“You’re a wizard, Harry,” Hagrid said. “And you’re coming to Hogwarts.”
“What’s Hogwarts?” Harry asked.
“It’s wizard school.”
“It’s not a public school, is it?”
“No, it’s privately run.”
“Good. Then I accept. Children are not the property of the state; everyone who wishes to do so has the right to offer educational goods or services at a fair market rate. Let us leave at once.”
“Malfoy bought the whole team brand-new Nimbus Cleansweeps!” Ron said, like a poor person. “That’s not fair!”
“Everything that is possible is fair,” Harry reminded him gently. “If he is able to purchase better equipment, that is his right as an individual. How is Draco’s superior purchasing ability qualitatively different from my superior Snitch-catching ability?”
“I guess it isn’t,” Ron said crossly.
Harry laughed, cool and remote, like if a mountain were to laugh. “Someday you’ll understand, Ron.”
Professor Snape stood at the front of the room, sort of Jewishly. “There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few who possess, the predisposition…I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.”
Harry’s hand shot up.
“What is it, Potter?” Snape asked, irritated.
“What’s the value of these potions on the open market?”
“Why are you teaching children how to make these valuable products for ourselves at a schoolteacher’s salary instead of creating products to meet modern demand?”
“You impertinent boy–”
“Conversely, what’s to stop me from selling these potions myself after you teach us how to master them?”
“This is really more of a question for the Economics of Potion-Making, I guess. What time are econ lessons here?”
“We have no economics lessons in this school, you ridiculous boy.”
Harry Potter stood up bravely. “We do now. Come with me if you want to learn about market forces!”
The students poured into the hallway after him. They had a leader at last.