The Afterlife and Times of
Professor Binns, Historian of Magic
Disclaimer: Don't own Binns or
anything mentioned with him. Don't know what I would do with him if I
did. Probably send him to the houses of my enemies and bore them to
Professor Binns heard the bell ring.
Or, to be completely accurate, he didn't so much hear the bell as
wake up to it. His eyes fluttered open as the ringing died away, and
he rose out of his chair, trying to remember the subject for today's
History of Magic lecture. Was it goblins... or giants? No matter.
There was always the Giant-Goblin War of 713. Or was it 512?
As he made his way through the
corridors, he noticed that the old castle wasn't as drafty as it used
to be. Perhaps, he thought, they'd finally started listening to him
and done something about it.
He also noted, in a more absent
fashion, that he didn't feel quite as heavy as he used to. In fact,
he felt absolutely... light on his feet. That diet is really
working out for me, he thought.
arrived at the door of his classroom and entered. If he'd been more
observant than he was, he might have noticed that he didn't have to
open the door to go through it.
He was teaching his
first year Gryffindor class today. He always did like the
Gryffindors. He'd been a Gryffindor himself when he was a lad. Or was
it Ravenclaw? No, he surely was a Hufflepuff... maybe. At least he
was certain he hadn't been a Slytherin. Perhaps.
At any rate, the
class was seated already, so he began his lecture. He noted, with a
surprised delight, that the students were paying far more attention
to him than they had been before. Keep your flashy Animagus form,
Professor McMiller, Binns thought, a good lecture is enough
for them any day.
Professor?” A question! Dear Lord, that hadn't happened in...
decades, at least.
He looked up at the
girl who'd raised her hand. Ashley... Spinner. “Yes, Miss
Spinner?” he asked with barely surpressed glee. Not that it
was apparent in his voice.
feeling all right, Professor? You look a little...” the girl
struggled to find a word.
one of the Williams twins suggested. Greg, Professor Binns thought.
way of putting it.”
ridiculous,” Professor Binns snapped. This was not the question
and answer excitement he'd looked forward to. “I feel as fine
as I ever have.”
the other twin said. Francis. “You're a bit... see-through.”
looked down at his foot. Sure enough, it wasn't all there. Hmm.
Curious. “I'll have the nurse take a look at me as soon as
class is over. If there are no more questions?”
“Sir, I don't
think Madam Pomfrey can help you with this,” Greg Williams
perhaps I'll get better.”
“With all due
respect, Professor, you don't get better from being dead,”
Angela Jonathon said. ““Being dead isn't exactly a
Binns frowned. He
didn't recall dying. Even if his memory was slipping a bit, that's
not something one forgets in a hurry. “Ridiculous,” he
repeated. “Whatever my condition, I still have a class to
teach. Now, the Giant-Goblin War of 713...” he began droning.
The gazes of the students slipped away.
True to his word,
after class, Professor Binns slipped to the Hospital Ward, carefully
avoiding people on his way. “Nurse?” he called as he
“Is that you,
Professor OH MY LORD!” she screamed, dropping the tray of
chocolate she'd been carrying.
Professor Binns,” he said calmly, taking no notice of her
reaction. “My students have been telling me I look a bit under
she agreed shakily. “Er... would you like me to prepare the
body for burial?”
he said, disappointed. “So there's nothing you can do,
“No. I'm afraid not. We should
probably notify Professor Dumbledore, though,” the nurse said.
As if Summoned, the Headmaster appeared
at the door. “What was that, Poppy?” Dumbledore asked,
entering the room.
“I'm dead,” Professor Binns
“Oh, that's a shame. Would you
like me to read your eulogy?”
“No thank you, Professor. I'll
take care of it. No one knew me better than I did.”
“Of course, Professor Binns. And
will you still be teaching?”
Professor Binns, may he rest in peace,
looked affronted. “Of course. Being dead doesn't subtract from
my knowledge of history. Why, off the top of my head, I can think of
several Goblin Wars. For example, the Goblin-Giant War of 317 lead
into the Giant Goblin War of 320, which... Professor, are you awake?”
There are several words that
describe this piece, most of them about four letters long. But one
that pops into my mind right now is... short. I got my point across
quicker than I meant to, I suppose.
Whatcha think of it?