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Rose Weasley and the Rebirth of Slytherin

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3rd Year

 

Rose didn’t want to take Muggle Studies, but Mum had insisted. She kept talking about how Rose had to understand her roots and know how the other half lived and fight prejudice with knowledge. And that was alright, the girl thought, but it seemed awfully dull when the other option was seeing the future. 

 

Scorpius hadn’t gotten to pick his classes, either, but at least he got to hang out with animals twice a week. Rose was taking Muggle Studies and a maths course.

 

She had to admit, though. Muggle Studies was starting off a lot better than she had been expecting.

 

Professor Sirius Black turned off the projector and turned on the lights with a swish and flick of his wand. He asked, “Questions?”

 

Jessica Finch-Fletchley’s hand immediately shot up. “Yes, excuse me. I thought you said this was a historical film?”

 

“I did,” Professor Black said. “Other questions?”

 

Warner Wilson from Gryffindor asked, “When did this all happen?”

 

The Professor hummed thoughtfully. “The film was kind of vague about that, huh? Long, long ago...I might have to look that one up.”

 

Rose asked, “What happened to the Jedi?”

 

Professor Black smirked. “What do you think you are?”

 

Rose gasped, while several other students let out little “Ohs.”

 

“Hold up,” Finch-Fletchley said. “How did Obi-Wan—”

 

“Wandless magic.”

 

“Why don’t we use laser swords anymore?” one of the Gryffindors called out from the back of the classroom.

 

“The trend died down in the early 12th century when people kept slipping and cutting off their fingers. I’m trying to bring it back.”

 

Professor Black began their next class with a cheerful, “Alright, bad news. I’m not allowed to lie to you kids anymore. It turns out that some of you are snitches. I’m not gonna say who, but just so you know... I know.”

 

Finch-Fletchley noticeably paled, dark freckles popping out on her face. The other snitches managed to more subtly panic. Rose still had some guesses, though. Maybe Wilson.

 

Rose pouted. “So...Jedi aren’t real?” 

 

“Only in our hearts,” the Professor said. “I’m also not allowed to show you movies now. Or before now. But Snape’s watching really closely, so I figure I need to pretend I’m teaching until he gets distracted by a war or a student death or whatever Harry’s doing lately.”

 

Rose stared up at him. “ Pretend you’re teaching?” 

 

Professor Black grinned. “Oh, you’ll learn things.”

 


 

“Alright, kids, pop quiz,” Professor Sirius Black said as he paced along the front of the Muggle Studies classroom. “Why am I teaching this class?”

 

Rose knew the answer right away. “You were hired by Lord Voldemort.”

 

“Yeeees,” he said slowly, “but why am I still teaching this class?”

 

Jessica Finch-Flechley smirked. “Professors have really good job security. We used to have a ghost on staff.”

 

“Also true. Better question: What is the point of this class?”

 

Warner Wilson said, “Learn about Muggles.”

 

Professor Black nodded. “Because…?”

 

“Erm. There are a lot of them?”

 

“And…?”

 

“We don’t want them to find out about us?”

 

Professor Black grinned his half-crazed, sharp-toothed grin. “10 points to Gryffindor! If you go out in the Muggle World looking like a wizard or a witch, they might burn you at the stake.”

 

Rose frowned. Even she knew that was just a stereotype. 

 

Most witches were hanged.

 

“That’s why today we’re going to practice an essential skill called” — Professor Black did jazz hands, magicking up sparks in between his fingers — “Lying.”

 

“Isn’t lying bad?” Breccia Puttock asked.

 

“Only if you’re bad at it. That’s why we’re practicing. Let’s pretend I’m a Muggle.” Professor Black snapped his fingers and suddenly looked exactly how you would picture a Muggle man. He was even wearing a top hat and a little mustache. He turned to her. “Weasley, you’re a Slytherin. Show them how it’s done!”

 

Rose couldn’t help shrinking in her seat as everyone stared at her and wondered if she had been manipulating them all along. She had been, sort of, but that just made it worse.

 

Professor Black cleared his throat. “Excuse me, Miss, have you heard the news?”

 

“I haven’t,” Rose replied.

 

“Oh? I thought everyone had heard the news. Why haven’t you?” His eyes narrowed. “Are you some sort of witch ?”

 

“What?” Rose said, blinking at the sudden turn. “No! Of course not!”

 

“You seem awfully mad for somebody who isn’t a witch.”

 

“Well, I am. I am mad because…” Rose suddenly remembered her last dinner at home before coming to Hogwarts and the impassioned speech her mother had given. “I have a lot of feelings about the witch trials of the 1700s. So many women died, not because they could do magic, but because they were different. Because someone a lot like you didn’t like that. I have lots to say about injustice. Would you like to hear more?”

