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The Grind (And Helping Heather Potter) [Complete]

"Why are these Witches so thirsty? I just want to Grind!" HP AU, Hogwarts starts at 13, Fem Harry, Harem, Gamer OC (not SI), Nerdy/Scholarly/Bookworm MC, Future Incest, Harem-Comedy A typical, arrogant SI Gamer dies without fanfare. His System moves on, finding a new host. Native to the universe and without out-of-context knowledge, Atlas White, Hogwarts' newest Assistant Professor, is chosen to explore this new, seemingly magical, phenomenon. Chapters are 3k-5k+ words long and should be coming out ~twice per week Early chapters (~215k words!) are available at my Pat reon.com/dryskies_btb

Daddy · Book&Literature
Not enough ratings
53 Chs

3: Interview and Re-Introductions

I appeared in a grand office, sitting in front of a desk that wouldn't have been out of place in a museum. Of course, the same could be said about the man sitting behind the desk. Thankfully, the portkey dropped me in a plush chair instead of dumping me onto the floor.

"My, my," Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he spoke. "Eager, aren't we, Mr. White? Such an ironic name considering your family. Thankfully one of your father's less harmful pranks. One would have thought your mother would have protested due to pride in their blood and name… but I suppose they were both very different people back then. It's a shame they had to hide you from the rest of their family. If you were born a generation earlier, you would have been lauded with greatness for being born with such… pure… blood…"

"Ah, forgive an old man his rambles, Atlas," Dumbledore smiled genially, hiding a wince at something he'd said. "It is wonderful to see you so soon."

I didn't catch most of that because I was still reeling from the sudden, accidental portkey. I was still blinking the lights of portkey travel out of my eyes and trying to reconcile the change in my surroundings. All I understood was 'forgive an old man his rambles' and everything after that. Whatever Dumbledore had said before was lost on me…

Something else grabbed my attention once the portkey sickness had faded. A text box from the System hung over Dumbledore's head.

< Observe >

< Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore >

< Title: Man of Too Many Names >

< Combat Skill (T7) >

< Magic Skill (T8) >

< Social Skill (T8) >

< Creation Skill (T8) >

< Perception Roll Passed! Albus Dumbledore is a Man of Great Power, Wisdom, and Influence. His Past Weighs Heavily on His Mind. He Rather Enjoys Being Eccentric and Ridiculous, Sometimes to the Point of Nonesense. He's Still Waiting for Someone to Eventually Call Him on His Bullshit… >

"Uh… sorry for dropping in unannounced?" I tried, at a loss for any other words thanks to my own foolishness and the Observe message from the system.

"No need to apologize, Atlas," Dumbledore easily forgave me. "As I said in my letter, I am willing to make exceptions if your need for housing and security is dire."

"You weren't… busy?" I asked.

"Nothing that couldn't be put off until later," Dumbledore said, demonstrating masterful control of his magic by clearing his desk with a wave of his hand. "I dare say you are saving me from writing even more droll letters in preparation for this summer's Wizengamot session. Truly, the duties of power are a cruel bore… Do be sure to remember that bit of advice for the future, Atlas."

I chuckled sheepishly, "I don't think I'll ever be in a position of power like yours, Sir."

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as an almost knowing smile spread across his face, "You may just be surprised, Atlas… And, please, call me Albus. You are just as much a peer to me as any other adult Wizard now that you've graduated."

"So… not much of a peer at all?" I deadpanned before my mind caught up to my mouth.

As I was cursing my low Social Skills, Dumbledore just chuckled, "I can see how you would see it that way. So many others do… To the point that it gets rather vexing… But I truly don't see it that way. I would prefer if you would consider treating me as you would anyone else. Perhaps as a respected mentor figure at the most… if you must."

I shifted awkwardly in my seat, feeling like the weight of the world was being brought down upon my shoulders by the gaze of the man across from me, "Why are you telling me this, Si-… Albus…"

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled for the third time — the second that I saw, "Call it something of a hunch. I have a feeling that we will work together on a higher playing field soon enough… And it would be ever-so refreshing to have someone there who does not worship or fear the ground I walk upon. Even my closest friends treat me with a certain reverence that while appreciated, does weigh so heavily when it is constant. Perhaps I am just now confronting that problem directly, hmm?"

"Sir-… Albus. I'm just a Mud-… Muggle-born. I'd have to do something truly extraordinary to be accepted into the same circles as you…" I wasn't. According to the System at least. But there was no way Dumbledore could have known that… right?

