An Odd Interlude
Dawn looked around the classroom she was in, trying to count the seconds until she could get out of this boring thing. She hated arithmancy. She really wanted to drop it but Xander said it could be helpful so she'd try to keep up. Even though it sucked nearly as bad as the teacher did. And did the teacher ever suck! She sighed in relief when the gong rang, hurrying out to the Great Hall. Lunch was one of her favorite meals and it only got better Monday and Wednesdays when she got to escape a stupid class that was going to drive her insane. She tossed her bag down next to her usual seat, letting her puppy out of it so he could wander around and beg Ginny and Luna for treats. "Okay, is it just me or does that teacher suck the very oxygen out of the air in her classroom to make us dizzy in addition to stunning our minds with ridiculous bullshit?"
"No, it's not just you," Luna admitted with a grin. "That's very apt however. Food?"
"Sure." She took the bowl of soup, pouring herself out some. "Thanks."
"Welcome." She smiled as Ginny walked in, holding up the ladle. "We've got soup today."
"Good. We've also got Professor Armwrench back," she said happily. "We finally get to take his class."
Luna shivered. "Never was there a finer man that had no interest in women," she hissed. "I can't wait to stare at him three days a week for the rest of the year." Ginny moaned at that.
"Okay, and *who* is this person?" Dawn asked. "Why wasn't he here last year?"
"We're not sure but I saw his carriage pull up today. Pure black with black horses and green upholstery. It's the one he took in our fourth year and our third and on back as far as I can remember," Ginny told her. "He's supposed to be a *great* teacher, very funny. The twins *loved* him," she assured Dawn. "When it's your turn, I'm sure will too."
Dawn groaned. "Why am I stuck two years behind my actual age?" she demanded.
"Because Rosenburg was teaching you how to be a witch?" Luna guessed.
"Well, yeah," Dawn agreed dryly. "That probably did have a bit to do with it." The doors crashed open and a man walked through them, making everyone turn and stare at him. "Is that him?" she hissed. The man's auburn robe with gold trimmed cuffs and lapels, brown velvet pants, and gold and brown vest was a great outfit on him, and it showed what he had very well. The girls around her nodded, looking goofy with their open-mouthed shock. "Hmm, hottie alert definitely."
"I'm back!" he shouted, and the older students clapped and howled in laughter. "Now, where are my darlings this year?" he asked with a grin toward the girls. Then at the boys, most of whom blushed.
"Welcome back, Professor Armwrench," Dumbledore said happily. "I wish you had been here last year." He silently contemplated how much calmer things would have been if they hadn't made Alex teach his class in his absence.
"I wish I had been here last year as well but I was a bit...tied up," he admitted with a wicked smirk. He kissed the back of McGonagall's hand. "Ah, my beautiful mistress. How wondrous you look this year. Have all your problem students left already?"
"No, we still have one Weasley in residence," she said dryly, swatting at him with the hand he had kissed. "Come sit, Professor. Surely you remember Professor Methos? He's returned to teach Defense for the last two years."
"Ah, yes, I have quite a lot of knowledge of him," he said with a wink for the immortal. "How are you this week, Methos?" he asked in a purring voice. The immortal raised an eyebrow. "Shall we have tea later? As being unattached teachers around here? No house to call our own and the like?" he added with a smug look and a wink. He looked at Severus, then gasped. "You married! When! You sly dog!" he shouted, coming over to shake his hand. "When do I meet the blushing bride?"
"When you let go of him," Holly growled. "He's mine now." The new professor chuckled and kissed the back of her hand as well. "And you are?" she asked regally.
He winked. "Professor Armwrench. I teach Life Studies." He bowed and smirked at her again. "Very pretty, Severus, and she suits you so very well. Nicely done." He walked around the table and took a seat between Methos and McGonagall, sitting down with a sweep of his robe to free it from the chair. "Now, then. Who do I have this year?"
"You have the seventh years and one possible student," McGonagall admitted. "She's old enough," she noted at Madam Sprout's odd look in her direction.
