-Chapter 1-

It was a bright late summer morning when Professor Albus Dumbledore had entered into Severus Snape's office. More than likely to tell him who the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher will be; though Snape did hope that Dumbledore would have come to his senses and realized that he, Professor Severus Snape was the only wizard qualified to receive the position.

"Good, morning Severus. I bring you good news." Dumbledore said as he entered his private office and taking a seat on a comfy black velvet chair.

"Really? Is it by chance regarding the open position for the Defense Against the Dark Arts?" He asked with a hopeful raised brow.

"Yes, yes, it is indeed, Severus." Dumbledore replied looking at the floor thoughtfully.

"So? You have looked at my application for the job this year haven't you?"

"Yes, I have looked at all the applicants, and I have made a decision of whom it will be."

"And?" Snape asked hoping that Dumbledore wouldn't keep him in suspense much longer since he still had some last minute details to attend to before the students began to arrive.

"I have chosen Maunrose Weiss. You must remember her mother?"

Snape nodded numbly, though respectfully, even though he was disappointed that yet again he will have to suffer through another ill qualified wizard teaching the job he should have always had.

"Well, Severus, I must be off." Dumbledore said as he rose out of the chair and made his way to the door. "Oh and Severus, I have also come to ask you to show Professor Weiss around since she is coming from America and does not know Hogwarts. You will do this, won't you?"

Snape, though displeased knew better than to say no . . . for the Headmaster would have found a way to make him do it anyway. He gave a short nod and said, "Yes, Headmaster, as you wish."

"Very good Severus, thank you . . . I'll see you at dinner." As the door closed behind him, Snape, couldn't help but to bury his face in his hands, this was to be much worse than the years before. This was a bad omen.

Maunrose was a very talented witch, a gift she had inherited from her mother's side. Both her parents had nurtured and encouraged her special gift. She had not attended Hogwarts, but she knew several of the teachers there.

Albus Dumbledore, had been the headmaster when her mother was a student there. He had written to Maunrose earlier in the summer and asked she to lend her creative expertise to the post, and she had accepted with great enthusiasm.

However, now that her first day of ever teaching anywhere loomed so very close, she began to get nervous. She doubted her abilities, and began to wonder if she should send an owl explaining that she could not take the position.

Her father had reassured her, "Maunrose, Dumbledore trusts in your abilities. Otherwise, he would not have asked you to come."

Maunrose stopped pacing and sat down, musing on these remembered words. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, murmuring to herself that her father was right. She opened her eyes and looked to the window, gazing out at the vibrant splashes of color in her garden. It had been like her mother's. She watched the golden rays of the evening sun fade in the sky, and hoped she knew what she was doing.

Suddenly, there was a small knock on the door. "Just a moment!" Maunrose said, startled looking at the clothes and items that she was trying to pack in an orderly fashion, for the fifth time.

When she opened the door there stood her father. "Dad! What are you? ...."

"I've come to help you pack!" He said grinning wide at her before engulfing her in one huge bear hug and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "Let me guess, you're on your tenth attempt and are sure that you are forgetting something?"

Maunrose smiled pleadingly at her father rolling her eyes, "Oh Dad! I'll have you know that it is only my second attempt." She said crossing her fingers behind her back.

To which her father laughed at and made himself welcome. "You, know you never were a good liar, and you never could pack your own bags. Oh! And speaking of forgetting something, I found this." He said holding up a sneakascope.

She blushed as she took it from him, "Thanks I've been looking all over for that."

Maunrose's father, Patrick Weiss, was not a wizard and had made his living as a career military soldier, he had met and fell in love with her mother Caristella, when he had been stationed in England. The fact that her mother had been a witch had never bothered him, if anything he seemed to love her more for it. They had a short romance and courtship that lead to their marriage.

The sneakascope had belonged to her mother, though it had never worked her mother liked to have it around since she had been an auror for the Ministry of Magic. It was the only thing that they still had of hers. Maunrose, closed her eyes as she gently caressed it against her cheek. She had lost her mother when she was nine, killed by a group of Deatheaters, followers of the Dark Lord.

