A new Professor has beren hired right off the graduation stage from Oxford Uni. Will this young man crack under the pressure? Will he even survive his first term?
Potter From Behind The Desk
story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling,
various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic
Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no
copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
I was, stepping off the stage with my diploma in hand, walking over to my
beaming parents when an older woman appeared suddenly in my path. "Good afternoon, Mr. Blackwood," she
said. This woman seemed to stare
straight though me, yet it seemed as if she was not trying to intimidate. I tried to look relaxed. "Good afternoon,"
I said as I shook her hand. "If you will excuse me, Ms?"
good to meet you, Headmistress, but my parents take precedence over all right
Mr. Blackwood," she said, and paused for a moment but did not let go of my
hand. "This may seem forward, but after you mention my name to your parents, please let me take you and you family
to a celebration dinner. There we
can discus your immediate career future."
knew she was a witch but she did not seem to be a Seer. I warmly smiled my
'God, you're deluded' smile and moved on to my parents. My mother Lorene was enraptured with my
diploma. With a worried look, I
said, "You know I am going to need that for my office wall, don't you?"
mother rolled her eyes as she usually did when I gave her a hard time, "No,"
she said matter-of-factly, "I am keeping it with all of your other stuff you
left at home."
going to get that when I've decided where I'm going to work."
father is always quiet, but says the most when he speaks. "Why don't we talk
about your future as we celebrate your graduation at Bar Meze?"
mouth instantly began to water. This was my favorite place to fill my belly while I filled my mind. The spices seemed to keep my interest
in the printed page aflame like the flame in my mouth. I look warily at my father. "You know I
love the food, but are you certain you two," I pointed at my parents, "are up
can't wait." A sly smile spread across my mother face. "Who was the
over-zealous admirer that got to you before we did?"
is some want-to-be seer named McGorable."
smile immediately fell from my father's face. "Do you mean McGonagall?"
is the one," I said, surprised, but my emotions changed to worry when I saw the
serious look on his face. "Do you know her?"
grandfather talked about her. They
went to school together, from what I hear. She was the only one to beat his scores in school."
almost jumped out of my skin as a voice over my shoulder interrupted my
father. "Actually, your
grandfather gave me a real run for my money when it came to being good in
grades. I was crushed to hear he
moved beyond our existence. The
world had lost a great mage that day."
father smiled sadly. It had been
almost thirty years since my grandfather died, but he never really mourned for
him. "Thank you," was all he said.
mother always the one to take charge. "I hear you are going to be entertaining
us while our son tells us of plans for the future?"
two women sized each other up. After a moment they mentally came to the same conclusion. It would be a stalemate if the two
women locked horns. "So he told
you about our dinner arrangements?" the headmistress continued with a smile.
all Apparated to the restaurant and got settled in. She and my parents started back and forth about me. As usual, I sat back and watched. I was not certain, considering all the
bad press, if I wanted to teach there. I listened intently as she reviewed what I knew the position would
entail. Once the formalities were
out of the way then I stepped in on my own behalf.
the sad loss of our headmaster, Mr. Blackwood..."
call me David."
she stated with a small smile, "would be taking over my position as the
Transfiguration proffesor. Depending on what house he is sorted in, he could
also take my duties as the Head of one of the houses."
I sheepishly interjected, "What are houses?"
yes, you are not familiar with our schooling organization. Hogwarts is grouped
into four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff,
and Slytherin." She spoke the last house like
it left a bad taste in her mouth. "You must be sorted into one of these houses.
The sorting ceremony has been kept a secret since the school was first started.
You won't know this guarded secret until it happens to you. Each house has their own part of the
school they call their own. They
have living quarters and a common area in which to socialize but especially to
study. There is a Head of House,
which is a position for a professor who is sorted into that house. This is also one of the reasons I am
looking to our David to call Hogwarts his home."
does sound like a great option for the future," I started skeptically, "but
after the attack on the school a few weeks ago, how can I ensure the safety of
the students and myself? Isn't it
true that you might not even open the school again?"
forced a smile on her face and I could have sworn she muttered something like,
"I knew I should have checked for beetles." She sighed. "After the attach on
Hogwarts there was a debate among the staff to close our doors. I was convinced not to stop a tradition
of over one thousand years just because one man, Tom Riddle, who will only be a
sentence in history. If we do, he will
already have won." She smiled
fully. "I only came to you because I see greatness in you. You would be a great
asset in our school. Not only will
you be able to step in and easily take over my vacated position, with your
degree in psychology specializing in panic disorders, you will be able to
counsel and help support the students during this time of unrest."
