Disclaimer: I do NOT in any way shape or form own the Harry Potter, or the Teen Titans or any additional DCU heroes. Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowlings, while the Teen Titans are the property of DC Comics. This story is simply in homage of their work.
Author's Notes: This story takes place at the end of HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and following DC Comics' INFINTIE CRISIS, 52, and the ONE YEAR LATER time jump. Some characters have died, or have left, but they will not be forgotten. This will most likely go AU after a point, since I can't claim to know what is going to happen in the DCU after I start.
Interview with a Mystic
Rarely had the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry been this silence. This still. This… dead. The waters of the lake barely made a ripple, and not a single bird chirp or creaking of a tree could be heard from the Forbidden Forest. Even Hogwarts Castle, normally teeming with life, even during the off school season, was silent. All the lights were extinguished except for that of one tower window.
Sipping her tea, Professor Minerva McGonagall, newly instated Headmistress of Hogwarts, stared down though the window, over the grounds of the school. Correction: Her school. She was a stern looking woman, dressed in emerald green robes, and her stern eyes were hidden behind a pair of square, wire-rim spectacles. Her black hair, which was streaked liberally with white hairs, was pulled back into a tight bun at the back of her head. Her thin mouth was formed into a serious frown.
Instinctively her cat-like gaze fixated on something by the lake. A large white tomb, surrounded with flowers. There final resting place of her predecessor and long-time friend Albus Dumbledore.
Had it really been only two weeks since Dumbledore had died? Two weeks since she had been made the new Headmistress of Hogwarts? It felt like it had only been yesterday that she had stood before the entire school and led them down to the lake, where Dumbledore's body had been laid to rest.
McGonagall took a deep breath and did her best to blink back the tears threatening to escape. She had never wanted this job. Yes, she had the most experience and knowledge of the entire staff. Yes, she had been deputy headmistress to Albus for some twenty-years, but if asked whether she ever wanted to become the headmistress, McGonagall would have just told them she was perfectly content as transfiguration teacher.
Yet here she was…
She was honestly still surprised that there even was a Hogwarts to be headmistress of. She would have thought that after the murder of the headmaster, at the hands of one of their own teachers, would have led to the immediate closing of the school. But it seemed that the governors were not ready to give up on the school. In some ways she felt relieved to know this. It was a sign of strength she did not think the governors capable of. In the past, they would have been more than willing to close the school. Of course, that had been at a time in which a sadistic Death Eater had been on the board and had been looking for any excuse to take down Professor Dumbledore and Hogwarts.
But now, in light of Voldemort's rising in power, the governors had appeared to see the necessity of training the next generation of Witches and Wizards.
Still, McGonagall had to question the wisdom of keeping the Hogwarts open. Even long before Voldemort's return to power, the school had faced many dangers, from the Chamber of Secrets to the supposed 'threat' of Sirius Black. This last year however, had shown just how much danger they were facing. And without Albus Dumbledore there to protect the school, what chance did they have of surviving another attack from the Death Eaters?
She turned to look at the office, which had for so many years belonged to Dumbledore. She had not changed much of it since it had become her office. It was a large and beautiful circular room. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, still and docile. The walls were covered with portraits of past headmasters and headmistresses, all of who were moving slightly. The occupants were snoozing gently in their frames. Sitting on a shelf behind McGonagall's desk was a shabby, tattered wizard's hat and a long silver sword adorned with rubies.
McGonagall's eyes immediately traveled the newest portrait in the office, which hung over her desk. It was of a tall, thin and very old wizard with hair and beard so long that it could have easily been tucked away into his belt. On his long and crooked nose, he wore a pair of half-moon spectacles. Like all the other previous headmasters, he was snoring softly in his golden frame, completely oblivious to the world around him.
Giving a sniff, McGonagall turned back to the window, just in time to see a something appear just outside of the school gates, almost as if popping out of thin air. The old gates with the winged boars slowly creaked open, and a single figure walked swiftly up the path towards the school. Looking at a clock on her desk, McGonagall nodded approvingly.
