Hi, in the update of the previous chapter, I told everyone I will draw the design for Professor Maria.
Well, I did, it's on my Twitter. Obviously, I can't put a link here so if anyone is interested you can go to my bio, there's a link there…
Or you can just search PVasins
APridefulSin: Thank you for your kind words, I don't want to give anyone high hopes for thinking I will update super fast so, at the time, I just thought I wrote too little for the intro and immediately continued on the second one. I actually did not expect someone actually going to tune in since this is probably one of those odd crossovers that appear out of nowhere so… it means a lot, thanks. I hope you enjoy this as well, sorry my chapters are a wee bit long, this one might be annoyingly long.
Ilaube: thank you.
Everpeach: Thank you for giving it a chance, I don't speak English, I reckon I would fare alright in oral communication- although just barely, but I totally big dumb when it's about literature. I have an idea but I can't pitch it to anyone nor anyone would ever have the same idea as mine so- might as well learn how to do it myself. I hope my story can improve (Also, I'm using machines for checking my grammar now so I'm more confident with the grammar, but it's still a machine so… eh? I'd love to have a beta reader but idk how to have a beta reader, I'm still fairly new to this site. If anyone interested, please feel free to contact me- preferably on Twitter.)
Guest: ok mum, moar.
The First Class
"Welcome back, Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower! You may call her Professor Maria, she will be taking Defence Against Dark Arts. I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing the professor good luck."
Everyone gives a round of excited applause while Harry, Ron, Hermione decide to give a bit more than applause with their jaw slacked ajar.
"She has to be a vampire, there's no way…" Hermione expressed her disbelief.
Ron gave himself a light slap on the face and then elbowed the bushy-haired girl beside him, "Are you sure she's supposed to be THAT ancient? She looks decades younger than my mum, she looks the youngest of all the staff!"
"Did you hear what Dumbledore said?" Said Hermione while glaring at Ron who's been shaking his head with a bemused look, "What about the part when he said 'Familiar for Hogwarts itself yet new to all of us?' Hn?"
"But she looks human." Harry chimes in.
"So does Remus," counter Hermione, "I think we should be careful around her."
"For what? Keeping our blood from being sucked?" Said Harry jokingly with a bit of an annoyed tone because Hermione gave an implication that Remus is dangerous to them just because he's a werewolf.
"She can suck my blood alright," Ron commented with a sly face, never leaving his gaze at the new professor.
There's a sound of a loud slap when Hermione hits Ron on the back of his head. Harry can only feel surprised by the sudden aggressiveness from Hermione, and when she moves her glare at him, Harry can't help but find the table extremely fascinating all of sudden.
Harry once again finds himself alone after supper. Dumbledore already dismissed all the students and since Hermione and Ron are now prefects, they have to take care of the first years. Harry decided to move his leg and go a bit faster, leaving Ron and Hermione just to avoid people whispering whenever he's around. Harry had enough for today and planned to go to bed as soon as possible.
The walk to Gryffindor's common room seems to be a bit to Harry's liking, there are not many students on his way, he can mind his own business the whole way, let his mind wander about what's going to happen with the situation he's in. Once Harry arrives at the Fat Lady painting however, a realisation hits him.
"Password?" the Fat Lady demanded.
"No password, no entrance." said the Fat Lady.
Harry tried his best to remember- or rather- come up with something, curse his garbled memory because for the last full week his only time to actually relax is quite literally- Yesterday, and the rest is only filled with anxiety and worries. Curse Fudge and his ridiculous attempt to corner him.
"It's Mimbulus Mimbletonia."
Suddenly a soft eerie voice crept into Harry's ear from behind and startled him, Harry turned around in an instant while making a distance from whoever was behind him.
"P-Professor Maria?! When did-" Harry did not expect to see the new professor to be the one that produces such a haunting voice. Apparently, when her voice did not accompany her face, the gentleness of her soothing voice drastically changed to an eerie one for some reason in Harry's mind.
"Forgive me if I startled you, young one, I mean no such thing. But if you are truly curious, I've been here before you talk to the painting."
Has she really been there the whole time? Harry didn't even notice, did his awareness also deteriorate because of the stress from the past few weeks?
"Sorry, Professor Maria."
"Worry not, it was deliberate on my part so I do not disturb you with your muses. I've seen your face well enough to know your mind wanders somewhere else."
Harry let out a small sigh of relief. "Thank you, professor, a-and also about the password."
Professor Maria smiled and nodded her head slightly. Harry then about to say the password to the fat lady in the painting, but this professor who's been very popular among the dead starts to pick his curiosity.
"U-um, may I know why you're in front of Gryffindor common room, professor? Do you need some sort of help?"
"Ah, if it's no bother to you, I've been contemplating if I should simply enter by myself, but I do not want to disturb you students with my presence."
Harry immediately shook his head and then nodded, "It's no bother, mam."
The professor is gentle as she looks, makes Harry eager to actually be of any help to the professor- that or it's just his pent up frustration for not being able to do anything and left in the dark for many weeks even when he's in the Order HQ.
"Would you kindly help young Neville setting up the lamp I gave him? When I ask for his assistance earlier, it seems he's too nervous or perhaps- have urges to attend…? His face blooms in red when I approach him."
Harry thought Neville probably just flustered in front of the professor. However, it still puzzles Harry about the fact she's trying to install a lantern inside Gryffindor's common room.
"Why do you want to put a lamp in Griffyndor's common room? The room is quite bright as it is."
"Lamp as it is, the purpose of this one is not to illuminate," said Professor Maria cryptically, leaving more questions than an answer.
The professor then grabbed his hand and turned his palm, Professor Maria then put what looks like a small vial of dark crimson substance on his hand.
"Neville left before I could give him this, use this to lit up the lamp."
"Alright Professor, I'll see to it."
"Thank you, your help will be rewarded." The professor smiled and gave Harry a pat on the head. She gives a subtle nod and then walks away, "Good night."
