Dark Arts Indeed
By Dancing Imp
Tensions were high at Hogwarts. The famous Harry Potter was in his fifth year and there were signs to indicate that there wouldn’t be a sixth. Voldemort, that evil master wizard, had been resurrected and had the entire world firmly in the grip of fear. The halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry held fewer students than any other time in recent history due to the fear that He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named would attack his two greatest enemies, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, sat at the head table in the great hall where the Welcoming Ceremony for greeting new students had just been completed.
Harry noticed that the seat for the Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor was once again empty. Each year since he had first arrived they had gone through a new teacher each year. He wondered if this one would be any different. Something made him doubt that. He watched as Dumbledore stood up and motioned for everyone to be quiet.
“Before we start our feast, I have an announcement to make. We have a new instructor for the Defense Against the Dark Arts class. She has come out of a rather prolonged retirement to aid us in these dark times.” With a wave of his hand the great doors of the hall opened and in strode what appeared to be a teenage girl. Her long, fiery red hair flowed freely behind her as she made her way towards the head table with graceful, confident strides. She wore rather strange clothing, colored mostly in yellow and red. Harry couldn’t help but notice that, if she was supposed to be an adult, she was rather flat chested. A long black and purple cape flowed behind her as she finally reached the empty chair and turned to give a bow to the gathered students.
Dumbledore nodded to the woman before addressing the gathered students. “May I introduce Professor Lina Inverse.”
As the rather short woman took her place next to Hagrid, teacher of the Care and Handling of Magical Animals class, Harry noticed that Hermione had gone deathly pale. “What is it?”
“N-not her… Anything but her! Even You-Know-Who would be better than her!”
“Hermione, what are you talking about?”
The young girl’s voice rose a bit higher than she intended. “She’s the Bandit Killer! The Enemy of All Living Things! THE DRAGON SPOOKER!” The last was almost a shout.
Harry looked around as he noticed that the entire hall had gone deathly quiet. Looking at Lina he saw her right eyebrow twitching rather spastically. “Er, I think she heard you.” Harry could only watch in shock as Hermione fainted face-first onto the table.
Dumbledore coughed to get everyone’s attention and the sound was like a gunshot in the silent hall. Several students squeaked in surprise as he waved his arms and food appeared on the tables. “And now, let the feast begin!”
Almost none of the students were able to make heads or tales out of Hermione’s outburst, but a few had. Those few informed their friends as the feasting continued until every eye settled on the new professor. Prof. Inverse didn’t seem to notice as she dug in to her food with gusto. Even if her reputation hadn’t earned her any stares, her eating habits would have as she fought a pitched battle with Hagrid, the half-giant professor, over a rather large drumstick.
In the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, Draco Malfoy smirked haughtily as Prof. Inverse clapped her hands to get everyone’s attention. “Oh please.” He whispered to Crabbe and Goyle, his two lackeys. “This is supposed to be the legendary ‘Bandit Killer’? I always thought she was overrated.”
Draco failed to notice Lina’s right eyebrow begin to twitch as he continued. “Rather unimpressive I must say. And what kind of witch would let herself be called ‘Dragon Spooker’?” Crabbe and Goyle both snickered with him as he continued and Lina’s twitching became more severe. “I heard that one of her titles was ‘the flat-chested, brainless, breastless sorceress’.” Harry began to wonder if Lina’s eyebrow was about to achieve orbital velocity. “Besides, I always heard that Naga, you know, the White Snake, was the real brains of the two.”
“Mister Malfoy?” Prof. Inverse’s voice was soft and sweet, but Harry could almost feel the seething rage hidden in it. “Would you be so kind as to move about three feet to the left. I have a demonstration for the class.”
Draco snorted derisively but complied. He moved to stand where she indicated, which was right next to Crabbe and Goyle.
“Thank you! Now class, this is why we don’t insult people who are much more powerful than we are. FREEZE ARROW!”
Draco’s eyes flew wide as a bolt of freezing magic leapt from Lina’s finger and plowed into the three Slytherins. His teeth began to chatter as a block of ice formed around the trio. Lina turned a bright smile to the rest of the class. “So, who here can tell me how to deal with a horde of rampaging trolls?”
A few weeks passed and a rather interesting routine settled in among the students and teachers. Right now was a perfect example as Fred and George went about selling popcorn to the students who had gathered to watch Lina in action.
“PROFESSOR INVERSE!” Harry had never seen Prof. McGonagall so angry as she came storming down the corridor to glare at the her fellow teacher. “REGARDLESS OF THEIR OFFENSE, WE DO NOT PUT OUR STUDENTS ON ICE!”
The redheaded sorceress waved her hand dismissively. “All right, all right… no more Freeze Arrows.”
A whimper of relief came from the frozen form of Draco Malfoy.
The front gates of Hogwarts suddenly exploded inwards. The students all gathered around to stare in wonder as the debris and dust slowly settled. Suddenly a mystic wind sprang up to sweep away the cloud and reveal Voldemort’s cackling form as he stood in what remained of the school gates, flanked by his loyal Death Eaters.
One of the students cried out, “It’s You-Know-Who! Run!”
Out of the shadows stepped a certain redheaded sorceress. “Don’t worry, kids. I’ll handle him!”
One of the students cried out, “It’s Professor Inverse! Run!”
Voldemort did something that he had never thought was possible. He sweatdropped.
McGonagall’s gaze rested on the spot where Voldemort had finally been vanquished once and for all. Standing beside her was a very exhausted Dumbledore. “It’s finally over,” the aged headmaster said with relief.
The professor looked at him for a moment. “But was it worth the cost?” Her gaze drifted to the side and Dumbledore took a moment to follow her gaze to where Hogwarts stood. Well, more like leaned. What wasn’t smoking rubble that is. Or a crater.
“The school can be repaired.”
sighed. “Are you sure this was the only way?”
Dumbledore nodded. “In all my research, the only spell powerful enough to definitely kill something like what Voldemort had become, that wouldn’t destroy everything else, was the legendary Dragon Slave.”
“And Miss Inverse is the only one left who knows how to cast it,” McGonagall finished.
“Well, there was Naga. My information on her was sketchy, but she was well known as Lina’s greatest rival. She might have been able to cast the Dragon Slave or a similar spell, but to be honest… I don’t think I could have dealt with that laugh of hers.”
The professor shuddered. “I heard a recording of it once. I have made sure it was only once.”
Dumbledore shivered as an old memory came back to him. “Imagine, if you will, six Nagas all laughing at the same time. I am only grateful that the clones were destroyed long ago.”
“Perhaps Miss Inverse was the better choice.” She shook her head at that thought. “Dark Arts indeed.”