Chapter 3 : Three
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"Ah, here she is! We thought you'd died, Dee," Lysander said as I sat down across from him at breakfast the next morning, hiding a yawn behind my hand.
"And you didn't come looking for me? Some friends you two are," I said, grabbing a piece of toast.
"McGonagall brought your schedule," Lucy said.
"Ugh, we've got Potions first. Remind me again why I have to take it?"
"Because you can't be a healer without it," Lysander said.
"Right. At least I don't have to take Divination," I said, filling a plate with bacon and fruit.
"I'm just glad that we've got Defense Against the Dark Arts today," he said with a grin. Defense Against the Dark Arts was Lysander's favorite class, while Lucy enjoyed Transfiguration, and I had more of a knack for Charms.
"I wonder who the new teacher will be," Lucy mused. "They weren't at the feast last night, and McGonagall didn't say anything about who's filling the position."
The last Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Greene, had decided to retire at the age of one hundred and seventy-five, and had left at the end of last year. He was the only Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to last more than a year since my parents had been at school. And it looked like he was still holding the record if the new teacher hadn't even arrived by the first day. After a few minutes of just sitting and chatting, it was time for class. We got our bags and went down to the dungeons, with Lysander prodding Lucy and I along.
"Come on, you two! You don't want to be late on the first day, do you?" he asked.
"If we're going to be late, we might as well just skip," I said.
"Oh, no. You're going whether you like it or not, Darcy Finnigan," he said, giving me a stern look that eerily resembled the one my father gave me sometimes.
"Alright, alright. Let's go."
We took our seats at the back of the classroom, and Professor Slughorn got right into the lesson without giving us time to even get out our books.
"Alright class, today we will be brewing the Draught of the Living Death. This should be a review from last year, so I expect good results from all of you. Now get to work!"
I sighed and went to the front of the room to collect my ingredients. Potions was by far my least favorite class, because it always seemed so dull. Although it was definitely better than History of Magic, which, thankfully, we didn't have to take anymore. I mean, I saw why they wanted us to learn the history of the wizarding world, but Professor Binns put me to sleep! But even if I wasn't thrilled by Professor Slughorn, I did want to get a decent grade in his class. I wanted to become a healer, and passing Potions was a big part of that.
I spent the hour we were given adding various ingredients like Sophophorus bean, essence of wormwood, and Valerian root, I stirred clockwise, carefully counting out ten stirs under my breath. Next I stirred in the other direction as my potion gradually went from lilac to a very pale, almost clear blue color. More Valerian root, and some powdered root of asphodel went in the cauldron, as well, and I kept stirring clockwise and counter-clockwise, and making sure I followed the directions in my textbook carefully. Finally, after one final stir, I was finished. I thought my potion had turned out alright. The book said it should be a pale pink color, and I though mine was a shade or two darker than the desired effect, but it seemed fine to me. Next to me, Lucy's potion looked perfect, and Lysander hadn't quite finished with his. After a few more minutes of waiting, Slughorn called for us to stop.
"Time's up! Let's see what you've come up with, shall we?" he said with a smile, walking around the room to each student's cauldron.
There were only one or two potions that had gone really wrong, but the majority of the class had done good work. Slughorn raved over Lucy's cauldron, and was very pleased with both mine and Lysander's. We each filled a small vile with the contents of our cauldrons, which we placed on his desk, before packing our bags and heading back to the common room. Lucy and I went to our dorm, while Lysander went to the boys dormitory, and after getting our books for Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms, we met back in the common room and left for our next class.
"I hope we have a good teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts," Lucy said.
"I know! Greene was a nice and all, but I'd really like someone a bit more exciting," I said.
"Maybe it'll be someone one of your uncles knows, Lu," Lysander said.
"Maybe. But they didn't say anything about it. I doubt they even knew Greene was leaving."
"I guess we'll find out now, won't we?" I said as the door to the classroom came into view at the end of the corridor.
But the teacher wasn't in the room when we arrived, and everyone looked around curiously, whispering. Everything looked like a normal classroom, and there was nothing to give any hints as to who our mysterious new professor would be. As the bell signaled the start of class, we grew silent, waiting anxiously for the new teacher's arrival. The minutes ticked slowly by, until the door behind us burst open, and our new teacher came flying in the room.
"Sorry I'm late!" he said, as a blur of dark robes and blue hair flew by us.
"Teddy?" Lucy cried, her jaw hanging open.
"Hello, Lu!" he said with a grin.