"Good night, Professor," said Harry, still seeing the professor walking away until she suddenly became engulfed with a bright turquoise light and smoke- and then vanished in the blink of an eye. That was such a cool way to go, Harry thought.
He has high hopes for DADA this year, especially if he wants to learn some spells to fight the Death Eaters and their lord. The professor seems great to talk with, gentle and somewhat eloquent despite Harry having to take a mental note that he needs to make sure he looks at the professor when she talks, and she treats students very well- unlike a certain potion master.
Harry then proceeded to go to Gryffindor common room with a vial of dark crimson substance in his hand. Harry expects a rowdy voice will be heard inside the common room, but the voice he could hear is only Neville's. Just about the front of the fireplace, a bunch of students(mostly the boys) gathered circling Neville who was still holding a lamp/lantern set on his person in the middle.
"And she just read, you know, maybe-" Neville then noticed Harry's presence which by extension- everyone followed suit, "Hi, Harry!"
Neville seems happy to see him, "Alright, Neville? What are you guys talking about?"
"We were just talking about the new professor, can you tell them about what happened on the train? I have to put this lamp lantern thing," said Neville while gesturing to the things he's holding.
"Professor Maria gave me this, said you storm off before she could give it to you," Harry handed the vial to Neville. "She said to use it to lit up the lamp."
Nevile then goes and tries to set up the lamp on the wall, leaving many expectant stares at Harry. Harry appreciates that despite having a confused- nervous, awkward silence for 5 seconds, nobody is whispering while looking at him. Everyone expects him to speak but Harry doesn't know what to say.
"Tell us about the professor, Harry," Dean speaks up, followed by a collective agreement grunt.
Harry stood there, thinking if he should or shouldn't- but then decided to go to the centre, right in front of the fireplace and sit there to humour everyone (mostly boys). "I don't know much about her. Neville, Ginny, and I sat with her on the train but that's it."
"Is that it? Nothing about her we can learn about?" This time, Fred was the one asking.
"C'mon Harry, give us something more, I know you're an observant fella," George demanded.
Harry shrugged and continued, "Well, I suppose there's one thing I know. When we're on the train, we sit together with Luna Lovegood. They both read this Quibbler magazine thing.."
Harry took the magazine out of his pocket, opened it to a specific page where the magazine talks about a rune that has a secret spell about turning people's ears into kumquats.
"S-she apparently can read this." He gave the magazine to Fred who then passed it to Goerge, then Dean, then Cormac, Seamus, and so on. No one knows what that rune is all about until one student said it's his language.
"I can read this," said Naoki.
"What language is that?" asked George.
"Could be Chinese, could be Japanese, Kinkan( 金柑 ) it says, it just means Kumquats." Naoki then gives the magazine back to Harry.
"I think that is exactly what she said to Luna girl."
"Is that all?" Dean said.
"Well… Hermione said she's century-plus years old, older than Dumbledore."
Everyone let out a gasp, one person said that's bull but then Harry talked about their conversation with the ghosts, "They know her very well, and they are the one who said she's been here and taking her children long before Dumbledore even became a student in Hogwarts."
"But she looks…. Handsome." suddenly Lavender Brown from the crowd, "Surely she's not immortal."
"I don't know, she might be a vampire."
And then everyone starts to chatter between themself, a lot of them seem to be in disbelief.
"I knew we should ask Ginny instead," said Seamus, which seems out of nowhere in Harry's ear.
"Hold on, Seamus, what's that supposed to mean?" asked Hary with a surprised look.
Everyone fell into silence, the room temperature seemed to drop despite a whole crowd filling the moderate size common room. Some are coughing, some try to escape so the crowd starts to get thinner. Seamus was lost for words as a bead of sweat started to form on his temple, visible to anyone's eyes how nervous he is right now.
"I just- you know, we need two perspectives, see? I mean that bit was just absurd." Seamus tries to dodge a bullet, but then Neville comes to his aid and saves him from the overbearing tension between him and Harry by screaming his lung out.
Nevile is found sitting on his butt, staring at the lamp he just installed with a horrified look. Everyone who follows his gaze will see a horrifying creature that appears near the newly installed lamp from Professor Maria. Most students took one step back while letting out a small gasp.
Right under the newly lit lamp, appears a bunch of horrendous creatures that resemble malnourished house-elves without ears, or clothes, or hair, their face deformed with their gray murky skin, some as if their head was sliced midway from jaw to the nose, some only has its mouth on its face, some bear teeth with no lips. Its face was lifeless like its eyes, devoid of any eyeballs and hollow. Only their torso was visible, the creature seems to leave their other half sinking into the common room wall.
Some were looking at the lamp, with their hands clasped as if they were praying, some others seemed to hold a roll of paper, eager to hand it to anyone willing to take the paper.
"Bloody hell is that thing?!" the sound of Ron filled the common room, it seems both Ron and Hermione were finally done with their touring for the first year and now back with the kids trailing behind them. The first year were horrified after seeing the creatures, one kid even fainted, falling with a loud thud that startled Hermione.
Harry tries to get close, the creature seems pretty tame, the closer he gets the more eager the creature seems to pass the parchment. Harry took the parchment gingerly and then read the content.
"Lamp of a Hunter, this post will be used only in the case of extreme urgency and immediate danger. Messenger will give you a Beckoning Bell…." Harry then sees the bunch of creatures still under the lamp, giving him the bell mentioned in the scroll.
Harry looks at it, there's nothing that seems special with the bell aside from the intricate pattern around it. Harry then gives the bell to Hermione and continues the reading.
"Only prefects are allowed to hold the beckoning bell and must be in his or her person at all times. To use the Lamp of a Hunter, simply ring the bell once towards the lamp and state the situation to the messengers and help will come. Those who ring the bell when there's no urgency will be punished."
