Her foot nervously tapped against the cushy, carpeted floor. She was sitting in Professor Albus Dumbledore's office, waiting for his return. She wasn't exactly certain where he'd run off to but she assumed his leaving had something to do with the reason she was there that day. If all things had gone well, she was soon to become a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a professor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts. Not only was the anxiety of receiving this prestigious honor unnerving her but there was also the "curse" that had fallen upon those that had come before her. For whatever reason, Hogwarts couldn't seem to keep a Defense teacher for longer than a year. But this wasn't her primary worry; of all the frightening things she'd faced in life, a teaching job couldn't possibly top them.
She peered around Dumbledore's grand office. Dozens of silvery, whirring objects of assorted sizes, some of which she recognized and some of which she'd never seen before, sat upon the many shelves lining the walls. Where there weren't shelves there were pictures of past headmasters, most of which were snoozing peacefully. There were books stacked all around yet everything seemed neat and orderly. Perhaps the most striking thing her eyes set upon was the fantastic bird balanced upon a wooden perch. Its magnificent feathers blazed bright shades of red. She recognized it immediately as a Phoenix. It seemed odd to her that such a legendary bird would be located in the office of a school headmaster but then again, Albus Dumbledore wasn't an ordinary man. Her thoughts were interrupted when the door swung open behind her and the headmaster himself strolled in.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, Ms. Trebaxus," he said, taking a seat behind his desk. Albus Dumbledore was a very tall, thin man with silver hair and a beard long enough to be tucked into his belt. He bore kindly pale blue eyes that twinkled in a friendly manner behind his half-moon spectacles which sat upon a long crooked nose that looked as if it had been broken several times. Though he was an astoundingly powerful wizard, he treated everyone with the utmost respect and always remained kind and courteous. "Well, I believe everything has been settled and I am proud to welcome you aboard as our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. It's a pleasure to have you back."
Inwardly celebrating, she replied, "It's a pleasure being here again, sir. This school holds many fond memories and I hope to make many more in the forthcoming school year."
He chuckled softly and said, "Please, call me Albus." He paused a moment, seeming to ponder something. At last, he said, "Have you selected your books yet? We have to get the student supply lists out soon."
"Yes sir, I believe I've nearly got the book lists finished."
"Excellent. Just come see me whenever you are ready." He paused again, most likely trying to think of anything he might have left out. At last he stood from his chair and smiled. "I suppose that is it. You know the way to your classroom and office, correct?"
"Very good. Just let me know if you have any questions. Or you may ask any of the other professors. I'm sure they'll be glad to help," he said, shaking her hand.
She smiled and thanked him. As she headed for the door, he said, "Oh, and Krista, if you have any spare time, try to get acquainted with the other professors. They will become not only your colleagues but also your family here."
"I'll keep that in mind, sir," she said. He offered a gracious smile as she thanked him one last time and exited the office.
She began the long journey through the Hogwarts castle to the dungeons where her classroom was located. Of all the classrooms she could have been placed in she was put in a dungeon classroom. Of course, she couldn't complain; the dungeons offered up, if not anything else, a lot of privacy. As she descended the many winding staircases and walked through dozens of empty corridors, reminiscences of her time spent there were jogged out of the deep recesses of her childhood memories. She'd spent one year there, her first year of wizarding school, before she was forced to move along with her parents to another area. She hadn't been lying when she said she'd had many fond memories there. Even though it was only a year, she still remembered more about Hogwarts than Durmstrang, the school she attended the last six years of her education. She was glad to see that not much had changed since her time there so many years ago. It was comforting to know that there were some places that would stay the same forever.
The climate slowly declined with her as she descended into the depths of the castle. She at last saw the familiar torches that lined the dungeon corridors and cast their dim, eerie light across the cobblestone floors. She scanned the doorways, looking for her own, when at last she came upon her classroom. She was about to walk inside when she stopped abruptly. She saw someone approaching her from the other end of the corridor. It was a man, tall and thin, with pale skin and black shoulder length hair. His long, black robes billowed out behind him as he trudged down the hall. This oddly struck her memory; she was sure she'd seen the man before but she couldn't put her finger on it. She watched as he entered a classroom. He must be a teacher she thought. She realized she was still staring absentmindedly at the empty corridor before she came to her senses and walked inside her classroom.
She walked amongst the empty desks that crowded the classroom. She'd never taught a class before and to tell the truth, she was quite nervous about the whole thing. Her shy nature only added to her apprehension. Perhaps she was more suited to her past careers but she was tired of constantly traveling and that was why she took the teaching job in the first place. She recalled what Albus had said about getting to know the other professors. There was not only a whole faculty and staff for her to befriend but she would soon have to learn the names of hundreds of students. Feeling slightly overwhelmed, she sat down behind her desk and pulled out the book list she'd been working on. Setting the introductions aside for a later time, she took out a quill and began pondering over her list.