Lime-chan: Okay, let's get started! First: Neither the Sentinel universe nor Harry Potter (or any other of the appearing charas) belong to us. They are owned by their inventers, as everyone knows. We're just borrowing them and having fun. We'll even give them back! (eventually ^-*)

Meanthis: Second: a big THANK YOU to Shedoc for beta-reading our stuff.

Lime-chan: Then, of course hugs and kisses towards those who sent us feedback. It is much appreciated and keeps reminding us of this story. (since I'm really easy to distract *sniffs*)

Meanthis: For the reasons why we didn't write anything in this story so long: Several things came together: Like real live…

Lime-chan: writers block…

Meanthis: other stories that wanted to be written…

Lime-chan: my rabid anime-obsessions… (it's chaos!)

Meanthis: and thousand other small things that kept us busy.

*Suddenly someone new enters the scene*

Heero: Hn.

Meanthis: What are you doing here?

Duo: Baka! *grabs him and tries to drag him away*

Lime-chan: Ooops… must have forgotten to close my sketchbook. Hey you two! You're not supposed to show up HERE!

Duo: Sorry, he only threatened to kill you. Again.

Meanthis (towards Lime-chan): Keep your Plotbunnies straight! We are NOT going to cross Sentinel with Gundam Wing!

Lime-chan: (whispers: why not? And continues aloud) It's okay, they do it all the time. I'm used to it. Heero tried to kill me several times… it just doesn't work for the same reason anyone keeps failing… *grins*

But you really do not belong in THIS universe, so hush, will ya?

Duo: Really, honey?

Lime-chan: REALLY. See Mea's comment!

Duo: Damn! We never got to have fun!

Meanthis: ...

Loki (appears out of nowhere): Hey! I wanna say something, too!!!

Lime-chan & Meanthis in unison: NO!! Go away!!!

Chibi-Holo-Thoth (pops up out of Lime-chans sketchbook): You there! Nobody listens to me! I am a god! I deserve respect!

Meanthis & Lime-chan: *sweatdrop*

Meanthis: He's all yours. Say something!

Lime-chan: ehehehe… Chibi, go back to sleep or else… *shows an evil and mad grin on her face*

Chibi-Holo-Thoth: But… mommy! Noone will ever kneel before me! I'm a god! I need worshipers! They shall listen!!!

Loki (pretty annoyed): So what? Do you think they listen to ME? And I'm a REAL god!

Mayura (who followed Loki): Whoooaa! Where am I? Who are all these people? Fushigi mystery!!!

Loki: *sighs* They're the authors, stupid. And several of their victims, I presume.

Relena: Heeeerooooooo....

Lime-chan: Eww, it's the pink menace… Heero! Mission! Make her shut up!!!

Heero: Ok. *Pulls gun and aims at Mea*

Meanthis: Do it, and I'll pair you up with Relena in the next story.

Heero: *gulp*

Lime-chan: I meant Relena anyway.

Relena: *pouts* You're mean!

Lime-chan: No. I'm just aware of my health!

Blair: Hi, uh, will you ever get this fic started? I mean, I can go back to sleep otherwise, really, it's not a prob...

Duo: Yeah, great! Then it's our turn! Shinigami's on his way!

Meanthis: No! Stay here! You are the only one who belongs here! And you're right. We need to get started here.

Lime-chan: *hushes everyone else away* Right! On with that damn fic!

(Characters borrowed from Kidou Senki Gundam Wing and Matantei Loki Ragnarok. The Holo-Thoth is mine, though, and belongs to Mea's Stargate-fanfic Thoths Servant.)

*********************

A Sentinel at Hogwarts Part V

Part V: Lessons

by Meanthis and Lime-chan

********************

The Gryffindor common-room was silent and peaceful. Everyone was happy to be back for another year in Hogwarts and most of the students were still down here talking. One of the most prominent topics at the moment was of course the newest teacher.

All in all, everyone was rather happy and relaxed. So it wasn't surprising that Harry couldn't shake the feeling of foreboding, as if something terrible was about to occur. He didn't need to wait too long.

About half a minute after the thought had crossed his mind the common-room was shaken by an explosion loud and heavy enough so that the age-old stone walls actually shook. The paintings screeched fearfully and most of the poor Gryffindors shot up from their places, startled. But what had happened?

