[FFML] [Fanfic] [Harry Potter] Harry Potter and the Defense Against the Dark Arts Chapters 1 & 2

Kevin Callahan midn.callahan at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 17:46:30 PDT 2008


Harry Potter And The Defense Against The Dark Arts

Chapter 1
"The Professor"

"I don't know if... Well, it is an unusual request, Mr. Potter,"
Minerva McGonagall said before folding her hands. "Or, I suppose I
should say Harry." She took off her glasses and set them down on the
desk in front of her, as she rubbed her temples. The recently promoted
headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry looked
older in that moment than Harry had ever remembered in his years as a
student.

"Teaching," she continued, "at such a young age, especially when a
number of your friends are still enrolled at Hogwarts... Well don't
you think that might be construed as a conflict of interests?"

Harry almost sputtered. "Professor, you know I'd never-"

McGonagall held up hand. "I know you'd never intend to, but your one
major flaw is that you take risks based on your desire to be
selfless." She raised an eyebrow. "You've never been one for rules,
Harry."

"Professor..."

She held up the hand once more. "You graduated with Distinction,
Harry. We are no longer student and professor. We are colleagues, and
I daresay, perhaps also friends." She smiled a smile Harry had seen
few times during his school days, a smile that had become increasingly
rare as Voldemort's rise to power continued. "You may call me
Minerva..." The smile faded a bit. "I have been thinking on your
request to fill the position of the Defense Against the Dark Arts
professor... As it happens, you are not the only former student to
request such a position." She lifted her head. "Come in, Neville!"

Neville Longbottom came in wearing long crimson robes and carrying a
crowing cactus. "Hiya, Harry."

"Neville!" Harry exclaimed, clasping Neville's hand tightly. "How have
you been these past few months?" *Since the end of the war* was left
unsaid, but Neville's eyes told Harry the it had been heard
regardless. It was still too painful to really speak of unless the
situation absolutely required it.

"Oh, Gran is doing great, says I'm so much like my parents. That she's
proud of me, and says she's always known I was a good judge of
character," Neville said.

"Harry," McGonagall said, "Neville has asked to replace Professor
Sprout as herbology instructor until she can recover from her wounds
at St. Mungo's. Now, I have addressed the same concerns with him as I
have with you, but after speaking to Professor Sprout, it appears she
has every confidence in Neville's abilities. So I am granting him the
title of Acting Herbology Professor."

The look on Neville's face told Harry that he had not yet been
informed and this was the first he had heard of the acceptance of his
request. "Now, Neville, I need to speak to Harry alone. I suggest you
go set up your nursery," McGonagall said. Neville pursed his lips and
nodded, closing the door to the headmaster's door, as he had never
really gone much into the office beyond the doorway.

"Harry," McG- No, Minerva- said, "are you sure this is what you want?
Most students go on a world wizarding trip after they graduate to
better understand where they fit in."

Harry shook his head. "No, I already know where I fit in. Hogwarts is
my home. Even more now... now.." he breathed, closing his eyes. It had
been too much. "One day I'll go back to Grimmauld Place, but for
now..."

Minerva fiddled with her glasses. "I'll be frank. How much of this has
to do with young Miss Weasley?"

Harry's eyes blazed, but his face flushed. "I love her, and I don't
intend to be separated from her. Not for another year, another month,
or another day... But that *isn't* why I ask you to consider me for
the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Although, I
admit, it is a reason I do not intend to travel abroad. As long as
Ginny is here, I will not leave England." His eyes became hard. "I can
promise you our relationship won't be a problem."

"While I am sure that is true, it wouldn't do to have even the
slightest appearance of impropriety or wrongdoing. However, there is
another option. Minister Shacklebolt informs me that a special
dispensation and exemption is available to certain underaged wizards
that fought the Dark Lord. Among them are a number of deceased
students, such as the much mourned Mr. Creevy." The pain in Minerva's
eyes was evident. She genuinely loved each and every Gryffindor that
passed under her tutelage. "Two names that are also on the list are
Luna Lovegood and Ginny Weasley." She let Harry take a moment to
consider. "Should I," she continued, "as Headmistress grant it, they
will no longer be considered children. They will be adults in all
ways. As you are aware, students that reach the age of 17 before or
during their final year at Hogwarts are free to disenroll themselves.
I have a feeling that if you left, Miss Weasley would make just such a
decision. As you did. So instead, I shall grant her emancipation as I
confer on her graduation with Distinction from Hogwarts. Is that
enough for you? Can the two of you find happiness outside of these
walls?" Minivera glanced around the Headmistress's office, as if she
could take in the whole of the castle by doing so. Maybe she could.

