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Ginny Potter - A Harry Potter Fanfiction Archive and Community -- Fictioneer
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HP after Hogwarts >> The Professor and His Landlady by Northumbrian

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‘Wake up, Neville,’ whispered Luna, shaking her companion by the shoulder. ‘We need to go.’

Neville opened his eyes and looked into Luna’s face. He could barely focus on her wildly staring grey eyes; she was so close that their noses were almost touching.

‘You’re in my bedroom, Luna,’ he whispered.

‘Of course I am. How else could I wake you? They’re moving, every single one of them, at least every one that we’ve tagged. They all seem to be heading towards the ancient oak. I’ll get the equipment, you get dressed.’ Luna told him.

Neville was out of bed before she had finished speaking.

He dressed quickly and was still adjusting his robes when he left his bedroom. The second he entered their workshop/living area Luna picked up the plant sprayer and began to spray him. Her own robes were already clinging wetly to her slight frame. The spray was green and unpleasant-smelling, but he lifted his arms when instructed and allowed her to completely cover him in the stuff.

Bowtruckles, they had discovered, were surprisingly sensitive to smells. Their efforts to tag the creatures had proved almost impossible until two weeks ago, when Luna had announced that she’d come up with a solution to dampen their scent.

Despite her words, Neville had been surprised to discover that his friend had been speaking literally. She had, in fact, brewed a solution which dampened their scent.

Wet and uncomfortable, but invisible to Bowtruckles, Neville followed Luna from the tent they’d been sharing for a month.

Twelve hours later, back in their temporary home, they were eating a much needed lunch and discussing titles.

‘What about “Cryptozoology or Cryptobotany? The Cryptic Life of Bowtruckles”,’ Neville suggested.

‘“Bowtruckles: Ambulant Plant or Plant-like Animal?”’ countered Luna.

Neville grinned, ‘I like that one, put it down as a possible. How are we going to write this paper? And whose name will go first?’

‘We have conclusive proof, and dozens of photographs to show that Bowtruckles have been incorrectly classified as “beasts” for centuries. Apart from his complete lack of information on Snorkacks, which is simple ignorance, this is the first real error I’ve found in Mr Scamander’s book. Bowtruckles rightly belong in your area of expertise, Neville; this is a Herbology paper, not Magical Creatures. For that reason, your name should go first, and you should write the first draft of the paper. Also, alphabetically, N comes before V,’ Luna told him.

Neville picked up a quill and carefully began to write the first draft of their dissertation. Despite the fact that they had gone out into the forest a little before midnight, and hadn’t returned until almost noon, he was wide awake. Their observations, notes and the photographs of what they had begun to call “the great Bowtruckle budding ritual” would, he knew, make their names. Most witches and wizards would neither know, nor care, of course, but the specialists, especially the British Herbological Society, would appreciate this for the groundbreaking research it was. Despite his tiredness, Neville’s mind was awash with the exciting possibilities created by their discovery.

Luna picked up Neville’s morning paper, which had been delivered while they were out, and began to read it slowly and carefully. Neville ignored her. He had almost finished the first draft when his labours were suddenly interrupted by Luna. She thrust the newspaper under his nose.

‘Stop writing,’ ordered Luna.

‘I have, Luna,’ he said. ‘I had no choice. I can’t see the parchment, because there’s a newspaper in the way.’

‘Read this,’ she said excitedly, handing him the Daily Prophet and pointing to a small headline on one of the inside pages, Hogwarts to get a new Headmistress. Neville read the short article with interest. According to the report, Minerva McGonagall was retiring at the end of the school year, in only three months’ time. Her replacement had already been named. Deputy Headmistress Pomona Sprout would be taking control of the school.

Neville’s heart leapt. He immediately realised what that meant; this, he realised was his big opportunity. He looked at his watch. It was almost four in the afternoon; if he left now he would be able to get to Hogwarts after classes, and before the evening meal.

‘Luna…’ he began.

‘You’re going to Hogwarts, aren’t you?’ she said. ‘I thought you would. Good luck, Neville. Not that you will need it, you are the ideal man for the job. I’ll take over here.’ She picked up the quill, with a wave of her wand changed the colour of the ink from black to blue, and began to go through his draft, making corrections and notations.

‘Go,’ she ordered, waving him away. ‘But you should shower, and change your robes first.’


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