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Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

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Old April 26th, 2013, 2:21 pm
Professor Dumbledore
Posts: n/a
Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Welcome to the entries thread.

As you can see we´ve only five entries in this final round.

Please vote for your top three entries.

As always don´t talk about your entry until voting is over.

If you see any mistakes, owl Hes.


Last edited by Hes; May 7th, 2013 at 10:14 am.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 2:23 pm
Professor McGonagall
Posts: n/a
Re: Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Entry One

“Hey Kaylee! Wait up,” Sarah called as she caught up with her friend on the way to the owlery. “What’d you think of Professor Lupin’s exam?”

Kaylee’s eyes sparkled as she wait for her friend to catch up. “I thought it was the most fun exam we’ve had so far. In fact I wrote my mom all about it. Want to read it?”

Sarah took the letter that Kaylee handed her and started to read.

May 1

Dear Mom,

I can’t believe that the year is almost over! I don’t know how ordinary life back home will be after a year of fascinating things learned here at Hogwarts.

I think I did pretty well on my exams. One of them, my Defense Against the Dark Arts one, was the most fun and challenging one we had. My teacher, Professor Lupin, had us work through an obstacle course filled with creatures that we had to get past with the spells we’d learned. There were four phases of it. We were in a room that after each successful completion, a door would appear and take us to the next phase. And each phase got a little more difficult.

The first phase was to get past a hinkypunk. A hinkypunk can cause people to get lost forever in a marsh or bog. I didn’t want to take a chance on getting lost. You know my sense of direction. I used the first spell that came to mind. It was Petrificus Totalus. That’s a full body binding curse. I completely knocked out the hinkypunk and was able to move on to the next phase of the obstacle course.

The second phase was to get past a doxy. The doxy is a biting fairy and they’re quick and flighty. I knew I had to think fast to get past it. I first cast a Stunning Spell. Once the doxy was stunned, I still had to figure out a way to render it useless beyond just stunning it. So I cast a Vanishing Spell I’d learned from Professor McGonagall in Transfiguration and it disappeared. Success! The door to the next room appeared in front of me and I knew I could go on.

Phase three had me encountering one of Hagrid’s pets. At least I think it was one of his pets. Hagrid has a strange taste in animals and pets that he doesn’t consider dangerous or threatening. Anyway, this creature isn’t really a dark creature, but it does make an unusual pet. It’s a Fwooper. A Fwooper is a bird that when it sings can drive someone insane. Exactly why Hagrid has one, I don’t have a clue. It is kinda pretty to look at though. We had 30 seconds to successfully cast a Silencing Spell on the bird and get to the other side of the room before the spell wore off. I’m happy to tell you Mom that I got past it in 15 seconds!

The final phase had us facing a creature native to Germany. It’s an Erkling, a creature that likes to lure children off to eat them. Don’t worry Mom. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t an actual Erkling because I don’t think that the Headmaster or Professor Lupin would actually have put us in danger like that. Anyway, we had to use stealth and cunning to get past it. We could use any sort of spells that we had – charms, curses, jinxes, camouflage, etc. But we had to be able to explain to what we did. I used a Jelly Legs Jinx and some camouflage to disable the Erkling and disguise myself so that I could get past it. I think I ended up looking like a walking tree.

Professor Lupin was very impressed with how well I did. I’ve got to say, that I’ve never had exams like this before! The state tests we took at home tested our knowledge of reading, writing, and math. Here, what I’ve learned will be things that I actually get to use in my life. I’m pretty sure that Daddy would have been proud of me.

I talked with some of the teachers here. And the ghosts too. They remember Daddy well. So Mom, even though I never got a chance to know him, I’m glad that he was a wizard and that I’m a witch. Because this world is amazing! A couple of the professors have given me tips to adapt to life in the Muggle world during the summer. And I’m going to try some of them. Though most of them are crazy and would do just the opposite that was intended. Instead of helping to fit in the Muggle world, they’d cause me to stand out.

Well I’ve got to go. Sarah is meeting me for dinner! I’ll see you soon.


“Your mom really likes hearing about all of the spells and things you’ve learned,” Sarah asked?

“Yes,” Kaylee replied. “My dad was a wizard and he died before he had a chance to tell my mom what he was. Mom knew he was different, but until I got my letter, she didn’t connect the dots. She loves to hear about my father’s world as it’s my world now too.”

The girls watched as Kaylee used a school owl to take her letter. Both were silent for a few minutes.

“Sarah,” Kaylee began softly. “I was wondering something. Do you think your parents would let you come visit me in Oregon sometime this summer? I don’t have a lot of friends at home and I’d love to have you fly out and meet my Mom and my grandparents and just to see where I’ve lived since I was a baby.”

“I might be able to,” Sarah replied thoughtfully. “My parents probably won’t mind. What do you mean by fly out? It’s it too long for a trip on a broom?”

“I mean on an airplane. It’s the way Muggles travel from one country to another without the use of magic. It’s sorta like a portkey, only it’s not as quick as one. But it’s the best way for wizards to travel around Muggles without drawing attention to themselves.”

“It sounds like fun,” Sarah admitted. “I’d love to visit as long as it’s ok with my parents.”