"Yes, we can," said Harry firmly, "but it is not Ginny's location that
is the reason for my request, Professor. And it is not just because
this place is my home. It is because of what Dumbledore's Army
accomplished. How I took the lead, and we all learned together." Harry
placed his hands on the desk in front of him. "Tom Riddle is not the
only young wizard that becomes a problem later in life. He was not the
first Dark Lord, and history tells us he won't be the last. I owe it
to all the people who died to help stop him; to train those who can
stop such dark wizards in the future, and to do my best to prevent any
young witch or wizard from ever feeling the dark path is the right
choice." He leaned over the desk. "Please, Professor, let me do my
part so that this never happens again."

Minerva McGonagall clasped her hands together. "Very well, Professor
Potter, you may assume the role of Defense Against the Dark Arts
professor. Ginny Weasley will be assigned as your adjunct. I will
continue to teach Advanced Courses for fifth, sixth, and seventh years
to allay the fears of the board and the Ministry. Once they see your
skill, I am sure the the situation can be... modified." She stood up
and walked around the desk, taking Harry into an embrace. "Hogwarts
will always be your home, Harry, and its students, past and present,
will always be your family. And I may I say how very, very proud I am
to have been your Head of House these many years?" She blinked her
eyes and broke the embrace. "Yes, well, you best go set up your
office, and tell Professor Longbottom and his companions that
listening at the door should have been cured out of them as first
years!" She pointed her wand at the office door. "Alohamora!" she
cried and Neville, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione collapsed into the office.
"Now, get, the lot of you, before I change my mind!" But the smile on
her face served to ruin the effect of the sternness in her voice.

"Thank you, Prof- Minerva," Harry said sheepishly. "I won't let you
down." He turned away from his former Head of House and walked towards
his friends.

They scampered out the door and down the spinning steps of the
Headmisstress's office, and down into the corridor below. As soon as
they were at the bottom they all started speaking excitedly at once.
Ginny reached up and pulled Harry into a kiss while Ron and Neville
exchanged high-fives.

"Good job, Harry!" Hermione said. "Professor at 18! And no one more deserving!"

"Except her o' course," Ron said slyly, earning an elbow in the
stomach, which he grabbed from long practice and pulled its owner
close to him. "Yeah, seriously, good job, mate."

"So that just leaves figuring out how to keep you two and Luna here,"
Harry started excitedly, but quickly lost his cheer when his
girlfriend and three compatriots exchanged glances.

Hermione struck at Ron again. "RONALD Weasley! You didn't tell him!
You promised you'd tell him!"

"All right, all right... Mate, we're not staying. Me and 'Mione-"

"Don't call me 'Mione!" Hermione struck again.

"Ow, devil woman. HERmione and me are heading to Australia to go get
her parents... And well we're gonna stay a while and then take a tour
of East Asia and North America on our way back to England. I hear
America is starting a Quidditch League, and I wanted to see that in
action."

Harry blinked. He couldn't imagine more than two or three months
without Ron or Hermione. They were more than friends, and they were
more than family. They were... well had been, inseparable. He was sure
they wouldn't be gone for that long, considering most young wizards
only took a year or two to travel the world but still... He looked at
Ginny and felt an ice cold stab of guilt. What he felt for her was
indeed true love, but... Although he could not explain it, she lived
in a different part of his heart han Ron or Hermione. Ginny was in the
process of becoming part of him, and he a part of her. But Hermione
and Ron were as much a part of him as any organ or bone. He imagined
the hole their absence would leave in him would be the emotional
equivalent of when he had lost all of the bones in his arm that day on
the quidditch field so many years ago. Just not at all comical, and
not something that could be healed by Skele-Gro. He would be beside
himself if something happened to them while he was so very far away.
He had fought so hard to save them, and they, he, and the realization
that any of their deaths might be accidental and senseless was like a
punch to the gut.

Hermione must have read it on his face, because she pulled him into
the embrace. "Well always be with you, Harry, and you'll always be
with us. You had to know a time would come when we could no longer be
as three in the way we have been these past seven years." She looked
down. "While your feelings for me have never been romantic, Harry,
moving towards Ron has meant invariably moving away from you. We are
no longer a perfect triangle." Her glance at Ginny told Hermione she
did not think she and Ron were the only ones who had moved away.

Ron's head also hung low, and the trio looked like they were engaged
in sports strategy, instead of sorting out the evolution of their
relationship. "I'm not good at words, Harry, you know that," Ron said.
"And how we feel about you *is* different than how we feel about each
other but that doesn't mean we care any less about you, mate."

