Harry Potter And The Forger Of Worlds 72 The Great Laugh

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After the discussion about the Chamber, nothing too eventful happened. Well except for the Quidditch match against Slytherin where Harry was nearly killed by a bludger controlled by an overzealous house elf, and then Lockhart showed his glorious talent for being an idiot once more. Or when the camera boy, Collin Something or another was found petrified when trying to take a picture of Harry at night, while he was sleeping.

So yeah. Nothing interesting or important.

Though the only thing worth while to happen recently was this Dueling Club that was started. Hearing about it, Nova found that it piqued his interest. So at the eight o'clock time, Nova went down to the Great Hall where he found Hermione with Harry and Ron.

As Nova looked around the hall, the long dining tables had vanished and a golden stage had appeared along one wall, lit by thousands of candles floating overhead. The ceiling was velvety black once more and most of the school seemed to be packed beneath it, all carrying their wands and looking excited.

"I wonder who'll be teaching us?" said Hermione as they edged into the chattering crowd. "Someone told me Flitwick was a dueling champion when he was young - maybe it'll be him."

"Yeah I doubt it." Nova said, causing the trio to jump.

"As long as it's not -" Harry began, but he ended on a groan: Gilderoy Lockhart was walking onto the stage, resplendent in robes of deep plum and accompanied by none other than Snape, wearing his usual black.

Lockhart waved an arm for silence and called ' "Gather round, gather round! Can everyone see me? Can you all hear me? Excellent!

"Now, Professor Dumbledore has granted me permission to start this little dueling club, to train you all in case you ever need to defend yourselves as I myself have done on countless occasions - for full details, see my published works.

"Let me introduce my a.s.sistant, Professor Snape," said Lockhart, flas.h.i.+ng a wide smile. "He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about dueling himself and has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration before we begin. Now, I don't want any of you youngsters to worry - you'll still have your Potions master when I'm through with him, never fear!"

"Wouldn't it be good if they finished each other off?" Ron muttered in Harry's ear.

Snape's upper lip was curling. Harry wondered why Lockhart was still smiling; if Snape had been looking at him like that he'd have been running as fast as he could in the opposite direction. Lockhart and Snape turned to face each other and bowed; at least, Lockhart did, with much twirling of his hands, whereas Snape jerked his head irritably. Then they raised their wands like swords in front of them.

"As you see, we are holding our wands in the accepted combative position," Lockhart told the silent crowd. "On the count of three, we will cast our first spells. Neither of us will be aiming to kill, of course."


"I wouldn't bet on that," Harry murmured, watching Snape baring his teeth.

"One - two - three -"

Both of them swung their wands above their heads and pointed them at their opponent; Snape cried: "Expelliarmus!" There was a dazzling flash of scarlet light and Lockhart was blasted off his feet: He flew backward off the stage, smashed into the wall, and slid down it to sprawl on the floor. Malfoy and some of the other Slytherins cheered. Hermione was dancing on tiptoes. "Do you think he's all right?" she squealed through her fingers.

"Who cares?" said Harry and Ron together.

Lockhart was getting unsteadily to his feet. His hat had fallen off and his wavy hair was standing on end.

"Well, there you have it!" he said, tottering back onto the platform. "That was a Disarming Charm - as you see, I've lost my wand - ah, thank you, Miss Brown - yes, an excellent idea to show them that, Professor Snape, but if you don't mind my saying so, it was very obvious what you were about to do. If I had wanted to stop you it would have been only too easy - however, I felt it would be instructive to let them see . . ."

Snape was looking murderous. Possibly Lockhart had noticed, because he said, "Enough demonstrating! I'm going to come amongst you now and put you all into pairs. Professor Snape, if you'd like to help me -"

"Umm. . . Are you seriously not an idiot?" Nova asked out loud.

Lockhart then turned and looked at Nova and seeing that it was him, Lockhart's eye just twitched.

"Ah. . . Mr. Void. Could you say that again? I didn't quite hear you." Lockhart said.

"Sigh. . . Nevermind. Talking with you might damage my brain." Nova said he then walked to a corner and laid down.
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"Actually Professor Snape, I would like to do one more demonstration with Mr. Void, if he doesn't mind of course." Lockhart said.

Snape just gave small smile.

"I think you should wait until the other students are done." Snape said.

"Excellent!" Lockhart said.

"Yeah sure whatever. What a joke." Nova said. Hearing Nova, Lockhart nearly tripped over himself as he turned around. Lockhart teamed Neville with Justin Finch-Fletchley, but Snape reached Harry and Ron first.

"Time to split up the dream team, I think," he sneered. "Weasley, you can partner Finnigan. Potter -"

Harry moved automatically toward Hermione.

"I don't think so," said Snape, smiling coldly. "Mr. Malfoy, come over here. Let's see what you make of the famous Potter. And you, Miss Granger - you can partner Miss Bulstrode."

