Ok guys here is the skinny… this whoooole story is based on a kooky dream I had, but I feel like the idea has some merit, so I fixed a few strange pieces and wrote it down for you! Lol. So here it goes!

INTRODUCTION:

After his seven year experience at Hogwarts, not all of which included Dumbledore's death, and Voldemort's return rise to power and final fall; everybody slowly drifted their separate ways but still kept in touch constantly. Ron wandered off to work with his father at the Ministry of Magic, Hermione ran her own small business selling minor charms and potions to muggles as a front, and much more developed ones to the wizarding community, and Harry had tried his luck as an Auror.

Being an Auror was great, something Harry had been born to do but he had tired of it after a few years. Voldemort was gone and though his legacy would always live on and there would surely be more dark wizards to come, Harry was done struggling with evil and pain for the time being. So he went back to the only place he had ever found peace in his life: Hogwarts. There he was surrounded by most of the old teachers he loved (though many had chosen to leave at the end of the year following Dumbledore's death), and even a few of his old friends from school, including Neville who had taken up Professor Sprout's Herbology class after the she had left.

But like fate, the Defense Against the Dark Arts class was still without a steady teacher, and Harry sought the position readily, thinking that now he could both be in the place he loved and help the world fight the dark arts that had plagued him all his life. McGonagall, the headmaster since Dumbledore's passing, accepted him into the position with a smile and the condition that he promised not to cause as much trouble or excitement this time around. He had laughed and agreed and been given a room to stay in and an attached office to work in when not teaching. He was home…

CHAPTER ONE:

Harry grinned as he slipped a plain black dress robe over his head, it was great being back at Hogwarts; he had forgotten just how amazing it could be to dress just like everyone else and belong to a family. He looked up into his mirror and grinned, it was like he had been thrown back in time to five years ago. He could almost seen Ron grinning over his shoulder and eating some of his sweets. He would have to write him and Hermione both and tell them about his new occupation, perhaps he could even talk them into coming to visit.

At that moment he remembered another one of his friends from school, and smiled broadly. Hagrid had no idea that he had been hired on at Hogwarts! He ran a hand through his messy hair and slipped out of his room, through the old hallways, and along his old trail to Hagrid's small house.

Fang barked and ran to greet him but before Harry could lean down to pet the monster dog the beast had jumped up and tackled Harry to the ground. He couldn't help but laugh as the huge dog wagged its tail and licked his face.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Fang hasn't gotten this excited in a long time. He usually never jumps-" Hagrid stopped talking and stared when Harry peaked around the giant dog's chest to grin up at his old friend.

"HARRY! IS THAT YOU! NO WONDER FANG WAS SO LIVELY! HE HASN'T MOVED THAT FAST IN YEARS!" Hagrid laughed loudly as he pushed the dog off of Harry and lifted him off the ground like he hadn't grown at all.

Huge arms wrapped around him and pulled him up at against a huge chest, a familiar sensation of being squeezed to the point of not breathing made him cough out a laugh, "I missed you too Hagrid but now I just miss breathing."

Hagrid guffawed and let go of the boy, because that's exactly what Harry was. Harry had grown taller, added muscle, and he no longer looked like a gangly teenager but he would always be a boy to Hagrid; a small boy that had suffered too much and deserved to be protected and loved. "You've gotten big Harry but you're still just a pup." He ruffled Harry's hair with a grin.

"Oh, really? Don't you think this will be weird then?" Harry asked grinning.

"What?" Hagrid asked confused.

"The fact that I'll be teaching here this year as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?" Harry laughed and watched a shocked expression come over Hagrid's face.

"You're here to teach…? Will you be here every day? And you will eat dinner in the hall every night with me?" Hagrid asked with his eyes widened in both excitement and disbelief.

Harry laughed, "Well I don't know about every day, I will have to take a holiday now and then…but yes to the rest."

Hagrid caught him up in another crushing hug, "That's great Harry! You will sit next to me at the head table? And come visit me often?"