Harry looked over at Ginny, engaged in nervous conversation with
Neville, well back from the huddle. The two had stepped back, giving
the three privacy, but Ginny looked over and caught his gaze, eyes
worriedly peircing into his soul. He turned back to Ron and Hermione.
"I understand. Perhaps more so that I ever expected to."

"Come on, then Harry," said Ron, slapping him on the back. "We've all
got some moving to do, don't we?"

END CHAPTER ONE


Chapter 2
"The High Table"

Harry watched from his seat as Minerva McGonagall stood up and walked
around to the eagle studded dias at the front of the Great Hall. Ginny
sat at his side, holding his hand under the table. They had seen Ron
and Hermione off. The pair had left on an airplane from Heathrow
International because Hermione had wanted Ron to experience muggle
flying devices (a plan Arthur Weasly endorsed immediately). Harry
could still recall the look of terror on Ron's face when Hermione
tried explaining the concepts of aerodynamics. "Air?" he remembered
Ron practically screaming. "You mean this thing only has AIR to hold
it up? Oh, no, Hermione. That can't be safe at all." Harry chuckled
and turned his attention back to his former Head of House.

"I do not know how long I shall remain Headmistress, it is at the will
of the board and the Ministry that I serve, however, but for now, I
welcome you to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. For the
first years, I am Minerva McGongall. I served as Head of Gryffindor
House for many years, and have been Deputy Headmaster for the last few
as well." There was clapping around the hall, thunderous from
Gryffindor, but merely dutiful from the other houses. "We have some
new professors taking over this year that I wish to introduce.

"As you are all aware, Professor Sprout, our herbology professor, was
badly injured in last year's... incident. She is making tremendous
progress at St. Mungo's, but she will be there for an undetermined
amount of time as she heals. In her stead is her star pupil, one of
the finest natural herbologists I have ever seen come out of Hogwarts,
Mr. Neville Longbottom. I trust you will make him feel at home in his
new position." Again thunderous applause from the Gryffindor table;
dutiful and measured applause from everyone else. Nevelle meekly waved
with a lopsided smile on his face.

"In the case of Defense Against the Dark Arts, I have chosen to split
up the classes. Professors Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley," the
Gryffindor table exploded, the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables
followed, but the Slytherin table was predictably slow and measured in
responding, "will be teaching the first four years, and I will be
teaching the latter three." Harry and Ginny kind of half waved, half
saluted with their free hands.

"And finally, Percival Weasley, will take over as professor of
Transfiguration and also as Head of Gryffindor House. He has served
three Ministers of Magic, and attained the ranks of Prefect and Head
Boy in his time here at Hogwarts. He is an excellent successor and a
capable teacher." Few seemed to remember him enough to clap loudly,
but there was a general good natured applause intended for another of
their own from the Gryffindor table. "It's a shame, it seems he may
have been tied up, for he is not currently here," she said softly,
indicating the empty chair at the High Table.

At that very moment, Percy burst through the door of the Great Hall.
He dragged along with various luggage pieces that laid to the side as
walked up the steps towards the dias. He embraced Minerva stiffly, but
authentically. "Good to see you again, Professor."

"Likewise, Professor." She turned back to the students assembled
before her. "Now students, let me remind you that the Forbidden Forest
is strictly off limits to those who do not wish to suffer a most
horrible fate, and the west wing has always been so, and will continue
to be. And with that, let the feast begin!"

***

Harry adjusted his tie again in the mirror. The tie was borrowed, and
was a muted salmon color. He wore a standard gray cardigan, and over
that a large crimson robe. It was a subtle nod to his House Spirit,
but one that wouldn't make him appear biased. But damn, he hated that
tie. He shook his head to clear the mental cobwebs. He had his first
class this morning: combined Slytherin and Gryffindor first years. He
started to frown when he felt Ginny's arms embrace him from behind. He
hadn't even noticed her in the mirror.

"Hey," he said softly.

"Hey," she returned with a mirthful quality in her voice.

"So..."

"Yeah..."

"I guess it's time to do this, isn't?"

"Mmmhmmm."

"Right," he said as he opened his office door. Previously the office
of Professors Snape, Umbridge, Moody (well, Crouch Jr, to be honest),
Lupin, Lockhart, and Quirrel... What an insane lot had that been. He
subconsciously adjusted his glasses as he walked down the staircase
towards the front of the room. Small face, on small heads, with small
hands holding ridiculously large (in comparison) quills, looked up
expectantly.

"Hello, class... I am Professor Harry Potter," he said woodenly. His
mouth quirked. The words sounded ridiculous to his ears, but the faces
betrayed no such feelings on the parts of the first years. He
indicated Ginny. "And this my adjunct, Professor Ginny Weasley. We
will be instructing you on the basics of defending against the Dark
Arts."

