Chapter 2

Gandalf could hardly believe his ears! Teaching! Teaching what? Magic? Witchcraft and wizardry? Madness! He had heard Dumbledore cast the spell which he used to try and enter Gandalf's mind. He did not recognize the word. It did not even sound similar to any spell he knows, and he knows them all. So how could possibly teach anyone any magic in this world?

'Teach? I'm afraid I can't do that, Dumbledore. I do not know much of this world, and it seems to have magic that is far more different to what is called magic in my world. I won't be able to teach very much.'

Dumbledore smiled slightly. 'Ah,' said Dumbledore. 'I thought we might meet this stumbling block. Fortunately, we have a month and a half before school starts. Plenty of time for you to learn the magic of our world.'

Gandalf thought this over. Putting his head on his hands, he sighed. On the one hand, he disliked staying in one place. He enjoyed moving about. On the other, as a teacher, he would have ample time to learn about this world, and why he was here. And he may very well require money. He sighed again, and lifted up his head. 'Very well,' exclaimed Gandalf. 'I concede. I shall teach your students, in one and a half months' time.' At this, Dumbledore smiled brightly.

'Excellent!' He reached into his robe once more, and this time pulled out a small bag, probably carrying some coins. 'This will serve as a starting payment. It should be enough to buy yourself a wand, and at least three books.' He rummaged through his cloaks once more. He brought out his hand and held some strange gold coins. 'These will serve you to have a place at an inn. Now, this has been very interesting, and incredibly helpful, but I must now go. But before I do, I will tell you this. At the end of the wait, there will be a test for you. I will send you instructions a week before the end. In the meantime, I suggest you learn what you can. Now, goodbye, my new friend.' And with that, he finished his drink in a quick gulp, and left, leaving Gandalf with Hagrid to show him around.

'Well,' huffed Gandalf, after a long drawn breath of his pipe. 'That was decided quickly. Is he always so hasty?' He looked at Hagrid quizzically, still coming to terms with the events that had just transpired. Things were going extremely fast, and although he was good at fast moving events, he usually orchestrated them, and knew how they played out. He wanted them to go fast. He was also usually less tired. This? This was something new entirely. Wizards by the dozen, enough for there to be schools for them; strange vehicles of an assortment of hues and shapes; towers of glass! But now, strangest of all, he, Gandalf the Grey, the Grey Pilgrim, the Wandering Wizard, never staying in one spot for long, has all of a sudden agreed to teach a bunch of strange students, strange magic, in a strange school, in some strange world. For the first time in millennia, Gandalf did not know where to go, or what to do.

'Oh, sometimes,' commented Hagrid, finishing his drink. 'Now, I think we best get you a wand of sorts. Finish yer drink, n' we'll head off.' Wearily, Gandalf gulped down the last of his drink, and he stood up, leaning on his staff. For a moment, the weight of the years was upon him. Then he straightened himself, and the years seemed to fall away.

'Very well, then. Let us be off then.' With that, Gandalf picked up his hat, returned it to his head, and left, with Hagrid following after. 'Now,' he started, turning to Hagrid when they were outside, with Hagrid leading the way. 'Where do we get one of these 'wands', and more importantly, why do I need one?'

Hagrid looked at Gandalf, trying to remind himself that he was from a different world. 'Well, wands are kinda like conduits for magic. They also 'ave a good deal of magical energy in 'emselves. 'Course, an accomplished witch or wizard can do wandless magic, but that's far more difficult. Best stick to wand magic for now. As to where to get one, why from the best wand shop ever! Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC. Best wands on the planet.' As Hagrid continued to boast Ollivanders skill, Gandalf took notice of his surroundings. It was nothing like what he had seen previously. There were no towers of glass stretching into the sky, no metal carriages. There was no brightness to it, no variation in colour. And the buildings were all made of wood. Wood! When they could be using rock and metal and glass all they wanted! And they chose wood? It was less like the Khazad-dûm seeming city that he had recently been in and more like the village Bree! In fact, they seemed nearly identical! Could they not even make it fair like the realms of elves? They have more than enough means! Inwardly, he sighed, and looked around some more. He came to realise that there were many odd looking creatures walking about. They wore similar garments to the humans. He assumed they must be some sort of creature with human like intelligence. There was even a strange being that seemed half man, half horse. Gandalf was too tired to be surprised at the moment, but he made a note to be surprised later. For now, he had to focus on the shop Hagrid had just entered. It had its title in gold letters, which were peeling in places. His disappointment peaked. People who can apparently use magic to accomplish almost anything should be able to do better than this.