She was on time.
A short while later, McGonagall could hear the stone gargoyle and spiral staircase outside the office begin to move, and it was shortly followed by a soft knocking at the office door to her office. Giving a heavy sigh, McGonagall took her seat at the large oak desk.
"Enter," she called stiffly.
The door swung open and a young woman slipped inside. She was exceptionally pretty, with lovely tanned skin, pale blue eyes and long black hair. Her attire was not something that McGonagall expected. The woman was dressed in a tuxedo, including a starch white dress shirt, cummerbund, and bow tie, with a black jacket and tails. Instead of pants however, the woman wore a pair of fishnet stockings over her long and slender legs. Under one arm she was carrying a long black magicians wand, and with her other white-gloved hand she pull the silk top hat off her head.
Pursing her lips disapprovingly, McGonagall stood up and extended her hand in greetings. "Thank you for coming Zatanna."
Zatanna Zatara, the mistress of magic and Justice League of America reserve member gave a wide smile as she took the older woman's hand. "Think nothing of it Minerva," she said brightly. "Though I'm a little… What? What's this? What's with the look?"
"I beg you pardon?"
Zatanna gave knowing smile and arched a thin eyebrow. "You've got that look on your face. You know, when there's something that you don't like but are trying to be polite and not mention it…" McGonagall's eyes momentarily looked pointedly at Zatanna's outfit, causing the young mystic to chuckle.
"Oops. Sorry. I just got finished with a show in Keystone City, and forgot to change outta my stage duds." Looking down at her clothing, Zatanna said in a commanding voice: "Setholc lausac ot egnahc emutsoc egats!"
Suddenly a blue shimmer washed over Zatanna, and her costume was immediately replaced with a pair of blue jeans, knee high boots, and a button up black shirt. In her left hand she still held to the black magician's wand, which she twirled a few times.
"Better?" she asked the headmistress with an arched eyebrow.
"Much," McGonagall said appreciatively. She would have preferred proper witch's robes, but muggle jeans were better than fishnets as far as she was concerned. "Please have a seat. Would you care for something to drink?"
"A glass of fire whiskey if you have some. " Zatanna said, taking a seat in one of the winged armchairs in front of McGonagall's desk. "After tonight's performance I seriously need a pick-me-up. Lighting was off, and I had one jerk heckler that was only one more 'take off your top' from spending the rest of his life in a bell jar with a tail."
Reaching into her robe pocket, McGonagall pulled a long wooden wand and gave it a lazy flick. A moment later a dusty bottle and two glasses came flying across the room, setting themselves in front of the two women. McGonagall poured them each a glass, and handed one to Zatanna. They drank in silence for a long time.
"I wasn't certain that you were going to come," admitted McGonagall, setting down her glass and looking at Zatanna pointedly. "We haven't heard from you in quite a long time. How long as it been?"
Zatanna bowed her head apologetically. "Three almost… four years. Either way, it's been too long. I… I was sorry to hear about Albus. I couldn't believe it when I heard. He and my father used to be so close."
"Yes, Albus always spoke so highly of Giovanni. And you as well, my dear. I think he always regretted the fact you never came to study at Hogwarts as a child." McGonagall said thoughtfully.
"Well you remember how my dad was," Zatanna said with a laugh. "He didn't want anyone one else teaching his little girl how to manipulate the natural order of the universe. Still, considering all the times we came to visit Hogwarts, I felt like I could have very well been considered a student."
"Yes… I remember," McGonagall said, nodding with a wistful smile. "I even recall you making a few friends amongst several of the students."
"James, Remus, Sirius, Peter and Lily," Zatanna bit her lip as she remembered the group of mischievous boys and a certain know-it-all redhead with a temper that rivaled Hawkman on a bad day. A small silence hung in the air, which was finally broken by Zatanna. "How have things been since he… passed on?"
