Anderson Potter

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.

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For a year and a half now, Anderson Arthur Potter had been Drake Holden Archwood. He had lived life as someone completely different. The few people who knew questioned his choice to live in such a way but he had yet to change anything. And he wouldn’t. He wanted to be able to live his life on his terms. The surname Potter made everything more difficult and projected him into the public eye. He didn’t want that for himself. It was fine for his cousins to be known as Potters or Weasleys and it would be fine still for his siblings if they chose it but it wasn’t for him.

 

So when he got a notice that he was to meet with Headmaster Gawkrodger, he started to worry. Was the man going to ruin his plans? Or had something happened? His nerves took over and he couldn’t stop thinking about all of the different (bad) possibilities for this meeting. He couldn’t wait to get it over with because at least then he’d finally know what it was all about.

 

When it was time, he was already waiting outside the Headmaster’s Tower. He gulped and tried not to show his nerves. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really working. His hands were shaking so he shoved them in his pockets. His face was turning red from the stress. He was sweating profusely. He gulped again. This was bad. It was really bad. What if he was getting expelled or something? So he had missed every, single lesson in his first year since he had always gotten lost. So what? Couldn’t he do make up work?

 

TITLE CREDIT:

André Malraux

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If Gawkrodger were to prioritise all the conversations and meetings he needed to have this week by how much he was looking forward to them, he wouldn't even bother to put this one on the list. He'd almost managed to convince himself Anderson wouldn't turn up and he could get on with something more important, but when he stuck his head out the door there he was, a skinny little kid with a face the colour of his hair.
 
"Come in," Gawkrodger sighed, inviting Anderson to step into the tower and Gawkrodger's temporary office.
 
"Sit down." He indicated a chair in front of his desk, and slumped down into his own chair. Idly, he pushed around the various scraps of paper with notes about the boy in front of him.
 
"Well," he said at last. "Your professors are tired of the, ah, 'Drake Archwood' business." This wasn't a lie. More than one of the staff had taken issue with having to mark work signed under the wrong name, or having Anderson insist on his alternative choice of name. They'd complained to Gawkrodger as though he were their boss and supposed to support them or some kind of thing. Until the complaints, he hadn't spent much time thinking about the issue, personally, as Anderson was too young to be taking his class, but he supposed it did make extra work for those who taught the young Potter. Unfortunately, little issues like this had become his purview ever since accepting the promotion to Deputy Headmaster, and even moreso while acting in the Headmaster role. He wasn't allowed to just ignore things by carefully arranging the junk in his (original) office to obscure him from view when hunched behind his desk.
 
"When do you foresee dropping this? I understand you have a sister attending next year so, uh, I can assume the matter will be dropped once she is here and identifying you as her brother, yes?" He gave Anderson an encouraging look. If the boy said 'yes' they could both get on with things they'd rather be doing. Anderson could have the rest of this year as Drake Whatever if he really wanted.

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Still shaking like a leaf, Sonny leaned against the wall so that it would help prop him up. He was worried that his legs were going to give out at any second and Headmaster Gawkrodger would come out of his office to find him in a heap on the floor. It would not be a good first impression so he needed to stay upright and preferably not shaking. He was doing okay on the first part (for now) but he hadn’t found a way to stop the shaking. If only he was his grandfather going to see his mentor, Dumbledore.

 

Actually, scratch that. Harry had needed his headmaster as a mentor so that he wouldn’t die (or at least stay dead) and face many scary, dangerous things. Sonny was good without all of that. He found it hard enough to live with his actual name, never mind fighting a dark wizard and living to tell the tale. How his grandfather had done all of that with the help of Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione Sonny would never understand.

 

Headmaster Gawkrodger appeared and Sonny gulped. He followed the instructions given and was soon sitting in a chair, awaiting his fate. He clasped his hands onto the armrests of the chair and watched as the blood ran out of them. Soon, his white hands were all he could see and he tried to focus on what the man was saying. It was hard, however, because he felt like he was going to pass out from the stress of it all.

 

Then he had to answer. He didn’t have an answer that this man would like. Anderson looked at the floor now and gulped again before answer. “Well, sir, I… I can’t be a Potter… well, at least not yet. My sister is going to follow the plan like my cousins have. I know it’s a strain on the staff but I just want to be able to be myself… without everyone assuming things about me because of my surname. It’s a lot to live with… a lot of burden on my shoulders, if you will. I never asked for any of it, either. I…,” he sighed and thought for a moment, “I want to live on my terms.”

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