying motorcycle, a huge man with a booming voice, glittering beetle black eyes and a scratchy beard. I sort of remember a woman with reddish hair…"

Belinda was in tears as Harry related his dreams. She gave him a brief hug and said to him, "Harry, I'm sure that those dreams of yours are real. The man with the motorcycle? His name is Sirius Black. He's a bit of a scoundrel but otherwise a good man and close friend of your parents. The huge man with the scratchy beard sounds a lot like Rubeus Hagrid; he's the gamekeeper for the school we went to. Both men are good people though from what I heard, Sirius Black got himself into trouble after that Halloween and ended up in prison… I'm sorry, Harry."

Harry sniffed and wiped his eyes but nodded.

"I'll tell you what. How about every recess during this year, you and I have a little chat about what I know about your family and their friends as well as tell you about their world and school? Would you like that?" She asked smiling, hoping to put a bit of cheer back on his face.

"Yes, please." He responded quietly with a pleading look on his face.

Recess ended and Miss Honeybloom went to go collect her students. The rest of the day was uneventful. His cousin, Dudley, tried to get Harry in trouble a few times but Belinda Honeybloom was no fool. She quietly separated the two boys and gently reprimanded Dudley for tattling.

Thursday 3 September 1987 Headmaster's Office, St. Grogory's Primary School

"Ah, Belinda. So glad you could come. We need to have a chat regarding two of your students."

"Yes, sir. Which two students are you referring to?"

"Dudley Dursley and Harry Potter. I've just received a telephone call from Mr. Dursley's parents saying that you punished their son for telling you about Mr. Potter's delinquent behavior. I must say that sort of action against the lad is most unbecoming."

Belinda gave her boss a quizzical look, "To what action am I being accused of?"

"Well, according to Mr. Dursley, senior; you verbally assaulted their son in front of the other students and isolated him from his friends."

Belinda let out a frustrated sigh; she could see just where this was leading.

"Sir, all I did was to put each boy on opposite sides of the room so they couldn't interact with each other. I quietly told young Dudley that it was wrong to accuse Harry of cheating off of him during the math test."

The Headmaster gave her a patronizing look and shook his head condescendingly,

"Belinda. The Dursley's are our most prominent and well-liked family in the area. I've met their son before and he's quite the little gentleman. The Potter boy on the other hand, is a known troublemaker and from what I've heard is a criminal in the making. It would be best if you were to restrict your activities to just teaching and let me handle the punishments for any infractions."

Belinda was incensed at her boss' actions and words. She normally would've never done what she was about to do, but sometimes…

She pulled out her wand from her bag and cast an Obliviate at the Headmaster.

"You will forget every nasty thing you've ever heard about Harry Potter and refocus that negativity at the Dursley family. Vernon Dursley is a liar and a bigot with whom you desire no contact. Petunia Dursley is a gossiping busybody with delusions of adequacy with whom you resent and despise. Dudley Dursley is a juvenile delinquent who needs a firm hand in his education and discipline. You will leave Harry Potter alone and treat him like you would any other student in this school."

The Headmaster's eyes had glazed over when she cast the charm and when she was done, he took a deep breath, blinked and looked around before settling back upon her.

"Oh! Belinda. I'm sorry, I must have dozed off before our meeting."

"No problem, sir."

"Yes, well. I think we need to discuss the problem growing with young Mr. Dursley. His behavior towards others is most unbecoming…"

When Belinda left the Headmaster's office and headed back to her classroom, a man and woman in trench coats intercepted her in the hallway.

"Miss Belinda Honeybloom?" asked the woman.


The man surreptitiously pulled out a badge that read, 'Ministry for Magic, Muggle Affairs Division, Obliviator Squad.' "We detected a burst of magic in this area. Is there a problem?"

Belinda let out a sigh of relief, "Not anymore. I had to use my wand to fend off a condescending bastard of a Muggle. I am fine and things have been resolved. Thank you for showing up."

Both the man and woman nodded and wished her well then left.

Friday 30 October 1987 Godric's Hollow, West Country, England

Belinda Honeybloom worked with Harry closely over the next two months getting him to open up about his relationship with his relatives. She made careful notes about each event and made copies to be stored in a secure vault. She had heard that the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had taken a personal interest in Harry but for the life of her, she couldn't figure out why. The man's interest in Harry tripped enough personal alarms that she undertook many precautions.

One of the things she noticed about Harry was that he showed no interest in celebrating the upcoming Halloween costume party that had the other students in thrall and excitement. She understood why and decided that the best way to help him would be to sit him down and discuss his feelings and memories.

"Harry? I think I may have a solution for you. How would you like to take a ride with me this weekend after school to go visit where you were born and lived? It might give you a bit of closure after that night."

Harry thought about the offer and accepted it.

"Could…could we go visit where they are buried?" he asked.

Belinda nodded, "I think that would be best. Then after that, we'll stay at my house until Saturday morning when I'll take you home, unless there's somewhere else you'd like to visit?" Harry shook his head no.