feel I would be a valuable asset to your school?" I said in awe. It seemed as though a breeze of fresh air
blew though the room. I felt needed. My parents beamed at me as my face flushed with embarrassment. "I am glad now I sought a dual degree."
my short life, David," McGonagall reminisced, "everything happens for a
started our negotiations in earnest. I was expecting at least 15,000 Galleons a year. Then she shocked me and exceeded my
requirements. I was given 18,000
Galleons, room and board, and full access to all herbs and supplies you will
need for teaching, without batting an eye. After nervously asking if this was
her lowest offer, she raised it to 20,000. Needless to say I was shocked.
was when it came to transportation I had to turn her down. Sure I could have had a new cleansweep
production model from her, but I was keeping my custom Harley Davidson Racing
broom. You know, the one that
Transfigures into a Harley Davidson Fat Boy.
is a one-of-a-kind broom. The
handle itself has a Holly Core for flexibility, covered in a brushed metal
cover. The tip I customized with a
steel skull. Harley Davidson is
etched across the cheek bone in smaller lettering. When you are really putting the broom to its paces, the eye
sockets glow. The twigs are made
from willow branches. You have to keep them moist, or they will lose their
flexibility and make you agility as tough as riding a clean sweep. They have a decent speed but a
cleansweep can't turn on a sickle. When chasing for the Quaffle or Snitch, and you have a guy close on your
heels... make a quick move and the willow braches act like a whip. Sure, I have had a few penalty shots
that were my fault, but it was all worth it. Nobody gets close to me on a broom and goes away
"All right Headmistress McGonagall..."
David," she kindly interrupted, "while not in front of the students, call me
I continued, "Minerva, when would you like me to start?"
not to over play her need, I said, "I would love for you to get sorted as soon
as possible and start immediately afterward."
looked to my parents; they were both beaming at the prospect of me finding a
position so quickly. "Would you be insulted if I went from here to my new
mother spoke for the both of them. "Not at all. Now we have an excuse to visit Stonehenge. Let us take our leave of you. David, would you walk us out, please?"
we exited to the oddly foggy day, my mother faced me with a serious look. "Are
you certain this is what you want?"
lips went to a thin line while I tried to think of the best answer. Yes, I wanted this, but there was
something more, and it came to me. "Yes, I do want this job," I started sincerely. "I am taking this job out of necessity
not desire. Everything happens for a reason."
mother smiled. "When did you get such insight?"
was raised by some great parents."
that my mother took me into a bone-crushing hug. As she held me, I could hear her voice waver with
emotion. "I know this is where you
are needed. Please be careful,
people are getting hurt all over right now."
back replying, "You raised me to take care of myself. I promise to be careful."
a watery smile, my mother gave my father and me room. As usual he hesitated for a moment, then gave me a manly
hug. You know, the one armed hug
with three swift slaps on the back. He pulled back but held on with to my shoulder. His face somber, he said, "My father
told me of this Sorting Hat. If at
all possible, don't let it put you in Slytherin."
a nervous voice I replied, "I'll try."
demeanor changed as he stepped back and took my mother's hand. "See you later,
son." With a small pop, they were
off on their own adventure.
I turned, Minerva was exiting the restaurant. "We must be on our way to Hogwarts. You have much to do before the train
arrives for the new school term."
will need my personal effects," I started.
have to give notice for my apartment."
to your apartment manager, you gave notice 60 days ago."
was racking my brain. I admit this was still a little scary, the idea of
starting so quickly. With a look
of triumph, I found my small reason. "My broom!"
your step, Mr. Blackwood."
call me... Whoa!" I stepped back to see what was in my way, and fell over my
cycle. Seems the head mistress had it placed there while I was saying my
goodbyes. Fortunately, the fall
took me by surprise, so I did not have time to grab hold of the gas tank and
pull the bike on top of me. My
calves caught on the bike as my body went over. Making my feet catapult into the air. My back landed with a thud on the
pavement. "Oof," was the only sound out of my mouth.
helped me to my feet. "Shall we get underway to Hogwarts?" she said, as she
proceeded to get on the back of my bike.
can meet you there if you want to Apparate."
