Near dawn at a corridor with an ugly gargoyle stands a witch with dark hair and sharp eyes with the beginnings of crows' feet. Her normally sleek hair is loose around her shoulders, but her square glasses neatly sit on the bridge of her nose. Shivering Deputy Professor McGonagall tightens her fluffy red bed robe around herself.
"Fizzing Wizzbee's," Professor McGonagall said before heading up the spiraling staircase. The staircase swiftly rose higher and higher to stop before a gleaming oak door with a brass knocker in the shape of a griffin.
Professor McGonagall politely knocked but did not wait even for a response as she opened the door to find a rather sleepy-looking Dumbledore seated at his desk in a fluffy blue robe with matching pajamas and nightcap. "Oh, this is quite early Minerva," Dumbledore said as he gently took a sip of his earl gray tea.
"I know it's barely the crack of dawn, Professor Dumbledore," McGonagall apologized. "But I fear that we have an unprecedented problem."
"Oh, has one of the children run off into the forbidden forest again?" Dumbledore said with a bit of a twinkle in his baby-blue eyes.
"No, Professor," McGonagall sniffed. "Rather one of our professors is missing."
"Oh, dear, that is worrisome," Dumbledore said as he gently tugged on his long beard.
From his perch, Fawkes lets out a loud cry as Dumbledore says, "Yes, you're right, Fawkes, something must be done."
Glancing up at the standing figure of McGonagall, Dumbledore says, "And I don't wish to guess, but is it Professor Adric?"
"Why, yes, Professor," Professor McGonagall said with some evident surprise on her face. "How did you?"
"It could only be our new professor that would warrant such a reaction from you, Minerva," Dumbledore said as he rose to his feet to reveal fluffy blue bed slippers with striped socks.
"Yes, well," McGonagall stammered. "I was merely concerned; he was not seen by Filch nor was he seen leaving the ground for Hogsmeade or into the forbidden forest. And I did stop by his classroom and chambers, but they are both empty. Nothing has been disturbed from the looks of it nor was his bed slept in."
"Well, if you would be so kind as to rouse the rest of the house heads, Minerva," Professor Dumbledore said as he grabbed a pinch of floo powder. "I shall see you all downstairs in Professor Adric's office."
"Of course, Albus," McGonagall said as Dumbledore disappeared into the green flames.
Glancing about, Dumbledore emerged from the fireplaced peered through his half-moon spectacles as he tucked his morning robes closed. There was not much to look at as Professor's Adric's office was largely bare and stark. Beyond a bookshelf full of books, everything else was quite neat and organized. With this year's essays and practical exams all perfectly graded for each student. They were all neatly organized according to year and class in a neat pile on his desk.
Dumbledore nodded in appreciation as he mutters, "It would be such a loss to lose such an organized young man."
"What is this all about, Dumbledore?" Said, Professor Slughorn as he burst in tweed colored bed robes. His thick warm nightshirt could be seen barely reaching the tips of hairy shins. While his fat, swollen feet were stuffed into warm looking emerald slippers. "It's the crack of dawn!"
"I know, Horace," Dumbledore gently appeased him. "But Professor Adric seems to have gone missing. He was not seen leaving the castle nor does his bed appear to have been slept in."
"What?" Slughorn said with shock causing his beady eyes to widen. "You surely don't suspect that one of us did it, now do you, Albus?!"
"No, Horace, I certainly do not believe that is the said," Dumbledore said with a chuckle. "But I do believe that more heads are better than one."
"I, yes, well, of course," Slughorn said much more mollified.
"Professor, what is the matter?" Professor Sprout as she arrived in a black bathrobe with the tip of her yellow pajama's sticking out from the bottom. But unlike Slughorn's emerald slippers, she had on some nice thick wool boots.
"Just a moment, Pomona," Dumbledore said. "I shall explain it again once Minerva and Filius are here."
"What is going on?" Professor Flitwick interrupted as he came in wearing a nice striped nightcap with matching night shirt. Wearing a tiny bed robe and night slippers, he said, "Is something the matter with Professor Adric?"
"Yes, that is why we are all here, Filius," Dumbledore said as McGonagall shut the door behind her as came in. "Now, that we are all gathered here. I have been informed that Professor Adric is missing." Gasps can be heard from the three professors as Slughorn mutters, "And he was such a talented young man."
"Are you sure he didn't just go down to the pub?" Sprout observed. "I wouldn't be surprised if he had one too many to drink and just fell asleep at Hogshead Inn. I would not be surprised the least bit. It's happened before."
"I would think so too, Pomona," Dumbledore replied. "But I've been told that neither Hagrid or Filch saw him leave the grounds last night nor headed towards the forbidden forest or Hogsmeade."
"And has been slept in?" Flitwick asked.
"No, Minerva said that his bed had not been slept in," Dumbledore answered again.
"Oh, dear, this not good," Pomona said as she shook her curly head. "I don't suppose you think the poor young man was suffering from depression and might have ended it last night, do you?"
"More like he'd have ended someone else's," McGonagall mumbled under her breath.
Clearing her throat, McGonagall loudly said, "I doubt the Professor was suffering from a troubled mind. Madam Pomfrey said that his last health check suggested that he was in perfect health."
"I am sure he was," Dumbledore muttered, before saying, "Pomona and Horace, gather your perfects as well as any seventh year that is trustworthy. Start from your dungeons as you know them best and work your way to the top. As for Minerva and Filius, the same, but start from the top of the towers all the way to the bottom. And I'll have Hagrid search the grounds and forest, while I myself will visit Hogsmeade, before aiding in the search here at the castle."
"Yes, Headmaster," the four House Heads said, before heading off to do as instructed.
Dumbledore waited until the four professors had left before waving his wand and muttering a spell to reveal hidden things. All that appeared was a crumpled letter that slipped out from underneath the desk. With a creak in his back and knees, Dumbledore bent over to grasp the wrinkled letter and carefully began to read,
I hope the search fares well. In your last letter you spoke of that you had a clue. I eagerly wait for thine results. Should you need anything simply send word to the Monarch. I will send thee aid as requested.
"Cousin? Clues? Results?" Dumbledore muttered. "Just what were you after Professor Adric?" With a puzzled expression, Dumbledore turns back to the fireplace and tosses floo powder into the fireplace to return back to his office. It was a puzzle best solved after brunch. One could hardly think on an empty stomach.