Chapter 20 - Epilogue
In case you didn't know, I don't own either the Potter universe (that one belongs to Ms. Rowling) or the Goddess Universe (that one belongs to Kōsuke Fujishima). The characters have just been telling me stories in my head.
An: This chapter is dedicated to Greyfalcon, without whom it would be sorely lacking in content. Thanks for all the reviews.
The story is dedicated to Raya_Light and Elflina, who beta-ed as much as they could and help me not stop at the tenth chapter. And finally to Pooka-chan, with her love of all things crossover, who on one long night convinced me, who tends to love cannon, to come up with crossover ideas and this was born.
Snape watched the first years march into the dining hall. The year had turned, summer had passed, and it was time to start again. That summer had been a bit tough as he dodged all the inquiries from the members of the Order. They all wanted to know what had happened, and how he learned to cast a circle spell. 'At least my reputation was in place, they finally gave up and left me alone.' Settling back in his chair, he watched as the first years were sorted. A good fourth of them were finding their way into his house. The Slytherins greeted them happily. He smirked as he remembered that the Order had been harder to dodge than the newspaper. Of course The Prophet would always just publish whatever it thought when they couldn't get the interview that they wanted. 'They started out plastering my past everywhere. They were having a fit because I wasn't to be put on trial, but I was a Death Eater in the Ministry that night.' His gaze shifted over to Harry. 'Harry finally got fed up with it, that and them constantly declaring that he destroyed Voldemort alone. It was quite the press conference when he told the Ministry and the rest of the wizarding world that I was the one that took out Voldemort and all he did was take out some guy called Tom Riddle. Then he credited the Order for handling the Death Eaters, and then Dumbledore for helping him with Tom Riddle. Not once did he mention Urd. The Minister did, but since she had vanished no one could interview her. So, instead the press had a field day, writing what ever they wanted.' He felt his smirk try to become a smile at some of the outrageous things they had written. They were, of course, no where close. 'The end result was that I was cleared of all charges and the rest of my wish came true. It is known that I have been for the Light since before the end of the first war.'
His gaze rested on Draco. He was now Lord Malfoy since his father, Lucius, was residing in Azkaban for the rest of his life. The courts had stripped him of his rank and had also broken his wand. 'That was the punishment of all the Death Eaters that were in the Ministry that evening. Though Dumbledore is heading up a committee to see how much of what they did was under the demon's control. I think he is angling to get some of them free. I don't know if the public is going to buy into the controlled angle again. But even if he does win their freedom from Azkaban, they will never hold rank or wand again.' Shifting his gaze, he met Harry's. The boy, he still thought of him as one even thought he had proved that he was an adult, looked happier than Snape had ever seen him. 'Black's exoneration was a blessing for Harry. They are together now, and Black is finally learning just how much of a handful that kid can be.' It had been fun watching Black mature rapidly when he became legally responsible for someone else. Snape could almost like him now. Almost. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted McGonagall placing the hat on the next first year's head. She had come back as healthy and stubborn as she had always been.
As the last first year was sorted, he noticed that the atmosphere was less tense this year than he could ever remember it being. The students' laughter seemed more genuine, the teachers' smiles seemed more truthful. This year was going to be special. It will be the first year since he started at Hogwarts that the threat of Voldemort didn't hang in the air. That was a threat that had hung especially heavy the last couple of years. This year seemed like a breath of fresh air.
The room fell silent when Dumbledore stood up. "I know that you are all anxiously awaiting the amazing dinner that is coming as much as I am, but we have just a few announcements first. We have a new teacher this year."
A small hub-bub started around the tables. Harry and the others knew it would be a new DADA teacher, it always was.
Dumbledore continued once silence returned to the room. "I shall go ahead and let you know that The Defense Against Dark Arts will be filled by our own Professor Severus Snape."
