There seemed to be something of a commotion and errant behaviour at the Ravenclaw tables. Of course, it was start of term, and the excitable young minds before him were often glad to be back under the Hogwarts roof where they might get the opportunity to cast magic. It was one of the joys that old men in ivory towers forgot: the simple exuberance of youth, especially when restrained by the Ministry's rules about magic out of school.
And it would certainly be amiss to suggest that such enthusiasm and boisterous temperaments would never let off magic in the Great Hall. It was mostly a surprise to see at the Ravenclaw table, though as he watched, he noted the bright red of the hair of Miss Pemberton in between the two tables. He couldn't contain the hint of a smile; such was the fate of Gryffindors all alike, to be in the thick of it, as such. And Miss Pemberton had certainly found herself in the thick of a few things and it was only the start of her second, or perhaps third year? No, no, second year.
It wasn't clear exactly what had transpired, whether it were an accident of a Ravenclaw, or an accident of a Gryffindor but the shower of sparks and smoke was familiar enough - a student had purchased practice materials for duelling and had been unfortunate enough to set them off outside of duelling.
In any case, it hardly mattered who was to blame, laying the blame was for the short-tempered and the braggards. What mattered were the consequences. And a student who turns up preparing for duelling should not be punished for so doing: there would most certainly be need of duellists for some time to come, if he were correct. The recent incidents of a former student of Hogwarts and his... ascension and obsession suggested to Dumbledore that what was coming was going to be neither swift or decisive, and that the teaching of Defence Against The Dark Arts and duelling would be a very important fixture for some time to come yet.
So with a twinkle in his eye, he applauded enthusiastically with a cry of "Bravo!" It didn't matter if the other staff had noticed or joined in; what mattered is that, to the students, the easily-delighted old fuddy-duddy - if genius - noticed. Then as he stopped, the room fell silent, with an air of anticipation that was truly palpable.
"First of all, thank you for giving us this wonderful display; may we always start a new school term with a bang of excitement!" He thought he heard a few nervous laughs from the student tables.
"Duelling sticks, well, we haven't had those in Hogwarts in many a year. I daresay Zonko's will do a roaring trade this year! You see, I have decided that Hogwarts shall reintroduce an old favourite of many former students: a duelling club will be returning. It will be open to all students and staff, for any who wish to practice their skills in duelling. Details will be confirmed in the next two weeks so please do consider if you wish to participate or simply watch and cheer on your friends. Remember, even supporting your friends can be an important tactic. Do note that only third years and up can visit Hogsmeade, but practice materials will be available for younger students too."
He withdrew his wand and with nary a gesture, wafted away the smoke, quenched the sparks and rolled the envelope back up and let it drift back onto the table. He smiled, the twinkle shining in his eye. "I shouldn't really - it is a shade early for this, but two points to Ravenclaw for preparedness, and for the delightful display, and one to Gryffindor for an eagerness to help, no matter what that might mean."