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 two. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells.
Chapter Two: Plans are made
In his office Harry found himself reflecting on everything that had led him to this moment.
"Mr. Potter is it?" Said Albus Dumbledore as he and the chief unspeakable, an individual named Croaker led Harry out of the Veil room and into an office a few doors away. Harry nodded, "Yes sir.." The room was dark and unwelcoming, as Croaker sat down on the other side of the desk, they gestured to Harry and Albus to sit down. "Right, I think we should start at the beginning."
"In simple terms, I am from the year 2002. I was born in 1982 and have been fighting a wizard who calls himself Voldemort almost from day one. He killed my parents, among many others during his first attempt at conquest. After their deaths, I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle. Muggles and magic haters of the worst sort. Due to the nature of blood wards I couldn't leave that house except to go to school. They couldn't move and so doted on their son and at best neglected me and at worst..well..let's say I still have marks that look like the buckle of Uncle Vernon's belt.
At the age of eleven I receive my letter for Hogwarts. I find out that my parents weren't drug addicted criminals, as I had been told, but were rather considered, along with myself, heroes. They called me the-boy-who-lived. During my first year I make literally my first friends and end up defeating a semi resurrected Voldemort by accidentally killing the Defense professor who he'd possessed.
Skip ahead to the next year, you hire a fraud named Lockhart who claims to have killed everything from a werewolf to a hag and often on the same day in different parts of the country. My rival, Draco Malfoys father sticks a diary in my friend and future wife Ginny's schoolbooks. She gets possessed by a fragment of Tom Riddle, Tom Riddle by the way is the one who killed Moaning Myrtle, not Hagrid and not Hagrid's pet acromantula. Riddle unleashes a basilisk, people get petrified, and I end up stabbing the haunted diary with a basilisk tooth and break the spell. I also get killed a little, but Fawkes cries on the wound and I don't die all the way.
Third year, I find out that my godfather whom everyone believes is a murderer is innocent. I also find out that a death eater named Pettigrew has been hiding as a rat in my best friend Ron's house. Thanks to a time turner, my friend Hermione and I save my godfather from Dementors. I learn to cast a patronus that is apparently the same one my father cast.
Fourth year, I get suckered into a magical tournament that is supposed to be only for seventh year students. I fight a dragon, save my friend Ron and a Veela named Gabrielle, then during the third task I do something incredibly stupid. I let another student touch the tri-wizard cup with me. Turns out it was a port-key, we get taken to a cemetery. Cedric gets murdered and I get used to give Voldemort a physical body. I manage to duel him to enough of a draw that I can summon the cup and get back. I tell everyone what happened and the Ministry, or rather the Minster does nothing.
Voldemort begins killing everyone he can find that he thinks is a threat. During my fifth year the Ministry sends his crony to act as a teacher, she tortures a few of us with a blood quill. He manages to sneak followers into Hogwarts and kills most of the teachers and students. I escape along with a few friends and we go into hiding. We spend the next few years sniping at the death eaters and getting murdered for it. Finally I am the last one, I get caught and he throws me through the Veil."
Harry took a sip of his firewhiskey with a wince. Croaker had thankfully recognized the danger and had started working as best they could. It's odd dealing with unspeakables, unless they tell you themselves you'll never know if they are a witch or a wizard. He shook his head and looked at the fireplace, continuing to think about the whirlwind of activity that had went on since arriving in the past.
Dumbledore had also taken the threat seriously. The moment they left Croaker's office, Albus had taken him through the floo to Hogwarts.
"Being an instructor will be more than just a way to spy on the students. After all if this whole affair is cut off, this could be a place for you once more." He said leading Harry to his office. Harry grinned at the password of 'Chocolate Frogs' apparently the headmaster had always been like this. Once inside the office Harry sat in a much more comfortable chair than in Croaker's office.
"Do you have any experience in teaching others?" Dumbledore asked as he began to jot down notes on a piece of parchment.
"Not really sir, I mean in fifth year we had a club that my friends and I created because Umbridge didn't teach us anything practical. I helped teach them how to cast protective spells and to learn basically how to dodge curses." Harry answered, maybe this plan wouldn't work..he had no real experience in teaching, not a classroom.
Dumbledore didn't seem too concerned, he snapped his finger and with a nearly silent pop a house elf wearing a Hogwarts emblazoned toga appeared. "You'se is calling for Wobbly Prof'essor?"
"Yes Wobbly, please ask Professor McGonagall to come to my office. I need her assistance." Dumbledore had scarcely finished his sentence when the elf vanished again. "Minerva McGonagall is one of the finest teachers I have ever had the pleasure to work with." He told Harry.
Harry nodded, "Yes sir, she was my professor in my time."
"Good, then you are familiar with her teaching style. I think she will make a good mentor for you this year." The door opened then and Harry was face to face with a thirty seven year old Minerva McGonagall.
