Chapter 3 : A Class-less Act
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Apparently, the topic of one’s death is a bit of a sore subject—especially to everyone other than me. Oh, I’m fine. Over the summer I came to terms that I would never be able to tan, or dye my hair, or wear crazy colored makeup. It appears my best mate Molly is in a similar boat to mine—she knows and she chooses to ignore it. I don’t mind. I’m just worried about how my ‘students’ will view me.
“I can’t believe we’re actually doing this,” I muttered to Molly, rifling through my closet and trying to find something absolutely perfect to wear—that made me look powerful and intimidating, yet soft and kid, or young and attractive, yet sensible and still appropriate.
“I can’t believe we’re late.”
“Aren’t we always?” I retorted with a grin. Molly was typically punctual, while I wouldn’t be on time for my own wedding—well, if I ever got married. I don’t know of any ghosts that do.
Although, I did always have a soft spot for Peeves…
Nope, I’m just not going to go there.
“Yes,” she sighed, fluffing up her brown hair as though she was getting ready for a date, “but this time, people won’t be so lenient. We’re supposed to be setting an example. We’re Professors.”
“Deal with it.”
Eventually we got tired with our immaturity, as we always did. I was too egocentric, and Molly was too much like her father, for these games. But they amused us while they lasted.
Of course, I am easier to amuse than a toddler—trust me, I know. There have been tests, usually on Lucy back when we were first years and she seemed much younger, to which I was proven a bit of a moron, but regardless.
I’m awesome, and yet very late.
“How mad do you think she will be?” Molly asked me, readjusting her pencil skirt that had ridden up during our spastic run to the Great Hall. My was in no better shape, haven actually displayed my knickers at one point to Helena, the Grey Lady, who just shook her head with a laugh.
I think she likes me, not to brag.
“Well, let’s think for a moment,” I huffed, struggling to catch my breath. Being a ghost has made me terribly out of shape—or admittedly, I was like that before. But the ability to float has made me worse. “She hired us, Merlin knows why, so surely she expects less than brilliant behavior? I mean we’re only eighteen…”
“Right,” she nodded, “but please, at least try and look presentable. I know that this is a reoccurring problem and I should be used to it, but you forgot to button your blouse again, and I can see your lacy bra. Who are you trying to impress, anyway?”
“No one, you tart.”
Yet I still blushed, and together we made our way towards the door and into the hall.
The Sorting Ceremony stopped abruptly, as we made our way down the row in between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables. Younger students were squinting, as if trying to place our faces, while the older blokes were much less appropriate. The Slytherins were leering, and some Gryffindors had the gall to wink. Did they not recognize their own cousin? Surely, it couldn’t be because of me…
I’m a ghost.
“Professor Beaumont, Professor Weasley, how lovely of you to finally join us,” Minerva said tightly, gesturing us forward with her eyes, while her hands held the parchment containing the list of first year’s names.
It’s not like I need more students to teach.
The students snickered, but silenced quickly when Molly sent one of her infamous death glares. I had to elbow her sharply in the side, to which she shoved me on the shoulder, and soon we were knocking down the little ones like dominoes.
Until Minerva cleared her throat…
Running down the narrow space between the tables would have been highly immature, so we settled for a brisk walk that had my calves actually feeling sore. I honestly need to work out more. It’s becoming an issue.
“There are a lot of them,” I whispered to Molly from our spot at the Teacher’s Table in the Great Hall. It was odd having a view of everyone. It was uncomfortable with everyone having a view of me.
I mean it’s rather different to be on this side of things, but I do feel more superior. And I’ll have to keep this confidence with me, because confidence is key. Do you have any idea how many there are? And I’m supposed to teach them all? Some of the first years barely reach the stool of the Sorting Hat!
That might be an exaggeration. Slightly.
“There can’t have been that many when we attended Hogwarts,” Molly muttered right back. “It feels like only yesterday we were graduating, and now look at us—we’ve got our own apartment, job, money… I feel wrinkled already!”
I know we were being rude, as the little children were being told which house is their ‘destiny’ and all that fun stuff, but we Ravenclaws have always been terribly, incredibly, and sometimes unnervingly observant.
“Exactly. So why don’t sheep shrink in the rain?”
It was a valid question, or so I’d believed, but Molly’s silencing glare told me enough. It wasn’t that she was annoyed—she just didn’t know the answer, and it angered her. We were Ravenclaws, and for once we were utterly mind boggled.
Well, we were Ravenclaws. Now we’re just professors.
And I just had to ask. Annoying Molly is like Christmas come early.
“Do I look like I bloody care?” she snapped, but I knew my best mate well enough to see that yes, indeed, she did care. I like to think that she got her niceness from her mother, Audrey.
