Actions

Work Header

Professor Doyle

Chapter Text

Author: Lucinda
rated y-14, just to be safe.
 disclaimer: Doyle is the creation of Joss Whedon for Angel: the Series, Minerva belongs to JK Rowling from her Harry Potter novels. Any mention of people, places or situations from those sources is also not my property.

distribution: anyone with permission for one of my other BtVS/Harry Potter crossovers has permission. notes: written for Twisting's FfA. Post 'Hero' in s1 AtS.


..............


The Scourge had come to Los Angeles, wanting to purge the city of demon-human hybrids. They'd been trying to fight them, and then he'd jumped, there had been painful impact with the metal death-device, and then bright light combined with the most excruciating burning sensation... Doyle was fairly certain that he was supposed to be dead.

Which in no way explained to him what he was doing sprawled on a polished wooden floor in front of a fireplace, staring at an older woman with her hair in a bun, clad in a dark green gown and an old man that could have doubled for a gaudier Gandalf, both of them apparently frozen in the act of sipping tea from china cups with a pattern of red lions marching around the edges.

"This is unexpected, Minerva," the Gandalf-like man murmured, sipping at his tea.

Her tea was placed firmly on a tray, and she looked at him, eyes narrowing at Doyle. With a disapproving Scottish accent, she commented, "I was certain that I had wards up to prevent people from just flooing into my parlor."

"How did I end up back in the Isles?" Doyle murmured, blinking in confusion. He thought that he'd been in a boat, but still... The hold of a boat should not translate to some Scottswoman's parlor. Shaking his head in a futile effort to make sense out of his situation, Doyle offered a small smile to the woman, "I do apologize for the interruption, though I'm not sure that it was any doing of mine at all."

"Back in the..." Minerva frowned, giving him the distractedly thoughtful expression that most likely meant that she was trying to see if he was someone that she should remember. "Where were you before, young man?"

Deciding that neither Minerva or the man who couldn't be Gandalf seemed to be inclined to attack him, Doyle very slowly sat up, waiting to see if it would be safe to try standing up. Considering that he was still certain he should be dead, he wasn't going to take standing up for granted. "The last thing I was certain of, I was in the hold of a boat docked on the edge of Los Angeles, in the United States. I seem to have missed the explanation of how that changed."

"I'm particularly impressed by the white color the fire turned just before you came through," the old man mused. "Most unlike the normal green."

"I came through white fire instead of green..." Doyle blinked, wondering just how hard he'd hit his head when ending up on the woman's floor. "Perhaps you could be telling me a general idea of where I am? Beyond the well-polished parlor of Minerva, that is."

"And here I was under the impression that such strange things only happened around Harry Potter," Minerva muttered, shaking her head. With a small sigh, she made a few motions with a small, pointed stick that somehow produced another teacup, and then poured a cup. "Do you take cream or sugar in your tea?"

"One sugar, thank you," Doyle murmured, slowly rising to his feet. He felt dizzy, and dark spots danced in his vision, causing him to ask, "Might I be sitting down?"

With a gesture from Minerva's wand, one of the plaid upholstered chairs scooted forward. "Of course."

"Perhaps you'd like a lemon drop?" the old man offered, holding out a small bowl filled with pale yellow candies.

"Not everyone is enamored of those candies, Albus. I have some lemons if he'd care for something to flavor his tea," Minerva reproved.

Sipping at his tea, Doyle tried to figure out what had happened. His mind kept returning to the conclusion that he should be dead. "I'm Doyle, and I'm starting to think that I've come a good bit further than simply across an ocean."

"Well, young Doyle, you are most fortunate that you've arrived here instead of somewhere less hospitable. Had you been truly unfortunate..." Albus sighed, watching him over half-moon glasses as he sipped at steaming tea that carried a distinctly sweet and lemonish smell. "I'm afraid that dark times are once again looming for our world."

As Doyle sat in the comfortable chair, sipping at Minerva's potent tea, he listened to the pair continue their conversation. He learned that they were both part of the faculty of a place called 'Hogwarts', which was apparently some sort of boarding school, and that the school terms would be starting up in a little over a month. The Harry Potter mentioned earlier was one of Minerva's students, and apparently had a positive gift for trouble finding him, a rivalry with 'young Malfoy', and far more personal notice of the teachers than Doyle thought was normal for a young man, or perhaps still a boy.

Albus took a few moments, pondering his teacup, before murmuring, "It seems this year will be no less interesting than the last. My thanks for the tea, Minerva."

Striding to the fireplace, he reached into a bowl, tossing a handful of something into the fire. When the flames turned from a pale yellow to a lime green, he called out, 'Dumbledore's office' before stepping into the fireplace and vanishing.

"That's not something I see everyday," Doyle gawked. Either he'd hit his head really hard, or there might be a bit more in the tea than just tea leaves and water...

After a few moments, Minerva looked at him. "Mr. Doyle, how much of that did you understand?"


"We're in Scotland, you and Albus who isn't quite Gandalf are part of the faculty of a school, trouble finds Harry Potter quite a lot, and there's some sort of grave peril rising that the government is ignoring. On top of that, you're both apparently practiced at working magic," Doyle shrugged fairly certain that as Albus had mentioned, things could have been much worse. "Does this You-Know-Who that I don't know who have vampires, or only werewolves and more magic users? If he's that smart, you'd think he'd want some followers who can act more than once a month."


Blinking, Minerva murmured, "Our sources of information are rather limited. We believe that he's made some approaches to several groups of vampires, but has not yet been able to come to any agreement. Considering your surprise about the Floo and my wand, I hadn't expected you to know anything about such creatures."


Despite the sound of it, Doyle was certain that Minerva didn't mean influenza when she said 'flu', no matter how much it sounded like that. "I'm starting to suspect that I might be in a completely different world. Some of the things that I knew about before made it clear that there's alternate worlds, parallel dimensions, and different realms, though I'm a bit fuzzy on the differences. I was well aware that magic is real, though you seem to be using it differently than I've seen, and I know a good deal about vampires and werewolves. Not from direct experience, of course, but there are some things that stick once you've learned them."

"A different world..." Minerva shook her head, her fingertip running along the length of her wand. "I'm not certain that we could find a way to send you back."

Remembering the death-device and the Scourge, Doyle shivered. His life had fallen apart after his divorce, well, more accurately the divorce had been part of his life falling apart, but the point was that the only people who might miss him were Angel and Cordelia. Possibly a few people that he owed money to. "I think I can deal with being here instead of there."


"Well, I suppose that we'll need to help you learn about this world. I still have the books from when my boys were in school, I can bring them down for you to go through," Minerva rose from her chair, smiling. "By chance do you know anything about working with children?"


"I spent a few years as a kindergarten teacher," he offered, wondering what had prompted the question. "Shouldn't I learn a bit more about this world before you set me in front of a classroom?"


"Perhaps," she chuckled. "Don't worry at all, you'll do just fine."

End Landings.







Chapter Text




The school was in a castle. Doyle shook his head, still surprised by that, even though he'd been here for a month. He'd spent so much time trying to learn that he'd barely had time to consider the smaller things. He wasn't in California anymore, but somewhere in Scotland. He wasn't dead anymore, though nobody could quite explain that one. Wizards and witches were... a lot more varied than he'd thought.

The ones here used wands. They flew on brooms and made potions in cauldrons. They dressed in robes and wore pointy hats.

If they weren't so impressive with the spells, he'd have laughed.

He'd been here for a month, and they wanted to make him a teacher. Not that he particularly objected to the idea, he'd been a teacher once before. But how did they expect him to teach a class called 'the History of Magic' when he knew so little of this world?

"Oh! I didn't... sorry to interrupt. Are... are you a new teacher?" He was being stared at in shocked puzzlement by a girl who looked to be about fourteen, with long, bushy brown hair and a thick book tucked under her arm.

He tried to give her a reassuring smile. "Possibly. Headmaster Dumbledore seems to think that I should be."

"You couldn't be worse than Professor Quirrel. Or Lockehart, I suppose," she mused. "Oh, I'm Hermione Granger."

"Why is that?" Doyle faced her, curious about what sort of reasoning the girl would use. "You aren't knowing anything about me."

"Well..." She paused, and glanced up, looking hesitant. "Lockeheart was a fraud, and Quirrel was sharing a body with an evil wizard. You couldn't possibly be a worse Defense teacher than they were."

He started to laugh. She thought that he would be teaching Defense? Though it did sound as if only a complete magical incompetent would be worse... which, unfortunately, was an accurate description of himself.

"Sir?" Miss Granger's voice was timid. "What's so funny?"

"Much as it sounds like you deserve a better quality teacher than those, that's not the position that I've been offered. Apparently, your Professor of Magical History is long overdue a retirement, and Headmaster Dumbledore thinks that I could replace him." He shook his head, deciding not to mention his lack of magical skill. "And since I'm not quite a Professor yet, you may call me Mr. Doyle."

"History of Magic? Really?" Her eyes lit up. "Oh, that would be wonderful! Professor Binns has been... well, he's been teaching that class for five hundred years, and he really is due a change..."

"Five hundred..." Doyle blinked. "Please tell me he's another ghost."

"Yes, sir." Her eyes twinkled. "Have you read 'Hogwarts: a History' yet?"

"Not yet," he admitted. "Even knowing so very little about me, do you think I'd do a better job?"

"Well, I think the students would probably stay awake, which would be a big improvement," she murmured. "Headmaster Dumbledore wouldn't have offered the position if he didn't think you could do it."

Doyle hmmmed, before a thought occurred to him. "Isn't it a bit early for you to be at school? Still summer vacation, I'd think."

"Apparently, there was some concern about my safety considering that You-Know-Who is back, and Professor McGonagall arranged for me to come back to school early."

"Of course, she's a very determined woman when she sets her mind to something," Doyle agreed, feeling rather cautious of the older witch. It wasn't that he feared she'd use her magic against him, but then again, she wouldn't have to. The woman could put more scolding disapproval and almost motherly disappointment in a raised eyebrow and a few well-chosen words... He'd also have to ask someone about this 'You-Know-Who' person, because he didn't know. The way Miss Granger had used the term, it was obvious that everyone was supposed to know.

"It's because I'm friends with Harry Potter," she explained.

"Ah," Doyle nodded. He was still a bit unclear on the details, but he knew that everyone seemed to expect quite a lot of that boy, and that for some reason that was equally unclear, he was apparently famous. "Poor kid, having the weight of so much expectation on him."

"I'm sure you'll be a great teacher, Mr. Doyle." Hermione offered, and then retreated towards the castle.

"At least someone expects good things from me," he murmured. The vote of confidence felt good, though he wondered if she'd be so friendly and confident if she knew about his father... No, probably not. Best to be keeping that a secret then.

end Vote of Confidence.

Chapter Text




"An American. One without proper credentials from any of the major American wizarding schools, without certification from the British ministry, and without a well-known pureblood name," the voice slid through the shadows in advance of the dark wizard.


"You must be Severus Snape, the Potions Master," Doyle glanced at the wizard.


He'd heard quite a few things about this man, though he'd been away on 'important business' during the summer. Albus had only said that he was the Potions Professor, and a Master of his craft. Minerva had said that Severus had been the youngest member of the faculty, until the decision to hire Doyle had been made. And that he was somewhat prickly in nature, rather like a thistle in some regards. Sibyl Trelawney, Professor of Divination and the most overly-theatrical woman he'd ever had the experience of meeting had muttered things about snakes and ill-omens. Thia Vector had explained a small portion of that, clearing up that the 'snake' portions meant that Severus was the head of the Slytherin house, and there were rumors that he'd been a Death Eater.


He'd had a very long night with the history books researching Death Eaters and 'You-Know-Who.' It turned out that everybody had been terrified of the leader of a group of dark and evil wizards and witches, calling his followers Death Eaters, and the head evil wizard himself, this 'Lord Voldemort' was called the Dark Lord or You-Know-Who. Parts of the whole mess seemed absurd and other parts down right terrifying.


"I can't help but wonder what fit of insanity has possessed Albus this time," the voice whispered of darkness and lethal secrets, and the man looked perfectly suited for every one of the rumors that suggested he'd poisoned his rivals.

"You wouldn't be the only one," Doyle tilted his head as he considered the other man. How much of his prickliness was a reaction to the way his youth would be viewed? How much of it was a defense, and how much the first means of attack of someone who obviously have few friends in his youth, if any at all? "I've already had to assure one of the students that was brought in early that I'm not the new Defense Professor. It sounds like a most unlucky position, and they couldn't talk me into that one. Not without a good deal more than tea, lemon drops, and some bother about dark times, grave peril, and bit of trouble filling the post."

"Oh?" one dark brow rose. "You are the only new Professor that I've been informed of, and the Defense position does open with dismal regularity."

"History of Magic. Professor Binns has moved on to a long delayed afterlife away from the living. While I'm not sure who will be the new Defense Professor, I do know that it won't be myself," Doyle offered a smile to the other man, hoping that the next youngest member of the faculty wouldn't be an enemy.

For a few moments, Severus Snape studied Doyle with a calm that revealed nothing of his thoughts. The words wiggled out of lips that seemed unwilling to move, "I suppose that it was time for Binns to be replaced."

"From what the others have said, the fact that I didn't go to school here will leave some uncertain how to react to me. Not only were none of them my teachers when I was a wee lad, they can't be certain what I do or don't know already," Doyle let himself smile, remembering that the Slytherins were supposed to be ambitious, sometimes ruthlessly so. There had also been a few mutterings about blood and 'proper wizarding heritage" that hadn't made much sense. Doyle was operating under the assumption that if he didn't know what 'proper wizarding heritage' was, then he probably didn't have the right heritage.

"Gryffindors do tend to charge in where Ravenclaws will hold back and study the situation until they are forced to act. A Hufflepuff will let their ties to each other drag them into folly, and a Slytherin will consider their own likely benefits," The expression on Severus's face wouldn't have been called a smile for most people.

"I'd be interested in hearing your advice and opinions about the rest of the faculty, and about some of the students, if you'd be willing to share," Doyle asked. He remembered that it had always pleased the faculty at the school he'd been at before to be able to give advice to the new people. Magical or not, British or not, he would bet that the same would hold true here at Hogwarts.


"That might take some time," there was a pause, and then those dark eyes focused on him. "What have you been told about Harry Potter?"

"Not very much," Doyle replied, feeling cautious. Just how much interest did the faculty have for the boy, and how much of it would be helpful? "Minerva said that he was one of hers, which I took to mean a Griffyndor. I think he was going to be in his fifth year, and he sounds like he has a positive curse for being in the thick of trouble. Rolanda says he's brilliant on a broom, and went into a long talk about Quidditch games. Professor Sprout said he works hard in her class, but doesn't talk much, and Filius said his charms work is an oddly mixed bag."


"And your opinion on the boy?" There was a definite edge to those words that robbed the question of the innocence of the words.


Doyle forced himself to shrug as if he hadn't caught the tension in the question. "Quidditch is a sport, and there's very few who can make a living at that once they're done with school. He could probably benefit from spending more time on his homework than his broomstick, and if the Powers That Be are kind, he'll stay out of trouble this year."


"While I do not presume myself an expert on the Powers you mentioned, or on Potters, I would not advise that you hold your breath in expectation of such a thing," there were dark undertones to the words.


Doyle couldn't quite keep from shivering at those words. It wasn't quite a vision, but the feeling that passed though him was close enough that he wanted a headache potion or a shot of fire whiskey. "I don't intend to do such a thing. The Powers are not often kind enough that someone with that sort of curse would have a peaceful year."


"Dark times have returned, and I wouldn't count on any of us having a peaceful year," Severus spoke again, his words edging into the shadows.


"No offense intended, Professor Snape, but I hope that you're wrong," Doyle let his eyes rest in a patch of shadow. "A year with no disaster..."


"We could not be so fortunate," bitterness choked the words from the Potions Master.


Doyle didn't want to give voice to the words, but Professor Snape was right. He could feel it in his bones. This would be a year with danger. Danger for all of them.


End Professor Doyle 3: Dark Words.

Chapter Text

 

Minerva had insisted that he take up a set of rooms at Hogwarts, and given him a partial tour, pointing out the main classrooms, the areas of the House dormitories and common rooms, and the library. The room that had been pointed out as 'the history of magic classroom' had been dark and gloomy, with shadows filling the room to the point where he couldn't find the ceiling, four tall shuttered windows, and old, scuffed wooden desks with uncomfortable looking chairs. More than a few of them had ink doodles that could only be wizarding variants of hangman, tic tac toe, and insulting caricatures of other students. Several chalkboards filled the front wall, made murky by a layer of chalk dust and an erase that crumbled at his touch. Nothing at all unusual.


He'd shaken his head and muttered that "It would be nice to get those windows open to let in some light. Then I could get a better idea where to start cleaning this place up..."

That had prompted a swarm of knee high creatures with big ears and squeaky voices to declare that "The room of Histories is needing cleaning!" and they had politely but firmly chased him out of the room. Several had flocked to the front, where the dusty chalkboards and a desk heaped high with limp scrolls and a leaning podium failed to hold attention. Others had scurried about the desks, muttering things that didn't sound polite, about ink and 'bad little masters and misses.'

When he'd returned the next day, the room was almost unrecognizable. The windows were clean, with the crests of the four houses of Hogwarts decorating the tops in brilliant stained glass. The walls had been cleaned and whitewashed, the floor shone with reflected sunlight, and the desks had been scrubbed and polished, leaving the tops almost mirror bright and clean. At the front of the room the blackboards were spotless, with several new sticks of chalk and a new eraser waiting for him. The podium had been replaced with one that looked almost new, and the limp scrolls had vanished, revealing a desk that held a pot of ink, several impressive quills, and a stack of lists of names, two each for the first five years, and one each for the sixth and seventh year students.

He couldn't forget the apple that had been on the desk either.

At a guess, somebody was looking forward to this. He'd been reading every book he could find on magical history and the Wizarding world, including dry volumes of ministry law and etiquette. Accounts of wars with giants, goblins, and vampires. Skirmishes with werewolves, dragons, trolls, and dementors, which he'd had to look up in another book. Treaties with goblins, centaurs, merfolk and vampires, which he was relieved to note were not so uniformly evil here as they were back home.

Albus was still making noises about going sideways to test him for a wand. He'd been putting the old man off with claims that he had too many things to do before school started, too much adjustment to the different world. He figured that he'd be dragged off by Christmas to find out if he could use one of their wands, like it or not.

He'd been here two months without a single vision. Granted, he'd had a few odd feelings, and a couple disturbing dreams, but none of the skull cracking visions that he'd used to help Angel fight evil. He didn't dare hope that they were gone for good. As a precaution, he'd borrowed a couple books from the school library about Divination, and had wondered if learning a few other ways to 'unfog the inner eye' and 'see the unseen', to borrow Sibyl's phrasing, that he could glimpse ahead without the painful visions. Of course, Sibyl had been truly disturbing, rambling on about inner eyes and the dark future in a way that seemed so impossibly like a third rate false-gypsy fortune telling in a corny movie that he'd had trouble not laughing.

Considering that she was the Divination instructor and had proclaimed the visions of her inner eye, he didn't intend to mention his visions in front of the woman. Ever. Especially not if it might encourage her to think he needed help focusing them. She disturbed him worse than vampires, and worse than a class of kindergartners who'd each had two cupcakes, a can of soda, and a bag of candy during a Friday afternoon birthday party.

He'd found nothing in any of the books about demons. Nothing to suggest that there were anything like his father's people here, nothing to suggest that he'd be recognized. Nothing to suggest he would be safe if they found out.

A couple sneezes in the dusty back shelves of the library had proven that while he was in a completely different world, he was still the same Allan Doyle, half Brakken. He supposed that he couldn't expect everything.

"Goodness, the room looks so different!" The voice of Minerva McGonagall was unmistakable, especially as she'd been one of the first people he'd met in this world. "At the very least, those windows should help keep the students awake. Have they always been there, or did you manage to get a bit of remodeling done as well as cleaning?"

"I suspect that they were always there, and when I made the comment about wanting to open them up... you should have seen the way the House Elves went on about the room once we had a bit of light in here!" Doyle chuckled, and glanced over at her. "I must admit to being a bit nervous. They'll be much older than the children I taught before, and those never had magic wands to muck about with."

"They aren't supposed to muck about with their wands," Minerva sniffed, before sighing and continuing with, "But you are right, some of them will be meddling and experimenting when they should be listening, and casting jinxes at each other instead of taking notes. I thought perhaps I should warn you about some of the students. The Weasley twins, seventh years, are incorrigible pranksters, and neither of them apply themselves to their studies half as much as to their jokes. Tabitha Rothchild, a seventh year Hufflepuff has a rather pronounced lisp, and her betrothed, Aaron Kettleburn, is rather overprotective of her, to the point of getting into unnecessary arguments. The Ravenclaws, as a whole will have a great many questions, as will Hermione Granger..."


"I met that one over the summer," Doyle admitted. "She seemed to think I'd be teaching Defense when she first learned I was a new teacher. Full of questions, rattled off several books... I'm going to guess her grades are quite high and she doesn't have many friends. I've seen children like that before, though normally they were older than my students."

"That would describe Hermione," Minerva mused.


* * * * * * * * *

As things turned out, Minerva hadn't just wanted to check and see how his plans for the year were coming along. She had also been uncertain if anyone had informed him of a few of the Hogwarts traditions, such as the Start of Term feast. She'd then explained that the four rows of tables were where the students sat, divided into their Houses for a combination of separate sleeping locations and smaller class sizes. Even though he'd read about sorting and talked to several of the teachers, he was still a bit unclear on just how an enchanted singing hat divided up the children, though he got the impression that it had something to do with personalities, families, and maybe magical aptitudes, though that had only been in works by one particular author, who was certain that the Gryffindors had a gift for Creatures, that only Syltherins had the right natures for Runes and Herbology, that Ravenclaws were the best for Arithmantic calculations and spell creation, and that Hufflepuffs made the best Warders and Healers.


No, there wasn't just a feast and sorting for the incoming first years. There was a smaller table for the staff, where he would be expected to sit, since unlike Professor Binns the ghost, he was alive and needed to eat. Headmaster Dumbledore would also be starting with 'a few start of term announcements', and he suspected that he would be one of those few announcements. The other might concern the strange woman who'd been stumbling along the upper hallways, a woman who wore the shirts for bands that he'd never heard of, with hair that seemed to change color and length between each time he saw her. Doyle wasn't quite certain what she was doing up there besides stumbling and crashing into the suits of armor and incidentally teaching him several creative bits of British profanity.


Which was how he found himself sitting at the table on the evening of September first, a grey robe thrown over his normal teaching clothing, which he'd been informed looked decidedly muggle. All of the students wore black robes, some of the robes all concealing pull-over garments while others were open down the front to show the clothing underneath. Ties and vests in red, yellow, green or blue indicated which House students had been sorted into, and a group of nervous children waited on the side of the hall, their ties and vests in muted grey and white. The other teachers were garbed in their own choices of robes, ranging from the very buttoned and severe looking black garments of Potions Master Severus Snape to the worn earth-tones of Pomona Sprout to the crisp white and grey of Madame Pomphrey to the tartan-draped solemn green gown that Minerva wore to the eccentric silver, navy and violet robes spangled with stars that flowed under the white beard of Albus Dumbledore to the near-Victorian garments favored by Argus Filch and the distinctly casual jeans and tie-dyed T-shirt bearing the name 'the Weird Sisters' under a patchwork leather robe worn by the woman who'd been stumbling into the armor, who had short pink hair tonight. After the collection of eleven year old first years were sorted, Doyle still wasn't quite certain how the Hat sorted them. It might use some complex enchantments, or it might well do some magical equivalent of 'eeinie meanie miney moe.' He was announced as the new History of Magic Professor, and the pink haired woman was 'Auror Tonks, who will be serving as this year's Defense instructor.'

Dumbledore then did something that made Doyle question his sanity. He gestured with his wand, creating what looked like words made out of floating ribbons, and announced "Now we shall sing the school song..."


Everyone seemed quite relieved when the clashing cacophony of several hundred different tunes and rhythms finished, with the last notes being a pair of red headed boys who seemed to be using a funeral dirge as inspiration. As everyone started helping themselves to some of the astounding assortment of food that had just appeared in front of their plates, Doyle sighed and muttered, "Perhaps I should invest in some earplugs before next year if that's a tradition. Most schools have a particular melody line to go with the words."


"Most would dismiss such an idea as far too muggle to be of any use," Professor Snape glared at the students from the seat beside Doyle's. "Personally, I don't trust the students as much if I can't hear what they're plotting."


"Lip reading," Doyle couldn't quite keep from smiling. "Which is when some of them start to be clever, and trying to use another language or codes to hide what they're up to. Might I ask the most likely languages that they'd try to use here? I doubt it would be the same as at the last school where I taught."


"And what languages did the little blighters use where you taught before?" Snape arched one eyebrow.


"Spanish and pig-Latin," Doyle chuckled. "Of course, it never occurred to them that adults were once children who may have tried using pig-Latin, or that adults might know Spanish as easily as they did."


That actually drew a thin smile from the other professor, who then drawled, "Some of the pure bloods might try using Latin, as many have been instructed in the language by family tutors. There are also a few who might attempt to use French."

"Delightful. I can hardly wait to have the little darlings in class," Doyle shook his head, glancing over the tables of students. Part of him was attempting to match face to the names that Minerva had warned him about. Another part was doing his own assessment, looking for the likely bullies, the ones likely to be home sick, and the ones who might be abused.


It wasn't until he left the Great Hall to make his way back to his quarters that he realized he was actually looking forward to teaching again.


End Professor Doyle 4: Start of Term.



Chapter Text


Pd5..pd5..pd5..

Doyle walked down the hallway, considering the schedule that he'd been given. His first class would be the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor first years on Monday morning, with the fourth year Ravenclaw and Slytherins Monday afternoon just after lunch and the sixth years in late afternoon. Which meant that he had the weekend to finish his lesson preparations and settle his nerves. While he was looking forward to teaching again, he was also a bit nervous... well, maybe more than a bit.

After the Sorting was over, and the awful singing, and the announcements, the students had all been sent to their dormitories with the instructions to get some sleep and prepare to start learning on Monday. Sensible, wise advice. They'd have the next two days to talk with their friends and catch up on the summer news and gossip. If they weren't in their beds, each House dormitory had a common room where they could sit and talk, or read their textbooks, or whatever else their little hearts desired. There was no reason that any students should be wandering the halls right now.

He'd already had to send six of them back to their dormitories.

Something snickered in an alcove. To one side, there was a suit of armor in the formal Renaissance style. To the other side of the alcove was a tapestry that showed a battle in a small town called Bleyton-on-the-Wash, which had happened during four different goblin-wizard conflicts. The tapestry didn't laugh. Students on the other hand...

"I recall all the students being told to go to their dormitories and off to bed," Doyle commented, seeing a pair of redheads bent over something. One of them had a red and gold tie, suggesting that these were the Weasley twins, also known as trouble given legs and unleashed. He'd been warned about these two, and he thought they might have been the ones singing a funeral dirge for the school song.

The twin to the left made a startled yelp, his wand, which was slightly darker than the wand of the twin to the right, coming into contact with a small pile of blue green pellets on the floor.

The pile of pellets exploded with a loud HisssFWaaahhpp, releasing a cloud of red sparks and vast quantities of blue green smoke that smelled like sage, salt, and damp basements. All three of them started coughing and sneezing, and the smoke burned at Doyle's eyes. He had no idea what was in those pellets, but thankfully it wasn't as potent as pepper-spray.

"But nobody patrols near the history class room," one twin wheezed, his hand trying to wave away the smoke.

The smoke was dispersing through the hall, thinning out enough that Doyle could see the smoke-stained twins, their hair now sticking up in a way that rather reminded him of a Muppet.

The twin on the right elbowed the twin on the left, hissing, "The new history professor! He's got spikes all over him from our smoke pellets!"

"They aren't supposed to do that... or turn people blue green," the twin on the left hissed back.

Looking at Doyle and mustering the biggest, most innocent grins that a pair of smoke covered miscreants could manage, they chirped, "Hello Professor! We didn't see you standing there."

"I suspected as much," Doyle managed to wheeze out before sneezing again. "You're supposed," he sneezed again, "to have gone to your dormitory and then," another sneeze left him with his eyes closed and his head spinning. "Supposed to be safely in your beds."


Another sneeze left him feeling shaken to his bones. The twins had almost stopped sneezing, but his were still plentiful. "What did you put in those things?"

"Bunch of things," the twin on the left muttered before sneezing again. "But it definitely needs more work."

"There's another one," the twin on the right offered, holding the forlorn pellet in a smoke smudged hand. "Maybe Madam Pomfrey can get you sorted out?"

"I hope so," Doyle managed before sneezing again. "You both have a detention," he didn't quite smother the next sneeze, "the details of which I will give you later. Now go to your dormitory!"


Most of the sneezes had stopped by the time he reached Madam Pomfrey's infirmary. His eyes still stung and felt watery, and he wondered if it was an allergy or if his heritage just made him more sensitive to something that they'd used. Either way, he'd just let the pair of them think that their smoke-pellets still needed work. He rather doubted that he'd evade confessing to the school nurse, and he hoped that this world had strong traditions of doctor or healer -patient confidentiality.


"My goodness, what happened to you?"


Her exclamation was full of shock, and Doyle found himself half towed to a hospital bed. In short order, he was perched on the side as she cast a few diagnostic spells, listened to him wheeze, and used her wand to shine a bright light in his eyes. Another spell settled the sneezes.

