First day of classes was always something to look forward to. Dumbledore explained to the first years what Transfiguration was, the rules in his classroom, and then set them with the task of transfiguring a match into a needle. Rarely did first years achieve this on the first day. Initially, it was a simple task, students got to start practicing magic the first day, but Dumbledore used this to assess where his students were, if they were to have trouble or if they were going to get through his classes.
The bell rung and the first years arrived. McGonagall seated herself in front of Dumbledore's desk. He smiled at her and got up, going around his desk to lean against the front of it. He waited for the students to be settled in and to quiet down before speaking. ''Good morning! I am Professor Dumbledore, your Transfiguration teacher. Transfiguration is a branch of magic that is both complex and dangerous. If not done right, the caster will have consequences. As your teacher, I will guide you through your classes, through your obstacles and hopefully by the end of your first year, you will be able to do this'' he tapped his wand lightly against a mouse, turning it into a tissue box. The class aww'ed and clapped as he turned the tissue box back into a mouse. ''Before we start, I will warn you; I will not tolerate any foolishness in my classroom. I am all for showing off what you know, but I will not tolerate spells used against other students, nor will I tolerate foolish wand waving that will end up in harming oneself or a classmate. Anyone foolish enough to not follow the rules will be given detention and will be leave my class and not return.'' The students looked at one another, trying to decide if their teacher meant what he said or not, ''I can see some of you doubt me, I warn you now; I will not tolerate foolishness and the culprit will be removed from my class.''
After his speech, Dumbledore waved his wand and a couple boxes of matches floated down the aisles, ''each of you will take one match'' he instructed. The students took their match and waited for further instructions. Dumbledore taught them the spell before demonstrating what he wanted the students to do. After a few minutes of enunciating with them, he let them begin, walking around slowly to show the students what they were doing wrong.
Too many of them were having difficulties, only a handful had managed to change the color of their match. He walked around slowly when he realised that the young girl was reading her book instead of trying to transfigure her match. Moving to stand beside her, he cleared his voice. She looked up, ''Ms. McGonagall, is there a reason why you are not doing the work that is assigned to you?'' he asked, feeling slightly disappointed in this young girl that had caught his attention the previous night. She closed her book and brought it against her, showing her teacher a needle on her desk. He raised an eye brow at her and changed it back into a match before asking her to do the spell once more. She took out her wand and performed the spell; the match turned into a needle. ''10 points to Gryffindor'' he said with a smile, feeling extremely proud of his new pupil. He gave her a box of matches, ''change these into needles. Once you are done, take another box and change them as well'' he said and moved on. He looked back to his pupil, pleased that she had put her book away and had started to change the matches with no effort.
Dumbledore wasn't pleased with his class; except McGonagall, nobody had managed to change their needles. The few that had change the color had somehow burned their match to a crisp. He stood before his class, ''ladies and gentlemen, you have tried but perhaps not your best. Ms. McGonagall is the only one in this class to have achieved the given task, not only turning a single match into a needle but also changing three boxes of matches. For that Ms. McGonagall, I award Gryffindor 20 points. For homework, yes there is homework'' he said as students groaned at the mention of homework, ''you will practice the spell. Tomorrow we will try again, and hopefully someone else will have managed the task at hand. Off you go'' he said. The class gathered their books and left.
He sat down and smiled, proud that a student had shown great aptitude in his class. Ever since he had become a teacher, only two students had managed to turn their matches into needles, but only once. Ms. McGonagall had gone above those students and changed three boxes of matches. He himself had only managed two boxes on his first day. 'There is something about her' he thought, 'I have a good feeling about this girl'.
Lunch couldn't come fast enough; he spent half a class helping his third year students find a missing toad, then he had to deal with half of the girls of his class who were crying over changing their beloved pets into goblets. Not feeling up to being in the Great Hall, Dumbledore opted for the staff lounge where he met up with other teachers.
Smiling, he sat beside Galatea, the professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts. ''Galatea'' he greeted, she smiled at him, ''how was your first day?'' she asked. Dumbledore sighed, ''second period was wasted. The young second year Hufflepuff girls refused to change their pets into goblets, they thought it hurt the animal. Spent half the class trying to get them to stop crying. As for the other half of the class, Longbottom lost his toad again, and thanks to a spell he used on his toad last year, we couldn't use magic to locate it'' he said.
Galatea chuckled lightly, ''seems as if you've had a tough morning'' she said, ''what about your first years?'' she asked. ''Same as usual, none of them managed to change their matches into needles, except for one girl'' he said, ''Minerva McGonagall?'' asked Galatea as she turned to look at him. His smile said it all, ''100 perfect needles'' he said. She rose her eye brows and smiled, ''better than you if I recall correctly'' she said. Dumbledore laughed, ''how did you know?'' Galatea shook her head, ''she's the only one who was able to produce a damn good Knockback Jinx. Knocked me off my feet twice in a row. She's quick and grasps the concept of the course easily'' she explained. Dumbledore smiled when he heard the news, feeling that he had been right about the girl; she was going to be great.