Hagrid must have been lonely after they had all left… Harry couldn't recall a time when he had ever heard of any other students going to visit the half giant. A twinge of guilt made his heart hurt, Dumbledore had really been Hagrid's only friend outside the three adventurous students. Harry nodded softly, something else he hadn't thought of, now he would be eating with the teachers in front of the hall. "Yes, I'll sit by you every day and we can laugh at the student's reactions and tell old stories. I will visit you and Fang every chance I get."

Hagrid laughed loudly and brushed a tear off his cheek, "I'm so happy Harry! It's going to be great."

Harry smiled at the intimidating giant who had always had a bit of a penchant for getting emotional about the things he cared for, "Yes, it will. Though I have to go for now, I need to get some sort of a lesson made for class tomorrow…I really should have gotten here earlier…"

Hagrid laughed, "You don't need to make a lesson, just decide what you want to talk about and wing it!"

Harry raised an eyebrow, "McGonagall made it clear that she would be watching me. You know, I think she still thinks that I'll be running around stirring up trouble."

"You mean you won't be?" Hagrid managed to look surprised.

Harry laughed and gave one of Fang's ears a tug, "Perhaps…"

He could still hear Hagrid laughing as he opened the door and slipped back into the halls of Hogwarts, where he starting preparing for the introduction dinner for the first years.

He made sure to get to the Great Hall early, remembering how amazed he had been upon walking through those huge doors for the first time. Silently, he prayed that this new batch of students would find Hogwarts to be just a magical place as he had, no pun intended, and love it like their home. He also hoped that their time here would be much safer and calmer than his time had been, though he wouldn't trade any of his memories of this place for anything.

The sky looked beautiful tonight, he thought as he slowed his movements to study the ceiling. It had enough cloud milling about to shine in the light of the moon, with black centers and silver edges, but not so cloudy as to hide all the stars above them. He smiled at it all and forced himself to walk up to the teachers table instead of sitting down at the Gryffindor benches to stare up in appreciation.

Slowly all the teachers gathered and seated themselves, the older students started filing in and sitting down to wait for the first year's boats to arrive. The noise level rose but Harry found that he had missed even this, the constant humming of a room full of talking people.

Finally the moment had come and Harry found himself almost as excited and nervous as he had been during his first year ceremony. They were already lined up neatly and the sorting hat and chair were in place in the front of the room, just below McGonagall's podium.

"If you will come forward as I call each of your names, we can begin sorting you all into your respective houses. After the sorting hat tells you which house you belong to, you may go over to the benches and be seated until the ceremony is finished, at which point you may feast to your hearts content," McGonagall said in a cheery tone.

One by one the students were called up and applauded for as they joined their houses. Harry couldn't help but grin every time a new Gryffindor was made and the wide eyed student under the hat joined the boisterous table.

Once all the sorting had been done and every new student had been seated, McGonagall moved forward to address the students once more.

"Welcome and welcome back students, new and old, to Hogwarts, I am Headmaster McGonagall. The staff and I are pleased to see so many new smiling faces in our home. I have high hopes that you will all feel as comfortable and at ease here as you would your own home as well. Now if I may, I'll quickly introduce the instructors and then we may 'tuck in' as a very spirited old wizard once said." Her smile never faltered, even at the mention of Dumbledore. Harry felt his chest constrict a bit just at hearing the reference.

She started on the opposite end of the table from them and Harry was thankful, he didn't relish the idea of being introduced and standing before the entire student body. But it was inevitable and he swallowed the lump in his throat as she announced Hagrid and he stood up, waved, and sat back down next to Harry.

"Our latest edition to our faculty, Mr. Harry Potter, is teaching the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, and will also be functioning as the Head of the Gryffindor house," she said and smiled at him.

Harry stood, and gaped at her for a second, too shocked at her little announcement to even notice the murmurs of the students start up. Why the hell hadn't she told him this before now!

