Chapter 32 - How Much Trouble Can First Years Be?

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They looked so small; that was Harry's overriding impression of the group of first years waiting for him near the broom sheds. At the sorting feast they had appeared young and over-awed, but up close all he could think was how small they were. It made him feel suddenly old.

[They look like they might break at any second,] he commented to Draco as he bolstered his courage and walked towards his first class.

[Wait until they start flying into walls and blowing things up,] his soulmate replied dryly, [then they won't seem so delicate.]

[How much trouble can they possibly be in their first lesson?] Harry replied with a laugh.

He had been feeling nervous all morning as had Draco, but his lover had been hiding it well behind snide comments and indignant silences. Now was a moment for a silence, but Harry found a mental image of 'the look' being projected into his mind. Draco had perfected 'the look' to say everything from 'Harry' in a disbelieving tone, to 'you idiotic Gryffindor prat' in a very cutting manner; this time he suspected his soulmate was aiming for somewhere in the middle.

[You have Gryffindors and Slytherins,] Draco said eventually, [because as usual Albus decided to have a senior moment when drawing up the timetable. Remember our first flying lesson.]

It was difficult to forget the whole swooping after the Remeberall, being dragged off by Professor McGonagall while thinking he was being expelled and then ending up on the Quidditch team. Possibly Draco had a point.

[Well you have Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs,] Harry tried to look on the bright side, [so it's unlikely they'll blow anything up in their first lesson.]

That earned him another mental image of the look.

[Over eager brain boxes and bumbling idiots,] Draco responded much more quickly this time, [I'll be lucky to survive half an hour.]

[You're doing a very good impression of Snape,] Harry said with a laugh.

[Thank you,] his soulmate replied, which made him laugh again.

He suddenly realised that he was almost at the broom sheds and their professor laughing at apparently nothing might be a bit unsettling for the first years, so he reigned in his amusement. Being labelled as a nutty teacher on his first day was not an idea Harry relished.

[Gotta go,] he said cheerfully, [wish me luck.]

[Hah, I need all the luck I can find on my side, get your own,] Draco replied, but the words were accompanied by a warm mental hug, which Harry quickly returned.

Putting his connection to his soulmate to a background level, he focussed on his class and gave them a cheerful smile.

"Good morning," he greeted warmly, "I do hope you are all ready to fly."

He was met by several smiles in return, a handful of nervous grimaces and a few hostile glares from a small sub-group of Slytherins.

"I suspect most of you know who I am," he continued chattily, "but to clarify, here I am Professor Potter ..."

"Assistant Professor," he distinctly heard muttered from the back.

Quite deliberately he stopped, turned in the direction of the sub-group of Slytherins and gave them Draco glare number five. It was nowhere near as affective as 'the look', but he had only been taking lessons from his soulmate for a year and Draco had had a life time to practice these things.

"As far as you are concerned, that is neither here nor there," he said in a disarmingly pleasant tone, "and next time I hear anything like that from any of you, Slytherin will be in negative house points before you have finished the last syllable."

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