Chapter 4 : Chapter Four: Professor Quincey
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The next morning, Draco walked into the Great Hall wanting nothing more than something highly caffeinated.
He had been woken up an hour ago by Hermione banging on the door, shouting for him to get up. She’d barely given him time to get dressed before she dragged him out of their quarters for the morning patrol, which had been so boring that Draco almost fell asleep walking. He’d tried to get her to go down to the kitchens to get some coffee, but she’d responded with a sharp ‘No’, and he’d given up.
‘Pass the coffee,’ he told Blaise, sitting down at the Slytherin table.
His friend obliged, and Draco filled his goblet to the rim. Then he started drinking, and by the time he set the goblet down it was already half empty. ‘Granger didn’t let you have your morning cup, did she?’ Theodore asked.
‘My own fault,’ Draco mumbled, piling eggs and toast onto his plate. ‘Should’ve woken up earlier. But I didn’t know she was going to drag me out of the room.’
‘Probably why the Weasel dumped her,’ Theodore said. ‘She was too annoying.’
Hermione, walking by the Slytherin table, stopped dead in her tracks. For a moment, she just stood there. Then she narrowed her eyes, and walked over to the Gryffindor table, sat down, and never glanced once in their direction.
‘I think she heard you,’ Draco muttered.
Theodore shrugged, dumping some whipped cream on his pancakes. ‘So what? It’s probably true.’
‘Five points from Slytherin,’ Draco said quietly.
Theodore, Blaise, Astoria and Daphne all stopped eating to stare at him. ‘You can’t take points from your own House,’ Theodore said. ‘And what for? It’s like you weren’t thinking it.’
‘I can, actually,’ Draco said. ‘And if you don’t shut your fat mouth, Theo, I’ll take more and give you a detention. Don’t question me. Last time I checked, I was the Head Boy. Don’t even think about trying to insult Hermione again.’
‘Hermione? Since when are you and that Mudblood on a first name basis?’ Theodore asked, sneering.
Draco wanted to punch him in the face, but he stopped himself. ‘Another five points from Slytherin, Nott. I don’t even think we have that many yet. Keep going, and I will give you a detention.’
‘What happened to you? You used to enjoy picking on that Mudblood, and now you’re sticking up for her?’ Theodore shook his head at him, like he was disappointed. ‘And if you think you can just flaunt your Head Boy status at me and you can get whatever you want, you’re wrong. You don’t deserve that badge, Malfoy.’
‘Oh, I see what this is about,’ Draco said. ‘Jealous are you, Nott? Head Boy’s what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it?’
Theodore glowered, and Draco knew he’d struck a nerve. ‘You’re a traitor, Malfoy,’ he hissed at him. ‘You don’t deserve that badge, and you don’t deserve that Mark on your arm. McGonagall is a fool, just like Dumbledore. She’ll see that soon enough, and then you’ll be nothing.’
Draco said nothing. He just swallowed and attempted to cool his anger. Theodore waited for a reaction, but he gave none. Instead, he returned to his breakfast, like he hadn’t fazed him at all.
‘What? Nothing to say? Is the Great Malfoy finally speechless?’ Theodore taunted.
Draco met his eyes, a smirk playing on his lips. But he remained silent, and instead, he stood up.
McGonagall had said that they were supposed to represent House Unity. He wasn’t going to do that sitting here, listening to Theodore insult Hermione. So, instead, he strode over to the Gryffindor table, where he sat down at the opposite end of the table. The Great Hall was silent, and he tried to ignore the staring. He also tried to ignore the fact that everyone had inched away the second he sat down, as if he had a disease and they were afraid to catch it. He made himself another plate, and began to eat. The other students returned to their own breakfasts.
‘Do you mind if I sit here?’
He looked up to see Luna, smiling. ‘Sure. Go ahead,’ he said. She smiled, and sat down beside him.
‘It’s a lovely thing, isn’t it? House Unity,’ she said, taking a muffin from the basket. ‘I think it’s wonderful.’
‘Yeah,’ Draco said. ‘Really wonderful.’
Luna munched on her muffin, a thoughtful look on her face. ‘It’s not fair that people are giving you a hard time,’ she said. ‘I think you deserve it. Head Boy, I mean.’
‘Really?’ He asked, surprised. ‘Why?’
