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

Entry Three


“I’ll give you three reasons why Hogwarts produced only four graduates fit for auror’s training in three years; Quirrel, Lockhart and Umbridge!” Headmistress McGonnagal scowled at the headline, “Hogwarts Fails Students of Defensive Arts.”
Rita Skeeter’s face grinned back.
“Not to mention Carrow’s year, when the student body was decimated by ‘dissappearances’, Harry added.

“Or the twenty-four students dead or disabled in the battle," McGonnagal muttered.

After a pensive pause, Harry continued, “Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to get the Ministry’s support for an endowed professorship in DADA. Sirius would be pleased that I’m using the house sale to begin funding the ‘Remus Lupin Memorial Professorship’. The Governor’s and parents will see that we’re addressing the alleged problem and Bill and Fleur will have a stable income for starting their family.”

And of course, Molly was so happy to have her son near home again and a granddaughter on the way that she didn’t even frown when Fleur insisted on cooking Bill’s steak at the celebratory family feast.

The first day of April found Bill Weasley in serious thought. “The first years in the initial accelerated DADA class have potential,” he pondered, “but they are only first years. They know which end of the wand to use -- mostly. How do I make them look like stars to the Hogwarts Governors? Or the parents?” And then he remembered a story about Professor Lupin…

Spring flowers spangled the grass, as the new “Lupin Professor” and the Headmistress crossed the Hogwarts’ lawn and approached a small wooden building. A tiny fenced garden showed behind it.

“The accelerated DADA final will include this obstacle course,” Bill explained to McGonnagal. “I can write a report for the Governors and select the best performances to highlight. Hagrid helped with the setup, and it also counts toward their Magical Creatures grade."

McGonnagal nodded approvingly.

“Students enter this wooden shack with instructions to exit the cellar door after eliminating anything dangerous and capturing or preserving anything useful. Here in the living room are birdcages with an Augury, a Jobberknoll and a Fwooper.”

“Half of their parents will have trained them to silence the Augury instead of the Fwooper,” McGonnagal interjected.
“If so, they may get a little confused by Fwooper song if they take too long in the room,” Bill continued. “I’ll give them a half point if they choose the Augury, however, as superstitions die hard.”

McGonnagal laughed.

“For a perfect score, the Fwooper should be ‘silencio’d, the molted Jobberknoll feathers collected and the Augury checked for Chizpurfles.”

“Does it have them?,” McGonnagal asked with concern.

“No, but in a wooden shack, it pays to keep an eye out for rotten floors,” Bill explained, “so any thoughtful and observant student should think to check.”

“Good traits for potential aurors,” McGonnagal observed.

“Now comes the kitchen. A simulated ashwinder will exit the fire within seconds of the student’s entrance.”

“If they miss it…?” asked McGonnagal.

“They have five minutes to freeze the eggs before the pie safe will burst into realistic flames,” Bill explained. “If they know ‘aguamente’ they get half points. If they don’t, but they capture the simulated salamander that exits the safe, they get half points. If they empty this pepper shaker in the collecting bag to feed it – full marks restored.”

“Second chances – I like that!” McGonnagal laughed.

Bill continued. “I’m trying to encourage creative thinking. Also full marks if they catch the salamander, ‘auguamente’ the fire and bleed the dead salamander into a collecting bottle, but I suspect Hagrid will deduct a point from the Magical Creatures score for that choice.“

“Willa Smith has such poor eye-sight, I don’t think she’ll ever see the ashwinder,” Bill added, “but she makes up for it in quick reflexes and smarts. If she ever has an eye replaced like Moody’s, she’ll be deadly.” Both professors laughed at the thought of the small girl with one wild circling eye, then grew silent with nostalgia.

Down a narrow, dark hallway, they approached a door. Bill pulled out his wand. “Full marks only if they use “levioso” or “alohamora” to unbar the door.” At this spell, the door swung wide to reveal the other side hung with black tendrils.

“Devil’s Snare,” McGonnagal observed. “And if they get caught?”

‘Lumos’ gets six points out of the eight. An auror has to think ahead.”

Nodding, McGonnagal lit the passage and they descended to the cellar as the plant retreated. At the stair bottom, a shadow darted under the steps, but peering into the dim light revealed only a large stone on the floor.

“Pograbin,” Bill explained. To McGonnagal’s raised eyebrow, he quickly added, “If the student is doing too poorly, we’ll be prepared to intervene; however, most of them won’t be around it long enough to collapse in despair, assuming their test upstairs wasn’t a complete fiasco. If they spot it and use any acceptable removal method…,”

“Including non-Magical control?” queried McGonnagal.

“… including a swift kick out the cellar door, they get full marks. Use of advanced hexes or stupifications will get extra credit. If they miss it, but manage to handle the bogart without trouble,” (here Bill pointed at a large cabinet in the opposite corner labeled “open this”) “they get eight out of ten.”

“An auror has to be able to discipline his thoughts,” mused McGonnagal. “A first year who can manage “riddikulus” in the presence of a Pograbin should produce a ready patronus some day, even in the midst of trouble.”

“Exactly,” Bill smiled. “Now, step outside and we’ll net Billiwigs, identify Horklumps, consider the relative merits of Streelers or Jarveys to de-Gnome the garden, and negotiate to decorate a tree with glowing Fairies. After they all finish the course, there will be a dueling tournament – spells restricted to disarming and shield charms, with perhaps 'Accio wand' allowed. The final four in the tourney will get bonus points and first in line at the class end tea and biscuits."

“Well done, Professor!” McGonnagal patted Bill on the arm. “I think next year there will be quite a mob trying to sign up for Accelerated Defense class.”



Last edited by Hes; May 6th, 2013 at 10:30 am.
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