Rampant speculation began to take hold of the students at Hogwarts as they watched the large silhouette come closer. From dragons to millions of broomsticks, all were wrong, although Dennis Creevey had the most accurate guess, it wasn't a house, but extremely large carriages, being pulled along by horses, pale blue they realized as it got closer to them and they were able to differentiate it from the darkening sky.
"Flying horses!" called a first year Muggle-born called out in awe.
"They're Palominos," Hermione corrected the girl with a roll of her eyes.
As one the student body began to back away in worry that they may end up being crashed into as it loomed fearfully close. The worry was for naught as the carriage landed at tremendous speed, causing the ground to shake as it crashed into the gravel.
Minerva stepped forward as a young boy fiddled with the carriage - producing gold steps for the students to descend from the large carriage. Her lips twitched as her students all gasped in amazement at the sight in front of them. The Headmistress of Beauxbaton was a sight to see indeed. Resplendent in black satin with many magnificent opals gleaming from her throat, wrists and fingers.
"Ah, McGonagall," Madam Maxime called as she stood beside the Headmistress, "I hope I find you well?"
"Very well," Minerva explained a small welcoming smile on her face. Despite the fact she had to make small talk, she wasn't one for long drawn on conversations unless it struck her fancy.
"My students," Maxime said gesturing towards her students, male and female, all in blue satin, standing shivering in the Scottish weather decidedly not used to it. All were gazing apprehensively at Hogwarts as if they weren't sure what to make of the beautiful castle yet.
Minerva gave a nod to them as they stood there, she rather hoped they had brought along warmer weather. It was wrong of Maxime not to prepare her students for the colder weather, they should have cloaks on.
"Has Karkaroff and Addison arrived yet?" Maxime continued her conversation, staring down at Minerva, while the Scottish professor stared up, or at least tried to, for it was deeply uncomfortable on her neck.
"No, they should be here momentarily," Minerva stated, "Would you prefer to go inside and warm up?" she eventually asked, they looked so miserable standing there shivering utterly freezing cold.
"Warm I think," Maxime decided after a single glance at her students, "The Horses…"
"We have someone who is more than capable of handling them, have no fear," Minerva interrupted her; "Hagrid will see they are put comfortably into stalls with something to drink."
"Very well," Maxime said giving the Headmistress a short bow. "Come," she added to her students, and they immediately obeyed her as they walked in a single file up the stone steps and disappearing into Hogwarts with gratitude.
"You think they'll all be coming the same way?" Lee asked the twins in interest.
The twins who wore identical grins shrugged; they didn't know any better than the others after all. Although considering how the schools liked to show off when they came, he knew it would be something just as spectacular.
The entire school was on the lookout for what was coming next, but it wasn't until someone called out that they found themselves looking in the right direction.
"Look! A Mast! Out on the lake!" Colin called out; his hand dramatically pointed towards the great lake as if calling out wasn't enough.
The Hogwarts students all shivered at the magnificent sight before them, the ship looked oddly skeletal, as if it were a resurrected wreck returning to the surface for the first time since its sinking. Even over where they were they could hear the loud sloshing noise as the water parted way forceful for the ship. It was still moving, making its way towards the banks, the sound of another plop as the anchor was put down to keep it in place, before another bang was heard, they saw the plank smacking against the bank surrounding the water.
Then one by one the bulky figures emerged from the ship, wrapped in thick fur coats, all matching except the figure leading them - presumably the Headmaster. Who was tall and thin just like their Headmistress, with gray hair to match but without the goatee of course.
"McGonagall, how are you my dear lady?" Karkaroff asked, shaking her hand heartedly.
"I am very well," Minerva answered immediately, returning his handshake, regardless of the fact he was gazing at Hogwarts with a cold shrewd look.
"Dear old Hogwarts," he said, "How good it is to be here, how good…Viktor, come along, into the warmth…you don't mind do you, McGonagall? Viktor has a slight head cold…"
"Bloody hell!" Ron cried eyes wide, "its Krum!" gazing at Seamus and Dean in wide eyed wonder.