Harry then rolls the scroll once more and gives it to Ron. Once everyone settles down, the creatures dubbed as messengers then sink into the wall, leaving the common room as it is. Harry helped Neville to stand on his feet which responded with thanks.
Harry notices Neville's hand is a bit wet, when he sees his own palm, it shows a smear of red that stinks like rusted iron.
"Neville, you alright? You're bleeding." Harry said while showing his hand.
"Huh? No, I didn't- that's from the vial to lit the lamp- that's blood?!"
"Blood magic then?" said Ron, still looking at the lamp, "Where does that come from?"
"It's from Professor Maria, she said it was for extra security she and Dumbledore came up with," said Neville trying to wipe the blood on his hand.
"I knew it, she's a vampire!" Hermione accidentally shouted, which she immediately regretted and clasped her hand to her mouth. She glanced towards the first year and their faces cannot get any paler.
"It's getting late, let's get some rest… that if you can," said Harry, a bit cheeky towards the first year, which seems like a harmless joke but Euan Abercrombie- one of the first-year students knows he is going to need extra pants tonight.
Morning came, students started to dress in their uniforms. Everyone seems to have a nice good night's sleep, except Harry, he spent an awfully long night thinking about Seamus comment, he never pursues what he means because he's too tired, but it ends up eating him in silence.
Harry's would bet that Seamus thinks he's a big fat liar, an attention-seeking prat because he eats Daily Prophet's stupid slander whole. First thing in the morning, Harry plans to ask Seamus anyway but Seamus storms off as fast as he can before Harry can even put his socks on.
"He seems in a bit of a hurry," Harry commented.
"Probably eager to have anything exciting after one awful holiday," said Dean as he hoisted his bag to his shoulder and walked away.
After Harry and Ron finish dressing, they meet Hermione in the common room, staring at the notice board with an intense annoyed face.
"Alright, Hermione?" greeted Ron, but Hermione suddenly looks at Ron as if she's disappointed while pointing at the giant notice.
It reads 'Gallon of Galleons! Want extra pocket money? Contact Fred and Goerge Weasly - Gryffindor's common room. For a simple, part-time, virtually painless job. (we regret that all works are undertaken at the applicant's own risk.)'
"They are the limit," said Hermione, who then ripped the poster off, revealing a poster that announced the date of the first Hogsmeade weekend, which was to be in October. "We have to talk to them, Ron."
Ron was positively alarmed by that statement. "Why?"
Harry could see the idea of stopping Fred and George to stop what they are doing is not quite inviting to the redhead.
"Because we're prefects! It's up to us to stop this kind of thing"
Harry could see Ron's mood subtly dropping, he doesn't seem to be really fond of the role he's placed in at this very moment.
"Let's just go," said Harry.
Perhaps it was the stress he keeps build-up, or perhaps it was the fact that he was indeed overthinking about Seamus's words, but whatever it is, Hermione immediately picked up on his intonation, hinting that he's not in a good mood.
"What's the matter? You sound bitter."
Harry didn't answer it after they walked for a while to the great hall, when the area seemed to have fewer people around, he finally said, "I think Seamus believes I'm a liar, about Voldemort and all."
Harry expects Hermione to be angry when she hears that, what she didn't expect is that all he gets is a weak sigh.
"Lavender thinks so too."
"Been having a nice little chat with her about whether or not I'm a lying, attention-seeking prat, have you?"
Ron and Hermione did not expect such an aggressive response from Harry when she said that. Ron looks at Harry with utter disbelief but Hermione is too smart with argument and knows well how not to turn this into an even more complicated situation.
"No," said Hermione calmly, "I told her to keep her big fat mouth shut about you, actually, and it would be quite nice if you stopped jumping down our throats, Harry, because in case you haven't noticed, Ron and I are on your side."
There was a short pause.
Harry realizes his mistake and to be frank, he doesn't know why he talks that way to Hermione either, so, guilty as he is, he apologises.
"Sorry..." said Harry meekly.
"It's quite alright," said Hermione with dignity.
They then arrived at the Great Hall to have their breakfast. Hermione and Ron sit side by side while Harry sits at the other side of the table.
"I believe this is actually exactly what Dumbledore warned us about You-Know-Who at the last end-of-term feast." Hermione continued, however, the boys can only give her a blank stare, not sure if they ever hear Dumbledore talking about the Dark Lord at that time.
"Don't you remember?"
"I'm pretty sure if you see our face right now, you would know the answer," said Harry, which Hermione grunted and say how these boys are always so helpless when it's about what's important
"He said about his 'gift for spreading discord and enmity is great' which is why the sorting hat sang that advice, the only way to fight them is by-"
"How did you remember that stuff?" asked Ron.
"Because I listen."
"No, you're not Ron, don't even try to convince me." Hermione cut Ron immediately by shoving a pudding down his throat. Ron ends up chewing the meat while still trying to argue but Hermione keeps scolding him.
Harry decided to leave them be, he's not in the mood to enjoy pain in the arse bickering up in the morning. Harry then checked the staff seats, still, no sign of Hagrid. Harry let out a sigh.
The sound of flapped wings finally heard in the hall, some owls delivering letters to students with some droplets of water falling to the floor, entering in from the clear transparent roof that showed the grey sky hinting at the light drizzle outside.
One raven with pure black feathers catches Harry's attention as it flies towards the staff seat. The raven then glided towards the hottest gossip among students to date, the new DADA teacher this year. Professor Maria seems to enjoy what looks like tea and biscuits before the raven lands on her shoulder.
Students start to look at the teacher, somewhat curious, Harry and his curiosity with the use of a raven is joined among those students who stare at the teacher. When the professor was about to open the letter, she noticed all the eyes that kept looking at her.
Some immediately realise what they are doing once the teacher's eyes meet with theirs and frantically start to look everywhere but the professor, some seem to lag and not until the professor smiled warmly and mouthed good morning to them they finally stop staring with bloodtinge on their cheek, embarrassed.
