Hey, it's me again! Wow, I can't believe how popular this story is so soon after I started it. I'd like to thank those of you who read even if you don't read these author's notes or review, after all, it's the story that counts! Anyway, enjoy!
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were in their compartment with Neville, who had popped in to talk to them. "Hey," Neville said, finally off the topic of the World Cup, "Gran heard from some of her friends that they're adding a new mandatory class this year. I don't know what it is, but the teacher is supposed to be really young."
"He is," Ron commented. "We met him at the World Cup."
"Really? What's he like?"
"Dunno, really. We weren't with him too long. All we know is that he's good with a sword," Harry told him.
"Neville, did your grandmother tell you what this new subject was supposed to be?" Hermione asked with interest.
Neville merely shook his head. "She said she didn't know anything other than the fact that there was a new class. What do you guys think he'd teach?"
The three of them pondered for a little while. "I'm willing to bet my Firebolt as well as all of the money in my Gringotts vault that it has something to do with demons. He mentioned that he had a shop in America that deals with demon extermination back when we met him. My guess is that he's going to teach us how to fight against demons."
"Oh, I hope so," Hermione said unexpectedly. "That episode we had in the woods with them was terrifying. If it hadn't been for the new professor, we'd be dead right now."
"Really?" Neille asked, shocked. "What happened?"
And so the trio told the tale of their first run-in with demons. Neville was amazed to hear their retelling of the tale of Dante's prowess in fighting against demons. Eventually he left and the Golden Trio had the compartment to themselves again.
(OBLIGATORY MALFOY SCENE!!!)
The peace did not last as Malfoy came barging into their compartment as he did every year. (Seriously, does he go looking for them?) "So, Potter, care to tell us about your freaky new person you were hanging around at the Cup?"
"That 'freaky new person' is our new professor," Harry said casually as he enjoyed the look of shock that spread over Malfoy's face.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No, that's what he introduced himself as," Harry said truthfully.
After taking a moment to get over the shock, Malfoy continued. "In any case, are you going to enter, Weasley? Going to try to bring a bit of glory to your family name? There's money involved as well, you know… You'd be able to afford some decent robes if you won…."
"What are you talking about?" Ron snapped.
"Are you going to enter?" Malfoy repeated. "I suppose you will, Potter? You never miss a chance to show off, do you?"
"Either explain what you're on about or go away, Malfoy," Hermione said testily over the top of her book.
A gleeful look spread over Malfoy's pale face as he proceeded to brag about his father's connections in the Ministry.
He eventually left and Ron slammed the doors behind him and began to rant angrily about how much of a prat Malfoy was.
Dante walked into the Great Hall for the start of term feast.
"Ah, Dante, you're here," Dumbledore greeted him as he walked in. "Come take a seat next to Minerva."
Dante just sat down in the seat next to McGonagall without answering him.
Soon enough, students filed in, but one of the chairs at the staff table remained empty. Finding this odd, Dante turned to McGonagall. "Hey, who's missing?"
"The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher will be arriving a bit late, it seems," she responded.
"Well, I guess if he's a defense teacher, he might stand a chance."
"What do you mean?" McGonagall asked worriedly.
"It's possible that he's been attacked by demons."
"What?! You think so?!" McGonagall cried, exceedingly worried.
"Not sure, but it's a definite possibility, but like I said, if he's a defense teacher, he stands more of a chance against them. He might know enough about demons to not fight them with magic."
McGonagall looked confused. "Why shouldn't you fight demons with magic?"
Dante sighed. No wonder Dumbledore needed him to teach these kids, the teachers didn't even know anything about demons. "Well, in simple terms, demon composition makes them nearly immune to magical influence. Any magic that's strong enough to stun them would only give a very short opportunity to get a head start and make a run for it."
McGonagall looked relieved at this, believing in Alastor Moody's capabilities. Though her relief was cut short when Dante continued, "Of course, that's still a horrible tactic given the fact that once the demons snap back into action, they will be enraged and ashamed of being subdued for even the briefest amount of time by a mere mortal. And that would only occur with the lowest levels of demons. It's impossible to subdue any type of higher level demon with magic," Dante finished casually with an air of "I don't give a shit" that was maintained throughout his mini-lesson.
While the Transfiguration professor once again began to worry for the safety of the ex-Auror, she had to admit that, despite his young age, Dante knew what he was doing, and while he had no magical blood in him, he was still able to see and enter Hogwarts despite the Muggle wards. Even the stern Head of Gryffindor House had to admit she was extremely impressed.