"In the past we've not let the students who were technically old enough attend," she offered gently.
"She's already got most of the practical lessons," McGonagall reminded her.
"Still," Madam Sprout wobbled. "Don't make her attend yet. It'll give her nothing to look forward to."
"Should not *I* make that decision?" Professor Armwrench asked dryly. "Who is this young woman?"
"I can hear you, quit talking about me!" Dawn yelled. "I've already got a headache."
"She's pouting because Weasley is leaving soon for Iran," Madam Sprout said with a gentle grin for him.
"Ah, I've seen her picture in the papers. I'll talk to her later." He pulled over some food and dug in. "Good food. I've missed this recently."
"You could have come sooner," Dumbledore reminded him gently.
"Unfortunately I barely got free recently," he admitted. "My father had me a bit...tied up."
"Understandable," Dumbledore agreed happily. "I'm assuming it's settled? We really don't need more strife here."
"No, I doubt he'll show up at all," the new professor said with a smile for him. "After all, he's not exactly on this plane, now is he?"
"No, he's not," Dumbledore agreed. He was quite pleased with that fact as well. "Miss Summers, why is your dog wandering around under the Slytherin table?"
"Because he doesn't realize that Draco isn't there this year, sir. Midnight!" He barked and came trotting back, sitting next to her while wagging his tail. "Good boy," she cooed, reaching down to pet him. "Go play with Hagrid." Midnight barked and went up to Hagrid, nuzzling his hand to get some treats and attention from him as well.
"Y'er a good boy, Midnight," Hagrid praised. "Sit and I'll play with yer later." Midnight laid down on his feet, giving him adoring looks. "Good boy, Middy."
"Now, now, Hagrid, not at the table," Dumbledore said gently. "He can play with you later. You and our baby dragon seem to love him quite a lot. Plus the unicorns also seem to love him."
"Dragon?" Armwrench asked curiously.
"Keelian," Hagrid said proudly. "Tried to adopt Ron in a marketplace so we got to adopt him." He grinned down at Midnight, then at the professor. "You can come down an' see him later if you want. He's a sweetie. Just a baby steamer. Likes to dive down shirts now and then but otherwise pretty neat."
"Thank you, Hagrid. I'd love to see the baby dragon," he said graciously. "I had no idea that things like that happened without my help," he muttered quietly.
"Ron is Alex Dumass's apprentice," McGonagall retorted equally quietly. "As his consort is Draco Dumass."
"Draco? The blond, sneering one?"
"Turned out to be part veela and a bottom slut," Methos said dryly, but trying to keep quiet as well. It wouldn't look good if someone heard him say that. "Dumass has four apprentices. His consort, his little sister, Dawn, her boyfriend Weasley, and his grandson, Potter." Armwrench stared at him. Methos nodded, smirking at him. "We missed you last year. You might have kept it down some."
He leaned closer. "Where would the fun be in that?" he hissed. "But I would like to have seen them in action." He sat up again and grinned at the students. "Those who have me this year will have me at the end of Tuesday and Thursday, depending on house," he announced. "Of course, I am open to mentoring any students," he said with a smirk at one cute boy, who blushed and looked away.
"We love you, Professor Armwrench," one girl yelled.
"Yes, love, and I feel the same," he called back with a grin. "But you're still a bit too young for me."
The other students laughed and cheered at that. Yes, he was back! The most fun professor in Hogwart's history!
Ginny and Luna lucked out, they had the class together so they got to tromp in there together, pausing to look at the teacher lounging on top of the desk. He was in a black pair of leather pants, a black vest with blue fastener straps, and a black trenchcoat draped across his body. They held in their moans and took their seats up front, making him smirk at them. "Professor?" Luna asked quietly, not wanting to interrupt him if he was deep in thought. He grinned at her and she shivered. "May I talk to you after class?"
"Of course, Miss Lovegood," he agreed happily. "I believe you can answer some questions for me as well."
