Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Harry Potter and the Werewolf Prophecy ❯ DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS ( Chapter 25 )
Alex had been nervous before most of his classes, but especially Defence Against The Dark Arts. There wasn’t much that could go badly wrong in Transfiguration or Potions, but he’d heard rumours about DADA. The students were tested against all kinds of spells and monsters, and were left to sink or swim.
The other intimidating factor was the new teacher. Harry Potter was the most famous wizard in the world. He’d defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort as a baby, then killed him as an adult. What would it be like having him as a teacher?
As they filed into classroom 3C, a voice muttered from the far end. “Sorry, what was that?” Marion called.
“I said, put your wands in the rack. You won’t need them for this lesson.” The voice sounded nervous. Alex looked at the end of the classroom and recognised that it was Harry Potter speaking. He didn’t look very confident. There was another man standing next to him, much older and more self-assured.
“Sit down. I’m Har… I’m Professor Potter, and I’ll be teaching this class. Defence Against The Dark Arts.”
There was a murmur of voices. When they failed to settle, Harry suddenly snapped “All right, let’s have some quiet!” He looked surprised at himself.
“I want you all to look around this classroom. It has the most dangerous creature in it that you will probably ever face. Does anyone know what it is? And give your name so I can learn who you are.”
Alex looked around, and saw that everyone else was doing the same. There was the skeleton of a dragon hanging from the ceiling, and jars of specimens on the shelves. There were pictures of various creatures on all the walls. Which was the worst?
Sophie raised her hand. “Sophie. Aren’t fully-grown dragons considered to be the most dangerous of the magical beasts?” she asked, sounding slightly tentative.
“Yes, that’s true,” said Harry.
“But Dementors can affect your soul, which is more horrible, isn’t it?” she continued.
“Very good, Sophie. Five points to Ravenclaw. But you’re wrong.”
The class looked at each other, bewildered. Then Alex tentatively raised his hand.
Harry clapped his hands together. “Very good, Mr?”
“Very good, Alex. Ten points to Ravenclaw. The most dangerous opponent any of you will ever face is another wizard. I spent all too many of my school days learning about Dementors and Boggarts and Redcaps. Cornish Pixies, for heaven’s sake. It was useful information, up to a point, but when it came down to it, though, the real danger, the real battles were against dark wizards.”
Harry paused and looked at the students. They seemed to be listening, for the time being at least.
“There’s a huge mythology about fighting between wizards,” he continued. “The etiquette of duelling, with bowing and so on. Well, let me tell you, that’s all a lot of bu… rubbish. A dark wizard will go through all the protocols of duelling if he’s sure he’s going to win. If he’s not, he’ll cast a killing curse on you in your sleep.”
There was a murmur of disapproval among some of the students. Harry held up a hand. “Listen, if any of you want to set up duelling clubs and practice all that – fine. I don’t object. You might even learn something useful. It’s just not what we’re going to do here.”
He pointed to the man standing by his side. “This is Professor Creevy. You probably know him from Muggle studies. Now, I saw something a few days ago – you may have read about it. There was an attack by dark wizards. I was talking to my cousin, a Muggle, and we were threatened by a wizard. I wasn’t able to do anything about it – but Dudley – my cousin – grabbed the wizard’s wand, broke it, and…”
“…and gave him a damn good thrashing,” interjected Professor Creevy. “Now, I dare say that that can’t happen very often, unless the wizard is careless and a bit daft. But it can happen sometimes. I’m going to show you a few tricks so that if you’re facing someone with magic – and he has the drop on you, or he’s better than you, or you don’t have your wand handy – you’ll have a chance. No guarantee, but at worst you’ll go down fighting.”
Harry took a box from the dais. “These are chopsticks – I bought them in a Muggle shop. They’re about the same size and weight as a wand. I don’t suppose any of you know any dangerous spells, but best not to take any chances – and we don’t want to damage any real wands! Here, Alex, pass these around.”
Alex handed out a chopstick to each of the pupils. Some of them clearly had never seen such a thing before. Alex recalled that when he’d visited Chinese restaurants with his mother, he’d always asked for chopsticks and pretended to use one of them as a wand.
“Split up into pairs, now,” said Harry. “Never mind who, you can change around as we go. Right, Professor Creevy, shall we demonstrate? I’ll be the dark wizard preparing a nasty curse. Professor Creevy will be the absent-minded wizard who’s left his wand in the bathroom.” The class laughed a little uncertainly.
Harry and Professor Creevy., stood facing each other, about six feet apart. Harry held a chopstick by his side, between his fingers like a wand.
“Obey me or suffer!” shouted Harry.
“Don’t think I will,” said Professor Creevy, stolidly.
“Then prepare to…oof!” said Harry. Somehow Professor Creevy had grabbed Harry’s hand, spun around, and was holding Harry’s arm tightly by his side, pulling Harry against his back. He placed his left hand on Harry’s right, and pressed. Harry’s chopstick fell to the floor.
“We’ll do that again a few times, slowly,” said Professor Creevy. “If you don’t mind, Professor Potter.”
“Nunno, that’s fine,” said Harry, a little bit breathlessly.
They took up their positions again. Harry uttered his threat, and slowly raised his wand arm. Alex was able to see, now, how Professor Creevy reached out to push Harry’s arm away, then grasp it and pull Harry towards him. They repeated the exercise several times, and finally Harry sat down, his elbows on his knees.