He sat back down with a humph as Hagrid leaned in to whisper to him and McGonagall introduced Neville as the professor of Herbology.

"Harry! Why didn't you tell me? That is great news!" Hagrid whispered excitedly.

Harry sighed and ran his hand through his constantly disarrayed hair, "More like, why didn't she tell me?"

Hagrid's eyes widened further, a feat that Harry had previously thought impossible, and he sat back silently to listen to the rest of McGonagall's speech.

Harry grumbled at him, and the noise level in the room picked up as all the students started eating and chattering away at one another. He was going glare at his Headmaster whenever she decided to glance at him.

After dinner, while the clouds occupying the ceiling of the room were slowly moving to cover up the moon, Harry worked his way through the throng until he ran into McGonagall, "Why didn't you tell me ahead of time?" he asked as he started walking beside her.

She smiled at him, "It was a spur of the moment decision. Our previous head of the Gryffindor house had resigned and I had yet to decide whom to hire on in his stead. Just before dinner I decided that you would be the most appropriate person for the job."

"Why?" he asked softly, pausing in front of the door to her chambers.

"Your spirit has always been that of a Gryffindor, Harry. That position was meant to be filled by you, as I believe the Headmaster's will be also one day." She looked at him and for a second her usual stern expression melted and she let him see the faith she had for him reflected in her eyes. She gave him a soft smile, "You were born to lead and with leading comes responsibility. Responsibility that most people cannot handle but that I think you would be unsatisfied without. I hold this place temporarily, until the one who belongs here reaches it. One such as you Harry, who is strong, and confident, and wise; one who is reasonable when he doesn't want to be, one feels the pains of those he is responsible for even when it is not asked of him."

Harry stared at her, unable to take in all that she had said and laid before him.

"Albus trained you for a lot more than just defeating Voldemort, Harry. He tended to think and plan for things far into the future, if you recall," she gave his shoulder a gentle squeeze and turned to her door. "Rosemary," she told it and the hidden doors opened wide. "These are things to think calmly on Potter, not to agonize over." Her stern expression was back in place, "Sleep well."

He left her chamber doors in a daze, unsure of how he felt about all this. Though it had shocked him, his new position as head of the Gryffindor house pleased him; but this idea of Headmaster was mind blowing. It almost felt like he was trying to replace Dumbledore, and that was an idea that made want to pack up his bags and leave right away. He sighed as he walked into his room and slowly took of his robes before climbing into bed.

The next day Harry slipped into his classroom early and started to move some of the furniture around. He ended up with the desks and benches all arranged in a wide horse shoe shape at the back of the class with a large empty space in the center of the 'u' and across the front of the room. His desk he shoved diagonally into one of the front corners of the room, so he would sit with his back directly in the corner, when and if he ever sat down. He nodded and scribbled his name on the board about the same time the first students started filing in.

The first few sat down in their desks and stared at him with an open mouth, others started whispering, and one or two even sent him a covert glare.

He leaned against his desk and smiled as they all gradually got quiet and gave him their attention, "I don't really like making people introduce themselves and do the embarrassing icebreaker thing. It always made me uncomfortable when I was in school. So let me just introduce myself and you guys can catch me after class or something if you want to get to know me or vice versa, I'll learn all your names eventually it will just take a little longer." He smiled at the waiting students, "My name is Harry Potter and I will be teaching your Defense against the Dark Arts class this year."

Several whispers started up and a hand flew in the air.

He nodded and boy smiled, "Are you the real Harry Potter? The one that stopped Voldemort?"

Harry smiled, no one would have even considered saying that name five years ago and now even the children were doing it. "I had a lot of help, but yes, I'm that Harry Potter." He lifted his hair off his forehead to flash them his scar.

Several girls giggled and started to whisper again.

"Why are you here? Are you really going to be teaching us?" another boy spoke up.

"Yeah, I loved this class back when I was going to Hogwarts, though the teachers were usually crazy, it was always interesting. Some of the things they taught me I'll share with you, the other stuff I had to find out on my own," He smiled at them all again.