She nodded quickly. "Yes, sir, I'd be more than happy to do that."
The gong rang so he put one foot up, bent at the knee and crossed over his other leg. "Are we all here?" he asked smoothly. Everyone stared at him. "As most of you know, I am Professor Armwrench. I am here to teach you Life Studies. That is a complex subject and I expect most of you to have many questions."
"Are you a poofter?" one boy blurted out.
The teacher waved a hand and the boy was a toad. "Why? Interested in my fine ass?" he asked smugly. "That is entirely another lesson, my boy." He sat up, his thighs spread and his trenchcoat flowing off the back of his desk. "Now then," he said, grinning at them. "Wherever should we start?" He looked around. "All right, I do see a potential problem. Miss Lovegood, please remove the hellhound puppy from my classroom. They always want to hump my leg and I may set him off on a growth spurt." She swallowed and sent him back to her room using a reverse summoning charm. "Very well done," he praised, giving her a long look. "I believe we should have a *long* talk later," he noted dryly. He looked at Ginny. "However, you, my dear, are quite pretty. What do you?"
"I play with unicorns presently," she said grimly.
He hummed and smirked. "Interesting. And a Weasley. You don't take after Bill at all, do you?" She snickered but shook her head. "Good. It's always better that way." He looked across the other students, counting heads. "Fine, let's set down some rules. Shall we?" He hopped off the table, standing in all his magnificence in front of them, hands on his hips. He grinned. "I am Loki. I am omnipotent. You will obey, or else be like your friend, the frog."
Luna's eyes bulged. "You're who?" she blurted. "You're a bloody myth."
He winked at her. "Am I?" He looked at the students again. "I feel very free to tell you this because you won't remember it outside of this classroom. Nor will you be able to talk about it." He glanced at the duo again, then at one girl in the back of the room. He grinned at her as well. "The last one who could was Dumbledore." He walked a step closer. "As you well know by now, there are many things I can cover. If you behave, I will cover most of them. Including sexual education lessons. But only if you're good." The boys cheered at that. "Of course, if you're not...." He smirked at them. "You may end up being the demonstration models." He grinned at the girls. "I'd never ask any of you to do that. You're ladies, every last one of you."
He looked at his students again, letting his arrogant smugness come through. "Now then, will any of you give me a bit of trouble?" They shook their heads. "Are we sure?" They nodded. "Good. Then lets get the mundane out of the way. We'll start with balancing the household accounts today. As we progress and you show how good you can be, we'll get onto more worthy and fun topics." He saw Ginny's hand shoot up. "Yes?" he asked patiently.
"If you're really Loki, sir, why do you teach here instead of being worshiped?"
"Because then my father would find out and try to tie me up again," he said simply. He grinned. "Besides, it's fun here. I like doing this for a few months a year. You students are very amusing." He sat on the edge of his desk again, his thighs again spread. "Balancing the household accounts is easy. It's a matter of simple math, addition and subtraction. You create a budget because you do not have unlimited resources. Not even the Malfoys do if they spend it on something too outrageously frivolous. Trying to buy a country would still bankrupt them."
"But they could earn money doing that," Ginny pointed out.
"Probably," he agreed. "Knowing what you have coming in and why you have things going out is what making a budget is for." He waved a hand at the board and it filled with words and numbers. "They are typical family expenses and an average income. I want you all to work on a monthly family budget based on that weekly income and those expenses. They should mostly match." He watched as everyone pulled out quills, ink, and parchment then got down to work. He watched for the more clueless students since most of them gave him more problems. Students like Ginny, who already knew how to save and how to do a budget, didn't need much help. But this class did give him a chance to find his future worshipers and mark them. That's why he was really here. To find all his people and get them to vow to him so he could protect and keep them, even as they prayed to him. He was a God, that's what they did for their people. He saw Ginny look at her paper with a frown and start to nibble on the back of her pen, so he glanced behind him. "Hmm, I inflated one of them. Sorry," he announced, fixing it. A few of the more reasonably taught students corrected their papers and looked much happier at the results they were getting. By the time he sat down to grade, he had premarked all the potential people in that class. He noticed Ginny's had a few extra expenses on it and looked at her. "These weren't part of the exercise."
