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Finding the Measure

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Menolly had an entire new world to learn. Petiron Had been teaching her, but the old man's mind had been shaky, and the structure of the school was challenging her to reframe what she did know. She had Astronomy with Professor Sinistra, while Charms was with the most curious Professor Flitwick. Herbology was with Madame Sprout, and the History of Magic class belonged to Cingan Harper. Transfiguration's teacher was Professor Telgar, and that subject was truly intriguing her, but she always felt so cold when she walked into Potions with Madame Malfoy. At least Defense Against the Dark Arts was Professor Stein, who was Petiron's own son, and the one who had rescued her from her village.

There was also flying upon brooms to learn, with a sharp woman named Hooch, but that did not frighten her near as much as the idea that this was all still a dream, one of her fancies spun out in faerie glamour, as the villagers called it. Menolly had taken to pinching herself slightly when she woke, certain that she had to be sure of her reality.

By the end of the first week, Menolly knew two things: there was a deep agony lingering on the castle, and she was in love with being a witch. Or wix, if she didn't want to be so gender-specific. There were so many things to learn, and she wanted to know them all… something that did not go unnoticed by a woman recovering from the very events that had left its agony upon the castle.

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This woman, invited personally by Robinton to take up a teaching position and leadership of her House, was finding herself in Robinton's company more than enough to study the Muggle-born witch with her passion for all things of the Wizarding World.

Robinton watched as Narcissa joined him in his office, as Menolly was ducking out from having come to ask a question. He had noticed the interest, finding it privately surprising, but he was doing all he could to cultivate this mostly rational woman. That meant not prodding blood purity theories or such.

"Your student, Menolly, that you brought here. She seems to find magic more natural than breathing," Narcissa said, opening the door to the conversation Robinton had been certain he would not get to have.

"Pardon me for seeming overly concerned, but I find it fascinating you have noticed it," Rob said easily, procuring a wine from a locked drawer, along with two goblets, now that the teaching day was done.

Narcissa made a small expression of distaste. "Perhaps I am seeking to be enlightened, on how these Muggle-born children fit in our future, Robinton." She accepted her goblet as the silver-haired man, still vital and dynamic in all the ways she'd once thought of Lucius, perched on the desk edge, having ceded her the chair.

"I believe, Narcissa, you see her passion, and wonder how to evoke it in those survivors you care for," Robinton replied to that. The flash in her eyes told him he was on the right track. "Menolly, like myself, may not descend from the Twenty-Eight, but our blood is old, old as the Isles and other traditions. She is of Orkney, and the Muggle fear and envy surrounding her had the elders hearkening to Morgause. For her to find that being a witch does not mean she is evil by her very existence has opened her mind to so much."

"You realize, Robinton, your words betray something akin to the blood purity debates, when you counter by how old the blood of the traveling folk, or the more native peoples are," she pointed out. "Which leaves ones like that wild-haired witch assisting Weasley as much in the cold as ever."

Robinton conceded the point with a tip of his goblet before sipping it. "In her, and those others who have come to us from previously unknown bloodlines, I see an infusion of ideas and energy, Narcissa. A way to revitalize our own people, so that we do not get trapped in stone-thinking, never innovating, only adapting as Muggle devices become known to us."

She made a slightly scoffing sound, but let it go at that. Another sip of the fabulous wine (and how did he always have just the right vintage to meet her tastes?) preceded her meeting his gaze fully.

"I may never understand their place, nor wish to consort with them, Robinton. But I am not so foolish as to ignore the changes thrust upon us by the unpleasantness of the last few years. I will adapt, and my family will persevere. What I see in your student is … energy. And a validation that the world I live fully within is more enduring and enticing than the one she came from. Making it the superior place to be."

Robinton could follow Narcissa's logic there, and see the obverse side of it. Those like Dean Thomas and Hermione Granger, both part of the so-called 'Missing Class' that were finishing their studies while assisting in regular classes and rebuilding, kept more of their original world with them. Menolly had shed the world she'd come from to embrace this one, but in all circumstances, there were nuances Narcissa was missing.

"With you here, my dear lady, we can shape a world that understands how to survive without dividing first, I pray," Robinton finally said, watching her.

"I will do what I can, for my House, for my students, and mostly for my family."

"So I trust."

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"What do you see, Mister Potter, as you look down on all of this?"

Minerva McGonagall's voice still made Harry's spine tighten, and this was after events that had put them all on the equal footing of survival. However, it also made him focus, instead of looking out into the open area and seeing the past, or seeing all the damage yet to repair.

There were Slytherins moving in tight little groups… but they were not bullying anyone. Nor were they being reviled, avoided, or scoffed at. The other houses mingled freely as they moved between classes, and as he watched, a Ravenclaw helped a Slytherin first year that had somehow gotten separated from her class get back on track.

"Hope."

It was a cliche, but it was also truth. Harry had never wanted to destroy the Wizarding World, and he did not want the families of the aggressors to suffer any more for the wrong-headed actions of Voldemort and his army. To see all four Houses returning to normal practices, even if the school itself wasn't fully back to its old self, was a promise that they could all heal from the past.

"Odd. I see work to be done," Minerva said, and for half a moment, Harry looked all around to see what she meant. Professor Stein would not need him just yet….

"You're teasing me, Headmistress," he realized.

"Mister Potter, I never!" she protested, but he knew, now, to watch her eyes, and he gave her a warm smile. When he looked back, the classes were vanishing into rooms, and Harry knew he should join Dean and Ron and the rest for Hermione's tutoring session.

He would, with a little more lightness in his spirit.

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