As he entered the shop, he felt a strange sensation come over him. There was a host of power in this room. Even a certain sentience. Not unlike the wand Dumbledore had used earlier. But this power was not of a singular entity, and rather many individual powers in a single area. He found himself nearly amazed at the interior. It was filled with rows of boxes, stretching to the roof, which was deceptively high. It all looked rather messy, over all; papers were littered everywhere. But his attention was brought to an old man, who was coming out from the back. He seemed weary with age, and had white hair. He wore some sort of thin scarf, which went down to his waist. He wore rumpled, old seeming clothes, which seemed as though they had never been cleaned. But there was something in his pale, silvery eyes, something that held knowledge, and some curiosity, and a good deal of weariness. The old man, who Gandalf assumed to be Ollivander, had turned his attention to them. He addressed Hagrid.

'Ah, Rubeus,' he exclaimed. 'What brings you here? I haven't seen you in quite some time.'

'Hello, Ollivander,' Hagrid replied. 'I'm just helping Gandalf 'ere find his way round town. Needs himself a new wand.' At that, Ollivanders eyes lit up. It would seem that this was a passion for the old man.

'Ahh. Excellent. Very well then.' With that, he stepped out from behind his desk, holding some foreign object in his hand.

'I should tell you,' Gandalf stopped him before he got closer. He felt he had to explain something. 'I am not so much in need of a new wand, so much as a first wand. I have never had a wand before, nor have I ever required one.' At that announcement, Ollivanders brow furrowed in confusion.

'Never required one? What kind of wizard are? Rubeus, are you certain you've brought a wizard here?' he turned to Hagrid, confused. Hagrid shrugged.

'Dumbledore seems to think so.'

Gandalf felt the urge to speak up, his temper beginning to rise. 'I assure you, I am quite capable of wielding the magic of this world. I have simply never had to before. Now if you please, I am tired, and am in need of a wand! I have the money with me. Will you sell one to me today or not!?'

Ollivander stepped back. He raised his hands. 'Alright, alright, no need to get angry. I have just never met a wizard who has never needed a wand. Oh well then. At least your first one will be a fine one. Wands made here are the finest kind.' He stepped forward and used the object in his hand (which Gandalf would later learn is a magic measuring tape) to make all sorts of measurements. At last, he stopped. Gandalf was curious as to why they were necessary, but was in no mood to ask questions. Ollivander had gone back behind his counter, and was searching through one of the shelves. He pulled a box out.

Before he could say anything, Hagrid had mentioned that he would step outside, and wait for them to finish.

'Now, this wand is one made of Acacia wood, with a dragon heartstring. A very subtle wood, but with a powerful core. Here, take it. I think it will make a good match.'

Tentatively, Gandalf reached for the stick. However, it began to vibrate. He stared at it for a second, wondering if this was common. He then grasped it. The wand shook violently in his hand, but he did not release it. He took this as a sign to let go of it, however. He carefully put it back in its box, and moved his hand away from it. As he did, it calmed down. He looked at Ollivander.