The shocked silence that filled the room didn't surprise Snape. It echoed the same shock he had felt when Dumbledore had offered it to him the morning after the major battle in his study. He had tried not to sputter when he asked why it was being offered to him now. The answer had silenced him. 'I never knew that the position was rally cursed. I thought that it was just a rumor, like a school myth. That was why he never offered it to people he really wanted to keep around, or would be able to keep around in Lupin's case. He knew that as soon as it was leaked that Lupin was a werewolf, he would have to let him go. But he asked Lupin just so the students could have at least one competent teacher. But now that Voldemort is gone, the curse is broken. And that is why he offered it to me.' He was pulled out of his musing when a lone clap resounded from the house tables. What shocked him most was that it was from the Gryffindor table. Looking over towards the sound, he spotted Harry clapping right before the other students joined in.
Dumbledore waited patiently for the clapping to end before he continued. "And now on to our new professor. She is going to step into Professor Snape's previous position. She comes in on his recommendation, and many of you might recognize her. Professor Megumi Urd will be our new Potions Master."
Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the others that were in the Ministry that fateful night stared in amazement before they started clapping. Draco paled slightly, remembering his first encounter with her.
Dumbledore turned to Urd. "And now Professor Urd, if you will please be sorted?" He gestured towards the stool with the sorting hat still sitting on it.
Urd glanced over at Severus before she walked to the stool. She had agreed that it would be okay to be sorted but only if it was in front of the entire school. She figured that since all the students were placed by their characteristics, and they could easily find out the house affiliation of their teachers, it was only fair that they knew the same for her. 'And this way, I can let them know that I am not to be messed with. They know good and well not to mess with a Slytherin.' She sat on the stool and nodded to the Deputy Head Mistress. McGonagall settled the hat on her head. As the brim passed over her eyes, she heard the hat speaking in her head. "What do we have here? One of the three Norns, the Goddess of the Past? Where should I place you..." "Slytherin will work for me since I have it on the best authority you won't change how you place people." "But the loyalty there towards your sisters... that would make you Hufflepuff." "Oh, I agree that Hufflepuff would be great if I was a student. You really should place them according to their weaknesses, but I am going to be a teacher. So, since I am not that hardworking, I should not be placed in Hufflepuff. No, I think it should be Slytherin."
"Slytherin will work for me since I have it on the best authority you won't change how you place people."
"But the loyalty there towards your sisters... that would make you Hufflepuff."
"Oh, I agree that Hufflepuff would be great if I was a student. You really should place them according to their weaknesses, but I am going to be a teacher. So, since I am not that hardworking, I should not be placed in Hufflepuff. No, I think it should be Slytherin."The sound that the hat made told her that it didn't believe her.
"You could be Gryffindor, you are courageous enough." "I want to be placed in Slytherin." "Fine."
"I want to be placed in Slytherin."
The split in the hat cried out "Slytherin!"
Snape almost destroyed his reputation by laughing at Dumbledore's face. The headmaster, at least to those who could knew him well enough to tell, seemed struck dumb by the thought of a goddess being placed into the Slytherin house.
The first potions class walked through the door not knowing what to expect. The first year Slytherin and Gryffindor class were surprised to see the new Potions Master sitting on the table, legs crossed, with her robe falling at just the right angle to expose the leg from mid thigh down. They moved to their customary spots.
"Welcome to the oldest form a magic. Long before the first witch picked up a stick to point at someone, long before a wizard even thought to make a broom float through the air, potions were made. The were made to cure, to defend, to harm... all out of the pot that made them dinner."
One of the Slytherins raised an eyebrow towards her. "Are you saying that this is just like cooking?"
Urd's smile was left them wishing she hadn't. "As much as there is a similarity between a master chef cooking and a kitchen newbie. And right now, you are all newbies. Put your cauldrons away. Today we shall see how good you are at ingredient preparations. Remember, the ingredients that you cut today, you will be using in your own potions later." She moved so that they could see the examples set on the demo table behind her. "You shall mince, dice, fine chop, coarse chop, sliver, matchstick and grind all the ingredients you see here. Get busy." She swept away from the table and walked the room, watching them carefully. Tomorrow she would see if they could read a recipe.