Albus Dumbledore stood up at the morning meal. With a casual wave of his wand, a loud retort sounded and the room looked over in shock to see the old man standing there with his wand.
"Very good then. Now that I have all of your attention …." With that he gave a brief smile and then became serious again. "This morning the Daily Prophet will be delivered. In it will be the story of Tom Marvolo Riddle, also called Voldemort, having been captured as a shade and then, due to incompetence by a certain witch, having escaped once more." He sighed. "Unfortunately, I have to personally confirm that this is the case."
There were immediately cried of fear and horror. Dumbledore took a moment and then cast the noise spell again.
"Yes. Quite horrible. And worse yet, he was possessing – with the wizard's permission – one of your professors: Quirinus Quirrel." More sounds of surprise but, getting the hint, the students settled quickly. "It is a tragedy that any, especially a Muggleborn who would be under threat if Riddle returned, agreed to such a horrible fate. They were caught when they were attempting to kill a unicorn in effort to use its blood to stay alive."
At that, sounds of horror came from those purebloods who understood.
"As many of you know, use of unicorn blood, and causing the death of a creature so pure, is truly a despicable act and one which causes a curse on the one who would commit such a crime." There were murmurs of agreement.
"That being said, the wards at Hogwarts have been strengthened and will be strengthened even more this coming summer. The immediate threat is gone. But I have secured the services of Sirius Black, former Auror and current head of the Black family, to complete the remainder of the year as the Professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts."
With that, Albus noted a look of complete rage on the face of Severus Snape as he glanced over, though Snape tried to hide it quickly. He spoke again to the students. "I highly recommend that you take advantage of a trained Auror teaching you, especially those who are preparing for OWL and NEWT exams. There is only a few weeks until those exams and the time spent could be invaluable. Thank you."
As the students sat down, the Headmaster quickly looked over and said, "Severus. See me before class starts. We can speak in there." He pointed to the small room off the back of the great hall.
Severus Snape nodded shortly and quickly started finishing his meal.
The two wizards entered the room. Minerva McGonagall followed.
Before Snape could speak, the Headmaster cut him off. "I do not want to hear of your protests. I am well aware of the history between yourself and Black and his friends. I have warned him as well. I will accept no foolishness. I do not have the time or energy to be dealing with juvenile pranks between adults who should have grown up already!" The Headmaster's voice was becoming more strident. "Sirius will only be here to the end of the year while I work on finding next year's Professor. If you experience any incidents tell me – I will correct it. But I will not deal with hormones that should have been resolved 15 years ago. Do you understand?"
Snape nodded, holding himself back from comment.
The Headmaster turned to Minerva. "I ask that you keep an eye out. Feel free to use whatever means at your disposal to control these two – they are adults and should act as such. You have complete authority."
Minerva gave a small smile and said, "Thank you, Headmaster. I will supervise."
"Thank you. Now I need to go and speak to that fool Fudge and his toady, as well as Amelia Bones about what needs to be done next." With that, the Headmaster exited with purpose.
Severus Snape watched the man walk out, a blank look upon his face. "There is something decidedly strange about that. There is no question."
Minerva was curious. "What do you mean?"
Snape, who had forgotten about her, looked over. "Have you noticed that the Headmaster has been quite different since the summer began? I do not know why. But there is definitely a difference between the Albus Dumbledore of June 1991 and the Albus Dumbledore of July 1991."
Minerva considered that for a moment. Finally she said, "Yes. And I quite like it." Severus looked at her with some curiosity. "I have, for the last fifteen years, been put in charge of the Gryffindors, made Deputy, and – at times – had to act as Defacto Headmistress as Albus Dumbledore waved troubles and concerns away, ignoring issues that caused a festering hole in Magical Britain." She gave a smile. "Now, the duties that should be taken care of by the Headmaster are being taken care of. Concerns are addressed. Student discipline has been returned, though there is also still a certain flexibility needed when dealing with merging new arrivals into a new culture. For the first time, Mugglebron students are truly embracing Magical culture and Magical society is being forced to accept that it has to evolve. Injustices are being corrected. Threats are being confronted. Students are becoming better educated. Yes, the Headmaster changed quite abruptly. But at this point … I don't care. I like the way it is now and I hope it continues."
With that, the Deputy Headmistress left the room and Severus Snape had to contemplate the words she said.
While he would admit to there being improvements (the Headmaster had even cracked down on the prejudice against Slytherins by those who had labeled them all as Dark), the marked change was still a mystery. And Severus Snape hated mysteries. He finally left to go and prepare for the first lesson of the day.
In the meeting, Cornelius Fudge was being obstructionist. "I doesn't matter! There is no room in the budget for any increases in the Auror department!"
Amelia Bones was frustrated. "Minister. You yourself saw the wraith of … Tom Riddle and heard the threats it spoke against Magical Britain. You lived through the troubles that we had the last time he had power. You know how close the Ministry came to being toppled. You know how many were killed. You heard him say he is coming back. And yet you refuse to listen to reason?"
Albus Dumbledore was getting incensed. Finally he cried out, "Enough!" The two bickering officials looked over in surprise. "Enough." He looked at Amelia. "I wish to see a plan for improving the conditions within the DMLE and a proposed budget. All efforts need to be made to keep expenses down," Fudge smirked and Amelia scowled, "without sacrificing skill and efficiency. If that means firing ineffective staff and hiring competent ones, then that is what we will do." With that Fudge scowled and Amelia just looked startled. "The Wizengamot, this summer, needs to have a budget in place that will deal with the current threat."
And then, Dumbledore took on a very serious, though smug look. "On my authority as Chief Warlock, I am now informing you that I have left instructions with the Auditing Department at Gringotts Bank to thoroughly inspect the financial dealings of the Ministry of Magic to ensure that there is no graft and corruption. For an agreed amount three percent of any funds recovered, they will ensure that any who illegally received funds are forced to return them. I suggest you both ensure this information is broadcast to those who need to know. I have already informed the Daily Prophet. Madam Bones, be prepared to prosecute as needed."
With that, Dumbledore left the meeting.
Cornelius Fudge, who had started looking more and more horrified as Dumbledore spoke, nearly fainted at the news of what was about to happen. Amelia Bones, though shocked, was quite sanquine about it. She had a small smirk as she quickly went to speak to her people.
The Headmaster worked to ensure that the students were not distracted with what was happening outside of the walls of the castle.
Classes went on, games were played, parents visited on weekends, and the economy of Hogsmeade had seen a small boom.
The Headmaster also spent some time with those students who he claimed as Grandchildren as they were children of those who had followed him in the last war. Harry, though terrified of the idea of Voldemort coming back, was quite satisfied that the adults were doing what they could to ensure that he was taken care of.
The various houses, though in contention for the Quidditch Cup and the House Cup, had also seen a marked increase in congeniality, enforced by the staff and especially by the Headmaster.
All in all, Albus Dumbledore, who had come to this world to replace a manipulator and coward, had done much to ensure his time in this dimension was off to a good start.
Albus Dumbledore, currently known as Wulfric to his tormentors and those in charge of his current "life", was suffering terrible anger and frustration at the terrible way his doppelganger was treating his beloved Magical Britain.
His pawns were being moved to become rooks, knights, bishops, and queens. The power he had hoarded was being redistributed away from a central source to those who had different visions and goals.
The students were being taught to think and to observe and to act for themselves, thereby decreasing the central vision he had created.
Even if he could somehow return, replacing that …. wizard … some changes were irreversible.
He was quite dissatisfied with what was going on – and there seemed nothing he could do about it.