"Of course," Minerva said generously, giving permission for them to enter the school, she believed he just didn't want to be there to greet Talin, he had thrown a big stink over the whole thing, but the ICW had been adamant about four schools competing, he had been given the opportunity to back out, and thus make it 'the Triwizard tournament' once more. Which of course, he had not done.
"Only Grande Riviere now," Hermione said some excitement breeding into her voice. She stood nearby McGonagall, as did Luna Lovegood on the other side.
Minerva shared Hermione Grangers excitement, but didn't show it, she honestly couldn't wait to see how they would make their entrance. Severus had refused to say; perhaps she should think of him as Septimius, she really didn't want to screw up their lives. Neither Harry nor Severus would forgive her. The beating of wings gave away their entrance before they appeared, Minerva's lips twitched, of course, two sets of Pegasus' flapped their wings, as the magic keeping them invisible dispersed as they made their entrance, the Pegasus was carting a mobile home, as soon as the mobile home touched the ground, it became significantly bigger.
"Wow!" many of the students exclaimed, the loudest came from beside Minerva, as Luna exclaimed and cooed over the magnificent beasts.
The hall vision of Headmaster Addison soon made an appearance, a genuine smile spreading across his features as he opened the door. He made his way straight to Minerva, extremely pleased to see her again. "Minerva, I hope you're well?" greeting her, shaking her hands with an emerging grin replacing his smile.
"I am," she replied, shaking his hand, becoming distracted by the immediate exclamation from Granger.
"They're far too young to be in the tournament!" Granger protested eyeing the students in shock; they looked her age not seventeen. Why were they getting to be in the tournament when she wasn't able to? She was just as capable as them.
"The other Head teachers and students have already entered Hogwarts, the feast will be ready momentarily," Minerva explained, ignoring Granger as she usually elected to do when she began endless comments, as though the professors were wrong.
"That's good, my students are quite hungry, it's been a long journey," Talin explained.
"Make yourselves at home," Minerva said with a welcoming smile.
"One of my students would like to know if their familiar will be welcome?" Talin enquired, he didn't need to explain further for Minerva to realize who and what it was.
"Of course, one cannot forbid familiars from Hogwarts, so long as they are not a danger to anyone," Minerva explained, knowing the Hogwarts charter inside and out. It would certainly give something for the students to talk about tonight.
Turning around Talin gave a single nod to Harry, who would be known as 'Harrison' here to further pull him away from any accidental occurrences were someone found out who he was born as. With that the fourteen year old who were in the middle of taking their N.E.W.T's made their way to Headmaster Addison a white wolf trotting alongside one student in particular paying no attention to anyone, despite their reactions both good and bad…mostly bad.
There wasn't a single student over the age of fourteen amongst Talin's lot, except one they assumed was a teaching assistant due to his age.
Harry gazed at the school, his dad and parents had attended this school, had walked up and down these steps millions of times, trudged around the school even more than that, they say seeing where your parents had been helped you feel closer to them…but Harry didn't, was it because he knew so much about them already? That he'd had a very happy upbringing that he couldn't imagine any other life?
"Where should we sit?" Josh asked, since he was closest to their Headmaster, gazing around in curiosity, he could tell the students from the other schools apart, not only by their numbers but the uniform they had on.
"Either of those two, I guess," Dylan pointed between the red and gold uniformed students and the black and yellow uniformed students.
The Hufflepuff and Gryffindor tables, since Durmstrang had sat with the Slytherins and the Beauxbaton had sat at the Ravenclaw table.
"Er…how about that table," Harry suggested, the black and yellow scarf clad students sat at.
"Go on then," Talin said, urging them to take their seats, waiting until they had sat comfortably before he headed to the teachers table at the top of the Great Hall, it seemed as Minerva had conveniently ensured he was next to both Filius and herself. Dumbledore, of course, had a seat as well, his magenta robes were unmistakable, he hadn't seen him outside, but he hadn't paid much attention.
"That thing doesn't belong in the Great Hall," Zachariah Smith bit out glaring daggers at the wolf sitting at the end of the table with his owner. Nobody missed the subtle shaking of his hand as he pointed at Luna. Neither did any of the others, they weren't old enough to be in the tournament, why should they get to if he wasn't going to be granted the same favouritism.
