Chapter 20

Getting prepared for the coming term:

Dumbledore looked at the professors arrayed around the table before him, it was with a sense of pride he was able to fill all the positions and even add an elective this term with all the publicity (good and bad) that seemed to be following him everywhere.

Minerva McGonagall starts, "Albus we can't wait any longer the school supply letters must go out not later than tomorrow evening."

Dumbledore starts, "Of course Minerva now let's get this meeting underway; Mister's Weasley your apartments have been arranged I do hope they are to your liking." When they nod he continues, "Mr. Cornwall yours as well I assume?"

Basar Cornwall aka Rabastian Lestrange replies haughtily, "Headmaster while my apartment is sufficient for my use I will also require a smaller one for my apprentice…on another note my classroom needs to be a bit brighter and more airy or the students will tend to fall asleep. History is an interesting subject but needs the proper environment. I have no idea how Binns ever managed without most of the student body falling asleep from the conditions in the present room."

"Ah yes your apprentice… That brings me to another topic all together. It's come to my attention that Harry Potter, Desari Black, Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom have all signed apprentice contracts. Severus you've got two apprentices this term young Mr. Malfoy and a Ms. Raven Stormwing correct?"

Severus Snape sneers, "That is correct Headmaster and I will also be having apprentice level lessons with Potter and Black as they are both undertaking multi-class masteries. They along with Draco and Raven will be assisting me in teaching while learning advanced techniques to ease us through this process I've procured a TA with a teaching certificate. He will also require an apartment in the dungeons."

He nods, "Yes yes Mr. Peverell informed me of the requirements that his apprentices will require and the arrangements that he made for them as he's required to be out of the country much of the upcoming year. Lord Malfoy, Remus Lupin, Mr. Cornwall and one other who's name will be supplied after the start of term; will be filling in for him while he's out of touch."

"I understand that Mr. Potter will not be taking charms, potions, transfiguration or history with the regular students but will be taking herbology, healing, defense and CoMC and the new warding elective."

"Ms. Black it seems has already taken her NEWTs in Runes, Arithmancy, Potions, Transfiguration and Herbology therefore will be only taking healing, defense, CoMC and warding. Her mastery covers charms, transfiguration potions and herbology."

"Neville Longbottom will be taking all regular courses except for herbology for which he's apprenticing and potions which as I understand he's being tutored, his grandmother has requested one on one classes so that he isn't overwhelmed."

"Severus What of Mr. Malfoy?"

"Draco will be attending the regular charms, herbology, defense, transfiguration, Runes and Arithmancy classes; he is undecided if he wants to try the COMC and warding as of yet… I'll let you know before the students arrive."

Minerva McGonagall demands shrilly, "What is this nonsense about apprentices I thought you'd decided that none would allowed in Hogwarts while you are headmaster?"

"I've been forced to reevaluate my stance upon that matter. I've come to the conclusion that Hogwarts once again having apprentices is beneficial to the magical community. I myself was going to see if I could get Harry but alas he already found someone else. I still hold out hope of him changing his mind."

Smirking McGonagall demands, "Then I wish to take Ms. Granger as my apprentice Albus, she's extremely gifted in transfiguration and talent like hers shouldn't be wasted."

"That is between the two of you Minerva because as I've been reminded all masters have complete control of their apprentices."

"Finally I'll need the syllabus you intend to use for this term on my desk no later than 2pm tomorrow… school letters go out after that and we need the books you intend to use for them."

Molly re-educates her children:

Molly Weasley looks across the kitchen table at her two youngest children the two she was closest too and had the most control over and abruptly snaps out, "Well Ron do you have Hermione in line? It wouldn't do for all our efforts to be for nothing."

Ron arrogantly proclaims, "She'll be back tonight after supper. McGonagall requested a meeting with her this afternoon that's why she left. I've almost gotten her into the sack it won't be long especially as she's trying to use my hormones to get her way. I've also got her convinced that pre-bonding sex is perfectly OK… little does she realize that it will diminish her magic while giving me control in the bond as the dominate partner. I really am surprised with how much she worships books and all that she's never read up on the old ways and why they were observed. She's planning on nursing me through classes this term since Harry's blown us off for the Slytherins. How much longer do I have to act like a lazy halfwit?"