Dumbledore still smiled that knowing smile, "Then I suppose I should watch the Prophet closely for news of your extraordinary achievement, yes?"

I decided silence was a virtue in this situation. I didn't want to spit in the face of Dumbledore's unexpected, and frankly baffling, faith in me. But I also didn't expect I'd be living up to that faith anytime soon. Or making my way into the Wizengamot as Dumbledore had hinted. I mean, what were the odds either of my unknown, absent Pure-Blood parents had a familial seat that they were willing to pass down to me, the son they seemingly abandoned?

"Ah, I seem to have gone off on a tangent," Dumbledore said as if just realizing it. "My apologies, Atlas. Shall we move onto the matter you came here so eagerly for?"

"Gladly," I nodded, not catching the friendly jab sent my way.

"Excellent. Now, as per my reply, I am more than happy to house and accommodate you for the duration of your Masteries. I feel it is my duty to help those who are willing to pursue education. The only part in question is your employment as an assistant professor here at Hogwarts," Dumbledore spieled.

"Tell me, Atlas, do you have any experience with teaching?" Dumbledore asked.

I took a breath to fortify myself, trying to settle my nerves into something productive, "I do. I took up tutoring during my sixth year and I think I was successful…? I mean, I received plenty of glowing reviews about my knowledge and my teaching skills. My other social skills… well, I heard what few rumors there were about me."

Dumbledore hummed, "Hmm, I wouldn't pay those any mind. You seem like a fine young man to me. Most agreeable to speak with and not nearly as intimidated by me as most your age."

Despite myself, I found I was suppressing a bit of a blush, "It's not what the rumors said… Albus… It's more about the lack of them altogether…"

"Ah…" Dumbledore nodded sagely. "Yes, I can see how that would have an impact on the impressionable insecurity of youth. May I let you in on a secret, Atlas?"

"Yes, Si-… Albus," I still found myself getting caught up with being on a first-name basis with my former Headmaster.

Dumbledore smiled conspiratorially, "I was not the most popular boy in school either. I did not truly blossom and come into my own until after I had graduated. I would not worry too much on that front. We all walk unique paths through life. There is nothing wrong with that."

"I-… Thank you, Albus. I'll try to take that advice to heart…"

Dumbledore's words struck surprisingly deep. Especially since I'd just had a new 'path' unlocked for me by the System. And having Albus Dumbledore himself share something about his childhood with me was… well, it was a heady feeling. He looked so happy to be able to share something so simple and for a moment, I thought I saw just how much extraordinary power and fame had isolated the man from everyone else.

Even after the moment passed, Dumbledore's smile kept the simple joy of sharing a piece of his life with me, "Very good. Now, how would you describe your temperament? In your own words, if you please…"

That was a tougher question and I gave it the appropriate amount of thought before speaking, "… Calm. Like a clear night under the moonlight. Hardworking… Focused and determined. And perhaps I also bear some darker tendencies that I haven't explored yet? A possessiveness for what I see as mine. A vindictiveness for if-… when I am wronged. Quite a bit of pent-up frustration with how the Wizarding World operates. But then again, the night is naturally darker than the day…"

I stopped myself, sheepishly realizing I got kind of carried away with my introspection, "Ah, that was a bit pretentious, wasn't it?"

Dumbledore waved off my awkwardness, "It is fine, Atlas. I asked for your own words after all. Those darker tendencies are a bit concerning but I cannot fault you for feeling that way. Nor for being honest with me about them. And I trust you will find a way to channel them productively?"

A songlike trill from the corner of the room made me jump slightly. Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix, made himself known for the first time during my visit. His song wasn't uncomfortable for me but it wasn't the uplifting feeling I was expecting either. To my magic, it felt more like a soothing balm for the twisted, broken bits and a diametrically opposed ally to the darkness.

Dumbledore blinked in surprise, "Truly, Fawkes?"

Another trilled note answered him.

The twinkle in Dumbledore's eye returned, "Well, you continue to surprise me, Atlas. Fawkes seems to be vouching for you, something he does not do lightly. He sees the darkness in you for what it is. Not a shadow of some personal flaw or corruption but a natural state of being for your magic. We all have our natural leanings but it is what we do that truly defines us… Do not forget that, Atlas."

"Of course, Albus. I'll keep that in mind."