'Hmm. So, not that one then.' Ollivander closed the box, and returned it to its place, and searched for another one. He picked out one, and brought it over. It was made with apple wood, and held a unicorn hair. 'Try this one,' he told Gandalf, opening it. However, he had the sensation that this one would not work. It stayed where it was, still, however, and did not vibrate. This seemed to Gandalf to be a good sign. But he could not shake the uneasy feeling that it was not meant to be his. 'Well, go on then. Give it a wave,' Ollivander hurried. Gandalf did, and a row of boxes flung out of their place. Papers were scattered everywhere. Gandalf looked at Ollivander quizzically.

'Sorry about that,' he apologised. 'But was that meant to occur.' Ollivander shook his head.

'No,' he replied. 'It would seem that this is not the wand for you either. It's said that the wand chooses the wizard, you know.' At this remark, Gandalf grew suspicious. He knew of only one other seemingly inanimate object that had a mind of its own, and it was not a very good thing. Ollivander had gone further back, to get another of the wands.

'These wands are alive, are they?' he called after the man. He would have to get an answer soon. If these things could exert any control over his mind, he would have to be very cautious. Ollivander called back.

'Well, in a sense, I suppose. They have a certain loyalty, and often times a personality. But they can't think like you and I, if that's what you're asking.' He returned with another box. Gandalf, somewhat relieved, relaxed.

'Hmm, good. Yes, very good,' he commented. 'Now, what of this one?'

'Ah!' exclaimed Ollivander. 'This one is made with beech wood, and dragon heartstring.' He watched as Gandalf picked it up. Gandalf once more gave it a cautious wave. More papers flew everywhere. Gandalf sighed, and put it back. 'Most curious,' whispered Ollivander, more to himself than to Gandalf. He took it back, and returned with another one, which also failed. A dozen wands later, and Gandalf was becoming more and more irritated. 'You do present an interesting case, Gandalf,' commented Ollivander. 'I have one more idea. I have no idea if it will work, as I came up with it on a whim, but now that I think of it, it might just work.' He disappeared to the back of the room, and a few minutes later came back with another wand case. 'This one,' he whispered, not yet opening the box, 'is made up of a number of different wand woods. It has acacia, apple, beech, black walnut, cedar, cherry, elder, uh, maple, pine, red oak, some sycamore, vine, and yew. I had tried to fit in as many woods as possible. Many of these are my personal favourites. It has a dragon heartstring and a unicorn hair. I hope this works. I've had it for a few weeks now.' He opened the case, slowly. Gandalf frowned. There something rather different about this wand. It seemed to call to him. It almost seemed to pull itself towards him! Gandalf slowly moved forward. He took it and held it up right.

As soon as he did, a bright light shone around him. It soon died down. He looked at Ollivander. 'I suppose this the right one, then?' Ollivander nodded eagerly.

'Yes, oh yes indeed. Oh, you shall do great things, I predict. Many great things, Gandalf.' Ollivander rubbed his hands together excitedly, grinning. Gandalf smiled.

'Very well then. I will take my leave. Here are the coins you will need, I suspect. Thank you very much, Ollivander.' He put the wand in one of his inner pockets, and turned to leave.

'You are most welcome, good Gandalf. Most welcome indeed,' Ollivander replied after he had left.

Gandalf found Hagrid waiting outside the building, patiently. 'Ah, Gandalf,' he greeted warmly. 'Got yer wand?' Hagrid asked earnestly. Gandalf smiled at him.

'Yes, I quite think I did. Sorry to keep you waiting,' Gandalf apologised. 'Where to now? The library, I suppose.' They were walking, gaining ever more curious glances.

'No worries, and a bookshop, actually. Now, when we get there, I'll 'ave to leave you. You can find yer way back to the inn, can't you?' Gandalf nodded at the tall half giant. After a few minutes of silent, weary walking – at least weary for Gandalf – they arrived at the library. Hagrid turned to Gandalf. 'Right then, Gandalf, I'll be on my way.' He smiled at Gandalf.