Harry bit his tongue, refraining from commenting that he didn't belong. He wasn't a bully, and he knew how much words could hurt. The younger students who had been gazing at the wolf in awe flinched when Smith spoke. Harry frowned, pondering on what it meant.
The food suddenly appearing caught everyone's attention and prevented any tension from surfacing so soon.
"Wow!" Josh exclaimed, "Is this what you normally get?"
"There's more on each table, but yes, it's what we usually have more or less," Cedric Diggory explained with a happy-go-lucky grin.
"I'm just glad my parents aren't here to see this," Dylan chortled gleefully as he dug into the food, there was so much food there, hardly any of it healthy, if his parents had been there, they would have tried to fill his plate with vegetables.
"I don't think they agree with you," Harry said in amusement, they were looking at the food with distaste, Beauxbaton was in France, they were known for eating snails and frogs' legs, he wasn't sure why they were so disgusted by the food. Too greasy? Just too different?
Dylan and Josh glanced to where Harry pointed to, and saw what he meant.
"You're awfully young, how is it that you were allowed to enter yourselves into the tournament?" one of the Ravenclaws asked, sitting the wrong way around on the House table to question them.
"They might be young, but they're taking their N.E.W.T's," Susan chimed in to defend them.
"So, you're what geniuses or something?" Smith asked barely disguising his scorn.
"No, we just start school earlier than you that's all," Josh explained, the guy was already getting on his nerves. He could see his best friends were getting irritated as well.
Harry having grabbed a plate and filled it with as much meat as he could before putting it on the floor for Luna.
"May I pet her?" came a dreamy voice to his right.
Harry turned around, knowing it could only be him that they were talking to, he found a shockingly blonde-haired girl, with a face that made her look forever startled or surprised. She had a serene look on her face regardless, when she looked at Luna, he could tell she had a deep fondness for animals just like he did. "Not when she's eating," Harry explained, "She's domesticated but not to that extent, she's a wolf, it would be natural to her to defend what's hers." only he, Talin, his dad and Talin's kids, Alejandro, Jaden and of course, Tali since they were the people closest to her could even pet Luna while she ate.
"What's her name?" the Ravenclaw asked, the wolf was breath-taking, she'd never been so close to one, she just had to write to her dad he would love this.
"I named her Luna, because of her color and the fact she's a wolf," Harry explained, a wolf was most associated with the moon. He saw the look of surprise filtering over her eyes as she beamed.
"That's my name too," Luna said awed.
"Nice to meet you Luna," Harry said politely, "Please excuse me, I am rather hungry," he added regretfully, but his stomach growled conveying the truth of his statement.
Giving him a small smile, she turned around, going back to her own meal and being ignored by the majority of her classmates and Housemates. The Hufflepuff and Ravenclaws were next to one another, and their seats were opposite which had allowed their small conversation.
"What's it like?" Susan asked after a brief interval where they ate their dinner.
"Hmm?" Deacon questioned, swallowing the food he'd been chewing.
"Taking your N.E.W.T's so early," Susan explained further.
"It's not early for us," Deacon pointed out thoughtfully, "It just is." he couldn't explain it, it was just normal to him. His classmates all nodded in agreement with Deacon's statement, they might find it odd, but to them they'd worked hard to get to where they were.
"Will you be staying in the castle?" Hannah queried.
"No, we have our own rooms in the cabin," Chao answered, the girl's question patiently. Thank goodness for that, as fun as it was to meet so many new people, find out about a different way of life, the questions would eventually get tiring. Especially since they were all being asked the same thing from different people further down the table. Josh had just been asked the same thing if she was right.
From the Gryffindor table, a bushy haired teen watched the newcomers from Grande Riviere magical school with a hopeful look on her face. She had been at Hogwarts now for four years and hadn't made a single friend. She hadn't even been able to keep the Pen-pal she'd been assigned, she wasn't sure why they'd stopped responding, but after a few letters they'd just stopped. She'd sent a few more before deciding to call it quits and got a clue, they obviously didn't want anything to do with her which had hurt greatly, and she'd spent the afternoon in the bathroom crying. She just wanted a friend, one who could keep up with her superior intellect.