She shrugged. ‘Because you saved my life,’ she said. ‘I know it was you who brought us food, when we were trapped in your basement. And the healing charms.’
He stared at her. It was true—he had done all those things. But he’d done it mostly out of guilt, and because he couldn’t stand knowing that Luna was down there. She was innocent, and didn’t deserve it. And he liked Luna. He enjoyed talking to her; unlike the rest of the world, Luna said and did what she wanted, without caring what anyone thought. If the Trio hadn’t shown up at the Manor when they did, he probably would’ve ended up breaking them all out when everyone was sleeping. ‘I only did it because I felt guilty. You and the others were innocent, and it wasn’t fair,’ he said.
‘You tried to help the only way you could,’ she said. ‘I owe you my life.’
Great, another person who felt like he owed him something. All he’d done was give her food and heal her when she was hurt. ‘You don’t owe me anything,’ he said. ‘You would’ve done the same thing.’
‘Yes, but it’s different,’ she said. ‘I like to think I’m naturally a helpful person. You… well, no offense, but you aren’t. It was a brave thing you did.’
‘I wasn’t trying to be brave. I’m no Gryffindor,’ he said. He wasn’t insulted—she was right. Draco didn’t help people. It was something he wanted to change.
‘Well, you were, so deal with it,’ she said.
She returned to her muffin. He fought his smile, and continued his breakfast.
Across the table, Hermione was trying not to stare at Draco and Luna. So were the rest of the Gryffindors, it seemed. But no one said anything about it. They tried to act as if it was a perfectly normal thing for the two to be sitting together, even though everyone knew that Draco Malfoy had never said a kind word to Luna Lovegood in his life. The fact that they were sitting there, having breakfast and talking like they were friends, was shocking. But it was a good thing. It showed that Draco had changed, and she liked it. Maybe, after Draco’s display of House Unity, people would take him seriously. Maybe House Unity would actually happen.
The mail arrived then, and Harry’s barn owl, Persephone, landed in front of him with a letter attached to her claw. He’d gotten the owl after the war, and though Hermione could tell he missed Hedwig dearly, he liked Persephone. No one could replace Hedwig, but she would do just fine.
He read the letter, and frowned, his face became pinched with worry. Hermione noticed the Ministry seal on the envelope, and she knew who it was from immediately. Kingsley had all but begged Harry—and Ron—not to return to school and instead become Aurors right away. Both had felt like it was cheating, and declined his offer. But Kingsley was persistent.
‘Kingsley again?’ Hermione asked.
He nodded, wearily. ‘He keeps trying to offer me a better deal,’ he said. ‘This one says that we can stay at school since we’re so bloody stubborn, but shortly after Christmas, he wants us to begin our training. We don’t have to leave, but we’d have to be away from the school a lot.’
‘It’s not a bad offer, actually,’ said Ginny, who was reading over the letter. ‘See, he says here it would only be two weekends a month.’
‘And how am I supposed to keep up with NEWTs if I’m away? I struggled with the regular exams as it was,’ he said. ‘I want to finish, believe me, I do. But… I also really want the position.’
‘You’ll get the position anyway. It’s not like Kingsley won’t take you on, even if you don’t take him up on this offer,’ she said.
‘I know, but then I’ll have to go through twice as much training,’ he said. ‘I don’t know, Hermione. I really want to take him up on it, but… how will I pass NEWTs? And keep up with Quidditch and everything else?’
‘We could get you a tutor,’ Ginny suggested. ‘And no one’s expecting you to continue being the Quidditch Captain. You could step down.’
He was quiet, like he was thinking about it. At that moment, the timetables were being handed out. Hermione was enthused to see the schedule for the day.
Defense Against the Dark Arts (With Slytherin)
Advanced Charms (With Ravenclaw)
Advanced Ancient Runes
Advanced Herbology (With Hufflepuff)
‘Oh good, I’ve got Defense first thing today,’ she said, smiling. Then her brow narrowed in a frown. ‘And something called HD? What’s that?’
‘Head Duties, Miss Granger,’ said McGonagall, who was walking by. ‘Mr. Malfoy has the same schedule as you so that your free period matches. This is when you take time to plan events.’
‘Oh. That makes sense,’ Hermione said.