If one looked further down the staff table, one would easily see that the Potions Master of thirteen years did not trust the young newcomer in the least bit. True, he wasn't working for Voldemort now, but the guy was a mercenary in desperate need of money. Who's to say he wouldn't switch sides the second the most infamous wizard since Grindelwald offered him a better price? In the end, Snape figured there was nothing he could do about it other than keep an eye on Dante and an ear out for news within the Death Eater community.
After another truly magnificent feast, Dumbledore stood and began his annual speech with the usual announcements. "I would like to welcome our new professor for our new subject, Demon Defense. Please welcome Professor Dante!"
Dante rose and an overdramatic bow before sitting down again as students clapped enthusiastically, the boys because they had spotted Rebellion strapped across his back and the girls because of his devilish good looks (literally).
"Unfortunately, it appears as though our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is running slightly late, but I shall introduce him as soon as he arrives. It is also my painful duty to inform you that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup will not take place this year."
"What?" Harry gasped. He looked at Fred and George, who were mouthing soundlessly at Dumbledore, too appalled to speak.
"This is due to an event that will be starting in October, and continuing throughout the school year, taking up much of the teachers' time and energy -- but I am sure you will all enjoy it immensely. I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts--"
Dumbledore was interrupted by a large rumble of thunder and the doors of the Great Hall slamming open. A heavily scarred man wearing a black traveling cloak entered. The dull clunk echoing around the hall with every other step informed everyone of the prosthetic limb the man owned. One of his eyes was a shocking electric blue and kept swiveling around in its socket.
The man and Dumbledore exchanged a few quiet words before the man went up to the staff table and sat in the empty chair before beginning to eat some sausages.
"May I introduce our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?" Dumbledore said brightly. "Professor Moody."
The usual applause for the new teacher was oddly absent as only Hagrid and Dumbledore clapped.
"Moody?" Harry asked. "Mad-Eye Moody? The one your dad went to help this morning?"
"What happened to him?" Hermione asked in horror. "What happened to his face?"
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "As I was saying, we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held for over a century. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."
"You're JOKING!" Harry heard Fred shout.
People laughed as Fred's outburst broke the tension and Dumbledore responded, "I am not joking Mr. Weasley, though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar…"
Professor McGonagall cleared her throat loudly and Dumbledore looked over to be met with her glare and Dante's odd look.
"Er -- but maybe this is not the time…no…where was I? Ah, yes the Triwizard Tournament…well, some of you will not know what this tournament involves, so I hope those who do know will forgive me for giving a short explanation, aned will allow their attention to wander freely.
"The Triwizard Tournament was established some seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities -- until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued."
"Death toll?" Hermione whispered looking alarmed.
"There have been several attempts over the centuries to reinstate the tournament," Dumbledore continued, "none of which were successful. However, our own departments of International Magical Cooperation and Magical Games and Sports have decided it was time for another attempt. We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger.
"The heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving with their short-listed contenders in October, and the selection of the champions will take place on Halloween. An impartial judge will decide which students are most worthy to compete for the Triwizard Cup, the glory of their school, and a thousand Galleons personal prize money."
Dante listened as Dumbledore continued to tell the students about the tournament. To his surprise, Dante found himself quite interested.
Dumbledore dismissed the students and told them all to go to bed. Dante was about to stand up and walk away when Dumbledore called him back. "Dante. I was wondering if I could ask for your assistance in one of the tournament's events."
"Well, originally, each of the champions were supposed to face a dragon and obtain an object that it was protecting. The problem is that dragons are endangered and it would not be good if the champions were to injure one. So, I was thinking, with your supervision, the champions would slay a demon and be judged on speed and efficiency. They would also be marked off if you have to intervene."
"Sounds like a good plan. I don't know where you're gonna get the demons from, but go for it, I'd find it boring to just stand on the sidelines anyway," Dante said nonchalantly.
"We have a method planned to capture the demons that we'll need."
"Fine then, I'll supervise, but we need to come up with a method to signal me to get involved, so that they don't get marked down for my assistance unless necessary."
"Agreed, but we will discuss this later, for now, get some rest. We have classes tomorrow that you need to teach."
"Fine with me," Dante said. "See ya in the morning." With that, he raised a hand in parting and walked through the hall to his office.
Alright! New chapter, sorry for all the delays, you know what they say, high school's a bitch. But I've got some great ideas planned and I'm working on them with my brother, who knows these games backwards and forwards, so YAY! See ya next chapter!