Red: Leadership, Confidence, Command

Filius stood before his mirror and adjusted the collar of his robes, sighing inwardly. He glanced out the window. It was too beautiful a day to do what he had to do.

He consulted his watch. Of course he was ready more than two hours early. He didn't think he could bear to sit in the Great Hall, see his students, his friends and colleagues, so he sank down in his armchair.

The worn, faded seat was bright red. It had been a gift from Albus, to brighten up Filius' quarters when he first became a full-time staff member. He was thirty-five years old then, and leaving behind a world of dueling championships and excitement to be a professor at Hogwarts.

"I think it will look very nice there," Albus had told him, gesturing to the armchair. Filius stood in the headmaster's office, and nodded. "Are you eager to start your teaching?"

"Yes, headmaster," Filius said with a slight smile.

"I think," Albus said, "that we can go by our first names here, Filius. You are no longer a student here, you are a member of my staff, and I am pleased to have you as such."

"Thank you, head—Albus," Filius said. "I'm pleased to be here."

Albus scrutinized him carefully over his half-moon glasses. "Something is troubling you, Filius," he said. "Has something upset you?"

"No," Filius said quickly. "I—well—just nerves, I suppose. I've never taught a class before. I'm afraid I don't know how to do it," he admitted sheepishly. "I don't exactly command the attention of a room." His height and half-blood status was not a subject Filius broached lightly.

"Don't you?" Albus asked curiously. "Why, I've heard about and seen a great many of your duels where you singlehandedly bested your opponent in a matter of minutes, and you most certainly commanded the room."

"A duel is not the same as a classroom," Filius answered. "In a duel, you need willpower, determination to take the lead over the opponent. In a classroom, you need—"

"Leadership," Albus said gently. "You must take leadership over your students, and that requires a great deal of willpower. I would not have selected you for the post had I not seen the qualities I required in an effective teacher, Filius, make no mistake."

Filius stood before him, his mouth falling open slightly. "I—I don't know what to say," he said.

Albus walked around the desk. "You may say, 'Thank you for the chair,'" he suggested with a twitch of his beard.

Now, Filius sat in that very armchair, staring at the stone floor. Albus had been right about him; he had become a leader of a whole generation of young witches and wizards. But he had received his own lessons in leadership from a man who could command attention by simply standing up.

Albus had given Filius an ironclad reason to always take charge; people needed leadership, and young people needed it more than anyone else. Filius would be a leader in the days to come, and protect his students fiercely, no matter what. With that, Filius stood, smoothed the red upholstery, and left for the Great Hall.

Such is the duty of a leader.