Unfortunately, Harry was among the latter.
Harry glanced at the teacher again to find her very amused by the students, showing her pearly white teeth framed with her smiling lips. Her grin stays after Professor Fillius Flitwick talks to her for a while. Harry bet Professor Flitwick was asking if the students were bothering her based on Professor Maria's dismissive hand movement but nodding at the same time.
"Behave yourself, Mr Potter, I know she's pretty but your stares ought to bother someone," said Professor McGonagall, walking past him as she handed out their timetable, "Boys these days-"
Harry could feel his face heated up, filled with embarrassment. Ron sees him with a sympathetic look as if telling him that he knows it can't be helped- but Harry was looking not because the professor is indeed beautiful, but he was just curious about the raven! The pure black raven that sent a letter to her! He swears that was it, surely it's not that bad to look at the bird right? Harry remembers that the Dursleys once talked about bird viewing, so it's totally normal, right?
Days went quite boring for everyone that day, starting with Professor Binns really doesn't help their drowsiness. Harry will always be amazed and have immense respect towards Hermione, who appears to be the only student who can still give any attention to the ghost professor.
But really, Monday has proven to be quite an awful day for probably this year's whole term, History of Magic immediately followed by Double Potion, extra hours for that git professor. Dreadful, Harry thought, not to mention how unfair Snape is when he made one small mistake and removed all his works entirely, meanwhile, Seamus and Ron are doing worse than him and they can still get a point- but Harry? Zero, nothing. Harry's mood is truly sour at this point, even a delicious lunch can't improve him.
And then followed up by Divination class! Harry definitely is not looking forward to it as everyone does. Of course, the class is rubbish as everyone expected, the only notable thing that happens in that class is when Malfoy got funny divination from dream reading, saying he will be haunted by nightmares for weeks. Students usually just shrug it off but when Professor Trewlaney said Malfoy will die in the next class with piss all over him, and Malfoy somehow looked nervous- something about his panicked face really amused him.
And so, something that anyone in his class could look forward to this Monday is only a sliver of hope that the new DADA professor will teach something interesting. If that goes bad too then they have no choice but to treat Trelawney class- the second most boring and weird class, as a ray of hope, and they are all not sure how to feel about that.
Everyone starts to walk towards DADA class after that weird divination class, some faces show eagerness, some brightened, some visibly nervous like Draco Malfoy. Harry and Ron saw Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle seem to walk slower than the rest. They were obviously not looking forward to the class for some reason.
"Scared to die in Professor Maria's class, Malfoy? Pissing yourself already?" taunt Ron, it's rare to be able to bully back Malfoy and his cronies so it's hard to pass the chance.
"Shut up, Weasley, you're the one who thought she's a Vampire! She's gonna suck your blood dry."
"Jokes on you, I'm into it."
Harry and Hermione look at Ron weird with a dash of concern, Harry knows Ron is always weak against a nice looking girl or woman but he can't believe he is actually willing to go that far. Hermione decided that she doesn't like that even one bit so she hit Ron on the head with her book, again.
"Bloody weirdo!" said Malfoy, picking up the pace just to get away from Ron and friends.
As they entered the class, only to be surprised that Umbridge woman was sitting on the professor's desk, smiling at them. Students glanced around, unsure if they got into the right class till the woman with painfully pink attire clears her throat.
"Good afternoon, children, welcome to the Defence Against Dark Arts class. Looks like our professor is late for today so I will be teaching in her stead."
Harry curses under his breath, this Monday has truly gone south in so many ways. Why was the professor late on her first day? Is it because of whatever that letter is? He, Ron, and Hermione are absolutely not looking forward to this.
"Please, take a seat."
Everyone then enters the classroom and takes their seats, there's a little whisper among them but soon dies when Umbridge sounds her 'hem, hem!' once again.
Umbridge stopped mid-sentence when suddenly everyone heard some sort of low wailing voice. Everyone starts to look around until suddenly the creatures from that lamp Neville installed in the common room shows up.
Umbridge almost shrieks in fear when she sees the horrifying creatures, and takes a full step back when they scream at the woman.
"What is this filthy thing!?" Said Umbridge, pulling out her wand.
Her wand aimed at the creatures, as if trying to threaten them. The creatures then sink themself into the ground where they've come. There was a pause before anyone tried to do anything.
The sound of heels tapping on the floor then heard from the corridor getting closer and closer until Professor Maria shows up in front of the door, wearing her tricorn hat. Her face was cold, stoic like a hardened iron, looking at Umbridge funny without blinking for a moment.
"O-oh, Lady Maria, I heard you're supposed to be late," said Umbridge.
Professor Maria didn't answer her right away, still staring at the self-claimed substitute professor.
"I was… wasn't I? Though, it was indeed quite a peculiar thing when I heard my classroom had been rescheduled at the last second." said the taller woman, walking inside the class slowly, "I was lucky to be observant enough just so I could notice the embarrassingly minuscule note in the staff room."
"Was it really that hard to find?" said Umbridge somewhat trying to challenge the pale-blonde noble.
"Certainly not for me," Professor Maria said, gesturing for Ms Umbridge to stand up from her seat, which she complied reluctantly.
"I'm sorry for the trouble but as you know, it was suggested by the Ministry of Magic to answer the-"
"Worry not, Miss Umbridge, I understand the situation and Overseer is definitely far from anyone's familiarity. As your first I pardoned your mismanagement," she then takes the seat, with a wave of a hand, the books and items on top of her desk levitate and stays beside Ms Umbridge. " You may go and take your possession off my desk with you."
There are snickers among the students as Miss Umbridge got kicked out. The woman with an ugly pink cardigan then sounds her protest.
