Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I'm just playing with someone else's toys. May I be forgiven in my next incarnation... (and what you do not recognize is mine, such as the MOSSes -Ministry Officers of State Security). Flamers will be adopted by my family (if you don't believe it's a threat... too bad for you!).
Note: Parseltongue is noted like that: //----//
Readers: Mikee and Stephanie. Thanks a lot! The remaining mistakes are all mine, and I apologize for those.
Chapter Twenty-Seven - The New Headmaster
When they come inside the Great Hall, all their friends are practically silent.
Albus's death was so sudden, the ceremony so moving, that they can find no word to express what they feel.
It's all too soon.
Matthew is holding Sarina and Harold's hands, and the three of them are crying, but those who didn't go to the gates to Disapparate back to their homes think that it's rather normal. Albus was not a relative by blood, but everybody knows that the old wizard was like a grandfather for the twins, and since Severus has adopted Matthew, the young wizard had been welcomed into that unusual family. Seeing them cry for their loss is not surprising.
When they see Harry and Severus enter the room, holding each other, they all know that something bad must be going on. Everybody knows that the Potter-Snapes do not demonstrate their affection in public. This is more significant than Jules coming into the room in his bonded's arms while Remus has to hold Arthur Weasley at the same time. The Minister for Magic is completely overwhelmed by the death of Minerva, and he is dreadfully pale.
Draco and Ginny Malfoy run to Harold and Sarina.
'Nana is gone,' Harold says.
The witches and wizards present simply freeze.
Jules somehow feels that it is his duty to confirm the sad news, and more tears are spilled.
Molly seeks refuge in her husband's embrace, and the various couples and clusters comfort one another as best as they can.
Jules's words as a priest fail to comfort them, and it's Harry sharing Albus's own words which brings back some light into this gloomy day.
They're all sad that Minerva has left them, but they understand that this world must have seemed too dull to the witch without the one she loved so much.
They find her decision romantic - if a bit selfish.
The first to recover is the Minister for Magic. Arthur Weasley is in charge of the Educational system, and after having lost the Headmaster of Hogwarts, they now find themselves without the Deputy Headmistress, who was the Head of Gryffindor as well.
Arthur looks around him, still patting Molly's back and whispering gentle words in her ear.
The Minister finally makes a decision. He pecks his wife's brow and signals Charlie to take her in his arms. Charlie leaves Ron and Hermione's embrace and holds his mother tenderly.
Molly sniffs loudly, wondering what her husband is doing.
Arthur walks to Jules and Remus.
'I know that we are all still in shock, but I need to find a replacement for Minerva, and I'd like you to consider accepting her positions, Remus,' Arthur says.
Remus looks at the Minister and blinks. He can't believe that he's just been asked to come back to Hogwarts as Transfiguration teacher, Deputy Headmaster and Head of Gryffindor. This is a nightmare and a dream wrapped together in some weird twist.
Arthur places one hand on Remus's arms and goes on, 'I know that all this is rather sudden, but you are competent to fill those positions, you are a former Gryffindor, and I trust you. I need to name someone rather fast. Since your bonded is the new Headmaster, you are my best option, and I'd like you to give this a thought. I would appreciate it if you could owl me your decision in no more than three days.'
Jules buries his nose in Remus's neck, and Remus just nods.
Hagrid wails something that somehow sounds like he's reproaching Arthur with being cold-hearted, because they've just lost Minerva and he's ready to replace her without a second thought.
Draco comes to his father-in-law's rescue. He walks to the half-giant, takes one huge finger in his hand and undertakes to show Hagrid that Arthur has no choice, that he is a very good politician and that, unlike Fudge, he is efficient.
Arthur nods to thank Draco.
'Will you consider my proposal?' Arthur insists, turning again towards Remus.
'Yes, Arthur, but I must admit that it might be strange to accept your offer,' Remus confesses.
'Since Jules agreed to become the new headmaster, it would be logical, considering the recent and unfortunate circumstances, to offer the Deputy Headmastership to his bonded,' Ginny says.
'Besides, you are highly competent, Remus,' Hermione encourages him.
Remus blushes slightly.
'What's bothering you?' Severus asks.
'It's silly, but I wonder if it'd be such a good idea for us to work together,' Remus admits, looking pointedly at his shoes.
'There's nothing to fear!' Harry exclaims.
Remus looks at his godson, expecting some additional explanation.
'Jules would be in his office, but you'd be in your classroom, or with us. You would just be in the same building. Honestly, I do not think that this would endanger your relationship,' Harry explains.
