Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter!
Rated M: Mature
Harry De Vie
Chapter 15: Staff Meeting
Harry was greatly impressed with Bellatrix's dueling capabilities, which so far had greatly surpassed all of her classmates, and had to award her with a great amount of points and praise. He had been hard pressed at times to defend against her onslaught of various spells, and was even more surprised by her ability to defend against counter attacks when he began retaliating. He could easily see the incredible duelist she would have become as one of Voldemort's most insane and intense fighters and hoped he would be able to keep her away from that life this time around.
Luckily however, she wasn't under the unforgivable imperius curse and able to be herself and make her own choices and path in life. Had she been throwing around seriously dark and unforgivable curses like she had in his old world, she would have been quite the formidable opponent. She had an intensity about casting spells that few could ever match, and not for the first time since being back in 1976 did he wonder what she would make of her life when she was truly the one in charge of it. He was quite surprised when he saw her practicing the other night in an unused classroom, and had watched her while hiding under his invisibility cloak really impressed with her dedication.
It amazed him how solitary her life at Hogwarts seemed, having never really seen her with friends or classmates and always seemingly on her own. He couldn't really imagine what school was like for her without people around her, but guessed it left her with plenty of time to study and follow her own interests. It made him wonder if anyone in the whole school really knew her at all, and for some reason he wouldn't admit to, he wanted to be the person that did. He just couldn't fathom anyone being so alone and isolated in such a big and diverse school, and felt a need to help those that were …especially Bellatrix.
"Okay class, see you Tuesday," continued Professor De Vie after another seven duels took place, none of which even lasted fifteen minutes as their class time quickly came to an end. "The homework I assigned last class will be due then as well."
After the first week of classes which were now done, it still amazed him how quickly the students packed up their things and bolted out of the room the moment he dismissed them. He couldn't really say that he was much different when in school, and figured it was probably about the same for all students. Probably even more so on Friday afternoon hoping and rushing towards the upcoming weekend. For some wonderful reason in scheduling, Harry had the last period of the day on Fridays off after the seventh year NEWT class and an hour to himself before dinner.
'How did you enjoy your first week of teaching?' asked Rowena from inside Harry's head, having greatly enjoyed being back in her wonderful school along with the other founders and watching the young professor figure out his way. 'Was it what you expected it to be?'
'I thought it went well,' he responded thoughtfully, 'but the students are no where near what I expected …they all seem so young and immature.'
'That's because they are,' responded Salazar with a snort at Harry's own immaturity. 'Only a handful of them have really been touched by this war yet, but that was why you were sent back to this time.'
'Yes, I am aware of that,' responded Harry with a mental sigh, 'I just thought there would be more students taking Defense seriously.'
'Oh, I think some are, they're just getting the first week jitters and summer vacation rust out of their systems,' added a thoughtful Godric.
'And most don't feel affected by the war being safely tucked away in Hogwarts,' added Rowena intelligently as always.
'My Slytherins are the most prepared of course,' continued a very smug Salazar to the group at large, and most had to reluctantly agree with his assessment.
'Yeah, prepared to join Voldemort,' argued back Godric, never one to let statements like that from Salazar go unchallenged.
'Please Godric …the whole world is not so simply defined as either good or bad,' snapped an argumentative Salazar that only seemed to fuel the proverbial fire for the next half an hour as the two founders debated their points while Harry, Helga, and Rowena tried to act as judges and mediators …but mostly just laughed at the two friends who couldn't seem to have any kind of discussion without it breaking into an argument.
At dinner Harry was antagonized by the lone member of the staff that really seemed to loathe him from the start, and just so happened to sit beside him at every meal. Marlene was her usual derisive and nit picky self, commenting on his unstructured teaching style and dangerous duels against students to his wild untamable hair and self-proclamation to being the Head of a noble family that she had never heard of. Likewise, by the end of the meal Harry was getting rather defensive and was in a down right bad mood when Albus announced to the teachers at large that they would be holding the usual first week of term staff meeting in thirty minutes.
"Well, in that case I'm going to quickly go and blow off some steam," announced the irritated young professor as he stood from his seat and bolted out of the Great Hall and Hogwarts' front doors arriving near the school's gate.
Calling Godric's old sword that now belonged to him into his hands, he plunged the blade down into the ground directly between the front gates keeping his rune carves and powered right hand on the hilt. He knew he didn't have much time, and only really wanted to blow off some excess magic and energy without simply causing useless destruction and put it towards something productive. The seeming lightening bolt of magical energy spiked right into the ground, but caused an almost golden wave of wave that quickly spread out from Harry's hand and sword sweeping over the grounds and school bathing everything in it's beautiful light.
