Velma Dinkley lived an average life: she had an average house, average belongings, and her day-to-day life included average responsibilities. Every morning, she would wake up and eat breakfast, followed by showering and getting ready. She would then make the five-minute drive to her very own bookstore, Dinkley's Mystery Books. She had enough customers to keep her business afloat, but she certainly didn't have any surplus of people coming in. During the busy times, she'd help customers find whatever book they were looking for and ring up their purchases. During the slow times, she'd look for a book she hadn't read yet on the shelves, so she had something to do. Reading was one of Velma's favorite things in the world, and she did it often. In fact, after she finished her day at the bookstore, she'd go home, eat dinner, and finish the night off with a few hours of reading. Even her house was quite average - all the walls were painted a drab shade of white, and the only furniture she had was a dining room table, a couch and an easy chair. It was a very modest, boring life, but Velma didn't mind it.

She used to have a far more exciting life globetrotting with her friends. Instead of reading about mysteries, she would solve them, often figuring out the brunt of the puzzle herself. However, the gang had gotten tired of solving mysteries and no longer found much fun in it. They ultimately disbanded, each getting different jobs: Daphne was currently in the process of making the second season of her own supernatural show with Fred as cameraman, and Shaggy and Scooby bounced around from job to job. Velma had decided to combine her love of mysteries and books into one, by opening a specialty book shop carrying only mystery books. She definitely missed the gang quite a bit and thought about the adventures they'd had together regularly. Although she was bored of mysteries at the time the gang disbanded, she wouldn't mind going back to solving mysteries with her friends. However, that didn't seem like it would happen anytime soon, particularly since Daphne was so happy making her show. She still saw the gang sometimes, but it wasn't quite the same as it was before.

Velma was sitting in her living room, as was customary at this hour, rereading The Mystery of Haunted Island. It was one of the most mystery classic books out there. In fact, Velma always sold every copy she had shipped to her store. Although some people would consider reading a book even once to be drudgery, Velma loved rereading her favorite books as much as possible.

All of a sudden, her phone began to ring. Wondering who could be calling at this hour, Velma went to pick up the phone.

"Hello?" Velma inquired.

"Hey, sis!" a familiar voice answered. It was Velma's little sister, Madelyn.

"Hey, Mads." Velma warmly greeted. "What's up?"

"Nothing good, unfortunately." Madelyn sighed. "One of the teachers here at my school quit at the last minute. Nobody knows what to do. The semester starts on Monday, and we don't have anyone to teach the class he was responsible for!"

"Oh no, I'm sorry… I hope it works out!" Velma expressed her sympathy.

"I hope so too. Umm…that's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about, actually." Madelyn said. "Our headmaster Whirlen Merlin talked to me today, and since the class is magical literature…uh…he wants you to come and teach the class."

"Me?" Velma exclaimed in shock. "Why would he want me? I don't even have a teaching license."

"Well, you own a mystery bookshop, and a lot of the books you sell have some element of magic in them…I don't know, V, we're desperate here! It's too short of notice to find a replacement, and you're perfect for the job. I think you'd enjoy our school a lot too!" Madelyn attempted to convince her sister.

"I don't know…I want to help, but I don't feel like I'd be a good teacher. Being up in front of a class teaching so many students, with all of them looking right at me expecting me to give them the answers? That seems pretty nerve-wracking." Velma dissented.

"Please, sis? We need someone." Madelyn whimpered. "It'd only be for a semester, I promise. 16 weeks isn't that much. Just think about how long you traveled the world with your friends!"

Although Velma was still a bit resistant to the idea, her sister did have a good point. 16 weeks was nothing compared to how she traveled to a different city with the gang all those years. She rarely saw her sister, so maybe it would be a fun adventure to go and visit her for a few months.

"You know what, sure. I'll do it." Velma agreed. "It could be fun."

"Really?!" Even though Velma couldn't physically see Madelyn since they were on the phone, she could only imagine that her eyes had lit up. "Oh thank you, thank you, thank you sis! We're going to have so much fun these next 16 weeks! And guess what? I'll be in your class! That's going to be amazing!"

It was already a weird enough thought to Velma that she would be teaching a class, but knowing her little sister would be taking the class she taught made her feel even stranger.

"Yeah, it'll be fun." Velma replied, hoping Madelyn wouldn't notice her semi-cautious tone.

"So, how soon can you be here? I know Whirlen is super excited to meet you!" Madelyn inquired.

"Well…the class starts Monday? I guess I'll be there Sunday night. I need to find someone to run my store while I'm gone for those few months. I can't just leave it unstaffed." Velma said.

"Okay, sis! I can't wait to see you!" Madelyn exclaimed. "This is going to be the most awesome semester ever!"

"I'll see you on Sunday, Mads. Goodnight!" Velma replied.

"Goodnight, sis!" Madelyn excitedly said, before hanging up the phone.

Velma felt incredibly overwhelmed. Given it was currently Thursday, she only had three days to get all her affairs in order before leaving on a four-month trip. Thankfully, all her affairs only consisted of figuring out who could run her bookshop while she was away. Ideally somebody who wouldn't be majorly inconvenienced by having to take on an extra job. That was when a brilliant idea hit her. The perfect people to run her bookshop were…

"So, like, you mean to tell me there's a hot dog stand and a pizza place just a block away from this place?!" Velma's ever-hungry friend Shaggy exclaimed. "Sounds like the perfect job for me and Scoob!"

"Reah!" Scooby agreed.

"I'm glad you guys like the working conditions." Velma chuckled. "Now, the job is pretty basic. You just have to help customers find books if they need it, and ring up their purchases on the cash register by typing in the price like this."

Velma provided an example by typing "$2.99" into the cash register.

"Oh, that's not too hard." Shaggy said. "All of the other jobs we've tried have been so hard…they won't even let us eat food on the job!"

"Well, you'll be your own bosses here, so you can do whatever you want as long as you do those two things, and are kind to the customers." Velma informed.