Dark, heavy smoke filled the room, hiding everything from floor to the coughing students chest-level. Some of the first years panicked and shot up into the upper rooms, trying to evade the suspicious fogs. It didn't help at all, though. As soon as the doors to the sleeping dormitories were opened, the smoke gleefully swept up the stairs and into them as well.

Harry jumped on the next chair available, stationing himself higher up to allow himself to breathe. With a long practiced grip he fished his wand out of his robe and pointed it towards the windows.

"Aperite!"

To his immense relief the spell worked properly: the windows opened up simultaneously and the smoke slowly crept out into the open.

Hermione smiled at him, her own wand raised. Apparently she had just decided to do the same thing when Harry had anticipated her actions.

"Damn! What train hit us now?" Ron managed to ask hoarsely between two coughs.

A question that led to confused looks around the room. The source of that little incident was found all too soon. After the smoke had finally cleared out of the room completely, everyone still present could see Neville Longbottom sitting in a corner with a heavily blackened face and an exploded cauldron in front of him. Little fluffs of smoke still evaporated from it. Tears were streaming down the poor boy's cheeks as he sobbed uncontrollably.

"Neville! What did you do now?" Hermione asked more or less resigned to the fact that her classmate had started making trouble even sooner than usually in the new term.

"But… but…" was Neville's tearful reply "I just wanted… *hick* to put my stuff for tomorrow's… *hick* potion lesson together. Honest. I… I didn't even mix anything…"

Not that this wasn't typical Neville, but it was rather amazing how the boy could get anything to explode without even trying. He was a weapon all by himself.

Sighing deeply, Hermione, who had been joined by Harry and Ron, said quietly:

"Come on Neville. We'll help you clean."

About half an hour later (and a visit from both Filch and Professor McGonagall, who had been alarmed by the racket) the common room was back to its previous state. Soon after that everyone went to bed. No one expected that the little incident would have some serious consequences.

********************

It was in a definite bad mood. To be woken in such a way after not even sleeping for one millennia was simply rude. How could they!

Creeping along stones and walls it started to look for a way to find whoever woke it. It wanted revenge, vengeance, justice. It wanted to go back to sleep!

No, it was not happy at all.

********************

Jim woke up after a restful and undisturbed night and that was the first surprise for him today: Under normal circumstances he wouldn't have slept so well in a foreign environment. But he had slept like a baby.

Listening, Jim could hear Blair moving around in their small apartment and a short glance at his wristwatch confirmed that it was nearly time to rise and face the next day. Something Jim seriously considered avoiding for a few seconds. But responsibility won over self-preservation (like always) and a short time later Jim joined his roommate in the living-room.

Blair had seized the great table and was busy shifting through books, parchments, notebooks and even more parchment. Upon noticing Jim he just waved at his friend shortly and muttered an absentminded 'Morning Jim' before turning back to his organized chaos. A half filled book-bag was lying next to him on the table.

Recognizing his friend's normal "before lesson" behaviour, Jim retreated to one of the armchairs in front of the fireplace and waited. It was better not to disturb Blair during this phase of the morning. Trying to separate the young man from his work could prove hazardous to ones health after all.

About five minutes later - which was an amazingly short time for him - the chaos on the table was cleared, the book-bag filled and Blair was finally able to fully acknowledge his friend.

"Ready for some breakfast?" he asked the Sentinel smiling.

Jim looked up from the book he had been browsing through (because of the pretty pictures, he didn't understand a word written there) and returned the smile of his friend.

"Okay. If the breakfast is going to be as good as the dinner last night..."

Blair's smile grew into a wide grin:

"You can bet on it. I think Hogwarts is the only school where the food is not only more than eatable, but actually good-tasting."

Still grinning and with a light bounce in his step, Blair led Jim out of their apartment and back through the maze of corridors they had passed last night. To Jim's amazement, the stairs really were cooperating with Blair. They always changed in just the right way for the young man and his companion to reach their destination in the shortest time possible.

They arrived at the great hall to be greeted by a multitude of voices and the sounds of dishes and silverware rattling. Jim knew exactly why he never became a teacher in this moment.

He winced at the constant noise filling the hall and multiplying due to the echoes the big room produced. Blair's hand immediately touched his back in a gesture of comfort.

"Just calm down and filter it out. Concentrate only on the voices near you and not on everything else. It won't be as bad then." he said quietly.

Jim breathed deeply. It took him nearly a full minute to adjust. There were so many uncommon things he sensed, starting from the various smells of unknown food and spices up to the sight of the steady glow he still suspected was magic, as well as the uncomfortable tingling on his skin, which had steadily increased the closer they had come to this place.