After she took away the tongue depressor, he held up the remaining smoke pellet. "The Weasley twins were working on a stack of these in one of the corridors. I think I'm allergic to something in it, considering the way that I kept sneezing and wheezing."

"It seems to have done a good deal more than make you sneeze, in case you hadn't noticed," her words emerged slowly, and a small gesture conjured a little hand mirror that she passed to him.


Peering at his reflection, Doyle noticed that the irritation to his eyes was settling, and the smoke stains were harder to notice against the blue, mostly showing up as a darker tint on the spikes. "I'm sure the smoke will wash away."

"You're blue with green spikes over your skin," her tart words didn't match the worried look to her eyes.


"Madam Pomfrey, how much have you been told about me?" Doyle asked. This would be much simpler if she'd at least been told how he'd arrived, but he wouldn't be surprised if that detail had been left out.


"American, the new History of Magic Professor, and that Albus has faith in you," her tone suggested that she found this most insufficient.


"Well, in that case, you might want to sit down. This is pretty complicated," Doyle took a slow breath, and tried to smile, "Please tell me that the wizarding world has healer-patient confidentiality?"


"Of course we do. Does this explain your reaction to their prank?" She perched on the edge of the next bed, giving him a look that suggested he start sharing his medical history.


"There are two main things that I want to keep quiet. The first is that I somehow - I don't understand how it happened myself ' got tossed from my world into Minerva's lounge over the summer. We're fairly certain that this is a different world from the one where I was born. I don't even know if my world has a hidden magical community like the one here," Doyle paused, and sighed. "I suppose that you'd call me muggle raised. This might mean something about vaccinations."


"Were you aware of magic before your arrival?" she paused, and then gave a small frown, "That's only one secret."


"The other one is that my father wasn't human," With a sigh, he focused and pulled in the spikes, returning to his human appearance. The colors shifted a bit, the sharp edges of focus blurring a little, and in compensation, the scents of the infirmary became more vivid and complex. "I haven't come across mention of anything like his people in the books and references here. Though if those prankster twins think that it was a reaction to their sneezing smoke, they might be a bit more careful with their experiments. I knew about magic being real, though I'd never run into anyone who needed a wand to do it before, knew about a good many things that get listed as dark creatures in this world. I can do a good handful of tricks that your world says muggles can't do, but I don't know if I have the ability to learn half as much magic as you know."


"Hmmmm. What muggle vaccinations did you receive, and do you know of any allergies? Or unusual reactions?"

"I've got a high tolerance for alcohol, and I can eat a good many mushrooms that full humans shouldn't. Going blue makes me a bit stronger and a good deal more durable. I've never had any poor reactions to things that I've eaten, or to the penicillin family of antibiotics. As for vaccinations... the usual sort. Measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis, polio, diphtheria - that one's given as a combination. Diptheria, pertussis and something else that starts with a D. I never got chicken pox," he paused, and considered his medical history. "I haven't had anything removed, no surgeries, no doctors for broken bones... if it's a small break shifting will fix it."


"And all of it but the muggle upbringing in America to remain a secret," she mused. Then she gave an impish grin, "Oh, I'm all in favor of anything that makes those boys take a bit more care with their pranks. You have no idea how many times I've had students in here trying to get things fixed that those two caused."


"Thank you for your cooperation, Madam Pomfrey," Doyle gave her a smile, and then sighed. "Perhaps a washcloth for the smoke?"


With a giggle, she handed him a damp cloth.

He had the feeling that this year would be anything but dull.

End Professor Doyle 5: the Joke's on Who?



Chapter Text

 Doyle sighed, leaning back in his chair as he surveyed the empty classroom. He was being reminded of the many reasons that teachers loved Saturdays. No students in the classrooms, a chance to grade papers and prepare projects in peace... the quiet room open and more spacious than it would ever feel during class.
"Professor Doyle, can you tell me why the Weasley twins have detention already?" the accented voice of Minerva McGonagall rang from his doorway, disrupting the quiet.

"You may have noticed the blue smoke covering the walls back a bit that-a-way?" he asked, gesturing the direction towards the alcove where they had set off the heap of smoke pellets. "I do believe that they hadn't quite finished planning where to set their smoke pellets before they got startled into setting the whole stack off, releasing a fair amount of smoke and some sparks. I suspect that I might be allergic to something in them, seeing as I was sneezing and wheezing more than the both of them."

"Which would explain why they are to be working with Mr. Filch to scour this hallway after lunch," Minerva nodded.

"They made the mess, 'tis only fair that they help make it go away," Doyle countered.

"Other than becoming the first teacher to assign a detention this term, did you have anything else planned for today?" Her question was accompanied by a smile.

"A bit more perusing some of the lists of students, and looking at schedules, but I think I have the main ideas of my courses planned out..." He paused, and looked at her, sighing as he recognized the determination in her eyes. "What have you planned for my afternoon then, Minerva?"

"Today, we will go to Diagon Alley and see about getting you a proper wand." Her tone left no room for argument. "We can also finalize a few details for your banking account with the goblins."

"Shall I throw a robe over what I'm wearing then?" he asked, standing up from his chair. He wasn't about to try to argue with her about whether or not they'd be going. He'd also figured that they would try to get him one of those wands, meaning that the only questions were 'when' and 'could he use a wand', not 'would they try'.

"Yes, that might be advisable," she agreed. "There are some who look poorly upon muggles or those of recent muggle heritage."


"I gathered that impression," Doyle admitted as he took a robe from a coat rack. The charcoal color was a bit darker than his grey slacks, and it would go well with his blue shirt. "A few comments about the importance of a proper wizarding heritage, and understanding traditions, and some comments about respecting the old families."


He followed her out of the classroom and down the hall, turned at the corner, down two flights of stairs and out the front doors. She pointed out some of the returning students, giving their names and houses, though there were few personal bits included, the most memorable being that Gyalu Hunyadi was left handed and disastrous things happened if he tried casting with his right.

They used Floo powder to go from a small room near the gates that enclosed the main courtyard to a place in London called the Leaky Cauldron. It was only through great effort that he managed not to sneeze as they exited, and he did stumble, almost running into an older woman with dark grey hair, pale grey eyes, and a ferocious scowl.

"Terribly sorry, Madam, I didn't mean to bump into you," he offered, fighting even harder to not sneeze.


The woman gave a disapproving sniff and left by way of the Floo, heading towards somewhere called 'the Black Moor.

Dismissing her as someone who was either too fixated on that proper wizarding heritage or one of those unfortunate miserable people who will never be happy with anything, Doyle followed Minerva. They went through the little pub, which sounded as if it had a decent selection of drinks on tap, to a door in the back, which seemed to let them out into a depressing little alley. Minerva tapped several bricks with her wand, and that portion of the brick wall squirmed and rearranged itself into an arched doorway leading into an alley full of colorful wizarding shops, with witches and wizards moving along, dressed in various colored robes, some with pointy hats and cloaks. Doyle decided that the street looked like a hybrid between Halloween and a renaissance festival.

"We shall start at Gringott's, and then go to Ollivander's for a wand," Minerva announced.


Deciding that she knew far more about this alley and the way things should be done than he did at this point, Doyle just shrugged and said, "Lead the way, Minerva."

She led him down the street with what he'd come to think of as her usual no nonsense and no dawdling stride. He did blink a little as they started to approach a massive building built of white marble, with Doric columns and a rather Hellenic Greek style decorative frieze above the columns... though the whole thing seemed to be tilted about ten degrees to the left. Considering that this white building, titled or not, seemed to be several times bigger than any other building on the street, he figured that it had to be the oft-mentioned Gringott's. There were a pair of uniformed goblins standing guard beside bronze doors that had to be a good ten feet high. Doyle couldn't recall seeing anything like them back home, though there were inscriptions on the walls beside the doors. To the right was an inscription in English, and to the left... To the left was an inscription that would be considered to be written in Kheftic, one of the older demon languages, something like a demonic version of Latin.


Pausing a moment, he looked at the inscription, murmuring softly as he read the words. A caution against thieves... and if he wasn't mistaken, a subtle message that they were firm believers in capital punishment, something backed up by the vast amount of reading that he'd been doing since his arrival.


Minerva frowned at him, her expression revealing that while she wasn't certain why he'd stopped, she didn't understand a word coming from his lips. The goblins seemed to perk up, looking at him with thoughtful expressions.


"We do need to get an account set up for you, and that won't happen at the doors," Minerva spoke firmly.


Starting his account seemed to involve a long wait in a line to speak to a clerk, while other goblins examined jewels, weighed shimmering gold and silver, and noted things down in books, using long quills. Doyle noticed that the various wizards and witches in line seemed disdainful of the goblins, flinching at the sights of grins filled with sharp teeth, or dark claws trimming up quills as they kept writing.

When Minerva informed the goblin at the counter that they were here to open an account for Mr. Doyle, a new Professor at Hogwarts, the goblin gave a small nod, and called off to the side, "Biletooth, take Mr. Doyle to speak with Crackjaw about a new account."


It was politely made clear that Minerva would have to wait out in the lobby, or perhaps attend to other business while Mr. Doyle got his account set up.

As Doyle followed the goblin that had answered to Biletooth along a hallway, he noticed that the walls were covered with more decorative carvings, depicting goblins battling strange monsters, goblins battling other goblins, and goblins battling against humans. Underneath some of the carvings were more inscriptions in Kheftic.

Biletooth rapped on another bronze door, this one carved with a tree bearing serpents and fruit, perhaps apples or pomegranates. When he spoke, his words were in Kheftic, though it had a slightly different inflection than the ways that Doyle had heard the language before, "A wizard wanting an account. This one is another teacher at one of their schools."


The door opened, revealing a wrinkled goblin with a scar over one eye, and the milky color of the orb suggested that he could no longer see after whatever had happened. Scowling, he spoke in Kheftic, "I tire of arrogant wizards pretending knowledge and insulting the children of the earth. So this is another wizard who calls himself a scholar?"


Squaring his shoulders, Doyle met the goblin's gaze with his own and replied in Kheftic, "I am a seeker of knowledge, though there is always more to learn. I have small skills at fighting, and have acted as a teacher for the young. I have come here to ask for assistance with the monies of this place and their safe keeping."

For several moments, the goblin just stared at him. Then, with a wide grin that showed far more pointed teeth than any human possessed, the goblin spoke, "At last, someone from one of those wretched schools that can speak a proper language! You assuredly never learned our tongue among the wizards. How did you learn, and with such an accent?"


Doyle sighed, and considered everything he'd read about the goblins. Wizarding histories called them devious, greedy, and secretive. They placed great importance on personal honor and courage, and on one's own deeds rather than the accomplishments of your ancestors. He figured that he might as well tell them the truth. "I came from a different world, one very much like this one in many ways, undoubtedly different in many others. I am still learning of the small details how the worlds may differ. In the world of my birth, this tongue is called Kheftic, and is used by many people that the humans call demons. The one who taught me this tongue learned in Germany, from a tribe of orcne. I have thought it prudent to conceal the fact that this is not the world of my birth from the majority of the wizards and witches, as they seem to be easily frightened, quick to anger, and lacking in sense."

"Very sensible of you," Crackjaw nodded, and then demanded, "Are you sure that you are of the wizarding-kin?"

"My mother was human, and I'm certain that I will be safer if they think I am of the wizarding-kin. Some of them have said that those without magic may not see Hogwarts Castle as it truly is, and I do see the castle, so I suspect that I have some traces of magic at the least. But I do not know if it flows in the same manner as theirs." Doyle replied.

"Bah, you are too sensible to be a true member of their ilk," Crackjaw insisted. "We will open an account for you, with all the usual protections. If you will come here at least once a month to speak with our own scholars, and to compare what you know of your world to this world, we will waive the various fees associated with your vault."

"That sounds most reasonable. What will the procedure be when I arrive to speak to scholars, will there be a set schedule, or a specific door that I should look for?" Doyle asked.

 

"There is a smaller door of bronze off the main lobby bearing a depiction of the sisters Stheno and Euryale, who are counted among the protectors of the children of earth. Enter that corridor, it leads to the hall of scholars. There will always be a few of them within. Speak to them in this tongue and they will happily take as much time as you can spare," Crackjaw replied.

 

"Thank you," Doyle replied.

''Now that such matters have been settled, we should let you return to your shopping with the witch. She is one of them who understands that there is only so much time allotted to each of us," Crackjaw offered with a smaller grin.

"She's not one for dawdling," Doyle agreed.

After that, Doyle returned to the lobby, finding Minerva speaking to another witch. He waited for her to finish, though he did position himself within her line of sight.

Before much longer, Minerva gave a farewell to Augusta, and took Doyle's elbow, guiding him out the door and back along the street.

Before very long, they were standing in front of a small building, with one pale wand sitting on a faded purple cushion in the front window and rows upon rows of small boxes on shelves within. Before long, Doyle found himself standing there, while a flying yellow tape measure moved about his person, and the strange older man murmured to himself. He waved wand after wand, some causing smoke or boxes to topple while others had no more effect than if he'd picked up a random stick in a forest. Finally, one of them gave a single mournful note, like birdsong.

"It seems that we've found your wand, Mr. Doyle. Eleven inch hazel with an augurey feather. Well suited to divination and weather charms," Ollivander gave a small sigh, before continuing, "I'm sorry to say that you will never be a powerful wizard, Mr. Doyle. At best, you may manage to learn the OWL level spells."

"I take your warning then, Mr. Ollivander," Doyle murmured, fingers brushing over the wand. "Sometimes foresight and planning can beat raw power, and sometimes the best strategy is to avoid trouble."

After paying the man six galleons, they left the shop, left Diagon Alley, and took the Floo back to the Hogwarts Gates.

"A feather from the Irish Phoenix..." Minerva mused.


"I may have spent the last decade living in America, and that of another world, but I was born in Cabinteely of County Dublin in Ireland," Doyle countered.


"We will have to start catching you up on magic," Minerva spoke calmly, her voice thoughtful. "It should be much easier for you as you won't need to spend most of your time preparing yourself to think, and will already have a work and study ethic."

Before she let him retreat to his rooms, they stopped in the library, and Madam Pince weighed him down with copies of Beginner's Magical Theory, 1001 Spores and Fungi, Cautions and Cauldrons, and the Standard Book of Spells Volume One, as well as giving him strict instructions to begin reading on proper magic.

Only when the door was firmly closed did he permit himself to sigh. "A wand suited to divination, and never to be a powerful spell caster. Some things don't change that much."


End Professor Doyle 6: Diagon Alley.














Chapter Text


pd7..pd7..pd7..pd7..

By the time Monday morning dawned, Doyle had been given a few intensive lessons with his new wand, covering wand care and the basic movements. He'd also had a bit over how to try to feel his innate magic, which was vital to successful casting. Minerva and Filius had drilled him in several simple exercises, all the while explaining the theory and reasoning behind them as well as the normal use - as a teaching tool for pure-blooded and half-blooded children who were raised in the magical world. The exercises helped the children learn to focus their magic, and helped reduce accidental magical outbursts. Of course, the children didn't get the theory...

It was another reason to look forward to his classes on Monday. The rest of the teachers would be too busy to spend hours trying to cram six or seven years of magical instruction into his head. Filius had also suggested that he start reading over the basic potions manuals and the books on ingredient reactions, as while Professor Snape was a brilliant potions' Master, he was a bit impatient.

The mention of Professor Snape's impatience made Doyle wonder why the man was teaching children if he didn't care for children or slowing down to explain things.

His first class on Monday morning was a first year combined class, with a batch of nervous eleven year olds blinking in the bright light, with their thick text books and their rolls of parchment, with pots of ink settled in hollows at the corners of the desks and feathers shaking in their hands. Some of the feathers wobbled, and he could see just how nervous some of them were, huddled in their robes.

"Good morning all of you, I am Professor Doyle, and you should be here for History of Magic. If you aren't supposed to be in History of magic, let me know right now, and we can direct you to where you need to be," he spoke to the class, attempting to look both capable and non-threatening.

It turned out that there were three students who had wandered into the wrong classroom. One blond boy with a green tie who mournfully asked if he could get directions to Transfiguration, and a pair of giggling and blushing curly haired girls with blue ties. He quickly wrote out a couple notes, explaining that the students - whose names he had to ask - had found themselves in the wrong class, and to please permit them into the correct classroom at no penalty. The blond boy didn't fuss, and seemed rather apologetic, while the curly haired girls with blue ties - Miranda and Rowena Pritchard - had giggled and snickered the whole time. He was delighted to shoo them out and towards the Charms classroom, though he knew that they'd be back on Thursday.

He rubbed his hands together, and said, "Well then, now that we are all certain this is where we're supposed to be, let's begin with an overview of magical history. The next four years would be more depth for certain section of magical history, with focuses on specific areas if you go for a NEWT in History... and most of what I just said probably means very little to you."

The class listened while he explained what he intended to cover this year, with the occasional question. He tried to keep everything suitable for eleven year olds - more complex and bigger words than when he taught kindergarteners, but not as complicated as when he talked to adults. They all appeared to be paying attention, which was encouraging. While some of them did try a few things that reassured Doyle that magical children were still children, none of them tried anything truly rotten. He assigned them to read the first chapter of their text, and bring in any questions about that chapter as well as a list of at least five but no more than fifteen question that they'd like to have answered from History of magic.

He wasn't certain why Professor Snape was giving him such thoughtful looks during lunch. He hadn't even had any classes with the Slytherin students yet.

After lunch he would have the fourth year Ravenclaw and Slytherin students. He wasn't certain if this meant that he'd get more interest and better questions due to them being older, or if they'd be surly at the loss of their scheduled free period. Regardless, he figured that they would be teenagers, and therefore more hormonal. This could make them troublesome, but he tried not to let himself worry too much. Too much worry and anxiety wouldn't help.

Doyle was dismayed but not surprised to see that some of the girls were wearing makeup, and some had more noticeable jewelry than the first years, few of whom had more than small stud or hoop earrings, or little chains. One of the girls had a necklace made of golden seashells, there was a Slytherin girl with a silver neck torque that looked remarkably like a snake, and a blond wearing a necklace made of butterbeer corks, paired with pale radish earrings. The corks and radishes were different, but he couldn't be certain if that was just her style or if it was some weird wizarding idea of fashion. Roll call revealed that the girl with the radish earrings was Luna Lovegood, though he did hear some of the other students calling her Looney. The girl wearing the snake torque proved to be a Slytherin named Lucretzia Iacomo, and the one with the golden seashells was another Ravenclaw, named Cassiopeia Witherspoon. His attention was also caught by a very large boy named Polyphemus - call me Pol - Karagounis, who was almost as tall as Doyle, and looked to be working on a very impressive set of shoulders.

"All of you are supposed to be fourth year Ravenclaws and Slytherins for History of Magic. This year, we're going to be covering the last thousand years of history, with the first term focusing on the British Isles and the last term covering a handful of events from the rest of the world. Some of these events have directly influenced laws that were passed, or traditions that exist or formerly existed among the British Wizarding community."

Here he paused, noticing that Luna had her hand raised. Half concerned about what the girl might ask, he called on her, "Yes, Miss Lovegood?"

"Will we be covering the overhunting and endangerment or perhaps extinction of the straight horned snorcack, which is the larger cousin of the crumple horned snorcack?" She gave a sweet smile and folded her hands as several of the other students began to laugh.

"There is no call for laughter, her question does pertain to history," Doyle sighed and looked at the class. "You have two weeks for this assignment - pick a magical creature, explain what impact the creature has had on history, if there have been any changes in laws, medicine, sports, or potions because of those creatures, and what you know about the current status of those creatures. Illustrations are useful, but you must give me at least two feet of writing. If you are referencing a particular book, either name the book and the book's author in the text, or add a listing of the sources at the end - a reference list at the end will not count towards your length. If you are referring to the work of a specific individual, give their name and qualifications. Miss Lovegood, if you wish to write about Snorcacks, that will be acceptable, so long as you can include a few references and mention where their traditional ranges were, and either their current ranges or their last known range for a species believed to be extinct. I would prefer if each of you wrote about a different creature, they can be large or small."

"That sounds more like a Care of Magical Creatures assignment than a history assignment," muttered a tanned boy with reddish brown hair in the front row.

Doyle looked at them, and shook his head. "What all of you need to understand is that History is part of everything. History covers meeting and interacting with other cultures, it covers advances in the various magical fields, it covers discoveries with plants, animals and medicine. It covers transportation and laws. Everything shapes what will become history, and everything in history was shaped by things that happened. For example, the Market Regulations of 1349 that cover sale of grains, fruits and vegetables were passed during a round of plagues. The ministry of magic mandated the regulation of Floo networks and instituted testing standards for Floo powder after a poorly brewed batch of Floo Powder detonated, leveling an ancestral home and taking a then-powerful pureblooded family from twenty seven members to only four surviving members of the family. You might want to start by considering what sort of creatures are used in potion ingredients, or have restrictions on the ownership or breeding, and look into what caused those restrictions."

The class fell silent, some of them gaping in shock. From the back, he heard a soft whisper, "A family was almost wiped out by bad Floo powder?"

"Yes, and it prompted immediate changes in legislation. There were some slower changes as well, but we will cover that a little more thoroughly later in the year. This is the sort of thing that I mean when I say things - events - can shape history. What would the magical world do if the dragons used for wands, for protective clothing, for potions ingredients - what would happen if they went extinct? What if a plant fungus blighted the apple harvest for the next few years? What if a disease started striking down the owls that carry your mail? What if there was another war with goblins, or giants? What if the vampire population doubled or tripled? If England went to war with a foreign nation right now, what would the effects be for wizarding politics?" He paused, looking at the thoughtful students. "History helps us know where to look for some of these answers, and the rest... some of those events make history."


The students were looking very thoughtful now, and he started walking among the rows, handing each of them his revised fourth year syllabus and study guide. "For next week, I want each of you to have at least five but no more than fifteen questions that fall within the last thousand years of history that you want answered in this class. Be serious about this, I don't want things like what was the winning score of the first Quidditch World Cup, or whether or not the Founder of a particular Hogwarts House liked or disliked a particular dessert. As we go over the syllabus, you will notice that there are some assignments that are the same for everyone, and others that allow for more variety. If it says to research a famous witch or wizard, or a law of a particular time period, then you will each choose one, hopefully different individuals and laws. If it says to write an essay on a specific person or gives a specific list to choose from, then that means I felt those individuals or laws have a strong bearing on the material we'll be covering at that time. When I say to write about an advance in spells, then that allows you more options, but you must be able to reach the specified length and explain why a certain thing was an advance, as well as who did it, when, and if that was their actual goal."

 

For the rest of the class, Doyle went over the syllabus and what he expected of the students for the coming year. With the syllabus handed out, he told them that there would no longer be the chance that they could claim they missed class and didn't know about one of the standard assignments, or the listed projects. He told Miss Lovegood that he wasn't worried about the color of the ink or parchment as long as it was clearly legible. He told Mr. Karagounis that for a good many of the assignments they would be free to use non-British wizards or witches, and they would always be permitted to use books published in other nations as long as they could produce them for his inspection afterwards. He reminded Miss Fenniwick of Ravenclaw that he would not tolerate name calling within his classroom or if he heard it elsewhere, and that Miss Lovegood was Luna, and Mr. Thaddeus Bulstrode of Slytherin was Thaddeus or Thad, not Thud, and calling anyone names would result in a detention if he caught her again. When he saw her taking notes in either Italian or Latin, he found himself reminding Miss Iacomo that class assignments were to be turned submitted in English, though he didn't care what language she took her notes in as long as they made sense to her.


As the class began to filter out at the end of the session, Miss Lovegood made her way towards his desk. "Professor? You gave us an assignment about an animal, does this mean we have one on a magical plant later in the year?"


"I didn't have one on the syllabus, but there will be chances for students to do additional projects for extra credit at various times," Doyle answered. "One on magical plants would probably be a good idea, provided that it ties in to something historical."


She nodded, and then frowned, "Will I have to worry about red tailed weasels turning the classroom blue?"


"I hope that they've been slowed down in their mischief this year, though I would suggest caution. Most likely it would take them a bit of time before they start with the blue smoke again," he fought not to smile at her question, certain that she meant those Weasley twins.


"Of course, they are in the same county and awake, it's only sensible to be careful," she gave a quick wink, and whispered, "They live just across the village from me, and they do that sort of thing all the time."


As she skipped off down the hallway, Doyle could only shake his head, "What an unusual girl."


He also wondered what exactly a snorcack was, though he figured that he'd be finding out in about two weeks.


End Professor Doyle 7: Class is In Session.

Chapter Text


pd8..pd8..pd8..pd8..

Doyle retreated to the teacher's lounge, rubbing at his temple. While it hadn't been a particularly difficult day by teaching standards, it had been years since he'd last taught children. Those years had blunted how noisy, and fidgety they could be, and their habits of teasing and whispering and giggling. What made him even more worried was the fact that Hogwarts, unlike Kennedy Memorial, was a boarding school. They wouldn't go home until almost Christmas time.

"A headache?" Minerva's voice held traces of amusement.

"It's been a while since I taught. And it's starting to sink in just what it means that this is a boarding school," He gave a half smile. Part of him desperately wanted a good long drink or two of some whiskey. Another part of him didn't want to fall into the bottle to make the world go away. The fact that he might set a bad example for the children was another reason to not get into that habit again.

"I suppose it would be different if we could send them all home every night," she murmured, a wistful smile flickering over her lips.

"My students are quite excited. They're hoping that they'll actually learn something in History class this year," the cheerful voice of Filius Flitwick joined the conversation.

"Why have the class if nobody learns anything from it?" Doyle asked. "If you're going to do a thing, you should do it right."

"True enough," Minerva nodded. "We do need to continue getting you up to speed with your own casting. Have you been reading in the books we suggested?"

"Some, in between preparing for class lessons. I've also been learning a fair bit about the magical world from getting those lesson plans together. Though there are a few things that I'd like to ask more about..."

"How about a small exchange. We'll quiz you on some of the basic spells, and for each one you can ask a question about the recent times. something that we won't have to turn to books to explain," Filius offered.

After he'd changed an old fashioned match into a needle, they explained that unlike previous uprisings of dark wizards, the last Dark Lord, who's name they refused to speak, had made abundant use of the Unforgivable Imperius curse. That this curse had caused people to betray their friends and family, lost heirlooms, fortunes and lives. That many prominent members of society had been placed under that spell and forced to harm others.

Demonstrating the levitation charm on an empty teacup was next, due to the only feather in the room having ink still dripping from the nib. Minerva didn't want to risk it falling into her tea. After that, he asked "How could they be certain that those prominent members had been subjected to the Imperius rather than simply... Getting caught doing things that had turned out to be socially frowned upon."

"A very good question," Filius hadn't quite smiled. "Some of them spent time being evaluated by healers after the deaths of their relatives, or after they delivered dangerous objects to the places they worked. Others, such as Lucius Malfoy and Cadmus Dunwich were cleared when the Minister, the Minister's Undersecretary or the Chief Warlock reported to the Wizengamot that they'd been held under the Imperius curse."

"Without further proof or any truth-verified questioning," Minerva hadn't quite growled. It seemed to be a sore subject for her.

"Ahhhh," Doyle sighed, rubbing at his temple again. "Money and politics. I admit, I'd had a faint hope that there was less of that here."

"There couldn't be a world with a large population of thinking beings without some form of politics," Filius mourned. "The lumos charm, if you can."

It took Doyle two tries to get a decent light, the first looking more like a firefly than anything else. As a light similar to a candle flame hovered near his wand tip, he glanced over and hoped that his voice didn't betray the depth of his interest in the next question. "I've noticed more than a few thinking beings that aren't human. The goblins, some women who were called hags. Discussion of trolls, giants, merfolk and veela in the various texts. What I'd like to know is what sort of reaction people who aren't fully human can expect."

"Officially, there are laws to prevent someone from being fired from a job due to their heritage being less than desirable. That phrasing in itself gives you an idea of the way mixed ancestry is viewed. In some circles, being part non-human is viewed as being better than having muggle heritage, but neither is considered as good as being of pure human wizarding ancestry," Minerva offered.

Filius summoned over a bottle, and topped off his own tea with a dollop of something thick, dark green and powerfully alcoholic. "What that law doesn't mention is that if someone's mixed heritage is particularly obvious, such as myself or Hagrid, they may not be hired in the first place. Certainly not if there's a pureblood applying. For academics, being part goblin or having muggle heritage is considered better than giant, troll or hag ancestry, as they are considered violent and not as intelligent. Veela are viewed by many as... well, as sexual playthings, while merfolk ancestry makes most jobs on land uncomfortable. Depending on the strain, they may have trouble blending among more human folk."

Doyle sighed, not particularly surprised by this news. It looked like keeping his father's side secret was definitely the safer choice. Perhaps Filius would be a better choice to admit that to than Minerva, if he had to tell someone other than Poppy.

"If you could change this napkin into a piece of parchment?" Minerva handed him a tartan cloth napkin that Doyle didn't think had been there a few moments ago.

He took a few moments to remember the correct words, and moved his wand, feeling the magic flow. The resulting parchment still carried faded traces of the tartan, but it no longer felt like fabric.

Minerva inspected it carefully before pronouncing, "Tolerable, but you do need to work on your visualization."

"How would I go about comparing some of the less mundane differences between my home world and this one? We've managed through a great deal of patience and more than a few bruises on my part to teach me to use the Floo, so I can check on the non-magical world. But we all know that there are things that most of the world ignores. Magic. Goblins. Dragons. Creatures most dismiss as myth and legend. I don't want to assume that they're all the same here," Doyle paused a moment and added, "I can talk some with the goblins, but it's always good to have more than one source of information."


