AN: This chapter is utterly dedicated and devoted to C.C., Queen of the Glittering Tiaras.
Disclaimer: Teen Titans and Harry Potter are on my wish list. Maybe if I'm really good, I'll get them for Christmas. . . You know, Bestest Chocolate Buddy, I also always wanted a pink tiara myself wink. . .
The second week. . .
By the second week, a certain newly made house-elf was permanently fixated to the kitchen, tending to cooking meals all day. Unfortunately, this limited his ability to talk to Raven and they met only once a month behind the statue of Gwendolyn the Airy.
More importantly, by the second week, it was apparent the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher had taken Hogwarts by storm. Although most students openly labeled her as undeniably creepy, the boys collectively agreed she possessed an unusual loveliness, perhaps a dark exotic beauty, as Blaise Zabini deemed her. Meanwhile, a number of second-year girls began sporting navy cloaks and the seventh-year girls had suspiciously purple-charmed hair.
She became the topic of numerous conversations, whether it was the expansive amount of knowledge she had or the way she dressed in robes resembling McGonagall knockoffs. A rumor was even circulated that she was Dracula's descendent, seeing as how she made Snape look tan. All seemed to secretly be admiring or envious of her, all except for Hermione, that is. For despite how others felt about her looks or skills, Hermione couldn't get rid of the nagging suspicion that Raven was not what she seemed.
"I don't know, there's just something odd about her. Something doesn't quite feel right. Did you see the way she cast the Precedormicus Charm?" Hermione said as she, Ron and Harry made their way towards the doors of the entrance hall. "For one thing she didn't wave her arms at the right moment and it shouldn't have worked. And she's much too young to be a fully trained Professor. It takes years before the ministry deems a wizard eligible."
"Come off it Hermione. You're just jealous she's a bigger brain than you are." Harry replied absentmindedly, surveying the grounds with students leisurely relaxing beside the lake. For once, it seemed they had a perfect day ahead of them and he intended to enjoy the afternoon outside. "Excellent day for Quidditch, right Ron?"
"Yeah, I bet you she finished her schooling ages ago," added Ron somewhat coherently as the trio headed for a grassy spot near the lake. Ever since Hermione's suspicions had been dominating their conversation for nearly a week, he and Harry resorted to tuning her out and occasionally offering comments. "How old do you think she was when she got her training?"
"That's not it! I'm telling you, she's hiding something, something about her past maybe. It's strange, I've searched the library for days but not one book or record even mentioned her." Hermione frowned vaguely, furrowing her brow into a severe line slightly, as she swept Harry a questioning glance. "What do you think?"
Harry shrugged, yawning, "Well she's relatively young so there wouldn't be a lot of books about her. Besides, what if she didn't attend Hogwarts?"
"Maybe, you could be right, you know." The brown-haired girl responded though Harry heard the undercurrent of dissatisfaction, a sign of skepticism in her voice. She countered, turning towards her other friend. "And how do you explain the Precedormicus Charm?"
"So? Maybe you blinked and missed it," Ron rolled his eyes, turning towards the Quidditch stadium where a number of Hufflepuffs were practicing. "Can't you just be glad there's no work for once? Besides you've talked about this all week!"
"I absolutely did not blink and miss it!" She retorted hotly, lowering her voice carefully as she spoke in hushed indignant tones when she realized Harry and Ron were uninterested. "Why can neither of you take this seriously? Have you even considered the possibility that she might be employed by You-Know-Who? She could be trying to kill Harry!"
"But that's just what you think," Ron returned, flushing red. "And if you think that I don't care—"
"Well, at least I can think!" Hermione glowered angrily, her masses of brown hair whipping behind her as she turned to glare at Ron.
As Ron and Hermione continued bickering, Harry's mind wandered away, looking across the lake where a group of serpentine emerald and silver clad students were discussing the same topic.
"She's a bit of a freak and did you see her robes?" Pansy Parkinson, a regally dark brunette sneered, her eyes flashing the green shade of her hair ribbons. Her sculpted face accentuated the haughty appearance of her features, her sloping nose and sharply curving chin.
"She looks as if she were dressed by the poor house. She's nearly bordering on the half-breed Lupin," Her friend, also dressed in similar green, tittered, tossing her stunning blonde locks. "At any rate, I don't see what the big deal about her is."
Pansy cast a long sideway glance, noticeably fluttering her dusky lashes as she simpered, "I know, Vessa. What do you think Draco?"
"Father hasn't heard of her at all," was his nonchalant response and Pansy pouted when he didn't offer any other comment denouncing the young Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. In fact, he seemed rather indifferent towards the subject, merely listening coolly.
"What about you Blaise?" Vessa's lips curved into a ruby-lipped smile, as if guarding a vicarious secret. "You can't really mean what you said about Professor Raven."
"Besides she can't possibly be from a pureblooded line," Pansy said vehemently, drawing Blaise Zabini's attention. "I know her kind."
"Oh?" He asked, his slanting eyes gleaming arrogantly. "How do you know?"
"There," Smiling triumphantly as she pointed across the lake, Pansy ultimately achieved her desired effect. Draco was looking in the direction of her finger and though his expression did not change, there was an overall change in his demeanor. Because on the other side of the water, was Raven, the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, being gathered into the arms of Harry Potter, the boy who lived. . .
The second week had started badly for Raven, formerly of the Teen Titans though now a bona fide Hogwarts professor.
After a particular incident involving a misfired spell and great misfortune, Raven found her entire class of second-years panicking as their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher was seemingly on fire. Not that the flames did her any damage, considerably less than the carnage of her robes, already secondhand from McGonagall.
