"Then suddenly all the Mirror of Atlantis showed were the reflections of me and Harry Potter," said Luna.

Fay glared jealously over at Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres.

"He doesn't remember me," said Luna.

"What a horrible life you live. I feel so sorry for you," teased Fay. She bonked Luna with her golden plate.

"There must be a perfectly supernatural explanation for your condition. We'll see what information the library has on it," said Luna.

"But the Hogwarts Library doesn't have a section on Repelling Charms. I even looked in the Restricted Section. That's what I got the second detention for," said Fay.

Luna rolled her eyes at Fay. Luna wished she had brewed a pot of Comed-Tea.

"Oh," said Fay.

There was a new teacher at the Head Table. The new teacher wore dueling armor. Otherwise, her robes followed every Hogwarts rule, standard and regulation. The witch moved slowly and steady like a turtle. A snapping turtle.

Tink, tink, tink. The Headmistress called for quiet. There were all the usual announcements and thenโ€ฆ.

"There will be no Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher this year," announced Headmistress McGonagall.

The students gasped. Luna inventoried the teachers. Nobody was missing from last year besides the handsome brave gallant Professor Lockhart. He was not afraid to die, brave oh brave Professor Lockhart.

Fay sat on Luna's right. Luna whispered to Fay, "What do you think of the new Defense Professor?"

"Did you not hear what the Headmistress just said?" said Fay.

Luna shrugged. She pointed to the High Table. "Right there. There's a new teacher between Professor Sinistra and Lady Yue. No one is missing so she must be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor" said Luna.

No one (besides Fay) wanted to sit next to Luna. Colin Creevey sat two seats Luna's left. "Who are you whispering to?" he said to Luna.

"My friend," said Luna.

Colin Creevey took a careful look of Luna as if Fay's seat was empty. "There's nobody there," he said.

Padma Patil sat to the left of Colin Creevy. "Luna has an imaginary friend," Colin reported to Padma.

Fay flicked a Brussels sprout at Colin.

"I was just kidding!" objected Colin.

Luna's imaginary friend rolled her eyes.


Luna's first Defense Against the Dark Arts class was the next morning. Luna tried to ask the other students what they thought of the new Defense Professor. Their answers were a tangle of contradictions. The students all agreed that there was no Defense Professor even though they all had Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

The Defense Professor tapped her podium.

"Hello everyone. My name is Martina Memnuela but I don't expect any of you to remember that. You may refer to me as 'the Defense Professor' even though the thoroughest defense is a preemptive offence," said Defense Professor Memnuela.

Fay raised her hand.

"Reality is precarious. The Forces of Evil work tirelessly to undermine consensus reality. Most of you will live your lives in blissful indifference of the complex systems protecting you. A few of you, the Best of the Best, will join the first, last and only line of defense against existential threats. The security we provide is what Defense is about. Everything else is just paperwork," said the Defense Professor.

Xena Smith raised her hand. Professor Memnuela called on her.

"Are you an Unspeakable?" said Xena.

"I can neither confirm nor deny whether I work for the Department of Mysteries," said Professor Memnuela, "But I hope someday to introduce a few of you to the secrets contained therein."

There were scattered chuckles. Fay's hand was still up. The Defense Professor continued to not respond to it.

"I have a question," Fay said.

"Wait until you are called upon," said Professor Memnuela.

"You're never going to call on me," Fay said.

"Five points from Ravenclaw," said Professor Memnuela.

"I am asking a question. Asking questions is what Ravenclaws are supposed to do," said Fay.

"Detention," said Professor Memnuela.

Fay rolled her eyes. She passed a note to Luna. ๐“ฆ๐“ฑ๐”‚ ๐“ฌ๐“ช๐“ท ๐”€๐“ฎ ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ถ๐“ซ๐“ฎ๐“ป ๐“ฑ๐“ฎ๐“ป ๐“ท๐“ช๐“ถ๐“ฎ ๐”€๐“ฑ๐“ฎ๐“ท ๐“ท๐“ธ๐“ซ๐“ธ๐“ญ๐”‚ ๐“ฎ๐“ต๐“ผ๐“ฎ ๐“ฌ๐“ช๐“ท? Luna raised her hand. Professor Memuela called on Luna immediately. Luna almost asked Fay's question before she realized that the Defense Professor was a dangerous person, possibly evil, and that it would be imprudent for Luna to reveal that she knew the true name of an Unspeakable who had teachers' privileges to Hogwarts' wards.

"Did you have a question?" said Professor Memnuela.

Luna blurted the second thing off the top of her mind. "Where can I find information about Repelling Charms?" said Luna.

Professor Memnuela paused as if composing a riddle. Luna deduced that the Unspeakable had an answer memorized and was just pretending to deliver it impromptu. It was a trap. Luna resolved to ignore the Unspeakable's misdirection.

"When you stare into the void, the void stares back," said the Unspeakable.

๐“ข๐“ธ๐“ป๐“ป๐”‚. ๐“˜'๐“ต๐“ต ๐“ฎ๐”๐“น๐“ต๐“ช๐“ฒ๐“ท ๐“ต๐“ช๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ป. Luna wrote to Fay. Professor Memnuela noticed Luna writing a note to herself. That got the Unspeakable's attention. The Unspeakable approached her slowly. Luna averted her eyes.

"Are you hiding something, young one?" said the Unspeakable.

Luna's eyes darted around the room, looking anywhere but at the Unspeakable's face. This would be easier if she were wearing her Spectrespecs.

"Look at me or I will compel you to do so," said the Unspeakable.

Luna stared defiantly into the Unspeakable's eyes. The Legilimens' fingers held Luna's eyelids open. There would be no official recourse. There was no Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor this year.

"Wow. I am impressed. I have never seen such a perfect Occlumens so young," said Professor Memnuela.

"I'm not an Occlumens," said Luna.

"You sincerely expect me to believe that Wrackspurts and Crumple-Horned Snorkacks are real, that you discovered the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw and that you joined forces with the handsome Gilderoy Lockhart to face down You-Know-Who?" said Professor Memnuela.

Luna had gotten distracted by what she thought might be Wrackspurts floating in an upper corner of the classroom.

"Miss Lovegood?" said Professor Memnuela.

"No. Professor Lockhart and I joined forces with You-Know-Who too. The three of us worked together," said Luna. The Wrackspurt slipped out of her ear.

"You are an impressive actor. I admire your imagination, your sense of humor and your dedication to the role. That persistence will serve you well. But, please. I have a serious class to teach," said Professor Memnuela.

Luna was too stunned to retort. She sat in her chair until long after everyone else except Fay had left the classroom.

46

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