Dale Franklin looked at his clock, it was currently three in the morning, and he would have gone back to sleep if it hadn't been for the fact that he had to go to school, at Salem Witches Institute, on the east coast, while he lived on the west coast. The three hour time difference between Salem Massachusetts and Salem Oregon was something he had finally gotten used to after three whole years. Though most of his second grade was still a blur, do to a particularly nasty possession by an insane ghost. He was still prone to fits of insanity at times, though they had decreased in number and severity substantially in two years.
He grabbed his school uniform which lay folded on the desk in the middle of his room; which consisted of a simple grey robe, a white shirt, black slacks, and black dress shoes. He quickly dashed to the bathroom to take a quick shower, which helped to wake him up to some extent. He could barely see his face in the fogged up mirror as he left, though he was fairly certain his eyes were still red. He vowed that would be the last time he would ever stay up till ten on a school night. Ten minutes later he was set to go, having packed his backpack and school supplies the night before.
Dale practically ran downstairs into the dimly lit family kitchen and towards the fireplace on pure instinct. It took him a second to realize that his siblings were not with him, which made him roll his eyes, and wish he was an only child. He could practically hear his parents screaming at him to not let his sibling be late for school. Seeing as they both worked the night shift at the Department of Justice, they wouldn't be home until a few minutes after the Franklin children left, it could possibly happen any moment if he didn't wake them up.
He threw his backpack on the counter and headed back upstairs to his siblings' rooms. He slammed his fist on his brother's door first, as the youngest Franklin's room was closest to the stairs. He was about to do the same to his younger sister's door when she violently threw it open.
"Is now a bad time to say that none of my school uniforms fit right?" Sarah Franklin asked her elder brother.
"Try an engorgio spell." He suggested to his frantic looking sister.
"What and have it come out the size of a giant? Why don't you…" She was cut short as Dale cast a slightly less powerful version of the spell on the uniform clothing on her bed. She quickly shut the door to change from her pajamas to the school uniform.
Benjamin Franklin, the youngest Franklin, all but jumped out of his bedroom with one shoe on, with the sock covering it, one sock missing, and the other shoe in hand. It would have been more comedic to Dale had he not been in a rush.
"Calm down you've got about ten minutes until school starts." Dale said calmingly to Ben. This was only his second year of magical schooling; and had it not been for the fact that his parents had been awake to see them off during Ben's first year, Dale doubted he would have stopped rushing to realize he didn't have any clothes on. He seriously hoped this wouldn't happen every time his younger brother had a first day of school.
Ben took a second to calm down, and then began to put his socks and shoes on in order; still shaking profusely he tried to put on a smile before he ran downstairs. Sarah exited her room with backpack in hand. Dale grabbed Ben's backpack as he rushed towards the fireplace downstairs. Dale threw the backpack at his younger brother, and picked his own up off the counter. Sarah had already grabbed a pinch of floo powder into the fireplace of the scarcely lit household. It erupted in blue flames.
"School." She said as she waited to be transported to one of the various fireplaces throughout the aforementioned school. Sarah quickly disappeared in a burst of fire. Benjamin followed suit, clutching his backpack tightly and carefully pronouncing the intended destination.
Dale took one last look at the kitchen, then took a pinch of floo powder and said "School."
He felt the familiar tugging sensation of the American floo network pulling him towards his destination.
Dale was pushed out of one of the many fireplaces by the floo network. Finding his siblings in the mess of students arriving through the fireplaces would be impossible to say the least. Salem Institute was a magically enlarged building, which took up relatively little space on the outside. On the inside it was a pentagonal shape, with each side being around three quarters of a mile long. Made out of stone, any passing Muggle would have just seen a rather large looking pentagonal rock, and felt a strange compulsion to walk away as the muggle repellent charms egged them to leave.
Everyone scrambled about to get to their first class of the day. Dale's first class was PE, which was relatively unoccupied in the morning hour. The instructor was an ex Marine drill instructor who only recently seemed to realize he had been discharged about two decades ago. The results were slightly hilarious when Mr. Smith would yell at a first grader to do twenty push ups for some small infraction. Stupid new kids always signed up for the class thinking it would be easy. Most of the students who took the class were Quodpod players who were required to take the class. Dale was one of those many.
