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Chapter 10 : Halloween Party, New Professors and Aunt Minerva
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“Harry…erm…what did my mum send you for your costume?” Ron asked while they sat in the common room, rummaging through their supplies.
“Erm…” he searched through the bottom of the trunk and pulled out a parcel with an attached note. He read the note before opening the parcel.
Your father and Sirius fought over who got to wear this on their Halloween party. Sirius won. Your father settled for a knight instead. - Molly
Harry smiled and opened the package.
“Well?” Ron persisted. “What is it, then?”
“It’s The Phantom of the Opera.”
“It’s a muggle musical. A very good musical, actually. The Phantom is a deformed man who wears a mask to conceal his deformity. He ends up falling in love with a beautiful girl, who, in return, falls in love with him.”
“Oh. Okay, then.”
“Yeah. Sirius and my father obviously knew what it was. They fought over who got to wear the costume on their masquerade.”
“Interesting…” Ron replied, not quite sure if he was supposed to be excited about his own costume.
“What did you get?”
Ron sighed. “I honestly don’t know how I should feel about this.” He held the fabric up against his body.
“Yeah. I have to wear stockings and an eye patch. Mum says to use Pig as my parrot!”
“I am not toting him on my shoulder all night!”
“What did you get, Ginny?” Harry asked, turning to her.
“A princess. Complete with tiara.” She answered. “Not very original, but it’s nice.”
Hermione came gliding in the common room a few minutes later with her trunk, and cat, Crookshanks. “The train’s here.” She stated. “Best get your robes on so we won’t be late for the feast.”
“Let’s not be late.” Ron told them. “I want real food!”
“Yeah.” Harry agreed. “And maybe Dumbledore will enlighten us on what’s going to happen this year.”
It felt good to be back at Hogwarts. The warm feeling around him filled the room and he smiled, excited to start a new term and have nine months at his home away from home.
“What are you thinking about?” Ginny asked from beside him, noticing his grin.
“Oh, nothing. I’m just glad to be home.”
Ginny returned the smile and squeezed his hand. And to Harry’s surprise, he let her, and smiled back. Ron didn’t notice. They both blushed and faced forward.
Ron tapped his shoulder. “Harry, look. Four seats are missing.”
Focusing his attention to the table where the professors sat, he furrowed his brows in concentration. Indeed, there were four wooded chairs missing their occupants. Of coarse, Umbridge, their last Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, was missing, thank God; professor Trelwany and/ or Frinze was gone, Madam Hooch and-Hagrid.
Not again. Harry thought to himself. “Where’s Hagrid?”
“I don’t know,” Hermione answered. “But I’m getting used to his disappearing acts.”
“You’re not worried?” Ron asked, in a challenging tone.
“Of course not. There’s three other chairs missing. Besides, I’m sure Dumbledore has a perfectly good explanation."
That’s the trouble with Hermione. There was always a good explanation.
“Now hush, the ceremony is about to start.”
Professor McGonagall read the list of the nervous first years to make way to be sorted. From Armonia, Elisabeth (Hufflepuff) to Zabar, Jacob (Slytherin), each student made their way to sit on the stool and have the ancient singing sorting hat be placed on their head, and henceforth be placed in a house.
One thing that had Harry’s stomach turn in knots, though, was when Cho’s sister, Meilyn, was sorted into Gryffindor. Great.
It was Dubledore’s turn to take the stage. As he stood, everyone suddenly lost his or her tongue.
“First off, I’d like to welcome you all back to another year at Hogwarts.” He adjusted his half moon spectacles and looked at every student with sparkling blue eyes.
“Now, I’m sure by now you have heard our new Quidditch roster; and I would like to give a special thank you to Madam Hooch and our guest coaches for the great success of our workshop.
“Speaking of our coaches, for those of you who did not join missed the opportunity to meet the Julius sisters, Azura and Season, Oliver Wood and Ethan Knox; all of whom play for professional teams.”
Harry heard a couple of disappointed groans, but Dumbledore wasn’t finished.
“If you did not get an opportunity to meet them, there’s still a chance.”
Harry, Hermione, Ginny and Ron’s ears perked up, as well as the other Quidditch try-outers.
“If you have not noticed by now, there are four empty seats in our staff table. Professor Hagrid, Frienze, and Trelwany are all away on Hogwarts business. Delores Umbridge, on the other hand, as agreed to come on as Filch’s assistant, proceeding her termination from the Ministry of Magic.” He extended his hand to where Filch and the now timid Umbridge stood against a back wall. All at once, the students turned to give her an unwelcome, satisfying glare.
“Remember, Umbridge,” Filch whispered to her, “You work for me, not the other way around.”
She didn’t reply as Dumbledore continued, and brought back the attention of the students. “Now, whom might you ask, will be taking the teacher’s place? Well,” with a wave of his hand, the doors of the great hall opened and in walked the four Quidditch coaches. Wood in deep scarlet robes, Season in deep green, Azura in deep blue and Ethan in a goldenrod (he told the others before their entrance that the color did nothing to bring out his eyes).
“What the…” Ron couldn’t finish his sentence as they took their seats at the front of the hall.
“These are your new professors.” Dumbledore explained. “Professor Ethan Knox will be your Care of Magical Creatures instructor. Professor Oliver Wood will be your flight instructor. Professor Season Julius will be your Divination instructor and Professor Azura Julius will be your Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor.”
Harry turned his head to the Slytherin table. Malfoy wore an absolute look of terror on his face. He could barely contain excitement.
And speaking of excitement, he could read Professor Snape’s look of heated disappointment when he was, yet again, passed over for the DA position.
This may, indeed, be the best year ever.