"Well, I'm sorry milady but an Overseer as the name suggested, you know my role here is not only to man-"
"The Headmaster is expecting you in the staff room as we speak, you may join our class when your mistakes are sorted out," cut Lady Maria. Umbridge then stands there trying to hide her fumes, Miss Umbridge then walks off the room as her things rattle beside her, following her with a levitation spell.
"I'm looking forward to your improvement upon handling your role," said Lady Maria before Umbridge gone from everyone eyesight
After the sound of footsteps also leaving everyone's ear, professor Maria averted her hard and cold gaze to the students which tensed everyone up, especially Malfoy for some reason. They were unsure what would happen since the professor's intense gaze really seemed out of nowhere.
But once she put her hats off, the rooms suddenly felt warmer and Professor Maria smiled with her eyes drastically softened, "Good afternoon, students."
Everyone felt relieved for something they didn't know has been weighing them- whatever that is, but they all cheered up and greeted back, "Good afternoon."
"I'm sorry for being late, I'm sure this will be the last. Shall we start with an introduction while taking attendance?" she asked, which replied with nods from students.
She then put her left hand out, and then the creatures called messenger resurface again from the ground. This time they are carrying a board with paper with it, complete with a quill and ink. Professor Maria takes it and puts it on her desk, then gives a little pat to the creature's head and it starts to vanish into the floor once again.
Hermione starts to have her curiosity get the best of her and so she raises her hand. Professor noticed and asked kindly. "You may state your name and your question."
"Hermione Granger, I just want to ask what they are? I never read about them in any book about magical creatures," asked Hermione as she pointed at the creatures before.
"Ah… they are just a messenger, they are not creatures, they're… remnants," answered Professor Maria, a bit too cryptic but she said it as if it was something obvious.
"A lingering will... I will not try to explain in detail right now, they are not dark beings, but you may ask me again outside the class."
Hermione then nodded. Professor Maria then proceeds to take the students' attendance. When the professor had finished calling their names, she then opened the book but immediately closed it.
"Seeing your records of uneven studies, I figure it must be difficult to follow this subject. Unfortunately, this is your fifth year, OWLs are coming and there will be no empathy towards your struggle, the path for you will be beaten with hardship- that if you wish to have at least an Acceptable mark... I pity you but this is the reason why I'm here, to help."
Professor Maria then stands up and throw the book she just closed into the bin, much of everyone's surprises (especially Granger), "Which is why we won't waste our time using that book, claimed as 'Ministry Approved" and what not- as much as I adore Mister Slinkhard and his books, it's inappropriate for the fifth year like you."
Harry could feel Hermione's heavy breathing when she sees the book fall into the bin, it's torture for her diligent soul.
"That book will be beneficial for a certain time, but this not it."
Hermione then tried to argue, "But Professor, we already bought the book, maybe we could still-"
"-use the book? No, I won't say I understand what young people's saying these days but I'm sure this book is what you call... 'Taking a piss in the wind'?" said the professor, which made everyone laugh except Hermione. "Saying it feels… wrong, but that captures the book quite perfectly."
"You may use the book from last year, or, I heard Galatea Merrythought wrote a book about Defence Against Dark Arts... was it good? Haven't got a chance to read it, Ministry keeps imposing that book in the bin to me," Professor Maria asked, she seems unsure for some reason.
The students except for Hermione, Harry, and Ron are glancing at each other, confused as to why their Defence Against Dark Arts professor didn't even know the books, they were used so many times by many professors before they even come to Hogwarts, it's quintessential. As a matter of fact- It was things that their parents kept talking about when they told the story of how Professor Lockhart used different books and blamed that was the cause their children's grades were failing.
"Y-yes, Professor… Her books were listed as a requirement for the past 70 years, I think," and of course the one who answers the professor is Hermione because she is "Hermione", the only student in the entire Hogwarts who actually read 'Hogwarts, a History".
"Ah, truly?" Professor Maria beamed with a happy face, delighted by the information as if she was having a proud moment, " I'm happy to hear that… ah, wonderful, good girl! Brilliant... ah I trust her more than this Slinkhart so I'll ask Albus if he can give you the books later."
"Very well, enough of these obligatory essentials talk- please stand up and take your wands out."
Once everyone stood up, Professor Maria snapped her finger and all the tables and benches went from their sight.
"Today will be a practical one."
The moment that words left the professor's mouth, everyone starts to smile, well, except Malfoy who seems to even more nervous instead, no one knows why those Slytherins really off their colours in this particular subject- but everyone seems happy because it triggers the good memories from Professor Lupin in their third year. They started the class almost the same, first day, practical!
Harry, Ron, and Hermione glanced at each other with smiles on their faces, excited, and they know this class will be good and redeem their awful Monday.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione have their face as if they saw a murder scene, with their eyes wide open and their mouth hung open and seemingly lost their ability to blink.
Not only the trio, everyone in the class has practically identical expressions with them. None of them expects their first day of Defence Against Dark Arts will be this… for the lack of better words: wild.
Meanwhile, their new professor is just standing in front of the class with her arms crossed, her face shows no expression but everyone can feel her disappointment.
Harry now standing at the back of the classroom among other students, looking at the room as if it just got hit by a hurricane with all the broken glass, uneven floor- some spots even on fire, and the most surprising of all is the big hole worth of 4 windows and Draco Malfoy wetting himself while he standing stiff just couple feet away from Professor Maria.
Usually, the sight of Malfoy pissing himself would bring joy to other students but perhaps the shock was so strong that everyone just petrified. Harry actually could not remember what just happened in the past 5 minutes- or has it been only 5 minutes? Was it 10? Even his sense of time messed up.
Professor Maria tapped her foot, everyone then blinked, she tapped her foot again, everyone blinked again, she did not tap her foot, everyone lost their ability to blink again, Professor Maria then let out a soft sigh.