"Man that felt good!" spoke Harry aloud although nobody else was physically present, the founders' spirits all laughed happily from within his head as his body and magic still hummed in synch with the school and it's wards.
'And a lot more productive than blowing up trees,' chided Rowena in a somewhat know it all tone Harry was quite familiar with.
'How did you know I wanted to blow up trees?' responded the now winded and feeling much better professor as he banished his sword and slowly headed back up to the ancient school.
'Godric was the exact same in his youth,' she replied almost fondly, but with a definite sense of disapproval, 'he got to the point of having to do that ward boost a couple times every year, otherwise the forbidden forest would have been destroyed a long time ago.'
'Yours was a bit more powerful though,' smirked Salazar mentally somehow, probably trying to wind up Godric into another pointless argument, which judging from the indignant yell a second later had succeeded.
When Harry returned to the school's front doors, every teacher and ghost was starring at him in mixtures of awe and surprise. Well, Marlene was scowling but you get the picture. A twinkling eyed Headmaster gave him a bright smile before leading the entire staff minus the curiously on looking ghosts to the staff lounge where the meetings always took place. Nobody seemed to mention anything about the magic they all just felt and experienced on their walk, and it wasn't until they were all seated in the staff lounge that the topic was approached.
"I don't think I've ever seen someone blow off steam in quite that manner," stated Albus with his twinkling and questioning eyes as he fondly watched his youngest and most confusing professor.
"Sometimes I need to blow off some excess magic and energy …but that doesn't mean it has to be destructive," shrugged Harry casually in response, hoping some of them would begin taking him more seriously if he could demonstrate both his power and maturity.
"Then what was it?" asked Minerva from her spot next to Albus.
"Just a ward booster," came another shrugged response. "So, what goes on in these staff meetings …gossip or work?"
"Usually a good bit of both," chuckled Professor Slughorn with a jovial smile despite the obvious discomfort he was still having with his leg, as several other teachers laughed along with him.
It was actually a lot of both, as the teachers went through and gave opinions on every single student starting in first year and working up. How their teachers felt they measured up in classes and fit in with housemates, to any troubles they were having adjusting or things to keep an eye on. Some obviously took longer than others, but none as long as the sixth year Gryffindors with the Marauders, everyone's favorite student Lily Evans, Alice Green, and Marlene's daughter Natalie McKinnon. Harry added in his two cents when asked, but since he hadn't yet faced everyone in class he was unable to really gauge everyone's ability in DADA.
The first student to really make him talk was actually Severus Snape, who he commended as a brilliant duelist and student, both innovative and powerful with a good work ethic but like most his age, a good size temper as well. Most besides Harry and Slughorn had little to say about Severus other than he was quiet, prepared, and did well in class but rarely stood out, and then moved on to the next student. When it came time for the seventh years to be discussed, it was somewhat noticeable in how those teachers in the Order of the Phoenix paid a bit more attention hoping to gleam some information from a potential ally or enemy.
"How are the seventh years fairing in Defense?" asked a very curious Albus, a feeling shared by several others even those not in the Order knowing the world these kids were soon going to enter and find themselves in.
"I've only dueled about half of them," started the young professor, "and only one of them so far is capable of surviving a fight against either aurors or Death Eaters for more than a few minutes …two others have potential, but the lack of foundation and stamina hold them back, and arrogance for one of them."
"Who do you mean?" asked Albus, surprised probably about the relatively blunt and straightforward assessment.
"Longbottom lacks stamina and foundation, as does Rudolphus LeStrange who also suffers from an overly inflated sense of ego and arrogance and a heavy reliance on the dark arts. Bellatrix Black is the only one truly capable at this point n time," answered Professor De Vie calmly and analytically.
"Miss Black?" questioned Albus with a confused expression on his aged face, probably trying to remember more about the solitary young woman. "Wasn't she at the attack on Diagon Alley fighting other students?"
"Under Romulus LeStrange's imperius curse, yes," answered Harry swiftly and with a hard look to Albus to be very careful rushing to judgment on certain actions, one that Marlene obviously chose to ignore.
"That's her story," sneered Professor McKinnon, obviously not a believer.
"Actually it's my story, having seen her vacant and expressionless black eyes while under the curse," responded Harry somewhat defensively.
"All the Blacks have blue eyes," spoke Slughorn confusedly.
"Exactly …after I killed Romulus her eyes returned to normal," continued Harry, nonchalantly mentioning he killed the father of two of his students, and hopefully gave more credibility to his assessment of Bellatrix under the unforgivable.
"But she's a Slytherin," sputtered McGonagall still not ready to get passed house prejudices and rivalries.
"What the hell does that matter?" snapped Harry defensively and quite loudly as he jumped to his feet, having grown quite fond of the serpent house and it's founder since returning to the past and not believing that the animosity towards them ran so deep.