Gandalf turned to Hagrid, and smiled as well. 'Fare well, my friend. I hope to see you soon.' At that, without further delay, he entered the store.

At first, Gandalf thought he was at one of the corners of the Elves libraries. Impressive, Gandalf thought to himself. He wandered forward. Not sure where to go, he went to whoever looked to be the staff. 'Excuse me, would you mind telling me where the…' Gandalf's memory faltered for a moment, before it came to him again. 'Defence against the Dark Arts books are?' He was pointed in the correct direction, and soon came to the row of books he was interested in. The bookstore was a confusing one, to say the least. Books were floating all around the place. It was a very large place, too. It took him several minutes to find his way. After looking through the books he came to the conclusion that this day would be a very long one indeed. He sighed, suddenly aware of how tired he was, and how much more than usual he was leaning on his staff.

After what may have been an hour of searching through the books, trying to find the ones that would be most useful, Gandalf finally came across two extremely thick books. One seemed to be a compilation of spells, curses, and so forth, and the other a compilation of dangerous creatures, and how to defend against them. He took them over to the counter, and bought them; he left immediately to go to the inn he would be staying at.

Gandalf surveyed his new, and hopefully temporary living quarters. It was a simple, dull seeming wood room, with a simple, yet still large bed in the corner. He was disappointed. But it would have to do. It had been a long time since he had stayed in one place for very long. Not since Valinor. As one of the Istari who had been sent to aid Middle-Earth in its war against the Enemy Sauron, Gandalf had been ever on the move, weaving a very fine web of contacts, gaining the trust of the leaders of Middle-Earth; the Kings of Men, the Lords of the Elves, and the Kings of the Dwarves. He had made himself known to the Hobbits, although his friendship with them was tenuous, and made good friends amongst the Ent's. He had become friends with Aragorn the Ranger, and the Dúnedain were his close allies. He had walked through all of Middle-Earth, learning every language, learning every hidden pathway. And now, he was here. In this foreign land, with strange people, wearing strange garments, and strange magic, that he was going to teach to their children. Could one imagine that! Teaching magic to children. But this was not what Men called magic. What Men called magic back in his home was far more different. It was far… deeper. What Men called the magic of the Wizards was simply a part of their beings; it was an extension of their will. Even as they were, cloaked, and restrained, the Istari held greater power than any other creature in Middle-Earth, save Sauron himself. But here? Here, magic seemed to be far more… mundane. Bright and flashy. More akin to his fireworks. Cheap tricks. However, he had to admit, having read a little in the bookstore, the magic did seem— effective, and varied, if lacking in all other areas.

Gandalf sighed once more. The sun was setting. He needed rest. He was weary, like he had not been in nearly an age. He placed his hat on his staff, which he leaned against the wall, near his bed. He slowly lowered himself onto the bed. As he drifted off, it suddenly occurred to him that he had not eaten. He would be hungry tomorrow indeed.

Morning came, sooner than he wished. He was correct. He felt a pang of hunger. Groaning, he picked up his staff, and set of down stair, where breakfast would be served. Having already seen the drinks menu, he feared what would be served for breakfast. Perhaps they have the same as in Bree, he thought, hopeful. It would be most helpful if they had coffee, or tea. The inn's pub was full again, and very smoky. It again reminded him of Bree, and the Prancing Pony. He thought of Belladonna Took, and her son, young and tiny, Bilbo. Bilbo, one of the few Hobbits that yearned for adventure. What might happen now, without him being there? To all those happy, peaceful, quiet little Hobbits? Should Sauron return in his absence, and the forces of Mordor arise once more? Gandalf cast such thoughts from his mind. It would not do to dwell on them. Instead, he went to the counter.

'Hello,' he said, getting the barmaids attention. 'You don't happen to sell coffee, or tea here do you?' The barmaid looked at him, clearly confused. Gandalf's hopes fell swiftly.

'Isn't coffee one of those muggles drinks?' asked the barmaid. 'And uh, no, no tea, sorry.'

