Disclaimer: Harry Potter world belongs to JKR, I’m
just playing here.
A/N: Big, big thanks to my beta reader, Helen, who’s the best beta reader one
could wish for. Also, this story is dedicated to all the great people over the When Your Loved Ones Are Ill thread for
their endless support and kind words. And now, the story!
The Thoughts of a Professor,
I watched the steam swirling and twisting above the
mug in front of me. Sighing, I put down the teapot and took the mug into my
hands. Trying to warm my fingers with it, I headed for my favourite spot in the
room - an old, worn armchair next to the window.
I seated myself and tried to relax. Closing my eyes, I
held the cup close to me and inhaled the delicate aroma which reminded me of
fresh, crispy autumn air.
The weather outside was awful, even for Scotland and even
for Halloween. It was bitingly cold and the bitter wind was howling around the
castle. As if that wasn’t enough, it had started to rain. The raindrops were
tapping a soft rhythm on the windowsill and together with the hot, steaming mug
in my hands I started to feel extremely sleepy.
A sudden knock on the door made me snap out of my
reverie. I stood up from my chair, untangling my feet and hurled the mug aside
with one hand, reaching for my wand with the other, everything in a blink of an
eye. Even after all these years my instincts were still razor-sharp – the war
had taught us constant vigilance. The mug crashed into the wall and broke into
pieces, hot tea spattering everywhere. I cursed myself for overreacting – it
was probably just someone from the Hogwarts staff.
With a swift movement of my wand and a few muttered
words, the tea on the floor had vanished together with the broken mug. I
straightened my robes, conjured a neat smile on my face and called “Come in!”
in my usual, composed voice.
It opened with a soft creek and my smile died at the
sight of the boy framed in the doorway. I reached for the armchair so I
wouldn’t fall, but then my brain caught up with my senses and I regained my
It was so unnerving to look at the boy. The way he
looked and acted so much like his father was unbelievable. The way his black
hair stood up in every direction, no matter what he did. The way he held
himself and the way he walked. His manner of talking. His laugh. The way he
furrowed his brow and scratched his chin with the end of his quill when he was
searching for an answer.
He was so much like his father in so many ways. Except
for two things – the eyes and the scar. He definitely had his mother’s eyes.
The scar…I shook myself slightly, to repel the unwanted memories.
“Professor? Is everything alright?” he asked, concern
clear in his voice.
“I’m fine, thank you,” I answered, finally tugging the
corners of my lips into what was hopefully a convincing smile.
“The Headmaster asked me to come and see why you
aren’t at the Feast.”
“I forgot to look at the time. Tell him I’m sorry and
I’ll be there in a minute.”
“Ok, see you at the Feast then. Goodbye, Professor!”
he said and, with a shy smile, backed out of the door and closed it with a
I crossed the room and pushed the door lightly.
Slumping against it, I buried my face into my hands.
Every time I saw the boy in the castle, be it in the
lessons, on the Quidditch pitch, walking outside with his friends or studying
in the library, it made me think of his parents. The parents I had known so well and he
not at all. Every time I thought about it I had to struggle hard to keep my
feelings – my anger – under control.
We had been so happy when we graduated, even with the
threat of Voldemort in the air. The war had to come to an end soon, we knew
that. But it had to be stopped by someone, so we took our places in the battle.
The young and carefree life was forbidden to us. Instead, our lives were filled
with plans and duels and grief…I lost many friends in that war.
It was chaos all around…but still, we were young and
hopeful, we hadn’t been in the war for as long as some of the others. We felt
as if it was to end soon, that it couldn’t last for long. And though the hard
years of war gave us some lessons of life one should never learn, we still kept
our optimism. There were moments when I could almost forget to worry.
When they married…it sounds so clichéd but it was
true, they were the perfect couple, so much in love…so young. And when he was
born…We were all hoping they would finally be able to live a normal, happy
family life they wanted so much. I remember his first birthday as if it were
only yesterday. It was the last time all four of us were together. Only a few
months later I received the terrible news…
We were all so happy and then…it was completely
unexpected. I hurt so much. The evil,
wretched…I could go on for hours. But there was no point in working myself up.
I had gone through this countless times before.
If only they had seen their little boy growing up –
they would be so proud of him. They would have been great parents, given the
chance. But that chance had been taken away from them.
I felt the tears starting to prickle in the corner of
my eyes. No, no, I can’t cry! There’s no
point in crying. That won’t bring them back. Dark thoughts started to swirl
around in my mind, possessing me, making my head ache.
A tear ran over my cheek. I wiped it away but it was
soon followed by another. I gave in and sank to the floor, weeping out my
grief, my sadness, my anger, my helplessness. I always felt calmer after I had
allowed myself to cry, though the peace never lasted for long.
Finally, I made the decision to get a grip on myself
and to go to the Feast before anyone else showed up wondering why I wasn’t
there. I stumbled shakily to my feet, dried my face, dusted down the back of my
robes and, with a last glance at my office, turned around and opened the door.
Hermione Granger left her office, closed the door and walked down the hallway
to attend the Halloween Feast of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
There, she would join Headmaster Severus Snape and the son of Harry Potter and
Ginny Weasley, under an Enchanted Ceiling reflecting a sky that was almost as
dark and stormy as her own thoughts.