"First Day Back"
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Only one of them is mine - the rest are J.K. Rowling's. I'm not making any money from this, though God knows I sure could use it. The song "Werewolves of London" belongs to Warren Zevon.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is another follow-up
to my fic
An English Werewolf in New York, so if you haven't read
that one and you think you might like to, go read it before you read this,
'cause there are major spoilers to be had in this fic. Also, you'll have
a hard time figuring out what the heck is going on in this fic if you haven't
read that one.
It was the first day
of classes at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the Great
Hall, all of the students had assembled for their first breakfast of the
"We've only got four classes today," Hermione was saying. "But they're all doubles."
"So what's first?" Harry asked, reaching for another piece of toast. Hermione peered at her schedule.
"Transfiguration," she replied happily. Neville groaned. "Cheer up," Hermione told him. "It could've been Potions."
"And after Transfiguration?" Ron asked, helping himself to more bacon.
"Muggle Studies. We'll get to meet the new Professor Lupin!"
"That'll be cool," Harry said.
"You know, she's probably a bigger hellion than Snape," Ron mused. "Just think, this is a woman who tamed a werewolf!" Neville laughed, a picture of their new teacher holding off Professor Lupin with a whip and a chair forming in his mind.
"I don't think it was quite like that - " Harry began.
"I wonder why they didn't come to breakfast," Hermione suddenly said, gesturing at the staff table, where there were two empty seats and no sign of either Professor Lupin.
"I dunno," Harry said. "They were at the Welcoming Feast last night."
"Did you see Snape's face when Dumbledore introduced them?" Ron asked gleefully. "I thought he was going to have an aneurysm!" He turned to Neville. "I'll bet Snape is in a WONDERFUL mood today, eh Neville?" Neville groaned.
"Come on, Hermione," he said. "I can't stand it anymore. Give it to me straight: When is Potions?" She laughed and checked her schedule again.
"Well, after Muggle Studies, we've got Defense Against the Dark Arts, and THEN we've got Potions."
"Great," Neville said. "Last class of the day. That gives me all day long to worry about it!" Hermione read a bit further down on her schedule.
"Oh, more good news," she said sarcastically, this time not sounding at all happy about the information she was about to relate. "We're with Slytherin… ALL DAY."
They were standing in
the hallway outside the Transfiguration classroom talking amongst themselves
when they heard a familiar (and not much missed) voice.
"Oh look, they've stuck us with the mudbloods, the Muggle-lovers, and the hopeless cases," Draco Malfoy sneered.
"Dumbledore is probably hoping that they'll learn something from the excellent examples we set," Pansy Parkinson replied.
"There's only one thing YOU lot could ever teach us," Harry said hotly. "And that's how to be first class assho - " The classroom's door was suddenly opened from within.
"Good morning, class," Professor McGonagall said. She looked the same as ever; tall, thin, dressed in swirling emerald green robes, with her thick, black hair pulled back in a severe bun and her square glasses perched on the bridge of her nose. Her eyes swept over the group of students. She gave them a disapproving look, as though she knew what had been going on before her arrival. Finally, she stepped aside and the students filed into the Transfiguration classroom. "Please take your seats." On each desk was a vase of silk flowers. "Today's lesson will be a practical lesson. With the use of a simple spell which I will teach you directly, you will turn your artificial flowers into real flowers."
"That doesn't sound too hard," Hermione whispered.
"Maybe not for YOU!" Neville whispered, sounding apprehensive.
"Shh!" Harry scolded. "I'm trying to pay attention!" As Professor McGonagall explained the spell, Neville scribbled frantic notes in an effort to write down every single word she said. Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle, watched him, snickering.
"Look at him taking notes!" Crabbe snorted.
"For all the good it'll do him!" Goyle replied.
"They have no room to laugh at YOU, Neville," Ron said, gesturing at Malfoy's hulking cronies. "I don't think they even know how to write!"
"All right, class," Professor McGonagall finally said. "Let's begin."
An hour later, a rather
subdued group of students left the Transfiguration classroom.
"That was a lot harder than it looked," Harry said. "Mine still had plastic stems when I was done!" Hermione shrugged.
"I don't know, it seemed easy to me!"
"Oh be quiet," Neville said irritably.
"Cheer up, Neville," Ron said, clapping him on the shoulder. "You invented a brand new species of plant, didn't you?"
"I was supposed to change the FLOWERS, not the VASE!" Neville reminded him.
"At least you managed to change SOMETHING," Hermione said, and immediately realized that her words could hardly be considered encouragement.
"Look on the bright side," Harry said as they walked up the hall to their next class. "Maybe she'll at least give you points for effort."
"And creativity," Ron added. Neville glared at him.
"Muggle Studies is next," Hermione said, changing the subject.
"My dad is so jealous we've got a real Muggle teaching us," Ron said. "You know how he's fascinated by Muggles and their inventions."
"Here we are," Harry said as they reached the Muggle Studies classroom.
Students from the previous class were still leaving the room. They all had big smiles on their faces. Some of them were singing a phrase over and over again: "Ah-hoooooo! Werewolves of London! Ah-hoooooo!" Harry and Hermione exchanged a look.
"This is going to be a FUN class," he told her. She smiled.
"Why, hello!" a new voice said. They turned to see a smiling Remus Lupin coming up the hall, looking as thin and pale as ever. However, he was dressed much more nicely than the last time they had seen him, in flowing gray robes that looked brand new. His hair had more gray than they remembered, and he looked as though he felt unwell. Even so, his voice was as cheerful as always as he greeted each of them in turn. "Harry… Hermione… Neville… Ron…" He shook the boys' hands, and then became the very surprised recipient of a hug and a kiss on the cheek from Hermione.