Several whispers but most of them were grinning now, "Are we going to learn how to defeat dark lords like you did?" A boy smiled broadly at him.

Harry laughed, "I think we will start small, like dark creatures and minions. Then we will work up to dementors and then things like dark wizards. I spoke to McGonagall this morning and I believe I will be teaching this course as an intro sort of thing and then start a more advanced course for those who wish to become Auror's and such later."

More than one of them nodded eagerly.

He smiled, "But the second class will be a bit harder to get into. McGonagall suggested only students passing this class with an A be able to take it but I think I'll just interview the students beforehand. That way if you're interested but not the best at studying and taking tests then you will still be able to move forward."

A girl raised her hand and he nodded at her to speak, "What are the tests going to be like in this class?"

Harry paused for a moment, since he hadn't actually thought that part through yet. He smiled, "The class it going to be pretty hands on. So the tests will be too. If you can show me that you have mastered the technique we are working on, or that you are trying your hardest to, I'll consider it an A."

The girl looked disgruntled. "Can we have the option of a written test? And some sort of a review so we know what to study?" Several students sent her a glare.

Harry smiled; she made him think of Hermione A LOT. "This class is going to be easy…?" He waited for a name.

"Emily." She supplied.

"Ok, this class is going to be easy Emily, just pay attention, make and effort, and show me that you actually give a damn and I'll pass you. I don't mind people laughing or having fun, I imagine I'll be doing it too. As long as things don't get out of hand we are pretty much cleared to learn however I see fit," He smiled at her.

Several murmured 'yes's drifted up from the crowd.

"But if you want a list of readings that I think will be helpful and would be more comfortable with a written test, then I will provide them to those of you that want them." He smiled. "This really is a free for all kind of thing… I've never taught before. I plan on telling stories and trying to help you guys incorporate these lessons into your real life. Back when I was in school this class was a joke. We didn't learn enough to actually help us with what was going on around us. My thoughts are that though the times of Voldemort are passed, evil never truly dies and someday a new dark lord will step into his shoes. You are just kids right now but you won't always be; the earlier you learn these lessons the better off you will be. Sometimes a leader comes in the smallest and most awkward of packages. I hadn't even had my first kiss yet when I started my battle with Voldemort here at Hogwarts. SO…if you guys can stop the next Voldemort early…perhaps we can save the world a whole lot of trouble." He took a deep breath and looked around at the now solemn faces.

"We aren't you. We can't save the world," one of them said.

Harry shook his head. "That's exactly what the dark powers will think and that's where they will be wrong. I'm not asking you to go out and find trouble, or jump into a bad situation when there is an adult present that could handle it. Not all of you are cut out to fight for others; we all have strengths in different areas. I'm just asking you to see your potential, be confident, and see the power that can come from working together. It sounds cheesy but I would have lost the battle and died a long time ago if I hadn't had my friends and family here at Hogwarts."

Silence fell on them, some of them looked eager to learn, some were more hesitant, but he felt that he had said what needed to be said and didn't regret any of it.

"Well said Harry," a voice said from the doorway and Harry looked up and saw none other than Ron standing in the doorway.

Harry grinned, "Of course, some friends just got me into more trouble than they helped me get out of."

Ron laughed and walked into the class to give Harry a hug, "You guys should stop him next time he starts ranting, your class was supposed to end five minutes ago."

Chairs scooted and people smiled and started to shuffle out, Harry nodded at each of them and one or two the girls blushed and giggled at him. What was he supposed to do with that? He'd never really had girls giggle over him…and now he had some fifteen year olds doing it.

"Looks like you got some new fans," Ron smiled as the girls finally made it out door.

Harry smiled, "I'm sure they will get over it. HOW DID YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME?" He hugged his friend again and squeezed him.

Ron wheezed, "Get your muscles off me if you want me to talk! I can't breathe!"

