Chapter 4. Remedial Dark Arts LessonsMature

“So anyway,” said Blair to Dimitri as they were walking to the courtyard straight after History of Magic, “I wasn’t even asleep, I was just resting my eyes for like, a minute, then next thing I knew he kicked me out! I’m telling you, he’s too old and senile. He’s really losing his grip.” Dimitri chuckled then said, “Oh hey, there’s Leon and Eruka over there. Let’s go say hi.”

 Leon and Eruka both turned when Dimitri called out to them. They were both sitting on one of the benches near the fountain in the center of the courtyard, and Willow was with them. Eruka sprung to her feet. “Dimi! Blair! I’d like for—“

“De-mii-tree, Eruka.” Exclaimed Dimitri. “Whatever,” Eruka continued, “Guys, meet Willow. She wants to join us for lunch after Leon—“ Blair interrupted, “Yeah, I was there when Leon first met her.”

“Well… Maybe Dimitri hasn’t.” Said Eruka irritably. “Well, like I was saying, she’s a Muggle but she’s fairly—“

“NON-WIZARD!” exclaimed Willow loud enough that most, if not, all people in the courtyard turned their heads and looked. Dimitri flicked his hair and said, “Technically, the term would be non-Witch if anything.”

“Whatever!” Yelled Willow. “Just don’t use the M-word around me! It’s so condescending!” “I’m sorry,” said Eruka, bowing her head.

 

That evening, after Potions, they all headed towards their usual spot in the Great Hall on the leftmost table – but this time joined by Willow. “So,” said Alexis, looking up at Willow, “are Mug—non-Wizard subjects fun and interesting, Willow?” She turned and looked at Alexis, “No, not really. I do enjoy English sometimes.”

“But, you can already speak impeccable English. Why do you need to take a class about it? Said Dimitri, dim-wittedly. “No, no! They don’t teach you how to speak the language. It’s a subject that covers many subjects, like film analysis and sentence structure and—“ She broke off when she realized nobody seemed very interested. “Well, anyway, I have a lot of algebra homework to do, so I’ll be up late tonight.”

“Al-ja-bra?” Questioned Blair, looking puzzled. Willow rolled her eyes. “Speaking of homework, Alexis,” said Dimitri, “aren’t you meant to be helping Leon with the Potions homework in the library tonight?”

“Yeah, we were gonna go down right after dinner, actually.” Said Alexis.

 “Your attention, please!” Called a loud voice at the front of the hall, amplifying his voice using his wand. It was Mayhew’s voice. “Professor Sithofith has asked me to remind all of you, that remedial practical lessons will be given to anybody who is serious about practicing offensive magic, every second lunch break on Tuesday. Thank you.” He lowered his wand from his neck and sat down.

“Tuesday lunch 2? That’s tomorrow, right after Charms!” Said Leon happily. “I’m going to go. I love Defense Against the Dark Arts, and if Lazarus really is out for me, I need practice desperately.”

“I’ll come with you!” Said Blair, “I think it’ll be fun to cast some illegal curses with no punishment.” Eruka raised her head. “I think we should all go. Even you, Al. You won’t last very long against a Death Eater if you can’t defend yourself.”

“Eruka!” said Dimitri, “stop giving us nicknames like that. You know she hates being called ‘Al.’” Alexis, ignoring Dimitri, said, “Yeah, I know. I have been thinking about it and I remembered what Sithofith said on our first lesson back: although these weren’t his exact words, he was saying that we wouldn’t be in our comfort zones in that class. So, what I’m saying is, I’ll take the remedial lessons.”

 Leon’s face lit up, as he combed his medium-length blonde hair to the side, “That’s great, Alexis! Wouldn’t be the same without the most intelligent person in our group there.”

Alexis looked happy for a second, then her smile turned into a slight frown. “Thank you, but if anything, you or Eruka are smarter than I am, otherwise I would be in Ravenclaw with you, not Hufflepuff.”

 “What does that mean? Does it matter what house you’re in?” Asked Willow. “Not entirely,” said Leon, once again moving his hair from his eyes, “it’s just that you are placed in the house that represents the qualities we value, rather than what we exhibit. Blair values his bravery, so he is in Gryffindor. Dimitri values the fact that he believes he is cunning—“

“Do not! It was a mistake!”

“…But, he is also very ambitious, so he is in Slytherin. But it’s mainly because he’s a pure-blood.” Continued Leon. Dimitri looked as though he had a revelation. “Oh. I suppose I never thought of those two things!” “Eruka and I (and undoubtedly, you) value sharp-mindedness, intelligence and wit, so we are in Ravenclaw.” Said Leon, pretentiously. “And Alexis, values hard work, patience and loyalty. She also believes in fairness, that is why she is in Hufflepuff. She is also the only Hufflepuff in our group.”