Maunrose and her father had spent the day in Diagon Alley, only to return finding the black mark hovering over the charred remnants of their home. With her mother murdered, and every possession lost, she and her father moved to America.

Patrick knew that his wife would have wanted their daughter to be brought up as a witch, so he sent her to the best Magical Learning schools in America. Maunrose had studied very hard, because she wanted to be just like her mother. She wanted to make her proud, wherever she was . . .

"Maunrose, are you going to hold that thing all night, or are you going to come and learn to finally pack your bags like this old army pro?" Her father asked standing by the mound of books and clothes on her bed.

She smiled as she replied, "All right, I'm coming. Sorry, I was just thinking of mom."

Her father smiled with a hint of sadness in his eyes and nodded.

"Do you remember when you tried to teach her how to fry an omelet?" Maunrose asked, beginning to giggle.

Her mother, could scare some of the most talented wizards with her magical abilities and conjure up a spell in the blink of an eye, but when it came to doing muggle things, she had two left feet.

"Ugh! Don't remind me!" Patrick said, rolling his eyes. "It was a bad idea from the beginning, and all hers, I might add. Why she thought you had to not only flip over the egg but the pan it was cooking in, I have no idea" The two of them were laughing hysterically. "I kept telling her she didn't have to, but she was bent on it . . . remember how stubborn she was?"

Maunrose nodded her head, still laughing.

"She got so terrified when the fire department showed up, thought for sure they would cart her off, for illegally cooking an egg or something like that. Her face was classic when they left, about fainted in my arms." Their laughter was making it hard for them to fold clothes. "When the microwave came out, she refused to go near it, she was always mumbling something about black magic and how it just was against the nature of the universe." He continued to laugh. As he remembered more of his dear wife, the laughter faded away. "I miss her pretty badly sometimes."

Maunrose, turning serious, hugged her father and said in a soothing voice, "I do too, but I still think she looks in on us every now and then."

Her father smiled, and went back to packing his daughter's things. "So, are you nervous?"

"About what? Teaching? Or going back?" She asked handing him a few books.


"No, not at all." She replied shaking her head and turning away, blushing slightly.

Her father looked up at her. "Yep, bad liar."

She rolled her eyes and smiled. "All right maybe a little bit anxious, and excited, I haven't been in England since . . . well, it'll be good to see how the magic world is over there."

"You do know that Dark Lord is back, don't you?" Her father spoke with an undertone of fear.

"Yes, I saw that."

"Promise me that you'll watch your back."

"Dad? I'll have Uncle Albus, right there looking after me. And Hagrid, not to mention Moody . . ."

Her father grabbed her arms and asked again this time more demandingly,


Maunrose looked into her father's fear-stricken eyes. She knew how he must feel, having lost the love of his life. He was afraid he might lose her too. Taking a deep breath she replied, "All right . . . I promise. And like I said you know Uncle Albus wouldn't let anything happen to me. It'll be fine, Dad . . . really."

Her father looked at her for a moment and then nodding his head released her and the rest of the night they packed her bags in silence. Her father wasn't the type to get so worried like this and she wondered just how bad it could be, with the Dark Lord being back, surely he had given up searching.

When morning came, Patrick was there to walk Maunrose to the top of the hill, where she would take a portkey to King's Cross, in London. From there, she would enter onto platform 9 ¾, and travel the Hogwarts express, just as her mother had done.

Her mother had often talked about the Hogwarts express, Maunrose had hoped one day ride it, but the time never came. Seeing how she had not done so as a child, Maunrose had asked Professor Dumbledore, if she could come to Hogwarts by the train.

Patrick threw a sidelong gaze at his daughter. She really was a lovely woman. She took after her mother, in fact she was almost the spitting image.

She was tall and slender, though not rail-thin. Her eyes were a startling blue, like a crisp autumn-morning sky. Her hair was a honey-brown, and streamed down below her shoulders in soft waves.

She was like him, personality wise, in that she was always so ready and willing to face any challenge. Though she was nervous and scared, like him, she would always take a deep breath and hold her head up high, ready to face whatever challenge lay ahead.

Reaching the top of the hill, they spotted an old broken telephone receiver, laying on the ground surrounded by a patch of tall grass, it was her Portkey.

