Billy isn’t physically imposing, and while he has an impressive mind and impressive vocabulary, he also has all the social skill of a sea cucumber. Being homeschooled and an only child, he doesn’t know what to do now that he has to live with them on a regular basis for most of the year. He’s much more likely to respond by withdrawing into himself and minding his own business than he is to even attempt to be outgoing with his fellow students. He is also very, very difficult to manipulate, primarily because he’s naturally suspicious of people and because he’s so intellectual and spends so much time inside his own head.
In addition to being an insufferable little prodigy, Billy will also try to use what he likes to mentally refer to as his PhD in Adorableness to get his way with female professors and other adults. With girls in his peer group, he’s painfully shy and quiet, preferring to fade into the background rather than be noticed for any reason. He can’t treat girls the same way that he treats boys, so he just resorts to silence and, if he actually likes a girl, perhaps a bit of stalking as well.
He’s more likely to take a big-brotherly stance when it comes to younger students. Usually, this limits itself to protecting them from the shadows – if he sees someone start to pick on a student who is younger or weaker than they are, he’ll jump in to defend them without needing to be asked. He would be more than willing to help out a younger student or a female student with their homework but, because of his shyness and his social awkwardness, they would have to approach him for help. A male student who asked for help would be considered indebted to him, and he would likely call on this debt later when he needed something.
Far and beyond it is most likely male students who he will respond to by being a cheeky little smartass, because even though he has an intense desire to avoid conflict, he isn’t very good at, you know, actually doing so. His desire to avoid conflict isn’t as intense as it is in his canon, because as long as he has his wand, Billy feels like he will be perfectly capable of defending himself if an argument comes to blows.
With male professors, Billy becomes a much more instinctual creature. Every professor who he deems as getting in the way of his education and goals basically becomes a target for his Daddy Issues Ray. With professors he likes, however, he’s different. He is the absolute model student, and he overachieves in his instinctual search for fatherly attention.
Billy has an unhealthy interest in the Dark Arts. At the moment, it’s entirely academic – he wants to study it purely because he isn’t allowed to study it in any of his classes. His interest in the Dark Arts combines poorly with his social awkwardness. If he meets anyone he deems like-minded, he will go on tirades about how death is so ugly, and why would any wannabe dictator choose to leave a swath of death behind as his modus operandi when there are surely a million more interesting and creative ways to deal with unruly followers without resorting to death. This thinking isn’t likely to make him many friends, which is why these ideas are very rarely expressed.
William Harris spent the first few years of his life in Sunburst, Montana, with his father Henry and his mother Rebecca. His father was a normal man, a science teacher at the local high school. Born and raised in Sunburst, with its population of 332 people, Henry had gotten into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
William’s mother, Rebecca, was radically different from her husband. She was, in fact, a Muggleborn witch from Connecticut who had been educated at the Salem Witches’ Academy. She and Henry met in a bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Henry’s friends had dragged him, and Rebecca had gone looking for work. It was love at first sight.
Six months after their wedding, William was born, a healthy, full-term seven-pound baby boy. Shortly thereafter, the couple and their new baby moved back to Sunburst. From the beginning, it was obvious that little Billy, as William immediately was known, had inherited his father’s smarts. He said his first word at seven months, and by the time he was a year old he could articulate to his parents, between words and gestures, what he wanted or needed.
While Henry was at work teaching Chemistry to high schoolers, Becky was the one who noticed that strange happenings started to follow her little Billy-boy. One day, all of the greens in the refrigerator were suddenly purple. The next, she found her shoes sitting on the ceiling as easily as if it were the floor. Her son had inherited one important thing from her, something that she had never told her husband about. Her little Billy-boy was a wizard. For some reason, he never had any major little ‘accidents’ when his father was home, and if Henry noticed one night that Billy’s eyes had been green all day instead of blue then he chalked it up to the boy’s eye colour not necessarily settling yet, or a trick of the light.
Billy started preschool, as most children do, at the age of four. He was reading at a fifth-grade level, and he could sound out, if not truly understand, college-level textbooks. The only way that he didn’t shine at school was with regard to the other children. He didn’t make friends easily. He never put forth the effort to seem particularly approachable or friendly, and his classmates never, in turn, put forth the effort to see him as anything other than a know-it-all smartass.
When he was six, he was just starting second grade. He was tiny for his age, and slim, which didn’t help him in a class where his peers were already older than he was. His teacher wouldn’t let him sit inside and read during recess – hardly believed that he could read as well as he claimed at all.
A popular comic book came out a few months before Billy’s sixth birthday: The Adventures of Captain Hammer. Billy read these comics at school, and even though he was young and easily entertained by the Saturday Morning triumph of good over evil, Billy came to admire Dr. Horrible, the villain. He couldn’t relate to Hammer’s brawn and physical might, but Dr. Horrible was a brilliant inventor, like Billy wanted to be when he grew up.
Billy used the money his grandmother gave him for his birthday to buy a Dr. Horrible action figure. The other children, in that eternal cruelty that only children possess, latched onto the similarity between child and toy and took to calling him ‘little Billy Horrible’ at recess when the teacher wasn’t looking.
One day, near the end of the year, a bully came up to Billy and tried to take his action figure during recess. Billy said no. The older boy persisted. Billy told him to shut up and leave him alone. The bully came at him again for the action figure, and Billy turned around and yelled at him to “SHUT! UP!”