She looked very different than when Harry first met her. Her face was mostly unlined and her hair was ebony rather than the silver he'd known. "You asked for me Headmaster?"
"I did Minerva. This is Harry Fawkes, he is taking a position with us as a Dueling Professor." Albus began, "He was rather well known on the American circuit, when he decided to come back to Britain I invited him here so that we could begin training new duelists. Hopefully this time next year we'll have some contenders back on the circuit."
Harry rose and offered her his hand, even now she was taller than him, but thankfully it was only by an inch or so unlike how she'd towered over him when he was a child. She shook his hand, "It's nice to meet your Mr. Fawkes."
"Harry please Professor.."
"Then Minerva, Harry."
Albus smiled, the familiar twinkle in his eye working overtime, "Unfortunately our newest professor has never taught a class outside of a few impromptu lessons given to friends. I was hoping that you could help him find his path as a teacher."
Minerva looked at the young man, he was affable enough, at least at first glance. He was young, but she knew teachers who had started when they were younger. "I'd be happy to Albus. In fact, Harry, if the Headmaster doesn't need you for anything else, we can start today."
"That woman is just as hard driving as a mentor as when she's my Professor.." Harry mused taking a sip of his drink, "But she's damn good at what she does."
"You must remember, even though you are teaching fifth years and above, they are still children." Minerva said as they sat going over her old lesson plans. "That doesn't mean treat them as if they are incapable, but it does mean that you mustn't expect them to process their emotions like adults."
"So, are you saying I should coddle them?" Harry asked confused.
"Merlin no, I mean that you cannot expect them to always understand that what they did was wrong. You'll have to explain it to them in such a way that it penetrates." Minerva withdrew a detention slip and showed it to him, "For example; last year James Potter and Sirius Black received a detention from me for three days due to bullying another student."
"Was the other student a Slytherin?" Harry asked without thinking
"Yes..how did you guess?" Minerva said, putting down the paper and looking at him.
"Uh lucky guess...Albus told me about that little band..I'm glad they are still too young to be in my classes." Harry replied to which Minerva chuckled laying a hand on his arm.
"You are fortunate, for now Harry...they'll be fifth years soon enough and when they are..I doubt they will want to take Divination instead of Dueling."
Harry shared the chuckle, imagining giving his own father and godfather detentions, the moment passed and the two continued to discuss teaching strategies.
"You should speak with Filius when you have a chance..He was a dueling champion here in Europe before he became a teacher." She stated after a moment, "In fact I'm rather surprised that Albus asked me to mentor you.."
"I was a rather poor student in my year, perhaps Albus thought I needed a firmer hand." Harry said with a cheeky grin.
Minerva returned it, "Not too firm I hope. I can always send you to Apollyon Pringle to gather unicorn dung."
"Wait a minute, was I flirting with Professor McGonagall.." Harry looked at his glass of whiskey in horror, "Come on now Potter, you do not want to find yourself imagining Minerva McGonagall in her underclothes.."
Harry sighed, Minerva had been an excellent source of information for a new teacher. She'd also been right that Professor Flitwick was the man to talk to about dueling.
"Greeting Professor Fawkes, what brings you to my humble classroom?" Filius Flitwick had always been one of Harry's favorite teachers.
"Hello Professor Flitwick, I was wondering if I could borrow your expertise for a moment?" Harry said as he walked into the classroom. It still looked the same as it had when Harry first entered it as a first year student, though he supposed that it meant it would look the same then rather than now.
"I'd be glad to assist you, what's on your mind?"
"Filius, please. We are colleagues you aren't one of the students here.." Flitwick said.
Harry nodded, "Harry for me then, if you please." It's true, Harry wasn't a student, he wouldn't be a student for another decade and change he mused then let the thought drop. He didn't want to imagine what would happen when Harry the instructor and Harry the student met.
"Well, I'm setting up my goals for each year and I wondered if you'd be so good as to look at my list for the seventh years and tell me if I've made the class too demanding or too simple." Harry offered the tiny wizard the parchment he'd been carrying.
"Certainly, certainly...hmm" Flitwick looked at the paper and frowned in thought. Harry had met nearly all the staff by now, his favorite had been meeting a much younger Hagrid. Hagrid had been very excited to meet another person who didn't treat him like a squib for being a product of his parents. Then the voice of Flitwick broke his train of thought.
"I think perhaps terrain manipulation might be a tad over ambitious, but in a good way. Teaching your students to react not just to the other duelist but to the environment is very important...now what about manipulation of the air around them..."
Harry chuckled and drained his glass then rose, "Right, class starts tomorrow morning, I'd better get plenty of rest so I can prepare..." He said to no one in particular as he went the office that also served as his private quarters.