The one thing Dale hated about having PE for his first period though was that he had to run to the East wing, which housed the lockers, from the center of the school. The distance itself was not bad, but those who did not feel like getting out of his way through the narrow hallways made him rush to the locker rooms in order to change into his PE gear before seven ten, which was when first period started.
Dale practically fought through drowsy students who were moving towards their first classes of the year as the seven o'clock bell rang.
Running through a group of confused first graders, Dale almost knocked the door off its hinges as he rushed to change his clothes. Not surprisingly the locker room was empty, as the very few who signed up for the class did not sign up for it in the morning.
Now to clarify on several things
1. The underage use of magic is not defined in canon as being world wide, and even if it is, the Ministry of Magic seems unable to differentiate between magic used by people of age and those not of age, though this is debatable. Acts of random magic seem to be detected some of the time (Harry was able to regrow his hair, not make the hand me down cloths fit, apparate onto the top of the school roof, etc, and was not caught, yet when he blew up his aunt, the ministry did notice it). And the Twins tried to force Ron to make an unbreakable vow (which requires magic) without any fear of being caught by the ministry. Also the Ministry did not seem to notice when Dumbledore used magic at the Dursley residence. This leads me to believe that either the method of underage magical detection is very fallible, or the method only tracks magic usage itself, not who uses it. If Dumbledore had said he was going to be at the Dursley's at x time and date, it is possible the ministry would have overlooked the magical usage at the Dursley's house. And the Twins wouldn't have had to fear because they are from a pureblood household, which does magic all the time.
2. I will keep as much to canon as possible, except when logic dictates something different should happen, or something is largely unexplained in canon (e.g. horcruxes). Floo powder seems like a very useful tool, and I doubt it is limited to Britain as canon states. However to overcome this I have decided that each country will pretty much have its own floo system which operates slightly differently than others, and is incompatable with other countries' floo systems. That is why the American floo powder creates blue flames versus green.
3. American terminology will be used, because this takes place in America. Each year will be the equivalent of one grade. Also American terms will be used for the government, and will be modeled off of the muggle government. Departments will have the exact same names as there muggle counterparts, and will often fill similar roles.
4. Because boarding schools are not popular over here, Dale will be returning home every day. Because Canon only referenced one American school, I decided that the three hour time difference might add an element into the story, thus meaning I either needed to have everyone know how to apparate at a very young age, or just use floo powder. Also because it has been brought to my attention that one school the fourth largest geographical country in the world is highly impractical, I will bring up the fact that all of Europe seems to be taught by three schools. Also The American wizarding population will be so incredibly low that only one school would be practical. From what I have written of chapter two Dale's class will have less than fourty students.
5. Events that are happening in the fourth book will be referenced in news paper articles.
6. Harry Potter himself will be considered less famous than Dumbledore. In order to explain a largely absent American presence in all of the books (because lets face it why wouldn't the British ask for help from anyone in getting rid of Voldemort, I know he was scary but still you figure someone somewhere would think that it would be better to stop him over there, rather than in their own country). I needed to make an excuse to have America full of isolationists. That being said, the war with Grindelwald will be considered a bloodbath for American witches and wizards who fought in it. Most will attribute Potter's fame to be from shear dumb luck. Dumbledore will be seen and equated to an odd fusion of Albert Einstien and George Patton.
7. I will not go past book four unless I like how the story is going, and get enough positive review. I have decided that the in the event I do go past book four, I will use the highly cliched plot of exchange student. Though I will say that to run from being overly cliched I will make Dale's exchange more of a political maneuver by the Ministry of Magic to say that everything is alright.
8. The possesion referenced in the begining will be more of a running gag than an actual plot device.
9. This is a complete and utter overhaul of my earlier story international police. Not much of that plot line will remain. I basically have decided to keep a few of the names and leave it at that.
Chapter completed on December 4 2009 updated December 5 2009.
signed the good dr.