In Chapter 13, we get to know our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Let’s go!
Another year at Hogwarts, another discussion about schedules and how much they hate sharing classes with the Slytherins. But first up its Herbology with the Hufflepuffs! An uneventful class of squeezing out bubotuber pus, which is disgusting, but helpful in the hospital wing, according to Professor Sprout.
Next up is Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class where we find out that Hagrid has found some new odd creature: Blast-Ended Skrewts.
They looked like deformed, shell-less lobsters, horribly pale and slimy-looking, with legs sticking out in very odd places and no visible heads. There were about a hundred of them in each crate, each about six inches long, crawling over one another, bumping blindly into the sides of the boxes. They were giving off a very powerful smell of rotting fish. Every now and then, sparks would fly out of the end of a skrewt, and with a small phut, it would be propelled forward several inches.
Why, Hagrid? Just . . . why?
Also, as a side note, I used to play the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire video game on PlayStation and boy, was it trippy. Probably the weirdest tie-in game of the franchise. And dealing with the skrewts? Really super annoying.
So some of these things have stingers, some of them have suckers, all of them spout sparks out of their . . . butts? Who knows. They can’t even tell if they have mouths, which is funny since Hagrid is trying to figure out what to feed these things. They don’t seem to want anything. And these are just babies, freshly hatched. What happens when they get bigger?
Next up is Divination, where Trelawney is her usual weird self and predicts bad things happening to Harry. They end up with lots of homework due to Ron’s joke about Uranus. Teenage boys, amirite?
After class, they run into Malfoy and his goons. Turns out that Rita Skeeter found out about the incident at Mad-Eye Moody’s house and Mr. Weasley’s attempts to diffuse the situation. The article in the paper also includes a picture.
“And there’s a picture, Weasley!” said Malfoy, flipping the paper over and holding it up. “A picture of your parents outside their house — if you can call it a house! Your mother could do with losing a bit of weight, couldn’t she?”
Oh no. Oh no no no no. You do not say such things about the amazing Molly Weasley, Malfoy! I will punch you in the face and stuff you in a box of Blast-Ended Skrewts! Unfortunately, I cannot dive into the pages of the book and give Malfoy the beatdown he richly deserves. It’s cool, though. Turns out I don’t have to.
“OH NO YOU DON’T, LADDIE!”
Harry spun around. Professor Moody was limping down the marble staircase. His wand was out and it was pointing right at a pure white ferret, which was shivering on the stone-flagged floor, exactly where Malfoy had been standing.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! He turned Malfoy into a ferret!!!!!! He then proceeds to throw the ferret through the air, smacking it against the floor many, many times. It’s only stopped by Professor McGonagall, who arrives and is absolutely appalled that Moody is using Transfiguration as a punishment. It’s supposed to be against the rules, but Moody doesn’t seem to care all that much McGonagall says he should give detentions or speak to the student’s Head of House. After Malfoy is turned back into a person again (if you can call him that), Moody sets off to talk to Snape (“Another old friend”) and Ron basks in the memory of “Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret.”
Hermione heads off to the library, although she is apparently not working on schoolwork. She’s up to something, man. Harry and Ron run into the twins and their friend, Lee Jordan, who are all talking about how amazing Moody’s class was. This wasn’t just some theoretical lecture. Moody has been in the proverbial trenches, fighting the Dark Arts, and taking down some seriously evil wizards. Despite his oddities, he knows his stuff. Ron laments that they have to wait until Thursday to take his class.
See you next time for Chapter 14!