The girls linked arms and left the owlery, plans for their summer already in the making.

Last edited by Hes; May 6th, 2013 at 10:24 am.
Old April 26th, 2013, 2:24 pm
Professor Dumbledore
Posts: n/a
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.
Old April 26th, 2013, 2:26 pm
Professor McGonagall
Posts: n/a
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.
Old April 26th, 2013, 2:27 pm
Professor Dumbledore
Posts: n/a
Re: Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Entry Four

With a loud crack, a house elf Apparated right in front of me. I jumped at the noise and his sudden appearance, spilling a bit of hot chocolate from my mug down the front of my robe. He was an older elf with white hair growing out of his large, batlike ears. He was dressed in a white towel and had a golden locket about his neck.

“The Headmistress wishes to see you,” the old elf croaked. I set my mug down on the workbench and looked up at the portrait of Professor Dumbledore. It was empty.

“Headmistress?” I said, confused. The elf muttered something to himself and grabbed hold of my arm. After a nauseating moment feeling like I had been squeezed through a rubber tube, my vision cleared and I was suddenly in what appeared to be the headmaster’s office. It took a moment for the room to stop spinning. A large portrait of Albus Dumbledore hung on the wall and seemed to be addressing several people standing in front of a wide desk.

“ . . . and I assure you, Minerva, that things would have been much, much worse . . . ah, here is Kreacher. He was assisting Severus in this endeavor . . .”

Professor McGonagall turned and eyed both me and the house elf. “Kreacher, did you help Headmaster Snape protect the students here at Hogwarts?” The old elf bowed in her direction.

“Yes, Headmistress. Headmaster Snape called Kreacher back to Hogwarts the day Master Harry left for the Ministry of Magic and didn’t come back. Each day the headmaster gave Kreacher a healing potion to put into the evening pumpkin juice to help protect the students from harm. The headmaster was upset that Master Harry left Kreacher at Grimmauld Place.” A thin boy, with unruly black hair and glasses that framed bright green eyes, cleared his throat.

“I can just bet he was upset with me,” he said. My eyes widened as I saw the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. This must be the Harry Potter that everyone at school had been talking about ever since I boarded the Hogwarts Express.

“How was he brewing such large quantities of this potion without the Carrows finding out?” Professor McGonagall asked.

“I think that is something Miss Weaver can help us answer,” Professor DD’s portrait said and everyone turned to look at me.

“Well . . .well . . . I can’t . . . I mean . . .” I stammered, blushing furiously upon finding myself the center of attention. “The headmaster did something so that I can’t say were he made his potions.”

“A Fidelius Charm?” Professor McGonagall said. “Miss Weaver, that means you are indeed able to show us this lab. Since Professor Snape was killed several hours ago, you are now its secret-keeper.” I felt icy jolts of shock wash over me.

“Professor Snape is . . . he’s dead?” I felt my eyes start to sting. “But he saved me from Professor Carrow,” I said.

“What are you talking about, child?” Professor McGonagall demanded.

“Professor Carrow wanted our Dark Arts class to practice the spells he taught us before we took the exam.” I hesitated. “He said . . .” my voice dropped to a whisper. “He said they could practice on me because I was a half-blood.” The room was as silent as the grave. “Professor Snape came and took me from class and told me to stay in his potions lab until he came back for me. That’s where Kreacher found me.”

Professor McGonagall seemed to have trouble clearing her throat before speaking again.

“Please show us this place, Miss Weaver.”

I lead the little group - myself, Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter and apparently two of his friends, a girl with busy brown hair and another boy with red hair and freckles - to the corridor with the trolls-in-tutus tapestry. As I thought about the headmaster’s lab, a door suddenly appeared and I opened it. Everyone followed me inside.

My mug of hot chocolate was still sitting on the workbench and I walked over to it. If ever I needed chocolate, it was now. Professor McGonagall inspected the little workroom and found a parchment covered with cramped, minuscule handwriting.

“These ingredients are all healing herbs,” she said. “He really was trying to protect the students.”

“As he promised me he would do, Minerva,” Professor Dumbledore was back in his portrait.


My father’s hand warmed mine as we stood at the foot of the two white sepulchers. The funeral had been held several days ago and the tomb of Severus Snape had been placed next to that of Albus Dumbledore’s. Letting go of his hand, I pulled my wand and stepped forward.

Cavum,” I said and pointed my wand at the foot of Headmaster Snape’s sepulcher. A small hole appeared and my father handed me the plant that had been on the headmaster’s desk - the one I had left on the stairs to his office. I removed it from its pot, placed it in the ground and tamped dirt around it. Standing, I waved my wand over it and whispered “Floresco.” The sagging blooms freshened and then flushed with color - white, pink and red.

We turned to go, walking up the hill toward the castle. Stopping for a moment, I looked back. This one plant would eventually multiply into many. Every spring the lilies would bloom at the foot of the headmaster’s grave.

Last edited by Hes; May 6th, 2013 at 10:31 am.
Old May 6th, 2013, 10:35 am
Professor McGonagall
Posts: n/a
Re: Challenge Ten: DADA Class entries

Entry Five


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.


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.


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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