"The reading's a bit dry, but some of the older Ministry regulations and debates about beings, beasts and creatures have a good deal of description and then-current opinion on an assortment of non-humans. Those opinions aren't always accurate, but they are another viewpoint," Minerva offered.


"Older history and defense texts. Today's ally might be tomorrow's enemy, and of course you want to know about today's enemies," Filius added.


Doyle nodded, rubbing at his temple again. Being a teacher again was already giving him a headache and the term had only just started! He hadn't even had classes with all of his students yet. He had the suspicion that by the end of the year, he was going to regret letting Albus Dumbledore talk him into becoming a teacher at Hogwarts. "I'm apparently going to find out what a snorcack is in a couple weeks. I assigned the fourth years a paper on the historical impact of a magical species of animal..."


"Ahhh, yes, Miss Lovegood is a rather memorable individual. She always has interesting things to say about unusual creatures," Filius murmured.


"I gather that not everyone agrees with her about... those creatures..." Doyle fought to breathe as his head felt like it pulsed smaller, and the light became stabbingly bright sparkles. The scent of the tea burned at his nose, his stomach threatening to revolt. He knew these signs, knew the feeling of a vision about to slam into his skull with painful intensity. For years, he'd suffered through these visions.
His muscles jerked as his whole body tried to flinch. He could smell the scents of smoke, both wholesome wood smoke and the stench of burning flesh, smell spilled butterbeer and beeswax and blood. Streaks of light in a variety of colors came from the wands of figures clad in billowing dark robes with skull like masks. One of them held a wand towards a buxom blond woman who writhed in agony on the floor of a tavern. Another cast a green light towards a delicate looking Asian girl, her wide eyes reflecting green before she collapsed, limp and dead. He could see other students around them, some bleeding, a dark girl in Gryffindor robes on the floor, her right arm nowhere to be seen while another Gryffindor with short hair sobbed beside her. One of the masked figures was moving towards a girl that he'd seen in his class, the snake-torc glinting with reflected light from spells and fire.


The vision faded, letting his eyes see the staff room again instead of the tavern. No black robed wizards stood before him, no terrified students cowered around the edges of the room. There was no stench of blood and burning flesh. His head throbbed in time with his heartbeat, enough that part of him desperately wanted to drink himself numb. "Owww..."


"Doyle?" Minerva's voice was soft, as if she was unsure if he could hear her. "Are you... what happened?"


"I hate those Bastards That Be... Bloody visions..." Everything hurt as he uncurled himself on the floor, slowly lifting himself back up to the chair. "Sometimes I get visions. Things that might happen... will happen unless someone can prevent them. Awful things. Black robed probably wizards with skull masks in a tavern or a little restaurant. Terrified students in the room, some bleeding, some dead. There was a girl on the floor who was missing an arm. One of the black robes had a nasty spell on a woman... definitely not a student. It looks... horrible pain."

"Was the woman blond and rather..." Filius made curving gestures towards his chest with both hands before finishing, "buxom?"


"Yes," Doyle nodded. "They were also casting a green light at the students, and those that it hit fell down dead."


"The Hogsmeade weekend..." Minerva gasped. "All the students, what can we do?"


"Try to have the older students ready in case of danger. Can you have some of the wizarding police... the aurors standing on call? If they can get there close enough to the time those black robes arrive, then some if not all of that can be averted. I know there are spells to prevent buildings from burning, even if they are still too complex for me to cast - put them on all the buildings in Hogsmeade," Doyle closed his eyes, wanting the pain to stop. "I get these skull splitting visions so that someone can prevent them from happening, not for someone's kicks and giggles."


"Real visions... Have you talked to Sybil?" Filius asked.


Doyle shuddered, his head protesting the motion. "Not about that, and I'm not planning to talk to her about it. Visions aren't some misty, watery flickers of light, and they aren't just looking at tea leaves. It doesn't feel like a gift, and I've never been able to choose when it kicks in and kicks my skull. I found a couple books, that'll have to do. Well, that and having someone do something about a vision if one inflicts itself on me."

"We'll start fireproofing the buildings tomorrow," Minerva promised. "You look like you should get to bed."

"Oh, I intend to. Don't worry if I'm not at breakfast tomorrow, these sometimes take a lot out of me," Doyle staggered to his feet, and gave a wave of his hand. Passing out in his bed until somewhere around noon tomorrow sounded quite appealing. He'd read the descriptions, but it hadn't really clicked just how much the Death Eaters - surely that was who the figures in black robes and skull masks were - looked like second rate Nazguls. He wondered if their Dark Lord had read Tolkien... And if he was thinking things like that, it was definitely time to hide away and sleep.

end Professor Doyle 8: After-School Conference.

Chapter Text



pd9..pd9..pd9..pd9..

Doyle didn't feel up to leaving his rooms until almost noon. Oh, he'd fallen out of bed around dawn, stumbled to the bathroom and back, but he'd then passed out again. He hated the visions, hated what they did to him. If he hadn't had a class after lunch, he just might have gone back to bed, to burrow into the warm blankets and just try to relax and pretend everything was fine.

It was a good thing that he'd made thorough lesson plans and had already prepared the syllabi for the class. He'd taken attendance for the class of third year Gryffindors and Hufflepufffs, passed out the pages, and given his speech. He'd answered questions, and a part of him was hoping that he'd answered them coherently, with words that actually connected to the questions. Of course, he remembered seeing the Hufflepuff Gwydain Llawwygn with a double image of some sort of badger, and another Hufflepuff who'd insisted that she'd rather answer to Nessa had a double image of a falcon...

All was not right with him. He blamed the visions. Most of the problems in his life could be blamed on them if he twisted his logic hard enough.

"Professor Doyle?"

Glancing up, Doyle blinked at the pair of stocky Hufflepuffs standing just inside the doorway. One had very pale hair that he'd cropped short enough to mistake for peach fuzz, the other had a shaggy mop just a bit duller than the Hufflepuff yellow banners. He hadn't had either of them in class yet... depending on their age and if they were in NEWT-preparatory classes, he might not have them at all. "Hmmmm?"

"I don't think I've had either of you in my class yet, have I?" Doyle asked.

"No, but my little brother was in your class earlier. He said you didn't look well, and he's right," explained the paler Hufflepuff, his voice carrying a Welsh accent.

Doyle frowned, trying to remember. It was the accent that helped him connect... "The badger boy. Didn't think that was quite right..."

"Madam Pomfrey's?" the yellow haired one asked, glancing at the other Hufflepuff.

He nodded, "Right away."

With that, the pair of them moved in. Each took one arm in a firm grip that didn't quite hurt. With that, they turned around and walked out, physically towing him to the infirmary.

"Madam Pomfrey, something isn't right with our Professor. Gwydain said he might be under some sort of disorientation hex," the yellow haired Hufflepuff called.

"I'll take a look at him. The pair of you can go, unless you've picked up some injuries that I need to attend?"


The boys fled.

"Kidnapped from my classroom and then abandoned to your tender mercies... What exactly do they think you're going to be doing to me, Madam Pomfrey?" Doyle asked, slowly settling onto one of the hospital beds. This would be the first time that he'd have the chance to let a medical professional examine him that he could actually tell the truth about what had happened.


"What happened, and when?" She moved closer, peering at his eyes and inspecting his hand.


"I had a vision last night, perhaps at eight. As usual, it knocked me on my ass, and I went to bed. I stayed there until I had to drag myself off to class. I... there was an overlay on some of the students, an animal shape," he explained.


"What training have you had to help ease the effects, and to deal with the aftermath?" she asked, before her wand-tip flashed like a pen-light.


"I was assured that I wasn't going mad, that they were real, and I used to get drunk afterwards, so I could explain the pounding in my head. Considering the way they left me feeling, it wasn't as if I was losing anything," he shrugged.


She began muttering very painful sounding things under her breath.

"I did not get drunk here. That would be a very bad example for the students," he insisted.


"A wise choice. While I can't say what may or may not have been available where you were before, in this world, there are techniques that can be used to help prepare a mind for visions, or to help recover from one if it comes unexpectedly. There is no safe way to make a vision come when you want it, but... I'll have Madam Pince gather a few good books for you on the matter. This is one of those areas where someone either has the ability or they don't. Either the Seer's Guide by Kassandri or My Eyes: They Burn by E. Aggamotto - they have useful information for those who can see and need control," she kept her voice low, and continued her inspection as she spoke.


"So there's something that will help? A way to not feel like my skull's been opened up, full color images shoved in, and things given a good shake?" Doyle was looking at her, wanting the answer to be yes, wanting a solution. Almost any solution. "Do I have to talk to Trelawney? She scares me."


"There are ways. I don't know what they are, but I know they work. One of my best friends when I was a school girl was Rachel Lovegood, and she could see things... oh the things that she saw! She used those books to help learn control, to focus, and to help keep track of what was here and now and what was a vision. The Seer's Guide is more formal, written for publication. Aggamotto's book is more along the lines of a journal that got reproduced after his demise."


"So what should I do today? I think I'm clear until tomorrow morning, second period," Doyle asked.


"I'll talk to Madam Pince to see if there are copies in the Hogwarts library. For now, drink this," she handed him a vial of something pale blue that smelled of ginger and daffodils, "and go somewhere other than here for a while. Perhaps you could take the Floo and visit familiar places, or meander in the muggle world."

 

"Maybe look for some of the larger differences between here and the other world..." Doyle mused. Of course, he could also go talk to the goblins. Crackjaw had said that the goblin scholars would have someone there at any time, willing to talk for as long as he could spare.


"Try to avoid anything terribly complicated for at least four hours, and don't sign any legally binding contracts until tomorrow. Now go be elsewhere for a while," She gave a little smile, and then added, "We'll need to talk later about these visions. Something like this really should be in your medical history."

 

"Fair enough. Perhaps you can help me go over a little about basic potions. Ingredient preparation, maybe brewing up some very, very simple things?" Doyle offered.


"A good idea. We'll schedule lessons when you don't have class and when I shouldn't have too many students coming in with predictable injuries," she gave a little motion for him to hop off the bed. "Away with you now."


With a small nod, Doyle left the infirmary. A quick stop back at his office for an over-robe and then he was on his way to Hogsmeade. This time, rather than trying to follow Minerva, he paused to glance at the interior of the Three Broomsticks, and his eyes paused on Madam Rosmerta. The buxom blond was the same woman that he'd seen in his vision, the building the same one that had been filled with terrified students. "Filius and Minerva promised they'd take care of it..."


He took the Floo to the Leakey Cauldron in London. Stumbling hard, he managed not to sneeze or bump into anyone. A single very careful shrinking spell later and his robe was now impersonating a handkerchief in his pocket, the wand tucked up his sleeve, and he meandered out along the London street. His plan was simple - find a local bookstore or library, look a little at current events and popular figures, and compare to what he remembered from before his unexpected trip. As it happened, there was a bookstore right beside the Leaky Cauldron, making his trip quite easy.


Of course it was too good to last. Life had to throw him another curve.

"September of nineteen ninety five? Oh dear God above, how did this happen?" Doyle whispered. If he'd tried to compare the details of the world before now instead of learning Wizarding history and basic magic, he'd have already discovered this. But he had no idea how he'd wound up not only across the ocean but five years back in time.


Did that mean that even now, this world had a version of him, still involved with Harriet? Still teaching kindergartners, still happily unaware that he was anything but human? Could this world have a version of him, and if there was, would he necessarily be not human? Would there be a version of Angel, pining over that blond Slayer?



He paid for the issue of National Geographic and made his way back to the Leaky Cauldron, into Diagon Alley. He ignored the meandering wizards and witches, heading right for Gringott's. Maybe the goblin scholars would have some idea how and why this could have happened. He still didn't know why he wasn't dead, probably seared into ashes.


Entering the bank, he gave a polite nod to the guards at the outer doors, and paused to look at the lobby's interior. In the back corner, he spotted a row of doors, each one elaborately decorated. One had a nest of serpents, twisting and biting at each other. Another had a person chained to a stone, with birds diving at the chained figure - Prometheus and the eagles, perhaps? There was one with Stheno and Euryale, the one that he'd been told would have the scholars.
A guard was stationed near the doors, armed with a pole-axe that gleamed, dressed in a blood-red uniform. Looking at Doyle, he moved the pole-axe into a guard position, and challenged in Kheftic, "What business do you have within the Halls?"


Doyle gave a respectful half bow, and replied in Kheftic, "At the suggestion of Crackjaw, I would speak to the scholars among your people. I was told that I could find some willing to speak with me behind the door bearing the images of Stheno and Euryale."


"Of course," the guard stepped aside, gesturing towards the doors, "Do not let me interfere with the discussions of the scholars."


Doyle opened the door, revealing a hallway that sloped downwards. As he walked, he concluded that it had a subtle curve to it, as a backwards glance did not reveal the door. With a shrug, he kept walking until the corridor opened up to something that resembled a comfortable faculty lounge, with chairs and sofas, and small tables with scrolls, books, and cups of various beverages. Small clusters of goblins debated here and there, one group discussing iron alloys and their relative merits for weapons, while another group debated the possible use of gems that had been given various muggle treatments to alter or enhance their color.

One goblin looked up at his entrance, and gave his mug a suspicious glance before asking in Kheftic, "And who are you?"


"My name is Doyle, and I was told that I could find scholars who might be interested in talking to me. I was hoping I could find someone who might be up for a bit of discussion concerning parallel worlds, traveling between them, and the possible side effects and ramifications."


In moments, he found himself towed to a low, comfortable chair, with a mug of thick, strong coffee and a crowd of goblins asking questions. He didn't have to wonder what he would do for the rest of the day, or if anyone might have an idea. He put the magazine on the table, and started to explain what he knew and what he'd guessed so far.


End Professor Doyle 9: Facing the Situation.









Chapter Text

Doyle's discussion with the goblin scholars had been interesting. As a side benefit, he'd learned some new words in Kheftic, from times when he'd not known the right word, but had been able to explain it in English. They'd been happy to give him 'the proper words' for anything he stumbled over.

The group had tossed around theories about alternate and parallel dimensions. There had been a bit of a debate about if true time travel would be possible, and if it would involve creating a new world and time-stream, if it would re-write the world that the person was in, or if reality would prevent the changes. Or perhaps the person would just be shunted into a different world. After much coffee and more debate that had come to drawn knives and threats, it had been agreed that until someone could go back in time, change things, and then return to the first point in time and see what might have changed, they couldn't be certain.

They had concluded that there was no known safe way to pass between worlds. Which meant no known way to send him home. No way to see Angel and Cordelia again - not the ones that he knew, at least.

As a group, they had decided that it was likely that there might be alternates of some people, and a comparison of various non-wizarding political and entertainment figures had produced more matches than 'who the hell is that?'s, suggesting that there might be familiar faces in this world. There might be a Cordelia Chase, might be Angel... might be another Allan Francis Doyle, who might or might not be married to Harriet.

In the interest of scientific curiosity, they'd agreed to discover if there were versions of them here, another Doyle, a Harriet, a Cordelia, the names of politicians and entertainers that he'd mentioned that weren't famous or in power here. They'd volunteered to have someone in Records look up Angel, who was likely dead if he'd ever existed in this world. It was the first simple, safe test about cross-reality anything that they'd been offered.

By the time he'd staggered out of the Floo in Hogsmeade, and trudged back to Hogwarts, it was that part of the night that couldn't quite be called early morning when it seemed that the whole world was asleep. He found himself having an odd conversation with a rather Roman looking fellow in a painting as he made his way towards his room. They discussed the aqueducts, and if the diverting of the waters had likely had an effect on the flows of magic, the rates of birth for magical children, and an impact on the magical wildlife. He also thought there had been something about the migrating unicorn herds affecting water quality.

When he woke the next day, he didn't recall anything after he'd passed the Gringott's door guards, yawning something about sharp blades and slow enemies. He did recall a couple older students abandoning him in the infirmary the other day, and Madam Pomfrey recommending more books. The only title he could recall was My Eyes: They Burn, though he couldn't remember the author. She'd promised to find them, though it had felt more like a threat. There had also been something about making visions easier to bear... he definitely wanted to learn that.

He asked a House Elf for a bit of buttered toast and strong tea before class. After his late night, he didn't feel up to anything more substantial, and certainly not anything greasy. Thankfully, he didn't have a class first period today, so he had time to continue drinking the strong tea, and review his lesson plans. With a bit of bluff and plenty of tea, the students shouldn't know that anything unusual had happened.


He decided to join Madam Pomfrey in the Infirmary for lunch. They could discuss those books that he recalled her mentioning, even if he couldn't remember both of the authors, and figure out a time for his very beginning Potions instruction. She had also mentioned wanting to update his medical file, and the infirmary should be deserted during lunch. Doyle had no trouble finding the Infirmary, or the healer inside. In fact, it was almost depressing how much time he'd already spent there, and this still in the first week of school.


"I do hope there aren't any new problems, Professor Doyle," she remarked, waving her wand over one of the beds. In response, the wrinkled sheets stripped themselves from the bed, tumbling into a wicker hamper. Her wand twitched over the bed again, and then she made a small spiraling motion towards a shelf and a clean set of linens soared over, wrapping neatly around the bed and falling into precise folds.


"Not since we last spoke, Madam. I was just thinking that this should be a fairly quiet time, and we could have some privacy to update me file," he tried to smile at her. "And there were those books you mentioned."

 

"Quite understandable. What you've already mentioned is enough to tell me that yours will be one of those where patient confidentiality is more than mere policy and tradition. I do hope that you'll let me offer advice?" she gestured for him to follow her into her office, which held a tall filing cabinet, a large glass-enclosed hutch full of bottles and jars that would logically be medical, and a shelf of tools familiar to anyone used to visiting a doctor. She made a flicking gesture at each corner and the room took on a slightly muffled quality suggesting that she'd done something to prevent sounds from carrying.


"Unfortunately, I didn't have my medical records with me. It should begin with when and where I was born..." He began explaining his rather unremarkable medical history. There had been the usual vaccinations, scrapes and scuffles, a broken arm when he'd fallen from a tree, a sprained ankle when he'd gotten into a fight with some bigger boys from down the lane. Unlike any previous time he'd talked about his medical history, he'd told her about the day when he was nineteen, when he'd suddenly felt like his skull was carved open and he'd seen someone attack a girl that he'd seen at college. How he'd managed to stammer some excuse to her about missing class notes that had prevented her from going to her bike at that time, and how the man had instead tried to attack a different girl. Instead of attacking sweet, slightly clumsy Izzy, the man had attacked tiny Grania, daughter of a decorated soldier - Grania who'd broken his arm, collar-bone, six ribs and his leg when the man had pulled a knife and tried to rape her.


How he'd tried to ignore one about a young man out for a walk, attacked by something that wasn't a dog. How that man's mangled remains had been found the next day, with prints that had been declared as belonging to a mastiff. That had been the first time he'd gotten drunk after a vision.


Doyle could remember each vision with clarity and dates, though he was thankful that the pain and the scents had faded. The ones that still burned were the times when he hadn't been able to find someone to tell, hadn't been able to warn the person. The ones where he'd just had advance notice of a horrible fate. Where they were still killed. Not all of his visions had involved vampires or demons, some had just warned of trouble. He hated the fact that he'd never had a vision that wasn't concerning pain, suffering, fear and death. Never one bit of good news ahead of time, never glad tidings or opportunities to get a better job or a nicer place or a good car.


He told her about how a few days after his twenty first birthday, he'd felt feverish. How everything had ached and the slightest sound had made his head spin. How he'd woke up blue, with spikes over his body, his wife screaming at him from the doorway.


He skipped over the ugly details of how his marriage to Harriet had crumbled. How she hadn't been able to deal with the shock of his mixed heritage - not that he'd taken that shock much better. Nor did he admit that he'd discovered he could safely eat any mushroom he liked because he'd been trying to die. All of that was summed up in "It was an unwelcome surprise, she took it poorly, we divorced. I admit that I started drinking far too much. Though I did learn a bit more about the other side of my heritage. Apparently my biological father's what's known as a Brakken, and he was never human."


"You are far from the first to walk these halls that had carried mixed blood, and far from the first that it was strong enough to affect you," Madam Pomfrey murmured, handing him a cup of tea. "Of those that have been here since I have been part of Hogwarts, I must admit that you're the first to have such strong blood that didn't already know. Anyone with eyes and over the age of fourteen can tell you that Hagrid's part giant, and that Filius is part goblin. They've had to deal with the results of that their whole lives, and might be able to offer you advice about it."


"If I ask Hagrid for advice," Doyle paused, sorting the words in his head. "I've heard that while he's a good man, wonderful with dangerous beasts, and one of the gentlest souls most have ever met... to be blunt, I've heard that he can't keep a secret any better than a colander holds water."


"Harsh, but accurate," she sighed.


"The goblins are going to look into discovering if there's an Allan Francis Doyle native to this world. I don't know if it'd change anything, but I have been wondering about it," he offered.


Blinking, the only thing Madam Pomfrey managed was "Interesting."

After a few moments, she opened a drawer on her desk and removed a pair of books. "Here, I borrowed these from the library for you. After our last discussion about your visions... If my friend Rachel Lovegood were still alive, I'd ask her for any advice for an untrained Seer. Unfortunately, she was one of the many casualties of the Death Eaters."


"Thank you, Madam Pomfrey. I was wondering when would be a good time for some basic Potions instruction? Minerva and Filius have claimed my weekends already," He let his voice trail away, certain that she'd have a better idea when she would have free time.


"Weekends tend to be full of injuries anyways. Students doing unsupervised practice, pranks gone wrong, playing a bit rough and hurting themselves..." She paused, looking thoughtful. "Perhaps Mondays after dinner, Wednesdays before lunch, and part of Thursday afternoons? Once we get you up to a decent level, I can have you help me make some of the basics that there's much call for."


"Unless it turns out to be something that you'll have far less patients if I avoid contact with potions ingredients, then I'd be pleased to do so. I had an aunt that for the safety of the family, we banned her from doing anything other than pouring something in the kitchen. She couldn't even manage to brew tea without hurting someone or making it undrinkable," he agreed.


"You'll do just fine," she assured him. "And please, feel free to call me Poppy."

Looking at the healer, Doyle nodded before the memory of his last vision prompted him. "Madam Pomfrey, my last vision. It was of ugly things happening during what must have been a Hogsmeade weekend. As much as I hope Minerva and Filius can prevent it, it might not be a bad idea to have the supplies that would be needed if the black robes do attack. In the vision there was the stench of burned flesh, there was a girl missing her arm... I saw someone be hit with a red curse that dropped her to the ground writhing and screaming as if she was having an epileptic fit. There was a mustard yellow curse that dropped a man clutching at his eyes, and a light purple one that sent a girl to the floor clutching her stomach and vomiting. I doubt you could do anything about the green one. There were also bruises and scrapes and terrified children."


"Ugly things indeed," she whispered. "But you're right, best be over-prepared than not ready for such a thing. Though I do hope that Minerva and Filius can prevent tragedy."


"From your lips to God's ear, Madam... Poppy," Doyle prayed.


Perhaps, once he had a better grasp of magic and those books about visions, he'd have to talk to Filius about coping with mixed heritage in such a judgmental society. He suspected the Charms professor could keep his secret, and it would be nice to have someone other than Madam... than Poppy aware of the truth.


As he made his way back to his room, he wondered if this was the way the school year normally started for Hogwarts. If that was the case, perhaps once he was doing better, he should talk to Professor Tonks about some defensive and combat magic. If he could learn much - Ollivander did say he would probably never manage much past OWL level spells. Come to think of it, she might be a good one to warn about the planned attack, while he was thinking about such things. Now if he could think up a good way to talk to her without sounding like a stalker or a Death Eater collaborator... or like he was as batty as Trelawney.


Around the corner, he heard the clatter of metal against stone and a London accent cursing treacherous sets of armor for attacking innocent teachers. "Thinking of the woman and here she is..."


Sprawled on the floor, Professor Tonks was glaring at the stand that should have held a set of armor, currently scattered across the hall. Her faded jeans had a few patches that looked rather like the badges of sports teams, though he wasn't familiar with the Ballycastle Bats or the Holyhead Harpies. Her leather boots had laces trailing down and tangling together, perhaps a clue to how she'd found herself on the ground, the laces from the right boot dark blue while the left boot held laces in a brilliant magenta that matched her short shirt.


Holding out his hand, he offered, "Perhaps a hand up?"


Gripping his hand, she hauled herself to her feet, glaring at the bits of metal. "Thanks. We hadn't had much chance to talk, have we?"

 

"No, but I've picked up some interesting British turns of phrase from you, Professor Tonks," he grinned at her.


"Why don't I join you for breakfast the day after tomorrow then? It'll give us a chance to talk, and if it's in your room then there won't be all the students underfoot?" She smiled at him, her eyes currently the same dark blue as her right boot laces.


For a moment, he blinked, wondering if that was meant to sound like a date or an appointment for an interrogation. It would be a chance to see if he could talk to her about his situation, or at least schedule some lessons to improve his magical defense. "I'd be delighted. During the same time the students are having theirs in the hall, then? I'll be expecting you."

 

She turned to walk down the hall, not quite tripping over a gauntlet as she called, "It's a date."

 

End Professor Doyle 10: A Step Forwards.

Chapter Text



..pd11..pd11..pd11..

The fifth year classes were not something that Doyle was looking forward to with joy. He had one year to prepare those students for their exams - the exams that were supposed to cover what they were supposed to have been learning over the past five years. There would be a great many additional reading assignments, and many papers.

"They're going to hate me," he muttered, walking down the corridor on the way to breakfast.

"Pardon?" Minerva asked, looking at him.

"Morning, Minerva. I was thinking about the fifth years. I've only got this year to make certain that they're ready for that test, the Wizarding Levels. The one that the last five years were supposed to prepare them for. Except that they've probably slept through most of their History classes," He shook his head, "They're going to hate me."

Her mouth twitched as if she was trying not to smile, "I suspect that at least some of them read the material outside of the classroom."

"We shall hope," he sighed. Hope was well and good, but he thought it would be best to prepare for the worst.

After breakfast he had the fifth year Slytherin and Hufflepuffs. Their eyes widened and their jaws dropped as he passed out the syllabi, explaining that they had only one year before their Wizarding Levels. More than a few were looking through the pages, looking more and more alarmed. Among the many unhappy mumblings were curses upon Binns, and several people hissing that they knew the class hadn't been run properly before.

"Sir? Only two weeks about goblin rebellions?" asked a solid looking boy with close cropped dark hair and a Slytherin tie. If he remembered right from taking attendance, that student was Vincent Crabbe.

"One week on pureblood traditions?" this outraged comment was from a thin, pale looking boy, Drake Malloy or something similar. He'd have to check the list again.

"From speaking to my colleagues about the way Professor Binns handled History class, you should have more than enough about the various conflicts between the Ministry and the Goblin tribes. We have a great deal of material to cover before your exams in May, and that is why we will only be touching on pureblood traditions, though I assure you that there will be mentions in some of the other material. If you look carefully at some of the flexible assignments, there are ways that you can discuss pureblood traditions with some of those. This plan has been put together in hopes that you might be ready for your exams, which cover a good deal more than goblins and pureblood etiquette," Doyle explained.

Looking over the stunned students, he continued, "There are many listings where you are to select from a list of options for your essays. With most of them, there is a list carefully chosen for their relevance to the subject. Others are more open. I would prefer, for those that do not assign a short list of options, that you discuss among yourselves so that there isn't overlap. For example, when we reach the law making function of the Wizengamot, everyone is supposed to research and explain the introduction of a law. I want everyone to study a different law. I want you to give me reports on different former Ministers and different foreign conflicts. For those of you with parts of your family history that tie in to the assignments, then by all means feel free to use members of your family as notable figures."

By the time they slipped out, the Hufflepuffs were looking unhappy but determined. The Slytherins were looking unhappy, causing Doyle to wonder if he should start checking for poisons. Or more interesting concoctions from those red haired twins.

He set to his lunch with determination, certain that the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor fifth years right after would be no happier than the earlier class. A quick glance confirmed it - half the tables seemed to be glaring at him.

"What did you do to my fifth years? Few of them had much interest in poisons last year," Severus drawled.

With a half snicker, he handed Severus Snape a copy of the fifth year History of magic syllabus. "They didn't like this. But they do have that test in the spring, and I can't count on them learning over the past few years."

"A heavy course load," he murmured, flipping through the pages. "Shall I assume that this is the same syllabus that the rest of the fifth years will receive?"

"I only made one set of lesson plans for each year," Doyle paused. "I do wonder if the sort of essays I'll get will vary between the houses."

"Perhaps," he admitted. "I suspect there will be more footnotes and references from the Ravenclaws, more focusing battles and brave heroes from the Gryffindors. Several of my own students have wondered about a variety of methods for removing you."


"I'm not surprised," he admitted. "The syllabus is a bit daunting. If it helps settle them, you might remind them that I'm not asking for terribly long essays. Most of them are about a foot. It's just that there's so many of them."

 

"How will you make time to read all of those essays?" Snape asked.


Doyle gave a little chuckle, and admitted, "I was planning on skimming over the majority of them. A bit of an overview of what they say and maybe a few comments on anything that jumps out. Most of them aren't worth very many points, so a general skimming and if they've got the general form, structure and the right sort of content then that should be enough."

He didn't add that he was hoping that these essays would help him to increase his own understanding of some of the traditions and family connections that played such an important part of the modern wizarding world.