'Hmm. I suppose coffee would be,' muttered Gandalf, gloomily. He sighed again, and looked up. 'I don't suppose you have something similar to coffee then? Something to keep me awake?' He looked at the barmaid, who was trying to hide her confusion.

'Uh, sure,' she answered. She turned, but stopped, remembering her professionalism. 'Is there anything else, sir?'

Gandalf thought for a few seconds. 'A sandwich, perhaps,' said finally. 'You do have those, don't you?' Gandalf asked, perhaps a bit hastily. The barmaid looked at him, again curious.

'Sure thing,' she said, and left to prepare them.

Gandalf put his head down and sighed once more. How had this happened? What was his purpose here? Who sent him here? This certainly did not feel as though he was in the future, as he couldn't remember it from the Ainulindalë. However, he remembered, in a conversation with Manwë, the Valar who was the closest in thought to Ilúvatar, that although they focused on Arda, and Eä, their world was not the only one. Indeed, there were many millions, but none of them were quite as the one they resided in. When Gandalf asked why they couldn't visit those Earths, Manwë replied that it was not the will of Eru, and that Eru had put in place boundaries, so that none may try to enter the other worlds. Manwë told Gandalf that each world had their own stories, which had to follow their own path, set by Eru, uninterrupted. After this, Gandalf had given little thought to it, although he had talked to Vairë, who weaved the Web of Time, who confirmed this fact, although she said not many among the Maiar knew this. And thus, Gandalf came to the conclusion that he was definitely in a different world. Now all he had to figure out was how and why he got here.

At this point, the barmaid came back to him, with a sandwich on a plate, and a mug of some suspicious seeming liquid Gandalf assumed was like coffee. 'Here you are,' said the barmaid. Gandalf thanked her, and moved to leave, but she stopped him. 'If you don't mind my asking, sir,' she began nervously. 'Where might you be from? Not knowing any wizard drink, only muggle ones?' Gandalf looked down, thinking. At last he answered.

'A very long way away.' He left it at that, and turned to one of the corner table at the far back, leaving an even more confused barmaid.

As Gandalf ate, he hardly noticed the taste of the sandwich, which was quite good. His mind was on other things. He did not know the magic of the world, so he would have to study it intensely. It fortunate then that he was a fast learner, and had a better memory than most. And although he was curious about the rest of the world he was in, he had to prioritize learning magic first. He determined that by the end of the month, and the first week after that, he would be able to teach at all levels, even the most advanced or most basic of levels. Then the final week would be dedicated to other studies. At that thought, he finished his breakfast. He took his drink, which had cooled down some, and drank it. It felt warm, and inside him it was as though he was properly waking up. An excellent drink. Perhaps their use of magic is not entirely wasted, Gandalf thought to himself, and dwelled on it no more.

Finishing his drink, he went up to his room, and opened one of his books, which dealt with fighting dark creatures. Gandalf found these dark creatures almost as amusing as the seriousness the book talked about them. If these were the most dangerous creatures in this world, Gandalf foresaw no problems.

By the beginning of noon, Gandalf had learnt of and memorised all the dark creatures in the book, and how to fight them with the magic of this world. Gandalf put the book down, slightly disappointed at how quickly he had finished it. However, it gave him the opportunity to visit the local library, which he did right away, ignoring lunch. Upon arriving, he asked for directions to books regarding dark creatures. He found his way there, and picking out a few books that seemed interesting, sat and read for hours, until nightfall. He left, and returned to the inn for dinner. He started conversing with the barmaid, apologising for his behaviour this morning. And so, he fell into a habit. He woke up, had breakfast, read a book till midday, went to the library – which of course changed when he ran out of books, which was on day four, at which point he just went to the library at the start of the day –, read some more, then returned and had dinner. This pattern would be broken every-so-often, when he would make conversation with someone, often learning something, and occasionally making a friend, as he did with the barmaid, who he found was a useful source of information. This was apparently a very popular inn, and many people came here to discuss things, including business. Gandalf learnt many a useful thing, including some talk of an Order meeting with Dumbledore. Gandalf asked the barmaid, whose name was Lily, what an Order meeting was, but she had no idea. Gandalf made a note to bring it up with Dumbledore.