Audrey was a lovely woman, whereas Percy was not. Sure, after the battle at Hogwarts and Fred the First died, he wasn’t nearly as bad, but from what I’ve heard that isn’t making much progress.
“Fine,” I huffed, glancing at the crowded Great Hall with nostalgia. I remember when I could barely see over the table. “If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?”
She narrowed her blue eyes at me in a terrifying way, but I held my ground—or at least I pretended to. But really, seeing Molly back in a school-type setting just amplifies how short her tempter is (she is a Weasley Woman, after all), and how mine is even shorter. It’s a wonder we even remained friends all this time.
“Who are you, one of my little cousins?”
She wasn’t trying to offend me. I knew it, she knew it, and bloody hell I’m sure even the House Elves in the kitchen knew it. Molly didn’t realize that it was still a touchy subject. I wasn’t ready to talk about it, or have it eluded towards talking, or even moderately teased.
Being a ghost has made me soft, which in itself is a rather pathetic statement because I can't even literally become soft. Do you think they make moisturizer for ghosts? Do you?
Well, they don't.
And I couldn’t help but be jealous of full-fleshed human beings, or think about how I will never actually have any of my own. Molly will have to name her firstborn after me—it’s the only way to make it right.
“If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?” I asked just to anger her further because she put me in a right awful mood. Or is it a wrong awful mood? Ugh! Do you see what she is doing to me? I’m here, questioning every little bloody thing.
“I’m not sure,” a voice responded, and we turned to see Professor—er, Neville, just Neville—Longbottom sitting to my right, looking extremely delicious and much more relaxed than I’m used to. I so did not just have these thoughts about someone who taught me Herbology.
“Regardless, welcome to the team.”
“This isn’t quidditch,” Molly pointed out.
“Ah, true,” he murmured, his grin just so sweet and adorable. Yes, he is around twice my age, but I’ve always had a thing for older men. They are intelligent, for one, and experienced. I’m getting carried away again. “But we must be a united front to survive and rule over the students. If they see a weak link, they will strike.”
“I feel like I’m going to war,” I muttered.
The Hogwarts teaching staff wasn’t much different than last year, except in every large way possible… for me. Instead of McGonagall—um, Minerva must remember to call her Minerva—teaching Transfiguration, it would be my job. Molly was simply doing Ancient Runes.
‘Cause she’s boring like that…
“That’s because enlightening the minds of students is going to be difficult,” Minerva spoke, and it was then that I realized the Sorting Ceremony was done. Clearly she had just given her welcoming speech, which I tuned out. Again.
“Probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever try,” Neville added in.
“Lovely,” Molly muttered sarcastically.
I think that our elders ignored that, but I couldn’t help agree with her. What exactly did we sign up for? And why haven’t the seventh years looked away yet? It’s incestuous—they’re basically ogling their own cousin.
“Molly,” I whispered, leaning into her side while my eyes were trained on a dark-haired boy, who was relentless in his staring. “Who is the creep that won’t stop looking at me?”
She squinted, searching the crowd.
“That one right there!” I exclaimed, jabbing my finger in his direction, even though I know it’s rather rude to point. But it’s rude not to look away once you’ve been caught watching, so there. “The one with unruly black hair, tan skin, and hazel eyes.”
“Well,” she shrugged, pulling out a tube of red lipstick and reapplying it—which is silly, because we haven’t even eaten yet. “I wouldn’t exactly call him a creep exactly…” she’s not insulting him? They must be related. “But that’s my cousin.”
“So I gathered,” I told her, sending a flat look.
“I don’t know why he’s staring at you,” she murmured, sounding far away and in the land of Deep Thinking. “Maybe he’s trying to pinpoint how he knows you. Surely he’s seen you at family gatherings before.”
“I’m not family, though, Moll.”
“What? Yes, you are.”
“No, I’m not,” I argued.
“For Merlin’s sake,” she huffed, glaring at me. “We’re sisters.”
“That’s really sweet,” I told her, and she sent me a look of disbelief. “I didn’t know you were capable of it. Quite frankly, it’s a bit unnerving. Promise you’ll never do it again?”
“I promise nothing.”
I saw Professor Longbottom roll his eyes, but I was too focused on watching the students watch me. They were probably sizing us up, trying to figure out ways to manipulate us into giving no homework—they were going to be sorely mistaken.
“Good luck,” was all he whispered.
“Now class, I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumors that I was retiring,” Headmistress McGonagall announced, silencing the seventh year N.E.W.T. students easily. “They are, in fact, correct. Professor Beaumont will be taking my place. I assume you will give her the utmost respect?”
She sent me a look, before sweeping out of the room.
Was that supposed to be encouraging? I was in their exact same position merely a year ago, and even I'm not sure how I would've reacted. And I was a nice person.
These miscreants look like little Devils.