He smiled and pride filled me for a moment. I wasn't a stranger to earning the approval of teachers but something about Dumbledore made that approval so much more potent. Maybe it was the fact that he was who he was, a figure of such Influence and Notoriety that he made the Queen look dull in comparison. Maybe it was because he wanted me to treat him like a normal person and seemed to be extending the same courtesy to me himself. Either way, it was like a drug to my sense of self.

Seemingly ignorant of the rush of pride that filled me, Dumbledore continued with the interview, "What subjects do you feel comfortable teaching here at Hogwarts?"

"I'm willing to assist with many of the subjects I am proficient in. I would prefer to avoid Potions, History of Magic, and Divination," I said with a slight wince. "Not in the least because I do not believe my presence would be appreciated in those classes.

"But classes like Astronomy, Charms, DADA, Transfiguration, Arithmancy, and Ancient Runes would be my first choices. Other than assisting with the professors' duties, I imagined myself as a sort of in-house tutor for Hogwarts. Students could come to me for help without feeling as if they are bothering their busy professors."

"That will be a challenging schedule to keep," Dumbledore cautioned.

I replied with a firm voice, "I can handle it. Besides, my presence will not always be required in every single one of those classes. I am willing to be used as a fill-gap wherever I am needed."

Dumbledore smiled, "I will take that into consideration, Atlas. Why, I think the concept of you being an in-house tutor is a wonderful idea! I'm sure Professor McGonagall will be over the moon that someone is willing to take on a portion of her workload. She's a very busy woman these days and I do find myself worrying for her as a colleague and friend…"

He clapped his hands together lightly, "I think it is safe to say my curiosity is sated. Mr. Atlas White, I would like to offer you a job as Hogwarts' newest Assistant Professor. You will be the first to hold the position in-… My, nearly 15 years now… Time does fly, doesn't it?"

Relief almost settled over my heart but there was one last thing I needed to ask, "Si-… Albus. Would it be amiss for me to ask about my future salary?"

My question received a commiserating nod from Dumbledore, "Ah, yes, an understandable concern, Atlas. If I may ask, is your financial situation truly so pressing?"

"I am, quite literally, broke, Albus," I stated bluntly. "Penniless. My last Sickle was spent sending you my previous letter. If you had not responded to my request as you did, I would have been homeless by the end of the week. The current job market is not kind to Muggle-borns."

To his credit, Dumbledore looked suitably stunned by that news, "I had not realized that the climate of the Wizarding World had deteriorated to such a state. For a graduate of my school to feel as if they have no future prospects… For them to be brought to such dire straits…? Unacceptable."

"To be fair, the blame for my situation falls partially on my shoulders," I admitted, shrugging. "I was not the wisest with the money I earned through tutoring. I simply couldn't resist the siren's call of mail order knowledge… But even if I was frugal with that money, it would have only prolonged the inevitable. No matter my qualifications, finding a job so quickly is practically impossible. The fact is, Albus, that Britain is actively hostile to Muggle-borns."

Dumbledore was visibly incensed by the thought. He knew there was truth and validity to my point of view on the state of Wizarding Britain. It had been nearly 100 years since he'd been in a situation even remotely similar to mine. Even the typically stagnate Wizarding World was bound to change drastically in that time.

His magic filled the room, rolling off him in tightly controlled waves. It formed an aura around him that presented itself as an almost visible halo of power. I was left in awe, not just of the power I felt but also of the control Dumbledore wielded. A beautiful trill from Fawkes calmed the room before I could get more than a taste of Dumbledore's magic.

Dumbledore let out a heavy sigh, "Indulge me if you will, Atlas… What would you have done had I not agreed to your request for aid?"

I gave it some thought, "… I would have been forced to try and return to the Muggle world. Probably to lackluster results. After more than seven years in the Wizarding World, that world is almost just as foreign to me as magic was at first. That, or leave Britain entirely. I'm sure countless other Muggle-borns have been driven to that same choice."

"I fear you are all too correct in that regard, Atlas… It pains me to see Britain driving away its future. Thankfully, I am a man with the power to do something about that." Dumbledore intoned seriously. "But that is for later. For now, we should get back to the matter of your compensation."

"I agree," I said, perhaps too quickly if Dumbledore's chuckles were anything to go off of. "Er, no offense intended, Albus. I would just rather not be in such a desperate place financially…"

"No, no, I completely understand, Atlas," Dumbledore said, waving off my potentially impolite eagerness. "I am willing to compensate you with 100 Galleons a month-…"

Before I could jump on the offer like the desperately broke, recent graduate I was, Dumbledore continued, "Of course, that is only for the duration of the summer break. Once school starts once again and your time is in greater demand, I am willing to raise that number. Perhaps 250-275 Galleons per month?"

