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Renegade Master

Prologue

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Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was at wits end; for over a month now, he had been searching for someone to fill the role as teacher in the art of Divination. He had hoped, now more than ever, with the rise of Tom Riddle (who hoped to be the next Grindelwald), to find a true seer; someone who could point him in the right direction.

He had gone from interview to interview, and not one person had the All- Seeing Eye, not one; he was at the point where he was simply going to give up.

It was then that he received an answer, in his most desperate and darkest moment, an owl had come through the window like a shining beacon of hope.

The owl was in answer to an ad he put in the Daily Prophet, the large barn owl hooted happily as Albus untied the scroll, scratched the creature's ear, paid and gave him a treat. The answer had come: a Sibyll Trelawney he was to meet at the Leaky Cauldron, upstairs. He would, naturally, be expected.

He stood up and looked outside; it was raining and coming down rather heavy. He had intended to walk, but decided against it, as it wouldn't do to interview someone soaking wet. He threw some Floo powder into the fireplace and stepped in. "Leaky Cauldron."

With a burst of green flame, he was engulfed and reappeared in the pub. Tom, he noted as he walked up the stairs, didn't look particularly happy. The barkeep nodded respectably as he left for Sibyll.

What he found when he entered the room was a very strange site indeed. The woman, who was standing with her back to him, was extremely thin, with large bushy hair. She started when he closed the door and turned around. She had a large pair of black glasses that magnified her eyes, and was draped in a large number of spangled shawls, beads, chains, bangles and rings.

The two sat down and talked; she attempted quite disastrously to make a few predictions, eventually getting to the point where she became hysterical. Albus sighed after half an hour's worth of babbling and stood, thanked her for her time and started toward the door.

It was then that a most unusual occurrence happened: a dark and ominous voice started speaking behind him, and he paused and turned around with a frown on his face as he listened to the woman, who showed absolutely no talent whatsoever, make a prediction.

"On the seventh dawn of the seventh day a child was born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies, the dark lord shall mark him as equal and the destiny of the two will be interlinked."

Albus started to say something but Sibyll was obviously not finished.

"He shall have powers the dark lord knows notand either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the six month dies..."

There was a noise outside the room and the door suddenly burst open. There, standing in front of him with a hand wrapped around the back of his cloak, was Severus Snape.

"Caught 'im listening outside yer door."

Snape sneered at the barkeep, "I was not, I was on my up the stairs when you tripped over me. Perhaps, if you lit the corridors properly, this wouldn't happen."

Tom's nostrils flared and the man looked like he was about to respond, but Albus cut across him, "It's quite all right, Tom. I'm sure it was a mistake on both ends; please see Severus outside."

"With pleasure," Tom hoisted the greasy-haired man outside, and Albus turned to Sibyll, making a snap decision.

"I have thought a great deal," the woman looked at him with hope shining in her eyes, "and feel that you are perfect for the position."

She squealed loudly and bounded over, wrapping him in a hug. Albus winced and smiled. "Come, Sibyll, collect your belongings and we shall make our way to the school." She picked up her coat and bag and pronounced herself ready.

Albus was surprised, as most women he knew of had more belongings than this; it was always certainly the case with his mother. He smiled and offered the crook of his arm, like any gentleman should, and the two made their way toward destiny.

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Albus stared down from the Head Table, as many of the teachers did, with a sense of anticipation. Harry Potter, the boy who lived, the only surviving member of his family, walked somewhat nervously up to the stool.

The child looked around, took a look at Quirrell and Severus, then sat on the stool. Albus turned his head slightly and saw that the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was sitting very still and concentrating very hard; no stuttering or nervousness. 'Strange,' Albus thought quietly.

The headmaster turned his attention back to the boy, trying to enter the child's mind, and found himself hitting what felt like a brick wall. There was simply nothing there. He'd have to speak with Severus later to confirm this.

The hat was placed upon the boy's head and, for a few tense moments, the two conversed; a private conversation that would be told to none, unless Albus asked for it. The hat appeared to be having trouble making up its' mind. One moment, it swivelled the boy in the direction of Slytherin - Albus turned to Severus slightly, who looked as stunned as he - but then the head turned back toward Gryffindor.

Five tense minutes the hat and the child mentally discussed what to do, and then, when it seemed they were going to sit there all night, the hat's tip perked up and bellowed at the top of its lungs:

"GRYFFINDOR!"

Albus sat back with a sigh and nodded to himself happily; the boy was in Gryffindor, which was a good sign. Things, he hoped, were starting to look up.

The crowd at the Gryffindor table erupted loudly, banging the table and shouting as the newest arrival sat down.

He couldn't help but echo the hat's thoughts, 'Interesting times, interesting times indeed...'