Harry likes science and questions everything he sees. Is Hogwarts prepared for the innocent questions of the Boy-Who-Lived?
"Transfiguration is the art of changing one thing into another thing." When Harry raised his hand, Professor McGonagall stopped her lecture. "Yes, Mr. Potter?"
"Professor, is the law of conservation of mass in effect here?" Harry asked inquisitively.
Professor McGonagall blinked. "What law, Mr. Potter?"
"It was first proven in 1748, although those experiments are often disputed. Later experiments are not. It's based on the principle that nothing comes from nothing."
McGonagall blinked. "Magic can conjure and vanish, Mr. Potter."
"Where do vanished objects go?" Harry asked interestedly. "The book didn't say that."
"Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything." McGonagall said, getting annoyed.'
Harry nodded. "That just proves the law, doesn't it?"
McGonagall didn't know what to answer to that. She still didn't know what the law of conservation of mass was, however. But Harry was not finished yet.
"Professor, can you conjure vacuum?"
"What is vacuum, Mr. Potter?" McGonagall wondered where the boy learned all those things.
"Absence, Professor," Harry said. "Do you leave vacuum if you vanish something? What is the smallest thing you can transfigure, actually? Can you go smaller than quantum?"
McGonagall could feel a headache coming.
"Professor Sinistra, is this a general class on astronomy or is it specialized?"
"What do you mean by specialized, Mr. Potter?" Sinistra asked.
"Well, in the library I couldn't find anything about stars in other galaxies. Not on anything other than within a ten light years radius, in fact," Harry elaborated. "That makes it specialized, I'd say."
"What is a galaxy, Mr. Potter?" Sinistra frowned.
"The Milky Way is a galaxy. The sun is a star in the Milky Way," Harry elaborated.
"The sun is not a star, Mr. Potter. It's a sun."
"It's a G2V star, Professor. Amateurs sometimes refer to it as a yellow dwarf – perhaps you know it by that name?" Harry asked. Those wizards really didn't know anything, did they?
"Are you insinuating I'm an amateur, Mr. Potter?" Sinistra was insulted.
Harry shrugged. "I'm sure you have earned your position as a professor, Professor. Wizards are really strange, though. Professor, what is the moon in a wizard's point of view?"
"A moon, Mr. Potter," SInistra answered, now annoyed.
"It's a satellite. They think it is actually made up from pieces of the original Earth – that is, before a Mars-sized planet slammed into it. But it's very stable – I mean, you can walk on it and everything."
"Walking on the moon? Are you mad?" Sinistra couldn't believe her ears.
Harry frowned. "Uh, Professor? Muggles sent their first man to the moon in 1969. His name is Neil Armstrong, didn't you know that?"
Even Hermione Granger – who had been angry with Harry after their first Transfiguration lesson – began to frown now. "That's true, Professor. And it's been known for ages that the Sun is a star."
Sinistra could feel a headache coming.
"Professor?" Flitwick heard a voice say. Oh, it was Mr. Potter. He had been warned about that one. He was the boy's Head of House, and other professors were.. concerned..
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" Flitwick asked in a friendly voice.
"How do thermodynamics affect an Incendio Charm? And what is the electromagnetic spectrum of a Lumos Charm? Can it be used for photosynthesis?"
Near the end of the lesson, Flitwick didn't know what to think about Harry Potter. On the other hand, he approved of learning and asking questions.
On the other hand, he really needed a headache draught.
"Professor?" Harry asked the stuttering professor. "Are Vampires affected by simulated sunlight? Are they just sensitive for ultraviolet radiation?"
"I-I'm not s-sure, M-Mr. P-Potter," the professor stuttered.
He didn't feel a headache coming at the end of the lesson, because his head.. well.. let's just say he was wearing a turban for a reason. That face on the back of his head was a permanent headache, and Mr. Potter's addition was quite insignificant.
"Professor?" It was the second class of transfiguration.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?"
"Can you add electrons to an atom? Because if you could, that would revolutionize nuclear fusion. And what would happen if you transfigure matter into anti-matter?" Harry was silent for a moment before he looked very scared. "Oh, please, professor, don't teach us how to do that! You could destroy the whole universe if you tried that!"