By the end of the week, Gandalf had become exceptionally knowledgeable about dark creatures and combating them. However, he was yet to become proficient in actually using magic. However, he soon found that he was quite adept in that area too. After asking if there was a place nearby were he could practice magic, he was directed to a quite alley, where he would practice every day, adding a new rhythm to his schedule, which was to practice at midday for a number of hours, then return to the library, and then back to the inn for dinner. By the end of the second week, Gandalf was quite knowledgeable and skilled with offensive and defensive spells. By the end of the month, Gandalf had read through most of the books in that section of the library, and a good deal of other sections, deeming it wise to be well versed in at least basic spells and charms, and practiced most of the spells, eventually drawing a crowd.

It all started during the middle of the third week, when this one man decided to ask him why he was practicing magic in this alley. Gandalf explained in the briefest terms possible why he was doing what he was doing, and the man nodded his head, and sat on a nearby stool, which happened to be there. The man was impressed, even accusing Gandalf of lying about being new to magic, which he quickly learned was a mistake. The next day, as Gandalf was practicing, the man returned, but with a friend. The friend, John, asked to spar with Gandalf. Surprised, Gandalf agreed, but informed him that he wasn't yet proficient with this worlds healing spells. John told him not to worry about it. They bowed, and began their duel.

It ended a few minutes later, with Gandalf invading Johns mind, but quickly leaving and casting a spell to freeze his opponent in place. He then snatched the wand out of his hand. Gandalf knelt before his fallen opponent, and laid a hand over his head. Gandalf worked to counteract his spell, eventually succeeding. John woke with a jolt. He shivered in place.

'Are you well?' Gandalf asked, looking at John concerned. John nodded.

'Bloody hell mate,' he coughed, looking up at Gandalf. 'Nicely done. Legilimens and then Petrificus Totalus? Distracting me by invading my mind and then freezing me? Never even saw it coming! Blimey!' He stood up, with some help from Gandalf.

'Well then,' began Gandalf with a twinkle in his eye. 'I think I win. Here's your wand.' Gandalf produced his wand from his robes pocket, handing it to a still amazed John, who thanked him.

'Hey, as long as your practicing magic, why not earn a bit of money out of it?' asked Bernie, the fellow that had introduced John to Gandalf. 'People could come round and pay to duel you, see if they could beat you.' Gandalf considered this idea. He was in want of some new books. At last Gandalf agreed.

'Very well,' he sighed at last. He figured such an idea wouldn't last long anyway. He shrugged, and told them he'd be off, and it would be up to them to see this plan of theirs into fruition.

By the end of the month, Gandalf had attracted a spectacular crowd. Every day, he duelled no less than four people, and almost always winning. Occasionally he fought against two people at once. His losses occurred mainly during these duels, though they were few and far between. However, whenever he won, he would always give out advice. Not just pointers as to how to duel better, but also advice as to their everyday lives, as well. He became well known for his skills as much as his wisdom, and eventually, people came to him for his wisdom as much as to duel him. People were outraged and disappointed when he explained to them he would no longer be duelling at the end of the first week after the month had ended, in order to pursue his other studies.

And so, on his final week of studying, he decided to pay a visit to the rest of the world. He had once been paid a visit by Hagrid, who was checking up on him. He had, once Gandalf had asked, explained that magic users and muggles did not get along very well, as magic interfered with modern technology, and there was a bad history between them. Of course, since muggles had forgotten the existence of witches and wizards, Gandalf reasoned this was a chance to create relationships afresh. They debated this for a while, with Gandalf eventually ending it as calmly as he could manage. As soon as Hagrid was out of hearing range, Gandalf muttered about the foolishness of these mortals, and how it's such division that causes wars.