"Ah! We'll have to catch up later. Right now I've got a class to teach!" Teddy said, grinning. "So, McGonagall filled me in on how far you got in Professor Greene's class, but for today, I thought we'd start with something fun. Anyone up for a boggart?"
The class burst out in excited chatter, as we cleared away the desks to form a line in front of the chest that Teddy had placed at the front of the room. It was rattling slightly, and I knew that the boggart inside of it was itching to get out. As we each took turns facing it, banshees, dementors, and giant insects appeared at the front of the room, and each was transformed into something funny. Soon it was my turn. I took a deep breath and stepped forward, and with a crack, the boggart transformed into the bodies of my parents and brother, lying dead in a heap on the floor. My hands quivered, and I fought to find a happy memory as quickly as I could. I remembered the day when I was eleven, when I had become friends with Lucy and Lysander on the Hogwarts Express.
"R-reddikulus!" I said, my voice shaking. The boggart stayed where it was. I tried again, searching the farthest corners of my mind the happiest memories I could conjure. And then I had it. I remembered my birthday a few years ago, when I had been surrounded by my family and friends, and we had eaten cake and watched fireworks. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but I had felt sheer joy that night. I steadied my hands, and my voice came out much stronger this time. "Reddikulus!"
The boggart transformed with another sharp crack, and in the place of my dead family was a pile of puppies, barking and wagging their tails. I let out a large breath, and turned away, ready for the next person in line to have their turn. As I walked to the back of the line to join my friends, Lucy gave me a smile and Lysander squeezed my hand.
"You ok?" he whispered.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"You sure?" Lucy asked.
"Don't worry, Lu," I said, giving her a small smile.
"Ok. Do you want to stay afterwards and talk to Teddy?"
"Yeah! I haven't seen him in ages!" I said, turning back to face the front of the room.
The rest of class passed much more quickly for me, now that I had faced the boggart, and as everyone else gathered their books and left, talking amongst themselves, Lucy, Lysander, and I walked to the front of the classroom where Teddy was shutting the boggart back inside the chest he had brought out.
"Teddy Lupin! How could you not tell me you were the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? " Lucy scolded, giving him a hug.
"I wanted it to be a surprise! That's why I asked McGonagall not to tell," he said, moving on to hug Lysander and I.
"Well we definitely were surprised! Did you see Lu's mouth hanging open?" Lysander snickered.
"You didn't look much better, Lys," I teased.
"There hasn't been any trouble on your first day, I hope?" Teddy asked.
"Not yet. And I see you decided to stick with blue for now," I said, gesturing to his bright blue hair.
"It's my favorite. Although, I did consider going pink for the occasion," he said, smirking.
"Do you have to bring that up every time I see you? I was six for Merlin's sake! The fact that you could turn your hair pink was a big deal," I said.
"Oh, I know it was. You wrote me a letter, remember? Actually, I seem to have brought it along!"
"You didn't!" I said, crossing my arms over my chest.
"Dear Teddy," he read, unrolling the parchment. "I thought it was amazing that you could turn your hair pink, and I really want to do that, too. I've been trying all day, and it's still not working, so Mummy said she'd write you a letter for me. Could you please teach me how to turn my hair pink? Also, I know I'm too little now, but do you think we could get married when I'm older? I'd love to marry someone with pink hair. Love, Darcy Finnigan."
"Really, Dee? You asked him to marry you?" Lysander said, smirking.
"That is the c-cutest thing I've ever heard!" Lucy choked out, giggling.
"Well, I'll have you know that he turned me down," I said, fighting a grin while I stuck my tongue out at Teddy.
"Sorry, love. You and I just weren't meant to be!" he said, ruffling my hair.
"Can you imagine Vic's face if she knew about this?" Lucy said.
"Oh, she does."
"WHAT ? How many people have you shown this to, Lupin?" I said, rounding on him.
"Only a few. But they all thought it was adorable."
"Adorable? Really? Well, I was pretty cute, if I do say do myself."
"Don't get too carried away with yourself, Miss Finnigan," he said with a smirk.
"Me get carried away? I think you're the one who needs to worry about getting carried away Professor Lupin," I teased. "None of my other teachers waltz into class late while sporting bright blue hair."
"Yeah, yeah. Just go to lunch. I'll see you three later."
"Bye, Teddy!" Lysander called as we left.
As we walked to the Great Hall, I listened to my friends talking about how they thought the start of term was going so far. For me, the first day back was actually turning out okay. I just hoped it would last. We had Charms after lunch, and that blonde prat Louis Weasley was in my class. This was going be interesting.
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