I gaped at him, "I-I… Uh, yes…? That's so much more than I was expecting. Where do I sign?"

Dumbledore smiled genially at me, "We'll work out a contract at a later date. For now, I believe you might want to move into your room here in the castle. I'll give you a portkey that will take you back to the Alley and return you here as well."

I tried my best to play it cool while Dumbledore made the portkey out of a knickknack he had lying around. That was much harder than it appeared. I was practically vibrating with excitement on the inside. Not only was my immediate future secured with this position but I would also have access to the Hogwarts library and some of the finest magical minds in Britain. I could already see the Grind opening up before me.

I thanked Dumbledore again, accepted the portkey, and made to leave, only to be momentarily stopped by Dumbledore's parting words, "And, Atlas? Welcome back to Hogwarts. It's as if you hardly left…"

< +3 Persuasion, +1 Negotiation, +4 Notoriety, and +2 Influence for Closing the Deal >

< Persuasion 9+3=12/100, Negotiation 8+1=9/100, Notoriety 2+4=6/100, Influence 1+2=3/100 >

< Perk Unlocked: Hogwarts Assistant Professor >

< +1 to Notoriety and Influence Within the Halls of Hogwarts, 30% Bonus to Teaching XP, A Place for Your Broke-Ass to Stay… >

The smile never left my face as I went about collecting what little things I had from my rented room. Even the prospect of working with Professor Snape couldn't kill my good mood. In what had to be record time, I was packed and back at Hogwarts. Dumbledore had one of the House Elves show me to my new quarters.

My room was nothing to write home about but at the same time, it was the most beautiful room I'd ever seen. It was mine. It was my salvation and I'd never been happier to see dusty furniture and drab stone walls.

Shadow, having hitched a ride on my shoulder and surprisingly not complaining about the portkey trip, hopped down and went to explore. Still smiling like a madman, I transfigured a catflap into the door of my room. She'd like that. She'd never had free reign of Hogwarts, even when I was still a student here.

I took my trunk out of my pocket and enlarged it again. Then began the process of unpacking and making this room — mine — into something I could feel comfortable living in for an indeterminate amount of time.

Grand sweeps of my wand cleaned the place of dust. A decently large window — tall, not wide — was set into the wall opposite the room's door. I took pleasure in swinging it open to let in fresh air. With another absent wave of my wand, book after book flew out of my trunk to fill one of several bookshelves in the room. My entire collection barely filled one of the massive bookshelves. There was still so much room for more knowledge!

Then the real magic started. The bed against one wall was stripped and remade, as well as transfigured to be less stuffy. I couldn't stand the bed curtains that were so common in Hogwarts. During my fifth year, it got to the point that I found a couple of obscure spells to emulate the curtains' effect of keeping dust out and heat in without the poster bed aesthetic.

On the opposite side of the room, the writer's desk was moved in between two bookshelves. The chair attached to it was transfigured to perfectly fit me. The other chairs in the room were basically discarded outright, the stiff, impractical things they were. In their place, I transfigured a pair of Muggle Lazy Boys. Owning one of those had always been a little dream of mine in the orphanage and magic made all things possible.

By the time I was finished, the room was recognizable but changed drastically. The Lazy Boys and the non-poster bed made the room look much more modern than it really was. And I was still riding the high of everything I'd accomplished today.

A quick Tempus to check the time and an emptiness in my stomach prompted me to go in search of food. I naturally made my way down to the Great Hall, not even thinking about where I was going. My body just followed nearly seven years of muscle memory that hadn't faded yet.

Dumbledore and company were already present when I entered the Hall and Dumbledore stood to seemingly announce my arrival, "There he is, the man of the hour! Everyone, I'd like you to meet Hogwarts' newest Assistant Professor, Atlas White. I'm sure you all remember him. It hasn't even been a week since he graduated after all."

Dumbledore finished his little speech with a chuckle and motioned for me to come to their table. The Great Hall had been emptied of the usual five tables — four for the Houses and one for the staff. Instead, it appeared that the staff table had been moved down into the center of the room, turned, and shrunk to present a more welcoming decor.

Dumbledore sat at the head of the table, opposite the doors of the Great Hall. McGonagall sat on his left, giving me a small, welcoming smile now that I was something of a peer. Snape sat on Dumbledore's right. He didn't even react to my presence other than with a glance.