She turned to face her father. "Dad, I'll be fine. I promise, no worries, all right?"

He pulled her into his arms and held her close. "Just remember what I asked, daughter. And . . . Be careful." His voice cracking slightly.

Maunrose held her father close to her for a few more moments. Then she turned and grabbed hold of her trunk. "I'll send you loads of owls, dad. Maybe you can even come for Christmas."

She hugged him one last time as he said in her ear, "You'd better go."

Letting go, she blew him a kiss, and grasped the telephone. She felt a tugging sensation, watching her father spin out of sight.

In a few moments, she was standing outside of King's Cross Train Station. Nobody had noticed her, because in places like these, people always seem to appear out of nowhere.

She proceeded to her platform, and took the barrier at a run. Her mother said it was more fun that way. Suddenly, she was in a whole new world, staring up at a bright red engine, with the name "Hogwarts Express." It was as magnificent as her mother had always described.

There were students everywhere, saying goodbye to their loved ones and hello to dear friends that they had missed over the summer. The atmosphere was cheery and charged with an excited energy, which Maunrose found to be quite overwhelming and invigorating.

She started to make her way to the train, through the crowds of people.

"Now, you make sure to change your socks every day and don't skip your breakfast . . . " She overheard a mother telling her son, to which the son blushed, looking like he wished he was already on the train.

"Oh, and then my dad took me to see the dragons and I was so scared at first. There was this really big one . . . " Said a young boy to a friend of his, obviously recounting the tales of his well-spent summer.

"Oh I don't believe it! Maunrose? Maunrose Weiss?" Said a masculine voice, somewhat familiar to her.

She turned around to see an old man wearing a hat that was sitting crooked on his head. His face was easy for her to recognize. "UNCLE ALASTOR!" She cried and ran to greet him. "I thought you'd be at Hogwarts! Oh this is wonderful!"

Mad eye Moody grinned at her, he had always liked having her call her uncle even though he really wasn't. He gave her a hug and said, "I had heard that you was to be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Dumbledore couldn't have picked a better one."

It was then that she noticed a young man, standing next to him wearing glasses. Who was looking curious at the scene, he saw before him.

"Oh! Maunrose, I'm sorry, let me introduce you to Harry Potter. And Harry, this is Professor Weiss."

Harry Potter, the-boy-who-lived, she had never met him before, but knew his parents well. In fact there was no mistaking that this was James Potter's son. He looked just like him! Memories of his parents came flooding back to her.

"Hello, Harry. It's nice to finally meet you." She replied offering her hand.

Harry took her hand and shook it back, smiling he said, "Nice to meet you too. So are you really his niece?"

Maunrose laughed and said, "No, not really, but he is as dear to me as any uncle could ever be." To which a pink glow came to Moody's face.

The train's warning whistle blew at that moment.

"Well, all right then, best be getting on the train." Moody said, still slightly blushing. "Here Maunrose, let me take your bags." He said smiling at her like she was his daughter.

"Why thank you." She replied handing him her bag and climbing on board, being followed closely by Harry, who waited along side her as they helped Moody get the luggage inside.

Once aboard, luggage and all, they started to make their way to an empty compartment.

"So, how do you know Mad Eye Moody?" Harry asked as they made their way down the narrow corridor.

"He used to work with my mom." Maunrose replied over her shoulder. "They were aurors together." She spotted an empty compartment and moved to open the door.

Once inside they arranged all the luggage, while Harry's owl still in its cage, was set down on the seat next to him.

As they sat down Moody announced that he was going to check on things and asked Harry to make sure to keep Maunrose company. To which Harry agreed too politely, though looking like he was hoping for friends to pop in.

They sat in silence for a while, which Maunrose didn't mind she was looking out the window admiring the English countryside with its emerald green rolling hills and quaint villages resting in between them.

Suddenly their compartment door opened and there stood two people, students obviously. The one was a tall boy with flaming red hair and freckled face. The other a girl, with wavy brown hair, was looking right at Maunrose with a skeptical air.

"Ron! Hermione!" Harry said in a delighted voice.

"Who are you?" The red-haired boy asked pointing at Maunrose, having just noticed her.