McGonagall nodded, and then walked away. ‘What do you have first, Harry?’
‘Transfiguration,’ he said sadly. ‘Then I’ve got Charms, and Herbology. After lunch, I’ve got Transfiguration, Potions and then a Free Period.’
‘I haven’t got Defense,’ Ginny said, unhappily. ‘I’ve got Transfiguration, as well. And then I’ve Charms, and Potions. Then after lunch, Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures, and a free period.’
‘When do you have Defense?’ She asked.
Ginny looked over her schedule, and groaned. ‘Not ‘till tomorrow, and right after History of Magic.’
‘Oh, you’re taking History of Magic?’ Hermione said. ‘I’ve not got that ‘till next semester.’
There was a cough, and Hermione looked up to see Malfoy standing there, schedule in hand. ‘Where d’you want to meet for Head Duties?’ He asked.
‘The Head’s Tower should do just fine,’ Hermione said.
He nodded in agreement. ‘Good. See you in class, Granger,’ he said, and then he left the Great Hall.
‘Speaking of your dorm, can we come by after classes?’ Harry asked.
She nodded. ‘Course,’ she said. ‘It’s great. The portrait over the door is William Shakespeare. He’s a muggle writer, you know, died some time ago. He wrote a book called Winter’s Tale, and that’s where my parents found my name.’
‘I know who Shakespeare is,’ said Ginny. ‘Isn’t he that bloke who wrote about that Roberto fellow?’
‘Romeo, you mean?’ Hermione asked, and Ginny nodded. ‘Yes, he did. Romeo and Juliet is the name of the play. It’s quite tragic.’
‘Yes, I’ve read it. I can’t remember why, but I think you had it out and I read it over the holidays,’ Ginny said.
The Great Hall had begun clearing out, and Hermione, Harry and Ginny finished eating and left. They said goodbye, and the other two headed to Transfiguration, and Hermione was left alone.
She sighed to herself, and headed in the opposite direction.
The second he walked into the Defense classroom, Draco knew this year was going to be interesting. The desks were all pushed to one side of the wall, and there were practice dummies set up around the room. Professor Quincey stood in front of the classroom, his sleeves pushed up and his arms crossed, waiting. Most of the others were standing in groups, but Hermione stood by herself.
Before he could over think it, he stood next to her, much to the surprise of his fellow Slytherins.
The rest of the class piled in, and to his annoyance, Ron and Lavender were among them. Ron glared at him when he saw that he was standing with Hermione, but Draco just smirked at him in reply. Professor Quincey waited for them all to arrive before he pulled out the attendance. Draco didn’t bother paying attention; he was too busy staring at the new Professor, who was looking at them all with an emotionless face.
‘So,’ Professor Quincey began. ‘I think we can all agree that there isn’t much you lot need to know about defending yourself against the Dark Arts, yes? Why, I know for a fact there is one particular student here who could teach the class herself. Perhaps I ought to just cheat and tell you all you’ve no need to be here, and send you off to do what you please.’
A few students looked like they rather liked that idea. Draco couldn’t help but agree with them ‘But, as much as you may think you know everything there is to know about the Dark Arts, you don’t. By now, most of you have mastered defensive spells. You have survived in a battle. Most of you have probably even killed before,’ Quincey said. ‘But there are other things you may not know. For example, how many of you can cast a Patronus charm?’
A small handful of Gryffindors raised their hands. ‘Would someone like to give an example of the Patronus charm? Miss Granger?’ Quincey asked.
Hermione nodded, and pulled out her wand. ‘Expecto Patronum,’ she said, in a clear voice. A thread of silver shot out of the end of her wand, and Draco saw that it was an otter. It splashed around in front of her for a moment, and then it faded.
‘Thank you, Miss Granger. Five points to Gryffindor,’ Quincey said. ‘So, there you have it. The Patronus charm. We will be learning to cast one, and hopefully by Christmas you will all have learnt it. Can anyone tell me what you have to do in order to cast a successful Patronus charm?’
To his surprise, Ron raised his hand. Quincey nodded at him. ‘Er, to cast the Patronus you have to think of a happy memory. Something that made you really happy. The more powerful the memory, the stronger the Patronus,’ he said. ‘And sometimes you can use your Patronus to send messages.’
