Full of Surprises

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Heeeeeey, back at it again! And in a reasonable time frame too! Kinda an information chapter, but I hope you enjoy it!!!

All I wanted to do was bang my head against my desk. I was beyond frustrated and hadn't been this stressed since the Promised Day. Nothing could ever equate to the stress and anxiety of that day, but life after the Promised Day had been pretty boring, a good kind of boring. This was anything but fun. The end of the school year couldn't come soon enough.

I didn't even know why I was doing this anymore. I would have chosen just staying in the background, being security for the Potter boy instead of his damn teaching position any day of the year.

Teaching alchemy to these magical students was proving harder than I thought it would be. I knew it was going to be a difficult assignment because we came from completely different worlds and they knew next to nothing about science and I nearly nothing about magic. But, it was proving even worse than I could ever imagine. They argued with the idea of equivalent exchange and didn't like the idea of learning the entire Periodic Table of Elements. I gave them an entire speech about why knowing the exact chemical compound of the object you were trying to transmute, but for most of them, it went in one ear and out the other.

Even Hermione was having issues. She just couldn't accept Equivalent Exchange, and she would constantly challenge me during class. I knew she was smart and understood science, but she just wouldn't give up magic for one class. I was this close to giving her detention if she questioned my knowledge. She was almost worse than Malfoy. Almost, but not quite.

That boy had been even worse since the incident with Harry and Goblet of Fire. Many of the students didn't believe Harry deserved to be chosen and were harassing him for it. Many students now wore pins that said "Support Cedric Digory - The Real Hogwarts Champion" that could easily be switched to say "Potter Stinks." At the head of this was Draco Malfoy. He promoted the pins and many of the Slytherins and Hufflepuff houses wore them.

Malfoy was relentless in his teasing and mocking. Unfortunately for him, I had a stronger will. And I had no tolerance for bullies. I had given him detention every night for a week and taken 100 points from Slytherin. Every time I saw a pin, I confiscated it and took ten points from their house.

Every night for his detention, Malfoy came in and scrubbed every inch of my classroom clean while I sat at my desk doing research, writing letters to my family, or simply reading a book. At first, Draco wouldn't shut his mouth, but that quickly stopped when he realized I was not going to respond. Mustang had even yelled at him for his attitude from one of the paintings. That had shut him up pretty quickly.

Not to mention, my Gryffindor and Slytherin fourth-year class was tense, to say the least. Harry and Ron were cold toward each other and Hermione had been the poor liaison between the two boys. She was cracking, watching her two best friends fight. I was very tempted to make them stay after class and force them to work it out, but I didn't feel like it was either my place, no matter how annoying the icy air between the two boys was.

I wished Al was here to help; he would be so much better at this than me.

Truly, there were only two promising students; Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom. They were the only ones that seemed to fully accept the law of equivalent exchange, and the only ones I could see being able to transmute. Luna looked to be just having an easy time with just about everything. We hadn't gotten that far into alchemy yet, but she had memoried the entire Periodic Table in the course of one class period. I could see her being an all-around great alchemist.

Neville, on the other hand, seemed to be taking an interest in biological alchemy. No, we weren't talking human transmutation, but he wanted to look further into plants. Again, we hadn't even gotten into specialization yet, I really didn't think we would have time to get that far, but Neville wasn't curious, and I wasn't going to deny him that. It had led to a nice conversation between the boy and me after class one day.

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