"No, sir," she said, giving him a long look, "but I'm being realistic."
He looked down again and nodded. "You are," he decided. She had added extra categories for things like animal food costs, babysitting, nights on the town, and insurance. She had even corrected her math mistakes. "Well done," he praised. Too bad she wasn't to be one of his, he'd enjoy someone like her in his ranks. He looked over as the frog started to croak and waved a hand, turning him back. "You've got twenty minutes, do the assignment," he said impatiently. The boy started to scribble, letting silent tears drip down his face.
"Oh, quit it already," Luna snapped when she got tired of listening to him sniffle as he worked. "It's no worse than being an animagus or, in contrast, being like Malfoy was done and turning into a ferret. You were a toad, now you're human again, get on with your human life before *I* turn you back."
He burst out in tears and ran from the room, mumbling something about mean girls. "Nicely done," the teacher praised dryly, smirking at her. "Ten points from your house however because that's *my* fun, not yours."
"Yes, sir," she said with a small shrug and a smirk back. "It was fun though."
"Yes, I usually use it as stress relief. How many have their assignments done?" Most hands went up. "The rest of you hurry up and those who have it done, hand it in." One of the students in the back gathered them up for him and brought them up, giving him a shy smile before he went back to his seat. "Thank you, that was most helpful." He looked at the first few, grading them silently until all the papers had come in. He glanced through them, only pulling out the truly bad ones. "All right. We have a ninety-percent pass rate this class. That means next class can be a bit less boring. So I suppose that means we'll be going over rituals. Any questions?" They all shook their heads. "Good, dismissed." They ran out, and he laughed as the conversations dramatically altered once they had passed the spell on the doorway. "I told you so," he called after them. He looked at the remaining students. "Hmm, interesting that a witch practicing demonic magic would hang about with one who was dealing with unicorns."
"I *am* a Weasley," Ginny said dryly, waving a hand about. "We've got to get our oddness out somehow and since I'm not a slut like my bigger brothers, what else can I do?"
"Besides, Dawn's so much fun," Luna added for good measure. "We make a good trio."
"Really, that would be an interesting picture. Got tapes?"
Luna snickered. "Not a trio like that, sir. If we were, Ginny wouldn't be working with unicorns."
"Good point." He smirked at her. "Now, Miss Lovegood. You do realize that the more often you play with the demonic, the more you get tainted?"
"Yes, but I only play with Ethan." He raised an eyebrow so she smirked brighter. "What?" she asked innocently.
"Very well, I'll lecture you about that sort of thing later. Do not teach the others sex ed. It might get some parents upset. Again, that would be my fun," he reminded her. "Miss Weasley, tell me more about this Dawn."
"She's here?" he asked, standing up straighter. They nodded. "Truly? The Key?"
"You know her?" Luna asked.
"I watched over her in Sunnydale."
"She was adopted by Alex Dumass," Ginny said. "Xander Harris back then."
"Oh, I'm well aware of him," he said with a mild purr. "I'll be seeing him later." He put an arm around their shoulders. "Lead me to her, ladies." They walked him out, noticing that the spell didn't work on them. "It'll work next time," he promised. They giggled and led him outside, right to where Dawn was usually waiting on them. "Miss Summers," he said, stepping closer once he let the others go. She looked up and shivered, making him smile. "Yes, you know me." She took a step back. "I'm not here to harm you. I looked over you when you were in Sunnydale."
"I... you make me feel odd."
He grinned. "At one point in time I did something that bothered your energy so they made me merge with the energy matrix to stabilize you." He reached out and touched her hand gently. "You know me."
"I do." She blinked up at him. "Loki?"