"That's, like, great! We accept this job offer!" Shaggy confirmed.

"Re roo!" Scooby added.

"Great! I'll be back at the beginning of May." Velma informed. "Feel free to call Whirlen Merlin's School of Magic anytime and ask for me if you ever need any help."

"Like, will do, Velms!" Shaggy exclaimed.

"I can't thank you guys enough for agreeing to help me out with this!" Velma appreciated.

"Like, no problem!" Shaggy replied. "Have fun on your trip!"

Velma took the next couple days to make a list of all the belongings she would need for the next four months. As she packed, she checked each item off her list to ensure there was no chance that she had forgotten anything. It had nearly been a three hour drive to Whirlen Merlin's at this point, but she was pretty sure she was almost there. Her theory was confirmed when she saw a large castle looming up ahead. The castle was more gigantic than she could have ever imagined, with so many towers she couldn't even count. This looked like an absolutely idyllic place to spend the next four months.

The auburn-haired girl quickly realized that she had never asked Madelyn exactly where to park her vehicle. After pondering it a moment, she came to the conclusion that probably anywhere was fine. If Whirlen was really as desperate for help as Madelyn had made it sound, surely he wouldn't ticket her. She was admittedly a little surprised nobody came out to greet her, but she supposed that she hadn't exactly specified when she was coming.

The sun was just starting to set, creating an ethereal view over the castle. Velma parked in an empty spot right next to a tree, which was split down the middle into two large branches protruding from either side. She had two suitcases full of all her clothes, which she grabbed out of the back of her gray vehicle before heading inside the castle.

The scenery around the castle was beautiful. Since it was winter, she could only see tiny bits of the landscaping as it was all covered with snow, but it looked breathtaking, and she couldn't wait to see it in full bloom in the spring.

A large drawbridge over a moat led into the castle, making Velma feel even more like it was something that had come out of a movie. Velma admired her surroundings as she walked inside the immaculate building. She soon saw an older man with a long white beard and white hair.

"Welcome! My name is Alvin Bumbledore, and I am the headmaster of this magic academy." the man greeted.

"Hi…Mr. Bumbledore." Velma was a bit confused. "Am I in the right place? I thought Whirlen Merlin was the headmaster of this school."

"May I take your coat?" Bumbledore inquired, seemingly ignoring Velma's question.

"Sure. Thank you." Velma smiled, removing her orange winter jacket and handing it to the man. She supposed it was silly to wear a jacket the same color as the sweaters she wore everyday, but what could she say? She just loved the color orange.

Bumbledore took her coat and promptly dropped it by mistake. As he bent over to pick it up, he accidentally slipped on the jacket and fell flat on his face.

"Oh no! Sir, are you okay?" Velma shrieked, worried for the man. Given he was elderly, a fall like that could have led to him breaking something.

"Oh, I'm quite alright. Happens all the time, frankly. Seems I'm the clumsy type." Bumbledore admitted.

"I wouldn't say that. I'm sure you're perfectly coordinated and…" Velma said, before looking over in horror to see Bumbledore had somehow managed to have knocked himself to the floor, with a large wooden table on top of his legs, trapping them in place. "How did that happen?!"

"Not sure, really." Bumbledore sighed, groaning in pain due to the weight of the table. "Happens all the time. I suppose my last name lost me a few points in the coordination department."

"Greetings!" another man with long blonde hair greeted, as Velma helped Bumbledore up. The man donned a red button-up shirt and black trousers. "My name is Whirlen Merlin and I am the headmaster of this academy."

"There are two headmasters?" Velma asked, looking at both of them in confusion.

"No, just one. This is our previous headmaster, Alvin Bumbledore. He retired years ago, but he still sticks around here. He's such a hard worker he refused to fully retire despite the fact he's 83. However, we were able to strike up a deal in which he still performs headmaster duties part time."

"Yes, indeed. I'm responsible for 0.046% of the headmaster duties. It's quite a burden, but I manage." Bumbledore proudly stated.

"0.046%? What duties do you exactly perform?" Velma asked out of curiosity before realizing her question could be interpreted as a bit forward. "Just so I understand everything for when I start teaching, of course."

"Well, I sort the top row of the file cabinet, and sign any paperwork that comes in on November the fourth." Bumbledore explained.

"Oh wow, that's…." Velma started.

"A lot, I know. But I don't want you to worry about me or anything, I get along just fine." Bumbledore promised.

"We're glad to have you here, Velma. It was quite unfortunate how our normal professor had to leave on such short notice." Whirlen lamented.

Velma debated for a moment whether she wanted to ask what had happened or not, but she finally mustered the bravery to do so. "What exactly happened to make the former person in my position leave, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Oh, it's awful really. He did something so horrible that he attempted to cast a spell to erase everybody's memories but mine to make us forget, which in itself was a further transgression that led to his firing." Whirlen admitted.

"I mean, should I know what he did, if you remember?" Velma asked. She was almost afraid to hear what the former instructor had done.

Whirlen let out a large sigh, followed by a few moments of silence, before finally speaking up. "Well, I suppose you should know. This is admittedly very offensive, so please be understanding that this is hard for me to say."

"I will." Velma promised.

Whirlen sighed again before he spoke. "On Friday, January 7 at 2:58pm, he yelled 'poopoo peepee diaper baby' from the second stall in the men's restroom. It's astonishing, really. Please do not repeat that awful, graphically offensive phrase to any student in this school."

"I won't." Velma agreed.

"Good. Now that this atrocity is behind us, I'd like to show you to your quarters and explain some of your job duties. Which would you like to start with?" Whirlen inquired.

"I suppose my job duties would be good, given I've got less than 24 hours until I begin." Velma chose.

"Excellent choice." Whirlen exclaimed. "Now, listen carefully, as you'll need to fully understand the complex duties of your job."

"I take this position very seriously, sir." Velma smiled.

