Rose Teko played nervously with the clasp of her handbag and looked around The Three Broomsticks for what felt like the thousandth time. She knew she should just relax and enjoy her glass of Elf Wine before the subject of her nervousness turned up but it was difficult. The young woman was feeling very nervous and very unprepared. She couldn’t forget that this was, for all intents and purposes, an interview. If alcoholic beverages could be ordered in the meantime that just left more room for disaster.
She’d received the owl from Hogwarts a week ago and had been in a state of great agitation ever since. It had been an extremely friendly letter and most cordial but the request was still daunting. Rose fished into her bag and brought out the parchment that had caused her to drop her morning coffee in disbelief.
Dear Miss Teko,
We have been pleased to receive a recommendation of your talents from the current Minister of Magic, Korr Sella, for the position of History of Magic professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We would be pleased to meet at The Three Broomsticks located in the village of Hogsmeade to discuss the position further with you.
Kindly send your response with BB8,
Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts.
The tiny owl with speckled orange feathers had been most patient as she tried to devise an answer that wasn’t a complete mockery to the dignity of the position. In the end Paige, her sister, had taken the quill off her and scribbled a prompt reply without giving her a chance to read over what she wrote.
Rose had always been fascinated by magical history. Both her and her sister were witches but Muggleborn so had never taken for granted the vast history that the Muggle population had no idea even existed. She had read every history book she could get her hands on and had received an O grade in her O.W.L.s and her N.E.W.Ts. History was something of a hobby to her and she spent a lot of free time, when she wasn’t at her job within the Ministry repairing confiscated brooms, reading up on Goblin Rebellions and witch burnings. It made her very sad to see so many people dismiss the subject as boring.
Voicing this predicament had put her in this problem in the first place. Korr Sella had visited their Department at the Ministry a few times (Rose believed that she desperately wanted to emulate Leia Organa-Solo, the previous Minister who was something of a legend and had been very actively involved in all departments) and she had stopped to chat to Rose. Rose had rather liked her. She was a bit serious and overly formal (she was never out of her wizard robes that looked a bit like a Military uniform) but Korr Sella seemed upright and determined to have justice in all areas of the Wizarding word. If that made her a little stiff then that was hardly reprehensible was it?
They had gotten quite comfortable together and Korr had noticed the History books sticking out of Rose’s rucksack. Rose had been a bit embarrassed as she thought her boss might view her as a little strange but Korr seemed sympathetic and a bit impressed. She even complimented Rose that her knowledge on Cornish Pixie infestation was remarkable.
“History is remarkable!” Rose had entreated as though Korr was society itself. “If it’s taught right, it can be so interesting! Children just need a chance to see its potential early on!”
Rose cringed in remembrance and took another shaky sip of wine. Oh why couldn’t she have just discussed the Quiddich Finals like a normal person?
She never thought that Korr Sella would take her words to heart so finally. So when she had received the letter via owl she had been completely dumbstruck and unprepared. She’d gone to the Minister of Magic to plead her case.
“I’m just a broomstick mechanic!” She had protested. “I only know all this out of fun. I have no teaching experience at all and I probably don’t know half of what is required for the students to pass their exams nowadays.”
“You have passion and knowledge. Any holes in your learning can be filled with time.” Korr Sella had waved her concerns away. “If you truly don’t want the position you can always write back to them.”
Rose very nearly did this several times. Desperate to explain that, while she was enormously flattered, she didn’t know anything and would only make a mess of it all. Paige had been forced to confiscate all the parchment in their flat.
“Rose, this is the opportunity of a lifetime! Hogwarts! You have a chance to go back and do some good.”
So that’s why Rose now found herself sat in the nearly empty pub on a cold winter’s night. It had started to snow and normally Rose would have her nose pressed against the pane of glass to watch but wasn’t in the mood. It was a shame as she rather liked Christmas normally.
The door to the pub swung open letting in a chilly gust of wind. A woman came into the warm atmosphere wearing a grand travelling cloak and red robes beneath them. She was a very pretty woman with brown hair done up in an elegant three bun-do, a tanned freckled face and hazel eyes that exuded warmth. Rose knew this woman to be in her mid-thirties yet she still had a very youthful face and was clearly physically fit beneath her witches garb.
Rose knew this, of course, because she knew this woman from sight. She’d seen her on enough front pages of The Daily Prophet and Chocolate Frog Cards to know Rey Solo very well.
Rey nodded a hello to the barman who returned it and strode across to where Rose was seated. Rose got to her feet so quickly that she nearly knocked over the chair she’d been sitting on. If Rey noticed this, she didn’t comment.