He grinned and nodded. "Very good. You do have some memories." He nodded at the other two. "We're going to take a short walk. Tell her next teacher I said so." He walked her off, her hand on his arm. "How many memories do you have?"
"Not many, it's like I get flashes now and then. And somehow I'm linked into the Bane's marking system."
"One of my better ideas in recent history," he shared with a wink.
"Is Xander one of yours?"
"All cursebreakers are mine," he bragged. "Some of them are better than others. Alex is one of my best ever. Actually it's rather funny. Whenever the more powerful ones see me, they usually fall to their knees with their mouths open and make pleading noises."
"Draco would *hate* that," she said with a smirk for him.
"Yes, well, he's one of mine by default," he said happily. "I need to go mark them later, thank you for reminding me. So, do you want to be a cursebreaker and one of mine?"
"That sounded faintly dirty," she chastised.
He snorted. "Me, dirty?" he taunted.
"Good point." She grinned up at him. "I think I do. I know it's hard and nasty but then I could be with Ron."
"Yes, but it is also a very complex field," he warned. "As you will soon see if I know Alex."
"We're going to Iran for a dig on a city," she admitted, looking at the ground as they walked. "I'm joining them over the holidays."
"Good. Excellent in fact. Alexander is very thorough in his education, as his scion in the field, Bill, shows. How is Ron?"
"Good enough I guess," she said, shrugging. "I don't know how to judge that yet."
"Good point. I've noticed quite a bit of mischief seems to like him. I'll have to pop around later." He smirked at her. "For now, you will be joining my class. I have no doubt that you'd cry over missing one of Sev's classes but I'm going to be pushy about it. There is much you need to know to stay in this world, including how not to get what's known as an energy pregnancy. Which are rather nasty. Thor had one of those a few years back from sucking in too much. We nearly had clones." He shuddered. "Nasty creature, brothers."
"I've only got a sister and she's a vampire now," she offered, grinning at him. He was neat. "Are Slayers yours?"
"Strife's actually but I'm the only one who can get onto this plane anymore. Except one day once a year." He stroked her cheek. "Which you should be feeling this year. You've been awakened. You know your nature. You know your body. You know love and desire. You'll feel it this year and the blessings shall probably flow like honey around you, love." He grinned at her. "What about it? Wanna join the class?"
"Sure," she agreed happily. "Thank you for asking me, professor. I hate being so far behind. Sometimes it's like I'm teaching baby sisters."
"I know." He patted her on the back. "I nearly had a child of my own. Oh, well, I'm off to mark more of mine. Join Ginny and Luna. I want to see the three of you together. We're working on home rituals next class, things like the wedding night ritual to funnel energy to the Earth instead into the bed as a fertility spell." Her eyes went wide and he smirked. "It didn't work. He buys his, dear."
She sighed. "Won't *anyone* let me forget that I screwed up my contraceptive potion?"
"No," he said smugly. "Gotta go, love. Be there next week." He flicked his hand and left, heading to a manor house down the coast. "Ah, my sweet ones," he purred, smirking at Alex as he fell to his knees and crawled over to hug his knees. "Good boy, Alex." He looked over as Draco came in, dagger in one hand and wand in the other. "That's not needed, Mr. Dumass. Come, sit. Chat. It's a pleasant pasttime." He stared the boy down, making him shiver and back away. "Or better yet, I need to see the other two too. Bring them then come back." Draco ran out, going to get the others. He looked down at Alex, who was nuzzling him. "Enough," he said gently, knowing the boy couldn't help it. He sat down, crossing his legs. "Sit there, Alex. Let's see how the others do, shall we?" He nodded, swallowing. "Then we'll have to mark you all." He looked over as Ron stormed in, looking him over as his mouth opened and he let out a whimper. Draco came in next, still holding the dagger. "I said, put it down," he ordered, and waved a hand, making the blade land in a nearby bookcase. "Do not pull weapons around a God, boy. It's impolite. Sit. Beside your keeper," he ordered when Draco moved to a chair. "I need to see if you're fit to be marked or not." He looked over as Harry rushed in, noticing how Ron's glow got brighter to him and Harry suddenly seemed to flash onto his radar. "Well," he said smugly. "Stand together, boys." Harry moved closer to Ron, nudging him. "Don't. Touch his hand, let's see where the powers lie." He forced Harry to do so and they both ended up on their knees, panting at him. "Interesting. Draco, do the same."