"I'm glad to hear. That being said, your job duties include teaching and grading a group of 17 students." Whirlen shared. "Now that you've been informed of everything you'll need to do over the next 16 weeks, let me show you your quarters."

She found Whirlen's explanation of her job duties quite anticlimactic. She followed the blonde-haired man down a long hallway and glanced around at the various sights nearby. There was a coffee maker full of coffee, as well as some cups and lids, for the teachers' convenience. She wondered if other teachers lived in the castle like she was doing now, but she presumed they did.

As she and Whirlen approached a hallway with a washer and dryer, Whirlen held his hand out and handed Velma two coins.

"What's this?" Velma inquired.

"Well, I said I was going to show you your quarters, so here they are. These are for the washing machine. Everybody gets two free quarters at the beginning of the semester! Now, let me show you to your room."

Velma mentally facepalmed at Whirlen's silly explanation. This was certainly going to be an interesting experience, to say the least. After walking a short distance, they stopped at a door marked '105.' Whirlen pulled out a set of keys from his pants pocket.

"Here is your room." Whirlen replied as he unlocked the door for Velma.

The room was modest, but liveable. The first thing her eyes were drawn to was the couch. It was made of leather, and was long enough to be able to fit several people. There was a television affixed to the wall, along with another small armchair sitting on the other side of the living room on a tile floor. There was also a small kitchenette, including a microwave, gas stove, and a decent-sized fridge. In addition, there was a queen-size bed with a white comforter in its own room, which was the only spot in the dorm that was carpeted. It appeared there was also a door to the bedroom. The bedroom was painted a boring white, whereas the rest of the room was painted red.

"This is really nice." Velma said. "Almost feels like a fancy hotel room."

All of a sudden, the leg of the armchair caved in on itself and snapped off, causing the chair to be lopsided.

"Yeah…we won't be paying to replace that." Whirlen said. "Anyway, is there anything I can get you? Towels? Snacks? Perhaps you'd like some Bortie Bert's Singular Flavoured Beans. I'll give you a hint: it's almost raspberry, but not quite."

"Umm…you have a dining hall, right? Maybe I'll just get something to eat there." Velma suggested.

"Sure! Perhaps you could even meet up with your sister. All the students are usually there around this hour, I believe." Whirlen informed.

"That would be great!" Velma replied, setting her belongings down on the couch. "If you could lead the way."

"Absolutely. It's a short walk, but I'll show you some of the other sights around the school. For example, here's the Passage of Confidentiality." Whirlen said.

"You know, I've read a lot of books, and this place seems awfully similar to a book series about a magic school called Harry Potter." Velma seemed suspicious. "Was the construction of this place inspired by that book series?"

"Hardly. In fact, I'd argue J.K. Rowling stole it from us!" Whirlen accused.

As Whirlen finished his thought, a terrifying looking ghost statue popped out at them. The most frightening thing about it, in Velma's opinion, was that the ghost seemed to have his head hanging from his neck!

"Oh, don't be frightened. That's Essentially-Headless Rick." Whirlen explained. "Just a Halloween decoration we forgot to take down."

"Hmm…" Velma suspiciously thought.

"And here's our lovely dining hall." Whirlen said. The dining hall was absolutely immaculate. There were numerous options for the students: one place served burgers, another served pizza and sandwiches, and there was another place that was serving every kind of pasta you could imagine. Velma loved pasta, so that's where she headed first. She quickly served herself a small plate of spaghetti from a buffet-style container, and additionally took a piece of garlic bread.

"Oh my gosh, Velma!" a familiar voice called to her.

"Mads!" Velma exclaimed as soon as she saw her eager sister, who ran up to give her a hug.

"Great to see you again, sis!" Madelyn gave her sister a squeeze. She was wearing a pink skirt along with a lavender top. "So, are you excited about teaching tomorrow?"

"Umm…yes…no….I don't know." Velma said, as they relinquished their hug. "It'll be fun to teach all of these kids what I know about literature, given I'm so passionate about it. On the other hand, I can't imagine they'll be interested in what I have to say. I'll probably bore them to sleep."

"I'm sure you'll be great!" Madelyn encouraged. "They'll love all the cool stuff you're teaching them!"

"Well, I'm not big on being up in front of a class." Velma admitted. "I'll get nervous talking to over 30 people for nearly an hour."

"Maybe at first, but I know my brave sis will overcome her silly fear of public speaking!" Madelyn cheered on.

"She's quite right, you know." Whirlen chimed in, coming to join them with a hamburger and french fries on his plate. "Teaching is quite simple. You just go in, get on your soapbox for 50 minutes, and throw facts at them until they're exhausted!" Whirlen provided his advice. "Then, if they don't do exactly what you ask, then you deduct their grade into oblivion!"

"Okay…" Velma wasn't so sure about that.

"I take it you used to be a teacher?" Madelyn assumed.

"Yes, years before you came here, I used to teach here whilst Bumbledore was the headmaster." Whirlen informed. "Anyway, I have some paperwork you'll need to sign to take the job. I also have some more information for you on the course."

Whirlen handed the orange-sweatered instructor a piece of paper with a room number, as well as a class time.

"Room 1 from 1:00-1:50pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays." Velma said. "Should be easy enough to find."

"No, in fact, it's actually the hardest room in the castle to find. It's buried all the way at the back of the castle at the end of the hall."

"That's…interesting. Thanks for the heads up." Velma replied. It was clear Whirlen was a very eccentric man.

"So, any plans for tonight, sis? I was thinking we could maybe explore the castle, or watch a movie!" Madelyn suggested.

Although she'd just gotten there, Velma sort of felt like relaxing on her own before a busy day tomorrow. Perhaps she could do her normal routine of catching up on some reading. As Velma thought about it a little more, she realized that she read every single night. She never got out and about exploring places, and lately, she hadn't really spent time with anybody after work. It was always the same old routine of reading a book every night for a few hours before going to bed, waking up, going to work, and doing the same routine again the next day. Maybe this could be the start of a more exciting life once again, just like she used to have the gang.