Professor Flitwick, my former Head of House, looked surprised but absolutely delighted to see me again. I returned the joyful smile he gave me. To be honest, it was good to see him again as well. Professor Sprout was seemingly absent, along with most of the elective teachers. The only other two Professors at the table were Hagrid and Septima Vector. I received a jolly wave and a stern smile from them respectively.

I was directed to sit and ended up seated next to Professor Vector. Other than me, she was the youngest at the table by far. I'd taken her Arithmancy class up until NEWT level and my third year at Hogwarts was the first she started teaching. She'd never mentioned her age, presenting a strict, no-nonsense front to her students, but she couldn't have been more than seven years older than me.

She was also gorgeous. I wasn't blind to that fact. Or the appeal of beautiful women in general. I'd just never found the time or opportunity to explore that side of the Human experience. I was typically interested in… more productive things. For lack of a better word. Like learning a new spell or mastering an old one.

Even now, I only noticed Professor Vector's beauty in a passive sense. Black hair, so dark it was almost violet, tumbled down her shoulders. Round glasses framed an almost artistically crafted face. Plump pink lips seemed set in a perpetually pursed state (as if she was begging to be kissed, some deeply hidden part of my mind whispered). Her robes paradoxically concealed everything and hugged her body just so as to hint at what lay beneath.

There was also a slight rosiness to her cheeks when I sat down next to her. That was easy enough to dismiss as a trick of my eyes though.

Once I was seated, Dumbledore spoke again, "Now that our newest member is here, we may eat."

"What would you have done if I never showed up? Or if I sated my appetite in the kitchens or by House-Elf-express?" I immediately kicked myself mentally after the somewhat snarky question left my mouth. And at my side, it almost sounded like Professor Vector stifled a giggle with a cough.

"Well, I suppose we would have gone hungry, Atlas," Dumbledore replied goodnaturedly, his eyes twinkling with amusement.

I breathed a sigh of relief that no one took offense to my chronic foot-in-mouth disease. Professor Vector gave me a commiserating look as if she acutely understood my pain. Dumbledore raised his hands to clap and summon the food onto the table via, as I'd so elegantly put it, House-Elf-express.

He stopped midway through his clapping motion, "Ah, yes, before we begin, I do have one more announcement concerning the coming school year. This year, Hogwarts will have the pleasure of hosting the Triwizard Tournament!"

The only one who really showed any sort of reaction was Professor Flitwick. Snape and McGonagall seemed to already know about the tournament. Hagrid just looked confused. And Vector and I seemed to share the same sort of detached apathy toward what the Wizarding World considered 'good entertainment'.

Dumbledore still chuckled to himself, seemingly ignoring the lackluster reaction his announcement got, "Yes, yes, it is quite exciting. We will be hosting two other schools for the duration of the tournament — the Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Also, certain accommodations will have to be made for the tournament — I'm sorry, Minerva, but Quidditch will be canceled this year."

That did get a reaction out of McGonagall but only a small huff. Dumbledore continued, "Now, I do not necessarily approve of this tournament… At least, not completely. But we will make the best of a poor situation and do everything we can to ensure the safety of our students — both those competing and those merely watching.

"Please keep that in mind. The safety of our students is paramount. I shall personally see that every precaution is taken to prevent loss of life. If the worst happens regardless, I will be having… words… with the Ministry and the tournament's organizers…"

I found out something just then. Very few things scared me like the prospect of an angry Dumbledore. Even the slight frown on his face as he referenced the worst happening sent shivers of danger down my spine. Thankfully, his displeasure wasn't directed at me. And hopefully, it never would be.

With his announcement made, Dumbledore clapped his hands and dinner began. I was content to eat in silence, taking in the light conversation that filled the rest of the table.

The news of the Triwizard tournament coming to Hogwarts and the very real possibility of a student dying in the coming year had finally managed to put a damper on the events of today for me. Only now were the implications of my new position setting in.

Hogwarts could never be called a 'safe' school, even more so when it came to the previous three years. And as part of the school's staff, I was now one of the most likely to be pulled into whatever danger the school would face in the coming year — read: Triwizard Tournament — after only the Girl-Who-Lived, her friends, and the rest of the Hogwarts staff.

Surprisingly, that thought didn't trigger my anxiety as I thought it would. In fact, a deeply repressed part of me reveled in the opportunity. I'd had too many 'safe' years at Hogwarts. Perhaps it was time for me to get in on the action. If nothing else, it would prove to be wonderful additional motivation for the Grind.

