A/N: Don't own a thing, especially not HP. This takes place in a world where Harry and Co. never found all the horcruxes. I hope you enjoy chapter three. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells.
Chapter Three: The special project
Narcissa Black walked up to the door of the infirmary. She had two classes with Madam Pomfrey this year, the first one was her actual class. She would come here and assist Madam Pomfrey with cataloging the various injuries and ailments the students would have over the course of the term. The second class was the interesting one, this was the class that would serve as her practical for her Mastery as a healer.
"Ah, Narcissa good to see you dear. Please stow your things and change into your white robes." Madam Pomfrey said as her favorite student entered the room.
"Yes Madam." Narcissa answered as she went into the changing room to prepare for her class. Once dressed in her white infirmary robes she returned to the main room. She found Madam Pomfrey standing by the window frowning.
"Madam, is something wrong?" Narcissa asked as she walked up to her mentors side. Pomfrey didn't speak yet, finally she looked to Narcissa and nodded, pointing at two figures moving along the shore of the Black Lake.
"Our newest professor has been jogging around the lake every morning since he started here." Narcissa looked down seeing the shirtless form of the new dueling professor as he kept pace with professor Hooch. "He's going to end up twisting his ankle the way he skirts that shore. The shore is too sandy for proper running."
"I'm sure Professor Fawkes is careful-"
"He'd better be. The infirmary is no place for an adult who knows better...but it does remind me, I have figured out what your practical will be.." Pomfrey turned from the window. "I want you to act as the healer for Professor Fawkes fifth year dueling class."
Rolanda Hooch was panting softly as she stopped by the gate. Beside her Harry did the same, the two had become friends through their mutual love of flying and exercise in general.
"Not bad Fawkes...you almost matched my time.." Hooch said with a grin. Harry Fawkes was unlike the other professors. He had a lean build, the kind one gets from a lifetime of exertion. She could understand how the young ladies had fell entranced with him. I understand it but I don't share it...Harry's a fit bloke, but I like mine a bit..beefier.. She thought as Harry began to put back on his shirt.
"You're like a damned racing broom when you get going Hooch.." He said after his head cleared the hole in his shirt.
"That's what all the losers say." She teased him, "Are you ready for your first class today?"
"I think so. Minerva's been helping me with how I should talk with the students, Filius has been coaching me with what I should expect each year to know." He looked up to the castle, "Well I'd better get up there and get to it, don't let too many firsties crash into the towers Hooch." With a wave he turned and walked through the gates.
The students will eat him alive... She thought as she walked up the path towards the Quidditch pitch.
"Welcome to your first Dueling class everyone. Pair off please and we'll begin." Harry said as the fifth year students began to file into the classroom. He had used his time well, the seats had all been moved away to clear the floor, that floor was covered in soft mats meant to cushion a student when they fell. The students were from each house as the classes were small. He watched as the students paired off with their housemates.
"No no no, Ravenclaw with Slytherin and Hufflepuff with Gryffindor please." He said moving forward into the center of the room.
"But sir-" a girl in Hufflepuff robes began.
"Jorkins sir, Bertha Jorkins.."
"Miss Jorkins, if you do not step out of your comfort zone you will never be ready when the time comes. But if you do not wish to take a spot beside someone in a different house I can always use you as my demonstration partner.." Harry said, hiding a smirk as the girl blanched and then rushed to an unpartnered Ravenclaw that Harry was almost certain was a young Rita Skeeter.
Just as Harry was going to begin his lesson there was a soft knock on his door. Harry went to the door, "I sincerely hope you have a good reason for being late.." He said as the door opened to reveal the future Mrs. Malfoy.
"I do Professor Fawkes, Madam Pomfrey informed me only a few hours ago that I would be sitting in on these classes as her proxy. I had to change my entire class schedule for this.." Narcissa muttered as she placed her satchel down in a less than gentle fashion. Professor Kettleburn's class was on the other side of the castle. It had taken her forever to get to the Dueling classroom and she was so annoyed that she had forgotten she was talking to a professor.
