::Disclaimer and other things I feel obligated to say::

It seems I have must have a disclaimer – ok, well, I don't own any of the characters, except the own I made, and even that's questionable because I swear she just sorta showed up and wrote herself.  This story was posted once a long time ago after a failed experiment involving a doomed relationship and a steady availability of cheap boxed red wine.  So if you've read this before then thumbs up to you! But feel free to read it again as a lot of things will be changing. But of all have fun and enjoy. - D

Going Home

Her leather jacket snapped loudly in the harsh wind. Damnable subways, she thought to herself as the 6 train sped off into the underground darkness.  She quickly stepped her way out of the subway station and on to Lexington Ave. Her apartment was only a block away.

She picked up her mail in the same way she always did, placing the bills on the bottom and the underwear catalogs on the top. She laughed at the ridiculous girl on the cover of her Frederick's of Hollywood mailing. Staring up at her sat a curvy dark haired temptress in a showy witch costume complete with a broomstick French-tickler and pointy hat.

Fifteen stories later and with no one looking, the woman snapped her free fingers and the door to her tiny loft lodgings open. "Damnable elevators," she said to herself as she dropped her keys and mail on the couch.  She removed her fitting leather jacket. The weather had only recently begun to cool. It reminded her of home.

With her things neatly tousled about her living room floor, she entered the kitchen and helped herself to a cup of ready-made coffee.  The cream and sugar poured and stirred themselves into what she considered to be the perfect cup of joe. The correct spell had taken years to perfect.

"So I've seen you given up tea, have you, Maylin?"

Maylin turned. "I know that voice," she said with a slight cackle. "I know it well, Sir."

Maylin turned slowly to find the hidden and familiar voice. Her eyes swept over her apartment. Not in the kitchen, not in the living room nor did it come from the tiny side bathroom.

"I'm over here," called the voice. "Look hard, my Dear."

Beyond the living room in the dining room there sat and old chest of drawers with an antique mirror. Within the mirror sat a kindly gentleman. By muggle standards he was old, frail and possibly eccentric with his colorful robe and half-moon glasses.

"Albus Dumbledore, Darling, how are you?"

Maylin pulled the closest chair to the mirror and sat facing the old wizard.

"I am as well as an old man can be," said Dumbledore.

"Would it kill you dear, to give a straight answer?" she asked in jest.

"Kill me, no, I fear it would not, but what then I ask would be the fun straight answers," the man in the mirror smiled. "Besides, my answers are art and take great time to perfect, much like your coffee spell I'm sure."

Maylin laughed, "I'll give you that, Sir, I'll give you that, may I interest you in a cup before I inquire as to why you are here?"

"Please, Dear, that would be lovely."

Maylin rose from her seat and stepped lightly to the kitchen. 'Dumbledore,' she thought. 'Must be serious.'

Maylin returned with a small mug, on the side was the emblem for the Hogwart's School of Wizardry. As she approached the window she waved her wand and muttered a single phrase, Abramus Reflectus. The mirror wobbled a moment as the portal opened. Maylin handed him the cup through the mirror and returned to her seat.

"So, then Sir, why the visit? Demons in the plumbing?" asked Maylin only half joking.

"No, my Dear, we've had that problem already taken care of as I'm sure you've heard," said Dumbledore. "I was wondering how felt about your current position in life."

"I think sitting down suits me though I've been told I do a hell of a strut."

"You jest, Dear Maylin, but I am quite serious I assure you." And he was. Maylin also knew that voice. She has heard it many times before when trouble had arisen at Hogwarts.

"I offer you a position," Dumbledore continued. "It seems that only a few days into the semester and yet again the professorship for Defense Against the Dark Arts has reopened at Hogwarts."

Maylin's world stopped.

"Hogwarts? Professor, I…hmm. You mean for me to teach students, little people, how to fend off fairies?"

"I was thinking perhaps larger creatures, but fairies are as good a place to start as any other." Dumbledore smiled. "I know it's a lot to ask on such short notice, I hear you rather prefer the States."

Maylin thought for a moment. She had won an important position in the American Division of the Ministry of Magic as the European Ambassador in dealing with the Dark Arts. There were many things for her left to sort out. Dark Lords seemed to arise at every moments glance. Innocent people with no concept of their magical abilities leveling towns, sick with uncontrolled magic. America was incredibly behind in its magical arts.

"Why me?" she asked.

"We at the school feel you are the most qualified."

Again Maylin took her time, she knew she had to choose her words well, there was something more to this. "Does Severus feel I am the most qualified as well?"

She closed her eyes as she waited for a response. Dumbledore looked at her intently through the mirror. "First, my Dear, please open your eyes, I am no longer your Professor." Maylin complied. "And secondly, do not concern yourself with what Severus believes of you. He was not consulted on this matter, and he will not be consulted." Maylin knew this was because Severus Snape the Potions Professor would never willingly let her within a hundred miles of him, let alone allow her to a position he has so craved for years.

"He's the best you know, all things considered," said Maylin.

"If by best, you mean best Potions instructor Hogwarts has ever had…then yes, you would be wholly correct." Dumbledore would not give in to why she was really needed. An uneasiness filled Maylin. Severus is the best, and even he has no idea Dumbledore is speaking with me, my God what kind of mess have these people gotten themselves into?'

"There is no mess, my Dear," said Dumbledore aloud.

Maylin looked at him straight.

"There is always a mess, or else you wouldn't be teacherless so early on." Maylin could be just as forceful as her old schoolmaster.

Dumbledore sorted his words patiently. "I will tell you but this, come to Hogwarts and see for yourself the changes. Perhaps the mess is simply that we have found nothing to be worried about."

"At Hogwarts?" replied Maylin. "My God, that is troublesome."

"Can you be here by Sunday night?"

Maylin shook her head, "I haven't signed on to this yet, you know."

Dumbledore smiled. "Sunday then, I will alert the Ministry, thank you for the coffee." The he was gone.

Maylin sighed. Hogwarts, she thought. This will only end badly.

Maylin walked into the kitchen and placed her empty cup on the counter. Next to the sink there was an envelope. She picked up the letter, on the back was the Hogwarts seal. She opened it carefully and read aloud.


I so look forward to working with you again. I will send for all of your things to be brought to Hogwarts by Sunday evening. And for your knowledge, your coffee spell is by far the most delightful of all those who have tried. All my best, I will see you Sunday.

Albus Dumbledore

"The bastard took my cup."

"I heard that dear," said a distant voice.

"I know."