Molly smiles, "Good Ron, try and get the sex out of the way before you go back to Hogwarts; it wouldn't do to get caught in the act by one of the professors. You can probably slowly start showing your intellect but Ronald I do mean slowly. We don't want her knowing that you've been faking. At least your father can't throw out your marriage contract so it will go through regardless of your father's feelings."

Looking over to her headstrong daughter, "Now that Potter is out of your reach you must find a rich well placed husband. You must seduce him and get pregnant, that way your father will have to force a bond. It will give us money and position to deal with against the rest of the purebloods and raise us out of this pit that your father has us in."

Crocodile tears starting immediately, "Buutttt Mom," she wails, "I want to marry Harry. You said he'd be mine and I've all these plans…"

"Ginevra Weasley you will do as I say; stay away from Harry Potter. He's taken out a restraining order against us and if you violate it we all go to Azkaban. No amount of money is worth Azkaban do you understand me, the stigma of having been there just will not wash off. Now let's think about your classmates who is a viable candidate to be your future husband," Molly ground out harshly?

Ron interjects trying to calm his mother, "How about Braeden Dunstan, I believe his father is Lord Bradeen Dunstan, Baron of Dunmoir. They have a large holding and are a neutral pureblood family. Braeden is an only child and while they aren't as rich as say Malfoy or Potter they are very well off and well respected by the ministry. His family has a seat on the Wizengamot and his father works in one of the investigative units of the Auror department. Braeden in the same year as Ginny so getting close to him shouldn't be too difficult."

Molly asks, "Has he been involved with anyone at school, talked about a marriage contract or previous arrangements?"

Ron looks thoughtful before responding, "Not that I've heard… he keeps to a small group of friends and hasn't broadcast any romantic attachments. What I know about him I've picked up by listening in on some of his conversations."

Ginny sniffing loudly whines, "Well he isn't on any of the Quidditch teams but his grades aren't awful. He doesn't hang out with any girls so if he isn't gay it should be too hard to get him."

Molly replies with an almost evil grin, "Even if he is gay dear... a little of the right potion at the right time and he's all yours."

Desari's Contract arrangements—

Glad to be back at Slyth Tor Lucius Malfoy sits down with the Dark Lord to discuss something important and close to both of their hearts… Desari!

"Lucius, has she given any indication to you as to what her desires are concerning her future? Who her mates may be?"

Lucius sighs heavily, "My Lord, she senses 4 possible mates: two she hasn't encountered and two that she has. She believes that both Severus and Rabastian are candidates for bonding but both of them also have other choices that do not include her. She's comfortable with Severus but I do not think it's a romantic comfort more of an older brother or close uncle. Rabastian makes her nervous and I think that situation may lead to more if given the chance. She spoke to me a little about it but I don't think I was much comfort."

"Severus tells me that she spoke to him about apprentice contracts and didn't really wish to sign one with Rabastian as she didn't want to be lesser in their relationship forever… not that I think he'd ever make her feel that way but you are right it's a good indication that she sees him in more romantic way. So I am arranging another contract with her as my apprentice as well. The two of us are the only qualified to cover all the areas she wishes to master. Rabastian and the others will stand in for me at that school but she will be MY apprentice."

"My Lord I think that's a good idea as I really do not believe that Dumbledore is through trying to get control of her and her assets."

Riddle asks calmly, "Are you going to try to discourage Severus from courting her?"

Lucius laughs, "Actually no but I did lay out some ground rules because of their age difference… they are to participate in a proper courting with a lot of romantic gestures and very little physical contact."

"That should discourage him properly then as I do not believe he has a romantic bone in his body or that he will enjoy sweet dinners and hand holding while his hormones rage out of control."