"Better now?" his Guide asked after a while.

"Yeah. I'm fine."

"Then let's go. I'm starving!" Blair replied cheerfully.

Jim snorted grumpily and followed his personal wizard forward to the long table on the end of the room.

He didn't feel fine at all but that was nothing Blair needed to know. Oh, he would find out of course, since there was nothing he could hide from his Guide for long. But every minute he managed to fool his enthusiastic partner was a minute filled with peace and without any stupid tests. Which was worth fighting for. Really.

Jim cut his thoughts short and turned his attention to the person they had just reached. He tensed remarkably at the presence of Professor Snape.

The tall, black haired man, very obviously not a morning person, was already scowling at Blair for saying good morning (Jim could sympathize. He had been at the end of Blair's morning cheerfulness, too). Blair didn't seem to mind the tiniest bit, though. He chattered along, his eyes sparkling friendly and his soft voice soothing the whole area around him. Snape looked so helplessly enervated that Jim couldn't do anything else but pity him. So his glare for insulting his friend was a harmless variety and everyone who knew Jim would have recognized it as a rather neutral expression.

Unfortunately, the students didn't know him.

********************

"Oh man, the day hasn't started yet and this Ellison-guy is already in a bad mood." moaned Ron quietly towards Harry and Hermione. The latter was looking rather tired, even as she was trying to hide it. She had spent considerable time last night hitting her books in search of information about Blair Sandburg and his friend. Sadly, she hadn't found anything she didn't know about beforehand and virtually nothing about Jim Ellison. She would have to search the library. There simply had to be something special about him to come to Hogwarts together with such a good wizard; and she was going to discover what!

Her eyes swept absently along the table, where Colin Creepy - that camera-obsessed idiot - couldn't stop taking pictures from a very unhappy Neville who happened to still show the after-effects of his latest blow-up action in his face. Some strands of his hair were burned and his face showed reddish marks as well. Colin thought it very funny. The fact that by now the whole school had learned about the accident didn't help at all. The morning had already started with mocking comments and permanent giggling from certain Slytherins. Hermione sighed. It was just a good thing that Neville was a very even-tempered and behaved boy. And he had practice in the matter. That hadn't been his first blow after all!

She zoomed in on the conversation next to her again when she heard the name of one of her mysteries.

"Professor Sandburg is in a good mood, though," Harry just said observing their new teacher friendly and cheerfully greeting a foul-tempered Professor Snape, who sent one of his patented death-glares towards the younger man. But Professor Sandburg just laughed at it and sat down for some breakfast, still smiling brightly. His companion seemed noticeably less cheerful this morning and stared at the potion-master with a look that could equal some of Snape's glares with ease.

"Good! Could you imagine if he was as moody as Snape?"

Ron was still mistrusting their new teacher, but couldn't help to be infected by the obvious good mood Blair Sandburg was displaying. Perhaps this years DADA-lessons wouldn't be so bad after all.

Turning towards Hermione, who was poking around in her breakfast, Ron asked:

"When is our first DADA-lesson anyway?"

"Before the lunch-break. After potions." Hermione replied absently, having memorized all of their timetables already. Her answer prompted a groan from Ron who was being reminded of his least-favourite subject and the inevitable and hated fact that his day would start with it.

Trying to ban all thoughts of potions and its teacher (and everything else connected to it) from his thoughts Ron managed to finish his breakfast. Just when he popped the last bit of his bread into his mouth and tried to decide if he should take another muffin or not (in case he got hungry before lunch) he noticed Harry writing something.

"What are you doing?"

"Writing a letter to S… Snuffels," Harry whispered, correcting himself in the last moment, "I want to ask him if he knows anything about Blair Sandburg."

"Then do ask him if he knows anything about this Jim Ellison, too," Hermione chimed in, finally looking awake.

Harry nodded, never stopping in his writing. He had planned to ask Sirius this question anyway. If his growing suspicion was correct and Blair Sandburg was the American friend his godfather had met with this summer, Sirius should know something about Mr. Ellison. To Harry the strange man and Professor Sandburg somewhat looked like an inseparable pair.

Finishing the letter, Harry folded the parchment and put it in an envelope. He would send this letter as soon as he got one from Sirius. It would have been too dangerous to use Hedwig or one of the school-owls.

