Fourteen Steps to Nowhere

Entry Thirteen

Harry Potter and the Strange Girl's Dream continued...

The next scene opens up in the Defense for the Dark Arts classroom.  Outside it's cloudy and grey and the clouds are almost blinding with light.  The mountains and hills are green with life and in the classroom its very dark save for the few spots were the artificial light of candles barely flickers on.  The students walk into the class chatting amongst themselves and sit at various tables getting out their parchment and their quill pens to take notes.  The students gossip about the fact that no teacher was introduced at last night's dinner and wonder who it could be.

A loud crack makes everyone jump.  It's Snape, hitting his wand against the door as he walks in to get everyone's attention.  The class immediately quiets as Snape strides purposefully to the front of the class room and turns around, his cape flying with his movements.

"The professor for the Defense of the Dark Arts will not arrive for a few days so I will be teaching in his place."  Snape announces.  "Open your books to page 319 and read the page quietly to yourself."  Snape instructs and lets the class do so.  "Now, can anyone tell me the best way to ward off a ______ (no name was given to the creature in the dream)?"  No one raises their hand under Snape's impressive glare.  Snape's eyes fall onto Hermione, his surprise evident that she has neither offered the answer nor raised her hand.  Since it is such a rarity to catch Hermione Granger off guard, Snape calls on her and she remains silent, once again slumped forward and staring down.  Predictably she does not answer, but looks up a moment later confused as to why all eyes are on her.  "Ten points from Gryffindor for not paying attention!"  Snape snaps and twirls around.  Harry, who is sitting at the desk across the row from Hermione and Ron speaks up.

"Sir..." he starts, trying to defend Hermione out of both concern and anger at having lost house points.

"And another ten points for speaking out of turn, Mr.  Potter,"  Snape says nastily and strides to the front to a covered and locked box.  "This is a box of _____ (same creature as before).  They are very quick and very deadly.  Their bite contains an intense neurotoxin which only the strongest medicine administered at its quickest can stop.  There are no truely effective spells to combat ______s, but a simply petrifying spell often works longer enough for you to get away or trick the ______s.  What one can do to avoid a confrontation with a ______ is to simply stand still.  _______s do not have very good vision.  If you stand still they will simply assume you are a small tree or a bush or a rock in some of your cases."  Snape says as he looks over the class, pacing in front of them.

Snape uncovers the box, a cage with thick bars and the entire class jumps in their seats when the _______s shriek, their dark blue bodies moving swiftly like a swarm of angry hornets.  "Now, everyone must sit perfectly still while I release the ______s.  Even a movement as simply as moving your finger can alert them to your presence."  Snape says and stands behind the cage and reaches over using his wand to unlock the lock on the front of the cage.  The small door opens and the ______s pour into the classroom and swarm around and above everyone's heads.

The students remain perfectly still until Hermione brings her hands up slowly in front of her.  This movement is more than enough for the _______s and one dives at her screaming hellishly as it lands on her head and crunchs disturbingly into her skull, small fangs going directly through bone and injecting the neurotoxin.  With a strangled cry, Hermione arm's move up over her head and her back arches as she falls sideways out of her chair.  The rest of the students desperately try to stay still as Snape points his wand upward.

"Petrify!"  He shouts and the entire swarm of _______s freezes in midair and the _____ on Hermione's head freezes in middle of raising its head to take a second bite, blood dripping down its chin.  Snape motions the _______s into their cage and locks the door with his wand as he runs over to Hermione who is convulsing heavily on the floor.  Harry and Ron kneel down near her as Snape approaches and shouts for the circling students to move.  Her shoves Harry and Ron out of the way as he kneels next to Hermione.

"Potter, go get Madame Pomfrey right now!"  Snape orders in a desperate tone which scares the rest of the students.  Harry gets up, giving his friend one last glance, fights through the crowd and runs out of the classroom, down the hallways and up towards the infirmary, scared, out of breath and hoping desperately that Hermione will be all right.

And again with the longness...shall continue at another time.

More Posts by StoneLion