Almost immediately, terrible groaning and choking noises were coming from the bully’s throat. Billy watched in horror as the older boy’s eyes bulged out, red and watery, and his face turned first red, then purple, then blue. He watched as the boy who had been trying to take away his toy just moments before collapsed to the ground and, with a long, rattling groan, went still.
Billy just sat there in shocked silence. His little knuckles were white around the hard plastic of Dr. Horrible’s lab coat-clad body. The end of recess came and went, and the teacher came outside to find Billy and the other boy, only to find the other boy lying dead on the grass in a far corner of the playground, Billy even further in the corner looking almost as ashen as the corpse but with a wild, living terror in his eyes. When the teacher said his name, it was like a spell had been broken. He started screaming and sobbing, and he would not be consoled until his mother came to the school to get him.
After Billy stopped screaming, he became completely catatonic. Even though he didn’t know how he had done it, little Billy knew that he was the one responsible for the bully’s death. That night, after Billy had fallen asleep once again clutching his Dr. Horrible action figure, Becky told Henry about the magic that she had passed to their son, she said that when he got a little older, there were special schools he could go to in order to learn to control his powers.
But Henry’s was a world that had no room for magic. In Henry’s world, science was magic. Technology was magic. Waving around a wand and praying for a miracle was for children and storytellers. Rather than accept that his six-year-old son, on whom he had already started to rest his hopes, was a murderer (albeit accidental)...Henry left. He stormed off into the night without even saying goodbye to his son.
When Becky went to Billy’s room the next morning, Billy knew exactly what had happened. His dad, his hero, was gone. He had left because of Billy, because of what Billy had done. Believing that what she was doing was best, his mother modified his memory without his consent so that he wouldn’t blame himself for the death of that other boy. Nonetheless, the memory of the death itself remained, in the dark corners of Billy’s subconscious. It sprang forward in the middle of the night, the choking, purple face of the boy, and it made him wake screaming. Becky kept Billy out of school until she decided to take her son far away from Sunburst.
She took him to Liverpool, England. Rather than risk another disaster like the one that had befallen them in Sunburst, she decided to homeschool Billy. While this isolated him from his peers and kept him from developing crucial social skills, it had the added benefit of letting him learn at his own pace, which meant that he was light years ahead of his peers. Billy is ridiculously intelligent, to the point where he had just finished with his first year of A-level exams (he sat 7 of them, all science and mathematics) when the owl came on his 11th birthday.
Even though his mother had explained magic to him and had told him about the world that he was going to one day have to enter, Billy shared his father’s stubborn streak, and he clung resolutely to the concrete world of science and mathematics, walling himself in with knowledge and hiding from his mother’s ridiculous fairytale talk. When the letter came confirming what his mother had been saying about him, he refused to believe it. It wasn’t until she got him his books for first year and let him start absorbing knowledge and realizing that his magic was a strength, not a weakness, that he warmed to the idea.
At Hogwarts, Billy had just about the same issue making friends as he always had. The only thing at all good or interesting about this new world that he was now a part of was that he felt, for once, actually physically talented at something. There was so much more to learning at Hogwarts than just sitting at a desk and writing or reading that he felt like he was actually doing something with his education instead of just reading from a book. Another huge bonus was that there were still plenty of opportunities for solitude at the boarding school.
When he was a first-year, he fell off of his broom during flying class. At the end of the year, he asked if he could sit the second year exams as well, and he passed them easily, affording his entrance into third year at the age of 12. In third year, when he got to start picking electives, he picked up Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, skipping over Care of Magical Creatures and Divination because he thought that that was not a good use of his brain power. (And, in the case of CoMC, he did not particularly want to get mauled, and repeat his first-year experience with the hospital wing.) At the end of third year, he did the same thing that he had done at the end of first, and as a result skipped fourth year, moving on to fifth.
He did miss his mother at first, while he was away at school. It was the first time that the apron strings had been cut since he was six years old. To celebrate his Hogwarts letter and his 11th birthday, his mother took him to a quidditch match, thinking that it would be good to immerse him in wizarding culture. She met a man there, Horatio, who flirted outrageously with her no matter how belligerently and passive-aggressively Billy expressed his displeasure. Horatio wasn’t a bad man or a mean person – he genuinely loved Rebecca and he wanted to make her happy. The problem was that Billy was at the age where he was very against any sort of change, and so when Horatio started trying to get Rebecca’s son to like him, Billy dug in his heels and refused on principle.
Fifth Year Slytherin GirlsEdit
Non-Slytherin Fifth YearsEdit
- His favorite song is "Here Comes the Sun" because his mom used it as a lullaby when he was a baby, and sang it to him when he was little.
- He keeps his Dr. Horrible action figure in the bottom of his trunk just like he buries how much he misses his dad under piles of resentment.
- At any given time, he probably has at least three ongoing projects of questionable legality, ranging from Potions He's Not Old Enough to Learn Yet, to Oh My God Billy Get Those Alligator Clamps Off of Your Nipples
- He has serious trouble sleeping, averaging maybe 4-5 hours on a good night. This is partly by choice: he usually has particularly awful nightmares at least once a week (the kind that jolt you out of sleep so fast your body's still paralyzed), and so he purposefully avoids sleep to avoid dreaming.
- He's really stubborn about not taking sleeping potions, even though it would probably help.
- He can see thestrals.
- If he could pick one of the Deathly Hallows, he would pick the Invisibility Cloak. Brute strength is useless without cunning, and if there's one thing he doesn't want to do it's talk to dead people.
- He wants to be Minister for Magic when he grows up. It's for the power and authority.