The Gryffindor-Ravenclaw class after lunch started much the same way. Roll-call, passing out the syllabi, and explaining the heavy load that they would have this year as well as why they would have that daunting load ahead of them. More than a few students were making notes in various schedules, and quite a few looked very unhappy. There were the expected clarifying questions about the essays, and remembering some of the things that he'd heard about Ravenclaws and Miss Granger, he added, "Points will be taken for excess length on your essays, so do pay attention to the length. If the final length is more than twenty percent off the guideline in either direction, you will lose points. Even if you did add an obscure and properly documented bit of trivia. No, your documentation does not add to the final length of the essay. Yes, you need to list your sources. As I'd already mentioned for the younger classes, I do not care what language you take your notes in, but assignments are be presented in English, with the exception that if you wish to turn in your essays concerning the goblins in the goblin language, that will be permitted. You may use colored parchment and ink so long as I can easily read it."

 

Most of the class filed out quickly, with one exception. That lingering student was a Gryffindor with an astonishingly messy mop of dark hair just touching his shirt collar, dark glasses and rather bright green eyes. The only student that had glanced for exits and hidden threats, as if he was afraid that something would attack him in the classroom.

"Professor?" Harry Potter looked at him, one hand clutching the syllabus. "I had a question."


"What did you want to ask me, Mr. Potter?" he leaned against the desk, wondering if something had confused the boy that he didn't want to ask in front of his peers, or if there was something else.


"How will this help me defeat Voldemort?" The boy's eyes looked worried and confused, and he said the name in the same quiet, determined tone as the rest of the question.


Doyle sighed, "Mr. Potter, I am here to teach you History. If you like, consider the question of how were previous dangerous wizards defeated, and what methods were used to fight them. If Voldemort used a particular sort of spell or creature, and how to combat those creatures or counter those spells. Most dark wizards have a particular strategy that they use, and their defeat depends on someone who knows how to counter that attack. Looking at previous attacks may show you if there is a pattern, or where a base might be located."

 

"But..."

 

"I'm not here to teach you how to defeat Voldemort, I'm here to teach you the History of Magic. Just because his last evil rampage fell apart when he attacked your family - and I am sorry for your loss - does not mean it should be your job to stop him again. And I wouldn't know most of the more dangerous battle magics anyhow. If you're curious, I believe Filius, I mean, Professor Flitwick, was a dueling champion before he became a teacher, perhaps he can help you learn a few more impressive spells. Or since that is a defense question, perhaps Defense Professor Tonks would be a good person to ask," Doyle suggested.

 

"If it isn't about Voldemort, then why..." Harry mumbled, the worry fading into more confusion.

 

"My credentials are apparently unlike anyone else at Hogwarts. Before Headmaster Dumbledore hired me this summer, I had previous teaching experience," Doyle smiled a little.

"He hired you because you were already a teacher?" Harry blinked. "I don't think he's ever done that before..."

 

"Perhaps he was simply running out of new things to try. Considering his age, he's probably done a great many things," Doyle suggested. "Now, on behalf of the entire Hogwarts faculty, please try to stay out of trouble this year, and go study."

 

 Harry left the room still looking surprised, with a mumbled, "Yes Professor."

Watching him go, Doyle shook his head. "Why would he expect the class to be focused on defeating Voldemort anyhow? He's just a lad, why not leave it to the grown-ups, the professionals?"


End Professor Doyle 11: Fifth Years.




Chapter Text

 

..pd12..pd12..pd12..

Doyle was a little nervous as he walked towards the door to his chambers. Tonks had invited herself to meet him for breakfast today, and while part of him was hoping it would be closer to a date, he wondered if it might be more of an interrogation. Not that a date wouldn't leave him a bit nervous for its own reasons...

Opening the door revealed Tonks, though if he wasn't mistaken, her chin looked a little narrower, her cheekbones a little higher today. This morning, her eyes were a much lighter blue, and her hair had changed again, now a gleaming silvery blond that contrasted to the black shirt bearing red letters proclaiming 'Aurors like it dangerous'.

Smiling even as she ruffled her hair, the tips playing over her shoulders, she asked, "You didn't forget that I'd be over, did you?"


"I remembered that you'd suggested breakfast. Would it be rude to mention that your hair and eyes seem to change every time I see you, and I think your chin's different this morning?" He opened the door but didn't speak an invitation. Part of him was certain that the old caution was useless - she was already in the building, and he could see the pulse at the side of her neck. But some habits left very slowly.

Which reminded him, he really needed to compare the information about the vampires of this world to what he remembered about the ones back home.

With a grin, Tonks stepped inside. "Talking about my chin and hair changing isn't rude, but commenting about other parts changing could be. It's a talent of mine, I'm a Metamorphamagus. Innate ability to adjust my shape. Since I've got it, why not play around a little with the details?"


"That would explain why your hair and eyes keep changing. I was certain I'd seen it from as short as my own and bright pink to almost to your waist. I had wondered if you were just more fashion-minded than the other witches here," he admitted. He didn't ask how much she could change herself, or if she could look like anyone. She'd probably heard those questions a hundred times, and from far too many people who wanted a cheap substitute for someone famous.

"Ohhh, there are spells to change your hair and eyes, but most don't bother changing things that much day to day. Care to tell me a bit about yourself?" She smiled at him as she dropped into his chair, the action looking clumsy but leaving her well positioned to move quickly if trouble arose.

Settling across from her, Doyle decided to share the official version. "I was born in Ireland, but I've been in the States for the last decade or so. I'm not a powerful wizard, and Filius and Minerva are making certain that I can meet their demanding standards for a competent colleague. My qualifications for teaching History are a combination of previous experience as a teacher and not retreating fast enough when Headmaster Dumbledore mentioned a vacancy in his staff."

"Previous teaching experience?" Tonks looked impressed. "I've been an Auror for a few years, but I've never taught before."

"The students I had before were a bit younger, but it has helped. Perhaps you can help me work a bit on defensive magic when Minerva and Filius aren't monopolizing my vast amounts of free time?"

"I'd be glad to. Especially if you don't mind me playing the wireless during lessons." Her expression suggested that this plan had been shot down previously.

Thinking to the outfits that he'd seen her wearing, he wondered just what sort of music she liked. In his old world, her wardrobe would have left him thinking punk, industrial, or new rock. But would that hold true in this world, in the Wizarding community? "I don't see why you couldn't have your music on during lessons."

Remembering that the whole reason she'd said that she'd visit was breakfast, he called for one of the House Elves. "Mimsy? Could you bring breakfast for myself and Professor Tonks, please?"

Less than a minute had passed before the House Elf had popped in with breakfast platters. Settling a platter heaped with food in front of each of them, the elf squeaked, "You is to be eating plenty of breakfast. Teaching students is hard work, and Healer Poppy is fussing over yous both."

Doyle blinked at Tonks as the elf left. "I suppose we shouldn't argue with the House Elves if they have the school healer on their side."

"Especially if they have the healer on their side," Tonks corrected, slathering a piece of toast with orange marmalade. "She has an assortment of nasty tasting potions for our own good, and she's not afraid to use them on us."

They ate breakfast, their conversation going from questions about background and qualifications to comments like 'pass the toast' or 'is that strawberry jam?' and rambling observations about differences between breakfast foods between Scotland and Los Angeles. While not even close to formal, it did leave both of them feeling more relaxed and a little more informed about each other.


As she was preparing to leave his chamber, Tonks grinned at him, her hair changing to cheerful amber with curls. "You seem to be a decent bloke, Doyle. We can always use more of those around. Next time we do this, you'll have to come to my place for breakfast."


Once the door closed, Doyle let out a breath that he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "That woman is... she's something."


Gathering up the papers that he needed for that morning's classes, Doyle found himself wondering what she'd do if she knew even half of his secrets. About where he'd really come from. About his father and what that meant for his heritage. About those awful visions. If she'd consider them to be awful, terrifying secrets the way Harriet had, or if she'd accept them. And he found himself wondering how much it mattered.


For that matter, what would any of them do if they knew? Filius and Minerva had witnessed a vision, and Minerva knew about him coming from an alternate world, but... If they knew, would it destroy the fragile new friendships and working relationships that he was developing? Would he find himself an outcast?


He needed to find some of the books on current legal standings, especially anything about mixed human and not human heritage. Soon might be better than later, especially if dangerous things started happening around him again.   And maybe one day he'd try a vacation in the Arctic, or the Antarctic - somewhere at least a hundred miles from any other person. Maybe that would be enough to prevent any visions for a while.


"No, no more running away. Not from this, not when it's only for me own comfort," Doyle promised himself. What other way could he describe those wretched years between Harriet leaving him and stumbling into Angel? He hadn't left the city, but that had definitely been an attempt to run away, to hide. He'd been devastated when she'd left him, and so he'd effectively left his life as well. Losing his job had been unrelated to his actions or Harriet's, but it had been at the worst possible time. The apartment that they'd shared had been wrong and painful without her. Their friends... had turned out to be mostly her friends.


He had a new start here, in a place where he could be useful, helpful. Where he could just be Doyle, a teacher. Not the half demon, not the seer. Not Harriet's ex-husband. Of course, there did seem to be plenty of trouble brewing with those nasty black robed wizards. And their master might not be gone enough, even if he had been killed years ago - evil was damned good at coming back, if he could make a tactless pun about the matter. Maybe he'd best look more into the previous round of those evil wizards with the black robes and the skull masks.


As he made his way towards the History classroom, where he'd left a volume on the fading of the Druids, he sighed. He felt rather like a fraud at the moment, trying to teach history when there was so very much he didn't know himself. It was an ugly, uncomfortable feeling. Fortunately, there was something that he could do about it, at least if he had enough time. "I have a lot of homework to cover."

End Professor Doyle 12: Breakfast with Tonks.












Chapter Text



..pd13..pd13..pd13..

The next couple weeks seemed to fly by for Doyle. He was busy trying to keep ahead of the assignments and lectures for his History classes, managing the reading and lessons for Poppy, Minerva and Filius, and to try to get some of the necessary background information for this world. Granted, the last month had helped a little... But it was quite the challenge.

Professor McGonagall had presented him with a small, hourglass-like object that was of immense help for his task. She called it a time-turner, and mentioned that they were usually strictly controlled by the Ministry. However, this one apparently belonged to a friend of Headmaster Dumbledore, so there was a bit more flexibility in using it. Adding about six hours of reading time, four hours more sleep, and another three each day to practice magic was... alright, it was exhausting, but so far he felt like he was making a bit of progress.

He'd had a couple more meetings with Professor Tonks, who did not use her first name. Apparently, she didn't care much for it, mumbling something about her mother having a fit of insanity when she was born. Doyle couldn't quite bring himself to ask if she meant real insanity, or if her mother had just given Tonks a name that she hated. It wasn't as if 'Francis' was a wonderful name either.


They were working nicely as colleagues, and he really enjoyed her company. With a bit of luck, she could become a very good friend. As for romance? As tempting as the idea was, he was a little intimidated by the idea of asking out someone who was the equivalent of a magical cop, and until he had a better idea of this society's view of those who weren't completely human... It might be best not to even try.

He'd had several talks with Minerva and Filius about the multitude of assignments, especially for the fifth years. He'd had similar talks with Professor Severus Snape, who had only reluctantly conceded that perhaps it might be acceptable for him to use his first name. He really got the impression that Severus was not a people person. He'd also had a few talks with Pomona Sprout, a rather friendly seeming woman with the power to catch someone completely off guard and before they knew it, they'd somehow been talked into helping with some project or other.

There were still times that he felt like a fraud. When he wanted to tear out his hair in frustration at the idea of teaching History of Magic when he was only a few steps ahead of his students. When the very idea of calling himself magical, or a wizard, felt rather like claiming skills that he didn't possess.

But he was learning. It felt all too slow, but he was learning.

Making his way to the Great Hall for breakfast, Doyle nodded towards Pomona. Descending a flight of stairs, he gave a small wave to Filius, who was currently engaged in a lively discussion that sounded partly mathematical with a woman he called Septima. This weekend was to be the first Hogsmeade weekend, when the students third year and above would be permitted to go to the nearby village for some shopping, socializing, and just basic running around. He hoped that his vision would not be taking place.

Breakfast meant large numbers of owls - the proper plural, if he remembered correctly, being a parliament of owls - to descend with mail. It was a very impressive sight, even after a few weeks of school. A tiny corner of his mind wondered what prevented stray feathers or owl droppings from getting into the food and onto the students, but he assumed that the answer was probably 'magic' and that he had enough to worry about playing catch-up without going into advanced castle-keeping spells.


What he hadn't expected were the other two birds in this morning's descent of feathers. The first surprise was the raven, carrying a scroll with a black ribbon that landed around the halfway mark of the Hufflepuff table. From the sympathetic glances and a few winces that he observed, Doyle suspected that the bird wasn't bringing good news. The other surprising bird was a falcon that landed in front of him, mantling and giving him an impatient look with sparkling red eyes. A dark grey and red twisted cord around its neck had a pendant marked with the Gringott's crest, and it carried a scroll bound with a light blue cord.

Considering the identifying pendant on the falcon, he wasn't surprised that the message was written in Kheftic. What was a bit of a surprise was the statement that they had found some matches for the names he'd given them, and wanted him to come to the Halls to discuss these findings at length, 'at his earliest convenience.'

"Do those scratchings make any sense to you?" the woman next to him, the Muggle Studies professor, asked with an expression full of dismay.

After a moment of consideration, Doyle decided to edit his response. First, it would do no good to get angry that she referred to the goblins' message as 'scratchings', and second, he didn't need to offend and alienate his co-workers. "I've been summoned to Gringott's this weekend."

"How unfortunate," the woman sniffed, her chair edging just a tiny bit away from him.

With a sigh, Doyle remembered that the goblins, in the minds of most magicals, were associated with only two things - money and war. She was probably assuming that he was receiving something similar to collection notices, or bankruptcy filings. And financial troubles never won friends.

After breakfast, he consulted his schedule, concluding that he could leave at lunchtime on Friday, if he talked to his instructors about their lessons. He'd bring it up with Minerva, and mention that the goblins had discovered his arrival, he suspected that she could make appropriate apologies to Filius and Poppy. He'd just leave out the part that the goblins had 'discovered his arrival' because he'd just directly told them.


Heading towards her office, Doyle called out, "Minerva? Could I have a few moments?"


"Of course, do come into my office," she sounded fairly calm.


Once he was seated in her office, Doyle reminded himself that he hadn't been doing anything inappropriate. "This has a bit to do with the mail this morning..."

"Are the goblins running into complications?" She had a small frown as she asked.

"Not quite," He paused, and then sighed. "It didn't take long before they knew that I'm not from this world. Please don't ask how. They want to talk to me about that. My History lessons are done Friday by lunch, so I thought I could leave after that... the letter did say 'at my earliest convenience', which generally means as soon as possible unless I have a very good reason to delay. I don't know how long things will take, so I may need to miss this weekend's lessons in basic magic."

"Of course, of course," Minerva nodded. "I'll pass on your concerns to Filius and Poppy, though if you do finish things up in time, we would be most pleased to continue the lessons as planned."

"Unless there are problems with the Hogsmeade weekend," he muttered.

"Well," Her lips tightened, and she shook her head. "We shall hope to avoid or minimize such things."

 

"One can hope," he agreed. Privately, he suspected that the Death eaters would try something this weekend. While he'd tried to get precautionary measures taken, that was unlikely to change the plans of the Death Eaters themselves. And why would he have had the vision unless it would happen soon? "On a different note, what was the raven about at breakfast? I rather suspect that it wasn't a cheerful thing, and some of the texts have mentioned unwelcome tidings carried on ravens' wings..."

"Traditionally, the Head of a Family sends death notices or a notice of divorce, disinheritance, or disownment by raven. One should assume that a raven, especially carrying formal news, does not bring favorable information, though with some relatives... Some relatives can only be improved by their demise," Minerva explained.

"So, perhaps great uncle has passed away?" Doyle asked, seeking clarification.

"Quite likely," Minerva agreed. "For students who are not yet of legal age, most would only send word of someone's death if they were a close relative, or if the student is named in the will. Some families will inform everyone of the death of anybody in the family, but that can seem rather morbid."

"Useful, if a bit depressing, to know." Doyle sighed. "Thank you for understanding, and for passing on the news to Filius and Poppy."

End part 1.


Friday, after a brief lunch, Doyle only paused long enough to make certain that he was still clean and tidy before heading out of the castle. The goblins were not known for their patience, and he was rather impatient to learn what they'd found about the cross dimensional comparisons himself. Of course, the goblins and their unspecified summons made a much sounder excuse for travel than his own curiosity.


Doyle thought that Diagon Alley seemed empty on a weekday afternoon. Glancing at the shopkeepers and the few people out and about, he decided that this was likely to be normal for the alley on a weekday during Hogwarts school term. A few people walked along with young children, and while a few of them looked close to the size of some of the first year students, most were smaller. Younger.

The pale, tilted columns of Gringott's sparkled in the sunlight, the red-clad guards with their gleaming weapons stationed by the large doors. From the outside, nothing suggested that there was anything different for the bank. Nothing different, nothing amiss, and nothing that disturbed the guards in the slightest. Though a part of his mind was wondering if, like the British guards at Buckingham palace, part of their job description was standing there as if nothing was remotely wrong or even interesting. If that was part of their duties, did they find that as taxing as he'd heard that the British guards found their own task?


Still wondering just how much of the Gringott's guards duties included presenting a certain appearance, he gave the one on the right a small nod as he entered the building. He didn't try to talk to the guard, or to pester. Once in the building, he made his way to the Hall of Scholars. This would be his fourth visit, though the first where he knew what topic of discussion there would be in advance.


With a polite wave to all the corners of the room, he offered a greeting in Kheftic, "To the scholars of the Children of the Earth, my greetings. May your studies be swift and your experiments profitable. I received word that some success had been reached in identifying certain individuals of this world with names I remember from my own?"

"Ahhh, traveler Doyle! We've been waiting," smiled an aged scholar, baring sharp, yellowed teeth.


"I have been contracted as a teacher at Hogwarts, my time is not all my own any longer," Doyle responded. "I'm hoping to teach or convince at least a few of them to think instead of blindly accepting things."

 

"Good luck with that. Most wizards can't think even when their lives depend on it," snorted a short goblin in the back, with a series of warts meandering across his temple and towards his ear.


One of the elder goblins, his hair having thinned to sparse tufts of pale frizz and wearing very thick glasses that hooked over his large ears, pulled out several pages of parchment. The topmost was the listing of names that Doyle had provided, each of them now with several small symbols behind the name. "To being with, we started with a simple check to determine if such a person even existed, for those names that were not in public prominence. We then split the names that were alive and unknown to us and had them looked into. We also had brief checks done on many of the older names, those that would no longer be among the living."

 

The explanations began with a discussion of politicians, entertainers, and that curious group of people who were widely known due to their good fortune in being born to certain families, such as the Houses of Windsor, Hapsburg, Hannover, and Oldenburg. There were some names that had not risen to such heights in this world, others that held different offices. For example, one notable General that had often been quoted for opinions in Doyle's home-world was a notable Judge in this one. Some entertainers had slightly different careers, though many had at least a similar one - musician were still musicians, actors were still actors, writers were still writers, though one who had been Country was in this world Blues, there were variations in albums and films released, and small changes in backup bands. All useful things to note for research, but nothing that Doyle considered as having a major influence on his life.


Then they moved to mentioning the names that were people that he had known personally or indirectly. Rupert Giles and Wesley Windham-Price were both British Wizards, with Giles as a historian that had briefly played Quidditch for the Appleby Arrows, and Wesley apprenticed to one of the nation's Arithmancy Masters. Harriet Conway lived in San Diego California, a music teacher in a private school. She was currently dating a lawyer named Lindsey MacDonald, a name that sounded familiar, though Doyle couldn't place it. Buffy Summers was a high school student in Los Angeles, a cheerleader, average grades, utterly unremarkable so far as the goblins could determine. Cordelia Chase was also a cheerleader, living in a small town a few hours north of Los Angeles, her father's side a wealthy family that had produced the occasional muggle-born magical, and her mother's line being considered semi-magical and producing several seers each century. Cordelia herself was considered a squib with no officially identified magical talents. Other names from Sunnydale that he could remember - Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris - had been tracked down as well. Willow, Alex, and their oldest friend Jesse were all registered as part of a small magical day-school, and Alex and another Sunnydale boy, Daniel Osbourne, were also registered as werewolves with no recorded behavior issues.


There was an Allan Francis Doyle in Ireland, having attended a small Irish school of magic. He was currently working as a tutor for young magical children. He was also engaged to Grania, the soldier's daughter that Doyle could remember from his own world. There was nothing in his history to indicate that he had ever met Harriet Conway, let alone married and then divorced her the way Doyle had.


Unsettlingly, they had found matches for some of the other names he'd provided. Drusilla had been a witch and a seer, pursued and tormented by several vampires. This world's Drusilla had not been turned, and in fact, she and Jonathan Weasley, a wizard that she had later married, had destroyed some of the pursuing vampires before settling into a quiet life in the country, where they raised nine children and died contentedly of old age. Most likely, the Weasleys currently at Hogwarts were her great grandchildren, or perhaps her great-great grandchildren. They hadn't been able to find anything about a vampire matching his description of 'Spike' or 'William the Bloody'.


They'd found Angel. It turned out that his name was actually Liam Rhubeck. He had been turned into a vampire in this world as well, though there was very little written about what he'd done as a vampire. Vampires in this world were also much more varied, retaining more of their mortal selves, including the chance to have morals, and ethics. They didn't automatically become evil with the set of fangs, though there was a tendency towards irresponsibility, arrogance, and a sense of superiority that came from humans becoming food. The disturbing part, as far as Doyle was concerned, was that Liam Rhubeck turned out to be the great-great-great-great-great uncle of this world's Allan Francis Doyle.


"Do you want to meet any of your relatives in this world?" asked one of the scholars.


For a few moments, Doyle had no idea what to say. Part of him wanted to shout that of course he wanted to meet them. Another part feared rejection, confusion and unnecessary complication. "The idea has some appeal, but I think that I should consider it carefully before making any decisions. Perhaps part of that consideration might include more about of the general information of this world's vampires and any specifics you might have on Liam Rhubeck? The normal behavior of the vampires back home would suggest that meeting him would be a very poor idea, but some of the references in the wizarding histories suggest that the vampires here may not be quite the same. I'd like a few more sources of informatin before I go meeting vampires. And I'm not certain how the Doyles of this world would take the idea of an alternate world version of one of their family, especially if they are fully human, where I... well, I'm not."


"The Doyles of this world are a wizarding family. Not one that is considered pure-blood, as they have a habit of marrying wives who are of mixed or muggle ancestry, and a few have even wed muggles. It is not unheard of for the older magical families to carry a measure of heritage other than fully human, but this is not the case for all families. In addition, if the family does not routinely breed back within the family line but rather marries out to full human spouses, the non-human heritage will weaken and eventually no longer be present," the goblin paused, one long finger tapping at his teeth. "With the differences in birth-worlds, I suspect that informing you if the Doyles are one of those old families that carry non-human heritage would be a breach of the family's privacy."


Another goblin shuffled some papers before handing the stack to Doyle. "This is the non-confidential information on Liam Rhubeck. Much of it was gathered from census records, and other public documents. Some of it may be biased, much of it is lacking. I have also provided a list of several good sources of information on this world's vampires, both in general and some places to gain specifics. We anticipated that you would want more facts to permit an informed decision, especially about the vampire."

Accepting the pages, Doyle gave the goblin a nod, "Thank you. Granted that you may not tell me if the Doyle family, by whatever name or names they may have carried in earlier centuries, did have non-human heritage, but can you tell me if the family has been magical long enough for it to be a possibility that they did?"

 The aged scholar grinned, baring dozens of sharp, yellowed teeth, two of which had red gems set into them, as he produced a folder and a book from a stack. "A family tree for this world's Doyles, going back to the early twelve hundreds. They were already an established magical line then, but as they did not bank with Gringott's before winter of twelve thirty-seven, our information on the earlier family is more limited. A compendium of what had been publicly available information - things like where the family lived, reputations and large scale rumors, what trades members took up, court trials and sentencings, names and dates of those who attended magical schools, held registered apprenticeships, or took internationally recognized exams, in the magical world or otherwise. The possibility of non-human magical heritage is quite real for any family that was established and magical a thousand years ago, which the family now known as the Doyles were. Pure-bloods are more likely to have such heritage, more likely to have retained it through breeding close to the bloodline, and far less likely to talk about it, as many wizards view those who are not human as somehow less than theirselves."

"Thank you for that," Doyle accepted the folder and the book, tucking the pages about vampires into the folder for ease of transport. There were four hours of discussion on differences in general trends among fashion, entertainment, and the economy before Doyle reluctantly made his way back to Hogwarts. Some of it had been interesting from the beginning, while other bits had taken a bit before he could see the interest in talking them into submission.


He already knew that he'd be putting in quite a few hours with the time-turner to go over all this new information. And he knew that he was curious how much this Liam Rhubeck was like Angel. Most likely, unless the information suggested a considerable danger to life, limbs, or sanity, he'd probably meet with Liam at some point.


End part 2.
End Professor Doyle 13: Picking up Facts









Chapter Text


..pd14..pd14..pd14..


Doyle had floo'd from Gringott's to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade at almost ten in the evening on Friday. His walk back to the castle had taken longer, though he'd shifted once he was out of town. Brakken eyes needed less light than his mostly human eyes, so he'd changed from mostly human Doyle to mostly Brakken Doyle. So long as he changed back before anyone could see him, then he'd be fine. Or at least better than if he'd tripped over every rut and tree branch between Hogsmeade and Hogwarts castle...

"Out until well after dark, and me still not having picked up a flashlight," Doyle grumbled. Then he paused, "Wait a minute. I've been teaching history of magic, I've got my own silly magic stick, and I've been learning how to use it. I don't need a flashlight, there's a simple spell for that. Lumos."

The lumos spell worked rather to a flashlight, giving him enough light to see on his way back to the castle. He could hear owls about, hunting and calling to each other. He was probably imagining the sound of their wings - owls were supposed to fly very, very quietly. He also found himself wondering just what the winged scrawny lizard-horse creatures were... "I'll ask Hagrid about them later. Identifying magical beasts is his area, after all."

Magic had permitted the packets of paper from the goblins to be shrank to a size rather like a book of matches, and he'd tucked them into the shirt pocket, underneath his robes. Part of his mind was considering the vast Hogwarts library, and wondering how many of the resources on the list would be present, and how many he'd need to look elsewhere to uncover. He was wondering if he would dare contact this world's version of his parents... if they would want to know him. Even if they only knew apparently human Professor Doyle. What they'd do if they knew that he wasn't entirely human. Still wondering if Liam was much like the Angel that he'd known. Wondering if he'd dare meet this world's version of himself, if the other Doyle had made a safer, happier life for himself. A better life.

The colors seemed to sparkle for a moment, then dopplared towards red just before the world was filled with pain and images of not-here not-yet. The streets of Hogsmeade, lightly dusty and filled with sunlight. Students screaming as men in black robes cast spells. A little pink cottage with a burning thatch roof, a goose dead in front of a door painted white. Explosions and smoke in every color imaginable from a building with a charred wooden sign reading Zonko's Jokes. A girl in an alley, tears rolling down her cheeks as black-robed figure walked towards her, laughing beneath a metal mask. A flash of green light heading towards a figure peeking out of the Three Broomsticks door.

He didn't know when he'd fallen to one knee, though he suspected it was about the time he'd felt like his head had pulsed and he'd seen the little girl crying in an alley. She couldn't have been old enough to be a student, and he thought that she'd been in a pale yellow dress, though the students normally didn't wear their uniforms on the weekends anyhow. He could still taste the air, thick with dust and fear and magic. "All right, I get the bloody hint. A warning wasn't enough."

Doyle's plan for the rest of the night had just changed. Instead of getting a good sleep before collecting reference books and turning time a few cycles to research this world's vampires, his alternate family, and debate with himself if he wanted to try talking to them, he'd have to deal with this. He would start with the library tonight, looking into these Death Eaters more thoroughly. He'd gathered that they were the minions of the dark wizard who called himself Lord Voldemort and the rest of the world seemed to call either You-Know-Who, He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named, or the Dark Lord. He'd been left with the impression that they were all dead or in the magical prison. His vision made it clear that this was not the case.

He was scowling as he entered the castle, trying to sort out what he could possibly do that would help. He was not a trained wizard, and from what Mr. Ollivander had said, he would never be a powerful wizard, even with training. He'd talked to Minerva and Filius, both of whom had much, much more training and familiarity with how to protect things in this world. He didn't have much skill with patching the injured back together, with or without magic. He wasn't yet ready to make very many healing potions - though he suspected there would be considerable need for headache relievers.

A shadow moved next to one of the suits of armor. Glaring, Doyle turned to face it, seeing a matched pair of tall redheads. "Hasn't curfew already passed, Weasleys?"

"Gahhh..." One of them jumped, bumping into the wall. "Sorry Professor..."

"Is that reaction from our smoke-bomb still bothering you? I thought Madam Pomfrey cleared that up?" the other frowned, trying to hide something behind his back.

"The sneezing has been taken care of, but there may be a few lingering and recurring problems. I've been assured that it's one of the risks of experimental potions and products," Doyle kept his tone dry and calm. Internally, he was berating himself for forgetting to change back, for wandering into the castle still looking like a Brakken. "She also said that things could be much worse. There was something about a man sprouting feathers, and the one about the woman who... well, you're a bit young to hear about that one."

