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Old April 26th, 2013, 2:24 pm
Professor Dumbledore
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Re: Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Entry Two

From the Hogwarts Journal of Gilderoy Lockhart, 1992-1993

November 2, 1992
No point in standing on fame when it’s possible to help out, I always say. That egalitarian attitude has now won me the admiration of even the Headmaster!

After observing my readiness to assist in examining the groundskeeper’s cat, Professor Dumbledore has tasked me with building an obstacle course to test First Year students’ practical skills in Defense Against the Dark Arts. It is the first such obstacle course at Hogwarts, and Dumbledore has chosen me! I feel so honored.

I do suppose, though, that the owls must have been banging at the Headmaster's windows for the past couple of days. He delivered his message to me through Professor Snape.

December 2, 1992
Professor Snape inquired again today about the progress of the First Year obstacle course. I have only begun to consider which creatures to include. It’s not exactly easy, I told him, to keep up with the high volume of fan mail the owls bring each day.

Snape gave me a tight-lipped smile and observed that Dumbledore has great faith in his staff’s ability to juggle multiple responsibilities.

I suppose that if I had Snape's teeth, I would keep my smile tight too. But when I offered him a friendly tip about the densalba tooth-whitening spell (which I discovered in a remote Near Eastern village during my Voyages with Vampires days), his tight-lipped smile progressed into a sneer. You’d think the man would show some gratitude. It’s not every day that the most frequent winner of the Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile Award offers such hush-hush tooth-whitening advice without charging so much as a single Galleon!

December 15, 1992
Dumbledore’s errand boy approached me YET AGAIN! This time, he wanted a detailed timeline for completion of the obstacle course. We shall meet in five days. In the meantime, he informed me that the Headmaster has asked him to assist me in my presentation before the Dueling Club.

December 20, 1992
“I’m known for handling Hags, not Horklumps!” I said to Snape when he suggested that the final challenge of my proposed obstacle course would not fulfill Dumbledore’s requirements. All I had suggested was that we import a Yeti and have the students watch as I cast a Fire-making Spell to neutralize it.

Snape suggested two problems with this scenario:
  1. Importing a Yeti would involve an extravagant investment of time and money - and involve a considerable amount of paperwork at the Ministry’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
  2. Watching me cast an Incendio spell would do nothing to test the students’ abilities.

The Board of Governors, Snape told me, would never sign off on such a plan.

“Not even if I donated the money from my book earnings?” I asked.


“How about a banshee, then? Or a werewolf?”

“The purpose of the obstacle course, Professor,” said Snape with a chill in his voice, “is to test First Year students on First Year Defense skills.”

Perhaps it might be best if I held off for a time on suggesting that a CoifGlo Hairnet could give his stringy black hair more body and sheen.

January 14, 1993
There is no need to import a Yeti after all. The gamekeeper has informed me that a herd of Centaurs resides next door in the Forbidden Forest. The Headmaster could not possibly object to our obstacle course taking a detour into the forest terrain. I can already see my face smiling down from a tall display case in Flourish and Blotts:

Sashays with Centaurs, by Gilderoy Lockhart

The spelling may not quite work, but the alliteration should make my editor happy.

February 14, 1993
I have still not spoken directly to Dumbledore about this project. Snape, though, nixed the Centaurs. And after that, the Unicorns. I've spent the past month scouring Scamanger for beasts rated X and XX that possess at least some personality. These seem the only beasts fit for First Years.

With options like Plimpy and Puffskein, though, how do they expect me to make this obstacle course work? And more to the point: Why am I wracking my brain on questions like these when the more pressing matter at the moment is to charm the Great Hall pink?

March 19, 1993
“I could infest the vegetable garden with Horklumps,” I suggested. “The Garden Gnomes would come running, and there is plenty of useful de-gnoming information in my bestselling Guide to Household Pests. Then, I could have the students proceed into Greenhouse Three, where they would don earmuffs to drown out the Mandrake screams when I tear the little blighters up by the roots.

Snape sat stone-faced.

“Professor,” he said, “neither de-gnoming nor Mandrake protection is part of the Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum. Professor Sprout quite capably has both those matters in hand.”

May 29, 1993
The obstacle course, I learned earlier this week, will proceed despite Dumbledore’s departure from the school. The only difference is that now Professor McGonnagall is also inquiring into its progress.

I will propose the following plan tonight, when I meet with the Headmistress and her sullen lackey:

LOCATION: I intend to use the Quidditch Pitch.
  • The Pitch is nowhere near the Whomping Willow, so there is no danger of students getting pulverized. (McGonnagall’s key concern)
  • The grass on the Pitch has plenty of space, so we can create Stations to house different magical creatures.
  • A ghoul, it so happens, lives in one of the locker rooms! This makes the Quidditch Pitch a perfect location for our First Year obstacle course.

MAP: Here is a map I have drawn of the different stations, challenges, and spells, followed by a more detailed description of the obstacle course:

STARTING POSITION will be just ahead of the goalposts on the left-hand side of the Quidditch Pitch. Students will be instructed to send up Red Sparks if they get into trouble at any one of the stations.

STATION 1: Staff will create a small wooded area on the grass next to the Starting Position and fill it with fairies. Fairies are not dangerous but their quarrelsome disposition could frighten young students. Recommended Spell: Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) to confuse the Fairies and allow students to pass unhindered.

STATION 2: Staff will create a small marshy area on the grass and fill it with imps. Imps can prove troublesome - tripping and pushing those who pass by. Recommended Spell: Knockback Jinx (Flipendo). Students should send up Green Sparks once they have cleared this Station.

STATION 3: The obstacle course will use the ghoul’s locker room. At this station, students should unlock the locker room (Alohomora), light up the room (Lumos), and give the Ghoul a runny nose (Mucus Ad Nauseum). Even though there’s nothing dangerous about a ghoul, ghouls do react the way humans react to most spells, so this station would give students good practice in using the Curse of Bogies on a creature that cannot curse them back. I should enter the room after each student has exited to deliver the counter-curse that will end the runny-nosed ghoul’s misery.

ENDING POSITION will be just behind the goalposts on the right-hand side of the Quidditch Pitch.

I do think that this latest plan will satisfy even Professor Snape, particularly since I have addressed his concerns about the Flobberworm Levitation station by replacing the flobberworms with the small forest of fairies.

A few hours later...

Now that's odd.

Professor McGonnagall has just amplified her voice and called all teachers to the staffroom. Could it be that one of the house elves has tipped her off to my newest plan for the obstacle course? Perhaps she wishes to share my triumph with the entire staff! Should I meet with them in my lavender ensemble or my periwinkle blue?

For Merlin's sake, I do hope my hair is in order!

Last edited by Hes; May 6th, 2013 at 10:42 am.
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