The Dark Arts
Harry Potter
Wizarding Society
Harry and Classmates Post-Hogwarts
Deadly Hallows (Through Ch. 36)
Published: 12/06/2008
Updated: 12/06/2008
Words: 2,009
Chapters: 1
Hits: 313


Betelgeuse Black

Story Summary:
Harry gets fed up with the Auror Office and goes back to Hogwarts to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts instead.


After the defeat of Voldemort, everyone agreed that Harry should become an Auror, and the usual academic requirements were waived. There was also a consensus that he had already had enough training, and that that could be waived as well. But Harry was less happy in the Auror office than he expected. Even with Kingsley as Minister of Magic, there were obstacles to the type of enlightened progress that the surviving members of the Order of the Phoenix were hoping to see. An effort to end employment discrimination against werewolves was delayed by a renewed fear of them stirred up by the recent ravages of Fenrir Greyback. But what grieved Harry most was the Ministry's decision to continue using dementors to guard Azkaban. He considered it a contradiction for good wizards to imprison people under conditions that drove them insane, but there was so much fear both of the prisoners and of what else the dementors might do if they weren't under the control of the Ministry that even Kingsley said his hands were tied. Harry found out that in spite of his hero status and everything he had done, some of his elders still regarded him as a rather naive young person, especially when he said that the way to keep dementors under control was to make the world a happier place.

There was such revulsion toward the Dark Arts in the Wizarding World after the recent horrors that new threats were minimal. Harry knew that these things came in cycles and that the threat would return, but in the meantime the main job of the Aurors was to track down former Death Eaters so they could be brought to justice. Since that ultimately meant either releasing them or throwing them to the dementors, Harry found he had little enthusiasm for the work. He was also a little disgusted by the attitude of the Aurors, many of whom had been under the Imperius Curse when the Ministry was under Voldemort's control, and some of whom were new. Those who had not actually been fighting the Death Eaters when it was really dangerous to do so now did it with relish and still prided themselves on being the country's most elite fighting force.

Harry confided to Mr. Weasley that he found the Ministry to be a depressing place, all underground with no real views of the outside, and with many shortsighted and unimaginative people in it. Mr. Weasley said that it had always been that way and probably always would be. He said that he was looking forward to his retirement, but in the meantime had some important work to do concerning the legal protection of Muggles. But Harry felt a yearning for something more immediately human, where he could see himself making a difference in the lives of more people, people who needed him. And soon an answer came to him that had always been lurking somewhere in his mind, and he picked up quill and parchment and penned a letter to Professor McGonagall, headmistress of Hogwarts, to inquire whether there was still a post available at the school for a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And when he entered the gate and saw his beloved castle, he felt sure that he would never leave it again. And when he stood before the gargoyle guarding the stairs to the headmistress's office, although she had forgotten to tell him, he knew.

"Shortbread biscuits!" he said, and the gargoyle slid aside.

McGonagall was delighted.

"We always hoped you'd come back, Harry, but I thought it was impossible, knowing how much you always wanted to be an Auror. But we've still had a hard time filling this post, even though any rational person would know that the curse ended when Voldemort died. Witches and wizards are remarkably superstitious, you know. You're a shoe-in."

"I would think so," said Harry, and he couldn't help grinning, "considering I started teaching the class when I was only a fifth year student."


Mr. and Mrs. Weasley looked a bit nervous. Mrs. Weasley spoke. "It's just that Ginny--she's a bit shy, you see. The way you're so famous, always in the spotlight..."

Harry gaped at her in astonishment. Ginny? Shy? Did mothers always see their children through a ten-year time warp? He turned to Mr. Weasley.

"Er--we're not sure she would want--"

Ginny had appeared at the top of the stairs and threw a look of death at her parents. "Do you think I don't know what I want?" she said furiously. Harry was roused to say what was necessary. He faced Mr. Weasley.

"Ginny and I are going to be married. We wish we had your blessing."

It was Mrs. Weasley who threw her arms around him. "Of course you have it, Harry dear! Our son! We're so proud!"

Harry turned to Mr. Weasley, who was beaming, and who hugged him tightly. "Harry! My son!" he said in a choked-up voice.

Their son. Somehow he could not stop the tears that started from his eyes, sprung from an old wound. But he had already known it. After losing his own parents, followed by Sirius, followed by Dumbledore, who else's son could he be?