Remus looks at Harry, and then turns to Jules.
'What do you think, Love?' Remus asks.
Jules shrugs and declares, 'I do not fear for us. If you want to accept the position, I will be happy to work with you by my side.'
Remus turns towards Arthur and is about to tell the Minister that he might accept his offer when he notices that Liz has been remarkably silent throughout the exchange. Jules notices where his bonded is looking.
When Jules and Remus had talked about moving into Hogsmeade, so that it would not take Jules too long to Floo at night to kiss their son goodnight, and to bring Remus back to Hogwarts with him for the night, Liz had reluctantly agreed. She loved to see her son grow up, but she loved the life she'd had when they were living in town.
If Remus becomes the new Head of Gryffindor, she knows that they will all have to live in Hogwarts, and she's not too thrilled about that.
'That's silly,' Sarina says.
They all turn towards the Potter-Snape twins.
Harold looks at the young witch and says, 'If you come to live here, you can get around-the-clock sitters for free, and you can do as you please and go out without wondering if something bad might happen to Hadrian.'
The twins can really do magic beyond the magic she's been taught.
She looks at Jules and Remus and shrugs to show that she won't mind whatever the Headmaster and his bonded decide to do.
Jules knows that Remus likes his current job, but that being a teacher was one of his best experiences. After Jules agreed to become the Headmaster, Remus had pointed out that Jules would be able to keep an eye on their little Hadrian when he goes to Hogwarts. Jules presses Remus's hand, and Remus walks to one corner of the Great Hall to have a chat with Arthur.
'This is so sudden, Arthur,' Remus says.
'I never thought I would have to find someone to replace Albus so soon, and yet...' Arthur's voice trails off. The Minister shakes his head and goes on, 'I'm not cold-hearted, Remus, but it is my duty to make sure that our children are well taken care of.'
Remus looks at Arthur, who's about to cry, and he declares, 'Minerva will always be in our hearts. I know that I'll mourn her for a very long time, but if you find me worthy and you need my help, I accept the position.'
'Positions,' Arthur corrects him, just before his tears start rolling down his cheeks.
Remus takes Arthur in his arms, nods and cries too.
To those present, it is clear that Remus will be the next Deputy Headmaster.
When Severus looks at Jules to check how his best friend is faring, Jules uses a code between them and signals Severus that he must have a word with him.
The Potions master notices that Harry has spotted what Jules just did, and Harry sends his bonded to their new Head. Whatever Jules has to say will be shared later in their Oxonian home.
Jules starts to walk towards the staff table, but he reconsiders and goes to the Slytherin table.
Severus wonders if Jules isn't overwhelmed by what happened at the end of the ceremony.
Severus sits down next to Jules.
'How do you feel?' Severus asks.
'I'm too numb to collapse, and I guess that I won't have time to fully realize what happened before some months.' Jules pauses and takes Severus's hand.
It is a gesture that the priest has seldom done in public, so Severus's seriously wonders if Jules is not about to be overwhelmed.
Severus takes Jules's hand and asks, 'What's wrong?'
'When I saw that Minerva had left us...'
'Jules!' Severus practically growls.
They may be friends, they may have lost two role-models in a few days, but Severus is not willing to be that patient - not even with Jules.
'Did you see what Sarina did?'
Severus shakes his head.
'Severus, I know what she is,' Jules explains.
He tells her father what he's discovered, and Severus gasps, then he looks at his beloved daughter, and at Harry. Severus finally remembers that his son might have been given the same gift and calling.
'Harold?' he says.
Jules shakes his head and says, 'I don't think so. He's never shown any of the signs.'
'I'll have to share that piece of information with Harry,' Severus murmurs.
'Yes, but I advise you to keep that secret.'
Severus glares, and lectures Jules, who ends up hugging his friend to thank him for cheering him a bit.
The two Slytherins go back to their Gryffindor companions.
Except Arthur, who decides to go straight to the Ministry to have all the parchments he needs for Remus to be given Minerva's positions ready, and Molly, who wants to go back to her home and cry into a huge glass of whiskey, most of the witches and wizards walk back to the gates and go back to their respective homes.
Most of the young parents had accepted Matthew Templeton-Snape's offer to use his house-elves to baby-sit their children, and they all go back with him to Templeton Hall before even the patient elves become mad.
The four Potter-Snapes say goodbye to Matthew and encourage him to come and spend the night with them in Oxford. Osiris simply nods, and Harry is happy that their elder son and his girlfriend will be with them after they finished work.