Harry laughed and let him go, then started throwing a few of his notes into his bag, along with a book or two and the orange he had snagged from breakfast and forgotten to eat, "Tell me! How'd you know I was here? I was going to write you and Hermione tonight."

"Funny thing. Ginny seems to be quite taken with Neville, so they have been exchanging letters, and he mentioned you in one that he sent a few days ago. And since I'm on a bit of a vacation, I decided to come visit you," Ron grinned and started to walk with Harry out of the room.

"Wait, GINNY is taken with NEVILLE?" Harry laughed, he and Ginny had broken up before he had finally finished his war with Voldemort and they still talked, but he had long ago lost the spark he had felt with her.

"Yeah, it was bloody weird; he was at the ministry one day and she had brought me and dad lunch, and when they ran into each other he got all flustered. I think she likes making him uncomfortable. So she flirted up a storm and he blushed, and me and dad ate our lunch and watched the show." Ron smiled, "And they are still writing so I assume it's all going well."

Harry laughed, "That's crazy! Now why are you on vacation? The year just started!"

Ron smiled sheepishly, "Well I accidentally set my office on fire, so my boss told me that I could go home and he would send for me when they got it fixed…"

Harry laughed harder, "He was upset that you set your office on fire? How rude of him!"

Ron shrugged and took Harry's bag to pilfer through it to find the orange, "I think he was more upset about the fact that the fire alarm went off and it started raining inside all the offices… It took twenty minutes before someone figured out the sprinkler spell to turn it off."

Harry cackled, "I missed you Ron."

Ron smiled, and started to peel the orange. "Well of course you did."

"Have you heard from 'Mione lately?" Ron asked, "She told me she had agreed to go on a date with some muggle last week."

Harry ignored the twinge of irritation that tended to rise anytime he pictured Hermione with another guy. He really needed to get over this crush he'd been carrying around with him for so many years, but things had only gotten worse when he had seen her almost half a year ago for Christmas. She had been beautiful, her softly curled hair fell just past her shoulders and over the tight maroon sweater she had been wearing; the dainty silver necklace he had given her a few years ago had been draped perfectly around her neck. But it wasn't until he had watched her put aside her calm demeanor to crawl on the floor and play with one of the many Weasley toddlers that he had realized she was all grown up, a woman ready to love and laugh and have babies of her own. She deserved a better and more normal life than anything he could give her; her interest in muggles proved that.

Ron waved a hand in front of his face, "Pay attention Harry! Has she written to you about this git Stuart?"

Stuart. Harry sighed. "No she hasn't but then she's probably been busy. I'm sure I'll get an owl from her soon, I tend to get one about once a week."

Ron rolled his eyes, "Why you don't just CALL each other or use the floo network I'll never know. Writing takes so long. Anyway, she told me that he was Pediatrician and 'soooo great with kids'. It was bloody disgusting."

Harry laughed at his friend and decided to shift the conversation to a safer topic, "So I take it you haven't found a pretty little witch to add to the Weasley ranks yet?"

"Oh no!" Ron gasped, "What with everyone else getting married and having their own kiddies running around, I think I have seen quite enough of the family life. Though there is a pretty little secretary working at the ministry that I keep running into."

Harry smiled, "Have you actually talked to her?"

Ron glared at him, "Of course I have! I bumped into her last week and said I was sorry…"

Harry laughed harder, it was great having Ron back; he missed the days when they had lived together. Ron had never run out of…helpful things to say. "I'm sure she is just moments away from falling into your arms, Ron."

Ron snorted, "I'm not you, Harry."

Harry raised an eyebrow, "I honestly have no idea what you are talking about."

Ron was eating the orange now, his words muffled around it, "Even when we were in school and everyone thought you were weird, the girls liked you." He sent Harry a mock glare and put another piece of the orange into his mouth, "It must be the scar. Chicks like scars."

Harry laughed, "Ron, you talked to just as many if not more girls as I did and I highly doubt any girls found the huge scar on my forehead attractive."