"Mudbloods and werewolves," Malfoy's voice griped from behind them.
"Shut up, Malfoy!" Harry flared.
"Yeah, stick a sock in it," Neville agreed.
"And use one of your own - it would probably kill you!" Ron added.
"Now boys," Professor Lupin said mildly. More students came out of the Muggle Studies classroom. A few of them were singing.
"Ah-hoooooo! Werewolves of London! Ah-hoooooo!" Professor Lupin shook his head.
"I hope they don't have Defense Against the Dark Arts next," he sighed.
"Of course they do," said an American-accented female voice. "That's why I taught them that song!" Amanda Lupin, the new Muggle Studies instructor, stood in the doorway, smiling mischievously at her husband.
"Thank you SO much!" Professor Lupin said, but he was smiling too.
"Any time!" she told him, and they both laughed. This was the first time Harry and his friends had seen Professor Lupin's new wife at close range. She was a tall, slender woman with long coppery blonde hair and dark emerald green eyes. She was dressed casually in tight jeans and a New York University sweatshirt. She turned her attention to the students. "Why don't you guys come on in and find seats, OK?" As they entered the classroom, Harry happened to glance over at Malfoy and saw that he was staring at their new teacher like she was a veela. He nudged his companions and directed their attention to the entranced Malfoy, who wasn't looking where he was walking and managed to trip over one of Crabbe's huge feet. Only quick reflexes saved him from falling flat on his face.
"He's playing way out of his league," Ron snickered. They sat down and watched as their new teacher handed two objects to her husband. He took out his wand and waved them over the objects, muttering something that they couldn't hear.
"That should do it," Professor Lupin told her, smiling. "They should be good for an hour or so now."
"Great! Thanks a lot!" she said.
"Anything for you, my dear," he replied. She laughed. "I've really got to get to my class."
"I hope you like Warren Zevon!" she told him. He left, smiling and shaking his head. A few seconds later, the bell rang.
"OK, everybody," she said, walking over to perch on the edge of her desk. "My name is Amanda Lupin, and this is Muggle Studies." She picked up a piece of parchment with the class roll written on it, smiling as she spotted names she knew from stories her husband had told her. "You guys are Gryffindor and Slytherin, right?" There were nods of agreement from all around the room. "Good." She surveyed the students for a moment, and then held up one of the objects that she and Professor Lupin had been whispering over. "Can anyone tell me what this is?" Both Hermione and Harry raised their hands. Everyone else stared blankly. She sighed and pointed at Hermione. "Hermione Granger, right?" Hermione nodded. "Can you explain to the class what this is?"
"It's a cellular telephone," she said. "It's used for making phone calls. It doesn't have to be plugged into a wall to work."
"Of course SHE'D know," Pansy Parkinson snorted.
"Shut up, would you?" Malfoy said irritably. "I'm trying to pay attention to Professor Lupin!" Harry and his friends exchanged glances, smiling. Their new teacher turned her attention to Malfoy.
"Mister…?" she began.
"Malfoy," he replied immediately, jumping to his feet. "Draco Malfoy, Professor Lupin. Ma'am."
"'Ma'am'?" Ron echoed quietly in disbelief. "I never thought I'd live to hear Draco Malfoy call a Muggle 'Ma'am'!"
"Oh, you guys don't have to call me 'Professor Lupin', Draco," Amanda was saying. "When I hear that, I look around for my husband! Just call me Amanda."
"Amanda," Draco repeated, grinning like a fool. Parkinson, Crabbe and Goyle were all gaping at Malfoy like he'd just grown an extra head. Harry and his friends were trying desperately to stifle their laughter.
"OK, Draco. Do you know how telephones work?" Amanda asked.
"No, Ma'am," he replied politely, shaking his head.
"Ah," Amanda said. "Well. Does anyone here know how telephones work?" Harry and Hermione raised their hands. She smiled at them. "Hermione and… Harry Potter, right?" Harry nodded. "Good. Would you two like to come up here and demonstrate how to operate a telephone?"
"Um," Hermione began.
"Yes, Hermione?" Amanda replied.
"Well… I'm not sure you know this, but Muggle devices won't work inside Hogwarts. There's too much magic in the air." Amanda nodded.
"Yeah, I've heard about that," she agreed. "But luckily Remus - er, I mean Professor Lupin knows a protective charm that will give us an hour or so to play with them before they go back to being useless."
"Wow," Harry said.
"So if you two would like to come up here and show the class…?" Amanda asked, holding up the two phones and smiling.
An hour later, the bell
rang and they filed out of the Muggle Studies classroom.
"I'll see you all tomorrow!" Amanda called, smiling and waving as they left.
"You know, Ron," Harry said as they walked up the hall. "You don't have to scream at the top of your lungs when you use a telephone! My ears are still ringing!"
"Hey, at least I managed to talk to you," Ron said, casting a meaningful look at Neville.
"I think I pushed too many buttons," Neville said miserably. "That lady I talked to was awfully nice about it, though. Do you guys have any idea where Sri Lanka is?" Hermione had her schedule out
"Lunch is next," she told them. "And then Defense Against the Dark Arts."
"I wonder what we're going to get to do in there this year," Harry mused aloud, thinking about grindylows and boggarts.
"Maybe something really dangerous!" Ron suggested. Neville groaned and put his head in his hands.
CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 2, "Afternoon Classes"...