Jules knows that he should begin to settle down in Hogwarts, but he can't bring himself to go to the Headmaster's office so soon, and he goes back home with Remus, while Liz Floo'es to Templeton Hall to fetch Hadrian.
The Magical Times and its team are the first to announce to the entire wizarding community the loss they've just experienced. A huge part of their evening publication is devoted to Albus and Minerva, whose obituary was written by Matthew himself and made the entire team cry anew.
Matthew and Osiris Floo into the parlour, and Câly calls them from the kitchen.
'We thought you'd all be eating by now,' Matthew comments.
'It's pretty late,' Osiris adds.
'Yes, but when they came back, they told me that you would come, so I went to the guest-room and the house changed again. Severus and Harry are more upset than they'll ever admit to being, and the babies are silent,' the elf explains.
'What happened?' wonders Osiris.
'Mistress Minerva's possessions have disappeared from the room she occupied. We feared there might have been a theft, but it's only the last spell she did before leaving the house. Harry has been able to assess that she sent her bag back to Albus's house in Hogsmeade. She's left some things here, alongside with her testament,' the elf says.
Both Matthew and Osiris are silent. They fear that they might start crying if they open their mouths. They just nod.
Câly tells them to go down into the garden where their family is waiting for them under the cherry-tree.
Matthew crouches and pecks Câly's cheek.
'The twins aren't babies, you know,' he whispers in her ear.
She caresses his cheek and says, 'Severus, Harry, you, Sarina and Harold are my babies. You'll always be my babies.' A single tear rolls down Matthew's cheek, and Câly wipes it with her thin fingers. 'Now, go to the garden, I'll bring your dinner momentarily.'
The young couple obeys, and Severus and Harry share with them what Minerva did.
They understand that she only waited for the ceremony so she could place all her memories of Albus in his gravestone. If she had not been so surprised to find that he had left for another plane, she might have followed him straight away.
She had told them that Albus had left her everything in his testament.
When they came back, they read how she has divided her properties between her three grandchildren.
Matthew is just too moved to read Minerva's testament, so it's Osiris who reads it aloud to her boyfriend.
Since Matthew already has Templeton Hall, Minerva gives the Hogsmeade house to Sarina, and her Scottish house goes to Harold. The contents of both their Gringott's vaults are divided into three, and she added a list of books, objects and pieces of jewellery she gives to friends.
When Osiris reads what Minerva gives her, she starts sobbing.
Sarina invades her almost sister's lap and says, 'She was very happy with Albus and she wants you to have her Claddagh. It holds a blessing.'
Propriety be damned, Matthew is so moved that he does exactly what he feels like doing and seeks refuge on Severus's lap in his turn.
Câly brings their dinner and orders them to eat, because Albus and Minerva would be very disappointed if they saw them so miserable.
'They've had very full lives. They had plenty of love. They went on towards something else,' Câly reminds them.
'We need time to adapt to the void their departure left in our hearts and souls,' Sarina declares.
They finally share their dinner, and Harry notices that there is something new in Severus's eyes when he looks at their daughter.
Since the house reorganized its rooms so that the guest-room would be different and not exactly in the same place, Matthew and Osiris don't associate it with their dear Minerva, and they stay for the night.
Severus and Harry put the twins to bed, wish goodnight to their elder son and his girlfriend, and they retire to their own room.
They've just finished undressing without magic, when they hear a knock on the door - Matthew and Osiris's door. They don't say a word, but near their own door naked, and listen intently to what their children say.
'Can we sleep with you?' Harold asks.
'Don't you want to be with Dād and Dad?' Matthew wonders.
'No,' Sarina answers.
Severus and Harry can practically hear Matthew blink.
Five seconds later, the guestroom door closes.
Harry easily imagines that spending the night with his younger siblings between him and Osiris was not exactly what Matthew had in mind when he accepted their invitation to Oxford.
'They're going to sleep, and this is exactly what they all need,' Severus comments. 'Besides...'
His voice trails off.
'What did Jules tell you that bothers you so much, Darling? And what does it have to do with Sarina?' Harry asks.
Severus holds out his hand. If he's got to share that unusual piece of information with Harry, he wants to be settled in their comfortable bed.
Harry follows him without protest.
Tenderly holding Harry, Severus shares with him what Jules revealed during the wake.
'Yes , my Love?'
'I... This is very weird, but I think that Albus knew what she is,' Harry says.