"Oh, honestly Ron!" His brown haired companion said rolling her eyes at him.

"What?" He replied back, slightly irritated by her tone, as the two of them entered the compartment and sat down.

Harry looked apologetically at Maunrose.

"Guys, this is Professor Weiss, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher." Harry said looking at his friends.

"Oh." Said his red-haired friend as he stuck out his hand, "I'm Ron Weasley."

"Arthur and Molly Weasely's, son?" Maunrose asked shaking Ron's hand.

"Yeah, how did you know?" He asked, looking somewhat shocked and staring for an answer from Harry, who only shrugged back.

"Let's just say that they were friends of my parents." Maunrose said smiling at him.

"I'm Hermione Granger." The girl said smiling and offering her hand as well. "You're not from around here are you?"

Maunrose laughed as she shook Hermione's hand. "Actually, I am. I was born here, but I moved to America when I was nine."

"Oh, really?" Ron asked looking excited. "Do they really have wild Indians killing people? What's Las Vegas like? I heard it was the muggle playground? Have you ever been?"

"Oh, honestly Ron!" Hermione said. "Indians killing people? Don't you ever read?"

Apparently her comment struck a cord with him for the next 10 minutes the two of them argued nonstop. Maunrose looked at Harry who smiled shyly and replied, "You'll have to excuse them, they like to argue . . . a lot."

"So I see." Said Maunrose nodding and watching the two of them turning scarlet from yelling at each other.

Harry's friends didn't stay long, and the rest of the train ride Maunrose found quite enjoyable. She could see why her mother had such fond memories of it. Later she bought some treats off the trolley, and savored them. Cauldron cakes, chocolate frogs, fizzing whizbees . . . they were just as she remembered from her childhood.

"Why didn't they have these in America?" She wondered to herself.

She also played a game of Wizard's chess with Harry while she told him about America and some stories from her past.

As the train pulled into Hogsmeade all the students were busy changing into their robes. She felt her stomach leap. She was finally here.

Maunrose stepped off the train, and gazed around Hogsmeade station. She had heard that Hogsmeade was the only place in Britain, which was entirely made up of magic folk. She was looking forward to exploring it on weekends.

She suddenly heard a very familiar voice calling, "Firs' years! Firs' years, line up over here!" She turned to see an extremely hairy, larger than life man standing with a lantern.

"Hagrid!" she squealed, and ran to meet him.

Hagrid broke out into a wide smile. "Rosie! Gallopin' Hippogriffs, lass! How you've grown!" She threw her arms around his middle, laughing. Maunrose had always liked how Hagrid called her Rosie.

"How have you been?" Maunrose asked.

Hagrid smiled through his huge beard and said, "Been teachin'. Dumbledore appointed me the Care of Magical Creatures position."

Maunrose grinned, "That's great Hagrid, no one I know has a way with animals like you do." She said still smiling and taking the chance to glance around.

She caught sight of Harry with his friends walking toward some carriages. Harry held up his hand in greeting toward her and Hagrid and walked on.

Maunrose said, turning to Hagrid. "Guess I'd better go in the carriages."

Hagrid smiled and shook his head. "Nope! Rosie, Dumbledore wants for yeh to come wit me in the boats. He thought yeh'd like ta. Seeing as how yeh never done it and all."

Maunrose's eyes lit up with glee. She excitedly moved toward a boat. "But wait . . . what about my trunk and other parcels?"

Hagrid waved a huge hand in dismissal. "They'll be taken up to the school for yeh. Don't yeh be fretin' bout that."

Maunrose smiled and found herself giggling like many of the young first years, who were already climbing in the boats.

"Well, we'd best be off. Go on an' git in da boat, Rosie, I'll help yeh in." Hagrid said with a look of happiness at seeing Maunrose's joy. "In yeh go, now. In yeh go."

Once everyone was in their boats, Hagrid looked around and said, "All right, then, let's go! An' mind you don't fall in, eh?"

The journey across the lake was beyond description, the moon hung high in the air and its misty rays danced along the water. They saw the giant squid lazily floating by, waving its tentacles along the water's surface. She found herself ooing and awing along with the first years in the boat, who were too mesmerized to notice her.

