"That's Martha's brother Dickon, conjuring with that stick of his." Ben Weatherstaff, the Secret Garden – the Broadway Script
Dickon Sowerby tucked his wand away, his hand now free to hold the meat out to the hippogriff. Even as his eyes were on Greywing, his attention was on the group of students that clustered around. "You have to bow, look them straight in the eye."
"Why look 'em in the eye, Professor Sowerby?" Rubeus Hagrid asked the question that everyone else seemed to be keeping behind their teeth.
Dickon felt a small smile curl his lips even as Greywing bowed in return. "If you lower your eyes they believe that you're subservient to them, if you don't bow, you don't respect them and are challenging them. If you do both, so show that you believe that you are equals and can respect them."
Tossing the bit of meat to the hippogriff, he walked over to his friend and scratched under his feathers before facing his class. "Who would like to try?"
It was no surprise to anyone that it was Hagrid who rushed to be the first in line.
Dickon sat near the lake, his crow sitting quietly on his shoulder.
Albus shook his head just a bit and smiled. Even in their school days you never saw Dickons without a crow. A movement near the other Professor's foot made Albus check to see what other critters were hovering around his friend, for that was a normal occurrence as well. If you ever needed an orphaned creature nurtured, point Dickon at them and they will be taken care of. Settling next to the man, he hoped that this held true with people as well as animal.
"Albus, what brings you out to the Lake?" Dickon watched as the kneazle pounced on a bug.
In a quiet tone, Albus asked, "You've heard about Hagrid, right?"
Dickon nodded. "An Acromantula couldn't have caused that death. There's no physical way. She wasn't sucked dry, there's no web, and the critter was just too little if the memory is to be believed."
Albus sighed. "He's to be expelled from the school. I was wondering, since you were planning on retiring, if you would..."
Dickon ran a hand through the crow's feathers. "I'll take him in when he gets out. He has a touch with the animals and is smart enough to learn them well. Mayhap gain as much as a Mastery on the subject as he can without a wand."
Hagrid knocked on the Headmaster's office door.
"Come in, Hagrid." Albus maintained the twinkle in his eye by sheer will.
"Sir," Hagrid crossed the room, his hands in his pockets so as not to hit anything. "I heard that Wiltrot's retiring and that no one is puttin' in fer the Herbology position."
Albus nodded, it was one of the two positions that he was currently having issues filling. "Don't worry Rubeus, I will fill the slot."
"I was jus' thinkin' that yeh might can ask Dickon Sowerby to fill it until someone took it up. School starts in two weeks, it can' hurt ter ask."
Albus smiled with just a hint of relief. Dickon was good at Herbology, had just as much affiliation with plants as he did with animals. "I'll owl him right now. Thank you for the suggestion, my boy."
Albus received his answer before the end of the next day, in the form of a black crow soaring across Hogwarts' lawn above an man's head.
Arthur Weasley pushed his red hair out of his eyes before staring again. Surely there wasn't a crow at the Head Table. The black bird had not vanished. The short gray haired man sitting in the seat was feeding the bird and talking with Professor McGonagall. Turning to his table mates, he saw that they were staring at the same thing. "I wonder if he is here to teach the Care of Magical Creatures' class?"
"Nah, Kettleburn is still here."
The table erupted in speculation until Dumbledore stood up.
Albus looked over the tables before he started speaking. "This year brings us new beginnings and old friends." Smiling he gestured to the new Defense Professor. "Professor Darian Grind will be our new Defense Against Dark Art's Professor." The students and professors clapped politely.
"And Professor Dickon Sowerby has agreed to return from retirement to teach Herbology" There was the same polite clapping from the students but the professors' had a marked enthusiasm.
By the end of the first day the rumor mill was filled with stories of the animals that attended Professor Sowerby's class and a crow that told on you.