“Ah. You must be Miss Teko. Pleased to meet you.” Rey held out her hand for Rose to take which she did. She lamented not long after that maybe she should have wiped it on her robes before she presented it – it was rather sweaty.
The barman strode over. “The usual, Professor?”
“Um, not today. I’ll just have a Diet Coke if you don’t mind.”
“Diet Coke?” The barman looked perplexed and then seemed to catch on. “Oh, that’s those Muggle drinks out the back, right?”
“Yes, Jack. I take it you’re still on your original case?”
“Aye. Butterbeer is more popular than that stuff. Alright. Won’t be a tick.” And he strode off to the back to procure the fabled Muggle drink. Rey turned back to Rose and smiled.
“So, you’re the Rose Teko that the Minister spoke so highly of. Thank you for agreeing to meet.”
Immediately Rose felt the need to explain herself.
“I’ve never taught before. I’m probably not cut out to be a teacher. I don’t know why Korr Sella has recommended me for this post.”
The Professor blinked a little, clearly taken aback by Rose’s latent lack of confidence. But Rose felt it best to let the woman know just how lacking she was. Best not waste time.
“I see.” Rey said slowly. “Well, I never taught a day in my life before taking up my own post and I’m still there twelve years later.”
Rose nodded slowly. She knew this of course. Everyone knew that story. About how Rey had gone back to Hogwarts to join her two other friends Poe Dameron and Finn as a teacher. Rose had just left school at the time and had followed the story with interest. For Rey would be meeting her old nemesis Kylo Ren. Professor Ren had been her own teacher when she had taken Potions and Rose’s memories of him were not entirely favourable. He’d been cold, hard-to-please and even mean on occasion. He clearly preferred Slytherins which left Rose out in the cold and no-one could much forget the history of the man. He may hide his arms but the Dark Mark was as apparent on his person as that scar on his face.
So it had been with absolute disbelief when the news had broken that Rey and Kylo Ren were romantically involved a year later. Rose had felt somewhat betrayed by it all; Rey had been the symbol of the Order of the Resistance. And now she was publicly kissing the most notorious Death Eater on the Hogwarts Express platform? It didn’t make any sense.
The news that broke only a month later of Kylo Ren’s true alliance was both a shock and a relief to Rose. She may not have liked the man but it made much more sense now. The story about what he had been made to endure in the name of double-agent work was heartbreaking.
Since then, life seemed to have gotten much better for her former teacher. He had taken over the role of Headmaster of Hogwarts after his uncle, he had married Rey only three years ago and they were the parents of identical twin girls. Rose wasn’t sure what a happy ending looked like but that was certainly a close finish.
“You were a student at Hogwarts too, weren’t you?” Rey asked Rose.
“Yes,” Rose nodded. “Hufflepuff.” She instinctively looked up at Rey’s face. She often saw looks of complacency or even attempts to humour her when she said which House she belonged to. It was infuriating to Rose that so many looked down at Hufflepuff house; if being hard-working and kind wasn’t an admirable trait she didn’t know what was.
Instead, Rey smiled and nodded in approval. “Ah yes. Excellent House. My husband’s grandmother was a famous patron. He thinks that a portrait should be commissioned of her soon. To go upon the door to the Hufflepuff common room.” Rose was very cheered by this. Padmé Amidala had been an extremely famous Hufflepuff and Rose had been happy to hear that the Headmaster had named one of his twin girls after her.
The atmosphere was a lot less daunting afterwards and it almost felt like a chat between old friends. Rey questioned Rose as to why she liked history and what periods were her favourite subjects. Rose was also welcome to ask Rey questions. Rose stuck to more neutral subjects at first like how her own classes were faring and if there were any students that showed potential that year. She did feel a bit more brave as to ask:
“Your daughters… they have been Sorted too, haven’t they?”
“They have indeed.” Rey smiled. “Hanna is in Gryffindor and Padmé is in Ravenclaw.”
“How are they finding it? Being a part of school life?”
“They are both doing excellently.” Rey smiled and then seemed to correct herself. “Well, Hanna is showing herself to be in good company as far as mischief is concerned. She’s lost a good amount of House Points already. But she’s got onto the Quiddich team as a Beater and has only broken her wrist so far.”
“Padmé is still rather quiet but her studies are proving excellent. She also seems to have acquired some friends of her own. She loves her sister but,” Rey looked at Rose was an open expression as though to take her into her confidence, “I think time apart from Hanna is good for her. She’s not shadowed anymore and is becoming her own person. But they are always popping in for something they’ve forgotten or just to steal some toast. So we’re hardly bereft.”