Indeed, the ill-fated, much talked about robes were sent to a fiery demise and Raven found herself dismissing the class to rummage for some uncharred clothes. Although Raven had not planned on wearing McGonagall hand-me-downs for the rest of the term, her shopping excursion in Hogsmeade had been scheduled for several days later.
Certainly before then she had planned on altering the Transfiguration professor's clothes, for she was significantly taller than the petite girl. True, while the clothes were slightly worn, Raven still had been extremely grateful when the older woman had donated them.
Hoping she had some spare robes left, Raven was most disappointed when she discovered to her displeasure that her closet was positively empty, as everything had been sent in for alterations. All that remained was an ancient gown from some fifty years ago.
Raven studied the miserable piece of scraggly velvet, once the fine material of a lustrous gown. At present, the black dress which belonged to an old Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, by the name of Galatea Merrythought, was her sole article of clothing. Perhaps nearly a half a century ago, the high collar of sleek satin and embroidered trailing sleeves were haute monde.
"Just my luck." Raven's mouth stiffened into a firm line and she glared morosely at the despised robes. Some forty minutes later, after she had given up with the dress, Raven opted to buy clothes from Hogsmeade. Unfortunately, she would have to wear the offending robes—and be mocked by everything breathing thing—along the way. The only safe route that minimized sniggering and commentary was to cut through the Forbidden Forrest that bordered the lake. Luckily, there were also several bushes where she could walk behind, away from the eyes of Pansy Parkinson and her fashion police.
And that was precisely where her troubles worsened tenfold.
Her trek to the lake was mostly clear with the minor exception of Colin Creevey and his camera. As she stealthily passed through the last stretch of bushes, Raven dimly recognized the voices of Harry Potter, Ronald Weasely, and Hermione Granger, before all became very quiet. Then quite suddenly, the silence was pierced by Hermione's sharp cry, "Harry watch out, she's right behind you, the spy for You-Know-Who!"
"Not that again—" Raven vaguely heard Ron groan before Hermione frantically found her wand, yelling, "Levicorpus!"
The hex took affect as Raven's feet were magically pulled from under her, dragging her out from the bush to face the three stunned Gryffindors.
Ron's eyes widened when he saw her, "Blimely, Hermione's right! She's trying to kill you Harry! She's trying to kill you!"
"Stop! What are you talking about?" Raven stared in shock at the assault, her mouth nearly hanging open at the red-haired boy. A group of third-years squealed, scurrying out of the way. Great, what a pretty picture she made, dangling by the ankle in ridiculously outdated witch garb.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry shouted impulsively, thrusting his hand into the insides of his robe in response to his lighting-fast reflexes. A jet of brilliant radiance gathered at the tip of his wand, then with immeasurable force shot towards her.
"I hate my job," Raven deadpanned as the light projectile sped forward. Her innate power materialized in the shape of an obsidian shield, reflecting the red beam. Yet the sheer force of the impact pushed her back nearly twenty feet, sending her plunging into the lake.
She screamed involuntarily, her shuddering lungs inhaling water and her purple hair billowing around her face. Everything seemed strangely luminescent underwater, submerged with an eerie yellowish glow amidst its depths. Next the world became itself again, strong arms yanking her above the surface and setting her gently alongside the grass.
"Bloody Hell, Harry, I can't believe you just attacked her! What were you thinking?" Ron rasped, his hand shaking slightly at the sight of their unmoving teacher. "We're going to be expelled. Mum is going to kill me."
"What do you mean? You're the one who said she was going to murder me!" Harry argued, gesturing furiously at Ron and Hermione as he worriedly looked at Raven's pale face. The young professor appeared to be so vulnerable, her delicate porcelain skin and streaming hair seeming deathlike as her body limply resting against the lawn.
"She's bleeding pretty badly. She must have cut herself when you dragged her from the water." Hermione murmured hoarsely, noticing the scratches along the young woman's arms and neck. "Harry, do you think she's alive?"
"Professor Raven?" He asked tentatively in a nervous and estranged voice as he scooped her surprisingly light body into his arms. "Professor Raven, can you hear me? We're taking you to see Madame Pomfrey right away."
"Don't bother." The empath snapped peevishly, her large azure eyes opening to overwhelm his watery green ones. Harry gazed back, strangely mesmerized by their deep sapphire color when she said, "Put me down. I'm perfectly capable of healing myself."
"We killed her, Harry! Oh my god, she's dead!" Ron was immobilized and started to hyperventilate, clutching his hair tightly in clenched fists. "What do we do? The Ministry's going to put all of us on trial. We'll be sent to Azkaban!"
"Stop that, you idiot." Raven stated crossly, glaring at Ron to shut up because he was giving her a headache. "I'm not dead you know."
"Please, Professor. We should return to the castle, I'm sure we can get help once we find a teacher," Hermione began, her concern temporarily overwhelming her suspicions.
"I don't need to go to the infirmary," Raven countered obstinately, wriggling herself free from Harry's arms. Her figure became enshrouded in shimmering blue light, her instinctive abilities mending the small cuts she received in the lake. "But please, enlighten me as to why I was blasted into the lake."
Hermione hurriedly explained, noting the tinge of sarcasm. "Professor, I'm terribly sorry. You startled us so and—"
"You were expecting to be attacked?" She asked, raising a slender inky brow, She piled her hair into a makeshift bun, which dripped and trickled in pools of purple, forming loose ringlets. Her sodden robes were undeniably ruined, the black velvet train dragging behind in mud. "By the way, Harry, your disarming spell is lacking. Had you performed it correctly, it should have penetrated my defenses."
And then, Raven promptly fainted, falling back into Harry's arms just in time as Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, Pansy Parkinson, and her friend Vessa approached.
AN: Bushels of chocolate and poptarts to my reviewers! Though, as to the pairing, I'm not sure yet. . . I'll experiment and get back to you on that.