When I read Hades Phoenix's (She may have renamed herself recently) All Your Base Are Belong To Us, it occurred to me that a former teacher/head of a school with job experience in training people to fight the local version of dark lords was a pretty qualified pick, actually.
And then I played Mana Khemia 2. Which, while terrible compared to the first game…
A former teacher with experience training people to fight ungodly powerful monsters and the minions of a dark lord? Check. Not only that, but who better with someone with experience on the other side? Voldemort didn't even take over one country: this one took over half the world, and really wasn't even trying.
Due to this, I've been saying for years that someone needed to write this crossover. I haven't written it because I felt that I wouldn't do it justice, and right now I have way too many epics on my plate. Still, I have finally given in and written this to at least toss it out there. If anyone wants to continue this, or do the crossover justice, let me know? I will love you forever and write you giftfic if you want it?
"As you're all aware, the Tri-Wizard Tournament last year was held in order to re-establish ties with our sister wizarding schools. This year, in the name of fellowship against the dark, we have resumed another ancient tradition: the guest faculty program. For fifty years there has been no alchemy instruction at Hogwarts, with the exception of guest lectures from my dear friend, Nicholas Flamel. This year, we have the honor of being joined by one of his own instructors: let us all give a warm welcome to Professor Philomel of Al Revis."
The pink-haired woman that Harry had assumed was the new Defense Against The Dark Arts professor (and hoped was Tonks, because come on, pink hair?) stood up and smiled brightly at the assembled Hogwarts students. "Hi! I hope you're all ready for a very exciting year. I won't have a lot of time to show you what makes alchemy so great, so we'll have to start off with a bang!"
Professor Dumbledore coughed, remembering the 'bangs' that had already occurred. Did Principal Rosenkrantz still hold a grudge for the Wizarding World taking so long to get Grindelwald off his school's lawn?
Although the alchemists had deeper, more ancient reasons to despise wizards than that.
At the time, Dumbledore had been relieved that Grindelwald was wasting effort trying to find a way to reach the floating island of Al Revis and convince the reclusive alchemists to join his cause. For an institution that considered a three-hundred-year-old 'junior faculty' had seen men like him, and Dumbledore himself, before. If anything, Dumbledore had hoped that Grindelwald would be enough of an irritation to convince the school's considerable forces to sally forth to the aid of Wizarding Europe.
While a few heroes like Nicholas Flamel had come to their aid, Principal Rosenkrantz had made it quite clear, in his legendary irascible style, that from his perspective, it was merely a war of one evil against another.
When the wizards had decided to hide themselves, even resorting to memory charms, it had taken them a few centuries to force alchemists to do the same. In the time of the Founders, alchemists had traveled Europe and Asia dispensing cures that wizarding governments had eventually alleged were magical, and hence under their jurisdiction. The alchemic community had never forgiven the Wizarding World for the Black Plague, and the concerted attacks by magical law enforcement on alchemists who had tried to give aid to the suffering without going through the 'proper' channels, channels that, in some cases, were all too happy that muggles were dying and decreasing the surplus population.
According to his and Grindelwald's research, Professor Rosenkrantz himself was descended from a family of those traveling alchemists. They had hoped that the venerable institution of Al Revis would support them, since if magic was revealed to the world then its students could resume their missions of mercy without spending more time fending off Unspeakables than human ills, but…
Dumbledore had found out only decades after her death that there were multiple alchemic potions capable of curing even Ariana's condition. It was one of his many regrets that, over his life, he had made little to no headway restoring alchemy to the world. All these years, and he'd barely managed to make a dent in the close-mindedness of magical Britain through its children. All these years, and he was still cleaning up his own messes. He might have defeated Grindelwald, but he hadn't done enough about Tom, had he? Classes, a war, his own affairs: to him, those were nothing more than excuses.
Ariana had died, and now he was helpless to save another child.
He was helpless. That was the key there. He'd gotten so used to having to organize, almost to do, everything himself, fighting the rest of the Wizarding World every step of the way, that he'd forgotten that there were alternatives out there.
That not every magical, ahem, scientific institution was like the Ministry.
"Professor Philomel has made a study of potions over her long and illustrious career, and will be assisting Professor Slughorn with the OWL and NEWT-level potions classes, in addition to teaching our alchemy elective. Students have one week to register for her class." While they repaired the structural damage to Hogwarts she'd done in the process of renovating Snape's potions classroom to serve her needs. She could have simply said that she'd wanted a large room with plenty of natural sunlight, but he'd gathered from the twinkle in her eye that this would have been far less fun. It would be refreshing to have a professor with such a hands-on approach.
"Since this is a faculty exchange, after all, Professor Slughorn has graciously agreed to resume his posts as Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin while Professor Snape takes this opportunity to broaden his studies by teaching a potions elective at Al Revis. While I'm sure we all will miss him, we should be happy that he's finally had this opportunity," for a sorely-needed vacation.