It had surprised her when they had chosen to sit with the Hufflepuff's instead of the Gryffindors. Gryffindor was the best house in Hogwarts, everyone knew that. It's why she'd argued with the hat about her placement. Even if she didn't get along with them, not all Ravenclaw's were smart anyway, look at Lovegood, she was a nutcase, always staring into space, saying silly things and talking about animals that didn't exist.
Maybe they would change their seating arrangement every day? Get to know everyone while they were here? She could only hope so, she'd love to speak to them, get to know them, they were smart after all, and would be able to have spirited debates with her regarding many subjects of magic. She felt quite excited, would they be attending classes at Hogwarts she wondered or would they be taught by their Headmaster/mistress? Oh, she hoped they attended lessons in the school; it would afford her more time to spend with them.
Pursing her lips thoughtfully, she decided to go to the library after dinner, she didn't understand how they could be allowed in the tournament, not only was it dangerous but they were her age, Headmistress McGonagall had said only those who were seventeen could enter and that an age line would be drawn up to prevent anyone underage putting their name in.
Later that evening
"I'll get it!" Harry called, scrambling from the communal living room; through to the kitchen where Talin and his dad sat having a cup of coffee waiting for Minerva and Filius to come, they'd quietly made the arrangements during dinner a few hours ago. When he opened the door, he couldn't help but shiver a little, it was extremely cold outside. Luna quickly dashed around the visitors and bound out into the night. "Dad and the Headmaster are inside, excuses me!" he added giving them a grin as he too dashed out after Luna to make sure she didn't wander too far away, or go into the Forbidden Forest, he didn't want anything happening to her after all. Summoning his coat as he dashed away.
Filius and Minerva curiously entered the house, unsurprised to see it was significantly larger on the inside than on the outside. It was very homely, to their right was a hallway with a few doors, presumably leading to the bedrooms, and to their left was a kitchen and sitting area by the look of it. The students were sitting near the fire conversing happily and drinking cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. "It's very good to see you again, Septimius," Minerva said giving him a fond smile, "How have you been?" knowing he had been anxious about the tournament.
"I am well, would you like something to drink?" Severus questioned, as Talin cast a silencing spell to give them some privacy as they spoke, not wanting young ears to overhear.
Minerva paused, wondering if she did want something to drink, it was exceedingly cozy in here, perhaps even a little too hot for her taste but the others seemed fine with the current temperature. "Something cold wouldn't go amiss," Minerva admitted as she removed her tartan cloak and put it on the back of the seat she decided to occupy.
"Filius?" Talin questioned as he put his wand away.
"I too would benefit from something cold to drink I think!" Filius said cheerfully, levitating himself to his seat and getting comfortable.
"We have many different drinks, both non-magical and our usual kind," Talin explained, opening the fridge to show off the contents. "Whiskey?" he suggested after a few moments. He had a charm on it to alert him if it was touched; with fourteen-year-olds around he felt it was a necessary precaution to take.
They were quick to agree to that, with a flick of his wand he had glasses and the bottle out for them to use, magic filling them up and the ice clinked into the glass afterwards.
"I am surprised you'd want to host the tournament given the last few years have been rough," Talin commented, wanting their thoughts and reasoning for their decision. Raising his glass in salutation before sipping it, one glass was all he'd allow himself; he had children to look after.
"Let's go Luna," Harry called as he opened the door, whistling to get her attention, shivering in the cold despite his cloak. He was warming up already though; he closed the door as soon as his familiar was indoors and out of the way of the door. Waving at the three teachers and his dad he bound back over to his friends reclaiming his cup of hot chocolate while Luna lay at his feet contently.
