Beta'ed by the speedy Rakina
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. 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.History Is So Boring!
Mark walked into the classroom and sat down at an empty seat. His first day at Hogwarts! He'd been up since before dawn and he hadn't been able to eat any breakfast, he was so excited. He took out his History of Magic textbook and opened it to the Table of Contents to see what topics they would be learning. When the Table of Contents turned out to be as dull as one of the history books in his old school would have been, he started flipping through the book.
He'd just started reading about a Goblin Rebellion when the Weasley girl walked in. She was carrying more books than Mark thought possible; fortunately she chose a seat near the front of the classroom. She'd already given him one lecture about something they would be learning; he didn't fancy another. Honestly, she was a nightmare!
Several minutes later, the rest of the class began sitting down. One of the Slytherins sat next to Mark. He had blond – almost white – hair, a pointed face and green eyes. "Arthur Malfoy," he said as he stuck his hand out to be shaken.
"Mark Evans," Mark said, shaking the other boy's hand. "Is it true that our teacher for this class is a ghost?"
Arthur shrugged. "So they say. Professor Binns has been teaching here for forever."
A ghost walked through the whiteboard at the front of the room and strode to the teacher's desk. He scowled at the students, most of whom were still talking with one another. When he didn't get instant attention, he slammed his hand down on the desk. He didn't get the loud slam he appeared to want, but the abrupt movement got everyone's attention. Arthur wrote on the top sheet of parchment, "Thats not Binns".
Mark stared at the ghost wide-eyed. Exciting enough to have a ghost for a teacher, but to have two? This one was a little taller than average and very thin, with limp hair that came to his shoulders, a huge nose, and eyes that seemed to see everything. "This is a school," the ghost said. "You are to pay attention to your teachers. I am Professor Severus Snape; Professor Binns has asked me to teach your first History of Magic class, since he claims to know little of the Voldemort Wars. Who can tell me anything about them?"
The Weasley girl's hand went up like a rocket. No one else looked as if they even recognized the name. Mark didn't; he'd spent his time looking at all the cool charms for pranking people, not history.
Professor Snape looked around the room and sighed. "Very well. Miss Granger?"
No one answered. Professor Snape looked straight at the Weasley girl. "Miss Granger, your hand is up and I've called on you. Answer the question."
She squeaked, "Me?" without lowering her hand. "I'm Hermione Weasley, sir."
An expression of utter distaste crossed the teacher's face and he sighed loudly. "Of course. Miss Weasley, then, answer the question. Now!"
She jumped, but said, "The Voldemort War lasted from 1969 to 1998, with a fourteen year break from 1981 to 1995. It began when Lord Voldemort was made a Lord and ended when he was imprisoned. There are various theories about the hiatus, but Important Events of the Twentieth Century: Explained states that none of them are compelling.
Professor Snape stared at the Weasley girl in horror. After several minutes of total silence, he asked her, "What do your parents say about it?"
"My dad once said that his great-great-something-great-grandfather fought in it."
"Open your book to the copyright date," Professor Snape ordered. When she had, he looked at the date for a very long time. As he turned to look at the whiteboard, his shoulders slumped and he shook his head. Mark thought he heard the man mutter something like, "So many years."
Several minutes later, Professor Snape straightened and turned to the class. "Your first assignment is to go to the library and do some research. I want twelve inches on the Voldemort Wars, with special attention to Lord Voldemort's biography and the reasons behind the hiatus. Extra credit for anyone who includes accurate information on my role in the war." He turned to the whiteboard and seemed to see it for the first time. Shaking his head, he turned back to the class. "You will have to take notes without help from the, that thing." He pointed at the whiteboard and began his lecture.
Mark wrote down as much of the lecture as he could. There were what Mark thought were a couple of clues as to who this Lord Voldemort really was, and someone else called 'The Boy Who Lived', who Professor Snape always sneered at. He also mentioned that there had been nine Weasleys involved in the war, and a Hermione Granger who later became a Weasley. He didn't seem to think too much of them, either.
Professor Snape kept them for the full class period and warned them that he would be teaching their next session, so they'd best be prepared. Everyone was quiet as they gathered their things and left the classroom, as quickly as they could.
Once they were back out in the corridor, Mark began to relax. "So, Evans," Arthur said. "What do you think of the magical world?"
"Well, history is no more exciting here than it is in the Muggle world," he answered. Why do teachers always think we'll be excited about stuff that happened so long ago?"
"I don't know," Arthur answered. "I'll bet Professor Snape really was alive back then. His clothes were certainly old enough."
Mark sniggered. "Yeah, and did you see how he looked at the whiteboard? And that's an old classroom. What would he have done in one of the ones with a thought screen?"
Arthur shook his head. "Merlin only knows. I hope the rest aren't as backward."
"Yeah," Mark agreed. "Do wizards really use Merlin's name that way, or are you pulling my leg?"