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Welcome Back, Professor Hooper

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Hogwarts. It had been some time since she had been there, but this time it was at McGonagall’s request. Why she would want to see her, she wasn’t sure, since she had turned her back on the wizarding world and been working among Muggles for an age. It was easier for her, being a Witch with two Muggle parents and having been around Muggles all the time up until her 11th birthday, and she’d always had a passion for Muggle science that had baffled her professors.

And...well, there had been the Battle, and it was easier to bury herself in the world of violence Muggles were capable of to remember...that.

But she was back, though not in robes, on the doorstep of the castle. She had spent too long in jeans and khakis and floral jumpers to want to switch back to robes. And who was going to say anything? She’d always been an odd little Hufflepuff, brave but...morbid. Very very morbid.

So why Minerva McGonagall wanted her to take leave from Barts for a weekend to go to the school was beyond her.

She felt instinctively for her wand. Twelve inches, rosewood, a very rare specimen of mugwort at the core. It was her pride and while she carried it everywhere with her she hardly used it. But being back at the school...well, she wanted it close. She knew things had changed, but she was always wary.

She supposed it might have something to do with working in close proximity to Scotland Yard and Greg and Sherlock. Suspicion was a natural state with coppers and consulting detectives, though neither had figured out her secret, which she was profoundly grateful for.

She remembered the way to the Headmaster’s office and made her way there, trying to project confidence instead of trepidation, and almost succeeding. She could hear Peeves chuckling when she took a misstep as the stairs shifted and she lost her balance, but she glared in the general direction of the body-less laughter and ever so quickly flipped him the bird. The laughter got more uproarious but less mean, she supposed.

“Morbid Molly came back to Hoggy Woggy Warts!” Peeves said.

“Yes, and if you give me trouble I’ll freeze you in place,” she said as she made her way up the stairs. She would get through this visit in one piece, she swore, and then return to London and Toby and the comforts of home if it was the last thing she did.

She got silence as she made the rest of her way to the office, and then froze ever so slightly when she saw Professor McGonagall standing outside. She still looked taciturn and stern but...older. As though two rounds with You Know Who and all the rest had permanently etched itself in all the lines and edges of her face. She wondered if she would look the same after You Know Who and James Moriarty in her life.

“Margaret,” Professor McGonagall said, her voice warm and her lips curling into a smile. “I’m glad you came.”

“I couldn’t say no to you,” she said with a warm smile in return. “Though I’m wondering why I’m here?”

“We can speak in the office,” she said. “You’ll recognize most of the company.”

This was curiouser and curiouser, she thought to herself. Others? People she would recognize?

She suddenly had the sinking suspicion her time at Hogwarts was going to extend well past this weekend...and she didn’t like it one bit.