"All of You-Know-Who's followers are from Slytherin," defended McGonagall growing somewhat angry herself.
"That's bullshit …Xavier Yaxley was in Ravenclaw, Johann Gibbons was a Gryffindor …hell, Gellert Grindewald may not have kissed Voldemort's robes but he was a fucking Hufflepuff," ranted Harry angrily, causing many to gasp in surprise and fear when he mentioned the dark lord by name. "It's you people's attitudes and prejudices against Slytherin that ends up turning them to Voldemort in the first place!"
"Here here," praised Slughorn in defense of his house, as a similar exclamation of praise was being said to our young professor by the Founder of the house in question.
"That's preposterous," exclaimed Marlene defensively, "everyone knows Slytherins are evil."
"There are very few evil eleven year old kids you stupid bitc--," yelled back Harry only to get cut off before he could finish his insult, not that it didn't go unknown to everyone what he was planning to say.
"That's enough!" shouted the Headmaster angrily, glaring at the now three standing professors arguing, which was followed by glares to them all but still a somewhat thoughtful expression on his face obviously thinking about his youngest professor's point. "Let's move on and finish up the rest of the seventh years so we can go to bed …it's getting late."
"Yeah, it's after some professors bedtime," added Marlene with a nasty sneer towards Harry.
"Anytime you want to go McKinnon …and I'll wipe the floor with your arrogant pureblood arse," snapped back Harry with a glare that caused his green eyes to burn and glow a very dangerous color to those watching, and causing quite a few of them to flinch back away from it in either fear or awe.
"I said that's ENOUGH!" shouted Albus who let his magic come out and flare dangerously, signifying that this conversation had better be over as he glared at the two professors.
Luckily, it wasn't too much later when the staff meeting finally broke up, and Harry stormed out without even a glance at McKinnon, knowing he would just start cursing her if he did. He returned to his own quarters to practice a little meditation to help him calm down before he got some much-needed sleep after a long first week. He slept in a bit Saturday morning skipping his usual workout, knowing he was planning a trip to Godric's Hollow time chamber later in the day. He was glad he got permission to leave for the weekend before last night's staff meeting, and was looking forward to a long stint training by himself.
Harry left Hogwarts before lunchtime to return to Godric's Hollow, where he ate a light lunch before immediately jumping into his training. He just didn't seem to have enough time in his days at Hogwarts to really keep the level of training he liked up, and only managed to stay in shape and maintain his conditioning so he wouldn't get complacent. He wanted to work on dodging and blocking against unforgivable curses and had a few training dummies that cast the cruciatus curse exclusively since the imperius didn't effect him and he didn't want to be killed accidentally with an Aveda Kedavra. All the duels with his students had given him a good amount of practice with magical shields, but against Death Eaters that favored the unforgivables, those shields would be completely ineffective and wanted to work on physical ones that would work.
He also spent several days fighting against multiple opponents at once, something he could expect to face a lot when going up against Voldemort's Death Eaters. By the end of the three weeks inside the time chamber, he felt much better about where he was with being prepared to fight in this war and knew he had to get back to Hogwarts. He returned in time to have dinner in the Great Hall on Sunday, and despite Marlene's scowls and snippy comments, was in relatively good spirits seeing everyone again after his time training.
His second week of teaching classes went a bit more smoothly as everyone was getting better acquainted with him and his teaching style. The NEWT students were even better prepared now that they knew what to expect for their duels, and several had wisely used the extra time to study or practice and began building up their physical and magical stamina. The three Marauders showed why they were among the best in their year, lasting quite a while and displaying a great amount of skill and knowledge in spell casting. Lily, Alice, Natalie, and Narcissa were also among the top duelers in their year despite all lacking in stamina and mobility; they each made up for it in spell knowledge and overall intelligence.
Among the seventh years, Damien Greengrass and Sturgis Podmore stuck out the most from those yet to be tested, but neither approached the skill and endurance of Bellatrix ending up about equal to Longbottom and LeStrange. Others were adequate, but nothing that really brought much attention and by the end of the week all the duels had been completed for all the NEWT students. Professor De Vie promised them all they would have the duels again later in the year, but would first be given a real workout in classes next week. They would mainly start working on aiming, dodging, and building their endurance and gave them an easy homework assignment by asking them to discuss and breakdown their own duel as well as one other classmates, pointing out areas that could be improved upon and what they as a class needed to work on the most this year.
AN: Had to get some of the first classes information out of the way, and provide a little backdrop within the teachers' relationships. Hope everyone enjoyed it, and I'll try to start posting these chapters as I write and then type them instead of waiting until I have a big block of them …unless you'd rather have a bunch in one go with more time elapsed in between posts?