Four Teachers, Four Thoughts
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. - William Arthur Ward
For their last year at Hogwarts, the board had decided to have a rotation of Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers, since they couldn't get a permanent one that year. At every second day of the month, the teachers switched.
Harry, being the suspicious person he was, made sure to keep tabs on them. Ron and Hermione thought he was being paranoid, but then again, they were more focused on sneaking into the broom closets at night without him knowing, then making sure they weren't attacked.
Not that he could blame them. Ginny and he had a few, err, nightly adventures, of their own.
Their first teacher was Professor Kuwabara. He had puffy orange hair that the owls liked to peck at, beady grey eyes, and a very loud manner of speaking. He taught as a more hands on type, showing, rather than telling. Most of the time, he messed up the first try when attempting to show them how to do a spell, or how to better block them. He always laughed nervously before trying the spell a second time. At this point, he would get it right. When he did, he stood up straight, smiling proudly, and told them all to practice. He would walk around the classroom, quietly advising, correcting, yet always cracking jokes.
He was a pretty ordinary guy. But Harry thought that's what made him so suspicious.
Their second teacher was the opposite of Professor Kuwabara. Professor Hiei was short, barely taller than a first year, except for the hair, which towered over the smaller children, and looked like a safety hazard. He stalked around the room, choosing to lecture and snap, rather than show and tell. His muddy brown eyes glared at them all, only softening when he ate, or made them take a test.
Harry caught the two professors arguing at one point.
"I thought you guys almost caught up to them–"
"We would have, if Urameshi hadn't acted early."
"What did Koenma say?"
"He's making us –" Professor Hiei paused. His footsteps came closer to the door.
Harry drew his ear away from the door, making a rush for the next hallway. When Hiei had opened the door, Harry was only a speck in the distance. Kuwabara appeared at his shoulder.
Hiei didn't reply immediately. "No. Just thought I heard someone eavesdropping."
"Getting paranoid in your old age, eh?"
The two fell easily into banter.
The third teacher was Professor Minamino. He had long red hair, and delicate features, causing most of the population to believe he was a girl for the first couple of hours. He managed to combine Professors Kuwabara's and Hiei's techniques into a manageable one, showing and lecturing in a way to make it easy to understand. He was also a bit more approachable than Professor Hiei, allowing the students to ask question.
But Harry knew he wandered around the school at night. And occasionally, he thought he saw his red hair turn bright white, before blending back. That, however, Harry dismissed as him being tired.
He caught Hiei and Minamino in a conversation, when Minamino first took over.
"The situation is becoming rough."
"Well, we've kept most of them off the property."
"The boy is getting suspicious."
"Can you blame him?"
"Be careful." If Harry hadn't heard it with his own ears, he would never have believed Professor Hiei could speak those words. At that point, the speaking trailed off into low murmurs, and Harry left, knowing he was interrupting.
The fourth and final teacher was Professor Urameshi. He despised teaching, and made sure all of them knew it. He said the only thing he could teach them was how to duck and dodge, since he sucked at magic. He was joyous, much more so than Hiei, but a bit more relaxed than Kuwabara. However, every now and then, he caught him staring out the window, as if he felt uncomfortable in the classroom. His eyes often trailed to his desk, where Harry knew he kept a picture of a girl. Then, he would jerk his eyes away quickly.
This time, he heard Professor Minamino and him arguing in soft voices, though he couldn't understand why Minamino was there.
"He was simply wounded," Professor Minamino's soft voice said.
"You should have been looking after him! He doesn't have the same endurance we do." Urameshi sounded furious, as if Minamino had done him a personal harm.
"Kuwabara is skilled; he doesn't need protection," said Minamino coldly. Harry imagined his green eyes narrowing, and pointing a wand – (no, not a wand. Something else. A rose? He had seen him fiddling with them in class, but that didn't make sense) – at Urameshi.
Urameshi stayed silent for awhile. "And Hiei?" he wondered, sounding considerably calmer.
"Completely fine, not a scratch on him."
Silence fell again, and this time, Harry could feel the tense atmosphere, even from outside.
"Sorry, I was out of line," Urameshi finally said.
"It's fine. I know you're feeling cooped up –" Minamino stopped abruptly, the same as Hiei had done. Harry realized he needed to get out of there quickly.
"What's wrong?" Yusuke asked Kurama.
Kurama stared intensely out the door, before withdrawing. "I felt a presence. It must have been a student, for its energy levels were weak."
"Nothing to worry about, he couldn't have got anything out of that conversation," Yusuke said.
Kurama nodded slowly. "I suppose you're right."
How wrong they were.
Harry followed Minamino out one night, when he was leaving. When he had reached the Entrance door, the redhead stopped. "I know you're there," he said coolly. "Come out."
Harry stayed silent. He was under the Cloak. He shouldn't be able to sense him.
Maybe, because of that, he should've known something was wrong. Minamino advanced upon him, hand reaching. Harry took a step back. Minamino grasped the Cloak, and pulled.
"Potter?" he said in mild surprise.
"Eh, sorry, Professor," he said, trying for an abashed look. "I was just sneaking out of the Castle. It was getting a little cooped up."
Minamino regarded him with intelligent – (much too intelligent, too old, too knowing) – eyes. They morphed from the warmth that the students usually knew to a cold, calculating emerald that promised to take him down. "I know you've been watching us," he said softly. "And know this: if you interfere, there is no going back."
Harry stared at him, entranced.
Minamino's eyes transformed back, into ones of mild amusement. "Five points from Gryffindor, Potter, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to get some fresh air. Now off to bed."
The last time he followed them, there were strange lights coming out of the Forest at night. As far as he could tell, none of the teachers were concerned. But he decided to check it out anyway, momentarily forgetting Minamino's warning.
As he approached the Forest, he saw something terrifying: his four teachers, fighting monsters, without wands, and moving at inhuman speeds. At one point, he thought he saw Professor Hiei's eyes focus on him before switching back to his opponent.
And for a final time, Harry fled.
The next day, the four teachers announced that due to some issues at home, and unfinished paperwork, they had to resign. Harry noticed that it was Professor Urameshi that gave the announcement, with the other three hanging back. Kuwabara hovered at Urameshi's left shoulder and Hiei at his right. Minamino simply stood in the back, twirling a strand of hair absently. Once Urameshi finished, the four trotted off, side-by-side, disappearing in the distance.
McGonagall had the strangest look on her face as they left: one of happiness and worry. But worry for what, Harry couldn't say.
In the end, Harry had four conclusions on the group dynamic.
Urameshi was the leader. That was that. And the way the other three moved around him, suggested that they would fight for him until the end, and had come close to dying doing it before.
Minamino was the brains. He kept the students happy by putting up a front of the amiable teacher. But Harry knew that there was something much crueler in the depths of him.
Hiei was an unknown. In fact, he had been the one kept out of the school as much as possible. He was backup, but a fearsome one. And when he was called in, he fought fiercely, and didn't back down.
Kuwabara was the ordinary one. The one that kept the team together, even if he argued with them the whole way. But, Harry knew he was probably the only one out of the four that was truly kind, and truly loved helping people, which was why he loved teaching. The other three would, Harry knew that. Kuwabara would just take it to an extreme.
Most of all, he knew that they were – (well for the most part) – good people. So, he didn't run after them when they left. He didn't confront them. He just let them leave.
Note: Well, I enjoyed this. Hope you did too. Reviews are nice. :)