While I was lost in thought, I obviously missed Professor Vector seemingly battling with something internally. She was fidgeting in her seat — something I saw out of the corner of my eye but mostly ignored — and kept glancing at me. There was also a light dusting of color on her porcelain cheeks. A clearer sign of awkwardness and social anxiety and maybe something more, there had never been. So, of course, it went entirely over my head.

"A-Atlas…?" Professor Vector stuttered over my name slightly before she cleared her throat, the stern mask she usually wore in class falling over her face.

"Yes, Professor Vector?" I replied politely, pulling myself from my thoughts.

The sudden flare of color on her face was, again, unintentionally ignored by me, "I am no longer your Professor, Atlas. Please, call me Septima. To be honest, I was ever-so-slightly concerned my classes would be duller for your graduation. You've been my favorite student for the past two years now… Not many others come close to the enthusiasm or motivation you tackled my subject with. It's… w-wonderful to see you again so soon. And to be working together now, at that."

I allowed myself a self-deprecating smile, "I found that this position was probably my only option after graduating. Britain is… not kind to Wizards like me. Thankfully, this was also the best outcome I could've hoped for."

"I agree," Septima nodded. "Perhaps you would be interested in… assisting me now that you are an Assistant Professor…? I-In class!"

I smiled at her, completely missing the innuendo in her words, "It would be my pleasure. Though, I doubt it will be a full-time arrangement… With the fact that I will be working toward two Masteries, I have a feeling that my future duties will stretch my attention thin."

"Oh?" Septima perked up at the familiar topic of education. "Would one of those Masteries happen to be in the field of Arithmancy?"

I shook my head somewhat sheepishly, "Not for the moment. Perhaps in the future, once I've finished with Charms and Transfiguration. I wouldn't want you to get the idea that I don't appreciate your subject, Septima."

I said the last with an innocent chuckle but for some reason, my words brought that pleasant, rosy color back to Septima's cheeks. I puzzled over that slightly but no answers presented themselves to my logical mind. We fell into an almost awkward silence as Septima forced her blush to fade and she seemingly ignored me for a moment.

Not knowing what to say to break the silence, my mind went back to something I'd thought earlier today. Surprisingly enough, Septima was twiddling with her fingers as if she was struggling with something to say just like me. It certainly didn't fit the strict and confident way she held herself when she was teaching.

Before I realized it, I was blurting out something unrelated to our previous conversation, "I've been meaning to get into studying Rituals lately. I'd really like to know how they work… What makes them tick, ya know? I've run into a bit of an obstacle though… I can't seem to find any credible books on the subject."

A thankful look crossed over Septima's face and even though my statement didn't truly continue the conversation, she happily picked up on the familiar conversational ground I'd laid.

"And you likely won't in Britain. The Ministry is not a fan of Ritual Magic. They heavily censor any information on the subject not in family libraries. Even Hogwarts is not immune to their reach. Arithmancy is an important part of Rituals, though, and I have a few books from America that you might find helpful. I'd be more than willing to lend them to you. Or… maybe you could pick my brain yourself…?"

"If you'll let me," I agreed readily.

"Gladly," An exuberant smile spread across Septima's face. "Now, there are a few main elements of Arithmancy that are important to Rituals and Ritual Magic. One is, of course, Pythagoras' Equation for Magical Proportions. I'm sure you remember it from your OWL classes with me but when applied to Rituals, the Equation almost takes on a life of its own! Then there is a wide variety of symbolism to keep in mind when constructing or deconstructing a Ritual. Sacred shapes, magically powerful numbers, etc. And this is where the fun begins-…"

Septima quickly fell into lecture mode. It was good to see her in her element. I didn't know why she seemed so tense but she was relaxing more and more as she talked about the Arithmancy behind Ritual Magic. I listened, enthralled as I always was by her teaching, politely interjecting here and there with questions so she was sure I was listening.

The rest of dinner passed rather quickly as Septima lectured and waxed on about the beauties of Arithmancy and magical math. Even after the rest of the professors finished and vacated the table, Septima and I remained behind to continue our conversation. Truly, I couldn't think of a better way to spend an evening…

< +1 to Magical Theory for Attaining a Solid Basis in the Workings of Rituals >

< Magical Theory 55+1=56/100 >

< +1 to Seduction for Making the Wallflower Open Up >

< Seduction 23+1=24/100 >

Huh, I wonder what that was about…