Title: The Staff Room

Author: Ghost Dancer

Summary: A quiet Sunday afternoon in the Staff Room.


The Staff Room was calm and quiet, with Sunday afternoon light filtering in through the windows onto the carpeted floor. The scratch of quills on parchment, the ruffling of papers and the chink of someone setting down their beverage of choice filled the comfortable silence that floated through the room. The half-dozen or so armchairs in the room had been rearranged to meet the needs of the various professors, several positioned close to the fire, a few dragged into odd corners with little tables brought with them, and the last of them pulled up around the large wooden table that took up one wall of the room. A small sofa was settled directly in front of the fire, and there was a large wardrobe in one corner.

Minerva Mcgonagall and Filius Flitwick had both finished grading the papers for their classes, and where currently playing a friendly game of Rummikub in two particularly squishy armchairs, one of the small tables dragged between them. Minerva took a deep drink from a cup of steaming tea, surveying her tiles before carefully re-arranging them to her liking. Filius watched her play out her turn, a bemused expression on his face as he swirled the dregs of his orange juice around the tiny glass.

Pomona Sprout had taken up her usual spot at one end of the large oak table, spreading out her papers so that they covered almost a quarter of the space there. She paused every so often to take a sip of her coffee, which had gone cold while she was absorbed in her work.

Hazel Sinistra, who did not always work on her papers in the staff room, had taken the chair closest to the windows, her papers piled high on a low coffee table, where she had also set down a small stack of books. An extra quill was tucked behind her ear, and as she read over the essays she would fiddle with it absentmindedly, scowling at the paper whenever she came across a mistake. Her fresh cup of warm milk was quickly cooling, but she had yet to take any notice.

Zinnia Vector was, as always, almost buried under her pile of papers. She had taken the other chair near to the fireplace, and despite the fact that she had half as many students as the other teachers did, her work still took up three of the small tables. Her wand and a hot mug of apple cider where balanced on a fourth table that was out of the way just enough to keep the objects on it from being toppled by stray papers.

Remus Lupin observed all of this with mild amusement. The Staff Room had always been something of a ledged when he had been at school. He remembered the hours he, Sirius, Peter and James had spent wondering what the teachers did while they where in there. They had, of course, gone in to the room on several occasion, but never on a normal school day when there where teachers inside. He decided that he would have been disappointed at the lack of excitement in the room.

"How is it that you two are done with all of your work AGAIN?" Remus asked Minerva and Filius, who exchanged wry smiles over their tile game.

"It's called experience." Minerva said dryly, adding a three to a set of four red tiles. "I'm sure you'll pick it up in a few years."

"I haven't." Zinnia grumbled, flicking through her papers in irritation. "Where did I- Ah!" She glared at the paper in triumph, scratched something on the top of it, and threw it neatly onto the pile of, what Remus assumed was, her finished papers.

Hazel snorted. "I'm not surprised." She muttered, and Zinnia tossed her a disgruntled look.

"It just takes practice." Filius squeaked, taking his eyes away from the game to watch disapprovingly as several papers fell from one of Zinnia's stacks. "You need to keep things organized."

Minerva spared a look over her shoulder at the tottering pile of papers, and snorted.

"I remember thinking up all kinds of secret things with my friends that we where sure went on in here." Remus said, staring around at the wall hangings.

"How does it feel to know its all just paperwork going on?" Pomona asked cheerfully, taking a drink from her coffee mug and making a face as she discovered it had a thin layer of ice forming on top of it.

"If I weren't the one doing the paperwork, I wouldn't mind that much." Remus grinned, and several people chuckled appreciatively.

"It's been a while since I've been a student." Filius remarked casually. "But I remember Todd Ramone had fun trying to sneak in here every chance he got. He got in a lot of trouble as I remember." He flicked a glance at his opponent. "What about you Minerva? Any child time stories you'd care to tell us?"

"Oh, do tell us." Hazel looked interested. "I haven't heard anything about the school when you where a student."

Minerva leaned back in her chair, watching lazily as Filius took his turn. "Any good stories? Well, there was the time in my second year when Roberta Watts got hit with an Anti Gravity charm and ended up stuck in the ceiling of the Great Hall." She smiled reminiscently. "Took them almost two days to figure out how to get her down again. Poor girl. And in my fifth year, the Merpeople came up to the surface for the Winter Solstice Festival. I believe they stopped holding that festival here at Hogwarts in 1939."

"Why?" Asked Zinnia, her tone laced with curiosity. Minerva looked around, almost surprised to see everyone watching her.

"Because of the war." She said simply.

"What war?" Zinnia pressed her brow furrowing as she tried to think.

"Wasn't that the year Grindelwald came to power?" Pomona said slowly.

Minerva nodded, her face darkening. "Grindelwald came to power at exactly the time the Muggles began World War II. The world was a very dangerous place back then."

"How old where you?" Remus asked, unable to contain his own curiosity. The topic of Grindelwald had almost never come up in any conversation he could remember having, and he was surprised to realize how little he knew on the subject.

"Eighteen." Came the crisp response. Minerva had focused her attention back on the game of Rummikub, but Zinnia wasn't done questioning her yet.

"Who was Grindelwald anyway? I can't remember anything about him from History of Magic. Dumbledore defeated him, right?"

Minerva let out an exasperated sigh that made Hazel snicker slightly, before she turned it hastily into a cough.

"Grindelwald was a dark wizard. He attempted to take over the wizarding communities in several different areas of Europe, including Britain. He was killed in 1945 by Dumbledore, but not before he destroyed about half of the population. His favorite methods of attack where to use wolves, and on some occasions, werewolves. He's part of the reason there's such a prejudice against werewolves today." She gave Remus a very sympathetic look. "Many people believe that he and Hitler, the man behind the Muggle war, where working together, but since both died before they could be questioned, there is no real way to know the truth."

Minerva set one of her tiles in place, glancing over the game before looking up at Filius.

"It's your move."

Remus opened his mouth to say something, but found he had nothing to say, and so he shut it again. The other teachers slowly returned to their paperwork while Filius prodded several tiles around with his fingertips.

There really wasn't anything to say. He realized. The subject was now closed.

"Hey, while we're talking about history; does anyone know who came up with the idea of homework in the first place?"

Pomona let out a bark of laughter at Zinnia's comment. Hazel snorted slightly, Minerva's lips twitched upwards slightly but she gave no other signs of amusement, and Filius chuckled appreciatively.

And so Remus went back to his own papers, the comfortable silence returning to hover over them all, interrupted only by Zinnia's wail of despair as a stack of her papers toppled to the floor with a crash.


Authors Notes: Ah yes. This was a rather random idea, but I do like it. I had to make up the names Zinnia and Hazel, but everyone else has the correct names. I also had to make up some of the stuff about Grindelwald, since the only thing we know for sure is that he was defeated in 1945, but it would make sense to me if he rose to power in 1939. It would also be very interesting if Hitler and Grindelwald had something to do with each other, wouldn't it?

So, review please! Hello? Is anyone there? Hello?!