Ginny, on a pre-arranged cue, stepped forwards. "Now, we will start
off with basic descriptions of some of the creatures you may run into
once you graduate. Many of them are not dangerous, but they can
certainly be unwanted pests. As the semester closes, Professor Potter
and I will allow you to actually practice certain skills and spells on
these pests, so that you get into the habit of using them on creatures
who cannot seriously harm should something go awry."

Harry turned his wand to a stack of papers and the papers passed
themselves out to the students. "Then as you can see, after Christmas
Break, we will go over basic dueling techniques, and I may even let
you face a certain type of pest we had discussed prior in the
semester. It depends heavily on how far you have progressed, both
individually and as a group. Are there any questions?"

Every hand shot up. Harry pointed to a blonde haired Gryffindor bo in
the middle row. "Uhm, Professor..." the boy bit his lip and looked
around, "is it true you killed He Who Must Not Be Named?" Harry
frowned but he did not fail to notice all the questions burning behind
the eyes of each and every eleven year old in front of him.

"Mr. Cuthbert," Ginny started immediately, but fell silent with Harry
put up a hand.

Sighing, he pulled a chair out from under a nearby unoccupied desk and
sat down. "I'm not sure that's..." He had no idea what the ministry or
Minerva would want him to say. He decided on truth. They'd learn it
all from the rumour mill soon enough. Best get the truth clear now.
"Yes. I did. But I wish I hadn't been forced to."

"What do you mean, Professor?" a female Slytherin piped up. "Don't bad
guys deserve to die?"

Harry's frown deepened. "What's your name?"

"Amanti, sir. Dana Amanti," she answered.

"Well, Ms. Amanti, what can you tell me about Lord Voldemort?"

Dana scratched her chin. "Well, he was a student here, he was English,
and he killed lots of people, especially muggles, muggleborns, and
half-bloods."

"All true. Anything else?" Harry probed.

"No, sir," Dana admitted.

"Anyone else?" The class shook their heads.

"Well," he looked at the old clock at the end of the room. "There was
once a boy named Tom. His parents died when he was very young.
Although Tom did not know it, his mother was a witch and had attended
Hogwarts, but his father was a muggle who was unaware of this when he
married her." Harry had the attention of every child in the room.
"Young Tom went to an orphanage where he was not treated well. He was
a skinny, dark haired, somewhat bedraggled looking boy, and no matter
how hard he tried to fit in, the muggles he lived with knew he was
different and teased him.

"Yet Tom was a resourceful young man. He came to the conclusion, and
rightly so, that if everyone thought he was different, than he must
be, but not in the way like so many of his peers thought... but
instead in a very special way.

"Not long after, a letter arrived for him. Which was odd, you have to
understand, because know one seemed to know of Tom except the
orphanage, or so he thought. When Tom opened the letter, he discovered
what he already knew- he was special. For the letter, and I can see
you're following along, was from Hogwarts.

"Now the details of how he came to make his way here are somewhat
unimportant, but it is important to note that the Tom who came to
Hogwarts that year came with a dislike of muggles, but it was not set
in stone. Tom, you see, had a choice to make. He could forgive and
forget, or he could prove himself to all those who had harmed him by
becoming an ultra powerful wizard. He was driven to prove he did not
belong among muggles and the Sorting Hat picked up on his ambition and
placed him in Slytherin."

The Slytherins cheered, the Gryffindors made faces.

"As I will note, the Sorting hat wanted to do with me."

Dana Amanti raised her hand, and Harry nodded to her. "But wait,
Professor, if the Sorting Hat put Tom in Slytherin for the same
reasons it wanted to put you in Slytherin, why did it place you in
another house?"

He smiled. "Because I asked it to, Ms. Amanti, and Tom did not. When
it told Tom he would do well in Slytherin, he agreed. When it told me
I would do well in Slytherin, having preconcieved notions, I told it
no thanks and it placed me in Gryffindor."

The Gryffindors took their chance to cheer while the Slytherins frowned.

"But House is not as important as how you use the traits associated
with your personality." The bell rang around him. "And that will be
your first assignment, due tomorrow, at the beginning class, write me
a half-meter scroll on what choice means to you." The students groaned
as they lifted their books, and satchels, and papers, and quills, and
whatever else they had along with them.

When they were all out of the room, he pulled Ginny in close to him by
her waist. "Well, Adjunct Weasley, I think that went well."

END CHAPTER 2

-- 
Very Respectfully,
Kevin M. Callahan

"It takes strength to be gentle and kind." - The Smiths, "I Know It's Over"

http://www.kickmagnet.com - Violently Attractive Design


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