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Old May 6th, 2013, 10:35 am
Professor McGonagall
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Re: Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Entry Five

“Dan!”

Gabriel still had dust on his hair when he came running into the first-years bedroom. It was a pity he had heard about the Defense test from others, but Madam Pomfrey had kept me in the Hospital Wing for hours, while he was busy with Steve. He must have been so worried all the way up to Ravenclaw Tower.

“I’m fine”, I tried to protest.

“Yeah, sure”

He sat on next bed and looked at me with concern.
“What the Hell’s happened?”

“You said you needed the Carrows busy for a while this afternoon”

“I didn’t say it specifically to you, and in any case getting half-killed wasn’t included in the job!”

“But it worked”

I knew he felt guilty. He probably was wondering how he would tell Mum and Dad that it was his fault that I had got a full-session of the Cruciatus curse. That in case we saw our parents again. Mum had been offered a post in the new Department of International Magical Affairs last summer, and a raid of Death Eaters had found us while trying to leave the country after she said no. Gabriel and I had been brought to Hogwarts. We had heard rumors that our parents had escaped before being sent to Azkaban.

“How’s Steve?” I asked in a whisper. We were in the Ravenclaw Tower, and it was supposedly safe to speak there, but you never know.

Gabriel’s frown relaxed. Steve is a work of art, and he couldn’t help feeling proud.

“He’s wonderful”

Steve is a tunnel. As all passages in and out of Hogwarts were watched, Gabriel decided to dig a new one. Just like that. Mum used to say he has the brain of a criminal mastermind. In any case he has a talent for guerrilla war. Longbottom and he pretend they don’t know each other, but they actually coordinate very well.

That’s where my DADA test comes. Gabriel needed Carrow away for a couple of hours this afternoon, while he worked on a section of Steve that goes close to his office. The DA guys offered to create a distraction, but unfortunately the boy in charge was caught this morning with a forbidden book in his bag. I told Gabriel to go ahead with Steve, as if there was a DA backup plan.

Well, there was a plan, but it was mine.

Professor Carrow had said that the test would be an obstacle course, and that it would take place in the dungeons. Not the nice ones where generations of students have had Potions lessons before Professor Snape was made Headmaster. The other dungeons. The ones that nobody knew to exist until this year and make you wonder whether the Four Founders built the entire school themselves or used the foundations of some alla-Piranesi prison.

My plan was very simple: Carrow would be at the end of the course to give us our grades (and our punishment, in case we did something he didn’t like, like breathing not being a Slytherin); I just had to manage to block the door and pretend it was an accident. Not that my ideal evening is getting stuck in a dungeon with a Death Eater, but it would keep him out of the way.

It’s lucky that I have spent so much time with Gabriel working on Steve, because the dungeons were dark as Hell. I tried lumos, but I put the wand out immediately when I heard a fluttering behind the door.

My grandmother’s house is very, very old, and we used to play hide-and-seek in the attic: I know Doxies when I hear them. Opening the door would mean a quick journey to the Hospital Wing.

I haven’t mentioned that my grandmother’s house is in Spain. The best time for attic hide-and-seek was summer, for Doxies got dozy with heat. I opened the door just enough for the tip of my wand to pass through the creek.

Caldaura

I kept sending hot air for about a minute, till I heard the fluttering getting slower. Then I banged the door open and dashed through the threshold. A couple of Doxies tried to bite me, but they were too slow. I slapped blindly and caught one on my fist. I prefer to have my hand free when I run in the darkness, so I put it on my robe’s pocket as I got through the next threshold.

One of the things I hate of Carrow, apart of his being a Death-Eater and a vile vermin of Hell, is his complete disdain for curricula. Gabriel studied Red Caps on his third year, with fake-Professor Moody. I’m just eleven, but there I was, facing a room full of red eyes staring at me with unasked interest. It probably was the entire colony of the new-found dungeons. I felt like that time when I was six and got lost at dusk on a beach in Normandy during the holidays. Carrow had said something like that the way to deal with a Red Cap is to enslave it with some kind of blood charm so it attacks the person next to you, but a) I was alone, and b) blood charms are disgusting. So I did what Dad did that evening in Normandy: I threw a nice Petrificus Totalus at them and got away from there as fast as I could.

“You must be kidding me” I muttered at entering the next room.

OK, Carrow at least had explained the difference between Inferi and mummies: bandages apart, Inferi rise because of a spell, mummies because of a curse. I bet the British Museum has lost a mummy and it was in the dungeons this afternoon, trying to desiccate first-years. On my side of the room there was what looked too much like a corpse, shroud and all. I barely dared to look at its face to see whether it was someone I knew before. Thanks God, it was a complete stranger, but anyway, I wasn’t going to turn him on an Inferius to fight the mummy, as Carrow obviously wished. Now, a mummy isn’t an obstacle you can just get around.

I felt something moving in my pocket. The cold was making the Doxy awake again, and that gave me an idea.

The worst part was letting the mummy get close, but I only had one chance. I waited till the dry, bandaged hands were less than a foot far, and then, suddenly, I opened my pocket. Doxies like dusty places, the mummy was (and smelled) far dustier than my pocket, and the Doxy flew at it like a rocket. Not that the Doxy poison was going to do it much harm, but a flying creature biting your face, no matter how dry it is, is a nuisance that allows young wizards to slip away. Just in case, I locked the door with Alohomora behind me: I didn’t want to have an angry mummy on my heels.

I expected a werewolf for the last obstacle, but it was worse. When I opened the last door, Professor Carrow was standing there, with the sadistic smile he keeps for special occasions.

“So, O’Breane”

“Yes, Professor”

“It’s probably the worst test I’ve seen. You’ve obviously paid no attention at all in class”.

I thought it would be better not to say what I thought of his lessons, and kept quiet.

“You have a last chance. If you can keep me from giving you the Cruciatus curse, I will give you an A”

I had paid attention in class, and I remembered him saying that the only ways to prevent someone cruciates you are either cruciating, imperiing or killing him first. Even if I hadn’t sworn to myself never to do those things, I knew that my first-year skills couldn’t stop him, so that last chance he gave me was pure sadism. Anyway, I was where I wanted to be, and it was my business to keep him there while Gabriel worked.

I’ve spent much time helping at the tunnel. And Carrow was so beautifully placed under the vault’s keystone that I only needed half a second to realize how I could get my goal and pass DADA.

Reducto!”

Carrow disappeared under a cloud of dust when the vault collapsed. Well, he emerged twenty seconds later in a nasty humour, and I paid the consequences until his harpy sister and Headmaster Snape managed to unblock the door. But then more than an hour had passed and Gabriel was done with Steve.

“You know the best?” I said, “Carrow wanted to give me perpetual detention, but Snape didn’t let him. Actually, he forced him to give me an O. He said that Carrow’s instructions didn’t specify what charms I must use, and I had actually passed all obstacles. I got top marks from a Death-Eater without doing anything of what he’s taught!”

Gabriel smiled a little and ruffled my hair.

“Mum and Dad would be proud”



Last edited by Hes; May 6th, 2013 at 10:40 am.
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