"Yeah, a movie would be great!" Velma smiled.

"Yay!" Madelyn exclaimed. "Do you want to watch it in your room or my room?"

"Let's do your room. I'll have plenty of time to be in my room." Velma replied.

"Here's a document you must sign." Whirlen handed her a piece of paper and a pen.

Velma's eyes bugged out for a moment when she saw the paper. "This says I'm agreeing to be peacefully arrested and escorted to jail by a police officer!"

"Oh dear, that's the wrong form. Good thing you didn't sign it, otherwise I would've had to incarcerate you immediately." Whirlen sounded relieved. "Here is the correct form, which is your contract saying that this position lasts the next 16 weeks, and that you will be paid a stipend of $10,000. Be sure you read the fine print."

Velma glanced at the paper. The fine print was about as straightforward as it could get, given the form was simply a piece of paper reading "I agree to teach for the next 16 weeks for $10,000" in large print.

"This is a very simple contract." Velma observed.

"Indeed. There's hardly any need to bombard new hires with the specifics. I find it's best to be as simple as possible." Whirlen gave his opinion.

"That's a good philosophy. Now how will I get paid? Do you need my bank account information?" Velma inquired.

"No, that won't be necessary. Here you go." Whirlen reached in his pocket to take out his wallet, grabbing a fistful of one hundred 100-dollar bills.

"You're paying me it all now?" Velma's jaw dropped.

"Yes, why wouldn't I? You signed the contract, didn't you?" Whirlen looked puzzled as to why Velma was confused.

"Yes…that's correct. Umm…also, do I need to plan out my class for tomorrow?" Velma inquired.

"No, I have all the old professor's materials from the prior semester here. Professor Staunchameister was his name. Students often called him Staunchy…for multiple reasons, actually." Whirlen informed.

"I can see why…these notes are incredibly dense. They're just listing random facts nobody would remember." Velma observed, reading over her predecessor's chicken scratches.

"Well, I suppose you will have your work cut out for you if you want to redesign his lesson before the first class tomorrow." Whirlen said.

"I'm up to the challenge." Velma asserted. Even though she wasn't particularly enthusiastic about teaching, she cared about her students enough to give them a good education they'd enjoy. "Mads, let's head back to get the movie started. I need some time to redesign this lesson tonight."

When Velma woke up, she immediately felt a sense of dread. Today was the day she had to get up in front of 17 students and try to entertain them somehow. How in the world was she going to do that?

She'd taken the time to develop a lesson plan last night that provided an overview of the materials the students would be reading this semester, but it didn't feel like enough. Surely the students would be bored and hate her, and spend the whole 50 minutes wishing they were somewhere else. She tried not to worry about it overly much, slipping on a t-shirt and leggings so she could head back to the dining hall for breakfast. She made sure to grab a cup of coffee from the pot that was out, as she'd need it for later today.

With each student she passed, she wondered whether or not they were one of the 17 she'd be teaching in a few hours.

A familiar chipper voice came up behind Velma and promptly greeted her.

"Morning, Velms!" Madelyn said. "That sure was a great movie last night, wasn't it?"

They'd watched A Close Encounter with a Strange Kind, which was a film about aliens kidnapping a group of friends that were camping. Velma found it to be overall a pleasurable watch, but the aliens were quite cheesy.

"Yeah, it was pretty good!" Velma replied.

"So, are you ready to teach?" Madelyn inquired of her sister.

Velma delayed responding for this to a second, mostly because she was unsure how she was feeling. She carefully examined all the choices on the breakfast counter, which weren't overly many: cereal, a bagel, a danish, or a donut. Ultimately, Velma went with some Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and poured some milk that was in a jug in a mini-fridge they had below the breakfast counter.

"Yeah…I would say so." Velma stuttered. She felt really unconfident, nervous, and like a fraud. In theory, she loved the idea of teaching, but having to actually get up and talk in front of students for that long was incredibly daunting. She didn't know how she'd get through today, much less 16 weeks.

"Great! I can't wait to be in your class, sis! I'm so happy I asked you to teach here. I knew you'd never let us down!" Madelyn exclaimed.

Velma just wished she felt as confident in herself as her sister did.

Velma felt a lump in her throat as she walked into her classroom. It was a large, auditorium style classroom designed to fit what appeared to be over 100 students. Nine rows of purple seats overlooked the main area of the room, with each row holding twelve students, with the exception of the last row which only had ten seats. The platform in which she would teach on almost appeared to be like a stage with how it was elevated a foot or two off the ground.

Velma's anxiety had only continued to grow throughout the morning, and it was at an all-time high right now. No students had even come in the room yet, which worried her because she wondered how much more anxious she would be when the room was packed. Nervously, she organized her notes in the front of the classroom. Once she had fully organized everything, she mixed them up and organized them again. She realized it was a very silly, pointless thing to do, but she wasn't sure what else to do to appease her nervousness.

In a matter of minutes, Velma heard the door to the room creak open.

"Hey, sis!" Velma was relieved to hear it was the voice of her sister.

"I can't believe class starts in less than ten minutes! Are you excited?" Madelyn asked.

"I…guess so." Velma stuttered. She didn't want to let her sister down, but she really was not looking forward to doing this. Her anxiety was almost completely overtaking her sense of adventure and excitement to try something new.

The door creaked as it was opened once again. A young-looking boy with red hair whom Velma thought could be no more than 15 years old entered the room, and promptly sat down in his seat without saying anything.

"Hello." Velma greeted. She wasn't sure whether she should say anything or not, but that felt like the polite thing to do.

"Hi." the student replied meekly.

The door creaked once again.

A group of four girls came in together. The first wore a blue skirt and a white top; the second wore a red t-shirt and blue jeans; the third wore black leggings and a lavender top; while the last wore pink trousers and a black t-shirt that said 'Whirlen Merlin' on it. Velma presumed one of them must have told a joke, as the white-topped girl began giggling a bit while looking at the lavender-topped student.