"Be that as it may Miss?"
"Fantastic then, be that as it may Miss Narcissa Black, in the future try to be on time." Harry suppressed a smirk as he went back to the center of the classroom.
"Now then, if we are all prepared, we will begin.."
Dueling class wasn't nearly as easy as the students thought it would be. Harry, while inexperienced as a teacher, had an inborn gift for finding the weak spots of his students.
"Miss Skeeter you are standing with your feet entirely too close together. You could be tripped with a blowing wind charm." Harry stepped onto the mat and stood before the tall blonde girl.
"I am sorry Professor Fawkes...how do you want me to stand?" Rita Skeeter fluttered her eyelashes coquettishly wondering if the handsome professor would actually put his hands on her hips to guide her.
"Put your feet at least shoulder width apart Miss Skeeter. Like this.."
She did not get her wish, instead Harry modeled what he wanted by standing in front of her. Disappointed, Rita pasted on a fake smile, "Thank you for the instruction sir."
That little harlot..Narcissa frowned watching as Harry deftly avoided entrapment by Rita Skeeter, He might be an ass, but at least he's clever enough not to grab the hips of the second biggest gossip in the school...She didn't like the new professor she decided, He's handsome enough and he seems to know what he's doing but I did not appreciate being spoken to like I'm just any student. I am a Black, I am an heiress of one of the most prominent Houses in the country!
Harry finally stopped the class, "Good first effort everyone. There will be no formal homework due tonight, however I ask that each of you meet with your partners during free period and discuss each others dueling style. Your partners today will be your partners throughout the year, so try and become comfortable with them. Good day." The students filed out and Harry went to his desk.
"I think that went well.."
Harry looked up to see Dumbledore standing here, "Headmaster, coming in to check on my first class?"
"Not at all Professor Fawkes, from the chattering of the students as they passed me you've done quite well..Miss Black, I didn't know you would be here.." Dumbledore said looking to where Narcissa was gathering her things.
"Yes Headmaster, Madam Pomfrey wants me to act as her proxy for this class as part of my Mastery this term." Narcissa shouldered her pack, "I need to get to the library now, good evening sirs." She walked out of the room, Albus watched as the door closed then lifted his hand and wandlessly locked and silenced the classroom door.
"I am impressed Harry, the grumbling of the students about being 'forced' to work with rival Houses was quite loud...may I ask as to the reason?"
Harry smirked and put down his quill, "Certainly sir, the more each year is forced to interact the more genuine friendships can develop...friendships can create a lot of strength and we are going to need that strength."
"A good point, I must say you seem to have taken to heart Minerva's lessons." Dumbledore smiled, "She comes to teaching so naturally, it's hard to imagine her as anything else isn't it?"
Harry thought for a moment, trying to imagine the McGonagall he knew in any other profession. "I agree sir, I can't really imagine her doing anything else." Dumbledore didn't respond, instead he merely smiled and released the spells on the door as he prepared to leave.
"Miss Evans, what are you doing here?" He asked as the second year Gryffindor entered the room. Lily Evans was one of the students Albus Dumbledore considered a sign that the world was improving, even in these dark times. She was a brilliant muggleborn lass who he considered the most promising student of her year.
"Headmaster, I wanted to ask Professor Fawkes if he would help me with a project.." Lily said, she hadn't expected the headmaster to be there when she came to ask for the newest professors help.
"What sort of project Miss Evans?" Harry couldn't believe his mother was standing before him, the best part of being flung into the past, not actually dying aside, had been seeing his parents alive and well.
"It's my friend Severus..he's too young to join the dueling classes, but he's being bullied..could you give him some lessons as well sir, please?" Lily had been worried sick over the way her best friend had been treated by some of the students in their year, particularly James Potter and his friends.
"I think that's an excellent idea Professor Fawkes.." Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly.