Rose got the distinct impression that this was something of a relief to Rey. Maybe letting your children go was a true test of character.
Eventually Rey stood up. “Well, I think this has been a successful meeting. I would like you to report to Hogwarts a week before the Christmas term ends. We normally like to wait until the new school year has commenced but seeing as Master Yoda is finding it hard to distinguish which room is his classroom and which is the girls’ bathroom, it would be prudent to start you straight away.”
Rose got up rather quickly and nearly sloshed the last of her Elf-made wine down her front.
“You… you want me to do it?”
“Yes, I think you’d be perfect. Master Yoda is an excellent historian, no doubt because he was actually present at the majority of the events, but a new fresh pair of eyes are clearly needed. He was nearly nine-hundred years old when he died and his ghost is not much more animated than he was then.”
“But I,” Rose spluttered, “I’m not-”
“Rose,” Rey said with a touch of firmness, “I really think you are. Knowledge is all well and good but if you don’t have passion then there is really no point. I’ve been discussed this with Kyl- I mean Professor Ren and he feels that having teachers that can recite a text book but can send a class to sleep in the process is no more an asset to the school than a student who doesn’t want to be there.”
Rose found herself at a loss for words at this reasoning. Rey touched her hand kindly.
“If you truly don’t feel up to it, then you can always resign at the end of the school year. Why not try? I think you will surprise yourself.”
Rose looked at Rey and suddenly had an urge not to let this woman down. “Okay. I’ll do my best.”
“Brilliant.” Rey smiled. “You will need a meeting with the Headmaster before you start just so he can give his approval and then you’ll be ready to go. We’ll open the Floo Network for you so you won’t need to take the train twice.”
Rose felt much less collected at having to face her old Potions Master again but nodded all the same. Rey looked at her watch and sighed. “I better be heading back. I don’t want to keep the Thestrals waiting too long. Poor things. It’s much too cold even for them.”
“You took a carriage?”
“Yes. Well, I wanted to walk but the Headmaster was insistent. He gets a little overprotective when I am in this condition.”
Rose was about to say ‘what condition?’ but then caught sight of Rey’s silhouette beneath her travelling cloak. A very lean and petite woman, the slight hill on her abdomen was all the more prominent for her build.
Rose dared not say anything but Rey caught where her gaze had strayed to and smiled. “I showed a lot on the belly last time. Though I’m confident there’s only one this time.”
“You’re pregnant?” Rose whispered at last.
“Yes,” Rey affirmed happily. “Nearly four months.”
“Congratulations.” Rose smiled.
“Thank you.” Rey returned. “Well, I hope you have a safe trip home. I will see you before the term starts again. Good night.”
Rey then made for the door of the pub and disappeared into the swirling snow outside.
If it was possible Rose was feeling even more nervous about her meeting with the Headmaster than she had been during her official interview. She waited beside her fireplace for the signal from Hogwarts to step forward into the green flames. She was reconciled that she was indeed going to be taking over from Master Yoda as the History of Magic teacher but to know she was to go before Professor Ren for inspection was not a pleasant one.
She’d chosen a black dress with pink roses and her best black robes to present herself in. She wanted to appear smart. Eventually the fireplace sparked into life and Rose was called forward. The spinning sensation of travelling via Floo Powder had little to do with the sickening feeling in her stomach.
When she arrived at her destination and stepped out of the fireplace, she was hit by nostalgia. The Headmaster’s office was much unchanged from the days of Luke Skywalker’s time as Headmaster. The only difference was there was now a portrait of the famous wizard to join the long line of Headmasters on the wall.
Rey Solo was stood beside the desk that was at the centre of the room. With her travelling cloak disposed of and wearing a smart red dress, her baby bump was now more prominent yet not very big. She smiled in greeting at Rose.
Behind the desk, also standing, was a tall, strongly built figure of a man. He was dressed in black wizards robes that touched the ground and matched his own head of hair. There was a few specks of grey at his temples and his hair was a little bit shorter than Rose had remembered it. He had also acquired a goatee beard and moustache which suited him surprisingly well. Professor Ren was now in his mid-forties and, rather than desperately trying to cling on to his youth like so many others, he seemed perfectly comfortable with his middle-aged status and wore it with a general lack of interest. Nonetheless some things were as they remembered. Her dark eyes were shrewd, his nose long and prominent and his mouth quite lush enough to rival a woman's. The infamous pink scar was still present too.
Rose could not help but feel: a more mismatched couple it was hard to find.
“Miss Teko.” His voice was deep and had a hint of that old flippancy and sarcasm, that never boded well for his students, still present. “Please take a seat.”