"Err..." The twins glanced at each other, clearly worried about the possibility of doing something awkward, embarrassing or permanent to themselves. There was also a rather obvious morbid curiosity about the woman and whatever they weren't supposed hear about.

"Go back to your dorms, and don't finish whatever trouble you're trying to set up tonight. This weekend isn't going to be the time for your jokes." Doyle paused, certain that he was forgetting something. "Oh yes, that will also be ten points from Gryffindor for being out after curfew. Now scoot."

"Yes sir," they chorused, scampering away towards their tower. Neither seemed to notice when one of them dropped what looked like a pale taffy, and the other dropped what looked like a little needle-sharpener, the sort that often went with a seamstress' pincushion.

He picked them up, deciding that he'd sort out their objects later. After Hogsmeade, after the Death Eaters attacked. They were probably more experimental joke items anyhow.

Doyle changed back to human as he walked to the library. This was going to be a long, long night. Fortunately the house Elves would be delighted to bring him lots of coffee. Compilations of the Daily Prophet from the last couple years of the Voldemort Terror, and the first couple months after. A hallway filled with abandoned classrooms, and the time-turner.

"I doubt I'll like this reading much," he sighed as he opened the first compendium, covering the year of 1978. At least he should have enough of a grounding in the Wizarding World to make sense of the articles instead of just becoming hopelessly confused, the way he had the first time he'd tried to read the magical newspaper.

end part 1.

Time-turning and coffee made a powerful combination. He'd read through the compendiums for five years of Daily Prophet newspapers, occasionally fascinated but mostly appalled. He'd read about Death eaters attacking wizarding homes, read about people controlled by something called the Imperius Curse, read about families shattered. Reports of giants and dementors and inferi attacking people, both magical and muggle, a term he still didn't like. He'd frowned as it slowly registered that a Death Eater attack on a wealthy or pure-blood family would get a long, sympathetic article, an attack on the poor or muggle-born magicals would get a few paragraphs, and an attack on muggle homes would get a few lines in the middle pages. As if the lives of muggles weren't important enough to give more attention than a few sentences. As if the life of a poor farmer or a muggle-born shop-clerk was less than that of a wealthy old pure-blood.


Death Eaters believed in separation of the magical and the muggle, so long as they could slip out among the muggles for their fun. Believed that magical families were better, that the longer your family had been magical, the more innately superior. That might made right, and that magic gave them the right to do as they pleased. That the muggles, if they lived, were routinely 'obliviated' - that their memories were altered or taken away entirely. As if they had no right to remember what had happened, simply because they weren't magic users themselves. He learned that the idea of the innate superiority of magicals was so ingrained in their society that they didn't even realize it was there. That they thought the non-magicals, the muggles, were less in every way. Look at the poor muggles, trudging through life without magic' Watch as the nasty wizards kill them instead of us - too bad for them, but at least they didn't kill anyone important.


And then, he came to the paper for November 1st, 1981. The Headline still blinked, alternating between 'Boy-Who-Lived!' and 'You-Know-Who Dead!'. There was an impossible sounding article about the evil Dark Wizard attacking 'a promising young couple, Auror James Potter, of the Ancient Potter family, and his wife and child' in their summer cottage in Godric's Hollow. About the Dark Wizard being destroyed when he tried to attack their fifteen month old son, Harry Potter, now known as the Boy-Who-Lived for his victory over You-Know-Who. How baby Harry had been spirited away to 'a safe place' by the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore.


The article left several distinct thoughts. First, there was an appalling lack of proper journalism, both in approach and integrity, to the Daily prophet. Second, the information about what had happened was very sketchy - if the only ones present were the Potters and the Dark Wizard, where had the reporter's information come from? Third, who in their right mind would decide that the toddler was responsible instead of the Auror father, or... well, just what had mama Potter done, and how did they know she hadn't cut off the evil wizards head, or shot him with a gun, or a spell, or.... Something. Anything more believable than 'the baby did it'. Fourth, Headmaster Dumbledore had too many names and titles, and was undoubtedly a meddler of the highest order. Best not let him know about the visions if he could help it... Though it did explain why Harry Potter had seemed to think that his schooling was supposed to teach him to deal with the returning Voldemort.


As angry and outraged as the article about the Boy-Who-Lived saving them all had left him, the ones over the next month of the compendium were even worse. Wealthy pure-bloods claiming to have been 'under the Imperius' and not ever put on trial or even examined by some sort of healer or investigative official to verify their claims. Private donations from those same wealthy 'respected wizards' to the pet causes of several highly placed officials, among them then-Minister Bagnold and now-Minister Fudge. Others being thrown into Azkaban, the magical prison, with only sketchy trials, none of which seemed to look beyond what they'd been caught red-handed casting. Had these people never heard of asking 'what else did you do?' or 'who were your accomplices?'


While he supposed some people may have been placed under that Imperius curse, if they had really been controlled, shouldn't they have been willing, even eager for some form of official proof and exoneration? What the articles mentioned sounded to Doyle an awful lot like 'here, if I give your pet cause a big bag of galleons, I won't get in trouble.' Bribing their way out of trouble.


And they'd be back up to their old, nasty tricks tomorrow... this afternoon. And laughing as they walked away, because 'they were under that nasty imperius, it wasn't their fault.' Getting away with murder and more.

 

Hell no.


His heritage being what it was, Doyle didn't believe that human lives were innately more valuable than demon lives. While there were many demons that needed to be killed in order to keep them from doing terrible things, that didn't make it any less the killing of a thinking individual. He'd been killing demons for a while now. These Death Eaters danced over lines that most demons wouldn't cross. Because they were magical, because they were rich, they had gotten away with it before.


When things happened in Hogsmeade, he'd be there. He'd take a sword, and use it with enthusiasm. Their money wouldn't help if they'd been cut in half. And if he could manage to transfigure the bodies and pieces, then nobody would be able to prove he'd hurt any precious pure-blood.


As plans went, it was rather simple. And it almost made him glad that these magicals seemed incapable of thinking outside the box. Most of them didn't even seem to realize there was a box to look beyond. Or that there might be things like sense and logic. Maybe it was a good thing that he wouldn't be much of a wizard.


End part 2.

He didn't know what had woken him from his exhausted slumber. A quick glance out the window revealed smoke rising over Hogsmeade. Doyle snarled curses in four languages - never mind that curses were all that he knew in Hrz'tabik - as he dragged on something that might provide a bit of protection. He then grabbed his wand and the Time-Turner and twisted back two hours.


After that, he slipped out of the room and walked down the hallway. He paused at a set of armor, looking thoughtfully at the large, very sharp sword that seemed clenched in two metal gauntlets. Feeling rather silly, he leaned towards the armor, "Would you be willing to let me borrow that sword for a while? Foul wizards are going to be attacking the village, hurting the students. I'm not much of a wizard, but I'm a passable hand with a sword, and I figure if I cut them down then they can't hurt anyone again."


The empty plate mail handed Doyle the sword.

Accepting the sword with a feeling of surprise, Doyle murmured, "Thank you."


As he moved away from the armor, he attempted to cast a disillusionment spell over himself. Something to make himself less visible, less likely to be stopped and asked why he was carrying a great big sword through the castle. If he cast it right, then he should just... sort of blend into the background as if he had become transparent.


That didn't quite happen, but he'd felt the magic do something. It would have to do, especially since he didn't know when the Death Eaters would arrive at Hogsmeade, though he should have a while thanks to the Time-Turner.
Nobody stopped him as he walked out the castle. Right past Argus Filch and his rather thin-furred cat. Past a cluster of chatting fourth and fifth year girls. Weaving his way through a scattering of students waiting for the carriages to Hogsmeade. Past a group of Hufflepuff Quidditch fans, debating which team would have a better season. Past Pomona and Hagrid, discussing some sort of beast gnawing on the plants in Greenhouse two.

And nobody noticed him, or the sword.

Uncertain of just where things would start to happen, Doyle walked around Hogsmeade. It was odd, nobody really talked to him, but also nobody bumped into him. It was as if he only registered as a vague presence, just enough to avoid collisions. Not at all the result of a normal, successful disillusionment, but perhaps far more useful for this situation.

That was the alley that the frightened girl had been in when the Death Eater had gone after her... would go after her. Not having any better ideas, Doyle decided to wait right there. Well, at the edge of the alley, back just a bit from the street so that he could see without being too visible himself. "Now for the waiting. I hate that part."


A little girl in a pale yellow dress was running along the street, chasing a hoop that couldn't decide if it wanted to be red, yellow, blue or purple. The same girl that Doyle had seen in his vision. The hoop dodged around Hogswarts students, most of whom didn't look the slightest bit worried about, well, about anything.


There was a cracking noise in the alley, not much louder than someone stepping on a finger sized dry stick.

Doyle turned around, seeing a man in those awful black robes, a slightly twisted pale wand in his hand. He didn't have the mask on yet. He could almost pass for a normal, law-abiding wizard. Except for his eyes, hard, dead things with no kindness, no compassion, just a nasty, predatory glee. The desire to make someone suffer and scream and beg. He knew that this was the miserable wretch that had been moving towards the little girl.


Doyle moved closer, introducing himself with a single swing of the sword. That stroke should have severed the man's head from his body. Instead... well, the man collapsed with blood spraying from his neck, head flopping to the side in a way that was reminiscent of the Gryffindor ghost, Sir Nicholas, but far less cheerful. Quite thoroughly beyond medical help.


"Best make certain nobody finds him ahead of time," Doyle mused. He decided to transfigure the just now dead man into a matchbox, and drop the box into his pocket. Focusing on an image of a small box, he pointed his wand at the body and spoke, "diventi."


The result looked more like a thick wooden coaster than a matchbox, a rather pinkish hue with an ugly black border. With a shrug, he put the coaster into his pocket. The important part was that it didn't look like a body, though Minerva would probably be most disappointed. Perhaps for several reasons, the shoddy transfiguration only one of them.

"That monster was only one, there's sure to be more on their way," Doyle whispered, glancing out of the alley. Students and a few adults walking about, laughing, talking to their friends. Enjoying the day. The Death Eaters weren't here yet.


end part 3.

The next sign of the impending attack was a man with long, beautiful blond hair. He wore some sort of expensive black robes, not ones that said Death Eater, but ones that said 'pure-blood for centuries, more money than you knew existed, and better than all of you put together.' He had a glossy black and silver cane, and one hand had a big, fancy ring that was probably some sort of family crest, saying that his family had been worth more money than yours for generations too. His posture said arrogant, predatory, demanded that the world step aside for him. All of that meant that somehow, the shiny, blond hair didn't make him look feminine or less dangerous in the slightest.


Doyle started following the arrogant wizard, certain that this was a Death Eater. Certain that the man was up to trouble. The arrogant wizard spent a bit of time in Scrivener's, looking down his nose at some colored inks, sniffing at the parchment before muttering about it being 'too thick and coarse grained'.

He left that shop, and slipped into a space between a pastry shop and a pale stone cottage. A murmur and a circling motion of the cane reminded Doyle of Disney's evil fairy Maleficent, sending what looked like smoke from the end of the cane that shaped itself into an ugly black robe, concealing the elegant ones. A smooth motion of the hand, still wearing that gaudy crested ring, and the man had a skull-like mask covering his face.


The sword passed through his neck and skewered his wrist before he knew that he wasn't alone.


This one made a rather more attractive coaster, ivory hued with a pattern of silver and black swirls. That coaster joined the first in Doyle's pocket.


Loud honking from the other end of the gap brought Doyle form his contemplation of the pattern of blood sprayed against the stone cottage. He moved quickly, wondering what he would find - students squabbling, a dog pestering a bird, or another Death Eater.


Emerging beside a pink cottage, he blinked at the sight of a large white goose attempting to threaten a Death Eater. The wizard's posture, despite the robe and mask, was clearly full of amused disbelief.


As the Death Eater stared at the goose, Doyle crept closer, circling around to behind him. The goose spread its wings again, glaring at the wizard with full feathered disdain.

Raising his wand, the Death Eater made a stabbing motion at the goose, growling "Crucio. "

While the wizard was casting the spell at the unfortunate bird, Doyle chopped him in the back with the sword. He fell to the ground just as the goose collapsed, landing in front of the white painted door. Soon, there was another light brown thick coaster, with a wide, blotchy black border.

That was when an explosion rocked Zonko's Jokes. The shingles were burning, sending up smoke in red, grey, green, purple, and blue. He could hear muffled shouts and whistles from inside. More shouting came from the Three Broomsticks. Children began shrieking, and people began darting towards buildings, rushing for the carriages that they hoped would take them back to Hogwarts, back to safety. Several places had exchanges of spellfire, with Death Eaters attempting to attack and people creating barricades to hide behind. Some places had students or villagers trying to cast back at the Death Eaters.


By the time the red-robed aurors arrived, and a few remaining Death Eaters popped away with loud cracking sounds, Doyle had another four ugly coasters. He was also certain that he'd seen Minerva, with a tartan plaid draped over her dark grey gown, wand in one hand and a large sword in the other, shouting the most disturbing threats at them along with demands that the cowards come back.


He certainly wouldn't have 'come back so I can twist your entrails around your ankles and thread them through your ears!' There were a few other things that sounded ominous, but also very, very Scottish. He had no idea what they meant, but nobody seemed willing to let her demonstrate. He made his way back towards the castle, figuring that the window of opportunity for him to interfere without getting himself spelled into misery or death had closed. Perhaps Minerva wouldn't be as disapproving of what he'd done as he'd thought earlier... though the transfiguring was still rather imperfect.

His knees were feeling wobbly by the time he entered the castle, probably a reaction to the fighting. Leaning against the wall near the entrance, he shivered, and then shivered again at a sensation rather like shedding a thin coat of ice. The blood-smeared sword felt very heavy in his hand, and he could feel the blood that had splashed him itching on his skin.


"Mimsy?" Doyle called for one of the House Elves.

"Professor is calling?" Mimsy appeared near him, ears wobbling as she wrung her hands together. "Professor is looking unwell."

"I borrowed this sword from the set of armor near the carving of the crest with the unicorn and a serpent. Could you please clean it and return the sword for me? I need..." He shivered again, the feeling of someone else's blood splashed over him making his stomach twist and he felt unclean. Tainted. "I need a long shower, and perhaps some porridge after."


"Mimsy is cleaning and returning sword. But Mimsy is thinking that Professor should be sleeping now. Professor is adding too many hours to his days, yes he is." With that, the House Elf and sword vanished.


Doyle made his way back to his room, feeling as if his muscles had been transfigured into boiled noodles. The outer robe clattered against the floor, a reminder of what he'd done. The wizards that he'd killed. Stomach heaving, he bolted for the bathroom, leaning over the sink as his stomach tried to crawl out of his body. He didn't throw up, though he almost thought that it would make him feel better. When the heaving stopped, he shed the rest of his clothing, leaving the wand and Time-Turner on the counter.


He didn't leave the shower until he'd scrubbed himself nearly raw in an effort to feel clean again. Much as Mimsy thought he was pushing himself too hard, he doubted that he could sleep now, even if he wanted to risk the dreams that his morning could cause. Doyle desperately hoped that his warnings had helped.


"Why was it so different when I just had Angel take care of the bad guys?"

The bathroom didn't answer him. With a sigh, Doyle dried off and put on clean clothing. He slowly made his way to the Great Hall. It seemed terribly wrong that it wasn't even noon yet. Slowly, he ate porridge and drank strong, heavily sugared tea while listening to students whispering about the attack. About the defense of the Three Broomsticks, where Professor McGonagall had been chatting with a few Scottish wizards. How they'd attacked the Death Eaters when they'd arrived, using not only wands and fearsome spells but swords. How one of the Scottish wizards had cast a spell from his sword and then lopped the Death Eaters head right off while the man had stammered about a sword not being a wand. About a Death Eater sending a fire spell into Zonko's while the Weasley twins had been inside, and instead of panicked screaming, they had retaliated by sending a flurry of jinxes, hexes, fireworks, smoke and bright lights at the invader. Somehow, there had also been a rubber chicken involved. They'd tried to tie the Death Eater up with Silly String, but it had caught fire and resulted in some burns on the Death Eater before they noticed and half drowned him with the aquamenti and left him stunned, bound, and with an astonishing collection of welts, burns, feathers in at least five colors, and duck feet. About how all the Floos had stopped working, preventing anyone from summoning aurors during the attack, but they'd arrived anyhow. Almost as if they'd been warned.


It sounded like he'd helped after all. Good.


End part 4.
End Professor Doyle 14: Saturday Morning.











Chapter Text


..pd15..pd15..pd15..

On his way to meet Minerva for his remedial magic lessons, Doyle could only sigh. It felt like it had been a long day already, though he'd only been awake five or six hours. Though part of those hours had included his rather amateur efforts at magic, purely physical sword-fighting and lugging that sword around, and the chaos of the attack. None of which he wanted to be known for doing.

And his efforts to hide what he'd been doing in Hogsmeade had made it clear that his transfiguration was still lacking. Lacking in precision and elegance. He had no doubt at all that Minerva could have had those Death Eaters looking like a complete tea service, fit to use with the most wealthy and particular guests. Instead, he'd produced ugly, massive coasters - the sort that people might keep if their little children made them as a crafts project. The sort that were too massive and ugly to break.

Except that they weren't ugly children's crafts. They were transfigured bodies. Which brought up the question of 'just how long do things stay transfigured anyhow?' Preferably without her finding out why he was asking...

He tapped on Minerva's office door, wondering if she'd continue the lessons, or if the attack on Hogsmeade would result in them being canceled. "Minerva? Are you there?"

"Yes, do come in. This morning's events... well, I hadn't really expected to see you until much later. And there will be so much..." She paused, and then continued. "Don' bother yourself about that, come in for a bit."

"Rumors in the hall suggested that they interrupted you when you were talking with some rather Scottish friends... and that some of your friends had swords." Doyle hoped that she would explain a bit.

"Relatives from my mother's side, including my uncle Connor. Cousin James did give them a rather delightful surprise," she smirked. "Quite a few old British families have added wands to walking sticks and canes, like the one that Lucius Malfoy of the Malfoy family uses. Cousin James managed to get one into a sword hilt. He said it takes a fair bit of finagling, and there's a lot of technical bits that relate to the crafting of both swords and wands, but he was showing me one of his earliest working prototypes."

"It sounds like it was rather effective," Doyle offered.

"He admitted later that it's got a rather limited range of spells. Mostly shields, and some hexes, curses and jinxes. Fair useless for most charms or transfiguring, and you'd be best of just picking up a stick from the ground for healing spells, but..." She smirked again. "Those Death Eaters certainly didn't expect it."

"I'd think that a sword wouldn't be the sort of thing you'd be trying to heal people with, wand hidden inside or no," Doyle offered.

"Perhaps not. But some charms and transfigurations can be very useful in combat," she sighed, and then sipped at a cup of tea. "There were more injured students than I'd hoped, but we didn't lose any of them."

"That's good," Doyle wasn't certain if she'd know if any of the residents of Hogsmeade had died or not. It should be in the newspaper, probably tomorrow's edition. But her comment did give him an opening... "How exactly would transfiguring work in a fight? Unless you're planning to turn all your attackers buttons into beetles in hopes that it distracts them?"

"No, but that would probably be very distracting," her grin was rather feline. "You're thinking of beginning transfiguration. With practice, we learn to change bigger things, or more drastic changes. Instead of a button into a beetle, perhaps the button becomes a bear that attacks your enemy. Or the rubble behind them becomes a pack of dogs snapping at their knees. Or their clothing becomes chains that bind them."

"How long would such a transfiguration last?" Doyle asked.

"Mmmm. If properly done, inanimate to inanimate transfigurations can last years. Transfiguring living things is more difficult, and only lasts months at best, more likely days or hours for someone experienced, though for students it might be measured in minutes. Quite long enough for a fight," she sipped her tea again.

Doyle considered that, and his own skill level, which he would generously call 'student'. He'd best do something about those Death Eater coasters soon.

She chuckled, "It would take far more than a few Death Eaters to do more than inconvenience Uncle Connor."

Doyle blinked, uncertain just how to take that statement. After all, while the Death Eaters really seemed like magical minions at best, they were completely trained wizards. Probably Hogwarts graduates. As with many villains and minions, they also had shown a fondness for attacking when their enemies - or perhaps prey would be a more accurate word - were unable to properly fight back. Hesitantly, he offered, "I suppose McGonagalls are tough stock then?"


"Oh, there's no arguing with that, but my mother was from the clan MacLeod. Also tough stock, and with a good helping of power running through the family," she was definitely smirking.


"I suppose that I'll just let you get back to handling whatever mess of paperwork you've been stuck with as a result of that attack," he paused. "We'll need to find a good time for me to work some more on transfiguring. I've been practicing, when I've got the time, but my results are still rather rough."

"Another reason that we start with simple things, like matchsticks to needles. It's not that drastic of a change, and fair easy to check the results. And it's most unusual for any mistakes to become disasters," she mused. "Perhaps in a few days?"

"Perhaps," Doyle agreed. "I'll show meself out now."

The ugly coasters would probably be fine for the rest of the day, maybe as long as a week, since dead bodies and coasters were both inanimate. But it might be best if he figure out something to do with them soon.

For a moment, he considered talking to Tonks, and asking her to help him figure out what to do with them. Except that it would certainly have been illegal to kill them, probably illegal to transfigure and conceal the bodies, and she was in magical law enforcement. No, asking Tonks for help with bodies wasn't a good idea. For that matter, it was probably best not to involve any of the Hogwarts staff, for most of the same reasons.


So who could he talk to about this mess?

End part 1.

Doyle was reading through some of the information on this world's version of his family when there was a knock on his door. He'd made his appearance in the great hall for the evening meal, along with a majority of the students and faculty, and had listened to the rumors and gossip about the day. Between his talk with Minerva and the meal, he'd spent hours practicing simple charms and transfigurations. While he'd seen definite improvement, he could only agree that he still had a long way to go. But dinner had been almost an hour ago - who could be at his door now and why?


"I hear you knocking," he called.


"Am I interrupting anything?" Tonks sounded tired and irritated.


"Sounds as if you're needing a kindly ear to listen to," he replied. "I wasn't doing anything that can't wait a while."


The door opened, showing Tonks in a pair of distinctly muggle looking jeans and a baggy blue shirt that had what looked like a family crest of some sort with a vicious looking wolf or wolfhound pacing beneath a pair of crossed wands and a fleur-de-lys, all in black, against a grey back ground of a shield. The crossed wands gave off a stream of silver and green sparks. The muggle-like styling was a sharp contrast to the magical nature of the image. Tonight, her hair was a short, dark cap of hair, unable to be used against her in a fight and still tempting someone to run their fingers through.

"Nice shirt, it suits you," he smiled at her.


"My mother laughed about it. The family crest of the House of Black, silkscreened onto a muggle-made shirt in a muggle shop... The rest of the family would have had a screaming conniption if Mum hadn't been disowned." Tonks gave a tiny chuckle, and then glanced at where he'd been sitting, papers in a messy stack next to a mug of pumpkin juice on...  "Ye gods, what a hideous coaster."

 

"Part of a set of coasters, all equally charming," he grinned at her. "Want some pumpkin juice?"

"Please, though a shot of fire-whiskey into it would help," she sighed and draped herself onto the other end of the couch.


"I'm guessing that you had a bit more things to take care of than the rest of the teachers after this morning," Doyle observed, pouring her a mug of pumpkin juice.

"Go ahead and use another of the coasters, I rather doubt you can hurt it."

"No fire-whiskey to add?" Tonks arched one eyebrow, taking the mug.

"I've got some sad things in my past, it would be too easy for it to go from a splash of whiskey in the pumpkin juice to something closer to a splash of pumpkin juice in the whiskey. Which would be a very bad thing to be doing around impressionable children, never mind the many reasons why being intoxicated and armed with a magic wand would be a terrible idea. Not that I'd tell you not to spice yours up, but I'm thinking it would be a bad idea for me to be keeping bottles of me own here," Doyle explained.

"Fair enough," she murmured, before fishing a little silver bottle from a pocket in her jeans and pouring a bit of whiskey into her mug. Looking at the coaster, she wrinkled her nose, "This is hideous, Doyle. Please tell me you didn't spend very much on it... them... there's more than one?"

"I wound up with a set of them that I picked up in Hogsmeade. And no, they didn't cost me very much." Doyle gave a thin chuckle, hoping that he didn't sound guilty.

"They are rather... hideous is a good word for them."

"Definitely hideous. Are you sure that they aren't cursed, or that nobody charmed you into taking them?" She was still frowning at the coaster nearest her. Doyle sighed, a tiny corner of his mind thinking that the one beside her had been the evil bastard that had cursed the goose in front of the pink cottage.

"Would there be a simple way to test if they're bespelled? With harmful things, rather than just magiced to be more durable."

 

"There's a N.E.W.T. level charm to detect that... which I'd offer to do if my eyes weren't still seeing forms and scrolls. Professor Flitwick could probably do it, but then you'd have to show him these ugly things. I suppose you could take them to Gringott's and let their curse-breaker trainees look at them, if you have nothing better to do over the course of most of a day. They tend to move pretty slowly with things like that, and goblins... they don't get along with most humans. If you can deal with the curt manners, the long waits, and being looked at like an idiot for asking them to inspect coasters." Tonks shrugged. "You might also ask Madam Pomfrey to make sure you weren't influenced by any charms. Really, to get something like these... ugh."

"Ummm," Doyle paused, trying to think of something that he could say that wouldn't either convince Tonks that he'd been enchanted, or that he wasn't trying to hide anything. Of course, it didn't help that he was trying to hide things. "I'd suspect that traces from things like that wouldn't last as long as magical traces on the objects. And she's probably busy with the injured students."

"Probably. Talk to her sometime soon though, for my peace of mind." Tonks glared at the coaster. "It reminds me a bit too much of the things from Mum's family. Dark magic everywhere."

 "I promise to look into things. For the moment, you look like you could use the chance to unwind. So... awful forms? Students who - did they listen to what you've been teaching, or did they ignore everything that they're supposed to have been learning to panic?" Doyle hoped that she'd take the chance to spill about what had been stressing her. And maybe it would be a good chance to know how some of the students looked to their other teachers. He learned that some of the students had fought back, though absolutely none had used the Ministry-approved patterns and procedures. Many had retreated, either hiding within Hogsmeade or making their way to the castle. This had been one of the ways that those still at the school had learned that things had gone wrong. He got the details on what those Weasley twins had done to the Death Eater that had attacked the joke shop - it was almost enough to make Doyle feel sorry for the evil wizard. Almost, but not quite, and he felt surprised that a wizarding store had muggle-made silly string, and had they known that it was flammable? He also learned a great deal about the after-conflict reports and why Tonks believed that they had been designed by idiots. He definitely wouldn't be telling Tonks about his involvement in this morning's events. She was under enough stress without keeping his secrets.


By the end of the evening, she had managed to convince him to promise that he'd have Madam Pomfrey give him a once-over Monday, and he'd spend as much of his Sunday as it took at Gringott's having those ugly coasters inspected. She was convinced that they had been at the very least in a dark-magic saturated environment, if not being cursed themselves. Tonks had been yawning and swaying on her feet as she'd left his room, and Doyle had hoped that it was exhaustion, and not too much spicing up the pumpkin juice. But no matter how much she'd swayed, she had been very insistent on both of her points - the check-up and getting the coasters inspected.


This was shaping up to be quite the busy weekend. He just hoped that someone in Hogsmeade still had a working Floo that he could use.

End part 2.

Morning hadn't been too bad, and he'd picked up a quick breakfast from the kitchen before heading to Hogsmeade. The Three Broomsticks had been damaged a bit, but the Floo was still fully intact. The 'strange blockage' that had prevented people from escaping by that route during the attack had 'mysteriously' cleared up after about an hour. More than enough time for the attack to take place and the victims to be beyond help, if there hadn't been an unanticipated amount of resistance and more than a few buildings having very recently renewed fire-preventing charms. He'd floo'd to the Leaky Cauldron in London, heading from there to Gringott's.


It was convenient that the goblins didn't keep to normal human business hours. The full set of former Death Eater coasters was in his pocket, and he was rather curious what they would find inspecting them.


Walking into the white marble building, Doyle called a greeting to one of the scholars, using Kheftic. "May your runes be clear and deep carved, may your notes be thorough, and may your family grow strong, Scholar Corundum."

"Back so soon, traveler and teacher? I know that the human tongue is awkward and ill-suited for many things, but it comes easily to you. Surely you aren't here only because you missed hearing words in a proper language," the scholar teased with a low growl that few humans would recognize as amusement.


"Yesterday was rather more eventful than the other teachers were expecting. And in the aftermath, I made a promise to have some items inspected. The one I was talking to believes the objects to be saturated with unwholesome magics," Doyle replied.


"Most objects made by the wizards are boring, but their magics for pain, misfortune and suffering... that might make things a bit less dull. Come with me, we shall have the curse-breaker students look them over, and then perhaps someone with experience, and while they look at them and make thoughtful noises, we shall have some proper refreshment, and you will tell me where you found these... what are they going to be looking at anyhow?" Corundum mused.


"Very ugly..." Doyle paused, trying to think of the word for 'coaster' in Keftic. "Bits of wood to place the cups for your drinks on to prevent them from harming the good furniture."


"Human furniture must be rather fragile if cups of drink can harm it. We shall show them these ugly bits of wood and let them cast their spells."