"It has been quite tough," Minerva agreed, after the trial and the removal of the obstacles and stone, Minerva had refused to allow the stone to remain in Hogwarts, and since she was now in charge, she could get rid of it before something happened. Regretfully that had not been the case the students had found Quirinus Quirrell dead on his classroom floor with the back of his head missing. The classes had been cancelled and the Auror's called in to investigate. To their horror the magical signature was known to the Auror's, it was the same signature that was at the Bones, Dorcas Meadowes, and the Potters residence in Godric's Hollow and dozens upon dozens of other places but nonetheless, that's where the magical signature was most recent.
The Dark Lord, it became apparent after a lengthily investigation that Voldemort was back in Britain and had possessed Quirinus and for some reason had ripped himself away in a burst of angry magic. Quirinus had been a willing accomplice in the crimes perpetrated against Hogwarts. Without a family, Minerva had seen to it that he was cremated and his ashes scattered.
This wasn't known to the public, of course, since it would only cause fear, suspicion and chaos. It did span an intensive search that included the Unspeakables as well as Auror's, who had been forced to make an oath before they were let in on the case.
Even to this day they were continuing their search, but they'd only had one instance of success, but that was all down to Albus Dumbledore. Who had regained favor in the eyes of the British Ministry of magic. Somehow the Dark Lord had regained corporal form, not just any body either, but his teenage body, he had become Tom Riddle once more, when the Auror's felt his magic they had descended upon Hogwarts in droves, and Dumbledore had successfully saved Ginny Weasley's life, by destroying a diary causing the wizard to explode in a fierce white light. The Auror's had taken the diary, refusing Dumbledore when he desperately tried to claim it.
As if that wasn't enough to deal with, Minister Fudge in all his wisdom decided to place Dementors around Hogwarts to 'protect' the school 'just in case' of any further attacks from 'You-Know-Who' no further attacks had been forthcoming and for that she was grateful. Although Poppy and her new Potions Professor (it was only the beginning of his third-year teaching after all) had been extremely busy due to the affects the Dementors had on her students. Nearing the end of the year she'd had enough, and exploded at the Minister to remove the Dementors or she was going public with the affects the creatures were having on her students. They had exams to study for, for Merlin's sake, and the depressed state or over cheerfulness were affecting their sleep and grades. With that threat in place, Fudge had conceded to her demands and removed them back to the island. He'd always been a coward behind the swagger that came with being the Minister of Magic.
"Last year was only because of the Dementors," Minerva conceded, "It's been quiet on that front, and I am grateful for It." the lines of worry evident across her face. Quite frankly she was tired, she just hoped that this year would be fun for the students.
"I'm assuming that it's the sole reason for Dumbledore's presence remaining within Hogwarts?" Talin enquired, a displeased frown crossing his features, "His house arrest was over two years ago, he has no reason to remain here,"
"The stipulations were overturned," Minerva sighed shaking her head as she drank from the glass.
"That it was, fortunately he couldn't return as the Headmaster, it seems Hogwarts quite prefers Minerva, and didn't return to Albus," Filius commented, "Not that he was given a chance, they didn't overturn that particular decision, nor the other titles come to that."
"Yes, that is true, he's allowed contact with children without supervision. I do believe it was only asked for due to the fact they didn't want to waste more Auror's presence here at Hogwarts looking after Dumbledore. I am keeping an eye on him regardless, I prefer him where I can see him if I am honest," Minerva admitted, "So long as he has no decisions when it comes to the students, I'm quite content to let him stay. You know Voldemort won't attack with Albus there." plus, she honestly wouldn't feel right about forcing him out, it was true what he'd said at the trial, it was his home, he'd lived at Hogwarts for most of his life now. Perhaps it was knowing that Harry hadn't truly died that made her feel sorry for him a little enough so he could remain at Hogwarts. She honestly would have to do a lot of soul searching to know for certain. If he did anything to anyone, then she would indeed remove him from Hogwarts.
"Tell that to Quirrell," Severus said dryly causing Filius to snort into his drink decidedly amused by Severus' dry wit.
"Dumbledore was at Hogwarts during that time, correct?" Talin queried, he spoke to Filius more than Minerva and he didn't speak about the troubles, Severus did occasionally keep him up to date regarding such things though.