Rose moved forward. She took a seat in front of his desk. Ren then looked to his wife and he angled his head as though indicating that she could sit down too. Rey seemed to ignore this and happily remained standing. This seemed to exasperate him a little and Rose caught his eyes flicking down to his wife’s midriff. So Rey’s deduction that he was a little overprotective during her pregnancies was not far off at all.
The interview was remarkably brief and to the point. Ren didn’t so much question her as to whether she was up to the task but instructed her on how to comport herself and things to avoid doing. It seemed that her job was a done deal. Clearly his wife had given her a glowing reference.
Rose found herself studying Ren while he talked. There was still a shadow of his old arrogance and coldness to him but it helped him carry the title of Headmaster with dignity. Yet he did not seem as sneering or as clipped as he once did. There was an air of a businessman to him – it reminded her a little of Leia Organa-Solo, his mother.
Yet it was when the meeting was wrapping up that Rose really saw it. Rey went to follow Rose to the fireplace wishing her well until they saw her in a weeks time. The older woman then put her hands to the small of her back and groaned as she stretched. Her husband was immediately at her side.
“Are you alright?”
“Bad back. I had it with the girls too. It will go away with a cup of tea.” Rey waved his worries away causally but with a raised eyebrow as though to say ‘don’t start’. It was Ren’s expression that made Rose falter. His eyes now on his wife were now so tender and anxious that Rose had to try hard not to gape. He seemed to want to put his arm around her but thought better of it. Rey gave him a smile as though to both reassure and wordlessly thank him for his concern.
Ren then seemed to recollect Rose was still in the room and made himself busy with explaining the Hogwarts Express times and what reading materials to procure from Diagon Alley.
Rose stepped into the fire musing how her first lesson at Hogwarts had been enlightening indeed.
Life as a Hogwarts Professor was more fun and more fulfilling than Rose had ever imagined.
She had arrived with students just after the Christmas holidays and the arrival of a new Professor at such a strange time was a cause of excitement to break up the miserable January blues.
Rose found her lodgings very comfortable indeed and all the Professors were perfectly lovely to her. Rey introduced her to Finn and Poe Dameron, the Transfiguration and Quiddich coach respectively who wasted no time in reintroducing her to the ways of the castle. Apparently there were no forbidden corridors when you taught at the most famous Wizarding school around.
The lessons were not the test that Rose had so feared. Making a lesson plan took some getting used to but she soon got into the swing of things without issue. The students, though sometimes overly chatty, seemed very happy with the new lesson plan. They even asked her questions when she was talking about Wendolen the Weird which showed they were listening. And she hadn’t caught anyone falling asleep at the back.
If Master Yoda was upset about being replaced he didn’t show it. He now spent most of his time floating around the castle and occasionally humming. He seemed to be enjoying his retirement (if that’s what you called it) and Rose had a sneaking suspicion he rather like drifting through stone walls and scaring people.
She soon became acquainted with the Solo twins. Hanna was in her Gryffindor class and Padmé in her Ravenclaw. As luck would have it, Gryffindor had History of Magic with Ravenclaw so Rose got to meet both the girls at once. Even without their red and blue badges, Rose would have been able to tell them apart easily.
Hanna was certainly more confident and often wore her brown curly hair in a messy bun. Tufts and curls always seemed to come loose and unlike the other girls there wasn’t any signs of poorly applied make-up. This may have been because their father was the Headmaster and would have heard about it eventually but Rose suspected that Hanna didn’t have time for such luxuries. She was Quiddich-mad and was often coming in with a black eye or a cut cheekbone. She was advised to go to Madame Kalonia but she seemed reluctant. Rose thought Hanna rather liked having scuffs and bruises as it made her look formidable despite her young age and inexperience. She grinned a lot and tended to be rather cheeky if she could get away with it.
Padmé, on the other hand, was like her sister’s foil. She generally wore her hair down and was never cut or bruised. She didn’t like Quiddich one bit. She tended to leave that to her sister. She was rather more prone to quietness than Hanna and took a lot more notes in the lessons. She was easily the best in her year and lived up to her House reputation for creativity and intelligence.
They had their mother’s gentle features but were undoubtedly their father’s daughters. They had his dark curly hair and pale skin. Rose often lamented that they were like split images of their parents: Hanna was Rey’s miniature while Padmé was Ren’s.
Rose took to the girls at once. They seemed keen to befriend her as they undoubtedly did with all the teachers and seemed as much a part of the castle as the portraits and the moving staircase.