Corundum led Doyle down a different hallway, one that led to an open hall the size of a classroom, with a series of smaller doors along the edges. Several goblins, more muscular than most of the scholars and showing several old scars, were speaking to a group of humans that ranged from just a little older than the seventh years to a bit older than Doyle himself. A few clusters of goblins and humans were looking at things that Doyle couldn't see, perhaps objects that might or might not be magical. With a grin, Corundum marched right over to the lecturers and their group of humans, most of whom looked to be paying careful attention.


As a goblin with a nasty burn scar over the left side of his head and missing most of the left ear itself paused, Corundum slapped the burned goblin's shoulder and asked, "Are these students of yours up to actually looking at things, or are they still only ready to hear about them?"

"Wretch. If you weren't Great-grandmother's favorite, I'd use you for dragon-bait. For some basic inspections, yes. I wouldn't want to risk them on anything that we already know is devious and trapped. Why?" The burned goblin glared back as he growled in Kheftic, the intact ear twitching backwards.


"This traveler has some ugly bits of wood that may be enchanted, or may just have picked up some pain-magic residue. Are the human brats ready to try to tell the difference?" Corundum gestured towards the assembled humans.


The majority of the humans' blank expressions made it clear that they didn't understand Kheftic.

The burned goblin gave Doyle an appraising glance, and growled out, still in Kheftic, "And what sort of wood do you have that may be magical, and why should we waste our time on them?"

"Rather ugly, from the perspective of art or craftsmanship, and as for why," Doyle replied, in his own Kheftic. "As I've been carrying them around with no harm, they aren't trapped in a clever and devious manner, so the 'why' would be as a teaching exercise for your students. Hardly a waste of time. If they're ready, you can evaluate their skills. If they aren't ready, then they have proof that they still have much to learn. Either way, your class will progress."

"Sound logic," the goblin grumbled, then in a harsh whisper to Corundum, "You didn't tell me that this one could use a real language!"


"Swiftclaw, this is the traveler and scholar Doyle, the one that we've been talking about for the last month. We're convinced that he's far too educated and reasonable to be fully of the human stock, though his unfortunate looks do argue for at least a portion of human heritage." Turning to look at Doyle, Corundum gestured towards the burned goblin, "This is my cousin Swiftclaw, one of the instructors in curse-detection and in methods of evading peril that may be discovered on remote locations."


"Huh. Let's see these bits of wood," Swiftclaw grunted.


End part 3.

Doyle produced the set of Death Eaters that he'd turned into coasters from a pocket, and handed them over to Swiftclaw. "In addition to their strikingly bad looks, I've been informed that they have a feel of unpleasant magic about them."

"Those are ugly," Corundum grimaced. "Please tell me that you didn't part with money for those."

Swiftclaw snatched up the coasters, tossing most of them to several of the humans with a toothy grin. He kept hold of the palest of the lot, the one that had once been Malfoy with the cane. In very accented English, he demanded, "Inspect that."

The various humans clustered around the coasters, murmuring spells and peering at them with expressions that suggested that the coasters could sprout fangs and bite at any moment.


Swiftclaw began with a careful visual inspection, turning the Malfoy coaster over in his hands before lifting it closer. He sniffed it, raised it a little closer, and then, with only a quick glance around, bit down on the edge. With a grimace, he then spat to the side, and tossed it to the floor of the cavern with a snort that slowly turned into a chuckle. Looking at Doyle, he asked, "Have you one of the magic wands, and can you cast the general spell-ender at that thing?"


Doyle nodded, pulling his wand to point it at the Malfoy coaster. After a moment to focus, he spoke in a normal tone, "Finite Incantatum."

 The coaster twitched and reshaped itself into a man's form, swathed in ugly black robes with a mask that looked rather like a skull in a pale material that suggested bone, but wasn't quite the right hue. One hand held a black cane with a silver serpents head. The other hand had a very distinctive ring, with a large hole through the wrist and still tacky blood covering the wrist, hand, and obviously having run down the arm and under the sleeve. Several locks of long blond hair had fallen out of the hood.

"Those trinkets of yours are looking better the more we inspect them," Corundum murmured, his face crinkling with amusement. "Where did you say you got them?"

"I picked them up in Hogsmeade," Doyle replied. "Would this be a good time to ask just what the proper procedure is towards a dead body?"


"That depends a bit on where you are and how the body became dead. This hall is part of Gringott's, and it is under our laws, not those of the wizards. Those who wore the black robes and skull masks, the ones with the mark of the serpent and skull, they were and are the followers of the one calling himself Voldemort. Enemies of our nation. Depending on the condition of the bodies and what they'd done to themselves beforehand, they might become part of a feast of celebration. If they are no longer edible," Corundum paused and glanced over at Swiftclaw.


Swiftclaw spat again, "That one definitely isn't edible. I've tasted less foul magic in death-trapped tombs."


"We keep dragons for some of our more secure areas. Dragons are near-impossible to poison, and always hungry. If we can't eat our enemies, they can." Corundum's smile showed quite a few of his very sharp teeth.


"Somehow, I suspect that if this were being done in wizarding territory, they'd have a different answer for the proper handling of the bodies," Doyle commented, his lips twitching in a morbid smile. He couldn't fathom anything enjoying the taste of a Malfoy. The whole feasting on their enemies part... it was quite normal among most demons. While the wizards might not call the goblins demons, they fit into that category for Doyle - not human, they spoke a demon-language, and with teeth like that they were a predator species.


"Oh yes, a very different one. Depending on family tradition, wizards either burn their dead with ceremony, or bury them in soil under the sky. Often with long talks and weeping about how they dead was most loved and will be missed, how the dead one can never be replaced. Then they descend upon the households to divide up the belongings and holdings of the dead like crelnash on an abandoned corpse," Swiftclaw shook his head.


"Among our territories, those who died of illness or unknown magics are burned, those who were not enemies of our nation would be returned to their kin. Our own dead are returned to the earth, sometimes in a ceremony to let them continue serving and protecting our Halls," Corundum continued.


"Unless they were battle-fallen, in which case there is a feast of victory or survival," Swiftclaw murmured. "No sense in letting them go to waste."

For a moment, Doyle fought off the memory of a science fiction movie that he'd once seen, 'Soylent Green'. Goblins even had a greenish cast to their skin... not helping.


A yelp from the crowd and stumbling students revealed that someone else had tried some sort of spell-ending. Another black-robed body lay on the floor.

Sharpclaw gave a very toothy grin and made his way towards that body.

Doyle decided that he was very, very glad that Tonks hadn't cast any magic at the coasters last night. He could only imagine how awkward things would have become if the transfiguration had ended, leaving a dead body or half a dozen in his living quarters.


In the next hour, all the coasters were reverted to their proper forms - that of dead Death Eaters. All of the goblins were most pleased to see that the Death Eaters hadn't been brought down by magic, but by 'proper weapons' - something with a sharp edge and a good point. A good thirty minutes of argument and gesturing at the various wounds had taken place, all in Kheftic, before the goblins concluded that the enemies had been slain by a proper warrior of human size and armed with a sword. Further inspection of the bodies resulted in the mournful verdict that all of them were too saturated with the magics of pain and other foul things to be suitable for a feast.


Part of the inspections of the bodies had been an examination of the left arms, all of them marked with an ugly tattoo of a snake doing rather inappropriate looking things to a skull. The skin of the arms, with the ugly tattoo centered, was removed, with orders to be quick-tanned and put on display in the Diagon Hall, where most of the wizards spoke to the clerks. A place of high visibility.

End part 4.

Corundum had wandered back to where Doyle had been watching the evaluations and debates. He'd given a pleased nod when Doyle, unlike most of the student curse-breakers, hadn't flinched or looked in danger of passing out when the Death Eaters' arms had been skinned. The one student who had fainted was certain to be teased about it for years, if he was permitted to remain among the Gringott's staff. After the rest of the bodies had been removed, Corundum gestured towards the main doorway, "There is no further need for us to be here, unless you found any other interesting objects of questionable artistic value?"

 Doyle gave a half laugh, "No, no other ugly objects for your students to evaluate."

"That turned out to be a more interesting find than expected," Corundum mused.  "Are you sure that you have no ideas about how they came to be in that state?"

Doyle only chuckled, waiting until he couldn't hear anything from the hall before he spoke. "Nothing that I'd mention in front of any witches or wizards."

Corundum managed to detour them so that instead of the Diagon Hall, they wound up in a smaller room, with a couple older goblins sipping at mugs of something honey-thick and green. "Perhaps you could explain here?"

"I take it that this matter has more than a passing curiosity to you, or at least to Gringott's." Doyle paused his words as he settled into a chair. "I've noticed that the older and wealthier a magical family is, the more they seem to be able to get away with among the other wizards. And that a great many of the people accused of being Death Eaters back a few years turned out to be from those old, wealthy families. And with a claim of being bespelled and some well-chosen donations, they just waltzed right out of any trouble at all."

"A very sad thing. While a long and glorious family line is a good thing, and a prosperous family is also of many uses, one should be able to stand or fall on their abilities. Many of these human wizards forget that. Too interested in the trappings of power and not concerned enough with what is done with it... humans can be such fools." Corundum sighed.


"We all know humans can be fools. What about it this time?" a grizzled goblin, shoulders and arms thick with muscle, demanded. His eyeteeth were closer to tusks, and had been capped with a metal that gleamed like silver.


"On the recommendation of the auror who is teaching Defense at Hogwarts this year, I brought in a set of very ugly... wooden objects to be inspected by the apprentice curse-breakers. There was much surprise when those ugly things were discovered to be the transfigured bodies of several wizards accused of being Death Eaters." Doyle gave the official version.


"Traveler Doyle was not among the surprised," Corundum added, destroying any hope of the official version being believed among the goblins of Gringott's.


"Ahhhh," several of the goblins turned to face him.


"Suddenly I'm reminded how different it is to deal with individuals willing to put the clues together," Doyle muttered.


"An explanation would be appreciated," growled another old goblin warrior.


"Of course," Doyle sighed. "Do you have anything alcoholic and safe for a mostly human to drink before I begin?"

He was given a mug with something the color of dark honey. Tipping the mug revealed that it was almost honey-thick as well, and had a faintly honey-like scent. Perhaps something similar to mead? With a shrug, he took a sip. The drink tasted like some sort of cross between mead, rum, and concentrated ginger, resulting in a bite that could have been from spices or alcohol.

"I had advance warning that Death Eaters would be attacking Hogsmeade that morning, during the students visit. I'd done some looking into their methods, and what happened to them after things quieted down back after Voldemort disappeared. While I am something of a traveler, and a bit of a scholar, I'm not a highly skilled or powerful mage. I'm working on gaining skill, though Mr. Ollivander at the wand-shop said that he doubted I'd ever be powerful. The idea of the Death Eaters up to their tricks with some of my students offended me greatly, and I did not wish to simply stand back and bemoan their poor behavior. Nor did I trust that the aurors would be summoned and of use," Doyle began.


"They weren't spell-killed," Corundum frowned. "We decided that it was probably a sword."

Doyle took another sip of the spicy drink. "As I said, I am not a skilled wizard. I'm much more capable with a sword. You may or may not know this, but Hogwarts has quite a few sets of armor, complete with weapons, standing along some of the hallways. I borrowed a nice sword from one of the sets of armor, used what was supposed to be a disillusionment spell to slip out of the castle - I have no desire to see what trouble the students would cause running about with swords, y'see. Then I went into Hogsmeade and waited. As it happens, being a skilled or at least graduated from Hogswarts wizard doesn't do much good against a sword from behind."


"From behind?" one old goblin raised an eyebrow.


"I decided that they'd used years of practice to show the strategies that they liked. Since they'd made it clear that they preferred attacking the unprepared, and preferably before they could do anything about it, then it was high time they be on the other side of that plan. They made the rules, I just used them against them," Doyle took another sip of the drink. "And once they took off their masks, they'd be the highly rich and therefore respected members of society, where I'd be some foreign nobody schoolteacher. I suspected that it would go very badly if it came to any official wizardly notice what I'd done, so I made certain that the ones I ran into couldn't tell anyone anything ever again. A bit of rather poor transfiguration later and I had some ugly bits of wood, there were no incriminating bodies, and I returned to the castle."

"Very good," the goblin warriors were nodding. "Those are the strategies that the Death Eaters used."


"A depressing and valid observation about how the wizards do things. Best that they don't suspect you of anything. But will your coming here raise questions?" asked the tusked goblin warrior.


"She suspected that I may have been bespelled to buy those ugly," Doyle paused, trying again to find a word close to coasters. "Those ugly things. Which she insisted were tainted with unwholesome magic."


"Very tainted," Corundum agreed. "Too tainted for a proper feast. One must wonder what sort of spells they used."


"So I'll tell her that the healer has found no lingering charms to make me buy things, and that with much surprise, those ugly things were actually poorly hidden bodies. Which were taken away by the goblins who insisted that they had the right to deal with them, and what am I, a teacher of history, to do in the face of all the goblins of Gringott's? As I was assumed to have been in the castle the whole time of the attack, why would anyone suspect a thing?" Doyle grinned, "And now I know that those particular bits of scum can never hurt any of my students."


"What of their holdings? Obviously they were killed in the middle of at least trying criminal activities," a goblin with a set of rings up one ear was rubbing his hands together. The bottom two earrings had what looked very much like human molars dangling from them.


Doyle shrugged, "That's a question for those who know more about inheritances, laws regarding criminal activity and seizure of goods and coin as reparations, and whoever might be dealing with their accounts. All I can say is that there's a few Death Eaters who won't buy their way out of trouble again."


"Aye, le the account managers and the law-twisters sort it out," muttered another old goblin.


"A bit of a scholar, a bit of a traveler, and a bit of a warrior, Doyle. What else can you do?" Corundum shook his head.


"There's a saying - jack of many trades, master of none. A dedicated scholar can leave me scratching my head in confusion. There are many places that I've not been but would enjoy seeing. One who focuses on being a warrior could quite easily kick me about the area, and the fact that I might be a bit taller than some would only mean they could look up to meet my eyes as they taunt me. There's a great many things that I can do a bit of, enough to take care of meself or to tell if someone is good at what they do. Now I'm learning a bit of this wanded magic. As those who looked at those disguised bodies could tell you, I've got a long way to go," Doyle took another drink of the spicy alcohol. "Should I ask what goes into this besides honey?"

"Molasses and spices," the tusked goblin replied. "Two of them are spices that I'm not aware of humans using."


"There's also a bit of spring water to help things ferment," added the goblin with the teeth earrings.


Doyle decided that his one mug would be plenty. But it was a rather enjoyable drink...


In the end, he spent several hours talking with the goblins about good strategies for blades against wizards, good solutions to use for Death Eater problems, and recipes for various types of alcohol. This talk was accomplished over platters of spicy food that Doyle didn't recognize with another mug of the spicy mead-rum on Doyle's behalf and more of that dark green drink for the goblins. Doyle was definitely feeling a bit tipsy and warm when he returned to Hogwarts.


What had only been supposed to be checking in with Madam Poppy to see if she would be busy tomorrow had resulted in her dragging him into her lair... err, the hospital wing and casting several diagnostic spells at him. With a disapproving sniff, she relayed the results, "Apart from being drunk and having a few blisters on your hand, you seem completely fine. Just what are you doing drunk?"


"I can explain that. You recall... that warning that was received?" He didn't quite want to mention his vision. But he remembered that he'd talked with her about it, urging her to be prepared for frightened students and burns. Mustn't forget the burns.


Poppy nodded.

"I borrowed a sword, which a House-Elf promised to clean and return. Yesterday, Tonks noticed that I'd wound up with some ugly coasters that I picked up in Hogsmeade, and somehow I found meself promising her that I'd take them to Gringott's to be checked for dark magic, and I'd let you look to make sure I wasn't hit with any buy ugly souvenirs spells." He paused, wondering if he'd left out anything. "I need to work on my spells a great deal more, and when the apprentice curse-breakers found that the ugly coasters were transfigured bodies... I wound up having a drink there before they let me leave."


"I think I see," Poppy chuckled, "How ugly were these coasters?"

"Bad enough that Tonks was sure I'd had to be bespelled to buy them," he admitted.


Poppy ducked into a hidden room for a moment, returning with a small vial of a dark purple liquid. "Drink this in the morning, I think you'll need it. Consider that and the lack of a lecture to be my thanks for reducing the number of injured students this weekend. And you may assure Tonks that there's no trace of any spell to make you buy ugly coasters or anything else."


"Thank you kindly, Poppy,' Doyle tucked the vial into his pocket and retreated to his room. It had been quite the weekend. With a bit of luck, he'd have a quiet week. Or at least one without any major disasters.


end part 5.
End Professor Doyle 15: Weekend Troubles.






Chapter Text

 Doyle's Monday classes went much as he'd come to expect, with questions and a few students attempting to doze before being poked or shocked by their neighbors.  Saturday's attack was still being discussed, and there was much amusement over the Death Eater who'd been foolish enough to attack the Weasley twins in a joke shop.  The general consensus was that anyone dumb enough to do that deserved to be humiliated.

 He collected homework, and sighed as the discussions of the attack continued, quiet enough that they weren't quite disruptive, but thoroughly pervasive.

 "I can hear that all of you seem to have things to say about the mess this weekend," Doyle glanced over them.  "Since the lot of you aren't likely to stop, let's change just a bit from the lesson plans.  Instead of the Grindlewald conflict, why don't we talk about Death Eater raids, when they tended to happen, strategies used and defensive measures.  We'll discuss effectiveness, and how you think things could have gone differently."

 "From which perspective will we be suggesting changes?" Asked one boy.

 "Mmmm.  Most of the attacks seemed rather effective, so it might be more productive to consider how the defense could be improved.  Especially since Saturday offers proof that defense might be needed again," Doyle replied.

 "But the Ministry insists that You-Know-Who isn't back!" A thin girl didn't quite shout.

 Doyle looked at her, and sighed, "Miss Thicknesse, you do recall that masked individuals who were quite willing to break many laws attacked Hogsmeade on Saturday?  Does it really matter that much who they take orders from, and if it might or might not be the same person who gave similarly clad criminals orders fourteen years ago?  The important points are that a group of criminals attacked Hogsmeade, they were not all apprehended, and therefore, they might make another attack.  Wouldn't it be prudent to be prepared for such an attack, regardless of the current health or lack thereof for one specific Dark wizard?"

 "Yes, Professor," she mumbled.  "Does this mean that you don't believe that You-Know-Who is back?"

 "I believe that there were criminals attacking shopkeepers and schoolchildren.  That those criminals were deliberately dressed in outfits that would inspire fear and unpleasant memories.  That who gave them their ideas and orders does not change the injuries received by some of your classmates, or the damaged buildings.  While knowing who gives them their orders might help determine if they have a larger goal than fear, injuries and death, that isn't what we're focusing on today.  Shall we proceed?" Doyle tried to keep his temper.

 After that, his class moved along without too many problems.  There were debates about building reinforcement spells, and enchanting objects to delay or attack invaders, and what those enchantments might do to friendly visitors.  Some students favored a strong offense as the better defense against attackers, citing Professor McGonagall and her relatives as proof.  Others suggested that the best strategy would be to delay the attackers while you escaped.  Several admitted that the 'best strategy' might depend on your relative power, skill and health.  After all, a wizard the age of, say, Headmaster Dumbledore might not be as well suited to fighting off attackers as someone closer to the age of Professor Snape.

 Feeling a bit tense, Doyle decided to take lunch in his classroom instead of in the hall.  But in the hour before lunch, he might as well grade some of the essays that had been turned in.

 "Not planning on lunch today?" Tonks called from the doorway.

 Doyle grinned at her, noting that today she had shoulder length hair in a soft lavender color that matched the paler stripes in the long sleeved shirt under another Weird Sisters tee shirt, and a pair of ripped jeans under an open leather robe.  Her boot laces were a brilliant purple that matched her eyes.  "Afternoon, Professor Tonks.  Might I say that you're looking quite purple today?"

 "Of course," she grinned back.  "So - lunch?"

 "I thought I'd take it in here.  Less staring, and I think I might like a break from the rehashing of Saturday," he admitted.

 "Mind a bit of company?  And did you get yourself and those ugly coasters checked out?" She meandered into the room, tripping but not falling as she passed the first row of desks.

 "Feel free to join me," Doyle resisted the urge to laugh as she tripped again.  How the woman could be so clumsy and also a member of the magical police...  "Madam Pomphrey found no residue of compulsions.  However, Gringott's found that all of those ugly coasters were soaked in what they called magics of pain and suffering, and they confiscated them."

 "Glad there were no compulsions then." She pulled up a chair.  "What possessed you to get those if it wasn't a spell?"

 "I wanted some coasters, and... would it help if I said they didn't cost me any money, just a bit of time and some minor spells about town?"  Doyle hoped to avoid mentioning the exact circumstances.

 "It helps a great deal, and relieves me greatly to know that you didn't think those were attractive and worth money," Tonks replied in a very solemn voice.

 Doyle chuckled, and then called, “Mimsy?  Could you bring a light lunch for meself and Professor Tonks?  I think I’d prefer to eat here rather than the Great Hall.”

 Mimsy appeared with a lunch that would have been generous for three.  “Mimsy is bringing lunch for Professor Doyle and Professor of the changing hair.  You is to be eating up, so Madam Healer not be fussing so much, and you is to be resting, Professor Doyle.  Many papers yes, many spells no.”

 “I will do my best to avoid casting a great many spells today, Mimsy,” Doyle assured the House Elf.

 The House Elf gave a small sniff and popped away.

 “Cute.  What else will you be doing today, since the House Elves are forbidding you from extensive magic and you don’t need to have compulsions removed?” Tonks grinned at him and began helping herself to the lunch.

 “Before the weekend became unwelcomely interesting, I’d received some information about some relatives.  I was hoping to go over it and try to make up my mind if I want to contact them,” he admitted.

 “The idea makes you nervous,” Tonks tilted her head, and took a bite of food.  After she swallowed, she asked him, “Why are you nervous about the idea?”

 “Without going into too much detail, I’m not immediately related and I’ll be quite the shock for them.  Y’see, the relation… it’s not exactly…” Doyle paused, trying to sort out the best explanation without spilling everything or attempting to outright lie.  “It isn’t through the conventional and polite channels.”

 “Ohhhh,” Her eyes widened, and the deep purple color took on a more lavender grey shade for a few moments.  “Someone who was disowned, or was it more like… papa not being married to mamma?”

 “Bit of a personal question,” Doyle grumbled.  The questions made perfect sense for what he’d claimed, but even if that were the truth instead of the truth being ‘I got tossed in from an alternate world’ he wouldn’t be expected to be pleased by such questions.  “I’d rather not go into all the details, but… I don’t know how well they’d take such an unorthodox and unexpected relative.  On the plus side, I wouldn’t be asking for money or a home, but on the down side, quite unconventional, been living in America, and… well, I’m not exactly a very impressive wizard.”

 “And you don’t think there’s anyone that wouldn’t care about those things?” Tonks arched an eyebrow at him.

 “There’s apparently a vampire who’s a few greats uncle, and I doubt that he’d care that I’m not a powerful wizard.  I have some separate concerns about meeting him.  As for the rest… I don’t know that they would care about them either, but I don’t know that they won’t.  Maybe the information might help sort that out a bit, but I’d only received the information on Friday night.  Instead of looking it over on Saturday…” Doyle let the words trail off.

 “Saturday didn’t go as any of us expected,” Tonks agreed.  “Maybe you can look over some of it tonight?”

 “I hope so,” he agreed.  “Any suggestions or advice?”

 “Maybe.  My mother defied her family when she married my Dad.  He’s a muggle-born, you see,” Tonks paused to give a rather weak smile.  “Not at all the sort of person that a daughter of the House of Black should be marrying.  Only someone who’s family is pure-blooded for a minimum of twelve generations and rich should even have been considered.”

 “So the House of Black would be one of the fussier families, very focused on proper magical heritage and tradition?” Doyle considered that, and if the House of Black qualified as one of those very old magical families that might have had something other than human in their heritage.

 “Very much so.  They made a very big deal about having been a magical family for almost fifteen centuries, pure-bloods before the founding of Hogwarts.  The family motto translates to ‘Always Pure’, and there’s a long tradition of wealth, politics, and… well… dark magic.” Tonks paused, her hair darkening to a purple that was almost black as she mumbled, “And there’s more than the occasional insanity as well.  I hope Dad’s fairly sane family can counter-balance that.”

 Doyle tried not to wince, and decided that the Blacks had probably been one of those families that… how had the goblins put it?  Yes, ‘a family that bred back within the bloodline to preserve their heritage’.  Concluding that not only would he prefer not to dwell on the idea, it might be considered rude to ask, he stated, “I take it that you mother’s choice of husband went over poorly?”

 “Very.  There were about three years where some of the Blacks tried to kill Dad, and then Mum was formally cast out of the family.  Which means that she can’t call herself a Black, can’t draw on the Black family accounts, properties, or heirlooms.  The only step further would be a complete dissociation, which would mean that she and her descendants could never be brought back into the family on the basis of her heritage.” Tonks sighed, “I think her mother was hoping that something would kill Dad, and then Mum would go crawling back.  I hadn’t been born yet, so they probably figured that they could cover up her ‘youthful indiscretion’.  I met a few of my cousins at Hogwarts, but…”

 “They didn’t mention or wouldn’t acknowledge the relation?” Doyle guessed.

 “Right in one,” Tonks agreed.

 “Near as I can tell, you’re a talented witch, that changing ability of yours seems very useful and far from ordinary, and a likable person on top of that.  Wouldn’t they be leased to claim you as kin?” Doyle hoped that she wouldn’t get upset at him poking into her family mess.

 “As far as the Ministry is aware, I’m one of exactly three British individuals that can morph more than color and the length of my hair.  It’s more than not ordinary, it’s pretty rare.  But I’m a half-blood, and for most Blacks, that would outweigh the metamorph.” Tonks shook her head.  “Some families are very finicky about heritage.”

 “And somehow this isn’t filling me with confidence,” Doyle sighed.

 “Read the information.  Unless it shows them as pure-blood bigots, go meet with them.  At least then you’ll know, and if you don’t need them, then their disapproval, if they’re foolish enough to disapprove of a decent guy who can actually make History of Magic interesting, then you’re best off without them,” Tonks encouraged.

 Doyle smiled at her, wondering if she meant her encouraging words for himself with his new concerns, or if they were intended to help soothe the ache that her mother’s family rejecting her and her mother surely caused.  “I appreciate your words.”

 “They don’t help?” Tonks tilted her head, frowning at the dark lock of hair that fell in front of her eyes.  “Blast, that’s supposed to be…” the lock and the rest of her hair changed to a vibrant medium purple color that he’d only seen in flowers and crayons.  “Much better.  No need to be all bland and boring and traditional.”

 “It helps, some.  But…” Doyle sighed, and admitted, “I was married once.  I thought that everything was wonderful and then…. She learned a few things.  That I wasn’t just another ordinary guy. That I’m different.  She didn’t take it well.”

 “Define 'not well'?  And what do you mean by hiding a wife?” Tonks glared at him.

 “Four months of hysterical fits and fights where she must have used every insult in the book and a few that were new to me, followed by a messy divorce that left me jobless, homeless and friendless.  I spent most of the next year drunk off me ass.  I’ve been getting better, but…” Doyle shrugged and then slumped.  “Better isn’t the same as completely over what happened.  Over her, yes.  Not over what she did to me.  I’m a bit afraid that they’ll react the same way.”

 “Ouch,” Tonks winced.

 “Very much ouch,” Doyle agreed.

 “I guess that explains not bringing her up before.  It isn’t hiding a wife but hiding a very miserable ex…. Must not have been a magically binding marriage, it’s almost impossible to divorce with one of those.  And I can see why you’d worry about new connections,” Tonks admitted.

 “She wasn’t magical, and we didn’t have a magical marriage,” Doyle murmured, wondering to himself just how a ‘magical marriage’ was different than an ordinary one, other than the couple having magic.

 “Let’s hope that things go better with your newly discovered family,” Tonks offered, her hair shortening to choppy layers that only reached her jaw.

 “From your lips to God’s ear,” he agreed.

 “So, do these lessons from Flitwick and McGonagall mean that your magical instruction wasn’t at one of the bigger schools?” Tonks asked, pouring herself some tea.

 “I definitely didn’t go to a large magical school when I was a teenager,” Doyle chuckled.  “This does leave them a bit concerned about my magical abilities, and determined to make certain I’m of a suitable level.  Fortunately for me, as a History teacher, I need a lot less casting during class hours than either of them.  I do believe that they’ve decided there’s more than a little room for improvement.”

 “And they’re going to help you improve, like it or not?” Tonks snickered.  “They are both pretty intense about learning.”

 “And the idea is fine,” Doyle took a helping of vegetables.  “There’s just… there’s only so many hours in a day, and some of them are caught up in classes, and grading, and I do like a little sleep now and then.”

 “And things like this weekend aren’t helping,” Tonks guessed.

 “Not too much,” he admitted. He was convinced that any comments about this weekend revealing just how far he had to go with some charms and simple transfiguration wouldn’t help.

 “Don’t worry too much, you’re part of Hogwarts now.  You’ve got a place here even if your family doesn’t want you,” Tonks stabbed at her plate.

 Doyle managed a smile, “Thanks for that.  So, to completely change the subject, tell me why you like the Weird Sisters…”

End Professor Doyle 16: Family Concerns.

Chapter Text


 Doyle could only sigh with relief as the last student left his classroom.  He'd started to feel the exhaustion by the last part of the class, wanting to sit down and close his eyes for just a few moments.  Instead, he'd paced at the front of the room, experience telling him that if he did sit down for a moment, he'd be out cold for the next eight hours.  Hardly a good example for the students.  He'd also started having that weird animal image overlay for some of the students again.  That couldn't be a good sign either.