The next morning Narcissa sat with her fellow seventh years. The gossips of each house had already started their work in analyzing Hogwarts newest professor, she noted with a roll of her eyes.
"I heard he killed a dragon."
"I heard he is a dragon and he was transfigured into a man."
"I heard he killed a vampire."
"I heard him and McGonagall go out drinking in Hogsmeade every night after curfew."
Idiots..She thought as she sipped her pumpkin juice. He's handsome yes, but that doesn't mean he's an obscenely talented destroyer of all who oppose him...if he was Bella would've found him and roped him into a marriage contract.. She smirked imagining her elder sister bringing a retired duelist to the Grimmauld Place or to the Black Manor in Wales where her parents spent the school year.
"Hello Mother, Father. I want you to meet your new son-in-law, Harry Fawkes!" Bella grins and pulls the young man into the house. "He's killed more people than a modest earthquake and he makes me breakfast in bed. Of course you did marry me off to Roddy, but I forgive you for that. My Harry however was very peeved...you should've seen the mess he made of my former husband."
Narcissa laughed to herself then. A bit farther down the table Lucius and Cantankerous Nott sat discussing the state of the school.
"Those simpering fools have fallen for a man they've never seen perform." Nott spat looking up at the Professors table where Harry and Minerva were discussing something that was apparently frightfully amusing as the tall woman had touched his arm laughing.
"Apparently the rumor mill has decided that Professors McGonagall and Fawkes are lovers." Lucius drawled looking at the Gryffindor table where it seemed a group of fourth years had decided that the pair were soul mates. "It's disgusting, but it does offer an opportunity for us."
"It does indeed, the idiots will be distracted by the rumors around our newest instructor and they won't be paying attention to anyone else." Nott grinned, Lucius returned it.
"Exactly. It will be much easier for the right sort of people to meet if the sheep are all watching to see if McGonagall ends up retiring early in the term to give birth." Lucius chuckled softly then looked over to Narcissa, he frowned then. She is watching him with entirely too much interest...did she just laugh? I'll have to have words with her. She needs to understand what is good for her.
At the Professors table, Harry and Minerva had stopped talking in order to enjoy their meal. The two had become quick friends, and he felt that Minerva, along with Filius Flitwick, were exactly who he needed in order to make this plan work. "Minerva.." He began, an idea germinating.
"Yes Harry?" She wasn't sure where in the development of their professional relationship that they had become friends. They had only known each other for a few months at this point, but they were already very comfortable together, as friends.. Minerva mentally added.
"I know you normally chaperone the Hogsmeade weekend. I need to take care of some business in town, would you like some assistance?" This will give me a chance to observe the students, I know mostly who to look out for, but I don't know where they hide to make their plans.
He wants to go to Hogsmeade with me? Minerva's eyes widened, she finished her glass of pumpkin juice and then set it down. "I suppose, if you don't have anything better you need to do." I'll have to let the man down gently if he gets too close..The idea of being in a relationship after what had happened back home was not an idea that Minerva was willing to entertain.
"It's a date then." Harry said with that cheeky grin she'd come to recognize as him being deliberately over the top.
"It's not a date. We are colleagues and we will be watching over a few dozen children at the time. That is hardly an environment for some sort of romance." She said, her voice somewhat icy and definitely reminding him of when he would say the wrong thing in class. Harry knew he was playing with fire, but for some reason he couldn't help himself.
"What environment would you prefer?" He said finishing his meal. Minerva rose and looked to him, "Would you be so kind as to follow me to my classroom, I think we need to have a discussion before the weekend comes up."
I may have just made a giant mistake..Harry rose and followed her. Normally when they walked they would discuss whatever they were working on. This time Minerva was silent, her face set in a frown that would be very familiar to Harry from his first year at Hogwarts.
"Not a word until we are in my classroom." That voice brooked no argument so Harry swallowed the apology he had been working up to. Inside the classroom Minerva shut the door with a flick of her wand.
"I get the feeling Harry that I have not been clear with you. For that I apologize. I am not now, nor will I be any time soon interested in a...in an entanglement with a fellow Professor." She said, her voice low.
"Minerva..I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to flirt..I thought I was being funny." Harry began the apology he had been working on since he noticed the warning signs of their silent walk.
"I hate to be the one to inform you of this, but your idea of humor is ill defined at best. We are professionals here. We must set a proper example." Her tone softened and she touched his arm, "It's nothing personal Harry. I just..I am not seeking romance. I am a teacher and that is all I want to be at the moment."
Harry nodded, "I'm very sorry for making you so uncomfortable. May I still assist you with the Hogsmeade weekend this month?"
Minerva thought and then looked at her desk where she had they had sat each night since that first evening, "I would welcome your help..just please remember yourself when we are seen together," Her lip twitched with a smile, "You've already got admirers from what I've heard when the prefects came to see me last night, I'd hate for so many young witches to be jealous of me."