"I think all of us are still finding it difficult to know that he is gone." Again, her eyes turned to the portrait of Dumbledore and she sighed. "There are still times where I find myself knocking on the door to this office, expecting him to answer."
"I'm sorry I couldn't make it to his funeral," Zatanna said, looking up at the portrait sadly. "I didn't get the message until the day after, and things have been…"
"Don't worry Zatanna," said McGonagall kindly. "Albus would have understood. In light of everything that happened in the world during the last year… That nasty business with the Spectre… and… what is it that people are calling it? The Crisis? I'm surprised that you were able to make our appointment."
"It hasn't been easy lately," Zatanna admitted. "After the Spectre destroyed the order of the wild magiks, everything went to hell. We're are still trying to figure everything out… The Phantom Stranger says we've entered a new Age of Magic. All that along with everything that punk Alexander Luthor did to the Earth… Or should I say 'Earths'. We've been doing a lot of rebuilding this last year. In more ways that one."
"I can only imagine. There was a great deal of talk of it being the end of the world as we knew."
"How have things been on this end of the magic world?" Zatanna asked. "I mean, considering how messed up magic was with my people, I'd have to imagine it had an effect on the Wizarding World."
"There has been a noticeable flux in the magic during the last year, I can't deny that," replied McGonagall. "Particularly after what happened to Shazam. His death and the destruction of the Rock of Eternity caused a great deal of trouble. St. Mungo's was filled with many cases of witches and wizards loosing their powers or having their spells go horribly wrong. Not to mention the entire Wizard community was placed on high alert. Even You-Know-Who went into hiding again. We all half expected the Spectre to storm Hogwarts like he did Atlantis."
Zatanna frowned a bit as she took another sip of her fire whiskey. "He probably would have, if we hadn't managed to re-build the Rock of Eternity and push the Spectre completely over the edge to finally get the big guy's attention." Zatanna pointed upwards.
"Yes, I read in the Daily Prophet about what happened in Gotham City," McGonagall said darkly.
"I hope they were kinder about that, than they have been about everything else," Zatanna said, with a sour look. "I still get the Prophet, and all that stuff they were writing two years ago…"
"Pure nonsense the lot of it," said McGonagall, flaring up. "For an entire year Albus tried warning the world of You-Know-Who's return, but instead that idiot Fudge did everyone in his power to make Albus and Harry Potter look like insane liars."
Zatanna gave an impressed smile as leaned back in her chair. "Meow, Professor."
McGonagall flushed a bit at having lost her temper like that. "Forgive me."
Zatanna waved off the apology. Again, her eyes traveled to the portrait of Dumbledore and her expression grew immediately more somber. "Albus sent me a message about Voldemort's return." She noticed McGonagall wince at the name, but ignored it. She knew a majority of witches and wizards feared saying the name, but after facing off with things like the Specter, a name hardly seemed that scary. "He wanted me to come back… help the Order of the Phoenix but…"
"Albus understood that you had other priorities," cut across McGonagall.
"Still… I felt guilty when I told him I couldn't help when the war started…"
"Nonsense," snapped McGonagall. "You had your duties in the Muggle world. Had you not been there, there wouldn't even be a world, wizard or Muggle, worth fighting for."
"Now," said McGonagall in her clearest down to business, no nonsense voice. "On to the reason I asked you here."
"Yeah, I was a bit curious about that," said Zatanna, crossing her legs and leaning back in her chair. "The message you sent was little on the vague side."
"I apologize for that, but I don't think I need to tell you that the conventional lines of communication cannot always be trusted, even in and out of Hogwarts," replied McGonagall. "The reason I called you here is because we once again are in need of a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor."
At this Zatanna stood up straight in her chair and looked at McGonagall as if the older woman had suddenly spouted a second head. "Wait, are you asking me to teach?"