Ginny could not help sometimes feeling left out when they hung around with Ron and Hermione, feeling that there was a bond between the three old friends that even her intimacy with Harry could not approach. The trio could not help but reminisce about their times together, and about the wealth of experiences they had shared. But Ginny was not one to mope, and when this began to get her down she went on wild magical adventures with her many other acquaintances, and flirted with other witches and wizards. Harry tried to look the other way, because he didn't really blame her, and because if he did look he was susceptible to jealousy. He learned fairly early that these flirtations never led to anything serious, and that she would always come back. To her first love, he reminded himself.

Anyway, there was only so much either of them could take of Ron and Hermione's company, because that couple bickered so much. Harry thought that they already bickered as much as an old married couple that had been together for many years. But what did he mean, already? They had bickered a lot when they first were together. In fact they had bickered a lot before they were a couple. Perhaps their continual bickering had been a sign that they were destined to spend the rest of their lives together.


Professor Potter was the most popular teacher at Hogwarts. The new students were always in painful awe of him, not only because he was the miracle wizard who was reputed to have defeated the undefeatable Avada Kedavra Curse three times and saved the whole Wizarding World from the most power-hungry Dark Wizard who ever lived, but because on top of this he was so popular and had a reputation for being warm, sensitive and patient. When in his class, however, they found that not only was he warm, sensitive and patient, but that he tried especially hard to encourage those students who were timid or lacked confidence, and they soon lost their fear of him.

He suggested to McGonagall that they abolish the sorting system and unite the school, but she said that there was ancient magic in the school that not even the great Harry Potter, let alone herself, could tamper with, and that the four houses were part of it. Nothing pained Harry so much as seeing eleven-year-olds sorted into Slytherin House, knowing they would spend all their time in each other's company, and that the culture of that house would shape their formative years. Maybe it was their heart's desire, but the heart's desire of an eleven-year-old? While all the memories Snape had given him at his death were burned indelibly on Harry's mind, none was more vivid than his stricken look when Dumbledore had spoken the words: "Sometimes I think we sort too soon."

In the dead of night he sometimes found himself weeping for that strange man who had been so alone in life and in death, who had been so nasty to him and sacrificed more than his life to protect him, and who had helpfully taught him how not to behave as a teacher, by frightening and humiliating his students so much that they could hardly learn anything in his class...

Harry's class still had a practical emphasis, but he spent some time telling his students the story of the rise and fall of Voldemort, a story that fascinated them, and which he thought they ought to know. He couldn't resist instilling pride in their school by telling them how the teachers of Hogwarts, and many of the students too, had valiantly fought the last battle long after their weak and foolish government had been defeated. And since Neville was too modest to mention it to anyone, he couldn't resist telling them how their Herbology teacher, Professor Longbottom, who was but a student at the time, had confronted Voldemort when everyone else thought the battle was lost, and wielded the sword of Gryffindor to slay Voldemort's terrifying serpent. Finding out that Neville was so brave and important as well as so modest, many of the girls in the school looked at him with melting eyes, something that tickled Harry immensely.

But most of all he tried to emphasize that it had not simply been a conflict between good people and bad people, because people were not that simple, and that all the loss of life had been tragic, including Tom Riddle's early decision to destroy himself. He always told the story of brave Regulus Black, who had joined Voldemort's army as a boy of sixteen because Voldemort had spoken words that Regulus's family had brought Regulus up to believe; of how when Regulus found out how cruel his master was, and about his quest for immortality, he had subjected himself to a most horrible death, unseen and uncelebrated by anyone, to try to stop him. He told how Voldemort had claimed his followers for life, so that those who changed their minds would die forgotten and unforgiven. He did not tell the story of Severus Snape, because he thought it was too personal a tale, and that to tell it would have been against the wishes of a person who had always been so secretive and so sensitive to humiliation. But he always thought of Snape when he made the following speech:

"Voldemort never cared about anyone but himself. But his followers were human beings, who had families and friends, just like all of you," and here he would often look meaningfully at the Slytherins. "Some of Voldemort's followers betrayed him because he sacrificed or tried to sacrifice people they loved, and that is one of the reasons he was defeated. I will teach you all the spells and jinxes for defending yourself against the Dark Arts; they are important, and I have used them all. But the most powerful defense against the Dark Arts is to remember your loved ones. If you remember them, you can make a powerful Patronus, which will drive away dementors, the most dangerous of Dark Creatures. If you remember them, it will help you to resist the Imperius Curse, because it will give you the will to do so, and that's what it takes. If you remember them, you will not commit murder, because it will split your soul, and your loved ones will have lost a part of you. If you remember them, you will not follow a person or join a movement that would sacrifice anyone for the pursuit of power, because they are likely to sacrifice you and yours."

He would pause for a moment, savoring a certain feeling of power himself in being able to influence this rapt, captive audience.

"You are all human," he would say confidently, "and you will remember."