Another few students were quick to follow. Velma felt a bit nervous when one of them, a male wearing a red t-shirt, came up to her.

"Hey, I've got two questions. First, I just wanted to let you know about an absence in advance." the student informed.

"Oh, thank you." Velma smiled at the responsibility the student was showing. "That's quite thoughtful of you to tell me. When will you be gone?"

"Well, other than today, I won't be able to be in class any day except the week of April 25-27." the young man shared.

Velma's jaw dropped a little. Why would he take a class he couldn't even attend?

"What's your other question?" Velma asked. She was so shocked by the first question that she needed a moment to figure out her response to it.

"Can I leave class early on April 26? I've got this doctor's appointment, you see, and…" the student was cut off by Velma.

"Are you sure this class is the right fit for you? I don't mean to inconvenience you at all, but it seems like you're not going to be here too much." Velma observed. "I think it might be hard for you to stay caught up if you're rarely here."

"Well, it will be, but I'll certainly try. They don't call me Failin' Freddy for nothing!" the student, apparently named Freddy, said, as he went to sit down in his seat.

More students continued to flood in, just as Velma heard a dreaded sound: the bell ringing. There was no more time to sit and worry anymore. Now she had to entertain these students for fifty solid minutes.

"Hello, my name is Ms. Dinkley, and you're in the class Magical Literature. Is there anybody who's not in the right class?" Velma inquired.

Nobody said anything, leading Velma to assume they were all supposed to be there.

"Okay, seems like you're all in the right place." Velma accidentally let out a nervous chuckle. "I wanted to start by going over the syllabus."

Velma handed a stack of papers to the student sitting closest to her, who had blonde hair and was wearing a pink t-shirt and maroon leggings.

"Attendance and participation will be a large part of your grade. 15% of your grade will be devoted to participation, because much of the knowledge you will get out of this class comes from discussing the literature with your classmates. If you're not here, you can't participate, and thus you will not earn any participation points for days you are absent. That's why it's important to be here all 44 days this semester." Velma explained.

"What? You're tellin' me I've gotta be here every single class?!" the student who had come up to her at the beginning of class exclaimed. "That's too much. Unrealistic expectations, man. I'm outta here."

The student quickly gathered his belongings and stormed out of class. The outburst rattled Velma a bit, but she tried to keep going without acknowledging the student's inappropriate outburst.

"Moreover, you will have three major papers in this class in which you analyze the books in which we are reading." Velma said. "Those will each be worth 10% of your grade. There will also be a midterm and final, each worth 20%. You will additionally have group presentations during week 7, which will be worth 10% of your grade. The remaining 5% of your final grade will be weekly assignments. They'll be simple short-response assignments in which you answer a few questions from the week's readings."

The female student with the white top and blue skirt raised her hand with a question.

"Yes. What's your name?" Velma inquired.

"My name's Kennedy." she replied. "Are the weekly assignments worth 5% each week, or 5% of our overall grade?"

"Nice to meet you, Kennedy. Good question." Velma acknowledged. "The weekly assignments are worth 5% of your overall grade."

"Okay. Thanks." Kennedy nodded.

"Next, I wanted to go around and have everybody introduce themselves." Velma said. "If you could say your name, what year you are, and what one of your hobbies are, that would be great."

"I can start!" Madelyn immediately said. "My name is Madelyn, and I'm a first-year student here. I love watching movies."

"I'm Kennedy, and I'm a junior." a blonde haired girl replied. "I enjoy being outdoors."

"My name's Mike." a male with red hair said. "I'm a sophomore, and I like playing baseball."

"I'm Ron." a guy with brown hair said. "I'm a senior, and my favorite thing to do is cook."

"Hi! I'm Ashley." a brunette girl spoke up. "I'm a huge animal lover, and I hope to be a veterinarian one day! Oh, and this is my first year here."

"I'm Mitch, and I'm a sophomore here at Whirlen." a male with blonde hair said. "My favorite thing to do is play hockey."

"My name's Sadie and I am a junior." a brown-haired girl informed. "I enjoy hanging out with my friends."

"I'm Ramando." a male student with black hair said. "This is my first year at Whirlen Merlin, and my favorite thing to do is listen to music. If you wanna get any music suggestions, I'm probably the guy to ask."

"Hello, I'm Sabrina." a blonde haired girl chimed in. "I'm a sophomore here, and one of my favorite things to do is theater. I'm a big theater nerd."

"My name's John, and I'm a junior." a male with brown hair said. "I'm a big fan of sports - any kind of sports - as well as weight lifting."

"I'm Katie and I'm also a junior." a female with short brunette hair added. "I love swimming."

"I'm Parry. Parry Hotter, to be exact. Interesting last name, but I didn't pick it. Who chose our last names for us? We may never know. Anyway, I'm in my second year here. It would have been my third, but my mom chose not to enroll me for another year since we were moving and all. We've moved a bunch over the years, five times in fact. Once to Albuquerque, another time to San Francisco, then to Minneapolis, followed by Madison, and now I'm here at Whirlen Merlin." Parry went on and on. "Anyway, my hobbies are very complex: I like writing, singing, humming, walking, running, jogging, sprinting, gallivanting, sleeping, showering…but most of all, I love reading!"

"Thanks for that very detailed introduction, Parry." Velma smiled. She could tell he was going to be a very talkative student.

"My name is Annabelle, and I'm a junior here. I love writing and working on my art." a brunette female replied.

"My name's Owen, and I like mowin'...the lawn, that is." a brown-haired boy said. "I'm a first-year, by the way."

"Jake. Sophomore. No hobbies." a blonde student mumbled, clearly not very interested in being here. Velma just hoped he wouldn't be too much of a problem.

"I'm Kara, I'm a sophomore, and I enjoy collecting vinyl records." a girl with dark brown hair replied.