Putting the letter into his inner robe-pocket Harry hoped that he would soon hear from his godfather.

********************

Jim was enjoying his breakfast. Blair had been right: it was as delicious as the dinner. He dug into his bowl and observed the room.

Blair next to him tried to engage Professor Snape into a conversation with questionable success (Blair talked, Snape made agreeing noises every now and then). The topic had moved to some magical defence-techniques by now, a subject Jim didn't understand anyway, when a thought stuck him: What was he going to do while Blair was teaching? He could hardly go with his friend into the lessons.

When he asked this particularly question, Blair didn't seem too much concerned. To Jim's amazement it wasn't his Guide who answered but Professor Dumbledore:

"We thought you would like an more extensive tour around the school and its grounds. As long as you don't mind spending some time in my company."

There was an amused twinkle in the headmaster's eyes, something which reminded Jim a bit of Blair when his young guide was feeling mischievous.

Like now: Blair was muttering something, just loud enough for Sentinel-hearing to detect, which sounded suspiciously like Sentinel-Sitter. Jim wasn't sure if he had understood correctly but he shot a glare towards Blair just for good measures. Then he turned to the headmaster, and smiled politely.

"Of course I wouldn't mind. To say the truth, I'm pretty curious about the castle."

His answer prompted a happy smile from the headmaster and an understanding wink from Blair. The younger man knew that his friend would be incredibly more comfortable if he had inspected his surrounding for threats by himself. He needed it for the same reason he had prowled through their apartment last night: Cat-like curiosity, the Sentinel's mile wide overprotective streak and the police-officer's paranoia. As long as Jim hadn't had a chance to see for himself that there were no threats, he would get fidgety every time he left Blair alone.

Blair just hoped that "no threats" included most of the special features of the castle and the grounds, too. A muggle - and especially Jim - would probably *not* think of death-bringing plants in the greenhouses, flesh-devouring beasts in the forbidden woods or vanishing stairs leaving nothing but air and a looong fall down when you stepped on them as exactly "harmless". All these were things you learned to deal with and steadily ignore while studying at Hogwarts, things that just belonged to the magic world they lived in. After all, in this many years Hogwarts existed less than two handful people had been severely and/or permanently harmed. An incredulously low number compared to other schools. But a Sentinel put ill at ease because of those information was something Blair really didn't need.

Of course Jim frequently tried to fight this instincts (when he noticed them, which wasn't often) and of course Blair had long ago accepted them (when he wasn't trying to get away from said overprotective streak) but it would make life just so unnecessarily harder…

Fishing his wand out of his robe-pocket Blair muttered 'Tempus' and the numbers of a digital clock appeared in the air in front of him.

"I think I better get going. I want to be at the classroom before the first students!"

With this words Blair said goodbye and hurried out of the great hall, book-bag slung over his shoulder. Jim remained behind, looking forward to his trip around Hogwarts.

********************

Students started to file into the DADA classroom and took seats. Like so often (too often if you asked the pupils) Gryffindor and Slytherin students had this class together. For Harry, Ron and Hermione it usually meant that they had to deal with Draco Malfoy and his goons. Like today for example. The terrific trio had found seats in the third and forth row (experiences with Gilderoy Lockhart had taught one thing: the first row was dangerous!) and now they were discussing what they expected of the first lesson this year. After a double lesson of potion Ron's mood was down and his pessimistic opinion about their new teacher back. Hermione still held the belief that they shouldn't judge Professor Sandburg before they hadn't had at least one lesson with him and Harry said that it couldn't get any worse than some of their previous lessons which prompted Ron to the exclamation:

"You've jinxed it. Now it's definitely going to be worse!"

Which brought Hermione to a short lecture that no, there were no such thing as jinxes and that Ron should stop being so superstitions. Harry looked at the resulting quarrel, not even trying to interfere.

Sadly they couldn't be left alone to have their little discussion in peace. Draco Malfoy had listened to everything and though that this was a good opportunity to make his own opinion about the new teacher known. His father hadn't been happy at all when he had heard that Blair Sandburg was going to teach for awhile. The following monologue (for a Malfoy would never rant) had been very informative. Of course Draco had been as confused as everybody else about the new Professor's relationship with Snape, but he had chosen not to notice it. After all, what his father had said was true.

Stubbornly ignoring this little voice in the back of his head that was asking if Lucius Malfoy really was all this trustworthy, Draco said loud enough for everyone in the classroom to hear:

"The new teacher is just another mudblood. As if we could learn anything from the likes of him."