 Once he was certain they were gone, he stumbled his way to his quarters, and used the time turner to go back a good seven hours.  That put him shortly after he'd left for morning classes... "This whole time bending certainly upsets the verb tenses.  And your internal clock."

 Deciding that his internal clock could go hang itself, he took off his shoes and the robe that he wore instead of a jacket, and stretched out on his bed, the shadows indicating that it was still morning, not quite time for breakfast to be served in the Great Hall.  He closed his eyes and smiled.

 ...and found himself waking up, several parts of his body demanding that he get out of bed right now and take care of some pressing issues.  After a quick trip to his bathroom and a bit of freshening up, Doyle picked up the folder on this world's version of his relatives, and asked Mimsy if he could have dinner in his room.

 "Is Professor Doyle feeling not well?" Mimsy arrived with a generous serving of food.

 "Just a bit off, and listening to you and Madam Poppy telling me to rest.  I'm also hoping to read this information about some people that it turns out I might be able to call family..." Doyle sighed and looked at the file, hoping that it wouldn't hold unwelcome news.

 "Folders not be biting, Professor," Mimsy waved a finger at him.

 "No, but I don't know if they'll want anything to do with me.  Reading the folder might tell me, but this weekend delayed that, and now..." Doyle sighed, admitting to himself that he wasn't feeling very brave.  "Now I'm a bit afraid."

 "They is not knowing about Professor Doyle being part of their family?" Mimsy asked.

 "No.  And I don't know how they'll react," he admitted.

 "Mimsy is wondering if you is nervous because you is from elsewhere, or because you is not all human," the elf gave him a sideways glance as she waved at his bathroom.  That gesture was probably enough for the whole space to become gleamingly clean.

 "Both.  From what I've seen, not all magicals are very accepting of mixed heritage, and it would hurt to have those who should be family rejecting me.  And being from another world is difficult to explain, and a good part of that is because I don't know how and why I'm here instead of dead," Doyle sighed, speared a potato, and then added, "Though most of the time I do think being here is vastly better than being dead."

 "Silly Professor.  Would you like Mimsy to be looking and seeing if they be a good family?" the elf smiled at him.

 "Only if it wouldn't be too difficult or get you in trouble," Doyle replied.  Part of him wanted to tell her not to trouble herself.  Another part wanted any reassurance he could get.

 "Mimsy be checking to see if Irish Doyles be a good family.  You is to be eating dinner, and reading folder.  Not casting many spells.  And no more visions of bad things," Mimsy shook her finger at him.

 "I've never been able to control when those did or didn't show up,' Doyle murmured.  "But I shall hope that if such a vision comes again, at the least I shold be able to make them into less revolting coasters."

 "Mimsy is going now to look into Irish family," the elf paused, and then murmured, "And Mimsy is wondering why Professor didn't just throw ugly coasters at the wall or use them for blasting spells.  Then the broken bits could be vanished like the other ugly broken things, and nobody would be asking questions, and no sharp toothed goblins be paying extra close attention to Mimsy's Professor."

 Doyle blinked as the elf popped away.  "Now why didn't I think of that?"

 With another sigh, he began to eat the dinner and read the file.

end part 1.


 The file had various parts, but he thought that it might be a good idea to start with the family tree.  He could see this world’s Allan Francis Doyle, who had a younger sister and a younger brother.   He could see names and birth-dates for parents, for aunts and uncles and cousins.  Looking further back, he discovered that this world’s Allan Francis Doyle had lost both grandparents on his father’s side, and his mother’s father had died as well.  Different pages reported residency and occupations for the family, according to ministry and census records.  The folder didn’t give scores for the OWL or NEWT exams for anybody, though they did list if an adult witch or wizard had taken both sets of tests.  Some had only taken the OWLS, which seemed to be sufficient to be considered a trained magical adult.  Other names were listed as ‘still underage’, though some of those also noted that OWLS had been administered.

 Doyle assumed that the OWL and NEWT test results could be acquired if the appropriate channels and forms were used, perhaps with an explanation of why they were being requested.  To prospective employers, for specific areas where the results would indicate possession or lack of necessary skills, perhaps.  Not just to random curious people that might be able to claim some small relation.

 More than a few of the family were involved in magical crafts.  Some cousins who ran an enchanting shop.  An uncle who prepared and sold ‘potion-ingredient quality’ magical plants.  An independent curse-breaker.  A magical seamstress, and a pair of magical cobblers.  There were a generous helping of magical tutors, with the ages of their students ranging from ‘small child’ to ‘adult education.’  One cousin was even listed as an Auror for the Irish Ministry.  Another Doyle, though he was uncertain if this one was a cousin or an uncle, was listed as ‘Junior Selkie Liason’, and was married to a woman only listed as ‘Rhoanne’, with no family name listed.

 On the other hand, there were more than a few that held jobs that could well be non-magical.  There was a Michael Doyle, owner and manager of a grocery store.  Bridgette and Ian Doyle ran a Bed and Breakfast near the coast.  A good handful were listed as farmers, with no details about what they raised.

 Of the seventy living adults, sixty were listed as currently married or having been married before their spouse had died.  Twelve spouses were listed as being or having been non-magical.  Between them and the mysterious Rhoanne of no prior last name, it was starting to look like the Doyles of this world wouldn’t be magical-heritage based bigots.

 “They seem… Judging by this, they can’t be that worried about only wanting powerful magical people in the family.  Or demanding the best levels of training,” He took a drink of his tea, wincing at the cold temperature.  “Which leaves the living in America, the mixed heritage, and the being spat out of a fireplace into a different world.”

 “Mimsy is thinking that you is being too worried,” the little elf had appeared in the corner.

 “It is starting to look that way,” he admitted.

 “Mimsy is watching the Irish Doyles.  Mimsy is hearing them talking in different ways.  Some talk in Scottish ways, some in English, and some in…” Mimsy paused, and made a small face.  “Mimsy is being assured that those Doyles be talking in American.  Mimsy had some trouble understanding American Doyles, yes Mimsy did.”

 “And they weren’t fighting because of being from different countries?” Doyle studied the tray of food, astonished at how much of it was now gone.  Had he really eaten all of that?

 “Not big fighting with angry mean words.  Little fighting, about Quidditch games and beer.  The sort that families do but don’t mean angry things with,” Mimsy replied.

 “Then I suppose I need to figure out how to… what to write in a letter for them.” Doyle admitted. 

 “Mimsy is thinking you is still not to be doing much magic.  Mimsy is thinking that you is still recovering from bad visions and fighting bad wizards,” the elf frowned at him.

 “There were two books that Madam Pomfrey suggested I read to see if they would help me.  One was a Seer’s journal by a name that wasn’t quite Cassandra.  The other was something about burning eyes, and the author’s last name was Aggamotto.  Do you think that you could find them for me?” Doyle asked.

 “Mimsy is bringing you Seers books.  You be reading them, and then you be resting, yes?” The elf gave him a stern look, her long ears wobbling.

 “Yes, Mimsy.” Doyle promised.

 Within thirty seconds, he had copies of the Seer's Guide by Kassandri and My Eyes: They Burn by E. Aggamotto.  He fell asleep over the third chapter of the Seer’s Guide, and didn’t notice as Mimsy moved him into his bed, his clothing neatly folded on the dresser.  The book was marked and placed beside his wand.  The windows were closed, the lights extinguished, and Doyle was left to sleep.

End part 2.


 Doyle felt better when he woke.  Oh, he felt a bit stiff and in need of a shower and large breakfast, but he didn’t feel quite so hollowed out or worried.  Kassandri’s book had mentioned visions that she couldn’t control, had mentioned the way that they had left her feeling ‘as unbalanced and sick as a man who’s just had his skull cracked’ when they had gone away.  He’d just reached a chapter talking about ways to help remember them with greater clarity and ease of explanation.  And then… then he must have fallen asleep.

 A shower helped, and clean clothing.  He flipped back to the start of the tricks that Kassandri’s book recommended, taking notes and smiling at the warning that ‘While these are all good techniques that work for some seers, not all of them work equally well for all seers.  Should you be a seer, remember to find those which work best for you, regardless of what works best for any other seer you may encounter.’

 The notes with suggestions about remembering the visions and reducing the pain of their visits were folded and tucked into an inside pocket of his outer robe.  The wand was slid into a holster on his right arm, and a knife into a holster on his left.  He suspected that most right handed magicals would go the other way around, but he felt more practiced and skilled with a knife than a wand.  Something that he was certain Minerva and Filius intended to change, not that he’d mentioned his passable knife-skills to them.

 Thus prepared for the day, Doyle set off for breakfast in the Great Hall.  He hoped that the rest of the week would pass without any attacking dark wizards, or visions of impending misfortune.  However, long experience and knowledge of Murphy’s Law kept him from mentioning that hope out loud.

 As it turned out, he found himself sitting beside Professor Snape, who had the unfocused glower of someone who didn’t much like mornings and couldn’t quite be counted as really alive before their coffee.  Doyle heaped his plate with food and leaned forward enough to snag the carafe of coffee, pouring himself a mug before daring the caffeine-deprived wrath of Snape to say, “Were you needing some more coffee, Severus?”

 With a noise that could have meant many different things, a mug was held his direction, accompanied by a glower.

 Doyle resisted the urge to smile as he poured the cup full of coffee.  He didn’t think he needed a vision to tell him that Severus Snape was not one for breakfast conversations.  Instead, he watched the others at the table.  Minerva McGonagall had something that looked like coffee beside a plate of scones and kippers.  Filius had something that looked like a spiced and raisin-filled porridge, though he suspected there might be a few more unusual ingredients in the bowl.  Pomona Sprout and Septima whose last name he didn’t know were whispering something over plates heaped with eggs and bacon for Pomona and sausage for Septima.  Hagrid’s plate was covered with a bit of everything.  Headmaster Dumbledore wasn’t there yet.  Tonks stumbled in late, her hair half short pink spikes and half acid green and hanging to her shoulders, muttering about kneazles and dust bunnies stealing her boots.  She poured herself some coffee and gathered a plate with eggs and toast, staring for a long moment before smearing her toast with some sort of red preserves.

 Snape drank his first mug of coffee like a hungry vampire downing their blood.  His second went a bit slower, with three separate drinks.  After he poured himself the third cup, he actually took some toast and fruit onto his plate, and seemed to take notice of his surroundings.  He blinked at Doyle as if he hadn’t even realized the man was there, before spearing a slice of melon with his fork.

 Doyle managed not to chuckle, though he considered that proof enough that Snape couldn’t function without his coffee.  He’d known others who had that quirk, and some took any amusement at their coffee-requirements very poorly.

 It didn’t take long for Snape to finish his coffee, toast and fruit.  With a small nod towards Doyle, the potions Professor left the table, robes flaring behind him as he headed towards the dungeons.

 “Are you still alive?  Do you need to see Madam Pomfrey?” Tonks leaned towards him, her hair now all shoulder length apple green curls.

 Doyle chuckled at this, “I do believe that I’m quite well, and in no special need to see Madam Pomfrey in her professional capacity.  Why would I be injured after having breakfast?”

 “Well…” Tonks paused, and then glanced around, “You did sit by Snape.”

 “So I did,” Doyle agreed.  “But I emerged unscathed.”

 “You are a far better wizard than you give yourself credit for,” Tonks insisted.  “And I need to go off to get ready for class.”
 
 Shaking his head as he made his own way to the History classroom, Doyle chuckled.  If simply surviving breakfast was such an impressive accomplishment, maybe becoming an acceptable wizard wouldn’t be so impossible after all.  He settled at his desk and pulled out the graded essays for the upcoming class.  Beside them he placed his notes for the planned lecture.  As prepared as he thought he’d manage, he began drafting out the letter to this world’s Doyle family.

 By the time his students arrived, he’d sorted out what he wanted to say, but things still didn’t feel quite right.  It would need some more work before he sent it off to his cross-dimensional relatives.  He’d also started drafting a letter for Liam, if he decided to contact him.  That was more difficult, because he kept needing to remind himself that this wasn’t Angel.

 By the end of the day, he’d managed a tolerable draft for his letter to the Doyle family.  He had an idea of what to write to Liam Rhubeck, if the vampires of this world weren’t too dangerous, and a reminder to himself to find or make time to do a bit more research on the vampires here.  He’d had his sixth years debate under rules of polite behavior the idea of Ministry regulation for spell and potion design, with encouragement to use historical justification for their stances.  It had been enlightening, and given him some better ideas about how some of his class thought and what they valued.  For the third years, he’d confiscated a packet of touch-start fireworks, a magical whoopee-cushion, two copies of a magazine called the Quibbler, three Witch Weekly, a Quidditch Today, two copies of Best Brooms (one for August and one from July), and a Martin Miggs: the Mad Muggle comic.  He’d assigned them an extra essay with the topic of picking any one regulation regarding the standards and regulations of potions ingredients, with a length of at least eight inches and no more than twenty four.

 Just another day teaching.  Lord give him strength and patience.

 Minerva appeared in his doorway just moments after the third years had fled, her lips quirked into a smothered laugh.  “A surprise extra essay?   What prompted that?”

 “A bare half of the class was focused on their lesson, with the others being much more interested in a collection of magazines and in one case a pack of fireworks,” Doyle sighed.  “They need to get it into their heads that this isn’t a free period with a specific location anymore.”

 She laughed, before closing the door behind her.  “You mentioned needing to work on your transfigurations…”

 Doyle sighed.  Clearly his day would be long, and it wasn’t over yet.  “Of course…”

End part 3.

 It felt far too long before Minerva announced that they’d need to take a few moments to prepare themselves for dinner.  Doyle knew that what she really meant was that he needed to freshen himself up – the time practicing had left him breathing hard, his head feeling light and almost floaty, and sweat dampening his face and shoulders.

 Magic was a good deal more than waving a stick and muttering some words.  Not that he hadn’t known that before, but it was hard.  He understood the theory of these lessons as well as she could ask, and they had discussed the theory a good deal.  But in addition to knowing what and why, here was a good deal of practice – much the same way that you prepared an egg by cracking it into the skillet and heating it just long enough with the heat just high enough.  Simple to say, simple to explain, but much harder to do.  Though he was getting better – his bricks were looking remarkably book-like, his acorns made definite thimbles, and he could change buttons into coins, feathers, or beetles, though his beetles didn’t move very much.

 “I noticed that you were late to breakfast, and had to take the seat beside Severus this morning,” she offered, passing him a piece of cloth for his face, even as she flicked her wand at him and left him feeling remarkably fresher.

 “He doesn’t seem too fond of mornings,” Doyle observed.

 “Well, no,” Minerva admitted.  “But I do believe you may be the only person in the last twenty years to survive breakfast beside him without some form of savaging.”

 “You make him sound like a wild beast,” Doyle paused, wondering how fast wizards and witches aged.  “What was he like twenty years ago?”

 “Much the same, but shorter,” Minerva gave a thin smile.

 “Ahhh.  As it happens, I didn’t have a problem sitting beside him at breakfast.”  Doyle found himself wondering if that view of Severus Snape was common, and if it was, how the man could have any beneficial company.

 “You may find it becoming your regular seat then.” Minerva shook her head, “It does make me wonder what you did before you fell into my parlor…”

 Doyle sighed, “Many things, some of them remembered more fondly than others.”

 “I suppose the same can be said for most of us,” Minerva admitted, before standing and leaving the classroom.

 Doyle tucked away his notes in the desk.  “Perhaps if I’d done more of them alone, I’d be a bit better prepared.  But no, I’m too used to being part of a group or a team.”

 As he walked towards the Great Hall, he made a mental note to remember – the next time there were awkward bodies to hide: transfigure into something fragile, then break the fragile things.  “Surely I was not intended to be one of the world’s great adventurers.  Not this world or any other.”

 It was just troubling that this world seemed in need of adventurers and heroes.

End part 4.
End Professor Doyle 17: Learning Curve.

 

Chapter Text

pd18..pd18..pd18..pd18..


 Doyle had written out his letter to this world's Doyle family and sent them out by owl.  While he had concerns about their reactions, he'd decided, with some prompting from Tonks and Mimsy, to get in touch and find out.  He still didn't know how they'd react, but he'd find out soon.  Though he wasn't certain how long it took an owl to deliver a letter from Scotland to Ireland...  Or how long it would take them to figure out what to say in response.  He wasn't the only one discovering new relatives, he'd be a shock to them.

 He'd also been looking into this world's vampires.  Fond memories of his world's Angel or no, he wanted to exercise a little caution before meeting the Angel of this world, who seemed to go by Liam.  The various books suggested more than a few differences from humans, among them problems with sunlight and a blood-only or perhaps blood-based diet, but they seemed to be reasonable enough people.  More secretive and tougher than human types, but not the generally evil menaces of his own world.  With that in mind, he'd sent a letter to Liam as well.

 The first letter had been a week ago.  A week, and no reply yet.

 He'd been trying to bury his fretting under research into this world's history and spell-practice.  He felt like he was getting a much better grasp on this world's history, enough that he didn't always feel like he was bluffing desperately in his classes.  His spell-work was improving to the point where he was now working on larger things, and he could manage much better detail.  No more ugly coasters, though they still weren't particularly fancy.

 Research had included the two books that Poppy had recommended.  Kassandri's journal had mentioned seeing animal shapes over individuals under certain circumstances.  She had claimed that those shapes were the beast-totems of those who were particularly close to the path of their guides.  The Agamotto book had mentioned magicals with beast totems in a few chapters.  One had mentioned that some magicals learned to take the shape of their beast-totem, a skill called the Animagus Transformation.  That not all magicals had this potential, and that many who had the potential never learned, sometimes through lack of instruction and sometimes through unwillingness to put in the required work.  Both suggested that the ability to see those totems was not a common seer-trick.

 "Blast.  The one thing that I seem to have a gift for and its one that I can't properly control," he muttered, thinking back to the chapter on seeing totems or guiding spirits.  At least it didn't mean that he was losing his mind or sanity.

 Something else that he'd noticed was that somehow, the seat beside Severus Snape had become his.  While it didn't bother him to sit beside the temperamental man, the way so many people reacted to the potions professor did bother him.  It probably bothered Professor Snape as well, which could be part of the reason for his disagreeable personality, which... set up a rather vicious cycle that helped nobody.  He couldn't really fix everything, but he could give the man coffee and keep from getting his own head bit off unintentionally.

 He'd had several more conversations with Tonks, ranging from Wizarding music to some of the traditions of old pure-blood families, to procedures and paperwork for her job as an Auror.  They really seemed to help him learn more about this world, and he felt like he was learning more about Tonks as well.  She was... interesting, and fun to spend time with, and...  Completely out of his league, even if his heritage wouldn't send her backing away slowly, or cause her to start hexing.

 Beyond that, his lessons had been moving right along, with rolls and rolls of homework, assorted questions, and he'd had to assign three detentions.  Not only were these students much older than the ones he'd taught before, there were different ages to work with, so he was constantly forced to adjust for 'the students'.  It was a whole different sort of stress, and probably good for him.

 On the eighth morning since he'd sent a letter to the Doyle family and the sixth since he'd sent one to Liam, Doyle settled at the table for breakfast, pouring a cup of coffee for himself and one for Severus before he even looked at the food.  Severus seized his mug with a noise that could have been interpreted as gratitude, or perhaps simple eagerness, and downed the bitter liquid.

 Fighting back a smile, Doyle began to assemble his plate, and put together some fruit and toast before sliding that plate in front of Severus.  After a few bites of his eggs, Doyle refilled the man's coffee cup.  Owls began to fly inside, most of these carrying copies of the newspaper, with a few carrying magazines rolled in their talons.

 As Doyle was eating a piece of toast, a small owl descended, landing on the table in front of him and presenting a rolled letter, bound with a blood-red ribbon with a look that could only be avian pride.

 Doyle offered the bird the last corner of that piece of toast before taking the letter.  He knew that the bird wasn't from Gringott's, and it looked far too pleased at delivering the letter to be a Hogwarts bird.  Considering that almost everybody that he'd even met in this world beyond making a few simple purchases could be found in one of those two places...  This letter had to be either from the Doyle family or from Liam Rhubeck.  From his family.

 "Letters seldom bite," Snape commented, giving the owl an impersonal glare.

 "Mmmm," Doyle refilled his coffee cup and Snape's as well.  "Newly discovered family.  I'm uncertain what they'll have to say."

 Snape took a swallow of his coffee and nodded, "Understandable."

 "I've been told that there's little need to let meself be so worked up about it," Doyle murmured, one hand tracing over the ribbon while the other pulled his coffee cup closer.  "I have a job and a place to stay, I'm not asking them to take care of me."

 "Emotions do not always listen to reason," Snape shook his head, and took a bite of his fruit.  Then he blinked and looked again at the plate, as if baffled at it being there at all.  Then he gave a small shrug and took another bite.

 Doyle slowly worked through the rest of his breakfast before deciding that he'd rather not open the letter in such a public setting.   At least he didn't have any classes until a little before lunch, so he should have enough time to settle down again after reading the letter, whatever it said.  Though he was hoping for good, or at least neutral words...  He hadn't realized until he'd sent the letters just how much he wanted to have family that accepted him.  Even family in another world.

 Going to the history classroom felt like he was retreating, though Doyle wasn't quite sure what he was retreating from.  It was a simple roll of parchment, bound with a ribbon but not sealed.  Nothing on the outside revealed who had sent it.  Taking a breath, he told himself "enough dilly-dallying, get a grip and open it."

 He untied the ribbon and opened the letter.  Before he even made out any of the words, he recognized the handwriting.  Angel's handwriting... Liam Rhubeck's handwriting.  "This will be harder than I thought.  He's not the vampire that I know from Los Angeles."

 In a manner that was a good deal less terse than the vampire Doyle had known, the letter expressed surprise that he had been contacted, curiosity as to how he’d learned that he was related, and a desire to remain in contact, perhaps even meeting in person, should they both feel the idea reasonable and come to an agreement about a time and place.  In the closing, Liam identified himself as ‘your distant kinsman, Liam Rhubeck’.

 Definitely not the same vampire.  Perhaps they had more similarities, but Doyle could immediately see differences.  Liam seemed much more sociable, or at least better with some social skills.  He doubted that this vampire has spent a little over a century causing fear and death, spent a few more decades as a wretched bum, and then been sent to hell by a teenage blonde.  He was probably a good deal more mentally stable for all of that.

 “At least there’s one person who’ll claim me as family,” Doyle murmured.  It gave him a rather warm feeling inside.  Almost enough to cover the nerves that the Doyle family hadn’t responded yet.

 He started trying to sort out what to tell Liam, certain that the vampire would ask, and just as certain that it was much too early to bring in alternate worlds and shifting in dimension and time.  Truth, but not all of it.  This would take some planning…

End Professor Doyle 18: Familiar Handwriting

Chapter Text


 He'd spent quite a while staring at the letter from Liam who wasn't quite Angel.  Trying to find the words to write to explain, wanting to explain it all, wanting his friend back.  Except that Liam wasn't Angel, wasn't the friend that he knew.  Too much too fast would either frighten him away or leave him calling for... did the magical world have an equivalent to men with straight-jackets?  He didn't want them after him if there were.

 After a while, he decided on partial honesty, with the admission that there were more complicated parts that he didn't want to explain just yet, and perhaps not on paper at all.  Even if most of the magicals did seem to prefer parchment.  Surely a vampire, even if things were different here, would understand wanting to go slowly with information.  Perhaps they could build something, a friendship.  A sense of family.

 But there were other things that he needed to worry about besides vampire relatives writing letters and living relatives not sending anything.  He was supposed to be a teacher, and supposed to be learning himself. 

 It was a great relief that he only had one class before lunch, and that only just before lunch.  It gave him a bit of time to pull himself together.

 The fact that the class in question was first year Gryffindor and Hufflepuff made it a little easier.  Neither house were in the habit of the keen attention to detail that characterized many of the Slytherins and Ravenclaws, and would likely not notice his emotional confusion.  The fact that they were also his first ever class at Hogwarts gave a small note of pleasant nostalgia, if that was the right word for an event that had taken place barely more than a month ago.  It still helped, a bit.

 He made use of his note-cards as he gave a brief lecture on wizard-giant relations, explaining that as first years, they didn't need to be fully aware of all the details just yet.  He also gave them the names of several books with further details, in case they were curious or some of those uncommon individuals who enjoyed learning about history just for the sake of the knowledge.  Giving an assignment to write at least six inches but no more than twelve summarizing the wizard-giant relations and explaining their opinions on the matter, he dismissed the class.

 Lunch proved a welcome distraction from his thoughts.  Doyle made his way to the great hall, frowning as his stomach gurgled.  "Yes, I know I didn't have enough for breakfast.. I did not put a small hungry beast in there!"

 "Cute.  Should I ask, or just make sure you get to the Hall in short order?" Tonks was grinning at him from a doorway, her hair currently shoulder length amber curls that went well with the current hazel of her eyes and the chestnut robe she'd thrown over what appeared to be blue jeans and a light yellow shirt.  He wondered if that shirt also had some interesting picture or motto on it, as most of her shirts seemed to display.

 "I got distracted by a letter," Doyle shrugged.  "Perhaps we should get me to the hall before my stomach frightens any of the wee firsties?"

 Tonks laughed, "By all means let's try not to scare the kids."

 Then Doyle had a thought occur to him concerning his own questions.  She might not be able to help, but he doubted asking would hurt.  "Tonks, you mentioned that your mum came from one of those old magical families.  What would be the normal way for one of those families to handle getting a letter saying 'hey, you don't know me, but we're related'?  What would they do, and how long would it take?"

 "I guess the first thing most would do would be to check the name against their family records.  A lot of the older magical families have tapestries that track their family trees.  Keeps track of who married who and when, records their children and when they were born, died, and who they married.  They don't all track people that marry out, unless their descendants marry back within a few generations, but that would be the first place to check.  Then a few other measures to see if this letter writer is who they claim and if their idea of being related might hold.  Looking for verification, so to speak."  Tonks glanced over at him.

 Then she tripped, and just about fell down the staircase.

 Doyle reached out, catching her arm and yanking her away from the stairs.  She stumbled, colliding with him and almost knocking him over backwards.  They were standing there off balance, arms around each other and trying to figure out just how that had happened.

 "Sorry, I've got a clumsy streak," Tonks muttered, her cheeks turning pink as her hair fell out of the curls and picked up a few brown streaks.

 Doyle sighed, regaining his balance though he wasn't really in a hurry to let go of Tonks.  "As much as you change your shape, do you think that might have a connection to your clumsiness?"

 "Bit more detail with that?" Tonks lifted one eyebrow, which had now taken on a chestnut hue that almost matched her over robe.  Her hair had also darkened, though it still had amber highlights among the waves.

 "When teenagers hit their growth spurt, they get clumsy because their limbs and bodies aren't quite the same size and reach as they've become used to.  So they get clumsy while they're growing.  You can change your limbs and...” Doyle paused, trying to find a way to mention that she seemed to be able to change any and all of her measurements on a whim or a distraction.  Preferably a way to mention that wouldn't make her angry at him.  "Well, everything about you seems a lot more adjustable than most.  Maybe you're clumsy because your body can't quite adjust fast enough and by the time you've figured out where everything is you've already changed it again?"

 "Hmmmm, that doesn't sound too crazy," Tonks tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.  "But it's boring to always look the same."

 "Maybe you might test it by picking a body shape and size and not changing that for a while to see if it helps?  Change your colors, change your hair, just... see if it makes a difference to leave your body the same.  If it does, then you have an answer, and if it doesn't, then you haven't lost anything," Doyle offered.

 "I'll consider that," Tonks looked back at the stairs.  "Let's try this again..."

 This time they made it down the stairs without any more clumsiness.  Down the stairs, into the hall, and Tonks smiled and headed over to sit beside Professor Sprout.

 Doyle chuckled, and made his way to his own seat, inevitably beside Professor Snape.  Glancing again at Tonks, he muttered, "Magic or not, greatest institution of learning in magical Britain or not, I shall never understand women."
 
 "You aren't supposed to understand them," Snape spoke with a small twist of his lips that might have been a smile.  “No male is, magical or not.”

end part 1.

 Doyle felt much better prepared for his third year class after lunch.  They asked more questions, had longer essays, and would be slightly more likely to notice if he was distracted.  Meaning a little distracted was maybe safe, but not as unbalanced as he'd been right after breakfast.  Making sure he was ready for the students forced him to, as Cordelia would have put it, get his act together.

 He missed Cordelia.  Missed watching her smile and daydreaming about all the things that would likley have never been between them.  Missed the way she smiled, the way she could look so dismissive of any foolish minion or demon thug that attacked her, even if she was petrified and bleeding.

 He had to let the memories and daydreams of Cordelia go.  Not only had she repeatedly said she didn't want a guy like him, not only had she thought the whole seer ability was an unfortunate mess, she had been less than impressed about his heritage.  And they weren't even in the same world anymore.  Perhaps the other things could have been worked around - unlikely, but stranger things had happened.  But a whole different world... eeehh, not happening.

 He even missed Angel, brooding obsessive lump that he could be.  All the vampire's guilt and woe, for I have done bad, bad things and must angst in the dark and glowery disapproval of all that wasn't normal and human and oblivious...  Despite the fact that he was and would never again be an oblivious normal human.  Despite the fact that a maybe not so little part of Angel held the oblivious humans in a bit of contempt.  Angel had his merits, and was a decent guy once you got past the angst.  Most of the time.

 He'd need to be sure he didn't confuse Liam for Angel.

