"Here We Go Again"
Three Months Later:
It just wasn't her day. Molly Carpenter, first year student at Palm City School of Law, was late for Professor Dresden's criminal law class. She was, however, in time to hear the feedback screeching from the speakers as the sound system in the auditorium failed again. Wincing, the professor gave in to the inevitable and turned it off.
"Bet this doesn't happen to the other professors," Dresden muttered. (It did, but not with the same frequency.) He'd have to speak with someone. Maybe next semester he could teach in a smaller room that didn't have microphones. He raised his voice to be heard by the people in the back rows. "Alright, we're going to have to proceed without the microphones today."
Naturally, with the way her luck was going, Molly was called on in class. At least she'd done part of the reading…
That afternoon, Molly headed to the professor's office. She pushed open the door marked "HARRY DRESDEN" without knocking and then froze, her blue eyes going wide.
Dresden wasn't alone. There was an older man practically sitting in his lap and, while they both looked startled, he didn't seem inclined to move.
"Professor Dresden, I'm so sorry—I'll come back another time."
Harry looked pointedly at the other man, who took the hint and moved out of his personal space.
"It's Harry," Dresden addressed her at last. "We go by first names at this school. Let me introduce you: Molly, this is Robert Bainbridge, of Bainbridge & Mai. Bob, this is one of my students."
Bob looked at her. In addition to her ears, Molly had had her nose pierced. She'd also added purple highlights to her blonde hair. Privately, Bob wondered if she'd make it through all three years of law school. It was too soon to tell.
"Molly, office hours ended about half an hour ago," Harry continued after the greetings. She nodded.
"I know; I'm sorry. I just wanted to talk to you about the midterm. I tried to e-mail you that I was going to be late—" Harry scowled at the computer on his desk. The machine was off.
"Thought I told the class not to send e-mails to me, but to the secretary, what's his name… Peabody."
"You did," Molly replied. "But Peabody was fired last week." That's right, Harry remembered. He'd heard some rumor about Peabody getting into an explosive argument with the dean. They still haven't found a replacement?
"Okay; I'll come back tomorrow? Or I could meet with one of the TAs instead…"
"Tomorrow will be fine, Molly," Harry assured her. "Just…knock first."
"Will do. Bye!"
After she left, Harry sighed.
"That'll teach me to leave the door unlocked. The whole school will be talking about us by tomorrow," he groaned.
"Oh, I don't think the young lady has gossip on her mind," Bob said.
"What are you talking about, Bob?"
"She was a little preoccupied by the fact that her dreams had just been crushed."
"Where'd you get that? She's not failing the class—"
"I wasn't referring to her career aspirations, but her personal dreams." At Harry's blank look, Bob sighed. "Harry, your pupil has a crush on you and—"
"What? No, she doesn't! That's crazy!" Bob raised an eyebrow.
"Oh? What makes it crazy?"
"For one thing, teacher-student relationships would be completely inappropriate—"
"Harry, are you saying you never had a crush on any of your law school professors?" The blush that had started when Molly had entered deepened.
"That was different! We didn't get together until after I'd already graduated and taken the bar…"
"Yes, and in the meantime I had to stand by and watch while you were dating your classmates."
"I only went… Wait a minute. Bob, were you jealous?" Bob scoffed.
"I would hardly have gotten upset over the antics of hormonal—" Harry grinned.
"You were jealous!" Bob narrowed his eyes.
"I'll see you at home."
"Not so fast," Harry got up and locked his office door. "Now, where were we before we were interrupted?"
Author's Note: Okay, now the fic is a two-shot instead of a one-shot.
I promise I'm not abandoning "The Baby Carriage," or The Cape in general, or "The Dresden Leap," for that matter. But this little scene came to me after mj mentioned the word 'sequel'.
Thank you, Orwell, for reviewing!
(Chapter title from Bowling for Soup's "High School Never Ends.")