Poison Pen

Harry has had enough of seeing his reputation shredded in the Daily Prophet and decides to do something about it. Only he decides to embrace his Slytherin side to rectify matters.



13. Part of the Problem

Harry was thumbing through the book on Occlumency that Lord Peter had sent him along with a letter. He must be doing something right if Professor Snape hadn't picked up anything about Oliver Twist during their so-called lessons.

The dark haired teen smiled. Of course both barrister and teen agreed on one thing, for some reason Dumbledore seemed to want Harry to fail at Occlumency. Why else would he, a master occlumens himself, allow Snape to use such a brutal and ineffective method? Not to mention the fact he was having Harry taught by someone that hated him when he knew full well the level of trust needed between teacher and student.


Harry was having a hard time deciding what to write about in his next article. He had been hitting them pretty hard and fast lately and was pleased with the results. From what Dobby told him, the headmaster's desk was buried under a mountain of mail.

The day after his last column, the Great Hall was inundated with post and howlers directed to Snape and Trelawney. Students as well as staff members were forced to flee from the assault of owls and the general mayhem caused by the exploding howlers. Dumbledore had no choice but to declare a free day as the house elves were desperately trying to keep up with the mess. Many of the staff decided to hide in their offices.

The following day Harry learned from Dobby that Hogwarts wards had always directed all post for the Headmaster to his office as not to disturb him at meal times. The howlers had driven him as well as Fawkes, and all of the paintings of past headmasters from the office. Harry giggled and wished he had witnessed the spectacle. He could not imagine the devastation after the howlers had exploded.

Amidst of all of the howlers directed to the Great hall, several owls with angry red letters flew around in confusion until they exploded mid-air. The howlers had to go off undelivered causing many of the poor owls to lose precious tail feathers in the process.

Most notable among them was the one by sent by Molly Weasley. Her voice easily out-shouted everyone else's. Seems those where howlers sent to Oliver Twist and the owls knew that Twist was in the Great Hall but could not find him. Molly's piercing, vindictive harangue lasted a good half hour by which time the Great Hall was empty.

Harry laughed all the way to the Gryffindor Common Room. Thank goodness for Dobby's house elf magic. It had rendered Oliver invisible to post owls. All mail was suppose to go to his postal box at Gringotts anyways.. How any mail for Oliver managed to be delivered to the Great Hall was beyond Harry's understanding.


Turning his attention to today's paper, Harry saw in the Prophet, that Sirius was now free. He had been cleared of all wrong doing and freed, with monetary reparations to follow.

Madam Umbridge was facing time in Azkaban and Fudge was on his way out after a vote of no confidence. Maybe it was time to rattle ol' Snake face's cage, but how, without giving himself away? Hmm....


Sirius Black looked down at his pardon. He was finally free! His name has been cleared of all wrong doing. He didn't know what to do first, get down on his knees and thank Merlin, kiss Amelia Bones and offer his services at stud, or maybe run naked through the ministry while painted red. Hmm. . . James would have liked to see that.

In all of his wild musing on what to do about his new freedom, he didn't once think about Harry, nor did the fact he had written a letter explaining his lack of contact because he was on a "mission" for the Order. Sirius told himself it was because he hadn't wanted to get Harry's hopes up, if the pardon didn't go through.

It wasn't until a week after the notice came out in the Prophet, that he woke with a fiendish headache in a dingy room in the back of the Hogshead. He was naked as the day he was born, with two women and one man in bed with him. Empty bottles of firewhisky littered the floor and the room stank of booze, sex and unwashed bodies. Not until that time did his feverish mind vaguely turn to thoughts of his godson. Oww! He was in serious need of a hangover potion. What was he thinking again?

Oh yes. He was the Godfather, James and Lily said so. He needed to get to the goblins and get the Potter will. He needed to claim Harry's guardianship before . . . before. . . . Why did he have to rush again? Oh right. Dumbly Dory. The old coot had the will sealed and had claimed Harry's guardianship for himself. Well, he just have to unseal the will and kick Dumbledore in his wrinkly ol' arse. Ew! The thought! Bad picture!

