Chuck Winters and Stephanie Thomopolus, head boy and girl, stood in front of teachers table of the Great Hall. All of the Hogwarts students had stowed their gear, greeted their friends and were heading to the hall for the return feast.
Chuck was a seventh year Ravenclaw, Stephanie was a seventh year Slytherin.
‘Could we get every body into your seats, please. We have a few announcement before we get started.’ Chuck said above the noise of the students.
A Ravenclaw girl who had sat up towards the front of the hall call out. ‘Chuck, where are all the teachers. We haven’t seen them or any of the ghosts since we arrived.’
The students sitting nearest at the tables started to either nod their heads or look about for confirmation to this revelation. Either they had not noticed or didn’t realize that no adults were in the school.
Chuck looked back at the girl and said, ‘We’ll let everybody in on it when you all sit down.’ He was a bit short with her, but was frustrated at the situation.
He and Stephanie had been sitting in the head boy and girl common room when Flitwick’s Morning Dove had appeared in the room.
The message from the headmaster read;
TEACHERS HAVING PROBLEM GETTING BACK INTO THE SCHOOL
CANNOT GET IN CONTACT WITH GHOST’, HOUSE ELVES OR PORTRAITS
IF POSSIBLE START FEAST, WILL BE THERE WHEN WE CAN
Since not every student notices every ghost or teacher, neither Chuck or Stephanie had been aware of any problems.
They talked for a few minutes and decided to get into the great hall before everybody else. They had hoped to see all of the house prefects first, but did not want rumors or panic started.
When the last of the students were seated. Stephanie raised her wand and closed the door to the great hall. The hall got quiet.
She started, ‘Welcome back to school. We are happy to see you all have returned and hope that you had a good holiday.’
Chuck shifted from one foot to the other, beside her.
She continued, ‘Now, you all may not have noticed that we are the only people in the school so far. The teachers seem to be having problems getting back into the school by their normal means.’
A murmur erupted about the hall.
‘Could you just settle down’ Chuck raised his voice above the rest of the room. Some first and second years were looking a bit frantic.
Stephanie smiled and went on, ‘we did receive a message from the headmaster and he assured us that everything will be fine and we should just get the feast started.’
At this point, the chairs at the front table started falling over one by one. Then the table lifted ten feet in the air and came crashing back down. The legs seemed to buckle, but the table stayed in one piece. The only chair left standing was the headmasters chair and suddenly Peeves appeared Floating just above it.
‘Charlie and Fanny, baby-sitting all the kiddies today.
Head master should have asked Peeves.’
With this all the candles went out, except a few above the head table and the house tables started rumbling.
Students at each of the tables started talking louder and moving about.
Stephanie spun around when she heard the poltergeist, now she pointed her wand towards it. ‘Peeves, what have you been doing? Why can’t any of the teachers get in to the castle?’ She said without a sign of panic that was welling up inside her.
Chuck raised his wand and relit all the candles in the room.
Peeves zoomed out of the chair and floated above the Gryffindor table.
‘Not Peeves this time, maybe the previous owners of the castle want it back. Kick everybody out.’ And with that he stuck out his tongue and let loose a ‘raspberry’ that splattered on to the wall.
Then, without another word he zoomed out of the hall through the back wall.
The hall erupted with talk again. Some of the discussion was about whether the students should stay or leave. Maybe they should be sending owls home to tell the parents. Did the parents even know? What was the ministry doing about it?
Stephanie looked to Chuck again and he called above the noise’ ‘could you all, please, settle down.’
The students who had stood up, sat back down and everybody looked towards the front, to the head boy and girl.
Stephanie again smiled and said, ‘ we are all going to be fine. I am sure the teachers and ministry are working on the situation and the teachers will be here shortly.’
Chuck forced a smile onto his face and added for her, ‘we are not sure whether the house-elves are in the castle or not. None of the portraits seem to know what is going on. I want to see if we can get the feast started. We can all talk afterwards.’
With this he raised his hands and clapped twice as he had seen the head master do to start the feast.
The tables filled with platters of food and drink.
The students at all the tables cheered, thinking that at least this was a good sign, then settled in to eat.
At each of the house tables, the conversation continued a bit more light heartedly about why the teachers couldn’t get into the school. Why the portraits couldn’t leave to visit their portraits in other buildings.
Stephanie and Chuck had gathered together all the house prefects and they all took seats at the head table, eating and talking about what to do after supper.