"Welcome to fifth year Charms. I know you'll all do well and that this year will be fun for you and me. Now everyone take a seat and get out your texts for class."
Harry would love to have introduced himself as "Potter, Harry Potter" on the first day of classes at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but knew that even though very few of the young wizards and witches present would understand the reference, those that were Muggleborn might, and he didn't need rumors floating around as to the real reason he was at the school teaching Charms.
Harry smirked to himself as his class settled down as he prepared to teach them their first lesson of the school year. The real reason he was in the classroom was that he had been hired by Dumbledore to investigate the possibility of another rising Dark Lord who had been recruiting students as young as third years to his cause.
The Order of the Phoenix was the only organisation outside the Auror division that knew Harry's real profession was that of a secret agent. So far in Harry's young career he had gone undercover in Budapest to infiltrate a dragon smuggling ring, then in Cairo, Egypt working as a counterfeit galleon buyer. Each operation had so far been successful. Of course, his success was mostly in thanks to his unknown metamorphmagus ability that he had discovered in his seventh year, thanks to an accident in doing a Transfiguration assignment with Ron and Hermione. The two previous undercover roles had required him to slightly alter his looks, since his notorioty as Harry Potter would have been a hinderance more than a help.
Even now, he wasn't present at the school as Harry Potter, but as Emma Malsby -- a red-haired, brown-eyed forty year old woman. Harry wanted to be so different from his usual undercover look, that he willingly sacrificed his comfort as a man to become a woman for the term. Of course, he honestly hoped it was just for the fall term, and that he would find the list of student supporters and their leader before the winter holidays arrived.
So far, the only person who knew he was Emma Malsby, was the headmaster. Not even Professor McGonagall or Professor Snape knew who she truly was. Albus hadn't wanted anyone to be aware of her identity so that his cover was perfect and undetectable. So far, he had passed inspection with the staff and no one suspected.
As the first class got underway, Harry as Emma presented a cheerful, calm demeanor to her students, hoping to lure the fifth year Slytherin and Ravenclaw students into her confidence. Many in this class were suspected of already being in league with the new Dark Lord, and he hoped to lull them into thinking she could be their friend. He knew it was deceitful and underhanded, but when it came to evil ways, he wasn't above using whatever method he needed to find out the truth.
Harry just hoped his plan worked, otherwise Dumbledore would be reduced to using mass administration of Veritaserum to the student body -- without the Ministry's approval. He didn't want it to come to that.
Of course, Harry had thought it would be better to have himself enrolled as a student within one of the houses suspected of harboring the majority of new Dark Lord supporters, but Dumbledore had been ambivilant of such an idea. He believed it gave Harry very little authority with the staff if he were caught spying on the other kids. Harry certainly didn't want to be placed in the same position he had been in his school days when he had often received preferential treatment. He couldn't take the chance of alienating the children he was setting out to befriend.
Harry's main job, along with the other professors that school year was to gather a list of possible supporters, find the weakest link, sway them to the side of the light, and hopefully have them spy for the Order.
So far, all that was known of the new rising leader for the dark was that he was young and allegedly powerful. Not as powerful as Harry or Albus Dumbledore, but very influential and charming; just as Tom Riddle had been. Harry had his suspicions of who the new leader was, and even Snape had thought the idea was possible when Emma had presented it at the faculty meeting a few days ago. Harry had been shocked that Snape had agreed with any idea of his, but then realised quickly that because Snape didn't know that Emma was Harry, Snape was actually being pleasant, especially since none of the students were around to witness it.
Because of that one brief moment, Harry had decided to undertake a side project while he was undercover; he would get to known the irrascible Potions Master. Of course, Harry knew that if the man ever found out who Emma really was, Harry would likely be a dead man and chopped up into potions ingredients. Severus Snape's hatred of all things Harry Potter was still in effect, even now, four years after Harry had killed Voldemort and left school.
That day Harry took notice, with the exception of the first and second year students, of those who kept to themselves and those who seemed overly outgoing. He needed to know which tactic to take with which students, the role of quiet confidant to those who were studious and withdrawn, or outgoing, fun-loving pal to those who were popular.
He noticed overall, most of the students seemed to find Emma Malsby to be an unassuming witch who had no ties to any house within Hogwarts, as Albus had announced at the Feast the night before that she had attended Beauxbatons.
Harry was rather proud of the Emma he had created, she was a woman of average height, but her figure was slim yet not boyish in nature. Her red hair was long and glossy, and she wore light gold wire-rimmed glasses, not dissimilar to the ones he himself would wear. The glasses framed warm cocoa-brown eyes that appeared luminous, which he likened to his own emerald green. Harry thought she resembled a possible alternative mixture of his parents, if they had lived long enough to have more children.
After the day's classes were over and her office hours were completed, Emma made an appearance at dinner in the Great Hall and at some inner urging of Harry's subconcious, took the seat next to his old nemesis, Severus Snape.
Emma was greeted with a slight nod of his head and she in turn graced him with a slight, discreet smile, hoping to encourage the taciturn man to engage in some conversation.
Harry was astounded that his Emma personna was doing so well with the other professors in such a short amount of time, especially Professor Snape, as he had always thought the other man lacking in social graces. But Severus Snape was turning out to be a delightful surprise as he started asking questions about Hogwart's newest teacher with little prompting from 'Emma.'
"Headmaster Dumbledore hasn't mentioned much about you Professor Malsby, other than what was mentioned a few days ago at our staff meeting. Where do you hail from?"
Harry watched as Snape barely turned his head away from his dinner and the Slytherin table in front of them. Harry also noticed that Snape hardly moved his lips as he spoke in his quiet, smooth tones.
"Surrey originally, before my parents shipped me off to Beauxbatons, which was where my grandmother had gone to school. They had felt that was safest, what with the former Dark Lord having been so prominently on the rise here during that time. Since then, I've spent time traveling around the globe, learning about people and magic," spoke Emma in her husky voice. Harry constantly had to pay attention when he spoke, so as to not slip back into his normal voice. It was the one thing he couldn't modify with his metamorphmagus ability, and he couldn't chance using magic to camoflauge his normal tones.
"Ah, if it weren't for my teaching here at Hogwarts, I would have enjoyed traveling around to foreign places and learning more about Potions and Dark Arts. Was Charms your only interest in your travels, or have you mastered other areas of magical practice?" Severus asked Emma casually, but Harry detected a hint of deep-seated curiosity in the words.
Emma toyed with the food on her plate and Harry wondered how best to answer such a question without giving anything away. "I've an interest in Potions, like yourself, along with Defense Against Dark Arts, as well as Transfiguration. I guess you could say I'm a well rounded w... witch." Emma cast a friendly smile in Snape's direction and blinked in surprise as Harry watched the man opposite her smile timidly in return. Harry thought that if he hadn't been seated he would have fallen over at such an unexpected and rare sight. He knew Severus Snape had crooked, yellowing teeth, but aside from that imperfection the smile made the corner of the older man's eyes crinkle and his whole face changed and seemed to be lit from within.
Harry's breathing hitched and he felt he had received a wonderful gift of that smile, especially considering its rarity. Emma smiled delightedly in return and Harry watched as Snape blushed with pleasure. And in that moment, it dawned on Harry that Severus Snape had become smitten with Emma Malsby.