Right first, he needed another drink. Where were his pants?


Sequestering himself after curfew in the Room of Requirements, Harry now knew what to write about in his next article. Honestly, the Wizarding World made it so easy for him to find things to write about.

Part of the Problem

Well! I didn't think anyone would be truly interested in my little letters of inquiry, and now I am writing a column! I have come up in the world, I must say.

I have recently learned that there is a betting pool going on between both staff and students at Hogwarts on who I am. I find this very entertaining. According to what I overheard recently, I could very well be in any house as I somehow encompass all of the virtues of all of the houses! How amusing. Does such a paragon really exist?

Should I provide clues on who I am? Sorry. Why should I make it easy on you, my readers? Isn't the mystery a large part of your interest?

Several letters have been passed to me, by both the editor of the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler, that have piqued my interest about various and sundry aspects of wizarding society. They along with the tidal wave of howlers that recently hit Hogwarts brings me to my current observations.

First let me assure you that no howlers, hexed, or charmed letters reach me. They are all screened before they come to my hand. It's in my contracts.

Second, for the record, the goblins hold my contracts and will refuse anyone access to the documents. This, too, is one of the stipulations of my contracts. So that, as a means of trying to find out who I really am is next to impossible. Unless of course you wish to go to war with the Goblin Nation. For those that tried to send an owl directly to me at Hogwarts, you failed! Those poor owls will never forgive you for the loss of their tail feathers.

Lastly I want to address the howlers that are being sent, not just to me, but to students in general

Howlers are disgusting in my opinion. They serve no useful purpose. Howlers may make you feel better but they do not help the situation they are sent to supposedly address.

I remember listening to Molly Weasley airing the Weasley family's soiled linens for thirty minutes in the Great Hall. All it proved was she had a very grating, strident voice and seemed to take great delight in shaming her children and ruining breakfast for the rest of us.

It was very disgusting to listen to and it made the Weasleys a laughing stock. Did it help the situation that she was complaining about? No. The Weasley twins, whom the howler was directed to, left the Great Hall in the middle of her tirade. In fact, her howler cleared the Great Hall faster than the smell of burnt cabbage. So what good did it accomplish? Nothing beyond irritating both students and staff and making her look like a harridan.

Which makes me wonder why the Hogwarts staff isn't doing something about howlers. They do after all control the wards around the school. Adding a howler free ward wouldn't be much of a problem. I guess they enjoy watching parents verbally abusing their students in front the whole school.

A few days ago, I was witness to a virtual avalanche of howlers aimed at the staff of Hogwarts in the Great Hall. Sadly, all they accomplished was a free day for students and caused more work for the house elves to clean the Great Hall while the staff hid in their offices. So while it made you, who sent the howlers, feel good, it did nothing for the problems you were attempting to address.

If you really want to make a difference, howlers aren't the answer. The answer is get up off your lazy bum and do something positive. In the muggle world, a student in trouble fears their parents being called in to their school for a "conference." It would seem that the wizarding world doesn't value their children highly enough to put forth actual effort to solve problems first hand.

By the same token, if you have a complaint about Ministry policies, well, it's your own fault. You voted them in, vote them out. If you don't like what the newspapers are saying, then don't buy the paper. Have a problem with a dark lord running amok and killing innocent people? Then stop waiting for someone else to to end the problem!

Good grief people! You greatly outnumber the monster and his followers! He would be in a world of trouble if you all stood together against them. Even the muggles borns families could make a difference. Amazing what a double barreled skeet gun can do, even to a wizard. Fight back! Your safety and that of your families is not just the concern of the government. Take responsibility for your own well being.

The muggles have a saying: "If you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem."

So what are you? Part of the problem? Or part of the solution?

--Oliver Twist


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