"He was," Filius admitted, watching the Grande Riviere students all talk away on the mirrors, "Their parents?" he guessed, gesturing towards the living room.
Talin turned around to see what Filius was talking about, even though he had his suspicions already. "Yes, and their friends no doubt," he said amused. He would need to ensure that Josh, Dylan and Harry did not spend all night talking to Jay, Rowena had not wished for her son to come let alone be entered into the tournament. Jay had spent the week before pouting constantly, hating the fact he would be separated from his friends for an entire year, he wasn't the only one thankfully and would have the rest of his classmates to spend time with.
"Still using the old design, I see?" Filius commented.
"Yes, they're quite happy with them, although the parents do have the new design, it's became more popular than the Floo, so it's no surprise really." Talin explained. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin had designed a different version, one that only required the single mirror with a 'Mirror name' charm on it, and anyone with the name and the password could speak to you from their own mirror anywhere. It meant they didn't need a different mirror for whoever they were calling, which is what turned out to happen, until Sirius had asked Harry's permission to use the premise of the idea to make a new one. Harry received fifty percent interest on that design, acting as a 'secret investor' of sorts. "We have one on the fireplace; it helped sooth the worries the parents felt about their children being gone for so long. They aren't used to it, at least most of them aren't only five percent of my school's population remain all year around, and those are from quite far away countries and asking children to Portkey every day would be quite tedious."
"The boys were always quite inventive, lazy but inventive," Minerva said lips twitching just remembering the things they'd all get up to in school.
"Do you know the new design is based on Harry's idea?" Talin questioned, as always eager to speak about his students, pride deep in his voice.
"It is?" Filius squeaked, rather excitedly.
"Yes, he wanted to be able to converse with all his friends, the one mirror could call all three of them," Talin answered, drinking the remains of his whiskey. As always, it was just a matter of time coming up with an alternative.
"Has Sirius been behaving himself?" Minerva queried, she knew it had been difficult to begin with, for both Sirius and Harry who found the wizard a bit too childish for his taste. And Sirius found Harry a bit too 'grown up' and 'Snape-like seriousness' annoying.
"Surprisingly yes, Harry got through to him," Severus replied, "That as well as Remus and his mind healer I believe," Remus had forced him to continue seeing a mind healer after their move to St. Lucia, refusing to relinquish the progress Sirius had begun making with someone to talk to.
"Good," Minerva said, nodding in relief slightly surprised that neither wizard was here, but they had no reason to so it wasn't as though they could just show up.
"Will you require aid teaching your students?" Filius asked, well aware that this was an extremely busy year for them, with it being N.E.W.T's and all.
"I am not teaching them alone," Talin said amused, "The mirror has been installed in all classrooms; they will be taught by their teachers, except in Potions and Alchemy, of course, which requires more than being taught through a mirror. Those classes will be overseen by myself and Severus personally." that's not to say he won't be there to keep an eye on things from this side.
"That is…very well done," Minerva admitted it's certainly not something she would have thought off that's for certain.
"It was Severus' idea," Talin confessed.
"That is too bad, I would have greatly liked to teach a class," Filius mused, "To observe and see how well they do,"
"You may do so if you wish," Talin answered,
"It would be my greatest pleasure to teach them," Filius said solemnly, meaning every word. Ronald Weasley could learn something about these teenager's worth ethic. He had been held back a year, after failing nearly all his classes at the end of his first (first year). Repeating his first year for a second time, much to Molly and Arthur's shame, as well as Ronald's who had classes with his younger sister, who outdid him at absolutely everything. He had passed his second go of his first year by the skin of his teeth; he was currently starting his third year now. He had better up his game; otherwise he would end up failing once more, and being kicked out of Hogwarts. He had been warned, both by his teachers as well as the Headmistress. Hopefully the message would sink in.
"I know a student or two who could learn from them," Minerva stated, they were still talking into their mirrors she observed, but that wasn't a surprise, everyone in Hogwarts, almost everyone in Hogwarts had one as well, she wasn't sure how many times she'd instructed the students to put them away in class.