"I did; but it was usually because they were talking to me about you. Especially the last year," he polished off the rest of the orange. "It was like, you completely forgot girls existed with all the battles going on, and they seemed to be more and more into you."

He had never known that. Honestly, he could have sworn that only three girls in the school actually liked to talk to him, four if you counted Luna, and only one of them would actually date him at length. He had always thought that none of others at the school were interested. "Why didn't you tell me this then?"

Ron shrugged, "You needed to focus on Voldemort not snogging. Let's go to the dining hall, I'm hungry."

Harry couldn't help but laugh while he followed Ron down the same old hallways to the same dining hall.

Some food was always on the table there, snacks between meals for the students, and Ron eagerly sat down in their old spot at the Gryffindor table. Harry did the same, feeling much more at ease than he did when he was forced to sit at the head table with the other teachers…where they could see all the students and vice versa. The table drew his gaze and Harry could almost see Dumbledore standing there making his announcements, sitting in the headmasters chair, smiling down at all of his students…it made his heart ache. He missed the old headmaster dearly; he would have done anything to keep him alive…

"Oi, didn't you hear me? I said those two girls are staring at you," Ron said and elbowed his friend.

Harry looked up and met the gaze of two the girls from his class as they walked closer and sat down across the table from them. They both smiled and blushed prettily. Harry gave them the best version a teacher smile that he could muster.

"Professor Potter, we are in your class…" one of them started.

He nodded and gave them a smile, "Yes, I remember, and it's just Harry."

The one with the darker hair wasn't blushing anymore, or giggling, she was just smiling at him confidently and Harry recognized the signs of more mature girl's advance. He cleared his throat to say something but she spoke first, "My name is Clare and this is Bridget."

He nodded at them both and the confident girl smiled, "So…do you always sit with the students?"

Harry scratched his head and gave them a grin, "This is actually only the second time I have eaten in here since I became a teacher and really I just followed Ron."

"Feels right," Ron added around his sandwich.

Harry nodded, "Yeah, it does. But I think I'll have to sit at the teachers table during formal meals. McGonagall isn't going to let me be quite the rule breaker I once was."

Clare laughed softy; was it just him or did her eyes twinkle just a bit more when he had made the rule breaker comment? Harry sighed; he was so screwed. How does a teacher gently tell a student to back off he's not interested? Perhaps after he treated them just like everyone else for a while, they would get the idea?

"I've heard stories about those days," she said before taking a sip of her drink.

Bridget nodded, "Yeah, it's like a tradition here, every year the seventh year students tell the rest of us some of the best stories. It's great."

He smiled, "How do they do that, the only time you guys are ever all in the same place is during meal times."

Clare smiled back, eyes twinkling, "The first Friday night of every month we all sneak out into the Great Hall and the prefects watch the halls for teachers. It usually lasts a couple hours. Sometimes you hear the same stories over and over but I don't mind. I've enjoyed listening to it these past years and can't wait for this Friday to get here so we can do the telling."

Harry nodded and started doing the math, she was a seventh year, so about 17 or 18 years old… he was twenty three, had been an Auror for five years… she had been here when he was… "You were a first year when we were sixth years. That was a bad time to be young…and at Hogwarts."

Ron had stopped eating now; he was listening to it all silently. Harry knew that sixth year and the year that should have been their seventh year at Hogwarts, were as hard for Ron as they had been for him.

She smiled softly, "I met you once, you probably don't remember, it was after Gryffindor had won the Quidditch championship. You signed some autographs for a bunch of girls afterward…I was one of them."

Harry remembered that amazing time, it had been one of the last times he had truly been happy. It wasn't long after that game that the hunt for the Horcrux had started, and Dumbledore had died… He shook his head a bit, trying to clear his heavy thoughts. He remembered giving his autograph to a pile of girls; it had been only moments after his first kiss with Ginny. He tried but couldn't remember any of the smiling girls' faces.

