Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of J K Rowling. Tanova, from 'Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn', is the property of Bioware/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro Inc. All characters are used for amusement only and no claim to ownership is made.
Author's note: This is definitely not 'Tabula Avatar' canon but is in the same AU version of the 'verse as 'Professional Relationships'. Bodhi's gang leaves Sunnydale without engaging in major conflict against Joan the Vampire Slayer and her friends. It's definitely not to be taken seriously. Rowling’s timeline for the Potter!Verse has been drastically altered to fit my purposes and this takes place during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
.Harry Potter and the Veiled Professor
It was universally agreed by the pupils at Hogwarts that Dolores Umbridge was the worst Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in all of recorded history. Even the utterly useless Gilderoy Lockhart had been better. Some of the students, especially Harry Potter and his clique, were considering forming their own unofficial private group to study in their free time.
And then, suddenly, things changed.
One evening there was a new teacher at dinner; Professor Tanova, a dark-haired young woman, whose face was obscured behind a semi-transparent veil. Dumbledore announced that she had come to Hogwarts from Calimshan. No-one had heard of the place but those students with some knowledge of the Muggle world speculated, based on the name and the veil, that she was from one of the Islamic former Soviet republics like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan. They assumed, at first, that she would simply be the assistant to one of the existing teachers.
The next evening, however, Dumbledore announced that there would be some changes to the curriculum and the staffing. Dolores Umbridge, under the terms of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Three, was to become the High Inquisitor for Hogwarts. Her position as Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor, after a short recess for lesson preparations, would be filled by Professor Tanova.
The students quailed at the ‘High Inquisitor’ title. It sounded extremely ominous. In practice it turned out to be completely innocuous. Umbridge’s duties appeared to consist of lurking in dark corners, cackling insanely, and eating spiders and flies. She issued no edicts and rarely even spoke comprehensibly. Occasionally she babbled about ‘the blood is the life’. She avoided most of the teachers other than Tanova, over whom she fawned obsequiously, and she addressed Tanova in humble tones as ‘Mistress’.
When the lessons restarted, a few days later, the Fifth Years made their way to the classroom with a mixture of interest and trepidation. The new teacher was remarkably physically attractive, exotic, and had been polite and non-threatening in her interactions with pupils outside of class. On the other hand Tanova apparently had turned Professor Umbridge’s brain into tapioca pudding, her dark eyes seemed to hold a cold and calculating expression even when the lips under her veil appeared to be smiling, and the house elves quaked and fell silent in her presence. Even the castle ghosts avoided her.
“Welcome to Defence Against the Dark Arts,” she greeted the class, in a sultry voice with an accent that held a hint of the Middle East. “Not that you have any really dark arts in this wor- …country,” she added. “Your so-called Unforgivable Curses don’t impress me much and your wizards’ counter-spells are, frankly, pathetic.”
Draco Malfoy’s upper lip curled into a sneer. “I suppose they can do better where you come from?”
“Oh, definitely,” Tanova said. Her wand came out so quickly that no-one even saw her hand move. An instant later Draco had vanished. As the class cried out in surprise a little red squirrel emerged from under Draco’s desk, bounded across the floor, and then began to climb up the wall. When it was half-way up Tanova said “Dispel!” and suddenly Draco appeared in the squirrel’s place. He plummeted to the ground, landed with a thud, and clambered to his feet groaning.
“In future you will address me as ‘Professor Tanova’ or ‘Miss’,” Tanova said, sliding her wand back into a pocket in her sleeve, “or I might accept ‘Mistress’ if said in sufficiently grovelling tones. Do you understand me?”
A chorus of assent came from the class, most of the pupils addressing her as ‘Professor Tanova’, although those who had gone to Muggle schools before Hogwarts answered with “Yes, Miss.”
“Mister Malfoy?” Tanova demanded.
“Yes, Professor Tanova, I understand,” Draco replied, sounding thoroughly cowed.
“Then return to your seat,” Tanova ordered, “and we will resume the lesson.” Draco obeyed, rubbing his back with one hand, and sat down.
“Professor Dumbledore won’t allow me to teach you any of the deadlier spells in my repertoire, unfortunately,” Tanova lamented, “so you will have to do without things like Disintegrate, Feeblemind, Chain Lightning, and Abi-Dazim’s Horrid Wilting – for when you absolutely, positively, gotta kill every mother in the room.”
Hermione Granger and Dean Thomas laughed. No-one else did. Tanova rolled her eyes and continued.
“Consequently,” she said, “I’ll mainly be teaching you purely defensive spells. Mirror Image, True Sight, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Stoneskin, Resist Fire, Feather Fall, and Expeditious Retreat. However, for some strange reason, Dumbledore insists that I start off by teaching you how to defend yourselves against vampires.”
Susan Bones put up her hand and, when Tanova acknowledged her with a nod, spoke. “Excuse me, Professor Tanova,” she said, “Professor Lockhart taught us about vampires in Second Year.”
Tanova laughed out loud. “Oh, yes, Dumbledore showed me what Lockhart wrote about vampires,” she said. “It’s not exactly a Volo’s Guide
, is it? Ignore everything he told you unless you want to die quickly and painfully. No, the best way of defending yourself against a vampire is to offer her a job with a good salary, lots of benefits, and all the Death Eaters she can drink. I suppose that’s not really a practical option in your position, however, and so I’ll teach you a few… more violent methods. Staking, incineration, decapitation and so on. They are only to be used in self-defence, of course, as under Paragraph 12 of the Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans
killing a vampire under any other circumstances is classed as murder. A wise and enlightened policy of which I most thoroughly approve.”
Ron Weasley bent forward, hiding his mouth from the teacher’s eyes, and muttered under his breath to Susan. “Told you Lockhart was a useless wanker,” he said.
Tanova raised her eyebrows. “I heard that, Weasley,” she snapped. “Five pints from Gryffindor!”
“Uh, Professor Tanova,” Harry Potter put in, “I think you mean ‘points’.”
“No,” said Tanova, unfastening her veil to reveal her gleaming fangs, “I really don’t.”