Mostly, McGonagall was glad she didn't have to answer Harry's questions. What was an electron anyway?
"Professor?" Harry asked, looking at the Potions professor with large eyes.
"Yes, Potter?" the professor spat.
"What isotopes does this dihydrogen monoxide have? And is it deionized?"
"What are you blithering about, Potter?"
"I'm trying to determine the circumstances of this experiment, Professor. I wouldn't want claims to be disputed at any given point of time because I was careless."
"Why are you making up words, then? Deionize? As if such a thing would exist."
"It does exist, sir. Wizards are ignorant about a lot of things, it seems.. They don't even believe you can walk on the moon!"
"I'LL SEE THE HEADMASTER ABOUT YOU, POTTER!"
"Hello, Harry. I hadn't expected to see you so early in the school year."
"Hello, Headmaster," Harry said. "I don't really know why I am here either. I think Professor Snape was jealous of Neil Armstrong, but I'm not sure."
"Who is Neil Armstrong, Harry?" Dumbledore asked, eyes twinkling.
"He's the first person who walked on the moon, sir. Didn't you know? Professor Snape may also have taken offense when I said that wizards are ignorant. But he didn't even know what deionized water was, and he didn't appear to understand what I was talking about when I asked about the isotopes of dihydrogen monoxide either. I don't really like Hogwarts, you know? The professors get angry when I ask then questions or when I answer theirs."
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "What questions do you ask them, then?"
"I asked Professor McGonagall about the law of conservation of mass, and some things about vacuum and quantum. I also asked Professor Flitwick a few basic questions about thermodynamics and a about the electromagnetic spectrum, and he tried to find an answer, which I think is really nice of him, because the other professors don't even do that. Professor Sinistra thinks the sun is not a star and she had never heard of G2V. She hasn't heard about galaxies, either and she doesn't know what the Milky Way is. On top of that, she doesn't know anything about the creation of the Earth, the Moon and she thinks it's impossible to walk on the moon. I may have implied she was an amateur, although I didn't mean to, but I don't think I was wrong." Harry looked embarrassed. "I mean, everyone knows those things. She didn't even know the moon was a satellite! Professor, why don't we have a real telescope here, anyway?"
"A real telescope, Harry?" Dumbledore could see why the professors got angry with Harry.. implying they didn't have a real telescope?
"Yes, sir. Those telescopes we have to use here – you can only see a few hundred stars in them at the most. Isn't that silly? You can't even spot Saturn's auroras on those!"
Dumbledore took out a headache draught.
"Professor?" Harry asked in his most inquisitive voice. He liked Professor Flitwick – he was always interested in what Harry had to say.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?" Flitwick asked.
"Does levitation remove gravity or does it simply counter the effects? Overpowering normal force, so to speak?"
"I'm not sure, Mr. Potter. But if you can design an experiment to prove this, it will count for extra credit. I'll be glad to help you."
It wasn't that hard, in the end, to make Harry stop giving professors headaches. Harry was permitted to work at projects in class, but only after he had learned a spell. And he was allowed to spend three hours a week with all of the professors for help on said projects. Flitwick, though, had informed Harry that Harry could come to him any time at all, because really, Flitwick was just as curious about all of this as Harry was. They had long discussions on how magic affected Schrödinger's Cat and, well, anything really. Matter and anti-matter, physics, chemistry..
Harry also didn't attend Potions class with professor Snape. Harry continued asking Snape perfectly reasonable questions without a hint of muggle science inserted, but apparently, professor Snape always took offense. Given that Harry thought Potions were ridiculously imprecise – and, as Professor Flitwick realized, they were – it didn't bother him much, either.
EPILOGUE – NINE YEARS LATER
"And Mr. Potter has yet again done the impossible.. Mr. Potter, how would you describe your new invention?" the reporter asked.
"It's a force field that counters gravitation and normal force by using said gravitation to attract itself at the borders of the force field. Of course, normal force inevitably leaves the force field as well due to Newton's Third Law. My next project will be creating a vacuum inside said force field, which would relieve pressure of anything, especially human bodies. My hypothesis is that it will stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. And just to think about the effects on the sensory nerves!"
"Yes, yes, Mr. Potter, thank you for your answer," the wide-eyed reporter spoke. He had no idea what Harry had talked about just then.