‘Excellently answered, Mr. Weasley. Five points to Gryffindor,’ Quincey said, and Ron looked smug. ‘Alright. You’re probably wondering why I have these dummies all around the room, yes? Well, that’s also part of my teaching. Has anyone here ever found themselves in a fight when they were wandless?’
Padma Patil nodded, and so did Hermione. ‘Miss Patil, is it?’ Quincey asked.
‘Yes,’ Padma said. ‘During the War, when we were at Hogwarts, I was attacked on the way to the library. They stole my wand, and I was blindfolded. They took me into a classroom, and b-beat me, and I couldn’t do anything to stop them. I tried kicking and hitting them, but they didn’t s-stop. They took off the blindfold and gave me my wand back when they were finished, but it was a-awful.’ Her voice was shaking, like she might be about to cry.
‘I imagine it would’ve been,’ Quincey said. ‘So because of this, this year I’ll be teaching you all Self-Defense. We will be learning this until Christmas, and I will also be teaching you to cast a Patronus charm. After Christmas, I’ll teach you basic self-defense spells you might not already know. You will learn to fight without magic. I will also teach you how to detect poison, and how to defend yourselves against magical creatures like vampires and werewolves and banshees. You will learn to practice wandless magic, even Legilimency. I will teach you how to protect your mind, body and spirit.’
The entire classroom had gone still. Not a whisper could be heard. Even Draco stood as still as a statue, watching Professor Quincey with transfixed awe. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that Hermione looked a little sick. She probably hadn’t thrown a punch since the time she punched him in third year. She raised her hand.
‘Yes, Miss Granger?’ Professor Quincey asked her.
She hesitated for a second. ‘Sir, I thought that Legilimency isn’t supposed to be taught at Hogwarts? In fact, I thought it was illegal?’ She asked.
‘It is not illegal, but it is not entirely legal, either. The Ministry dislikes Legilimency being used openly, though if you ask any of the highly-trained Aurors, you’ll learn that they do train their Aurors to use it,’ Professor Quincey said. ‘You are all of age, yes? It is therefore not illegal to teach you the art of Legilimency, as well as Occulumency. If you were, perhaps, under the age of 17, then I might find myself in a bit of trouble with the Ministry. Still, I will strongly advise you all not to go around telling younger students about it.’
Draco swallowed. He knew a bit of both Legilimency, thanks to Bellatrix, but it wasn’t like he could say that. He wasn’t sure if he could trust Quincey with that information, though.
Hermione seemed satisfied with her answer, but Seamus Finnigan, that bloke from Gryffindor, raised his hand. ‘Sir, what exactly do you mean by self defense?’ He asked, rather timidly.
‘Exactly what I said. Self-defense, Mr. Finnigan,’ Professor Quincey said. ‘You will learn to fight against an attacker without magic. This isn’t just about throwing a punch here and there. This is learning how to kill someone with your bare hands, to use every inch of your body to defend yourself. If anyone isn’t feeling up to it, please don’t hesitate to leave now, and I will let Headmistress McGonagall know that you will no longer be taking Defense Against the Dark Arts so that she can remove it from your schedule.’
He cast a look around the room, like he was waiting for someone to walk out, but no one moved. Draco raised his hand, hesitantly ‘Yes, Mr. Malfoy?’ Quincey said. As soon as he said his name, the entire class—except Granger—turned to stare at him, and he fought back a scowl.
‘Um, sir. Will we have to fight against our opposite gender?’ He asked.
Professor Quincey’s lips turned upward in a small smile. ‘Excellent question, Mr. Malfoy. Yes, you will have to fight the opposite gender. An attack can come from anyone, anywhere, at anytime,’ he said.
‘I can’t fight a girl!’ Seamus Finnigan exclaimed. ‘Me mum will kill me!’
A couple of people laughed, but their laughter was half-hearted. ‘Would you like me to write a letter to your mother, Mr. Finnigan?’ Professor Quincey asked.
Finnigan shook his head, looking mildly horrified at the thought. ‘N-no, Sir,’ he stammered.
‘I thought so,’ Quincey said, nodding. ‘Now, then. Does anyone else have anymore questions?’
No one did. Quincey smiled. ‘Very well, then. I believe we have enough time to practice a few basic moves before the bell rings. So, let’s begin.’
And so they began
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