 “So, if I really was intelligent I would be in Ravenclaw.” Said Alexis glumly.

“No, that isn’t true, Alexis.” Said Leon. “Like I said, it’s about the qualities we value, rather than display. Because you’re intelligent but believe in hard work and loyalty, and you have great patience, you were placed in Hufflepuff.”

“If I were intelligent, you wouldn’t have to explain that to me.”

“Bloody, women, right?” Whispered Blair, into Leon’s ear.

 The next day, all of them, except for Willow obviously, went to remedial Dark Arts in the dungeon with Professor Sithofith. Upon entering, they realized there were no seats or tables; it was just an empty dungeon. Professor Sithofith came through the door opposite the one the students had come through, and he stood in front of his class. There weren’t many people there: mainly Leon, Blair, Eruka, Dimitri and Alexis. There were about for or five other students there.

When the muttering among them had finally ceased, Sithofith began, “Offensive magic is often used to maim opponents, not always necessarily kill. Some of them do a bit of both.” He glanced menacingly to everybody individually, and resumed, “ ‘Sectumsempra.’ A very dangerous curse, that is. It causes the victim too constantly bleed, non-stop – and unless treated, the victim will eventually die from blood loss, and trust me when I say it only takes around five to ten minutes. It is not a pretty spell, and is not to be used lightly. However, this curse has not been made illegal… yet. That is because it was created by an old Hogwarts professor, he is dead now. So not many people know this curse.” He whipped his wand, and about ten dummies came out of the storage cupboard that didn’t look big enough to house ten of them. When the dummies set themselves up, they all took on the appearance of everybody in the classroom. Sithofith continued, “Stand in front of the dummy representing your respective self and practice the curse. Again, it is: ‘Sectumsempra.’ Fear not for they are only dummies and you will not feel pain, however, the curse will take its full effect.

 All of the students stood in front of theirs and pulled out their wands. “Okay, Lopez! You first!” Leon aimed his wand at the dummy and flicked his wrist and said the incantation: ‘Sectumsempra!’ and as he did, a moderate-sized blue ball emitted from his wand and the ball dispersed as it connected. Leon’s false self fell to the ground screaming and bleeding out all over his chest. “Fantastic!” yelled Professor Sithofith, as he gave Leon a pat on the back. Then Blair, Alexis and Eruka aimed their wands at their respective dummies and all simultaneously chanted the incantation. They all managed to pull off the curse, but none of them bled as much as Leon’s did.

 “Well,” said Sithofith promptly, “not everybody starts off strong. Alexis, you now. Please, now.” Alexis, hesitantly pointing her wand, said “Sect—Sectum—Sempra.” Her wand sparked blue but it flew no more than about five centimeters. Sithofith approached her, stared at her and said, “What the hell was that meant to be?” he asked, rather condescendingly. “It’s ‘SECTUMSEMPRA!’ he yelled, “not ‘Sec—Sectum—Sssssem—mpra.’ Get it together.”

 “Hey, back off, Sithofith!” yelled Blair, but Eruka grabbed his shoulder trying to pipe him down. Sithofith looked up, and apologetically said, “I’m just trying to get us all prepared. Lazarus is out there, constantly attempting to murder every single person in this school.” He shot a glance at Leon, and then looked back at Alexis. “Try again, please.” This time, Alexis said the incantation properly, and a blue ball shot from her wand and caused her dummy to bleed rather violently. She lowered her wand and grinned. “Nice work, Alexis!” yelled Dimitri. “Yeah, we’re all making splendid progress, I think!” said Eruka. Sithofith growled. “No, just mastering this one spell, as splendid as I think your performance, is not enough. Offensive spells are important, but so are defensive spells. Sure, you have simple protective spells such as ‘Protego,’ but that spell will not always work. Some spells, such as the Killing Curse will break said spell. So, how do we make the Death Eaters flee before us involuntarily?”

 He waited for anybody to raise his or her hand, but nobody ever did. “I’m not surprised none of you know what spell I’m talking about. That would be because it is of my own invention.” The class looked surprised, then the class heard Eruka say, “ ‘of your own creation?’ You created a spell? That takes so very long, and takes a lot of hard work to do.” Sithofith grinned and said to Eruka, “I’m well aware of that. I created this spell not long after the rise of Lazarus, and it was inspired by the Patronus Charm.” He flicked his wand at the dummies that all transformed into cloaked Death Eaters wearing masks like they usually do.