“Right, let’s you lot try it,” said Professor Creevy. “First off, like a little dance. One of you take the wand, but don’t try too hard or you might hurt each other. Here, you two start.” He pointed at Alex and Sophie.
“Now, you, Sophie, you’re the dark wizard. Alex, put your chopstick down. Now, when Sophie points her wand at you, I want you to reach out… like that… and just push her arm away. Then grab her wrist and pull it in that direction.”
“Sophie, just make up some nonsense spell name for the time being,” said Harry, who’d recovered his breath.
“Everything gently,” said Professor Creevy. “Nobody gets hurt. We practice the movements until they’re second nature.”
Sophie whipped up her chopstick. Alex flung out his right hand, but failed to make contact. “Splitissimus!” shouted Sophie.
“She’s turned you into a frog there,” said Professor Creevy. “Never mind. Give it another go. And the rest of you. Anyone left-handed? I’ll show you how it works.”
At the first few tries, Alex kept missing by inches. Once he swung so wildly that he overbalanced and fell on the floor. Sophie was laughing too hard to cast her pretend spell.
But the next time he feinted falling short, then stretched out, and slapped at Sophie’s arm. The impact was just enough to flick the chopstick out of her hand. He pounced on it and snapped it in half.
“Alex!” said Sophie crossly. “We’ll run out of them.”
“That’s true,” said Harry, “but you’ve got the right idea. Well done, Alex.”
Alex looked around. The rest of the class were laughing and shouting as if playing a new game. Professor Creevy was wandering among them, giving hints and instructions, and occasionally calming down the children who’d become a little over-excited or too rough. Professor Potter followed him, watching, and occasionally adding a comment.
“A lot of combat against dark wizards involves pure brawling,” he said. “My friend Neville Longbottom once defeated a powerful wizard by jabbing him in the eye with his wand.”
The class laughed. “I know, it’s funny,” said Professor Potter, “but it was a very dangerous situation, and it worked. Just remember – whatever works.”
Amy had been paired with Addie. He was winning easily, stepping back as she tried to reach him from her chair. But then, as he stepped a little closer, waving his chopstick, she suddenly accelerated her chair at him, knocking him flat to the floor.
“Gently there!” called Professor Creevy. “Now, shall we change over? Whoever had the wand hand it over to your opponent and you have a go.”
“That’s those of you who haven’t broke it,” he added, winking at Alex.
Alex was annoyed to find that Sophie was very quick and surprisingly strong. She twice managed to snatch the chopstick from his hand, making a point of handing it back undamaged.
After a few minutes Alex had managed to cast his imaginary spell about as often as Sophie had disarmed him. He was aching slightly, but didn’t want to tell Sophie so.
“Alex – can we pause momentarily?” said Sophie. “I had not realised that magical study would involve this degree of physical exertion.”
Alex nodded. “If you like.” He looked around again.
He noticed that Professor Creevy was now facing Amy, giving her hints as to the best way to protect herself from attack.
“Now then, let’s have another go. You’re the evil wizard, remember,” said Professor Creevy.
Amy reached for her chopstick with her right hand and at the same time, used her left to pivot her chair. As Professor Creevy reached towards her, she raised her chopstick over her head and shouted “Goblipurpleboggle!”
There was a loud bang, a flash of blue light, and Professor Creevy was lying on his back, a dazed look on his face. Amy stared at the chopstick, looking astonished.
“Amy? Did you take out your real wand? No, I see you didn’t. Are you all right, Professor?” Harry helped Professor Creevy to his feet.
“What was that, then?” asked Professor Creevy.
“Er… I don’t know,” said Harry. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
“I didn’t… I mean…,” began Amy.
“I know. Don’t worry, it’s fine,” said Harry. “OK, people, that’ll do for today. You can clean yourselves up a bit before your next class.”
He turned to Amy. “Amy, can you hang on for a moment. Nothing to worry about.”
“I’ll be off too,” said Professor Creevy. “I’ve to teach some fifth years about the London Underground. Well done Amy, good blocking.”
“Weren’t you going to…” began Harry.
“Oh, yes, thank you Professor Potter. Now, listen up all of you. This is Professor Potter’s class, and he’ll be teaching all sorts, not just this kind of thing. But if any of you liked what you were doing today, we’ll be having a few sessions out on the grass where you can fall over safely and not hurt y’selves. Let me know if any of you are interested.”
He walked off, a little stiffly.
When everyone had left, Harry crouched down beside Amy. “Well, that was interesting. Do you have any idea what you did there?”
Amy shook her head. “I just had this vague idea of casting a spell, and shouted some nonsense words. And then, I don’t know, I could feel something welling up in me. Is that usual? No, I can see that it isn’t. I’m terribly sorry.”
Harry shook his head. “Don’t be. I’ve no idea what this all means, but learning to do magic is what you’re here for. Even if we didn’t plan to do any today. I tell you what – I’ll have a word with Professor McGonagall, and we’ll see if you need special coaching.”
“Oh, that would be nice. I was afraid that you might be sending me away, or locking me up in Azkaban.”
Harry smiled ruefully. “If you knew the people who ought to be there who aren’t…”
“Professor – may I go now? My friends are waiting for me outside. I need assistance to get from classroom to classroom, you see?”
Harry looked thoughtful. “It’s very kind of them to help you, but would you rather be able to get around by yourself?”
“Oh, much rather,” said Amy fervently. “The castle is not especially wheelchair friendly, I’m afraid.”
“Maybe we can do something about that. Off you go, Amy. We’ll talk later.”