"I'm Brian, and I like to write. I'm a junior here at WM." a brown-haired male concluded.

"My name is Ms. Dinkley. This is my first semester teaching here at Whirlen Merlin. I'm a big book lover; in fact, I used to have my very own book shop before I came to work here." Velma informed the students. She found herself getting a lot more comfortable once the students had introduced themselves. "I'm really glad to be working here and it's going to be fun teaching you all. So, many of you are book lovers. Given that, I wanted to ask, what are some of your favorite books?"

Hearing what her students enjoyed and getting to know their names made them feel less like faceless entities she had to entertain. Rather, they now felt like people who she was connected to, and students that she was responsible for making sure learned as much as they could about magical literature. She was still quite worried about boring the students or failing as a teacher, but she had gained something she didn't have coming into the classroom today: a little bit of hope. Maybe this job wouldn't be so bad after all.

Today, Velma didn't feel as much of a sense of dread or nervousness when she walked into class. They had quite a good conversation yesterday about the magical literature they had read in other courses. A few of the students seemed to even be avid literature lovers, which elated the orange-sweatered bookworm. Despite this, she did still feel a bit nervous. She didn't want to screw up or bore the students, and talking to 17 people at once remained an idea that was quite nerve-wracking to her.

Although it was a lot more work, Velma was happy she wasn't familiar with the books she was teaching them. It was almost like she was learning along with the students, which was a fun thought. Wonderific Creatures and Places They're At by Scoot Namander was the first book she'd assigned the students. They were supposed to read chapters 1, 2, and 3 last night. She just hoped her students had done the readings.

The chime of the school bell gave Velma some butterflies in her stomach, but also a different feeling this time: hope and excitement. She had to admit she was a little excited to branch out of her shell to help shape the bright young minds of the next generation.

"Alright everybody. Today we're going to discuss the first three chapters of the Namander book. Please raise your hand if you did the readings, and be honest." Velma requested, before adding a caveat. "This is a judgment free zone. It is just the second day, after all."

Most of the class raised their hands. Owen, Katie, John, Parry and Jake were the students that did not.

Velma felt a little bit of her nervousness coming back. She didn't yet know the correct balance of being the authority and being considerate to the students.

"Okay, for those who didn't raise their hands, make sure you do the reading for tomorrow. You'll have a lot of trouble completing your weekly assignments if you don't read the materials." Velma warned.

"Ms. Dinkley?" Jake raised his hand. "Does it count as doing the readings if I picked up the book, looked at it for a moment, and said "nah!" before putting it back down?"

"No, it wouldn't." Velma gave the student a disapproving look. She had never seen such a lack of caring in any person before, much less a student. However, she did have to remind herself that not everybody was as passionate about learning as she was, and clearly Jake was an extreme case of this.

Jake just shrugged, and slouched back down in his seat.

"Now, who can tell me what Namander is trying to argue in the first few pages of chapter 1?" Velma inquired.

Madelyn's hand quickly shot up.

"Yes, Mads - I mean, Madelyn?" Velma inquired.

"He's trying to argue that all creatures should be treated fairly, because they are living beings. I really agree with what he's saying. I can't imagine any sane person arguing for mistreatment of an animal." Madelyn replied.

"Yes, you're exactly right!" Velma smiled at her little sister's smartness. All of a sudden, the lights began to flicker. "Uh oh…did Whirlen forget to pay the electric bill or something?"

Given how scattered Whirlen seemed, she admittedly wouldn't put it past him. Velma tried to continue talking, but the lights soon went completely out. Thankfully, the room was only dark for a moment, before coming back on. Velma gasped in horror when she saw what was on the whiteboard.

The words "leave this place" had been written in some sort of red ink.

"Alright…" Velma stuttered, trying to remain confident for her students but struggling. "Who did that?"

"It must be the ghost of Merlin." Owen replied.

"Are you sure?" Velma was skeptical. She'd met so many fake ghosts when mystery solving with the gang that her mind always turned to it probably being some goofball in a Halloween mask. Not to mention Owen had already lost some credibility in her book from not doing the reading for today.

"No, he's right." Sadie confirmed. "Legend has it, the ghost of Whirlen's ancestor still lurks around these halls."

"I've seen shenanigans like that happen in my other class." Katie revealed. "Thankfully, it doesn't happen often, and we've never seen him before."

Wow. Velma couldn't believe she'd found herself in the midst of another potential mystery. One thing was for sure, she'd have to ask Whirlen about it later tonight.

Velma made sure the door locked behind her as she shut the door to her room. She quickly headed to the dining room, hoping she would see Whirlen there. Worrying about teaching was no longer weighing on her quite as much as it did before, as she was now worried about the school potentially being haunted. In her opinion, the latter was a much bigger issue than the former.

As soon as she arrived at the dining hall, Velma saw her sister grabbing a slice of pizza and sitting down at a table. It wasn't necessarily the familiar face she most wanted to see, but she was happy she wasn't completely alone. Getting to do this while spending time with her sister made this uncertain new experience quite a bit easier.

"Hey, sis. Have you seen Whirlen anywhere?" Velma inquired.

"No." Madelyn stated. "How come?"

"I was going to ask him about whatever that message written on the wall was this afternoon in class." Velma informed. That was pretty freaky."

"Well, it's like Sadie said. It's the ghost of Merlin. He never does any harm other than turning off the lights or leaving the occasional unfriendly message on the whiteboard, so nobody really worries about him." Madelyn explained, before her tone became playful. "We are in a magic school after all, sis."

"Hmm…something seems off." Velma was suspicious. "Do you know of any other relatives Whirlen has?"

"Well, there's Marlin, his brother." Madelyn responded, her face scrunching up for a moment when she was deep in thought. "We don't really see him much, though. I guess he works here, but it's just doing behind-the-scenes stuff or whatever."

Before Velma could comment on her sister's remarks, Velma's eyes became alert when she saw Whirlen heading over towards them.