Filius snorted, "My thoughts exactly," it should have been scary how they were on the same wavelength sometimes, but it wasn't, it helped run a tight ship, as Deputy Headmaster he had to think quickly on his feet.
"How is the Potions Master I recommended?" Severus questioned after a lull in the conversation.
"Professor Magee is perfect, we've seen a significant rise in Potion grades, more people also took Potions for their N.E.W.T class, and I had ten students come to me wishing to take it after the school year began." Minerva replied honestly, smiling grimly at the wince from Severus. "He's using your book; I believe he may have been questioning my sanity when I laughed at that one."
Severus chortled, "I can imagine," he had been aware that he wasn't the best Potions Professor to have, he wasn't teacher material, and being forced to teach had left him bitter. As he had told his son, he hadn't been living…he'd been existing, coming back and saving Harry hadn't been his second chance, it was raising him, living life the way he wished for the first time in life and he'd want it no other way. "I suspected he would be a good fit." he hadn't attended Hogwarts, and had met the young man at Potion conferences and read about his success. He had answered every single question asked, no matter how idiotic it had been. Calm, patience happy to educate, yes, he'd suspected he would be very good indeed. He was happy his recommendation had been a good one.
"He is also Gryffindors Head of House," Minerva added.
"And the Defense position?" Severus queried, "Any problems on that front?"
"Surprisingly not, I'm not sure if it's because there was nothing to the curse…or if it was tied to Dumbledore being headmaster…either way, he's been here four years nearly without a problem." Filius was the one to reply, it was another Scottish professor for Transfiguration, Professor James Frazier, Head of Slytherin House well liked, although it had taken the Slytherin's a while to warm up to him.
"He has," Minerva continued after, "The grades for Defense have also shot up, and as you know a few other classes have been added to the curriculum here. I am seriously considering having the students begin Hogwarts at a younger age, so with a little luck your student will do well enough that I am able to convince the Council of Magical Law to permit it." she'd added Wandless magic classes and Alchemy was back on the list of classes they could take.
Severus groaned, "I do not even wish to think on that," he sincerely hoped that Harry wasn't chosen, "It's giving me gray hairs just thinking on it."
Talin agreed, "Yes, it is quite nerve-wracking," his sons were here, only one at the right age to participate, and Jaden was determined to put forth his name and help just like Harry. He believed his son; Jaden had a desire to take over the school when he stepped down. His daughter, Tali was already earning her Mastery to teach she'd gained her Mastery in Charms and Transfiguration. And right now, was acting as a teaching assistant with each subject to see what it was like. To see which she would prefer, within the next year or so she would be working full time. He couldn't be prouder of her if he tried.
"Ah, I assume both your sons have a desire to participate?" Filius asked, decidedly amused, glancing between Talin and Severus.
"They do," Both replied immediately with a deadpanned note to their voice, unimpressed with Filius' amusement at their predicament.
"I'm sure they would do both of you proud," Minerva said solemnly, and she knew that without a doubt.
"Yes, yes, they would, no matter what happens," Talin replied immediately, he honestly didn't care, the fact they were willing to come here, to enter the tournament to help him meant more than whether or not they won.
"Indeed," Severus stated in agreement.
"Excuse me, I think it's time to get my students to bed," Talin said amused, standing up, this was going to be fun. Each of the students had a room of their own, except Harry and his sons. His sons would be rooming with him, and of course, Harry with Severus.
To Minerva's surprise there was absolutely no complaining, but they did look on the tired side, regardless of how tired they were, the students were polite and respectful enough to cheerfully say goodnight to them as they passed.
"Where could I find a bathroom, Sev-ptimus?" Minerva asked as her bladder made its demands known.
"First door to your left," Severus pointed it out.
"Excuse me," She said vacating her seat, and making her way to the spacious bathroom to take care of her needs.
They remained for a few more hours, talking about everything and anything just happy to see each other again after years apart, mirrors not included, of course. By the time they finished it was midnight, and all of them were bone achingly tired. Severus and Talin respectfully escorted them half way, before returning to the cabin.
Finally the story is coming together right without massive potholes in it! :) and they were potholes!