Severus chuckles. 'You might be right.'
'She's always known, and Harold knows as well,' Severus whispers against Harry's cheek.
'Yet, Jules said that he's not one as well.'
Severus shakes his head.
'Sometimes, he seems more powerful than Sarina. He's the one who's a natural Animagus,' Harry adds.
'They're powerful, but they're very young. I think that they're going to make our lives extremely rich.'
'Just like Albus and Minerva illuminated our lives,' Harry whispers.
Severus sighs. 'They had good lives. They had love.'
'Do you know that you are the one who told me that they were together? I had never suspected anything - like most of my fellows, except maybe Hermione. I swear that she's the incarnation of Sherlock Holmes!'
'Of course I know!' Severus chuckles. 'How could I ever forget that look on your face when I told you that they were living together, and not only because we were invading Albus's summer house!'
'You had just stopped smoking. You made me pay for your own frustrations, right?'
Severus nods. 'I'm sorry, Darling.'
'They never linked their fate officially, and yet I know that their bond was as strong as ours.'
'Marriage and commitment are two very different things,' Severus declares.
Harry turns around slightly, and drowns in Severus's eyes. At the same time, he brushes his wedding band against Severus's, and both gasp.
Harry puts a special spell on their room, which allows them not to be heard from their children in the room next door, but would allow them to hear them knock on their own door, or scream if they have nightmares.
One look at his husband, and Harry pounces on his adored Severus.
Harry holds his wedding band against Severus's and Harry purrs.
Severus spreads his legs and Harry settles there.
Harry summons their potions and their toys, while Severus fastens his hair with a black ribbon - even if he's right now on his back under his husband, who knows in which position they're going to end?
Harry looks at the selection he can choose from.
The Taste Giver is always one of Harry's favourites - maybe because Severus introduced him to that wonderful potion the first time they made love - so he puts one drop on Severus's torso, says the spell that will make the potion efficient on all his lover's body and whispers Severus's favourite taste. Lime never fails to remind Severus of one of their very first kisses.
Harry casts an Endurance spell on them both, tickles Severus's navel while he considers what he wants to do next, and then he knows.
He just knows which spells he wants to cast next.
Harry's eager grin makes Severus chuckle.
Harry casts a Lubrication spell on himself, and his lover guesses that Harry wants to ride him, but this is not all Harry has in mind.
Harry takes a phial of lubricant and he prepares Severus excruciatingly slowly. He manages to reduce Severus to a quivering body speaking in tongues, but Harry knows that the Endurance spell allows him such a delicious torture.
Harry finally coats his own shaft and enters Severus who gasps and shivers.
Harry whispers another spell and withdraws. Severus's eyes have approximately saucers proportions, because the spell Harry is using will give Severus and Harry the feeling that Harry still is buried in Severus and is making love to him.
Harry is moaning with pleasure when he kisses Severus, just before positioning himself above Severus's shaft and impaling himself on his husband.
They are both taking and taken by each other.
They both reach orgasm a first time when Severus manages to snake one hand between their bodies, and he wanks Harry. Harry can feel the effect of the spell as if he were inside Severus and Severus's hand pumping him in harmony with his own movements up and down. Harry didn't know that he might feel Severus's touch in addition, and he climaxes with a splendid yell and clenches around Severus's shaft, which pushes him over the edge within seconds.
When they come to their senses, the Endurance spell is still working, and they're still hard, so Harry resumes his riding.
Harry leans towards Severus and they both like the sensation that Harry's prick trapped between their bodies elicits in them. Harry snakes his hands under Severus and manages to squeeze Severus's buttocks.
Severus retaliates by placing his thumbs on Harry's nipples and massaging the little buds.
Severus licks his dry lips. Harry's tongue dives in his mouth and they swallow their respective shout when they climax again.
Entangled and still as hard as rocks, Severus rolls on top of Harry and pounds in and out of his lover.
Harry has closed his eyes and he encourages Severus to take him faster, harder, and he's only too happy to comply. Severus freezes when Harry resumes his kneading of Severus's buttocks because it somehow enhances the spell and Severus has the feeling that he's got one Harry under him, and another trying to screw him through their mattress.
Harry understands what's going on, and wraps his legs around Severus's waist and places his feet on Severus's buttocks.
They're both too overwhelmed by their lovemaking to comment on their respective teasing.
Harry wraps himself around Severus, and Severus frantically pounds to and fro.