stared at me shrewdly period. "And what, turn down an opportunity to ride one
of these American motorbikes?"
started to chuckle. "You could have sent this to Hogwarts too."
gave me an innocent smile as we ventured on our way. Even though the ride would have been much shorter flying we
drove to Hogwarts. The adventure
took most of the day stopping here and there for something to drink and to
relax. When we reach the gate to
Hogwarts I almost laughed when she turned and looked at me; it seemed she was
almost giddy. This did not seem to
be an emotion she showed often so I did not want to ruin the moment for her.
getting back on the cycle we rode slowly down the trail. When I first saw the castle I was in
complete awe. It was the biggest I had ever seen. Even my wildest dreams or the pictures had not prepared me
for the visual onslaught. This truly has to be appreciated with your own
as we got closer to the structure of my dreams, I was suddenly ripped out of my
seat. This huge mass that felt alive, a steel vice covered in flesh, gripped me
by my neck and shoulders. All I could
do was tug to no avail at the steel fingers that did not budge. The lack of oxygen made it impossible
for rational thought. The world
was closing in darkness around me. In the back of my mind I thought I could hear McGonagall yelling at
someone who must have been the owner of the elephant trap encased in skin. I was just about to pass out. This is
what I saw in the Pensieve later on.
I was riding with the headmistress on the back of my bike. The expression on my face was
priceless. Hagrid came out of his hut to see what was roaring up the
grounds. He took one look at me
and saw red. Completely ignoring
Minerva on the back of the cycle, he took a few strides and was on top of
us. He ripped me off the bike with
one hand. It was fortunate that
Minerva was not slow in her reactions, or I would have lost both the
headmistress and my bike in a spectacular wreck against the castle. Minerva quickly righted the bike and
ran back to Hagrid. He had me dangling from his outstretched arm.
she was close enough to see my eyes were rolling up into my socket from lack of
oxygen, her voice crack in panic, "Hagrid, put him down!"
roar like a lion came from the huge man's mouth period. "This is a Death
could see panic in her eyes while she could hear the muffled sound of bones
breaking in my body. I am so glad
I was not awake for this part. She
pleaded with Hagrid, "Put the man down. David is no Death Eater. Please, you are going to kill him."
landed with a sickening thud as Hagrid unceremoniously he dropped my limp
body. In a dangerous whisper, he
said, "I was only knocking him out so the Aurors can come and ship him to
Azkaban. Don't you see he looks like
a young Sirius Black? Even a bad
copy of his flying motorbike," he said, pointing over to my cycle.
was only half listening as she was checking for breath and pulse. Absently she replied, "David Blackwood,
who you see here, this morning graduated from Oxford University with his
doctoral. I have been with him all
say any spell to look like Sirius would have worn off by now. So when Dr.
Blackwood awakes, you will apologize." The huge man was now over come with guilt from his reactions. Minerva continued in a stern voice, "I
have immobilized his body so you can carry him to the hospital wing."
picked me up, like he was trying to carry feathers and not bend a single
barbule. As he headed toward the
hospital wing he said in earnest, "I am sorry, Professor McGonagall, when I saw
him he looked so much like him and after all that has happened with the attack
on the school we can't be too careful. When I saw this young man looking like Sirius, I thought he was trying
to do an impersonation to get to Harry."
a stern but soothing voice, McGonagall said, "I understand you looking out for
the safety of the school. There
are reasons he looks so much like our fallen friend." She was about to explain but they had reached the hospital
wing. That is where the Pensieve
came crashing down on me. My body
felt sore and stiff. I slowly
opened my eyes to a blinding white room. I found myself lying on a bed still in my clothes. Standing at the foot of the bed was
Headmistress McGonagall. On my
right was a nurse tending to me. I
was in a large room with many beds the same as mine. My eyes froze on the hulking mass standing at the door
wringing his hands. By the size of
the hands I assumed this was my attacker.
went to yell but it came out a small croak. "Look out! He is going to attack!"
my shock, as these words left my mouth, the great man crumbled. His massive hands covered his
face. His body started to shake to
the rhythm of his sobs. Even
though he was my attacker, I could tell he was truly sorry and hurt that I was
afraid of him.
slowly raised my hand to try to get his attention. My voice was now just gravelly and rough. "You were trying
to protect the school. I am going
to be okay."
nurse next to me piped up and said, "I thought your doctoral was in psychology,
not medicine. But, yes, you will
carefully sat up, still looking at the huge man crying. Speaking to the nurse, I said, "Is it
okay for me to move about the room?"
did not wait for her reply as I swung my legs from the bed and slowly made my
way over to the man. Grabbing a
hand towel from the end of one of the beds, I offered it to the man period. "My
name is David. What's yours?"
the man said, taking the towel and using it like I would a small hanky.
breakdown isn't about me, is it? It's the stress over last month."
did you know?" he replied comma, with shock stopping his crying abruptly.