Several Slytherin students agreed with this while the majority of the Gryffindors looked furious.

"And what exactly do you think you know about Professor Sandburg, Malfoy?"

Harry was more than just slightly annoyed by Draco. If the boy at least would think up a *new* insult now and then, but he always tried to bait them with the same. Sadly, it worked every single time.

Draco was looking smug. He and Potter had the attention of all the other students who knew very well that it was very likely for the two to exchange blows very soon.

"My father said he was just a coward who ran away as soon as things got dangerous for him. Went to America and never looked back. Was probably too scared and weak to stay."

"Professor Sandburg is a very good wizard." Hermione said, feeling obligated to defend their new teacher's character and abilities, and Ron added gleefully:

"Your father was probably the one who got his trousers full."

"From what? A mudblood? Or some second-class-muggle-loving-wizard like your father? I don't think so!"

"Why you!"

That did it! Ron, who had tried the whole time to keep his temper in check (really, he had tried), wiped out his wand, pointing it at Malfoy and was about to shout some curse, but Malfoy had only waited for this. He had his own wand ready and the spell shouted, before Ron could even blink. Time seemed to stop. But before the spell could hit its intended target, the students heard a calm, steady voice from the room-entrance.

"Inflecta summonis!"

The little light-ball of the spell that had been armed at Ron rerouted with a tail of sparks trailing behind, swished over the heads of various students and came to a stop at the tip of Professor Sandburg's wand. The teacher was standing in the door and was looking everything but happy. His glance roamed over the students, looking each one in the eye. The class couldn't stand it for long, most of the pupils started to squirm uncomfortably, looking away from his fiery blue eyes and trying not to get noticed. Blair sighed internally and made his way into the room. It seemed like he had just gotten here in time. A small dancing sphere of light was still hovering around the tip of his wand.

Walking through the room to the teacher's desk, he turned once again surveying the class. Then he raised his wand and with a quick flick and a clearly spoken 'Diffendium' the captured spell disintegrated.

The classroom was deadly silent and so Ron's involuntary exclamation of "wicked" was heard by everybody. A quick grin flashed over Blair's face:

"Thank you, Mr. Weasley. Now please take your seats. Mr. Malfoy, would you please stay behind after the lesson? Oh, and five points off Slytherin for casting aggressive spells outside classes!"

A hue of red showed on Ron's face and Draco looked pretty furious. Not that Blair cared very much. He had a standard of being fair and that included that he tried not to have favourites in class. If Draco Malfoy thought he could get away with anything just because his father was more powerful than others he better thought again. On the same thought, he wasn't about to tolerate any nonsense from anyone else either.

A second glace towards him showed Blair that young Malfoy was trying out the famous arrogant glare his father had perfected. It was a bit scary how much the boy reminded Blair of the older Malfoy at this moment. He had never gotten along with Lucius either. The man was and always had been an obsessive and narrow-minded traditionalist and racist - something his own father had installed into him. It looked like the next generation of Malfoys would wander down the same path. Sadly so. Had Draco ever tried to think for himself at all?

Postponing this deep philosophical thoughts to another time, Blair turned to the class at large and started his introduction finding it better to satisfy most of his pupils' curiosity right at the start:

"Okay, let's get this show on the road. Perhaps I should start with a few facts about myself so you can concentrate on the lesson instead on the mysterious new teacher."

Reserved and uncertain chuckles answered Blair's words. The students still didn't know what to think about their new teacher.

"I'm 31 years old, I graduated here in 1979 and have been living in the USA full-time since 1981. Some of you probably know about the fact that I distanced myself from the wizard-world during those years, but don't worry: I haven't forgotten too much."

After the demonstration a few minutes ago the students tended to agree. Hermione was only listening with half her mind (something really noteworthy for her). She was searching her memory for the two spells their new professor had used at the begin of the lesson, but she couldn't remember to have ever read or heard about any of them (something noteworthy, too!).

"In the few weeks I'll be here I'm going to try bringing you up to a certain level of knowledge in the Defence against Dark Arts. Of course, Remus Lupin did his best but since I know that Lockhart was your teacher, too, I'm going to take nothing for granted."

More chuckling, mostly from the male students. Some of the female ones still had a crush on Gilderoy Lockhart.

"After I finish checking if everyone who's supposed to be here really is I want you to tell me what you did during the last three years. That way I'll know which topics I'll need to teach you."

