The Headmaster Ritual
Author's Notes: This chapter was took me the longest write for many reasons, family crisis blah blah blah, people hospitalized and the like, anyway have written it, so here it is. Hope you enjoy! Sorry if it's a little short. The next chapter should be out in a little while. My time has been dramatically shortened as of late, but I'll keep writing as long as someone keeps reading. Oh, and the title's a song by the great Morrissey.
The Headmaster Ritual
Remus turned to his students once they began to climb the stairs that led to the Great Hall and said, "I'm going to go on to the teacher's tables." Ginny nodded and said a small goodbye before she entered the Great Hall with her brother, Harry and Hermione.
They walked to the Gryffindor table staying relatively quiet, if you didn't count Hermione slightly scolding Ron for placing bets on professors. To which Ron responded, "Oh, come on Hermione, it's not against the rules to make friendly wagers."
Hermione opened her mouth to respond, but thought better of it and sat down on the bench with a huff. Harry and Ginny had decided to go around the table to sit opposite of their two friends.
Harry turned to his left to see Seamus and Dean take a seat. "Hello Harry! Guess what? Seamus and I decided to join the quidditch team! Beaters, the both of us." Dean said smilingly. The darker-skinned boy looked at Ginny for a moment but shifted his gaze back to Harry after a moment.
"That's great Dean. You guys should definitely try out." Harry responded, noticing Ginny examine her own hands on the table.
"Well, when's try outs then? You should know, being the Captain this year right Harry?" Seamus asked. Harry's eyes widened about ten times their normal size. "What? Where? What?" he choked. Ron coughed in front of him turning a bit red in the face.
"I forgot to give this to you Harry, came on the train when you were asleep. Sorry, mate." Ron handed over a Hogwarts letter which Harry immediately ripped open.
Dear Mr. Potter,
Since you are now able to return to the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and are the longest playing member of the team thus far, it has been discussed with your remaining teammates and concluded that not only will you return as seeker, but as the team Captain as well. Congratulations and good luck,
Deputy Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor House
Harry looked at all of his friends with a huge grin on his face, "This is great!"
"Congratulations Harry." Hermione said, glad to see him smile again. After congratulations were exchanged, they all turned to the center of the hall to watch the end of the Sorting Ceremony.
Draco sat and awaited the rest of the students to be sorted and the headmaster to make his usual speech of unnecessary dribble and oddities before the food appeared. The blonde felt almost as if he hadn't eaten since the last time he sat in this exact seat the day before summer break. He looked to the teacher's table and saw Professor Snape, who had noticed him in turn and nodded, indicating that he would indeed be meeting with the headmaster later on that evening. Draco's eyes scanned the rest of the table, noticing the rest of his professors including Lupin.
"But surely they wouldn't have let that man back to Hogwarts" Millicant Bulstrode said, expressing Draco's sentiments exactly.
"Apparently he's just some assistant for the new Professor now, some American woman. Hmm, suits him, at the beck and call of some mudblood witch who probably doesn't even know what's going on with the Dark Lord. And Milli have you seen the way she dresses! Apparently she doesn't wear robes at all!", Pansy gossiped to her rather large friend down the table from Draco, who had overheard the girls conversation pretty well.
He eyed the table once more seeing a young woman rush in. Tanned skin, long brown hair, a confident walk and- leather pants. So it was true, she didn't wear robes. Draco was rather appalled at her style of dress and by the way Snape looked at her, he seemed to disapprove of the girl also.
As she took her seat next to Remus Lupin with a smile she scanned the enitre Great Hall quickly, almost as if looking for some one. Within moments her chocolate eyes met Draco's and he had trouble focusing along with a pounding in his head. He felt the sweat begin to moisten his brow and tried to blink to clear the image he saw.
It was the new professor, she was speaking to another woman about the same age, thin and blonde. He couldn't hear what they were saying but he was able to make out a name, if you could call it that. The brunette kept calling the other woman B, Buff, Buffy. The scene changed again against his will and he felt as if some one was hitting him in the head with a rather large book.
It was day and both of new DADA professors were having a picnic outside, on the main grounds at Hogwarts. They called out to someone whom he couldn't make out. The lines of her face were blured and the only thing he could make out was the color of the girl's hair. A medium red with small strands of gold weaved throughout, long and wavy.
The scene changed one last time to the girl with the bright copper hair launching herself at what appeared to be . . . him. But it couldn't have been, he looked so worn, tired and dirty, yet. . . happy, relieved almost.