Even the best Endurance spell has its limits, and they spill in or on each other the few drops of seed they have left after such a session.
Severus slips out of Harry and whispers, 'Merlin bless Quidditch.'
They clasp hands, and the magic in their wedding bands purely makes them swoon, and they collapse in each other's arms feeling the depth and strength of their love.
In the morning, they're all having a late breakfast when the Synons come to check how they are after Albus's funeral.
Instantly, all the Potter-Snapes feel awfully guilty because they completely forgot to tell their dear neighbours what happened to Minerva.
The Synons had become quite fond of the elder witch, they know that Thomas and David will take the news reasonably well, but not Susan, and the Potter-Snapes tell them as gently as they can.
Câly brings some more cups and another teapot, and the Synons chat with them.
'Isn't it, James?' Susan asks, pointing one finger towards a little blond boy who's hugging Sarina.
Severus and Harry just nod and rise from their chairs.
'Qu'est-ce que tu fais là(1) ?' Sarina asks.
//I missed you// James Malfoy answers.
'Do your parents know that you're here?' Severus asks.
James blushes and shakes his head.
'I'll go and Floo Ginny before she sends the Aurors,' Harry declares.
'James is a Parselmouth, and Sarina speaks French,' David comments.
'Evidemment(2),' Harold giggles.
Even when the Malfoys Floo in with the little Elinor, and with Liz and Hadrian in tow, they are all surprised to see that James and Sarina keep chatting in the two foreign languages that they're not exactly supposed to know.
'James!' Ginny exclaims as she gives Elinor to Draco and stoops to her son.
'Mama?' the young boy says.
'When you go out, just warn me so I won't be afraid, all right?' she says.
'Promise?' Draco adds.
Câly pops into the garden to announce that she can cook a light lunch for everybody within a half hour, and they all gladly accept, with the exception of Liz who means to leave. She was at the Malfoys because Ginny has agreed to take care of Hadrian while she goes to London. Remus and Jules have started emptying their house, and Liz is not too comfortable with that latest twist in her life. Ginny knows that Liz only needs some time to breathe.
The Potter-Snapes coax Liz into accepting their invitation to lunch before she goes to London.
'I hear you need energy to shop,' David intervenes, as he takes Hadrian from her arms.
She had briefly met Susan, but she had never seen the male Synons, and it's Hadrian, giggling in the arms of that virtual stranger who convinces her to stay.
They all settle down and chat pleasantly.
At one point, Liz says that she's surprised to see Muggles react so well to magic. Susan asks her why, and for the first time, Liz tells what happened between her and the biological father of Hadrian.
'He would have been perfect for my ex-fiancée,' David bitterly whispers.
Liz doesn't need to ask what happened to David, she recognizes the bitterness in his voice.
She wonders how he's so gifted with her son, and he tells her that he's the Muggle sitter of Harold and Sarina.
Between dessert and cheese, David finally announces that he's going to keep working with his uncle, but that he also plans to become a deacon.
Severus chuckles and says, 'You always were in the cathedral. I remember that day when you escaped Susan's watch and I found you sitting before the altar!'
'What gave you the idea to look for me there?' David wonders.
'Location charm,' Severus simply says.
Liz tells David how that works, and he explains what he's planning to do.
The twins and James look fondly at Liz and David. Sarina even looks at Susan and winks.
Merlin knows what is going to come out of their chat.
'Are you going back to France?' Harry asks Draco.
'Not this year,' the blond simply says.
'Why?' Severus wonders.
The Malfoys have to fight with Fred and George each year so that they can spend their holidays in the Provencal villa where they initially hid their love. Even if they had to come back for Albus's funeral, they could go back and rest there.
Draco's cheeks turn pink, and he says, 'I don't want to tire Ginny with another trip.'
It can mean only one thing.
'Ginny?' Harry purrs, grinning from ear to ear.
Her cheeks become redder than the cherries in the tree, but she nods happily. 'Before you ask, Severus, this is not the result of a competition between Hermione and me!'
Severus blinks and laughs.
'Excellent, Ginny! You're really a Slytherin by proxy!' Severus says.
When David asks if she's all right and why Draco doesn't want them to go back to Provence, Ginny explains that her husband began to fuss about her the minute they discovered that she was pregnant again. Draco shrugs and blushes, but they understand that he hasn't forgotten that dreadful day when he nearly lost his dear wife, and they all smile kindly.
Finally, Liz no longer feels the urge to flee to London, and she spends the afternoon visiting Oxford with Susan, who falls in love with Hadrian.