And then suddenly there it was, Hogwarts Castle. They all gazed in wonder at the magical splendor they saw before them.

The windows were ablaze with golden lights that seemed like warm beacons in the darkness. The tall lofty turrets looked like they stretched on for miles, as though touching the night sky. She had never seen anything so wonderful and breathtaking in her life.

As the boats began to draw nearer to the shore, it became impossible to tell whether it was she or the first years who looked more anxious and excited as to what mysteries awaited them inside.

Upon reaching the shore the students excitement was beginning to be replaced with fear. "Do you think it'll hurt when they place the sorting hat on your head?" One boy whispered to a friend as they walked along the stone path leading up to Hogwarts.

To which his friend shrugged and whispered back, "I don't know. You don't think it'll try and suck out our brains, do you?"

Maunrose tried desperately to hide her laughter. She had forgotten herself, the terror she felt when she was about to be sorted. She made sure to tell the two of them that the sorting hat doesn't work that way and is entirely painless, to which both boys gave a sigh of relief.

Before long they had reached the giant oak door, at the front entrance. They gathered around as Hagrid asked, "Is everyone here?" Looking around to make sure.

Spotting Maunrose he asked, "So, Professor Weiss, yeh have a good time did yeh?"

"Yes, a marvelous time, thank you Hagrid." She said blushing at having heard the first time anyone called her Professor.

Hagrid smiled going back to making sure all the first years were there. When everyone was, he said, "All right then." He turned around and knocked three times on the door.

The door responded by swinging open wide. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there.

It was none other than, Minerva McGonagall.

Maunrose had not seen her in a long time and was shocked to see how much she had aged.

"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," Hagrid was saying.

"Thank you Hagrid, I will take them from here. You and Professor Weiss had better go along. Professor Dumbledore is already waiting for you." She replied and then looking at the first years she raised her hand and motioned them to come and follow her. To which they all did, clambering along looking like they were on their way for their own beheading.

"Right then, follow me Rosie." Hagrid said not waiting for all the students.

Maunrose followed him in through a doorway, just off to the side of where they had entered. Then through another door that opened into a room, which she could only assume was the teacher's lounge.

Hagrid paused at yet another door to look at Maunrose. "Yeh've got notin' ta worry bout' Rosie, if yer anything like yer mum, yeh'll be fine." He smiled at her and opened the door.

The door, she discovered, lead them right into the Great hall. Looking around she saw that the other students were already sitting at their house tables with their house banners flying above them.

Albus Dumbledore, rose from his chair and was beaconing them to come over to him. "Ah, Professor Weiss." He said taking her hands in his. "I'm glad you are here. I hope the boat ride was do your liking?"

"Oh yes, thank you Unc . . . "she had caught a warning glance in his eyes and quickly said, "Professor Dumbledore."

"Wonderful, wonderful. Well then Hagrid, will you please show Professor Weiss to her seat? I believe that the sorting is about to begin." Hagrid nodded and before Albus let go of her hand he said. "We shall catch up at a later time." Releasing her hands he smiled and took his seat again.

She followed Hagrid. "Professor Weiss, allow me ta introduce yeh to Madame Hooch, our flying instructor." Maunrose shook her hand as Hagrid continued. "And this is Professor Snape, our potions instructor."

She turned to greet him as well. "Nice to . . . " Professor Snape was glaring at her with fathomless dark glittering eyes through a greasy black curtain of what she assumed was hair. He was looking at her extended hand as though it was something that should have been swatted and done away with.

Taking her hand in spite of that, he said in a rather loathsome tone. "Pleasure." Letting go of her hand immediately after touching it.

Hagrid raised his eyebrows at the exchange and said, "Right! Well then I'd best be takin' my seat, see yeh later, Professors."

Maunrose took her seat in between Madame Hooch and Professor Snape just as the large wooden doors at the front of the Great hall opened to reveal Professor McGonagall in front with a nervous fidgety crowd of first years trailing behind.

Minerva, stopped beside a stool in front of the staff table. On top of the stool was Hogwarts sorting hat. Maurose found herself staring at it, it was not as she had pictured it would be. For the Hogwarts hat was the most widely known sorting hat out of all the wizarding schools. She had even read about it in "Hogwarts: A History." She had thought it would be made out of the finest velvet and have some golden trim about the base.

