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Minerva studied the woman sitting across the table, trying to guess why Albus had labeled the decade old application for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position as 'worse than the disease.' Polgara seems sensible and competent. Her credentials are a little odd, foreign and-- "Your pardon. You're not quite what I expected." She poured two cups of tea and offered one to her guest.

Polgara smiled as she accepted the cup and saucer. She looked over the table then added a small amount of cream to her tea. "Did you expect me to be older or taller or more terrible?"

"It did take a lot to intimidate Albus." Minerva couldn't imagine that this woman didn't know the effect she'd had on the former Headmaster. "And the Defense Against the Dark Arts position has been nearly impossible to fill." She shook her head. "It's very difficult to imagine him turning away a qualified applicant-- an even vaguely qualified applicant." She sighed, remembering the parade of incompetents who'd passed through the school over the decades. "I'm also astonished that you're still interested."

Polgara sipped her tea. "I've found other projects to fill my time." She met Minerva's eyes. "The years don't seem quite so long when one keeps busy, and teaching here is something I'm called to do." She frowned, and just for a moment, Minerva thought she understood Albus' fears. "It's not a good thing for children to spend so many years around a curse like this one."

Minerva nodded. "From your application, I gather that you believe you can break it...?" She raised her eyebrows. "That has been tried before." But Albus thought you could do it.

"All it will take is for someone to manage two years in the position," Polgara said firmly. "Two consecutive years. That's why I insist on the contract." She sniffed, more in thought than disapproval. "I will be in Britain another five years, at least, meeting my other responsibilities, and even then, I can't leave until I've taken care of this little problem." She set down her cup. "I do think I can work with you. Your...predecessor was..." She shook her head.

"Why didn't he hire you?" Minerva decided that bluntness might be the wisest course. "I'd rather see the problem before I hire you." Not that I have any other applicants, short of trying to draft young Mr. Potter.

"Ah." Polgara turned away for a moment to study the portraits lining the walls of the Headmistress' office. "We had a philosophical disagreement. I believe he was also concerned that I knew too much that he'd kept hidden." She met Minerva's gaze directly. "As if I'd come to your world without knowing about the current unpleasantness." She lifted her cup and sipped. After she swallowed, she said, "There's always an unpleasantness, you know."

Minerva's eyes widened a little bit, but she only allowed herself a firm nod. If she says she's from another world-- Well, what does it matter if she can do the job? "And the philosophical differences?" she asked gently. "We might have them, too."

Polgara looked Minerva up and down. She smiled. "I suspect not, at least nothing in relation to the school."

Which is not the same as nothing at all. Minerva rose to her feet. "I'd like you to meet the rest of the staff before I make any decisions." Maybe they'll understand what I don't.