“Well, I just I won’t have to introduce myself,” I laughed nervously, receiving awkward stares from everyone. I could feel myself losing control of the situation when they all turned to talk to one another. “But seeing as how none of you are paying attention to me, I might as well.” I didn’t receive any looks—they must have turned me out already. “I’m Professor Beaumont, a Gemini, eighteen,” they still aren’t paying attention, “my favorite color is orange, I hate blokes with short hair, I’m not a virgin, I tend to ramble…”
“You’re not a—what?”
I turned to see who asked the question, and was surprised that it wasn’t a Slytherin. Instead, it was the James Sirius Potter—someone who I was sure would give me trouble this year.
I'll have to put him in time-outs.
Professors still do that, right? Its legal?
“Now someone pays attention?” I groaned, before catching myself and coughed hysterically. I’m supposed to be a Professor, and I’m acting like a child—or worse, like one of them. “Pardon, Mr. Potter? Did you have a question?”
“I was just wondering if you could repeat yourself,” he shrugged.
I’m not one to jump to conclusions—okay, that’s a bloody lie—so I should believe that he’s being honest and not out to ruin my reputation. But a new teacher is like a present. I should know, I witnessed Molly's first class with the Slytherins.
“I said that I tend to ramble,” I told him, smiling.
“I hate blokes with short hair—er, no offense. It’s just a preference.”
Not that I would ever feel anything for a student, but James Potter has lovely, long hair. It’s outrageously messy in a sort of sexy-bed-head type of way, and a rich black color. If I based my grading on looks, he’d be an ‘O’ student.
It's unfortunate for him that I'm not.
But I have to be professional—you know, prove I'm supposed to be here.
“After that, Professor Beaumont?”
I quite like the ring of that. Perhaps I’ll be a dominatrix after I teach for a good century or two. I do enjoy having power and control—it’s just a smart career choice, you see.
“Oh,” I squeaked, “my favorite color is orange.”
“It seems you’ve misheard me,” he smirked, his hazel eyes twinkling. I gulped, watching the high-five he sent to his best mate, and cousin, Freddie. What are they planning? “I said after that, not before.”
Well aren't you a head case, Potter.
“I said I’m not a Virgo,” I lied, smoothing out my pencil skirt. “As previously stated earlier, I’m a Gemini. Does that answer your question, Mr. Potter? I’d like to get the lesson started.”
Well look at me, acting all stern-like.
Teaching is easy.
“I’m sure the lesson plan is brilliant, Professor,” he teased, and I was taken aback by his lack of respect. Hadn’t McGonagall warned him mere minutes ago? I floated over to him, hands on hips, with sternest gaze ever. "Honest."
“If you could stop disrupting my class, Mr. Potter, I would greatly appreciate it,” I told him, smiling sweetly, when I wanted nothing more than to get a bunch of dusty chalk erasers and clap them right into his face.
When did I become so odd? And violent?
“Of course,” he agreed, leaning forward until he was whispering into my ear. I scolded myself for the inappropriate proximity, even when it wasn’t my fault. I still should have moved. “I’m just wondering—why announce the current status of your virginity? It’s going to make it terribly hard for me to concentrate during lessons.”
He was giving me the same look I had come to expect from Michael Davies—the one that shows exactly how he is feeling. He was biting his lip—I’m assuming he’s trying to be seductive—and looking me up and down.
“Do you really want me to repeat myself?” he asked, his lips brushing my ear. I pulled away slightly, not knowing what to do about this obvious fancy. “Girls tend to enjoy it more when I repeat exactly what I’m going to do to them—I could give that a shot, if you’d like.”
I was too flustered to even think about giving him a detention. This was only my first class of the day, and I was already showing poor control. Should I have waited a few years for teaching? Should I have become a Healer instead?
It was amazing, that a problematic boy could make me question everything.
I’ve wanted to be a Professor at Hogwarts since my very first year, when I admittedly had a crush on Neville. Did he honestly think I took Herbology all seven years because I liked it?
"I think you heard me loud and clear," James—my annoying student—Potter murmured, his voice low. Was that supposed to be seductive? Its making me laugh.
"You know what?" I asked, and everyone turned to stare at me. Or maybe they were previously, trying to decipher what I was hissing at Potter. "Class dismissed. You're all too hungover to remember a new spell, anyway."
Merlin, I can't believe I just said that.
So just to be clear, I'm definitely not abandoning this story. I think it'll be much easier to write now that I've gotten all the introductions out of the way. They were really weighing me down. I'll try to make the chapters longer, because I fear they're very short. I'd like to apologize about this chapter—it didn't quite turn out the way I'd wanted it. But writer's block is writer's block, I suppose. I think mine's gone... er, this is a very long author's note, which I'm sure most of you won't even read, but fear not! I wouldn't read my mental ramblings either.