"Slughorn?" Ron knew that name.
"Slytherin." Harry sighed, disappointed. The absence of Snape had been too good to be true, he'd known that since they'd entered the dining hall.
After Slughorn finished his clearly-rehearsed speech – my, that took Dumbledore back, the headmaster went on.
"I'm sorry to announce that Professor Binns has gone on sabbatical," skirt-chasing again was how the Bloody Baron had put it: Al Revis' school ghost was apparently quite fetching, although Dumbledore wouldn't know. The sweet veneer over a calculating heart was also rather off-putting, given his life experiences. "However, another former Hogwarts professor will be joining us this year. While her true discipline is a joint study between History of Magic and Divination, she will be teaching the History of Magic classes alone, I'm sorry to say. Let us all welcome Professor Schelling." As the cold woman stood, and sat again after nodding to the students, he went on to add. "Who is also a former Professor of Predictology at Al Revis." Who had apparently left in some disgrace, if the other location Professor Philomel's bombs had ended up was any indication.
"So she's not replacing Professor Trelawney?" Aww. Hermione almost pouted.
"Didn't you learn your lesson about taking too many classes too years ago?" Ron reminded her.
"But alchemy! It's a scientific discipline, and…" If Hermione hadn't run into Professor Philomel on the train and already gotten her spazzing out of the way, she might have squeed in front of the entire school when she was announced. Not that they would have heard her over the Ravenclaw table's reaction.
"Breathe, Hermione." Harry told her, patting her on the back, although he himself was grinning. His godfather had promised to keep in contact, and an entire year Snape-free? It was like the somebody up there that hated him was no longer running the show.
"And, finally, I'd like to thank the individual who made all of this possible." He hadn't been happy enough for his eyes to twinkle this much in years. "I truly believe that there is no one more suited to teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts in not just the Wizarding World, but the entire world. I have every confidence that despite the irregular nature of DADA instruction over the past few decades, those who take this opportunity to benefit from his instruction need to have nothing to fear from Voldemort in the coming conflict." Because if Tom was a poser compared to Grindelwald, then after surviving a year of the infamous Flayvor of Evil, Voldemort would have absolutely no power to frighten them. "Let's all welcome, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Al Revis' Vice-Principal, Combat Department Chair and former Dark Lord, Baron Flay Gunnar." He started clapping, and Professor Philomel's enthusiastic contribution was enough to push the rest of the school into joining in.
On cue, the red-haired alchemist jumped down from the ceiling, landing on the head table and flinging the treasure cape he'd used to conceal himself over his shoulder dramatically, revealing his giant mechsword. "Thank you, thank you," he told them, accepting the applause as his due. "My goal this year will be to toughen you up," and perhaps recruit a few of them for his immortal army, the one he was collecting for the next time he got bored and decided to take over the world again (until he was stopped by his nemesis Alchemy Man, of course, because actually ruling it would be boring). "However, I'm a fair man: if any of you feel that your self-defense abilities are lacking, I suggest reviewing Chapter three, pages forty-seven to fifty-one of my Guide to Practical Heroics, Awesome Villany and Bystander Survival, eighty-third edition, before the first class: I think you'll find the contents of those pages a valuable life skill, as well as one that you will be making a lot of use of in my class. Let's all do our best to make this an… interesting year." The glinting of his teeth outshone Dumbledore's eyes.
Since she always read ahead, Harry and Ron looked at Hermione, whose face was pale. "How to Scream For Help."
"What do you think?" Harry asked the other two at next year's start-of-term feast, kind of weirded out by the look the new DADA professor was giving him. If he hadn't known better, he'd have thought she was trying to intimidate him. It wasn't that he would underestimate her just because she was pink and poofy, the classes where Professor Philomel had assisted Professor Gunnar by tossing bombs at them had cured him of that, but it was just kind of pathetic.
Hermione shrugged, placing her handbag carefully on the seat next to her with a care normally associated with bomb technicians. Which was a very accurate metaphor. "Madam Minerva doesn't look happy with her." Flay's nickname for the Deputy Headmistress had stuck. "She also has no academic background."
"Well, she's a bit of a loonie," imagine, trying to deny that Voldemort had returned after what had happened last year, "but I think Umbridge will be a smashing Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. She's no Lupin, Harry, but I'm really looking forward to a year of nothing but nice, relaxing bookwork."
Hermione beemed, happy that Flay had made Ron realize the importance of studying.
Really, though, any professor who didn't send them on unannounced week-long survival training in the Forbidden Forest or demand they collect two dozen acromantacula eyes, intact, as homework would have seemed like a kind, gentle, rational soul by comparison.