Chapter 2

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Harry was sorely tempted to take the Hogwarts Express.

Well, he didn't actually want to spend hours on a stuffy train with no one he knew and a bunch of gawking children, but he was taken in by the idea of doing things just like old times. In the end, it was silly nostalgia come years too late. He Apparated from Grimmauld Place (which he had managed to clear out a bit more in the past year, although it was still admittedly rather forbidding) straight into Hogsmeade, and walked up to the castle.

The other advantage of not taking the train was that he had a few hours to put away his things and set up his office and classroom. And maybe discuss a truce with Draco Malfoy. If he wasn't being a prick.

The headmistress met him in the entranceway.

"Professor Potter, how lovely to have you back in the castle. I trust you remember where the Defence classroom is?"

"Thank you headmistress, it's nice to see you as well. I remember where the room is." Harry spoke stiffly and politely out of nervousness.

"You may call me Minerva now Harry, you are, after all, a part of the staff." Her eyes twinkled as she spoke. "Shall I show you to your living quarters?"

Harry followed along behind her up to the sixth floor where there was an ornate pillar, covered in marble vines in abstract swirls.

"For now the password is 'bowtruckle'; you may change it whenever you like. I trust that you would like to get settled in now?"

"Yes, Hea— Minerva. Thank you."

The headmistress smiled. "The feast will begin at six thirty. You may do as you wish until then."

Harry gave the password and entered his quarters, looking around. It was small, but at least he had a space of his own. There was a front room of sorts with a worn looking sofa and a table, and space for little else. He moved into his bedroom, which housed a four poster much like his old one in Gryffindor tower, except the bedclothes and hangings were all a gentle dove grey rather than red.

He flopped down on it. His room would do — it wasn't like he was going to need it for anything more than sleeping anyway. From his spot on the bed he could see a cramped bathroom through a doorway to his right. Again, it would do. He thought he really ought to start putting his things away and go down to set up his classroom, but putting things off was always so much easier. He rolled over onto his stomach, but groaned and got up when his trunk stabbed him in the ribs.

"Fine," he said aloud exasperatedly, as he pulled the shrunken object from his coat pocket and restored it to its normal size. He had had Hermione put an undetectable extension charm on it, and had proceeded to throw everything haphazardly in. Unfortunately, he was now realising that might not have been the best idea, as he had to now get everything out and put them in their proper places.

Harry spent the better part of two hours taking everything out of his trunk and sorting it into piles around the room by type of item, and then putting them away. The stuff for his classroom and office he put back in the trunk (in carefully separated piles).

Finally satisfied with his organisation, he shrunk the trunk down again, just enough so he could comfortably carry it in his arms, and headed out the door. Harry had just turned onto the fourth floor corridor from the stairs when someone knocked into him from behind. He managed to stop himself from actually falling, but he heard all of his books and dark detectors jumbling together. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply to compose himself.

"I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going— Potter?"

Harry turned around. Of course it was Draco bloody Malfoy who'd messed up his painstaking organisation. The git probably did it on purpose somehow. Harry so badly wanted to sneer at the blonde's uncharacteristically disheveled face; he looked like an idiot standing there with an open book askew in his hand, and Harry really wanted to take a jab at him, but he remembered Hermione's lecture. Still, he couldn't quite keep the edge from his voice when he responded.

"Malfoy, no need to sound so surprised. I'm sure you knew I was joining the staff this year too. What are you doing on the fourth floor?"

"Don't worry Golden Boy, I'm not up to any nefarious plots — you don't have to keep an eye on me."

"Don't call me that! And I didn't think you were up to anything, I was just wondering why you were up here in my way, messing up my things, when your classroom and everything is in the dungeons," Harry responded hotly. Hermione's way might have seemed good in theory, but Malfoy was just such a snarky bastard!

"Oh, my apologies. I wouldn't want to get in the way of the Chosen One, and mess up his 'things'," he put up air quotes. "I was just going to see Poppy about the potions she had spoken to me about earlier."

"I told you not to call me those things!"

"What, precious Potter doesn't like his titles? He wants to be just like everyone else?" Draco asked mockingly.

Harry put down his trunk and jumped at Draco, trying to wrestle him to the floor.

"I. Said. Don't. Call. Me. That!"


Minerva McGonagall had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and towered above them.

"Gentlemen, I am disappointed in you. You are both professors, and you are expected to conduct yourselves appropriately at all times. I had hoped you would be able to put your childish rivalry behind you on your own, but it appears not."

She looked down her nose at them.

"From this point on, I expect you to act civil in each other's company. There will be no more fighting, verbal or physical. You are expected to call each other by your given names and not to antagonise each other. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Yes headmistress."

She nodded briskly, and swept away down the corridor.

Harry got up and straightened his glasses, carding a hand through his hair.

"Look, Malfoy, do you want to call a truce?"

"Well she made it pretty clear that we have to be civil to each other regardless," Draco replied snarkily.

Harry glared at him.

"Fine," Draco relented, and held out his hand. "And it's Draco."

Harry shook his hand.

"I assume this truce is simply a pledge to stop antagonising each other...Harry?"

"Um, yeah, I guess. I'll see you around...Draco."

He turned and picked up his trunk, cradling it to his body as he walked toward his classroom. The poor thing probably had about ten broken items in it now.

Draco sat on the bottom of the stairs, frantically flipping pages to find his place. When he finally found it, he got up and continued reading on his way to the hospital wing.

Harry looked back as he opened the classroom door and snorted when he saw what Draco was doing. The git just did not learn.

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