"Are you alright?" a third year Slytherin asked him.
"Fine." he grumbled. He ran his left hand through his dishevelled hair and covered his eyes as the throbbing began to dull slowly.
That girl, the one with the red hair, she kept appearing whenever he'd close his eyes. Draco even had trouble focusing on the table in front of him. He could only think of one person who had hair like that. He looked to the Gryffindor table and saw Weasley's younger sister in a conversation with Potter. It was definitely her, no doubt about it. He could tell by the way the candlelight glinted in her few strands of dark gold and the way her hair was darker than the rest of the Weasley clan. Only by a small degree of course, but he had always noticed. Everyone had always called her Ginny.
Draco took a good look at the girl. Why would he ever be happy to see her? True, she did have a pretty good figure for a Gryffindor, large hips and bust with a small waist, warm eyes, and a mouth that surely had him wanting to take a better look. But he corrected himself and replaced his blank look with his usual sneer.
Either way she was a Weasley. Simple, uninteresting, the kind that would jump at Potter or any other male who'd give her the slightest bit of attention. Draco's focus was immediately drawn to Dumbledore, who had risen out of his seat to commence his speech.
Remus patted down his robes before entering through the teacher's door to the Great Hall. He knew that his assistant would most likely be waiting, a slayer. He had no idea why, but he felt nervous. The palms of his hands were becoming moist. The only slayer he had ever known was Ginny, and to be honest one of those was certainly enough. God knows that he would have allowed no one else to call him Remmie.
He approached an empty seat at the table next to Hagrid, who gave him quite the firm slap on the back when he sat. " 'Ow've ya been Lupin?" the giant asked.
"Great Hagrid. And yourself?"
"Things been righ' intrestin' with Faith around." he said a ghost of a smile gracing his face. Remus scanned the table, seeing no new faces, only an empty seat to his right.
"Hagrid, shouldn't she be here by now?"
"Reckon so." Hagrid said, his eyes grazing across the closed door.
Almost as if on cue, Faith strutted in, face flushed. Remus felt his jaw almost hit the floor. This slayer was no girl, she was a woman. Full, plum-colored lips, long dark brown hair and cleavage that peeked over the top of her purple sleeveless shirt. She threw herself in the chair beside him, not even noticing his presence. She looked over the hall, glancing at a few students here and there. She turned her eyes to Hagrid who greeted her.
" 'Ello Faith."
"Hey Rube, these the students?" Hagrid nodded and Faith turned to the man in between them. He was older than her, the smallest bit of gray at his temples, but he wasn't bad-looking. Not bad-looking at all. His sky blue eyes took in her appearance and she smirked.
"Faith, this 'ere's Remus Lupin. He's gonna help with yer lessons and classes." Hagrid said, smiling at the two smaller people nearby.
Remus coughed, attempting to save himself from one of the worst first impressions he had ever given. But, he saw Dumbledore stand, preparing to start the speech and feast.
"Welcome, both newcomers and returning friends, to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Now that all new students have been sorted I would like to say a few announcements. The Forbidden Forest is, as every other year, forbidden. Quidditch tryouts for house teams will take place within the next two weeks, Captains will check with their Head of House for more information.
"Also, I would like you all to welcome back Professor Lupin-", most of Gryffindor and a few others from all other houses, except Slytherin, applauded. "-and his partner in teaching Defense this year, Professor Faith." Faith gave the everyone in the hall a half wave before looking back at Dumbledore.
"Remember, though dark times may still be ahead for some, we should look upon each other as family, and learn to respect and protect each other. Now, I will leave you all to enjoy the feast!" With a wave of his hand, the food appeared on the tables, looking more delicious than ever.
"Great. Hey, Rube, pass me a custard." Faith said, grabbing a roll and chicken leg, putting them on her plate.
Hagrid grudgingly passed over a custard or two, which Remus took and passed to the small woman, knowing it killed Hagrid, he had always loved custards and sweets. Remus looked over at Faith, who was stuffing her face as if she hadn't eaten all day.
"You sure can eat." Remus commented, slowly filling his plate.
"I can do a lot more than that Remus. 'Sides last place I was at didn't have food like this." Faith replied. He just nodded, thinking about how his name rolled off her tongue. Very few people called him Remus, but he rather liked it when she did.
He glanced over in her direction every few minutes until the feast was over. In a few moments they'd have to walk Dumbledore's office with Ginny. He only hoped that she wouldn't be mad for not telling her there was another slayer at Hogwarts.