But there it sat looking like an old discarded wizard's hat that had been through more than its fair share of use.

While she was musing on her disappointment of the appearance of it, the Sorting Hat began to sing a song. She was amazed by its poetic rhymes and found herself in wonder. That was definitely something her school's sorting cauldron never did.

Once finished, Professor McGonagall, gave the instructions of how the sorting works and then proceeded to call up the first years one by one until they were all sorted.

Albus Dumbledore then stood up and looked around the room a hush fell over the hall as he extended both of his arms out and said, "Welcome to Hogwarts, those who are new and those who are returning, as is customary every year, I have one announcement. Which is to introduce you all to our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Weiss. She comes to us from the Americas, and I hope that each of you will make her feel welcomed." He then looked in her direction, but appeared to be looking past her. She suddenly heard Snape shift in his seat giving an uncomfortable cough.

"Well, then . . . Let the feast begin!" He smiled as he stretched his arms out and suddenly the plates on the tables became filled with food.

The hall became quickly engulfed with the sound of happy voices and the clanging of china. Maunrose, helped herself to a bite of the roast beef, it had been cooked to perfection, enjoying the way it seemed to melt in her mouth.

She glanced over at Professor Snape who apparently was hacking away on a pork chop, rather mercilessly.

"So, what are the schools in America like?" Madame Hooch asked as she cut up her meat.

"Oh, um, they're very similar too here, from what I am told." Maunrose answered, still watching Professor Snape, he had let the pork chop alone and started hacking away at the baked potato.

"Oh? I thought that they were less traditional over there." Madame said looking at her curiously.

"Well, they are slightly less traditional, I suppose. I honestly never saw much of a difference, magic's magic, even if it's not necessarily traditional." She replied a little nervously.

American wizarding schools had been notorious of teaching groundbreaking new spells and welcomed experimentation. But they still held to the traditional magic when it counted. Traditionalists, though, despised the Americans for that.

"Besides," Maunrose added, "I was born here, I only moved to America when I was nine."

Madame Hooch smiled and nodded. "So do you like quidditch?"

The next 20 minutes they talked nonstop about which team they thought would win the quidditch cup next year and about the amazing new broom the "Lightning Rod." Professor Snape occasionally scoffed and continued to hack at his food.

When dessert popped up, Professor Snape said his first whole sentence to Maunrose.

"Professor Weiss, after dinner is over, I am to give you a personal tour of Hogwarts." He said sounding not too happy at the thought of it.

"Oh . . . well . . . thank you for the offer . . . "

"I wasn't offering." He said harshly. "Professor Dumbledore has asked me to show you around, and I am only doing this as a favor to him."

Maunrose, was a little more than disappointed at the prospect of seeing Hogwarts in its fulness with company so loathing. "Uh . . . right . . . well, I look forward to it." She said sarcastically.

To which Professor Snape mumbled annoyed, "Americans!" Proceeding to treat his cake like everything else he had eaten tonight.

True to his word, Professor Snape showed her around Hogwarts. He wasn't much of a conversationalist and she had gotten the hint that he didn't like her much, for whatever reason that was, she wasn't sure.

Finally, at the end of the tour he took her to where her classroom and chambers were. Feeling relieved the tour was over, she looked around and said. "Thank you Professor Snape. It was . . . educational."

To which he merely bowed and left. Obviously glad to be able to leave.

Maunrose watched him walk down the corridor, shaking her head she mumbled, "Talk about having issues!"

Once Snape had left, she took in the classroom and felt a nervous flitter in her stomach, this was her first classroom and in a few days she would teach her first class. She found her chamber at the top of the stairs. It was a small yet quaint.

The office and living room made up the main room, while her sleeping quarters where through a door to the left.

The bed was soft and had already been turned down. She found her suitcases in the corner. Her clothes had already been unpacked for her by the house elves.

She looked at the bed again and found she was very tired. It had been an adventurous day she decided to leave the unpacking of her books for the next day and go to bed.

Climbing into her bed, she began to think of teaching and the year ahead. Whatever the outcome it will be a year to remember . . .