"What is going on here?" Xander's father demanded. He looked at Loki and gasped. "Professor Armwrench," he moaned.
"Yes, when he was deaged, my mark left him. Plus, I never got to mark these delightful ones. It's interesting, Ron's gotten stronger since Harry walked in. Draco, be a good boy and touch your mate. It will keep him calm while I mark him." Draco did so and Xander broke out of it but not by much. "Hmm, very interesting," he purred. He snapped his fingers and they all snapped out of it. "You know who I am?"
"You're the Cursebreaker's God," Harry said quietly.
"Very good, Mr. Potter." He smiled at him. "Had I not been so...tied up, I would have done this last year. Usually I only have a year from the point of eighteen before things start to go awry and I can't mark those who are mine for protection." He slid a hand down his pants and came out with a small vial and a piece of cloth. "Draco, what I'm about to do is mark your mate as one of my priests. Will that bother you?"
"Only if you touch him," he sneered.
"I'd never dream of it. That is the normal cursebreaker's response. It varies on how strong they are. There's only been a few who were as strong as Xander. I've only had one who absolutely couldn't hold back from me when I marked them. With my mark that will lessen. Do you agree?"
"You're not touching him?" Draco demanded.
"I get more than enough of that, my dear boy," he said smugly, smirking at him. "Another very good reason to teach the young men things, wouldn't you say?" Draco swallowed and nodded as Xander's hand stroked his thigh. "That's very good, Xander. I knew I was right to protect you as much as I could in Sunnydale. Unfortunately even I was limited there." He dipped the cloth into the fluid and came over to wipe a simple stripe down each boy's foreheads, whispering in his ear. They each nodded and let him move on to the next one. Ron and Harry unclasped hands, which made them weaker, so he made them do it again, which made them glow nearly as pretty as Xander did to him. That settled it, he marked them as he did Xander, splitting it between them. They moaned and leaned forward, stealing a kiss from his fingers. "Good boys," he soothed, sitting down again. "Alex? How do you feel?" he asked smugly.
"More calm and rational," he admitted, shaking his head to clear it. "Who are you?"
He winked. "Who is over all of you, Alex?"
"Loki?" he breathed. Loki tipped his head, smiling at him. "Really?"
"Really. That's why I teach at the school. To premark all of you. Unfortunately I was busy with some hefty knots and giving a certain worm the munchies. I hear you taught in my place, Alex. Were there many to mark?"
"Two and I had them marked at the Gringott's ceremony. I even sponsored them into the marking," he said proudly.
"Good boy. Just what I'd expect in one my high ones." He patted Draco on the head again. "You're a good match for you him. I approve. Remember to stay that way. Ron, I've taken your woman into my class to instruct and protect her while you're not there. Expect her to be very happy to see you come the holidays." He stood up. "Now, what fantastic things have you found, Alex?"
"I found the link back to the stargates," he said in a silly, happy voice, grinning at him. "They found the Lost Ones."
"Oh, my," Loki said happily. "Good boy! Excellent. For that you deserve a treat."
"I am his treat," Draco said snidely.
"Of course you are, boy. Now, let's see what I can do to thrill him more. Follow," he ordered, enforcing it. Draco followed him, struggling the whole way. Once upstairs he dressed the boy up for his lover, then summoned the vibrating priest of his, turning him loose on his decorated mate. It was quite the primal coupling. He was sure a Love God somewhere was getting high off them. He strolled back down the stairs to get to know the others. They were obviously meant to be his. After all, it wasn't just anyone who could be kidnaped by a dragon.