Rose was soon to make good friends with Jess Pava, the Head of Hufflepuff but was initiated into Poe, Finn and Rey’s circle. Ren did not seem to be an active part of this but did not seem jealous either. Especially as Rey seemed determined to train them all to knit for her new baby.
It was during one of these sessions beside the staff room fire, where Rey was knitting skilfully and Rose was just getting the wool tangled up, that Rose asked her.
“What are you hoping for? A boy or a girl?”
Rey slowly her knitting a little as though contemplating the question. “I don’t know. I don’t think it matters. It will be my baby and I will love it like it’s sisters.”
Rose smiled. “I bet they are excited.”
“Oh yes.” Rey smiled. “I think they were a bit horrified at first at the idea of how I got pregnant...” The two women chuckled “but they got over it. It’s not every day a new baby comes into the family.”
“Ren’s excited too I bet.”
“He is.” Rey smiled. “He was practically punching the air when we found out. He was the one who suggested we try for another.” Then Rey’s expression clouded a little. “It’s just...”
“What?” Rose asked.
“Well, when he brought it up, he mentioned we might have a boy. Natural of course to say that but… I think it’s a girl.”
Rose put down her attempt at knitting and looked at Rey. “You’ve been to Madame Kalonia?”
“Not yet. But I’m a Legilimens and I could hear Padmé and Hanna when they were in my belly too. Sometimes I can hear this little one too and… I get an overwhelming feeling that she’s a she.”
“You haven’t told Ren?”
“Not yet. I might be wrong. I’m not as good as he is at this. But also… what if he’s disappointed?”
Rose shook her head. “No. Ren clearly loves you and his daughters. I think he would be just as pleased with another girl than with a boy. Besides… doesn’t the Skywalker dynasty have a bad history of father-son relationships?”
Rey nodded. “Yes, I think he might be a bit worried about that too.” Rey chuckled as though at herself and shook her head. “It’s the hormones. Gets me worried about all sorts. I was a nightmare with the girls last time.”
Rose, seeing this calm and collected woman, found that hard to believe.
“Oh yes.” Rey nodded as though sensing Rose’s scepticism. “Went totally off the wall. Nearly drove Ren to distraction. He took to hiding in Chewbacca’s hut.”
“How did you sort things out?”
Rose was sure it wasn’t the glow of the fire that made Rey’s cheeks turn pink but she said lowly. “Yoghurt.”
“I was craving yoghurt. Couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Day or night. As long as I could get some… yoghurt, I was fine.” Rey put down her knitting abruptly. “In fact, I think I’ll have some now.” And with a scampering step, Rey was out of the staffroom before Rose could say another word.
She didn’t see Rey again until dinner time. She was looking as calm as ever. Professor Ren was sat next to her and looked remarkably chirpy. His lips looked very red and his hair rather scruffy. And when Rose asked for the gravy and noticed a purple mark blooming just where his collar would normally hide it, she said nothing at all.
Rey was right. She was having a girl.
Ren did not seem remotely disappointed; he seemed delighted though he tried to hide it from the staff without success.
Rey seemed happy with this reaction and spent the rest of her pregnancy in Rose’s company. The two women had become good friends and Rose was keen to help out anyway she could. Rey also helped Rose navigate a way of being respected as Professor Teko without leaving Rose feeling like a fraud.
The air was hot and summer fully in bloom when Rey was taken to Madame Kalonia’s hospital wing when her pains started. Only Ren had been in attendance and the delivery seemed to be very smooth. The baby was lifted up into the world with a hearty cry.
It was a day before Rose crept into the wing with a bunch of flowers to see her friend. She didn’t want to overwhelm her friend and to give the family a chance to bond. The twins had been keen to tell anyone who would listen that they had a little sister and how perfect she was.
The baby was indeed a lovely little thing. Her hair wasn’t as dark as her sisters’ but her features were very familiar. Rey held her delight and seemed happy to stare at her for long periods of time.
Rose had a cuddle and marvelled how such a tiny baby could grow up to be a fully grown witch or wizard. She couldnt imagine Kylo Ren ever being a baby. It was like he was hatched out of an egg already standing at six foot nothing.
Rose had just handed her back when Ren appeared. He kissed his wife and then kissed his little daughter on the head. The young woman knew that he probably wanted time alone with his wife and new daughter so took her leave. Just as she was about to depart she turned back.
“I forgot! Have you given her a name yet?”
Rey looked at her husband. “Have you thought of one yet?” She asked.
Ren gently stroked her little head. “Satine.” He looked back at his wife. “It’s about time we honoured your side of the family.”
Rose left the family to their quietness. It was a special moment and, if she knew Hanna, they wouldn’t have quiet for long.