The roll-call went smoothly. Everyone was where he or she belonged. The only strange thing (at least in Hermione's overactive imagination) was that Professor Sandburg would pause at some names and look at the pupils with an undefined look in his eyes.

Putting the parchment with his students' names down Blair once again cast a look around. Draco was still glaring and tried to shoot the teacher down with it. Sadly, that stupid muggle-loving guy was immune against dark glares and didn't care a bit. Professor Sandburg did a fine job at ignoring him and pointed his attention towards the other students.

"Any further questions before we get started?"

Hermione's hand shot up immediately, followed by the grinning or annoyed looks of Gryffindors and Slytherins. That was typical for her. You really could have expected that.

"Yes, Miss Granger?"

"What kind of spells did you use at the start?"

Inwardly Blair chided himself for not estimating this question but he answered calmly:

"Actually these two spells original came from duelling, but they really aren't used any more. Inflecta summonis is used to capture your opponent's spell, mostly as a reflective attack: you send your opponent's spell back to him with a little bit extra power. People stopped using this spell when safer variants were developed.

Diffendium is actually an older variant of Finite Incantatum which isn't used any more because it is pretty useless when the curse has already hit. But in combination with the capture spell it is pretty effective.

But, before anybody asks, I won't teach you these spells and before any of you gets the idea to try this spells on their own: Don't! This is stuff for seventh years."

"Why?" Draco asked and did a nice job hiding his curiosity behind the attempt to sound insufferable arrogant. A feat worthy of his father. Blair just looked at him with the same calm stare that made Jim and Simon nervous, before he said:

"Because, Mr. Malfoy, to capture a spell, even a relatively weak one, you need a very tight focus on your magic. A kind of focus you only get through years of practise and experience. I know some full-grown and rather strong wizards and witches who wouldn't be able to cast this spell correctly. If any of you would try it, your wand would most probably blow up in your face. So please, do Miss Pomfrey a favour and don't try!"

Blair's hard look softened as he turned towards Hermione.

"I hope I answered your question to your satisfaction."

To the whole class he said:

"Okay, lets get started, shall we?"

The following minutes Professor Sandburg spent writing down what the students told him what they learned and what not. The comments Professor Sandburg dropped now and then proved that he was very knowledgeable in the subject.

Afterwards he moved on to his expectations on the students. He filed through the book they had been assigned to buy for this year and soon they were surprised to hear that half of the stuff was way easier than described in there. Since the lesson had started somewhat with protection from nasty spells, thanks to Malfoy, Professor Sandburg let them try out a less powerful Shield-spell out of the book and then demonstrated another one, based on the same principle.

Parvati Patil, who had been one of the involuntary volunteers, struggled a lot to keep her book-based one up while Neville (out of all people) beamed happily at his full-evolved shield around him.

The students felt better by now, the mystery concerning that new man in front of them had lifted a bit and they actually started enjoying the lesson. Blair Sandburg was found to be a kind and funny teacher whose explanations were as interesting as easy to understand. Even Neville was busily scribbling down and gleaming about the stuff.

Suddenly, the lesson was rudely interrupted by loud howling and rattling noises coming from the back of the classroom. The students looked around with varying degrees of annoyance, confusion and fright. Professor Sandburg's only reaction consisted in a slightly raised eyebrow.

The rattling grew louder and then books, parchment and quills started to fall to the floor, accompanied by a crackling laughter. A moment later Peeves appeared still laughing gleefully. Everyone in the classroom groaned in annoyance safe Professor Sandburg who didn't seem to react at all. Until Peeves the Poltergeist reached the head of the classroom.

"Hello Peeves." Professor Sandburg said softly, the only expression in his face being the sparkling smile of his eyes. The Poltergeist's eyes grew impossible big and he opened his mouth in what looked like an attempt to gulp for air like a fish. All colour drained out of him - even his colourful clothes became pale.

Professor Sandburg faced him smiling as if he had never seen anything evil in his whole life. Then all of a sudden Peeves started screeching madly:

"He's back! He's back! He's back! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"

Chanting this one sentence over and over again Peeves drew one panicked round through the room even forgetting to knock down anything and vanished through the ceiling. The expression on Professor Sandburg's face was one of satisfaction.

"It's nice to see I am remembered… okay, back to work, excitement is over."

The students stared at their teacher. No one, safe perhaps the bloody baron, had ever made such an impression on Peeves. The Poltergeist and bane of the school had been terrified!