 “When there are Death Eaters all around you, and there is no possible escape, and you know you can’t possibly win, concentrate all of your focus; ALL of it! Swish your wand, and say very, very firmly:

‘Patronus Maxima!’” A huge white sphere of energy shot from Professor Sithofith’s wand at once and zoomed across the room, targeting only the fake Death Eaters, and one-by-one, as they got hit, they Disapparated with a puff of black smoke. After the last Death Eater had gone, the white sphere dispersed and faded. Sithofith sheathed his wand, and turned to address the class. “This Spell targets every Death Eater in close proximity and causes them to Disapparate. But you need more training; much more training, before you can attempt to cast this spell.”

The bell rang for the end of the break and Sithofith dismissed the class. “Thank you for joining me today. You’re dismissed, everyone.” He walked back into his office as the class walked out the front door.

 They were all talking, joking and laughing as they made their way back to their dormitories, mocking Sithofith, even though they love having him as a teacher. “Hey, do you guys want to go to dinner first? You know, like we are supposed to do before we go to bed?” Suggested Eruka, motioning everyone towards the Great Hall, except Leon stayed on his original path and said, “Oh, I’ll catch up. I’m gonna go drop my bag off at the Ravenclaw dormitory. I have a lot of homework in there and it’s very heavy.”

 When he arrived at the Ravenclaw dormitory, he went straight up to his bed and placed his bag under the bed after unpacking a ton of homework and placing it on his nightstand. He looked out the window at the sunset, then headed back downstairs and made haste for the Great Hall. He entered the massive hall that was crowded everywhere you looked, and he walked to the far table that he and his friends always sit at. He looked up and down the table until he saw Blair, Alexis and Dimitri with an empty spot next to Alexis, so he started walking towards them. However, when he was almost there, he noticed a third-year girl with long blonde hair, brown eyes, and a bright smile. She was also very much in shape. At least that’s how Leon seemed to view her. He felt a hot surge shoot through his stomach as he approached. He tried to remain calm as he sat next to Alexis.

 “Hey, guys. Sorry I’m late,” he said, pretending not to notice the girl sitting across from her. “That’s alright,” said Alexis. “Oh and Leon, this is May. She’s a fourth-year, and a Hufflepuff, like me. I met her at the start of the year, and suggested she come meet my friends sometime.”

“Nice to meet you!” said May, promptly, holding out her hand ready to shake.

Leon shook her hand. “Nice to meet you, too, May.” He said nervously, as he blushed slightly. “Where’s Willow?” he said, looking around, after spending about ten seconds being quiet, to avoid seeming awkward. “I dunno,” said Blair, quickly. “Maybe with her other friends?” Leon felt bad. He didn’t seem to consider Willow had her own friends. But he had more important things to think of right now; like what to talk to May about. He wasn’t very sure if what he was going to say would be the right thing to say, so he hesitated for a moment after waiting for Dimitri to stop talking about how Blair set a python on the Dark Arts class. “So, May, I haven’t seen you around the past two years. Are you new here?”

May grinned and began, “Oh, yeah! You see, my parents travel a lot, so I’ve attended many different schools. I attended Beauxbaton’s for about five months last year, and then I had to move to Romania (it was a mess there!) then to Norway, and France… Anyway, my mother and father got sick of moving all the time, so they decided to find new jobs and to move back to Australia. Last time I was here, in my home country, I wasn’t old enough to practice magic.”

 

Leon looked interested in the story. “Oh, well I bet that would have been a spectacular adventure. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy; did you ever live there?”

“No. I would have loved to, though.” She replied. Leon opened his mouth ready to reply, when Eruka grabbed his hand and pulled him off to the side.

“Fancy May, do you?” a feeling of nervousness shot through his body. “Oh, well, you know, she seems wonderful and attractive, but I mean— I’ll just go back over there and…” Eruka stopped him once again, and said “I don’t want you to feel hurt, so I’ll tell you now: she does have a boyfriend.” A look of disappointment shot across his face. “She said they’ve only been together for about two months, so that’s only half of this school year, so far.”

 

Leon looked around in disappointment. “Oh, well thank you for telling me. I’m glad I found out this way. Not like I care—I mean, you know—Just in case I do—“

“Give it up, Lee. I’m a girl. I can tell just by how you act around her. Come, let’s sit.” She grabbed his wrist and brought him back over, and she sat back down on the other side of Alexis.

“Sorry,” said Leon to the group, “but Eruka here, forgot about the homework task.”

Willow came to sit down in between May and Blair. “Hi, Blairy!” she said, sounding excited about something, like always. She then turned to her right, “Hey. I’m Willow Varela. You’re looking very nice today.”

“Oh, thank you. I’m May.” She replied.

 

Leon was up for about an hour after he went to bed, sitting up thinking about the conversation he had just had with May, but after he noticed it was already one-thirty, he decided it would be best to go to sleep. He had a Care For Magical Creatures class first, and they were having a mixed class with some fifth-years.

 

“That should be pretty fun,” thought Leon. “I wonder if May is in my class.”

The End

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