Once the voice of Professor Maria got into Harry's head, he finally can pull himself together slowly and it seems everyone also has the same situation. How did all of this happen? Harry then recalls it, the wild events that start from zero and dramatically escalate to 100…
Professor Maria asked to make a room in the centre and the front and so everyone moved to the back of the class. She let out her wand for the first time.
"Is anyone here familiar with shield charm?"
Harry raises his hand. Professor Maria smiled at him and gestured for him to come forward. "Would you kindly…?"
Harry can feel people are staring at him but he ignores them then walks slowly. As soon as he left the group, Professor Maria then waved her wand- with a flick upward movement, the tip of her wand shone dimly and then a clear wall was created between the rest of the students and Harry along with the professor.
"Which shield charm are you familiar with?"
"Ah, you're quite promising, young one." Professor looked at him with a pleasant surprise.
Professor Maria then gives her focus back to the crow, "Protego is a shield charm, versatile and could be the line between you and death. This is one of the essential spells for Aurors, and in fact, it is one of few spells that they put as a priority to master in non-verbal use.
But how does it work? Mister Potter, put your stance please."
Harry was nervous for a moment as he frantically switched his gaze between Hermione, Ron, Professor Maria, Ron, and then finally gave his attention back to Professor Maria and readying his wand out.
"I will be the attacker and Mister Potter here will use the spell to protect himself, we will try this twice is that clear?"
Harry then nodded, albeit a little bit nervous, "Crystal clear, professor."
"Very well, prepare yourself."
Harry then readied himself as he put his wand up in front of him. Eyes locked to the professor before him.
A fast bolt of light shot out from the tip of Professor Maria's wand straight to Harry, but since he conjured Protego, the bolt of light hit an invisible wall in front of Harry and bounced off from it until it finally dissipated into the thin air.
"Very good, Mister Potter, Onto the next one, Petrificus-"
Once again a bolt of light shoots out from the tip of Professor Maria's wand and immediately bounces off the invisible shield that Harry conjured, this time there's a flash of light moving across the invisible surface and then gone harmlessly.
"Well done, young one!" Professor Maria lets her stance down and Harry then unconsciously follows suit. She is now facing the students.
"As you can see, both charm and curse can be deflected. This particular spell also allows the caster to shield themself from Jinxes and physical attacks. However, this spell is only as strong as the caster's mental fortitude," Professor then faces Harry again.
"Tell us what you feel when I attack your shield, Mister Potter."
Harry never thought of this so he was caught off guard for a moment, he then starts to think about it, the moment something attacked his shield.
"Well… there's um, like, something creeping in my head every time a spell hits my shield. Like… some kind of brain freeze that keeps teasing to pop up but it never comes."
"Good explanation, this is the side-effect of holding up the shield charm. The nature of this spell is that it never leaves the connection between you and the spell, direct contact with it affects the caster in an instant.
There's merit with it however, it means you can put the shield as long as you can. There will be time for you to learn the variant of this spell but this not it." Professor Maria said it with sympathy, and it resonates quite well with the students that felt slight disappointment.
Professor Maria then looked at Harry once again, "Would you up for a challenge, Mister Potter? Points to your house and bonus points if you can hold your shield charm." Professor Maria offered, and of course, Harry got amped up and had a go with it.
"Let's do it, Professor."
"Ah, wonderful spirit, truly." Professor Maria smiled, "Put your stance up."
Harry then immediately put his stance, ready to deflect any attack. His heart rate went up and his eyes focused on the woman.
There was a tense pause before finally, Professor Maria moved her hand- however without any incantation. Harry was surprised but his focus helped his reflex, so immediately he cast the shield.
There was a loud noise as if something just exploded that surprised everyone. There's a bit of smoke latching on Harry's shield. The shield withstands the attack and Professor Maria gives a joyous expression on her face.
"Well done! you have outdone yourself, young one. You manage to hold yourself with the element of surprise."
Harry smiled, for the first time in the whole day, Harry felt a bit happy with himself. He looked around and students cheered at him, even Cho looked at him with wide eyes. Harry could feel his heart flutter.
"Good one, Harry!" Ron shouted with Hermione. Meanwhile, Malfoy looks very annoyed right now.
"Remember to observe, you will learn this spell for a while until we are ready for the next one, is that clear?" Professor Maria asked the crowd, the students immediately replied with excited 'YES,' with some already whispering among themself to learn the spell because it looks cool, some even saying because they want to become Auror.
"Unfortunately, as versatile as it can be, there's still consequences… ready your wand again, Mister Potter."
Harry put up his stance again. Harry starts to focus and when he sees a slight movement from Professor's wand, he immediately casts his shield.
Much to Harry and everyone's surprise, the shield shattered like glass but left no shards, Harry fell on his butt with a headache.
Everyone gasped but Malfoy laughed, he laughed way too hard even among Crabbe, Goyle, and Pansy. "Not so tough, Potter!"
Professor Maria instantly snapped her gaze towards Malfoy and they all fell into silence immediately. Professor walked towards Harry and helped him to wake up but her cold hard gaze never leaves Malfoy in which unnerves them slightly. She then waves her wand and students can see a line of light moved from up to down in front of them, hinting that she took away the shield to protect them from wild spells.
"Good work, Mister Potter, you may return with 20 points for Gryffindor because of your valiant effort…"
Harry returned with contained cheers among students, especially fellow Gryffindor for winning those points.
"Mister Potter already did enough for us to learn the spell's benefits but we're not there yet with the disadvantages… There's still more demonstration to be done and fortunately, we have someone else volunteering to assist me in this… part of our study."
Professor Maria, still gazing towards Malfoy, didn't even blink for a long period. There's no specific expression that professor Maria conveys with her face or her eyes, it's like having a corpse staring at you, and those particular feelings are the main reason Malfoy ends up swallowing his tongue.
"Please come forward, Mister Malfoy."
Malfoy starts to frantically look at his cronies, which they couldn't help him at all.
