DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

A/N: :smiles sheepishly: Double shot for your patience.

BTW, I can't believe all the references I found to my story. Thanks for all the support.

Chapter 39

Deficient Advisors that Deter Abilities

Harry stepped into the DADA classroom a bit apprehensive. He was unsure what to expect and their history of Defense teachers did not bode well for them. Not to mention, he was still a bit disturbed by the odd behavior of the assistant during the feast. Moreover, now that he thought about it, wasn't Liam Roarke supposed to be the assistant? Harry wondered what instigated the change in staffing.

Just then the new assistant, Professor Amon, entered the class. "'Ello there, all. Welcome to Defense Against the Dark Arts – Newt Level. Professor Roarke should be here shortly. As you can see we have quite a large class this year, so just find yourself a seat and we'll get started in a few. "

Harry took a seat by Ron and he looked about the classroom, it seemed that the class consisted almost entirely of DA members. The few exceptions being Draco Malfoy and a few Ravenclaws he was not entirely familiar with. Professor Roarke entered the classroom at that moment. He was a talk man with dark hair and eyes, a smidgen too broad shouldered for the robe he was wearing. "Please take your seats so that we may begin."

The few stragglers to the class quickly grabbed a seat, and soon after the professor began. "It seems that DADA has not had the best track record at Hogwarts in the past few years, and the curriculum has been, well, a bit scattered at best. Therefore, I decided that the best way to judge where you are is to take an exam, designed to judge where the strengths and deficits are in your experience."

The class groaned and Hermione blanched. If Harry wasn't mistaken she was beginning to hyperventilate.

"Never fear, it will not count towards your grade, as such, but serve merely to guide my own curriculum. I will review them in order to create a syllabus which best suits your collective needs for you by the next meeting," Roarke continued.

Professor Amon handed out the scrolls of parchment. When she reached Harry she stopped in front of his desk and bent down to whisper in his ear. "Maybe you ought to put that big wand away. We're not ready to use that just yet." Then she winked at him. Harry's face was as bright a red as his hand still was. He was in such a hurry to hide his face and put the wand away, it slipped from his grasp and rolled across the floor. Hermione picked it up, looking at Harry a bit strangely. She was trying to figure out what in the world the assistant could say to Harry to fluster him as he stashed his wand in his robe.

Harry looked at the parchment. The test was certainly comprehensive. It surely was going to take the whole class period, the questions seemed to go on forever.

What is the Accio charm? How could it be used in a defensive manner?

What are the three unforgivable curses? What do they do? Why are they called unforgivable?

What is Lacarnum Inflamarae? How could it be used in a defensive manner?

What is a hinkypunk? How would you prevail over one?

What is a kappa? Where are they usually located?

On and on the questions went until Harry reached one he simply could not believe: What was Gilderoy Lockhart's secret ambition?? He bit his tongue to keep from laughing and disturbing the class. He couldn't help but wonder where this instructor got his information on their previous classes. He shrugged and continued on but his curiosity kept coming back to the question. He was speculating whether Hermione knew the answer.

Harry had almost reached the bottom of the questionnaire, when the professor called for the parchments. Harry was surprised that the professor thanked them for their assistance and tolerance, assuring them this was the easiest way to get the information he needed. He promised a practical lesson for the next class. Harry almost choked trying not to snicker when Hermione wanted to know if the exams would be graded and returned.

When Harry entered the great hall for lunch, it was abuzz with conversation. Ron was bickering with Hermione who was alternating between rehashing every question and searching various texts she had spread about the table looking for answers to the questions she was unsure about. He smiled softly. He had not realized how much he missed this over the summer. Hogwarts may not feel like home to him anymore, but maybe it wasn't the nightmare he was beginning to believe it was.

Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody stalked cautiously down the corridors towards the headmaster's office. He had an appointment with young Potter but Albus had requested he stop in before the lesson. As he whispered the password, "peppermint humbugs," he shook his head. Albus would never learn. Surely given enough time, any one of the students could guess the password to his quarters.

Albus greeted him warmly. "Hello Alastor."

Moody nodded. "Albus."

Dumbledore gestured for him to take a seat, not commenting when Moody did not do so but rather allowed his magical eye to swivel around into the side of his head taking in the surroundings. "I was eager to speak to you before you met with Mister Potter."

Moody nodded for him to continue, while returning his focus to the headmaster seeming satisfied that the area was secure.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled knowingly and he resumed speaking. "I assume you have been informed of the prophecy concerning Harry …"

"Aye." Moody answered non-committally. In his experience, hard-work, and perseverance were far more valuable then cryptic messages from the three sisters of fate.

Dumbledore looked pleased. "Good. I am glad that he has someone such as yourself that truly understands what he will be facing, what may need to be relinquished, and how to persevere."

Alastor nodded. "Aye. Then again, I imagine Potter has a few ideas about that himself."

Dumbledore concurred. "Superb. I'll let you get to it then."

Harry had scrubbed his hands at least a hundred times in the past two days to no avail. It remained just as red as when he opened the envelope. It wasn't as if he didn't believe Mad Eye it was more of a move based on desperation and yearning for a miracle. His anticipation had only increased throughout the day. He did not want to know what Mad Eye was going to say. He had certainly failed his first test, constant vigilance. Now, as he headed to the room of requirement, his anxiety had risen even further. He had imagined various ways Mad Eye would seek retribution, and now he would find out which one was correct.