The Malfoys are still technically on holidays, so they stay with the Potter-Snapes.
Matthew and Osiris receive a Floo call from Templeton Hall, and they go back to their newspaper to check the evening edition before it's printed and delivered.
Elinor naps in her father's arms, and Câly coaxes the twins and James into their beds with the promise of ice creams at tea-time.
Draco has his daughter and wife in his arms, and with just his friends around, Harry invades Severus's lap.
With a strangled voice, Harry murmurs, 'No more dressing gowns from Albus.'
Forgetting the Malfoys, Severus buries his face in Harry's neck, and just holds his lover.
Some days after the funerals, Jules begins to be able to spend long periods of time in the Headmaster's office without feeling like an invader.
Things are easier for Remus, because he's had the opportunity to claim the office he had when he taught DADA, and the quarters that the castle gave Jules, Remus, Liz and Hadrian are far from those that were occupied by Albus and Minerva.
Jules tends to drown in his new work to forget that he feels like an ungrateful intruder, and that he should not be doing that, that Albus should be the one writing those reports for Arthur and planning the first staff meeting.
Jules enter the office, tears shining in his eyes as he reads Albus's recommendations on one of the school's parchments.
'Don't be so sad, my child,' the portrait of Albus says.
Jules is so surprised that he practically jumps out of his skin and sends the parchments flying everywhere around him.
No one warned him that the portrait of Albus would be delivered that day. He looks at his mentor, and all his training as a priest is not enough to prevent him from cracking.
Jules looks at the portrait, cries, crumples, and pounds on the floor with his clenched fists.
Sarina Apparates just in front of him(3). She pecks his cheek and leaves, but even her visit cannot make him less sad.
He doesn't know how long he's been crying on the floor of his office when two strong arms help him up. He's certain that it's Remus, and he leans against the man who's piloting him towards a sofa near Fawkes's perch.
'I don't want to do Albus's job,' Jules confesses.
'He's gone. You are a most excellent choice, Sir,' Nicolai Vlad says.
Jules jumps in Niki's arms.
'You thought it was your husband,' Niki states.
Jules dries his last tears with his sleeve and nods.
'We all have to go on without them, Sir. You can count on me if you need help with anything,' Niki offers.
'For Merlin's sake! I'm the one who performed your marriage, use my name, or I'm going to feel more uncomfortable than I already am!'
Niki agrees with a single nod.
'You're going to be all right, my boys,' the portrait of Albus says.
'Why did you have to leave us all so soon?' complains Jules.
'Did it never occur to you that it was meant to happen that way for very good reasons? Now if you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I'll go and visit the other frames and introduce myself from this side of the painting,' Albus says, and he disappears.
'For very good reasons?' Jules murmurs.
'Good gracious, Jules! Are you sure you're a priest?' Niki teases him.
Jules can read in the Muggle Studies teacher's eyes that he misses Albus, too, but that he's determined to see what is going to happen next in the adventure called life.
Jules holds Nicolai and casts one of the Soothing spells he's been taught during his priesthood training.
Niki sighs with relief, and Jules thinks that he'll ask Remus to cheer him up horizontally - it's been entirely too long since they shared each other. It's time to go on in this life.
One step at a time, they all learn to live in a world deprived of Minerva and Albus.
For their birthdays, Severus and Harry get new fuchsia dressing gowns. Albus has chosen colours and paid Madam Malkins so that they'll get their yearly surprise for another century, or two. That makes them cry and laugh at the same time.
The first staff meeting is strange.
The Sorting ceremony is rather weird, because the Hat finds a way to welcome Jules and Remus and to say goodbye to Albus and Minerva.
Remus could not bring himself to supervise the Sorting alone, so Severus is seconding him and has agreed to read the names of the first-years.
The staff knows that it will always be strange for them to have a Sorting without Minerva and Albus, but for the students, it will last only until the ones who were first-years when Jules came to Hogwarts become seventh-years. It's not a question of comparison, but Albus was deeply loved and they all miss him, and Minerva.
The same feeling is somehow still there after three years.
The staff is remarkably stable, and there is nothing to note, except the one liberty that the castle took: Sarina and Harold have been granted their own seats at the Slytherin table.
Another year begins, and on the first day of school, a single owl finds its way to the Great Hall during lunch. It happily brings a pleasant surprise from the Weasley twins.
To Be Continued...
1. What are you doing here?
2. Of course.
3. You read that well. There's no mistake... *Slyth grin*
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