"What's the matter? Surely a Malfoy- a well-known pure-blood family has a talent for simple shield charm? Should I ask Mister Potter to teach you first?"
Some really want to snicker but they are too afraid to have the same fate as Malfoy so everyone just stares. Malfoy then reluctantly moved forward with his wand out, almost visibly shaking.
"Loosen up, less you concentrate, more likely your blood will be spilt in this room."
Quite a morbid warning from a teacher, Harry thought, but a fair one nonetheless. Harry reckons if he did not do well enough with Shielding charm earlier, he could get hurt but Harry's pretty sure the Professor already took precautions.
Malfoy tries to put his stance up and cast the shield charm. "P-protego!"
He failed to put the shield charm up, Professor Maria still patiently wait for Malfoy to conjure it with a bit of encouraging words
"Focus, Malfoy, focus. Flick upwards and chant it," Professor Maria said with such a lifeless tone.
Malfoy finally manages to conjure the shield.
"Good, now onto the next lesson, shield charm- in this case- Protego, has disadvantages in which it can only shield you from low to moderate level spells. A shattered shield charm could stun the caster for throwing off their focus.
"Mister Potter, would you kindly explain how you felt when your shield was shattered?"
Harry looked at Malfoy, who was visibly in his start line for panic fever. He's not sure what got into him but at that moment, he really really wanted to make things worse for Malfoy.
"It was quite awful, it's as if my head was pounded by something hard, it took me by surprise so I lost control and fell."
Draco Malfoy starts to have his colour fade little by little and Harry smirks when Professor Maria returns her attention to Malfoy and starts to put a shield of wall between them and the students.
"There is one way to avoid yourself being stunned after having your shield shattered, in which to keep your focus and immediately conjure a new one. This is why I mentioned the shield can only be as strong as the caster's mental fortitude."
Professor Maria starts to put her stance up, "This will be a duress test so be on your feet, Mister Malfoy."
Malfoy gripped his wand tight, too hard even judging by the whitened knuckles and fingers that hold it.
The spell managed to get deflected in the same manner as what Harry did.
A couple of arrows were conjured at the tip of Professor's wand and flew fast towards Malfoy's shield. The transparent arrows bounce off the shield but the shield manages to shatter. Malfoy starts to sweat and his eyes wide open, he takes a few steps back but Professor Maria pursues him.
"Again!" Professor Maria immediately waves her wand. Malfoy conjures the shield again in panic, he manages to conjure but immediately shatters from Professor's spell.
"Ah!" Malfoy let out a voice crack.
"Keep it up! Expelliarmus!"
"Protego!" the shield immediately shatters once again.
"It's not even a high-level spell yet. Focus Malfoy, Focus! Bombarda!"
"Protego!" Yet another shattered glass can be heard filling the room.
Professor Maria keeps barraging spells towards Malfoy who keeps conjuring his shield up only to be shattered the moment later. "Remember, know your limit, no wizards or witch can keep their shields up over and over, it will take a heavy toll on your mind. So what to do when that happens? Forget that you have magic!"
Professor Maria then puts her wand away and starts to walk towards Malfoy, his head starts to blank from all the shattered shield and fear, he immediately puts up another shield charm. Professor Maria pulls her right hand back with her fingers straight and closed and simply thrust her hand to Malfoy's shield, shattering it with her bare hand.
"AAAHH!" Malfoy let out a girlish yelp. The rest of the students let out a gasp, surprised that the Professor can just rip the magical shield apart with a bare hand.
"Very good Malfoy, even when your enemy puts their wand away, keep vigilant."
His face is now very close to the Professor's face. Malfoy starts to shake as her eyes stare right into his soul.
"But your shield cannot protect you from everything. As I was saying, forget you have magic and start to learn how to dodge."
Professor Maria pulls her hand away, everyone can see that her hand is suddenly coated in red, there's a strong metallic smell in the air for a brief moment, and then…
Malfoy immediately rolled away from Professor Maria, when she brought her hand down, a wide splash of red hit the wall and the window along with the ground near it, leaving a deep nasty cut on the stone bricks as if some extremely strong steel just cut them like butter. The red substance that just cut the room then lit up and exploded.
Everyone was shocked and took a step back. Silence suddenly fills the room.
Professor Maria coldly turns towards Malfoy and seems puzzled with disbelief when she found him rigid as if he just froze on the spot, a trickle of water fell to the ground from his crotch, wetting the ground beneath him.
Harry snapped back to reality once he heard Draco fall to the ground and start to put on his iconic 'Play Victim' face.
"Y-you! You assaulted me! A student!"
Professor Maria only looks at Malfoy with her cold gaze, "I expect something more from a rascal of Slytherin. But again you Malfoys and your spineless aggravating traits truly never leave your pure-blood."
"My family is one of the strongest Sacred Twenty-Eight families! Y-you have no right to slander my family! We are the most powerful wizard family and you will pay for what you've done once my father hears this!"
For a moment, everyone could see Professor Maria subtly cringing at Malfoy, "You act exactly like Septimus and his Abraxas boy, spoiled beyond measure."
Malfoy seemed surprised by the mention of the names, "D-don't talk about my grandfather and my great grandfather as if you know them!"
"I know them more than you do, threatening teachers and students while putting up that snake face- 50 points from Slytherin." Professor Maria then waves her wand and the room starts to move, mend itself back together.
"That will be your punishment as prefect for ringing the beckoning bell at your own amusement despite the warning my messengers heeded. Do it again and I won't show the same mercy like I did today…"
Malfoy felt a chill on his spine, he was unable to move or talk even when Professor Maria finally let her piercing eyes off him.
"Remember my lesson still, write it if you will. Know your limit, you cannot depend on your shield charm forever and this is my criticism towards wizards and witches… Learn how to dodge, it might save your life."
Then the bell rang right after, signifying the class is over.
"There won't be homework for today, class dismissed," said the Professor as she walks out from the classroom coolly.