"Yes, I am," responded McGonagall briskly. "Is there a problem with that?"
Zatanna shook her head and continued to stare uneasily at the headmistress. "Well a bit," replied Zatanna. "For starters, I'm a traveling stage magician, not a professor in Wizarding World magic."
The stern expression that flashed across McGonagall's face would have given the Batman a moment's pause. Standing up to her full high, McGonagall glared hard at the young woman. "Miss Zatara, please do not belittle me," she snapped firmly. "You've spent the better part of the last decade battling all forms of dark magic and other evils. You've been a member of the Justice League, which as I understand it, is a rather high honor amongst people in the Muggle world. I think you're a bit more than merely a simple traveling stage magician."
Zatanna flushed. "Okay, fine, I've been around the block and know my way around a evil being or two. But teaching? Minerva, I don't know about that… I'm not exactly what you could consider the most… responsible woman when it comes to magic."
McGonagall made a dismissive gesture with her hand and strode around the desk. "Zatanna, I will not claim to know of all the decisions that you've made in the past. But as Dumbledore would say, 'what happened in the past, is in the past.' The fact remains is that we need you Zatanna. You have more than enough experience at defense against the dark arts. You have a lot you could teach the students at Hogwarts in these trouble times. And I know that Albus-"
But what ever it was that McGonagall knew about Albus, was cut short, as there was a soft POP. The pair of women turned towards the fireplace, where the intrusive sound had come from to see the head of a skinny looking, balding man with glasses sitting in the flickering flames of the fire.
"Oh Minerva, I didn't think you'd have company this late," said the head, looking apologetically.
"Its quiet all right Arthur," McGonagall said. "Arthur, this is an old friend, Zatanna Zatara. Zatanna, this is Arthur Weasely. He's father of several Hogwarts students and a member of the Order of the Phoenix."
"Hiya," said Zatanna, waving at the head in the fire lazily.
"Hello," Arthur said, his head bowing slightly in the fire. He let out a small sneeze as a bit of ash flew up his nose.
"What can I do for you, Arthur?" McGonagall asked, bending over to face the man in the fireplace hearth.
"Its about Harry's guard," Arthur said, his expression turning grim. "Arabella Figg just called the Headquarters and said that Dedalus Diggle didn't show up at Privet Drive for his shift."
"What?" McGonagall said, immediately flaring up. "I spoke with him this morning. Has anyone else heard from him?"
"No, no one has," said Arthur gravely. "Tonks and Lupin are going to Dedalus' home right now."
"And Privet Drive?"
"I've sent… umm… George," Mr. Weasley said weakly. There was a wailing sound from behind Arthur's head, causing the balding man to wince. "Molly is not very happy with that arrangement."
McGonagall gave a deep sigh, and nodded. "Very well. Keep me posted Arthur." Mr. Weasley nodded, and with another soft POP his head disappeared from the flames. McGonagall stood back up and strode back around her desk and seated herself down again. Her lips were pressed into a tight line, and her eyes narrowed. "Dealus is the fourth Order member to go missing this month."
"You think it was Volde-" Zatanna paused as McGonagall winced yet again and the younger woman did her best not to roll her eyes, "-mort is behind this?"
McGonagall inclined her head curtly, clearly annoyed that Zatanna had used the 'V' word and having most likely losing yet another ally and friend. "Yes. The previous three who went missing had the dark mark hanging over their homes."
"Damn," Zatanna cursed. "And this Harry you've got a guard set up for? I'm going to assume you're talking about Harry Potter."
"Yes. He and two of his friends have gone back home to his relatives in Little Whinging," McGonagall stated. "As Albus explained it to me, there is an old enchantment there that will protect him until he turns of age. It has been the only thing that kept You-Know-Who and his followers from going anywhere near him."
"But you still have the Order keeping an eye on him?" Zatanna asked.