I said, "I studied in school and read the papers. If I had spent that last month here, I would probably be
a calculating eye comma, Minerva watched, but did not intrude. "This is why we
invited you here. I would have to
say, you are going to be busy the rest of the year and end of term. Not to mention your classes." Turning to the nurse, she said, "Madam
Pomfrey, does he seem well enough to be sorted and take on his
how important his role at our school is, he is definitely ready," she said with
pride. Turning back to the now
moist-faced, but happy Hagrid, I said, "After I am sorted, do you want to go
was still beaming. "Thank you for the offer, but you already have somebody
needing you more than me."
did not have time to think about what he said as I was whisked away to what I
could surmise was the second floor. Who knows? With the size of
this castle and the crazy staircases, it could have been the seventh. Minerva stopped at a gargoyle. I was going to speak up when she
shouted, "Sherbet Lemon."
gargoyle came to life and jumped over to reveal a spiral staircase. We both started up the stairs when, to
my surprise, it started moving. It
stopped at the top of the stair, and we went in what I assumed was her office.
room was full of motion and noise. On the walls were portraits of older-looking wizards, which were
sleeping. There were tables filled
with odd spinning and chirping magical devices. On the far side was a huge ornate marble and oak desk with a
few comfy chairs in the front and a large overstuffed leather executive chair.
moved behind the desk and spoke to me with her back turned. "Please have a
seat, and we will have this finished in a jiffy." She turned, holding a tattered hat.
I said, "Really em-thank you, but I have my own hat for teaching. I do understand about the need to keep
with traditional dress as a professor"
Mr. Blackwood. This hat is how we sort you." She stated walking toward me. As she placed the hat on my head, she
said, "The experience is different for everyone. Relax and let it do the work."
brim fell around my eyes and the world went dark. It felt like a cool liquid flowed though my head. As it touched different parts of my
mind, I saw flashes of my life, both good and bad, my triumphs and
pitfalls. I also felt the emotions
and pains of life. I felt the
pride of stepping off the podium for graduation, and the butterflies and joy of
my first kiss.
revelry of the emotions was interrupted by a voice in my head, "Hello Mr.
Black... Blackwood. I know you don't
understand what me sorting has any effect on you as a teacher. Let me tell you how I work with what I
told my students two years ago."
won't bore you with what he sang. I was told it was a repeat from two years ago, urging the houses of Hogwarts to unite or they won't
survive. I felt little more
relaxed as the words swam in my head. I hoped I could help unite the houses. The liquid feeling returned, and the voice came back. "You
father told you, "Not Slytherin." Don't worry. You will not disappoint your father. You have the true bravery of
Gryffindor. You just need a place
to prove it. Gryffindor will be
the perfect place for you. So I
"Gryffindor!" To my shock, it spoke out loud. Minerva immediately took the hat from
my head and was smiling with a certain authority.
"You are now ready for your first task,
Mr. Blackwood," she stated, placing the hat back in its original resting place. "You are going to visit three students who have chosen not
to attend next year. The three
have the potential of being great wizards, but they need to realize that Hogwarts
is the safest and best place for their future."
are they and is there any information I can reference about them?" I replied
waved her wand, and three fat files flew into the room. "I will give you their location in a
moment. Their names are Hermione
Granger, Ronald Weasley, and Harry Potter." After taking the files, I realized she said location. "Why
are they at the same location?"
is best if you talk to them about their living conditions."
stood and started for the door. "Is this a test to see how well I will do as a new professor?"
ask you because you are an outsider. Sometimes bringing in a fresh perspective will help shed light on a
reached the door when I remembered. "Where am I going?"
wrote on a scrap of paper and brought it to me. "There is not a Fidelius Charm on the home, but we tried to
keep it a secret for Harry's protection."
my broom, and a few private files, I was on my way to my first real assignment
as a new teacher and therapist. I
hope I will have the wisdom to know what is the best action to take.