Before the children could get over their shock (or Hermione could start asking questions) the lesson was interrupted again. George (or Fred?) Weasley came running into the room, breathing fast as if he had ran a very long way.

"Professor Sandburg… gasps …Dumbledore… gasps … send me … something wrong with … Mr. Ellison… gasps"

Professor Sandburg paled considerably.

"Where are they?"

"Corridor… between the… great hall and the gardens."

Professor Sandburg nodded curtly.

"You sit down and get your breath back. Class, I expect you to behave until I'm back!"

Without waiting for any answers Professor Sandburg took of with high speed. George meanwhile let himself fall into an empty chair.

"What happened, George?" Ron finally asked his brother, unnerved by how scared he looked. It took a moment before George answered:

"We just wanted to try that new joke out. Really. We even went to a vacated corridor. You know, those flashy grenades we worked on over the holidays. But just as we do the spell, Headmaster Dumbledore and Mr. Ellison come around the corner. Mr. Ellison makes a real pained face then stops moving altogether. If I didn't know better I would have thought someone cast Petrificus Totalus on him."

The students in the class-room exchanged puzzled looks. None of them knew what to make out of this.

"Hermione?" Ron asked whispering to the wandering library right next to him.

She shook her head. "I can't think of what would trigger such an reaction," she admitted finally after a long pause of thoughts.

Harry and Ron looked at each other. No one could come up with an explanation, not even Hermione although she was trying very hard. Which meant, that the mystery had just strengthened again. All three of them sat there with twitching fingers and feet, wanting to know what had happened in detail. But they really weren't supposed to go and find out. Damn. That was the most hated fact about curiosity: you could not satisfy it without risking to get into deep trouble. They knew. After all, they had experienced this rule more than often by now.

Suddenly Draco stood up, closely followed by his two personal goons Crabbe and Goyle, and moved to the door.

"Where are you going?!" Hermione asked in a scandalized tone. Of course, she knew the answer.

Draco just smirked:

"I'm going to check out what kind of trouble you Gryffindorks got yourself in this time."

Without giving anyone the chance to answer or protest Draco left the room.

Ron and Harry shared a short, meaningful look before jumping up and following. They could hear Hermione's protests, but neither cared. They wanted to know what was going on. And unlike Hermione they were not too caring about the school rules. They had gotten into trouble in the past times, right. But they had ever found out of it, too.

To be continued

On to the next part.

********************

Lime-chan: Yeah! Another part finished.

Duo (between two mouthfull of popcorn): Rather short, don't ya think?

Heero: Hn (translation: give me some popcorn)

Duo: See, Heero agrees with me.

Heero: ... (translation: I do, but I also want popcorn.)

Lime-chan: You there! Are you lots *STILL* here? Go back in my sketchbook!

Duo: We can't, Lady! There's this stupid hologramm that made itself at home there and whines!

Meanthis (trying to overhear their conversation): Well, I admit it is a short chapter...

Loki (after stealing a handful of popcorn for himself): Nothing really happened.

Blair and Jim: Which is a good thing!

Loki and Heero: ... (translation: ...)

Duo: Why?

Jim: Because if something happens it will be something bad when those two do the writing.

Blair: At least bad for us.

Lime-chan (pointly ignoring everyone): The next part will hold a bit more action. Promise!

Meanthis (muttering): If we ever get the next part written that is.

Lime-chan: Naah. I've got already a raw-version done! It just needs some work and… time. *sadly swaps around her homework* Whoever invented holiday-essays, if I can lay my hand on 'em, they're TOAST!

Heero: Hn (translation: I still want some popcorn)

Lime-chan: So, if you liked this chapter, tell us, we would like to know what you think. By the way, I want popcorn, too!

(Meanwhile Heero is stalking towards Duo and the bowl of popcorn, on a search and retrieval mission)

Meanthis (looking worriedly at the two Gundam Pilots battling over popcorn while the deaged god of evil is happily munching it): I think it would be best to say good-bye until next time at this point.

Lime-chan (following Meanthis' look and also noticing the seemingly harmless bunnies hopling around): Yes, I think that would be a good idea. *eyes the bunch of crazy boys* Ehehehehe… *sweatdrops* I suppose you're right.

Meanthis: I am?

Lime-chan: *cheerfully* Yeah! We'll end it RIGHT NOW! Bye-bye!

Everyone: Bye until next time!

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