He then, at the start of the final week, set out, going on the train to London. He then left for the library. He spent the week there, gathering knowledge chiefly on transportation. He was most impressed by the creation planes. He imagined that Manwë and Aüle would be most impressed by them, and would seek to improve them tenfold, should they imagine them. He decided he would have to bring it up with Manwë and Aüle when he next could. He also learnt of their food, and of their buildings, and of their flora and fauna, which he found immensely fascinating as well. When he wasn't at the library, he strolled through a nearby forest, talking to all the creatures he could find, even learning some new languages. He found it peaceful. He missed doing such things; talking to animals, researching, gaining knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and not to defeat some great evil.

Alas, the week ended too soon for Gandalf, and he found himself staring at a letter on the final Friday morning.

Dear Gandalf,

I hear you are doing well, and that your practices are coming along excellently. I apologise that I am unable to meet you in person. However, the time for practice is over. You are to follow Therapon here. He will guide you to a large field, whereupon – Gandalf chuckled at that – you are to duel a wizard of my own choosing – one of my teachers – to see if you are ready.


Albus Dumbledore.

Gandalf folded the letter up, and put it aside. He looked at the owl. 'And I suppose your Therapon, then?' he asked the owl, who hooted. 'Very well then, off we go.' Gandalf grabbed his hat, wand, and staff. The owl flew out the window. Gandalf rushed down stairs. Lily, who had gotten used to his schedule, had put aside a plate of sandwich, alongside his favourite morning drink. He downed the drink quickly, and took the sandwich. He reached out with his mind, searching for Lily's. When he did, he thanked her, and explained quickly why he couldn't stay. She then congratulated him, and he left, breakfast in hand. He found Therapon waiting for him. 'Well then, show me the way, good owl,' he commanded the owl, who then flew off, with Gandalf hastily following.

Half an hour of fast walking later, Gandalf arrived at the field, where Dumbledore, and some others, were waiting for him. Upon his arrival, they turned to him.

'Ah, Dumbledore,' called Gandalf. He observed the other two. One was a sullen, sour-faced pale man in black robes, with oily black hair. The other was a tall, thin lady who looked ever so slightly cross, although not on purpose.

'Ahh, Gandalf. Ready for your test?' asked Dumbledore. Gandalf nodded. 'Then let introduce you to Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall. Minerva will be making sure your wand is in good order, and that you know the necessary spells. Severus will be conducting the actual duel.'

'A pleasure to make your acquaintance,' said Gandalf, smiling. He shook the hand of McGonagall, and the hand of Snape, although he was a little more hesitant. In fact, if it weren't for Narya, Gandalf suspected he wouldn't have shaken hands at all. Afterwards, McGonagall requested his wand.

She peered at it for a while, then cast a spell. 'Glacius,' she said, simply. Gandalf recognised it as a freezing spell. It froze a patch of grass nearby. 'Hmm. Well, everything seems in order here, Mr Gandalf. Now, if you would mind running through a few simple spells for me.' She handed Gandalf his wand back.

'Just Gandalf will do, Miss McGonagall,' Gandalf corrected her. McGonagall narrowed her eyes.

'Very well,' she agreed. 'But until further notice, it's Professor McGonagall, not Miss McGonagall,' she demanded.

'Of course,' said Gandalf calmly, bowing his head in acknowledgment.

'Good,' stated McGonagall. 'Now,' she said as she brought a feather out of her robes. 'Levitate this for me.' And Gandalf did. For about ten minutes he performed simple spells for her, increasing in difficulty. At the end of the ten minutes, she agreed that he knew enough.