"I remember signing the papers but not any of the faces," he gave her a soft smile, "Sorry."

"Oh, don't be, I was living the dream that day," she gave him her first genuine laugh of their conversation.

Harry smiled, "Who wasn't?"

Ron was smiling now, looking back to that single amazing day, "I miss Quidditch."

Harry nodded, "I do too, I bet we can round up a bunch of guys to play it with us this Christmas, you will have to make sure to invite ALL of your family." Harry laughed at Ron's horrified face.

"Why can't you play it here?" Bridget asked.

Harry shrugged, "Seems unfair, grown men beating up kids." Ron laughed and started to happily eat his second sandwich.

Clare laughed but Bridget didn't give up, "I bet our team would kill to have you coach, for a day, or even for the whole season."

Harry raised an eyebrow, "That's the captain's job."

Bridget giggled, "Clare is dating the captain; I bet she could get him to agree."

Harry watched Clare blush and it made him grin that she was actually embarrassed at him knowing she was dating someone, "Sorry Bridget but then the other teams would call foul play. It wouldn't be very…mature of me, to do that."

Bridget sighed but nodded at him, "I guess you are right."

Harry nodded and glanced at Ron, "Are you full yet? I want to visit Hagrid before you head back to my room and I have to meet my second class. I assume you are staying the night?"

Ron nodded, "Of course I am, and yeah, I'm done for now."

Harry stood up and watched Ron do the same while dusting the crumbs off his shirt. Harry nodded towards the girls, "I'll see you both in class."

They nodded and he led his friend off towards Hagrid's house on the edge of the forest.

"Five years isn't a terrible age difference…" Ron said while eyeing his friend, "I wouldn't fault you for it."

Harry smiled, "I think everyone else would. Shame on you Ron, I saw the way you were eyeing Bridget. We aren't 18 anymore, time to grow up friend."

Ron grumbled and frowned as they finished the rest of their walk.

Hours later, Ron had eaten again at Hagrid's, they separated and Harry headed for his second class. He gave them the same spiel about the class and had finished a bit early, leaving him time to ask them all for suggestions.

After class he went back to his room to find Ron, only to find a note instead.

Ginny called, asked me to go hang out with Neville (fun). Apparently we are supposed to bond and share fond memories of her. I'll see you at dinner.

Harry smiled and decided that he would write Hermione in the small space of time he had left until time for the evening meal. As he got out his paper, ink, and quill, he wondered over what he should say. As always, as soon as the ink hit the parchment his mind started pouring out the words to her.

Dear Hermione,

You will never guess what I have done! And before you panic, as you are prone to do, let me tell it's a good thing, though not quite as exciting as going on a date with Stuart (Ron told me- I think he is quiet put out that your attentions have been divided again). Anyway, you knew I was getting tired of my old profession, I think you knew before I did, but I have solved the problem now.

I have returned to Hogwarts, Hermione, and with a little harassing gotten McGonagall to hire me on as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher! It's wonderful being back, wearing the old colors, walking the old halls, eating the same food. I'm expected to eat at the head table now with the teachers but I'm not sure I want to. Every time I look up there all I see is Dumbledore. It is the only thing I don't like about being here again, other than that you aren't here with me and Ron.

Did I mention that Ron is visiting? Apparently Ginny and Neville have been corresponding, and Neville (who is teaching the Herbology class-no surprise there) told her and she then told Ron, that I was teaching here now. Anyway, he was given a leave from work (after he tired to burn the building down) and came to see me. It's great seeing him but it makes me miss you more.

Speaking of missing people, Hagrid was so happy to see me that it hurt, both literally and emotionally. I hadn't realized that the three of us and Dumbledore had been his best and closest friends. I feel guilty for having left him here alone, though I know it had to be done, I just feel like I should have come back sooner for him.

Anyway, that is all the latest news. Write soon,

Harry

With his letter written and sealed in its envelope, Harry gave it to Hedwig and went to the Great hall to find Ron.