09/24/03 - This story has now been edited mostly for typos, grammar, and clarity. In very few cases I have changed information or added it due to the contents of "Order of the Phoenix". The only cases where I have done so involve things which will most likely also be mentioned in the second book of "The Shepherd", and which would mean that information in the second book would contradict the first. I'm sure there are probably typos, etc. which I have missed even after re-reading each chapter many times, but even if I were to re-edit this story six months from now, I would see things I could change. I have to designate a point where I simply won't go looking for things to change any more. If there's a large, glaring error please e-mail me so I can fix it, but other than that, this is the final edit of this piece.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story (more's the pity--they could help pay my student loans) except for Eve Berger. Nor did I come up with the plot of PoA, and the scenes and dialogue included in that fab book, which I humbly reproduce at certain points herein. All that belongs to J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., Bloomsbury, Raincoast, Scholastic...the list goes on!
A/N: A few notes before I begin. First, I want to thank my beta, Joan, who goes by "HyacinthMacaw" on ffn--read her story! She's a brilliant writer, and a great friend.
Second, this is an alternate PoV for "Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban", but I've modelled the school uniforms and characters' clothing on the HPPS/SS movie versions.
Finally, I've tried to insert Eve into the plot where it won't affect canon--if I have, PLEASE LET ME KNOW so I can fix it. Trust me, she won't become best friends with the Trio or end up in the Shrieking Shack or anything like that, so you can calm down now. :-)
The Shepherd: Book 1
by Karen S. a.k.a "Potions Student"
Chapter 1: Dumbledore's Announcements
Professor Severus Snape marched up the stairs leading from the dungeons to the Entrance Hall, trying (and failing) to hide his irritation at being disturbed in his twice-yearly inventory of potion ingredients by a hastily-called staff meeting. With one month to go before the school year began again, he was busy enough already and didn't need interruptions.
He swept into the staffroom to find that all the other teachers had arrived and that every seat had been taken, leaving him no alternative but to stand. The best he could do was lean against the fireplace, taking his weight off one of his feet for a few minutes at least. The one day that he'd been on his feet all day and there was nowhere to sit, even for a few minutes. Figured.
Headmaster Dumbledore took a look around the room before clearing his throat and speaking, the whispers dying at his voice.
Most of you are no doubt wondering why I called this meeting so urgently. We have two important matters to discuss before the school year is to begin and the sooner they are dealt with, the better.
First, I have engaged Remus Lupin as our new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. As you can see from his resume, he has more than the necessary qualifications and I believe he will make a very good teacher, Dumbledore said, passing out Lupin's CV. Snape didn't look at it as he took a copy; his argument with Lupin being on staff was not based on his qualifications.
Snape was glad to see that he wasn't the only one looking dubious about that decision, though his true feelings would have to be somewhat closer to rage. Remus Lupin, the new Defence teacher? He couldn't help but feel mildly insulted that Dumbledore had once again disregarded his application, or at very least have said a word to him about the appointment considering Snape and Lupin's past history.
Are you sure that he won't endanger the students' safety, Headmaster? Snape said in a low voice. From a quick glance at the other teachers, he could see, much to his surprise, that Minerva McGonagall was thinking the same thing. Interesting. Usually she was so protective of the Gryffindors. Perhaps she couldn't ignore the fact that on one occasion at least, Lupin's lycanthropy had been a danger to a student?
Dumbledore looked at Snape with a level stare and Snape knew the Headmaster was not pleased with his insinuation that Lupin couldn't be trusted.
I am. He has found a few ways to...live with his ailment. The prime of which will necessitate your help, Severus, and as you are concerned with the students' safety, I expect you will help him in any way possible. Dumbledore's tone indicated that discussion on that point was closed. No one had much to say on Lupin's qualifications for the post and so discussion on this matter was closed, Dumbledore swiftly proceeding to the second.
In this case I must ask for your opinion; I have not yet made a decision on this matter. I thought that all of you should be consulted before a final choice was made.
The other teachers all glanced at each other in curiosity. It wasn't often that Dumbledore left a decision almost entirely up to the staff. Certainly he asked opinions, but he usually had some plan in mind when he did so.
A week ago, as we were preparing to send out the letters of admission, the quill which writes the names of prospective students in the enrolment book added a name to the list for this year's entering class. There was another round of glances between the teachers. The quill never added names to a list after the birth year for those students passed. The name was that of a Miss Eve Berger, living in London, and someone I have had an eye on for some time. A few years ago, one of my contacts in Oxbridge wrote to me about an possible magical incident concerning this young woman, in which untrained magical ability and stress could have caused an event like one would usually see in a child of about eight. At this time, however, Miss Berger was eighteen.
Murmurs rose in the room and Snape knew they were wondering that same thing he was. How could this young woman not have manifested her powers until so late? Why had she never been recorded on the Hogwarts roll?
Dumbledore raised a hand for silence. That was four years ago, and I have had a few dispatches from my informants about this girl since then, though I have never received news of an incident confirming her possession of powers: any other instances involving her could possibly have been explained by more mundane causes as well. That is, until now. The day after the quill wrote her name in the book, I got a message from a contact in London. Apparently, the day before, Miss Berger had thrown one of her co-workers approximately six feet across a room during a row. However she did this without any of her fellow co-workers seeing her touch the other girl in any way.
But, Albus...how could this happen? McGonagall asked, speaking for the group.
I'm not entirely sure. But I think what has happened is that Miss Berger has somehow developed magical potential later in life. As far as I know she has no mage ancestry. My question to you is whether we should admit her to Hogwarts.
Snape's mind boggled at the idea. Someone developing powers was unheard of, so rare as to be almost impossible. He couldn't remember if he had ever actually heard of a case where it had happened. But he was sensible enough to see the implications of leaving this girl untrained, as much of a nuisance it would be to have her at Hogwarts.
But, that would make things rather difficult for everyone, wouldn't it? Sprout asked, I mean, the girl is twenty-two now; how can we put her in a class of eleven-year-olds?
And no doubt she would find the rules too stifling for someone who has been living independently for some time. We can hardly confine her to the castle grounds for the entire year, Flitwick added.
And can you imagine the attitude she could have? As you said, she's lived on her own for many years. She'll never agree to being directed in everything for seven years. Besides, by this time she's probably become completely ingrained in the Muggle world. We would have to ask her to give up an entire way of life that she knows, McGonagall added.
Dumbledore looked like he was about to say something but Snape spoke first, annoyed at the others' inability to see sense. But what if she is left untrained? The Headmaster mentioned that she has already managed to toss someone in a fit of anger. If she has that sort of power she could be dangerous to herself and others.
Dumbledore shot Snape a grateful look. We also have to consider the fact that if we to do not teach her, there are others who would. He did not need to elaborate on that point for the teachers to grasp his meaning.
McGonagall still didn't appear to be completely convinced, even later, after Dumbledore had dismissed them all to go back to their preparations for the upcoming school year. Snape couldn't blame her; he had a feeling that this student was going to be more of a handful than a class full of Weasley twins and Harry Potters.