'Excellent,' remarked Dumbledore. 'Now, Gandalf, Snape, if you would mind preparing for your duel.' Dumbledore and McGonagall moved away from the two wizards. 'Gandalf,' called Dumbledore. 'Perhaps you could do without the use of your staff, for the moment.' Gandalf realised it wasn't a question, but a demand. Gandalf obliged, walking over and planting the staff next to Dumbledore, upright. He then marched back to Snape, and pulled out his wand. Snape looked at him disdainfully. 'Begin whenever you want,' Dumbledore told them, smiling.

Snape bowed at Gandalf, keeping eye contact all the while. Gandalf bowed in turn, also keeping his eyes on Snape. They rose, and got into duelling positions. Without warning, Snape fired off a spell at Gandalf.

'Petrificus!' he exclaimed, flourishing his wand.

'Protegao!' countered Gandalf, his voice deep, and commanding. He stood up, and seemed to grow. Snape seemed to shrink. 'Incendio!' He yelled. A burst of flame shot forth from his wand, but he did not aim at Snape. Rather, he set fire to the grass around him. Thrice more he cast the spell, boxing Severus in. However, Snape was already casting a spell to get rid of the flames. But no matter how quick Snape was, Gandalf was quicker. 'Lumos Solem!' A bright flash of light erupted from the tip of his wand, accompanied by a loud bang like thunder, courtesy of Gandalf's need for a complete effect, and a plan to disorientate Snape. Severus stumbled back, his hands shielding his eyes. Deafened, he didn't hear Gandalf cast a final spell. 'Immobulus,' said Gandalf, calmly. Snape stiffened. 'Expelliarmus.' Snape's wand flew from his hand, into Gandalf's outstretched hand. 'Accio,' muttered Gandalf, and he pulled Snape from the fires.

Somewhat dumbfounded, Dumbledore and McGonagall looked at Gandalf, who had seemed to return to his original size. Dumbledore turned to Minerva. 'Well, Minerva, do you think he should have the job?' asked Dumbledore. McGonagall nodded eagerly.

'Oh yes, Albus. I rather think he should.'

Gandalf neared them. A couple metres before them, he stopped, releasing his grip on the frozen Potions Master. 'Well,' he started to ask. 'Do I have the position?'

'I rather think you do,' Dumbledore smiled. 'Professor Gandalf the Grey.' At that, Gandalf smiled heartily. 'Now, I don't suppose you could…' he motioned to the still frozen Snape.

'Ah, of course.' Gandalf kneeled over the frozen body, and laid his hand on his forehead. A few moments later, Snape jerked up, gasping. He looked at Gandalf, something akin to fear in his eyes. 'Are you well?' Gandalf asked Snape. Snape nodded. 'Then here you are,' said Gandalf cheerfully, handing over the other combatants' wand.

'Hmm.' Snape snatched it out of Gandalf's hand, and got up, leaving, 'Albus, if you don't mind, I have to go prepare some notes for my classes.'

'Of course, Severus,' obliged Dumbledore. There was a twinkle in his eyes, and if Snape noticed it, he certainly didn't show it. The three of them watched the foul-tempered professor storm off for a while, then turned back to each other. 'Now, Professor Gandalf,' began the Headmaster, that twinkle ever in his eye. 'Perhaps it would be wise for us to head over to Hogwarts, and discuss business there.'

'Perhaps,' replied Gandalf, smiling.

They then turned, and followed in the direction of Snape. However, much to Gandalf's surprise they stopped by three broomsticks. Dumbledore turned to Gandalf, the twinkle in his eye working overtime. 'Have you ever ridden a broom, Gandalf.'

Thank you all for waiting so patiently. I hope this one is good, and not too hasty, and not too long. I should tell you that this is my first ever fanfic, and my knowledge of Harry Potter pales in comparison to my knowledge of Lord of the Rings, and other of Tolkien's works. I'll do my best, but if I get something wrong, please do tell me. Also, I'll try to post sooner next time, but I have a habit of procrastination, and school.