"I..very well Miss Evans, please bring your friend to meet me Sunday afternoon at two alright?" Harry cursed internally, I hate the idea of helping that miserable overgrown bat...but it's my mum so I guess I have to...
"Thank you so much Professor, Severus will be so excited!" Lily beamed and then left the room.
"He killed you, you know." Harry said once the door was shut again.
"We all make mistakes Harry."
"Well Harry, how was your first day of classes?" Minerva asked him as they sat together in her quarters, she had forgiven him for his joke the day before it seemed, or perhaps Harry just hoped she had.
"Fifth year went well, I made the students worth with someone from their rival House. Sixth year was quiet except for a brief outburst from the Ravenclaws when I told them I wouldn't be giving extra credit if they wrote extra essays." Harry chuckled then frowned slightly, "Seventh year was the hardest as I expected, the Slytherins decided that they knew better than I did.."
"What did you do?" She asked as she poured a glass of tea for him.
"I thought it would only be proper to make an example, Messrs Malfoy and Nott spent the class straightening up after each duel." He grinned, taking a sip from the cup she offered him.
Minerva managed to stifle most of the chuckle that came up at the idea of her two least favorite students engaged in physical labor. "I take it they didn't appreciate that.."
"They were not enthused. They were even less enthused when I told them to come see me tomorrow evening to clean my floor mats." He smirked, "Lucius Malfoy reminds me of a student back at my own school..Draco was a spoiled little fool who acted as if the world was beneath him."
"That does sound like Mr. Malfoy, I wonder if they are related somehow..cousins perhaps.." Minerva mused as she took a sip of her tea.
"It's entirely possible, that particular breed of ponce tends to marry close relatives.." Harry said.
"Rolanda came to speak to me today.." Minerva said setting her cup down, "The two of you have been jogging each morning together, she thinks highly of you."
"She's good people Minerva, she's a slave driver and I make it a point to jog behind her in case she tries to cast a stinging hex to make me go faster, but she's good people."
"Here she thought you were jogging behind her because you liked the view.." Minerva said, green eyes sparkling with humor as she saw the red flush come upon Harry's face. That'll teach him to flirt with me at the table..
Harry had known from his time at the tri-wizard tournament that breathing liquid of any sort hurt, hot tea was not comfortable to drink sometimes, so inhaling hot tea when your friend makes you think of another friends backside was extremely painful. "Minerva! I've never-" He choked out, stopping when he saw the look on Minerva's face.
"Harry, I am sorry, but that was too good to resist. Rolanda merely wanted me to tell you to come down and see her tomorrow before your first class, she has an idea and wants your help with it." She smiled watching her friend calm down.
"Alright, I'll go see her. Next time you want to be funny though, let me not have something in my mouth. You almost drowned me.." He said to Minerva's great amusement.
Harry rose, "Well, I'd better get back to my office. I took a lot of notes and I want to look over them." He went to hand Minerva his teacup, when he did their fingers brushed against each others. Harry took note of the slight pink his friends face went, "I'll see you tomorrow at breakfast Minerva.."
Harry turned then, leaving the office, Damn it Potter, don't get an actual crush on Professor McGonagall.
Minerva Isobel McGonagall, you will control yourself. Harry is just your friend and you have no interest in a relationship of any sort beyond that. Minerva looked down at her teacup, her friendship with Harry Fawkes was an enjoyable one, but at the same time being so close to a man had brought up memories of a handsome farmers son and the hearts she had broken by her decisions.
"That insufferable little twit. I will curse the head off of his shoulders!" Lucius Malfoy and Cantankerous Nott had came back to the Slytherin common room furious over their detentions. "How dare he give me a detention! Me! I am the Scion of the House Malfoy, I am above him."
"How do you think I feel Lucius, that bastard gave me the same...we need to deal with him."
"I agree completely my dear Nott...you've given me an idea. Our esteemed professor will be assisting McGonagall at Hogsmeade..perhaps our mutual friends can arrange an accident for him...I'll send a message to my dear soon to be sister-in-law.."