"Oh, hello there." Whirlen greeted. "And how goes the teaching?"

"Pretty good, though we ran into a bit of a problem today." Velma shared.

"Oh dear. Is a student giving you trouble?" Whirlen inquired.

"No. The lights went off in the middle of my lesson, and a threatening note saying 'leave this place' was written on the whiteboard when they came back on." Velma filled Whirlen in. "One of my students said it was the ghost of your ancestor."

"Ah, they'd be correct then. That's Merlin. He gets a bit grouchy after awakening from his after-lunch nap." Whirlen seemed dismissive.

"You're not worried at all about the fact there's a ghost in this castle?" Velma became shocked.

"No, not particularly." Whirlen shrugged.

"Okay…any other ghosts of ancestors I should know about?" Velma asked.

"No. I can see why you'd be worried, but there's hardly any need to. Merlin never does anything other than cause a bit of mischief from time to time." Whirlen explained.

"I hope you don't mind me pointing this out, but all your relatives' names seem to rhyme." Velma observed.

"Yes, that's quite correct. Now, do you need me to pick anything up at the store that we don't have here?" Whirlen inquired. "Darlin Merlin already asked me to drive by her house to give her some more makeup. She's quite into fashion, you know."

"No, I can't think of anything." Velma said. "Thanks for offering, though."

"By the way, you have a new student in your class. He's a late enrollee at the school." Whirlen informed Velma. "He'll start tomorrow."

"Okay, thanks for letting me know. I'll try to make him feel at home here as much as I can." Velma said, distance and a distracted mentality present in her voice.

"Excellent. Don't worry about Merlin's ghost, Velma. He's harmless." Whirlen assured.

"He's right, sis. The most he ever does is pull a prank every now and then." Madelyn added.

"Okay…" Velma cautiously said.

Logic and solving mysteries was in Velma's nature, so it was hard for her to just push the desire to question the illogical out of her mind. Despite how hard it was, she tried to rationalize it anyway. This school had a lot of quirks to it, so this was just another harmless quirk…she hoped.

It was time for the final class of the week. Almost all of her students were sitting in the classroom, patiently waiting for it to turn 1:00pm when the class would start. Velma was surprised how quickly the week had gone. 1 week finished out of 16 total converted into approximately 6%, and it certainly didn't feel like she'd already completed 6% of her teaching responsibilities. Just as the bell rang, Jake sauntered into class and slouched down in his chair once again. All of Velma's students were now there, with the exception of the new student that Whirlen had mentioned. She wasn't really sure where this new student was, and she didn't want to wait for the person if they didn't bother showing up.

"Alright class. Last night you were assigned to finish reading chapters 4, 5 and 6 of Namander." Velma reminded. "We'll be discussing it in a minute, but first, I wanted to remind you of your weekly assignment. After you finish the book by reading chapters 7 and 8, you'll be writing a short response for Monday listing three types of creatures Namander discusses, followed by explaining Namander's arguments about protecting magical creatures and if you agreed with them or not. Please make sure to say why you agreed or disagreed with him; don't just simply say you agreed and move on."

Before Velma could continue, a teenage boy with brown hair burst in the room. He appeared to be carrying a small animal in a habitat of some sort.

"Whassup everybody?! Eric in da house!" the person, apparently named Eric, exclaimed.

"Are you the new student?" Velma inquired.

"Why, yes, yes I am!" Eric rubbed his hands together maniacally. "I've been expelled from all my other schools, and I'm gonna break the record for the shortest amount of time a student has ever been enrolled at a school before their expulsion! To do that, I'm gonna break every single rule on the first five pages of the Student Handbook!"

"Eric, please sit down." Velma said, trying to remain calm even though she felt quite intimidated by this brute of a student.

"Alright, let's see…no animals in school." Eric said, as he looked at a copy of the Student Handbook and opened the habitat he was carrying. A chinchilla was quick to scurry out. "No horseplay in the classroom…I've got that one covered, since I'm playing this Ultimate Pony Rescue video game right now."

Eric quickly put down the miniature video game he was holding, and continued glancing through the handbook.

"Ummm…teacher lady. I genuinely care about your class, and will do all the assignments." Eric replied. "There! I've got academic dishonesty covered, given I wasn't being honest about my motivation to succeed academically in this course! Hahahaha!"

"Eric, please sit down or I'll have to call the headmaster." Velma felt incredibly nervous to the point of wanting to leave. She wasn't ready to deal with any behavioral issues, much less one this severe.

"Okay, this next section's on the school's no-gambling policy. Good thing I brought a game of craps with me!" Eric exclaimed, as he grabbed Owen's notebook.

"Hey man, what'd you do that for?" Owen shouted in frustration.

"Alright, I've got theft covered now too. You could also count that as bullying, since I discriminated against him on the basis of him bein' a nerd, so that's checked off too." Eric informed. "Now, I'd like to introduce you to my visitor who is not in this educational institution for a legitimate reason, Snickers the Clown!"

A man in a large clown suit burst in the room and looked at Velma. "Hee hee hee hoo! My job is to distract you!"

"Hmm, let's see…all students are responsible for course fees…didn't pay those, so we're set there." Eric read out of the Student Handbook.

All of a sudden, a knock could be heard at the door. Velma feared it was another part of Eric's shenanigans, but she supposed there was little to worry about since he was quite literally trying to get himself expelled as quickly as possible, and thus would be gone soon.

"Come in." Velma invited in an exasperated voice. Thankfully for her, it was Whirlen.

"I'm just coming to check on your new student and…what is going on?!" Whirlen exclaimed as he saw a chinchilla running around the room.

"It seems the new student is trying to get himself expelled as fast as he can." Velma filled the headmaster in.

"Young man, is this true?" Whirlen asked.

Eric didn't seem to pay mind to the fact that Whirlen had asked him a question.

"Alright, I've got my apparel showing gang affiliation." Eric unzipped his blue coat to reveal a black t-shirt reading 'It's Fonzie and the Gang! Tuesdays at 8/7 central on CBS!'