"Of course," stated McGonagall. "You-Know-Who has been targeting Harry since he was born, as you well know. James and Lily…"
"I know, I know," whispered Zatanna, her eyes turning glassy.
"You-Know-Who has attacked Harry directly five individual times," McGonagall explained. "And no doubt you've heard about all this 'Chosen One' nonsense."
"Yeah, I have," said Zatanna. "Is there any truth in that about a prophecy? I mean it's hard to say considering the way the Prophet has been. And the Ethernet hasn't been able to reveal anything conclusive."
"I'm afraid I don't know," McGonagall admitted. "I know that Albus and Harry both knew something, but they refused to tell anyone the details. I tried speaking to him about… well never mind." McGonagall turned to stare into the flames issuing from the fireplace, as if searching for some sort of answer.
"There's something else isn't there?" said Zatanna thoughtfully.
McGonagall sat a bit straighter in her chair and looked at the JLA mystic reproachfully. "Does that matter?" she asked a bit sharply.
"Okay, ouch," Zatanna said, raising her hands up in surrender.
"No, no, I'm sorry," McGonagall apologized. "I didn't mean to be so harsh. Its just so much has been placed upon me after Albus died. The Order... The school... I suppose the stress is beginning to get to me."
"Its okay Minerva," Zatanna said. "But seriously, what aren't you telling me?"
"I'm worried about Harry. He's always been a rather… unlucky boy. Obviously. But often it seems that trouble just seems to find him. You-Know-Who, the Tri-Wizard tournament… And then there are those times… Well, I'd say he goes looking for trouble. And in light of Dumbledore's murder at the hands of one of our colleagues…"
"You think he's going go after Severus Snape?" asked Zatanna with her curiosity clearly peaked. Zatanna had known Snape as a child. Only one word came to mind when she thought of the pale, greasy haired boy. Pathetic.
"Snape… perhaps… But I think the one he truly wants is…"
Yet again, McGonagall winced, but nodded. Zatanna remembered what it was like back before Voldemort fell the first time. This had been before she had joined the Justice League, but she made the occasional visit to the Wizarding World. Death and fear was Voldemort's tools. And he used them well. Zatanna had offered to bring several other heroes in to help, but the Ministry of Magic refused to deal with any muggle aid, even if they were metahumans. She sometimes wondered how things would have turned out had they had the Wizard World had people like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman fighting by their side.
Would their involvement have been able to spare the Potters from dying? Would they have been able to find a way to permanently destroy Voldemort or at the very least incapacitate him? Well, it was too late to worry about what could have been done in the past.
"I'll do it."
McGonagall's head snapped upwards to look at Zatanna in mild surprise. "You mean…?"
"Yep. I'll become your new DADA teacher," Zatanna said, a fire blazing in her dark eyes. "You're right. These kids do need all the help and training they can get, and lets be frank, I'll be a hell of a lot better than that Umbridge woman I heard about. And I think I owe it to Albus, my dad and to James and Lilly to be where I'm really needed."
"What about your magician's tour?" McGonagall asked, though she was clearly very pleased.
"Eh, I'm hitting the end of the seasons after next month. I'll just go on a show sabbatical. Then I can get away with doing a big comeback tour. Tickets sales will be huge." Zatanna was wearing a wide knowing smile.
"Thank you Zatanna," McGonagall said, breathing deeply. "You have no idea how grateful I am to you." Standing up, she turned and walked to the window staring out over the grounds of the Hogwarts Estate again. "That solves one of my problems…"
"Actually, I have a suggestion that might help you with one of your other problems…" Zatanna said, quirking an eyebrow and twirling her wand in-between her slender fingers.TO BE CONTINUED…
Author's Additional Note: Once again I bring to you an unexpected crossover event. I'm not sure if I'm the first person to think about an HP/Titans crossover, but I hope to pull off a successful tale. And don't worry. The central heroes will be appearing soon enough.
Please read and review and let me know what you think so far.