 

Professor Black quickly shook his head. “Nope, I’m getting out of this conversation as soon as possible.”

 

That was for the best, Rose thought. She really didn’t have that many opinions about injustice, and she wasn’t allowed to talk about Creatures’ Rights to a Muggle.

 

“Five points to Slytherin,” the professor said and then dramatically clutched his chest. There was a moment when his eyes went very wide. Then, he dropped to the floor.

 

“P-professor?” Alder Brown called out nervously, looking even pastier than usual.

 

Professor Black reached beseechingly up to the Hufflepuff. “I’m dying. Child, can you heal me? Do you have some sort of potion or spell?”

 

Brown stared at him. “Uh…”

 

“You do! You must! If you didn’t, then you would have just said that like a normal Muggle. Please, help me. There’s no time.”

 

“I don’t!” Brown said, looking guilty. “I’m sorry. I really don’t.”

 

“Tell my wife I love her.” He slumped over.

 

After a long, dramatic pause, Professor Black opened his eyes and said, “Wow. I can’t believe you just let that guy die.”

 

“I thought that, if I helped, you would say it was a trick and burn me at the stake.”

 

Professor Black climbed to his feet, his top hat fallen and his fake mustache askew. “Maybe he would have. Or maybe he would have just thanked you and gone home to his fifteen kids. You’re gonna have to live with that question.”

 

Dahlia Farley, a Ravenclaw with thin lips and piercing eyes, spoke from the back of the room. “I would have snapped the Muggle’s neck like a dying bird.” 

 

“Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend that. Your turn, Farley.” The professor’s tone grew low and suspicious. “I think I just saw you casting some sort of spell with a magic wand.”

 

“I am a witch. Careful, or I may curse you.” The girl spoke as if she were reading lines from a play and had no enthusiasm for the role. 

 

“Huh. Really?”

 

“No. It was a joke, of course,” she said in the same calm, disinterested tone.

 

“You didn’t sound like you were joking.”

 

“To think, the look on your face. Oh, how it makes me smile.”

 

“You aren’t smiling.” Professor Black’s fake mustache finally gave up and fluttered to the ground.

 

Farley met his eyes. “I am.”

 

Professor Black said, “You might be a witch, but now I’m really confused. I’ll leave you be…for now. But if I see any more witchy business, I’m getting my pitchfork.”

 

At this, she did smile, though it didn’t look right on her face. “Good day to you.”

 


 

“Hey, Snape!” Sirius Black called out as he threw himself into the chair beside the dour headmaster at the High Table.

 

It was at times like these that Severus Snape dearly regretted ever taking meals out of his room. “Whatever you want, the answer is no.”

 

“Maybe I just wanted to say hi.”

 

Snape stared dully at him. Waiting.

 

“Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking. Muggle Studies is about teaching the kids to blend in with the Muggles. But how are they supposed to blend in with the Muggles if they never practice blending in with the Muggles?”

 

Snape glared down at his plate. He had lost all appetite. Black had that effect on him. “No field trips.”

 

“It’s educational. Isn’t that what we do here? Educate people?”

 

Snape’s lip curled. “I’m familiar with your students’ OWL and NEWT scores.”

 

Black shoveled food into his mouth as he said, “Still better than Burbage’s kids did. And they’ll definitely improve if they get to visit the Muggle world. Win-win.” 

 

“I will not have you endangering the students,” Snape growled.

 

Sirius Black slung an arm over the back of Severus Snape’s chair. “When have I ever endangered anybody?”

 

A vein visibly pulsed in Snape's forehead. “Do you recall the time you attempted to feed me to a werewolf?”

 

“I didn’t do that,” Black drummed his fingers on the back of the headmaster’s chair. “Did I?”

 

“I almost died.”

 

“Well, that explains why you remember it.”

 

“...This is another one of your jokes, isn’t it?” Snape said, forcefully pushing down his anger and bringing up a cold, emotionless mask.

 

“Nah, not this time. I was in Azkaban for twelve years. You lose a lot of memories to the Dementors.”

 

“Happy memories,” Snape said.

 

Black continued to wolf down his dinner. “Right!”

 

“I hate you,” the headmaster murmured.

 

“Is that a ‘no’ on the field trip, then? The kids are gonna be disappointed. I probably shouldn’t have sent home that permission slip. Or reached out to the Board of Governors for funding. Or talked to that reporter. Or—”

 

“I will not even consider it,” Snape ground out through gritted teeth, “unless at least one responsible adult accompanies the group.”

 

“Harry’s coming,” Black said. 

 

Snape shot him a withering glare.

 

“Fine,” Black said, raising his hands in mock surrender. “Hey, Minerva! You ever been to the zoo?”