Hogwarts had changed considerably over the last dozen years, Lucius reflected. He had not expected to be elevated to Headmaster when Albus retired, but apparently everyone else thought he was the best man for the job. Minerva had retired shortly after her wedding, stating that she wished to concentrate on being a parent and Albus had stepped down as Headmaster to teach Transfiguration and take over as Head of Gryffindor.
Flitwick had been promoted to Deputy. Kingsley Shacklebolt – now retired from the Auror Corps – was the new DADA teacher and Ardis Vector had become Head of Slytherin House when Severus (surprising no one) stepped down from that position in order to concentrate on teaching the upper years.
One of the new Headmaster’s first actions had been to have Professor Binns sent on to his next great adventure, and hire Percy Weasley to teach History of Magic after his release from Azkaban. He’d argued that the man had paid his debt to society. The ex-convict had been pathetically grateful for the job, and had proved to be a competent instructor.
Two years after Minerva retired, Flitwick and Poppy Pomfrey had announced that they were retiring and getting married. Lucius grumbled, groused, congratulated them, and then promoted Shacklebolt to Deputy. He’d also hired Gawain Robards – another retired Auror – to teach Charms and be Head of Ravenclaw, as he and Kingsley both felt that the Deputy needed to be independent of House affiliation. Susan Bones, now a well-qualified medi-witch, was hired to replace Poppy.
Albus and the Filches had retired the year after that, causing Lucius to wonder aloud if he’d been cursed with replacing senior staff positions every year. Despite the grumbling, he took advantage of the opportunity (as all good Slytherins should do) to rearrange things more to his liking. He hired Astoria Greengrass to act as secretary to himself and his Deputy, and to oversee the Hogwarts house elves who would now do all the cleaning that Argus used to do.
Lucius had then decided that his Deputy should concentrate on helping to run the school, and hired Nymphadora Tonks to teach DADA and be Head of Hufflepuff with Justin Finch-Fletchley as her assistant, and Zachariah Smith became the new Herbology Professor with 7th year Malcolm Bulstrode as his assistant. This left Gryffindor House without a Head until Lucius decided to promote Hermione Granger into that position.
The Hogwarts Express had been retired five years ago after an incident where a Muggle with a video camera happened to film some students going through the barrier at King’s Cross. It had taken a month for the Aurors to track down and Obliviate everyone involved.
Now students were told to be at Hogsmeade Station at 4pm on September 1st. Muggleborn students, or those who were unable to get there otherwise were provided with single-use voice-activated portkeys. Others could Apparate or Floo as they chose. At 3:30pm, five or six professors would make their way to Hogsmeade. At 4pm, the threstral-drawn carriages would arrive and start taking students to the castle and the professors would make their way through the town rounding up stragglers.
And while many things had changed, things had been relatively stable in the past few years, Lucius mused as he stood in front of the main gates ready to welcome incoming students, Thunder riding his shoulder. For the first time he could remember, all the classrooms were in use, and the dorms were crowded even with the Expansion Charms. He’d have to form a fifth House over the coming summer – or dismantle the House system entirely. There were almost two-hundred new students coming this term, and nearly three-hundred expected the year after that. No matter what he did about the House system, he definitely needed to hire more staff.
He’d instituted a zero-tolerance policy for ad hominem attacks – physical or verbal. Two suspensions and an explulsion later, the students had got the message loud and clear. It didn’t matter what you thought, but while you were at Hogwarts, you didn’t say “Mudblood” or “slimy snake”.
Lucius smiled as he saw a group of people making their way up the path from the village and recognized the old Headmaster. Albus and Minerva’s oldest daughter, Adrienne, was starting at Hogwarts today and her parents had come to see the Sorting. That was another change he’d made: the parents of new students were welcome (and encouraged) to attend the Sorting and first night feast. The school provided port-keys for parents of Muggleborn. The Potters were walking with the Dumbledores; Ron, their oldest, was a second-year Ravenclaw, and Lily, their second oldest, was starting this year. They had two other youngsters as well.
His own children were now third-years. They’d all Sorted into different Houses (Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff) and were thriving. After consideration and consulting, it was agreed that Deputy Headmaster Shacklebolt would handle any disciplinary issues with the Malfoy children (and there had been a few). This helped obviate any complaints of favoritism.
The first of the carriages pulled up, and the Filch twins disembarked. Rustin and Dustin – or Rusty and Dusty, as they preferred – were second-year Gryffindors with the stated ambition of trying to outdo the infamous Weasley twins in mischief, much to the dismay of their parents. From what Hermione had said in staff meetings last year, they were well on their way to attaining that goal too.
It was a shame, Lucius thought, that the Longbottoms had chosen to home-school their children. He wondered what they would be like – would they have their father’s legendary capabilities with plants, or would they be drawn toward charms and transfiguration like their mother? Those two would have been wonderful additions to his staff as well, but they’d graciously declined his repeated offers of employment. They’d chosen, instead, to travel the world with their children in tow – they’d spent a year in Egypt, and two in China, and were currently living in Mexico.
He glanced at his Head of Gryffindor standing next to his Potions Master, with their Familiars riding their shoulders. They’d married quietly a few years ago, after things had settled down a bit. Hermione and her two assistants taught the first through sixth years, and Severus taught the seventh years and spent his remaining time doing research. It was a bit odd how everyone had found someone special just when they needed it. If he didn’t know better, he’d suspect that someone had manipulated events.
And then Thunder meowed at him, breaking him out of his musings.