Everyone still stuck in their spot, unsure how to react to what just transpired. Crabbe and Goyle seem to run towards Malfoy and all three of them immediately run away from the classroom, still leaving a pool of pungent urine on the ground.
"I don't even know what I should feel right now…" said Hermione, breaking the silence. Her comment then followed by a synchronized nod from everyone.
"At least we don't have homework…?" Ron added.
Professor McGonagall, Professor Snape, Professor Sprout, and Professor Flitwick walk towards the Headmaster office with worried faces. Truly this is the most confusing event for many years of Professor McGonagall teaching at Hogwarts.
"Sherbet Lemon." Professor McGonagall said in front of the Gargoyle statue, but the statue did not move.
"He changes the password with his favourite food is it?" said Severus Snape.
"Oh Albus- right, uh... Raspberry Jam," said Professor McGonagall once more and the statue finally moved up and turned into a staircase.
Professor McGonagall and the rest of the head houses hasten their walk and immediately open the door, revealing Dumbledore, sitting on his desk eating a sandwich with red coloured jam on it.
"Oh, what is it?"
Dumbledore's sentence was cut by Professor McGonagall with papers on her hand flapping around. "Albus, what's the meaning of this? Why is there a change in the schedule and no one told us?"
"No one told you? But Miss Umbridge said she informed everyone!"
"No, she's not!" Professor Sprout protested.
"She didn't inform anyone?." Everyone then turned their head towards the source of the voice, which turned out to be Professor Maria standing near a tray full of bread, it seems she's been slicing bread all by herself.
"Oh, um, hello Lady Maria, didn't notice you earlier," said Professor McGonagall, a bit surprised to find her in the Headmaster's office, slicing bread. "But anyway, yes, she didn't, I didn't even realise I handed in a changed timetable until just a moment ago."
"It messes up some of our classes, especially on the defence against dark arts…" Severus Snape said while glancing towards Lady Maria, the professor of the subject.
"Was she perhaps trying to sabotage the defence against dark arts?" asked Professor Flitwick.
Albus only laughed, he thought the Ministry can't be even bolder with their intention, "Oh how funny the Ministry tries to sabotage Defence Against Dark Arts because they're afraid!"
"Afraid of children learning how to defend themself?" Professor Pomona appears to be the only one who is dumbfounded by the revelation.
"They are afraid I turned a bunch of children into soldiers."
"That's ridiculous!" Professor McGonagall shook on her feet, furious by the idea of turning children into soldiers.
"Now now... it's alright, at least we know that her target is Lady Maria, she's just taking a piss in the wind," said Albus jokingly. Lady Maria paused from her raspberry sandwich-making.
"What does that mean?" Lady Maria asked.
"I beg your pardon?" Dumbledore asked again, not sure what she meant.
"That phrase, talking…"
"Oh, taking a piss in the wind?" Dumbledore asks for confirmation which replied with a nod from Lady Maria. "It just means a useless act."
Lady Maria will remember that.
"Well anyway, since we still have time before the bell rings, why not join me? I have the best raspberry sandwich jam with me today." Dumbledore invited with a smile and twinkling eyes.
"Again?" Professor Snape asked with disbelief, meanwhile, Professor Flitwick and Sprout were ready to walk towards Dumbledore's desk.
"Yes, of course, I mean this is the best in the world!"
Lady Maria then brings a tray full of raspberry sandwiches with her and put it on top of Dumbledore's table.
"Ah, we have enough for everyone now," said Dumbledore looking at the tray. "Please join us!"
Each House heads glancing at each other and starts to move their brows up while muttering 'Might as well…' and finally sit with Dumbledore and start to take their sandwich.
"I still can make more so eat to your heart's content," said Lady Maria to Albus and the rest of the professor.
"Thank you, mum."
Everyone choked on their sandwich.
"Oh dear, please eat slowly, I know they are tasty but please…" Dumbledore said before start to eat his own sandwich.
Each head of the house just stared at Dumbledore and occasionally glanced towards Lady Maria who busied herself making tea for herself. Dumbledore starts to notice his staff frozen with wide eyes instead of biting their sandwich.
"Is something the matter?" Ask Dumbledore with a worried face.
The other professors decide to just eat their sandwich and try not to pursue the fact that Dumbledore called a woman that looks a century younger than him a mum. Accidental or not, they really don't want to know.
Preview for the next chapter I guess?
Professor Maria looks at the old man sitting in his wheelchair, his round eyeglasses framing his wet eyes, crying to see her again.
"Ah… dear mother, that's really you."
Professor Maria hugged the old man that called him mother. "I'm happy to see you again, Nicholas…"
"Oh, it's truly you… oh… how do I long for this moment…!" Nicholas hugged her back, tightly.
"How's the academy?"
"It's long gone… long gone… I'm a fool and now it's all gone…"
"It's fine now, Nicholas…" The Countess of Cainhurst patted the old man's back gently to calm him down. Once the sobbing was gone, she let go of her hug and wiped the tears from Nicholas. "You must be tired after the long journey."
"I'm fine now, with you, all my worries gone."
Professor Maria then glances towards the young girl with blonde hair, wearing some sort of uniform pushing Nicholas' wheelchair. "And who is this beautiful girl?"
The girl blushes when the Professor addresses her as a beautiful girl.
"Ah this… please, it's okay, introduce yourself, she will be your guardian and your teacher from now on" Nicholas encouraged the girl.
But the girl only let out a concerned look towards Nicholas. "But Headmaster…"
"I can't raise you and the others alone… not without Dear Margareta… but worry not I will still be around for you, and the others… Lady Maria is my mother so you can treat her like your great-grandmother… or just your mother."
Nicholas smiled at the girl and then the blonde girl finally nodded. The girl was a bit shy but well mannered, so she bows and introduces herself.
"Nice to meet you, Lady Maria… My name is Yuliya."