"Eric Stoker, come with me this instant!" Whirlen growled.

"Shut up, I'm trying to get these spaghetti straps to show off my midriff!" Eric snapped, as he pulled his gang shirt below his shoulders to show he was wearing a strappy women's tank top.

"Young man, you are this close to being expelled from this school!" Whirlen shouted at him. Velma would have never expected to see Whirlen so angry.

"Oh, thank god. Guess I'll have to speed this up. Looks like I've just got the sections on flash photography, false fire alarms and destruction of others' property left." Eric said, as he took out a camera and snapped a picture, pulled the fire alarm, and took Katie's notebook and ripped out a single page. "Now you'll have to go to the store and buy a notebook slightly earlier than you would have had to before! How do you like that minor inconvenience? Hahahaha!"

"Young man, you are expelled! You must leave these premises, effective immediately!" Whirlen roared.

"Hey, that's a new record! Only five minutes!" Eric exclaimed, as he picked up his chinchilla and put it back in its habitat. "By the way, I showed up to this class tardy, which also breaks the attendance policy."

"I'm terribly sorry about the disruption, Velma." Whirlen apologized. "I'll turn off the fire alarm in a moment, and I'll make sure this miscreant doesn't bother you or this school again. I suppose we should really look into students' records more. Our current background policy only entails looking at the prospective student and saying 'eh, they look like a decent person.'"

Whirlen grabbed Eric by the hand and escorted him out of class.

"False alarm, students, false alarm! There's no fire. Return to your classrooms." the headmaster informed fleeing students as he walked out into the hall with Eric. "How could you be so foolish, young man?"

"Hey, I don't make the decisions around here. My brain does!" Eric informed.

Velma felt an odd mix of relief, anxiety and thankfulness. She was relieved the situation had been taken care of, and thankful that her other 17 students were as amazing as they were and nothing like that menace. She also felt anxious that it might happen again, as she felt completely unequipped to deal with behavioral issues, especially on that scale. She tried to carry on like nothing happened, but she still felt a lot of nervousness. She just hoped that the students wouldn't notice.

"Anyway, now that the distraction has been taken care of…" Velma was cut off by the lights going out just like they had yesterday. She tried not to freak out, but the concept of a ghost possibly being in the room was quite freaky. Thankfully, the lights flickered on in another moment.

"Oh no, did Eric make Merlin's ghost angry?" Velma asked with a sigh.

"Apparently so." Madelyn pointed to the board, which had a terrifying message reading 'leave this castle, or terrible things will happen and you will lose all you love'.

"Oh wow, he's never been that aggressive before." Sadie commented.

Velma's eyes quickly turned to Sabrina, who looked stricken with fear. The orange turtlenecked teacher hoped that she was only acting, given she was a self-proclaimed theater nerd after all.

"Sabrina, what happened?" Velma inquired.

"This has never happened before." Sabrina sounded absolutely terrified. "I…felt a cold chill in the air. Almost like something floated right through me."

"You mean the ghost of Merlin?" Velma questioned.

"Yeah…I think so." Sabrina stuttered. "I don't understand. He's never been aggressive like this before. Maybe a little bit grouchy, but he's never done anything like this before. When I felt him go through me, I felt a sense of vengeance and raw anger. Even though it just happened, it was honestly the scariest thing I've ever experienced."

Velma no longer felt comforted by Madelyn and Whirlen's words. It was clear this place was haunted by a spirit, and he didn't seem too happy about having everybody in his place of resting. Velma wasn't sure if the ghost of Merlin would harm any of her students, and she felt extremely worried and unsure if it was safe continuing to teach here.

One thing was for sure, though: it seemed she had another mystery on her hands.

Author's note:

I hope you enjoyed this first chapter! There are a lot of references here, particularly to Harry Potter since several elements of this fanfic are sort of a tongue-in-cheek parody of that franchise. The Passage of Confidentiality is a parody of the Chamber of Secrets, just as Bortie Bert's Singular Flavoured Beans is a parody of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Bean. Essentially-Headless Rick is a parody of the Harry Potter character Nearly-Headless Nick. The book Wonderific Creatures and Places They're At by Scoot Namander is a parody of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, which has recently been spun off into a movie franchise.

As a bit of a fun fact, the name of this fanfic is the original title of Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo when it first entered development in 2008.

There were also quite a few references to past Scooby content here. The film Velma and Madelyn watched, A Close Encounter with a Strange Kind, as well as the premise about friends being abducted by aliens while camping, is a reference to The Richie Rich / Scooby-Doo Hour short of the same title. Moreover, the book Velma is reading at the beginning of the chapter, The Mystery of Haunted Island, is the title of an episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies. I've made reference to that episode title as a book in every Scooby-Doo fanfic I've written thus far, so I suppose you could say it's somewhat of a classic in the universe of my fanfiction haha.

Speaking of my other fanfiction, you may recognize that Eric Stoker is a character from Fangs for the Memories. I thought this would be a fun cross-fanfic reference. I view this fanfic as taking place in between Fangs for the Memories and Hexed, and during the same time period as Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake.

With one of my other fanfics, Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake, I remember receiving several reviews asking me whether I was going to include the other members of the gang regularly in each chapter, since they were included sporadically throughout the story. Since Shaggy and Scooby appeared briefly at the beginning of this chapter, I wanted to be transparent just so nobody is disappointed. Shaggy and Scooby will not be included regularly in this fanfic, as the main focus will be on Velma at Whirlen Merlin's School of Magic. They will have a few more cameos, but they will not be regular characters or have any substantial part in the story. In addition, unlike my other fanfics to date, I actually have all sixteen chapters of this completely written before even publishing this first one.

If you enjoyed reading this, favorites and follows are always appreciated! I also love knowing what I'm doing well, as well as what I could maybe do better, so feel free to leave a review if you'd like!