 The lessons continued, and Doyle gave a small sigh of relief when his last group of students left for the day.  That meant it was time for his lesson with Filius.

 "As much as I don't want to be giving meself a swelled head, I think I'm doing a bit better," Doyle smiled at the short Charms professor.

 “Yes indeed, you are doing better,” Filius agreed, giving his wand a small twitch that sent chairs into a conga line through the room.  The tiny man didn’t even bother to use a word to work the literal magic.

 Doyle blinked at the line of dancing chairs.  “Clearly, I still have a very long way to go.”

 Filius laughed, eyes sparkling as he conjured another chair, this one rounded with thick, squashy looking cushions in a mossy green.  “There are still days when I am left amazed at what magic can do.  I am of the opinion that the day you stop being amazed and impressed by magic is the day you begin to die, or at least descend into insufferable stagnation.”

 Doyle chuckled, not wanting to go into the many other ways that you could die, still impressed by the potential and demonstrations of magic or not.  “How much does what you just did differ from the spell that I’m wrestling with to make one chair tap dance?”

 Still chuckling, Filius grinned.  “It’s actually the same spell.  The difference is in experience, the sort of dance that I’m picturing, and the fact that I’m putting a bit more power into the spell.  When you cast any sort of animation spell, it’s important to visualize the movements and behavior firmly.  Not always in exhaustive detail, but the more focus you have on the results the better things work.  If your mind wanders from a waltz to the mamba, your chairs will be confused and an observer may not be able to tell what dance you were thinking about.  Though if you focus on a goal instead of specifics, such as envisioning a statue being defensive and protecting the house, that can also work quite effectively.”

 “Detail, focus, and control of the magic,” Doyle sighed.  Minerva had said much the same thing about transfiguring objects.  Perhaps there wasn’t as much difference as some people thought between the branches of magic…

 “Those three things are key to every type of magic.  There are some things that depend on aptitudes, such as a seer’s visions, or a parsel tongue’s speaking with snakes.  There are also quite a few areas where the amount of power can make a difference, such as the duration of spell-work or the extent of a spell’s reach.  But transfiguration, conjuration, charms, defensive spell work, magical attacks, enchantments… all of them need focus, precise details, and control over one’s magic,” Filius explained.

 Doyle smiled, glad that his teachers actually knew how to teach and bothered to explain the whys and the hows as much as they could, rather than just saying ‘because it works when you do this, but not if you do that’ the way others had in the past.  It was important to know this works and that doesn’t, but it helped a lot to know why.

 “Would you mind if I asked you a slightly prying and personal question, Filius?” he asked.

 “Go ahead and ask, though if it’s too prying I won’t answer,” Filius remained in his squashy chair.

 “Considering that you’re obviously not wholly human, have you ever considered marrying?  Would your heritage be a problem?” Doyle hoped that his question, which he knew was rather prying, wouldn’t offend.

 “My heritage is… I won’t lie and say that it’s never been a problem for me.  For most, it is a mark against me in the ledger.  But just as people can find love if they aren’t always the smartest, or richest, or most magically gifted, one can find love with mixed heritage.  If you find someone willing to look at you, not just at your family or at social perception.” He sighed, and fell silent for a few moments.  Perhaps he was wandering in memories.

 Softly, Filius spoke again, “I was married.  For about a decade, my wife and I had the most blissful life I could have asked for.  A comfortable, if not large or elegant home, two adorable children with another on the way, and I had apprenticed myself to a charm master to study further into my craft.”

 “What happened?” Doyle knew that it had been something awful.

 “My wife was muggle born, and her parents lived in London.  She went to visit them over the weekend, hoping to share the good news about our expected third child.  She was hoping for a girl…”  Filius paused, producing a handkerchief.

 Doyle made a noise, not quite sure what to say.

 “That was September seventh of nineteen fourty.  Her parents lived near the Port of London…”  Filius couldn’t continue.

 “The German bombings,” Doyle whispered.

 Filius nodded.  “Our boys grew up, though it was much harder without Beatrice.  I lost my younger son to the more recent Dark Wizard, slain by one of his attack squads who objected to our mixed heritage.  He hated muggles and thought very little of muggle born, so that was dreadful enough, but to add a bit of goblin blood on top of that?  Unacceptable to them.  It took eight of them to kill my boy Leopold, and he took them all with him, but they still killed him. My eldest wound up moving to America after that, along with his intended.

 “I’m sorry,” Doyle knew that his words wouldn’t help the older man’s pain.  Couldn’t bring back his wife or his dead children.  Couldn’t undo decades of loss.

 “Hardly your fault.  And don’t let my own woes keep you from trying a bit of courting yourself.  Though there will always be some who consider certain types to be the wrong sort of ancestry.  There will also be those who look with a clear eye, seeing beyond family and outer appearances to judge you for your own nature,” Filius managed a thin smile.

 “Then I’d best try to make sure my own nature and what I’ve done meself remains something worth a bit of acceptance,” Doyle looked again at a chair.  “No point in finding someone to judge me only on my own merits and then not measuring up.”

 “A good lesson for everyone to keep in mind,” Filius agreed.  “Now make the desk dance.”

 Doyle pointed his chair at the desk and spoke the spell, an image in his mind.  He felt the magic pass through him and into the wand.  The desk began tapping against the floor and then tapping, shuffling and whirling around the room.

 After several moments of thoughtful observation, Filius chuckled, “Your desk has a poor sense of rhythm.”

 Doyle sighed and nodded, “Is that the desk or me?”

 “It can be hard to tell sometimes,” Filius shook his head.  “But you are improving.”

 Doyle had to hope it would be enough.  Hope he would improve fast enough to be ready for the next thing, whatever and whenever that next thing might happen.  Though he suspected it would be more of those Death Eaters.”

End part 2.


 The next morning, as he slid the toast and fruit to Severus, Doyle considered the large number of owls flying into the Hall.  There were also at least half a dozen ravens in the mix, which Doyle remembered as generally bringing unfortunate news.  There was also a small tan owl that circled the room a few times before landing in front of him with a soft noise.  He wasn’t sure, but the owl sounded tired.

 Doyle accepted the letter and gave the owl a corner of toast.  It wasn’t a Gringott’s bird, and the letter seemed to be sealed with a bit of pumpkin pie hued wax.  Once again, Doyle decided to open his letter elsewhere than the public table.

 He could see several students at the Slytherin table receiving mail from ravens.  There was another that delivered to that pair of first year twins at Ravenclaw, and one that delivered to a smaller figure at the Hufflepuff table.

 He found himself wondering how distant the connections were to whatever individual the news mentioned.  Wondering how closely related some of the families, especially the so-called pure-bloods, really were.  And wondering if some of these children would think the letters spoke of relatives who, as Minerva had put it, would only be improved by death.

 It was hard to judge reactions from the teachers’ table, though he was certain that some of them, especially the Slytherins, were trying not to let anyone see how the letters affected them.  The Malfoy boy had a raven in front of him.

 The sight of the raven in front of Malfoy suggested that they carried the official announcement of the deaths of the Death Eaters that had perished in Hogsmeade.  The ones Doyle had killed.  The ones that had been dealt with by Gringott’s.  He absently wondered if the announcements had been delayed while the appropriate Heads of Family were identified and those pesky questions of inheritance had been addressed.  He didn’t think it would be appropriate to ask.

 Doyle waited until Severus had finished his second coffee before turning to face him.  “Severus, if any of your Slytherins feel unable to attend history lessons this week due to unpleasant news concerning their family, just have someone else in the class bring me a note.  I’ll have someone take them a copy of lecture notes and they should already have the assignments thanks to the syllabus at the start of the year.  I’ll make sure that offer is relayed to Pomona and Filius as well, but there do appear to be more of them in your house…”

 “And?” There was a hint of defensive challenge in Severus’ voice.

 “Not everybody deals with bad news the same way.  Not all students can cope by sticking to their normal schedule.  I only saw one at the Hufflepuff table, and one to a pair of twin Ravenclaws, but there were several at the Slytherin table.  Odds are that if only one student can’t cope,” Doyle paused and sighed.  “I don’t know how well they will or won’t cope.  But I don’t want to make things harder for them.  Besides, you’re the Head of House sitting close to me.  Filius and Pomona are both all the way over there.”

 Severus glanced over, seeing that Filius and Pomona were both sitting on the other end of the table.  In fact, Pomona was in the very last seat at the table – any further and she’d be against the wall.  Both were looking towards the student tables.  Neither were within good conversational distance.  “Hmmmph.  I’ll tell my snakes.”

 Doyle made sure to pass his offer to Filius and Pomona both before he left the hall that morning.

 He didn’t see the Ravenclaw girls at their class that morning.  He did give copies of the notes, taken by dicta-quills, to some of their housemates to pass on to them later.  The rest of the class did seem rather subdued, especially as the twins, Miranda and Rowena Pritchard, were normally quite giggly and chatty, full of questions and whispered comments that they thought he couldn’t hear.

 Draco Malfoy wasn’t in class after lunch either.  Doyle assumed that he was quite distraught at his father’s death.  Anyone who’d listened to Draco knew that his father was quite important to him.  For his father, the one that he seemed to believe could fix anything, to be suddenly dead…  It was only natural for the boy to be shocked.

 Not that Doyle felt bad about killing any of the Death Eaters.  But there was a bit of a twinge of guilt that his students were upset because of what he’d done.  It strengthened his resolve not to let people find out that he’d killed those wizards.

 After his last class, he pulled the mysterious letter from his pocket.  There was a bit of wax holding it closed, as well as a light yellow ribbon tied around the rolled paper envelope.  The wax didn’t have any sort of crest or pattern to it.

 Cracking the wax open, he discovered the front of the letter was addressed to A. F. Doyle, Hogwarts.  The top corner listed ‘the Doyle Family’ as the return address, with no further details.  A second dripping of wax closed the envelope.  He felt like his chest was being squeezed as he opened the envelope to pull out the letter.

 It was very short.  His letter had been received, and was quite unexpected.  A member of the family would be arriving at Hogsmeade to speak with him in about a week’s time, and would further evaluate his claim that there might be a blood relation between himself and their family at that time.  In the mean time, they wished him good health.

 He wasn’t certain what he’d been expecting, but this wasn’t it.  Maybe he should have expected something like this, especially with the way Tonks had said many old families might react.  It felt stiff, and formal, and slightly cold, or perhaps just wary.

 It made him nervous all over again.

End part 3.
End Professor Doyle 19: News of Family.

Chapter Text

pd20..pd20..pd20..pd20..

Doyle wasn't surprised that some of his third years seemed distracted. Two of them had cousins who'd received the raven-carried letters about dead relatives, though they apparently weren't close enough kin to the deceased to receive their own letters. He tried to focus on his class instead of the letter from this world's Doyle family. His distraction was almost enough that he was grateful the students were still out of sorts and upset by the attack on Hogsmeade. He did wonder how long until someone made the connection of timing and accused the Death Eaters of killing the dead relatives or accused the dead relatives - quite accurately, in some cases - of being Death Eaters. He did admit that it was possible that someone might have died entirely unrelated to the events at Hogsmeade and just happened to expire near the same time. But he wasn't about to bet on the idea.

Many of the students were irritable and distracted. Not just the ones who'd received the death notices, but there were several with family in Hogsmeade, and many with relatives who had been injured in the last go-round, or the fighting against the Death Eaters and their Dark Lord that most refused to name. Not everybody believed Voldemort was back, and that brought additional tension. Not that anybody could deny the attack on Hogsmeade, there was just a lot of fussing over what it meant, and politics, and repercussions and... and people not wanting to face the possible danger, and what it meant if the scary dark wizard was back.

It did sound pretty hard to swallow. He'd been trying to distract himself from his nerves at the eventually arriving word from the Doyles by a combination of continuing his research on the history of this new world and a couple books he'd found on proper behavior and traditions. Quite a few things were similar to proper English behavior of a few centuries back, other things hadn't been part of the sixteen hundreds guides to behavior for proper young men and women. There had been nothing about wand placement, or when it was or wasn't polite to cast spells on a person.

Which in no way made the increased number of arguments and fights more tolerable. In no way did it make it good to see students muttering insults or accusations at each other. He'd spoken to his classes about it several times, and added that it showed poor thinking to blame a child for the actions of their parents or grandparents, especially when those actions or alleged actions had occurred before the student was even born.

He'd also noticed many students were reacting more to things, getting upset over things that would have been laughed off before the attack, going teary over what might have just left them a little sad, and fighting when before there would just have been angry words. Detentions had increased as well, and house points were hovering at barely over a hundred, no house had more than two hundred as of breakfast, apparently quite unusual for this time of year.

After the third years, he had a rather small class of sixth years. For reasons most summed up as a shrug and 'Binns', History of Magic hadn't been popular to continue past the O.W.L. tests taken at the end of fifth year. From what he'd gathered, one of his five students considered it a horrendous shame history was so ignored, two felt they weren't particularly powerful so it would be best to look for any half forgotten tricks to help, and two felt the additional N.E.W.T. credits might help their prospects for the future. With such a small class, he'd decided to go in a different direction than the lower years, and they did semi-independent studies followed by discussions on topics he assigned. He'd found a listing of topics for the end of year exam demanded by the Ministry for sixth year, and felt they could cover those topics in a single term. Which meant he could also cover a great many other things in the year. Each student was permitted to pick two topics for study, which would be focused for a week at some point in the year. Historical tangents were welcomed, and Filius and Minerva had promised that if any of his students could demonstrate an older version of a spell for their classes, they would get extra credit.

So far, Doyle had learned about changes to the dueling code, adjustments in certifications and education, several old blood feuds, the Triwizard tournament, and seventeen old spells. The spells had generally fallen out of use; in the case of three due to the rise of Latin-based spells, in the case of one because it seemed remarkably limiting to need to start with a vegetable for transfiguration - though the text swore it produced amazing coaches, two because they required runes as well as chanting. Last had been an old spell to help someone learn their animagus shape. It just changed them into their shape, and the caster and most often their apprentice had best hope it was a shape that fit wherever they were. There had been several anecdotes about becoming large animals that couldn't fit through doorways, and one about an apprentice barely flopping into a stream after becoming a fish. It strongly suggested the spell not be used until a spell to reverse the transformation was also known. One was helpfully listed on the following page of the old journal.

Doyle was studying both of those spells even if he did have the nagging feeling he might be better off to get a stronger idea how this crazy secret society worked before digging up old spells to change people into animals. Or at least get to the point Minerva stopped sniffing sadly at his transformative efforts.

He wondered when the Death Eaters would attack next, and felt a bit guilty that he hoped it would be somewhere farther away from the school. Hoped the trained authorities would deal with it rather than a displaced man trying to teach history. If it would be a good idea to mention those concerns to Tonks, considering that she normally was one of those trained authorities.

His musings were interrupted by angry voices. Someone was yelling about Death Eater spawn, and bad blood coming out. Another voice was sneering about hovels and incompetence and poverty. A third voice was growling about thinking it was funny to attack peoples' homes and families.

Turning the corner, he could see Draco Malfoy on the ground, one arm clearly broken and blood on his face. Malfoy whose father he had killed in Hogsmeade, a father clad in the robes and mask of a criminal and terrorist. Goyle was unconscious with blood on his face and signs of having been flung into a wall, his wand on the floor near a set of armor across the hall. Standing and glaring while insulting Malfoy were Seamus Finnigan and Ron Weasley of Gryffindor.

Not good at all.

Reminding himself not to jump to conclusions and to try not to make things worse, Doyle spoke. "All of you are quite old enough to know better than to be fighting in the halls, with or without magic. That will be fifteen points from Gryffindor and fifteen from Slytherin for the insults and poor manners. Now, how did you and your companion come to be injured, Mr. Malfoy?"

"I don't need some useless nobody of muddled blood interfering!" Draco snapped, glaring at Doyle. "This doesn't concern you!"

"You useless little poncy ferret!" Weasley shouted.

A stab of worry hit his gut - did Malfoy suspect his ancestry, or was he just guessing based on this world's family? Or because he didn't know Doyle from the upper-crust circles? Anger that this was what happened when he didn't treat the blond like a miniature criminal. Anger and irritation at the lack of respect for his position as a teacher - surely that merited better than insults and being told to mind his own business? A hint of shame that someone else didn't think he was good enough for what he was trying to do.

Anger won. He fought back the blue, certain it would only make everything worse. "Weasley, Finnegan, go back to your tower now. Malfoy, we are going to the Hospital wing, and you have detention tonight."

He carried Goyle to the hospital wing, snapping that if he had to use a spell to leash Malfoy and drag him like a disobedient pet he wouldn't worry about if the spell felt the need to enforce travel on hands and knees. Malfoy sulked, and sneered, and muttered insults that weren't quite under his breath, but he went to the hospital wing.

"Once Madame Pomfrey releases you, report to room C in the History corridor for your detention. The one right across the hall from my classroom, so you don't get lost or forget where to go. I will know if you dawdle or try to skip out," Doyle managed to keep most of the growl from his voice.

He never did make it to the Great Hall for lunch, though Mimsy was willing to bring him a tray.

None of the students would need to know of the crumpled papers he'd turned into targets for blasting spells or thrown knives that had been matches. None of them would need to know how he'd snarled and ranted about spoiled, obnoxious brats fighting with each other. How he'd wondered how well Draco would deal with having to fight for his life in a place where his opponent wanted to kill him, maybe even eat his corpse - and hopefully in that order.

He prepared the room for the detention he'd settled on. A very plain, uncomfortable desk and chair in the corner, facing a boring wall and slightly off from the proper angle. A stack of lined, muggle made paper, the top one with a line written on it. A pot of ink and an ordinary writing quill devoid of any enchantments at all.

End part 1.

The door opened, and he glanced over to see Severus. Severus who was frowning and glancing around the room.

"Is there a reason you seem to be pacing like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs?" Doyle asked the grumpy potions master.

"Questionable reports of my students fighting with Gryffindors. There may or may not have been spells, broken bones and bloodshed. Insults took place, likely from both sides. I have been told you took points, assigned a detention to young Malfoy, and he and Goyle had to spend time in the hospital wing. I am… I wanted answers," Severus admitted.

"Reasonable enough, and as it happens, I have some for you. There was a fight in the hallway, I heard shouting and insults. Malfoy and Goyle facing against Finnigan and Weasley – the one from the same year, not one of the other many Weasleys," Doyle clarified. "I don't know for sure what started it, and didn't see any spells, though I wouldn't be surprised if a few were cast. I took the same amount of points from both houses, for the insults if nothing else, and sent the Gryffindors back to their dorm and took the Slytherins to the hospital, as the Gryffindors didn't seem to be injured. Malfoy has a detention for snapping at me that he didn't need any help from a useless nobody of muddled blood."

"Quite rude on his part, though I'd like to believe grief is affecting him," Severus looked more relaxed with the explanation.

Doyle had little faith in that idea. "At fifteen, most are more emotional than those of us who are finished with our growing."

"What did you have in mind for Malfoy's detention?" Severus walked into the room, eying it with a small sneer. "This room looks dismal."

"It's supposed to. I'm going to have the…" Doyle stopped himself from using any of the rather insulting terms that came to mind for the spoiled and opinionated boy. "I understand he's grieving. However his behavior has been quite rude. I'm going to have him sit in a room devoid of the luxuries his upbringing has left him accustomed to and writing lines to remind him of the etiquette someone of his wealth and long family line is expected to know. Nothing which will harm or endanger him, but not enjoyable."

"Would you mind if I observe? I have come to suspect his behavior may not be exactly as he informs me on some occasions," Severus had his smirk in place again.

"I'll assume you intend to be disillusioned in a corner or something like?" Doyle arched an eyebrow, and settled a folder on the teacher's desk in the mostly empty room.

At the answering nod, the quickly arranged everything. A second desk was set up, where Severus would also be marking essays. Severus then thoroughly disillusioned the desk he would be using, which was a good deal more spacious than the one Draco would be using. A few additional spells were cast over himself, and he seemed to disappear along with the desk. Doyle still knew the desk and Severus were there, and could see a shadow of them both from the corner of his eye, but couldn't see either of them directly.

Draco knocked at the door at exactly six, scowl firmly in place. "Here I am."

"Good, take your seat at that desk," Doyle pointed Draco at the uncomfortable desk facing the wall. While I do not pretend to understand all the details of what happened, or the long interactions between the Malfoy and Weasley families, your comments towards me were out of line, and quite poor manners. I expect better behavior from someone who claims to be a member of one of the better, more noble families of this country. Therefore, you will be writing lines for your detention. I want you to write 'Insulting someone's heritage is rude and ill-becoming a gentleman.' And I will tell you when you can stop."

Draco pulled himself upright, eyes wide and mouth open in indignation. "Writing lines? But…"

"I feel the experience will do you more good than polishing trophies, scrubbing floors, or scouring the Forbidden Forest for something or other. Should you feel lines concerning remedial etiquette to be beneath you, remember to behave better in the future," Doyle explained. "Now, sit down and start writing. A quill, ink, and paper have been provided. The top sheet has your line written."

Draco scowled and made his way to the desk. "But my injury…"

"Was not to the arm you write with, and I suspect Madam Pomfrey had it completely fixed before you left the infirmary. I am not asking you for any heavy lifting or difficult feats of dexterity." Doyle's expression held no sympathy.

Draco sat in sullen silence, the quill scratching over the paper. "What is this wretched stuff? Certainly not proper parchment, and why the lines? I am quite well educated, I need no lines to keep my writing in order."

"Muggle made paper. It permits teachers to set a certain number of lines or pages with the expectation the writing will all be of a uniform size." Doyle kept an eye on Draco, wondering how he would react.

Draco gave the paper a look of such dismayed distrust that Doyle wondered if he expected it to bite him. The immediate change in the way he held his arms looked quite amusing, as if he refused to let his skin touch anything of muggle origin. As he kept writing his lines, he began a quiet muttering about thin muggle crafted paper and rude Gryffindors. As he wrote, he ended up in more contact with the paper, until his posture seemed almost his normal writing style.

As Draco wrote his lines, Doyle sighed and eventually finished skimming the essays. From there, not wanting his courage to fail him, he wrote letters to his relatives. The letter to Liam was easier, giving a few minor personal details and asking a few light questions about the vampire. He suggested building a degree of familiarity through correspondence, mentioning a few things about himself to indicate his commitment. Granted, his birthday, mention of a few of his favorite foods and an enjoyment of relaxing at the seaside were hardly deepest secrets, but you had to start somewhere.

The letter to the Doyle family was easier. He wrote back he would be expecting the arrival of the representative of the family, and wished them all good health. There were so many other things he wanted to say, but didn't quite dare.

After a while, he looked over at Draco. "Put down your quill. Assuming you've actually written what you were supposed to, that should be enough."

Draco blinked, looking indignant at the implication he might have failed. Doyle walked over, glancing at the pages with writing. A few lines had additions, such as ‘Insulting someone's heritage, even if he is a rude, loud-mouthed weasel, is rude and ill becoming a gentleman.' Or ‘Insulting someone's heritage, even if they come from common clods, is rude and ill-becoming of a gentleman.'

"Mmmm. You have claimed on many occasions that the Malfoys are nobility. If we are to believe the Malfoys are better than some, then they are held to a higher standard than others. Which means it isn't a question of the other person's heritage, you are to be a good example of the nobility you claim as your birthright. To be an example of what a young wizard should be. If you aren't able to be that good example, it behooves you to know this and keep quiet."

For a moment, Draco looked indignant. He frowned, opened his mouth and then closed it without saying anything. Looking indignant, he frowned at the pages again before managing, "Other families aspire to be half as influential as Malfoys."

"Then do your best to set a good example, so that if everyone else were to behave like you, it would be a credit to the school, to the nation, and to you as an example. The lines will do, you may go." Doyle offered.

Draco Malfoy left without another word. The door slammed closed after him.

"Not half as polite as he claims," Severus drawled.

Doyle sighed, "He might still get better. God knows I wouldn't want to go through my whole life judged on how I was at fifteen. I'm not holding me breath about him, but there is some hope."

"I'll see if there's anything I can do," Severus offered.

End part 2.

Wednesday's breakfast had another wax sealed letter from the small tan owl. He opened it quickly, hoping it wouldn't be anything terrible, and if so, his colleagues would be too groggy to notice. The letter was brief, just a few lines on a paper which had been folded over and closed with a blot of ink. It announced a representative from the Doyle family would be in Hogsmeade after five, and hoped to be able to speak with him. She would be waiting in the back room of the Three Broomsticks. It had been signed by a Sioban Doyle.

His morning classes went as well as he could hope, with the second years asking questions and trying to sneak every flavor beans when they thought he wasn't looking. He decided to let them so long as they kept up with their notes. More than a few of the students seemed a bit distracted, but they all seemed quite dismayed when he passed out the quiz papers for all of them. As an anti-cheating measure, he'd made four different tests for each of the lower five years, and made certain they rotated through the stacks. It meant no student would have the same paper as the person to either side of them. The questions were all similar, and there were a variety of multiple choice, filling in the blanks, and short answers. A format the muggle-raised should be familiar with, and one the magical-raised should find less troubling than the standard wizarding tests, which seemed to involve writing a great many paragraphs. His tests and quizzes were all drawn from the materials they should have been studying, and in fact half of them were actually on his study guides which he'd made available at the beginning of the month.

The class just before lunch were giving him suspicious looks as they entered the room. Doyle assumed they'd heard about the quiz earlier, and were dreading having one of their own. After a reminder about their planned homework and to read the next chapter, he gave them their own quiz. It kept them busy and out of trouble for the class, though more than a few were muttering comments about the format.

Doyle couldn't have said what he had for lunch, beyond that he did eat. He attempted a bit of practice with his spellwork, but the results were rather mixed. His animation charms displayed all the nervous, fidgety tension he was feeling. His transfiguration, which did not involve any dead bodies, was showing some improvement. His results weren't quite right, but they were getting closer and more consistant.

After a while, he just gave it up as a bad way to kill time, and made his way towards the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. It was just after four when he arrived. "Madam Rosmerta, I'm supposed to be meeting someone here at five for a matter of family business. I know I'm a bit early, but would it be acceptable if I went on back now? I've been doing nothing but fidgeting up at the castle."

Madam Rosmerta waved him towards the back, where he settled with a pot of tea and My Eyes: They Burn. He wasn't sure how much it would help as far as getting any better grip on his visions, but it might distract him a little. He wasn't quite sure how long he'd been trying to read when there was a tap at the door.

Closing the book, he called out, "Yes?"

"Your company's a bit early, will it be alright if I bring her on back?" Madam Rosmerta called. "And how are you doing on the tea?"

Doyle checked, and found the teapot was almost empty. "The pot's close enough to empty, more might be welcome. And you can go ahead and send the company back, the letter said it would be someone called Sioban Doyle."

A few moments later, Madam Rosmerta opened the door, a tray with a larger pot of tea and another cup in hand. Just behind her was a woman the sight of which made Doyle's heart clench. Her hair was a little darker, and she looked a bit younger, but she could pass for a living image of his mother. Her own widening eyes and parting lips suggested she also noticed a strong resemblance.

"No doubt you're related somehow…" her voice held a stronger Irish accent than his own. "You could almost pass for me brother, save for your eyes. Nobody would doubt you for another brother."

"I… you look like me mum. Thank you, Rosmerta," Doyle took the tray with the tea, and placed it on the table. Taking a breath in an effort to steady his nerves, he asked, "if you could let us be for a bit?"

Once Rosmerta had closed the door, Sioban cast a few spells which seemed to deaden the noises from the larger tap room, and the kitchen beside them. She turned to face him, the wand now tucked into a narrow pocket just inside her jacket, and spoke, "I suppose the biggest question is how? There was no indications… I mean, you must be somewhere around thirty, and I don't know who… when… Why didn't anyone say anything sooner?"

"It's all very complicated and I don't have many of the answers meself," Doyle sighed, and poured himself more tea. "How do you take yours?"

"Black, with lemon," Sioban murmured. "What answers can you give me?"

"Alternate worlds or timelines or something like. Some people had a strange device, something happened, I fell out of the fireplace of Minerva McGonagall and now I'm Hogwarts' new History Professor. Technically, I'm part of the Doyle family of a different timeline, hence the not quite by regular channels part of things. I'm assuming most would think… well, descended from someone tossed out of the family or bastard born," he shrugged. He wasn't quite sure why he was explaining so much to Sioban, unless it was because she reminded him so strongly of his mother. "I'd rather not get into the whole alternate times with most. It's confusing, I don't understand how it happened meself, and…"

"So, what would you be wanting from the family?" Sioban had been nodding as he gave a little emphasis on how it was confusing and he didn't understand it. "I'd think too much talk about how you got here and you'd be snapped up by the Department o' Mysteries."

"People I can exchange holiday and birthday greetings with. Someone I can ask what's interesting to see or avoid in an area, or if local sports teams are any good. Maybe a few people willing to explain how things go here, because a lot of things just aren't matching up with what I knew back home." Doyle spread his hands, "I'm a grown man; I don't need anyone to give me lodging or pay for an education. I'd rather stay as far from politics as I can manage. I just… I'd like it if I had someone I could call family."

She smiled, the expression so much like his mother that it made Doyle's heart ache again. "I think we can do that much. The family isn't particularly wealthy, and we don't much meddle in politics beyond the local scale, but holiday greetings and talking about what's worth seeing should be well within our abilities."

"I'm glad to hear it," Doyle smiled.

She hugged him, a firm grip smelling faintly of the ocean. "Welcome to the family, little brother."

It felt good to have family again.

End part 3.
End Professor Doyle 20: Concerning Family Expectations