So that Friday after school, Belinda and Harry drove first to the Dursley's residence where Belinda had Harry stand in front of the house. She waved her wand and spoke quietly. Harry glowed for a moment then when it faded; she motioned for him to get back in the car. They then drove to Godric's Hollow and parked near a little church. As they were driving, Harry asked her what it was that she did back at the Dursley's. She told him that she had checked him for what was known as a Tracking Charm. She had found one and used her wand to move it to the mailbox so no one would be the wiser. They walked around town looking through the windows of the shops and eventually came across the Potter's cottage. The roof on one side looked like it had barely survived an explosion, one whole wall had been blown out. The yard was unkempt and weedy; the gate was padlocked shut. The windows were grimy and the whole place had an air of great sadness.

Harry put his hand on the gate but jumped back in surprise when a signpost grew up out of the dirt like a fast-growing flower. There was an inscription on the plaque:

'This house has been preserved in its ruined state as a monument to the Potters and as a reminder of the violence that tore apart their family.'

There were a lot of graffiti on the plaque, written by well-wishers and family friends. Belinda read off as many as she could read. Eventually, it got to be too much for Harry and the two of them left to find the graveyard. They entered through the side gate and wandered amongst the grave markers. They saw various names like 'Abbott, Peverell, Dumbledore (Belinda was surprised at that) and a few others that were recognizable from her years at Hogwarts.

Eventually, the two found his parents' gravestone. Engraved on the face was his mom and dad's names, their birth and death dates and an inscription below which read:

'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death.'

"What does that mean, Miss Honeybloom?" Harry sniffled.

"Basically it means living beyond Death. Living within the hearts and minds of friends and family. As long as you always remember them, they're not truly dead."

They spent some time there in front of his parents' graves where Harry 'talked' to his parents and told them all about his life so far. He told them how nice Miss Honeybloom was, what he learned in school and even talked about what his life with Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia was like. She, in turn, vowed to keep him safe, happy and as educated about the magical world as best she could.

They eventually gave their goodbyes and drove back to Belinda's house.

Friday 25 December 1987

Over the next two months since that Halloween night, Miss Honeybloom had made it her mission to teach Harry the basics of magic and even bought him a few books to hide in his room. One of the books that most interested him was his Basics of Potions, which covered the introductions of ingredients, safety practices, brewing techniques and some simple recipes to follow. The other book that he had received was a blank journal so that way he could record his successes and failures in brewing as well as anything else that caught his attention. The final gift she got for him was a set of colored pencils. She mentioned that there was a marketplace in London called Diagon Alley that sold just about anything he would need for his brewing experiments. She recommended that he not try to go there himself as he was too easily recognizable and could cause a bit of a ruckus. She told him that if he needed anything, to let her know and she'd pick them up for him.

In the guise of educating her class in what she called, "World Cultures Month," Belinda Honeybloom touched briefly on the "History of Magic," the history behind and how to make "Potions" such as how to identify ingredients, properly prepare and brew them to create different colors. She taught her students the history behind and how to read and write "Runes." She gave the students assignments written in runes and they had to decipher what was written. They also learned how to write their names using runes. Each student then made a small plaque with their names on it and hung it on their lockers. Those who did the best on the assignments won a small trophy.

She taught them what she called "Herbology" and "Arithmancy." She taught Herbology and Potions side by side explaining the importance to each other. The students learned how to identify the different seeds or cuttings, how to cultivate and grow herbs and flowers, and learned how to prepare them for their "potions." She would dress up as a famous character from the period and give a lecture on how it was used to benefit the population of Great Britain. Parents were concerned at first when they heard from their children about the strange but fun classes and came in to see what this innovative education plan was about and were pleasantly surprised when included in the lesson plan. The other parents and their kids thought it was just a lot of fun and games but Harry knew the truth.

While he couldn't brew anything at the Dursley's, Miss Honeybloom had encouraged him to come to her house on the weekends to work on his potions there in safety and comfort. She had a wonderful backyard garden full of plants, a small pond that was stocked with all manner of interesting aquatic creatures that were just waiting for him to explore and experiment with. He dutifully wrote down all of the descriptions of each plant along with hand-drawn images then colored them in with the set of colored pencils he had received for Christmas. He was in the middle of drawing a rendition of Snowblossoms when Belinda found him.

"Harry? Oh, there you are." Belinda commented, "I was wondering if you were hungry? It's almost lunchtime."

"Yes, please. I'd like to finish this up first though." He replied.

"Ok, just make sure to wash your hands before eating." Harry nodded in reply before turning back to his journal.

When Belinda and Harry returned back to the Dursley's, his aunt was waiting for him at the door with a scowl on her face.

"Where have you been, boy?" she quietly sneered at him, "You were supposed to be home earlier to make Christmas dinner for us."

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Dursley," apologized Belinda, "it was my doing. I had Harry here help me with some projects around my house and we lost track of time."

Petunia just sniffed haughtily and let Harry into the house before turning back to Belinda,

"Make sure if it does happen again, that you have the decency to call us." She then closed the door in Belinda's face.