“Also this year,” Dumbledore continued, “we will be celebrating Halloween a little differently. All of you were asked to purchase a costume on your supplies list. We will be having a masquerade party. The student with the most creative idea will be awarded with one week of no homework.”
Excited murmurs filled the Great Hall and Dumbledore quieted them down once again.
“Now, before we continue with the feast, I would also like to remind you that the forest off school grounds is still forbidden, and a list of forbidden items are posted on Filch's office door. With that said, enjoy the feast!” With a wave of his arms, mountains of food appeared instantly before their eyes, a habitual trait the older students were used to, but the first years found quite astonishing.
On the Slytherin table, Millicent was teasing Malfoy. “What are you going to do now that Azura’s a teacher, Malfoy? She’s going to watch your every move.”
“Not a problem.” He answered, coolly. “I’m a Malfoy. I’ll just woo and win her over with my irresistible charm.”
“Or make her vomit.”
“And what if that doesn’t work?”
“Then I’ll just get professor Snape to yell at her for me. He’ll be more than pleased to. Word has it; the Julius sisters were a couple of rebels when they attended Hogwarts; especially in Snape’s class. Any reason is a good reason to get back at a Julius.”
Ethan made himself comfortable next to Snape and gave a satisfying sigh before digging into his food. “So, Snapey…how you doin’?”
Snape ignored him, and began to chew his food with annoyance.
“Okay…so, have a girlfriend?” Ethan persisted.
“No.” he replied, emotionless.
“No girlfriend? A dashing man like you?”
“No.” he repeated, still emotionless.
Ethan got close to a growing annoyed Snape. “Is, uh, there anyone here you’re interested in?”
Oliver noticed Ethan playing with him and tried his hardest not to laugh.
“C’mon, Snapey; you know you want to get McGonagall in the sack.”
Snape’s nostrils began to flare as he mentally tried to burn holes through his head with eye lasers. Turning to Dumbledore, he sighed and asked, “Remind me again why you hired him?”
“Now, now, Severus, Professor Knox is still a juvenile mentally in some ways, but he has great skill in what he does. Have a sense of humor.”
Even Azura and Season thought this was funny.
“He never knew how to have a sense of humor.” Season stated.
Snape turned to Ethan. “There’s a place for people like you. Its called St. Mungo’s.”
“Oh yeah? Is it nice there?”
Snape rolled his eyes. I am surrounded by idiots.
Dumbledore kept an eye on Harry pretty much the entire feast.
“I wonder why he keeps looking at you like that.” Ron pondered.
“I dunno. But I’m going to talk to him after the feast. I have a feeling he has something to tell me.”
Harry made sure he had the password to the common room (cherry sphynx) before making he way to Dumbledore.
“Ah, Mr. Potter. You read my mind.”
The sound of his soft, cool voice was music to Harry’s ears.
When the Hall cleared, all that were left besides himself were Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and…the Julius sisters.
“Professor Snape has made it perfectly clear that he does not wish to continue the occumlency lessons with you as a result of personal feelings.”
Harry let out a private sigh of relief.
“But,” he continued, “Unfortunately you not taking the lessons are out of the question. So, the Julius sisters have taken on the task of teaching you.”
Ooo, now he was excited. But why was McGonagall here?
“We are one hundred percent certain they are perfect for the job.” McGonagall told him.
“Let’s let Harry get acquainted with them.” Dumbledore told her. “They’ll explain everything.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of him.” Season replied, with a mischievous grin.
Harry eyed them with sudden uncertainty. Azura smiled at him.
“Don’t you look at us in that tone of voice.”
Harry couldn’t help but grin as Dumbledore and McGonagall swiftly made their way out of the Hall.
“Have a nice night, Aunt Minerva!” the sisters bid together.
McGonagall shot them an amused warning glance as she shut the doors.
The girls grinned at Harry and told him to take a seat.
“Well, you know secret number one.” Season told him. “McGonagall’s our aunt. But nobody knows that so you can’t say anything to anyone.”
“Okay, so what’s secret number two?”
“Secret number two is the reason why we’re best fit for the occumlancy job." Azura began. “But, we’re putting the up most trust in you, Harry. You absolutely must not, under any circumstances repeat anything to a single sole. Not even your buddies Hermione and Ron.”
“Okay. I promise.”
“Good.” The sisters sighed, took one glance at each other and said, “We have legilimency.”
Harry just stared, unable what to say or do.
“Think of something.” Season ordered, reading the look of disbelief on his face.
“PG, please.” Azura added.
Harry closed his eyes and searched deep in his thoughts for something.
“All right, what am I thinking?”
Azura raised an eyebrow and Season crinkled her nose.
“Sirius Black? The Azkaban prisoner?”
Harry’s heart skipped a beat. They were telling the truth!
“There’s a lot you’re going to learn from us,” Azura began, “Not to mention about us.”
“Yeah,” Season agreed. “So whatever happens here stays here. Get it?
“Good. Our first lesson will begin six o’ clock tomorrow. Don’t be late.”
“My classroom.” Azura answered.
“Be prepared to work.” Season told him. “We know you’re a celebrity and all, but you’re a celebrity who’s in danger; so don’t disappoint us.”
Harry gulped as Azura locked her steely blue eyes with his emerald. “And you don’t want to disappoint us.”
Harry didn’t tell Ron and Hermione about the Julius sister’s telepathy, like he promised, only that Snape wouldn’t be giving him his lessons anymore, and they were taking over.
“Lucky.” Ron spat. “One hour with the world’s most hottest twins every day. No fair!”
“We’ll be working, Ron, nothing else.”
Harry agreed. Still.
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