Malfoy strutted over, smirking. Behind him walked a Slytherin girl who reminded Harry of a picture he'd seen in Holidays with Hags. She was large and square and her heavy jaw jutted aggressively. Hermione gave her a weak smile that she did not return.

"Face your partners!" called Lockhart, back on the platform. "And bow!"

Harry and Malfoy barely inclined their heads, not taking their eyes off each other.

"Wands at the ready!" shouted Lockhart. "When I count to three, cast your charms to disarm your opponents - only to disarm them - we don't want any accidents - one...two... three -"

Harry swung his wand high, but Malfoy had already started on "two":

His spell hit Harry so hard he felt as though he'd been hit over the head with a saucepan. He stumbled, but everything still seemed to be working, and wasting no more time, Harry pointed his wand straight at Malfoy and shouted, "Rictusempra!"

A jet of silver light hit Malfoy in the stomach and he doubled up, wheezing.

"I said disarm only!" Lockhart shouted in alarm over the heads of the battling crowd, as Malfoy sank to his knees; Harry had hit him with a Tickling Charm, and he could barely move for laughing. Harry hung back, with a vague feeling it would be unsporting to bewitch Malfoy while he was on the floor, but this was a mistake; gasping for breath, Malfoy pointed his wand at Harry's knees, choked, "Tarantallegra!" and the next second Harry's legs began to jerk around out of his control in a kind of quickstep.

"Stop! Stop!" screamed Lockhart, but Snape took charge.

"Finite Incantatem!" he shouted; Harry's feet stopped dancing, Malfoy stopped laughing, and they were able to look up.

"Dear, dear," said Lockhart, skittering through the crowd, looking at the aftermath of the duels. "Up you go, Macmillan .... Careful there, Miss Fawcett .... Pinch it hard, it'll stop bleeding in a second, Boot

"I think I'd better teach you how to block unfriendly spells," said Lockhart, standing fl.u.s.tered in the midst of the hall. He glanced at Snape, whose black eyes glinted, and looked quickly away. "Let's have a volunteer pair - Longbottom and Finch-Fletchley, how about you -"

"A bad idea, Professor Lockhart," said Snape, gliding over like a large and malevolent bat. "Longbottom causes devastation with the simplest spells. We'll be sending what's left of Finch-Fletchley up to the hospital wing in a matchbox." Neville's round, pink face went pinker.

"How about Malfoy and Potter?" said Snape with a twisted smile.

"Excellent idea!" said Lockhart, gesturing Harry and Malfoy into the middle of the hall as the crowd backed away to give them room.

"Now, Harry," said Lockhart. "When Draco points his wand at you, you do this."

He raised his own wand, attempted a complicated sort of wiggling action, and dropped it. Snape smirked as Lockhart quickly picked it up, saying, "Whoops -my wand is a little overexcited -"

"Incompetent." Everyone heard Nova say.

Snape moved closer to Malfoy, bent down, and whispered something in his ear. Malfoy smirked, too. Harry looked up nervously at Lockhart and said, "Professor, could you show me that blocking thing again?"

"Scared?" muttered Malfoy, so that Lockhart couldn't hear him.

"You wish," said Harry out of the corner of his mouth.

Lockhart cuffed Harry merrily on the shoulder. "Just do what I did, Harry!"

"What, drop my wand?"

But Lockhart wasn't listening.

"Three - two - one - go!" he shouted.

Malfoy raised his wand quickly and bellowed, "Serpensortia!"

The end of his wand exploded. Harry watched, aghast, as a long black snake shot out of it, fell heavily onto the floor between them, and raised itself, ready to strike. There were screams as the crowd backed swiftly away, clearing the floor.

"Don't move, Potter," said Snape lazily, clearly enjoying the sight of Harry standing motionless, eye to eye with the angry snake. "I'll get rid of it ..."

"Allow me!" shouted Lockhart. He brandished his wand at the snake and there was a loud bang; the snake, instead of vanis.h.i.+ng, flew ten feet into the air and fell back to the floor with a loud smack. Enraged, hissing furiously, it slithered straight toward Justin Finch-Fletchley and raised itself again, fangs exposed, poised to strike.

"This is pathetic. Even a snake dares to ignore me. First Weasley's owl but now this. Unacceptable." A cold voice could be heard. It was Nova.

When Nova spoke, a cold chill could be heard, the snake itself could be seen s.h.i.+vering. It then dropped all pretenses and slithered over to Nova and coiled around his leg trying to seek forgiveness.

"Get off me." Nova said as he bent over and pulled the snake off. "What are you hissing and spitting about at the child."

A set of noises could be heard coming out of the snake.

"No it wasn't him. It was the idiot in the hat."

Hiss?

"Yes I know he looks stupid but what can you expected from somone with no brains. But that doesn't excuse the fact that you disturbed my rest." Nova told the snake before he clenched his fist and it turned to black smoke.

"Ok dumba.s.s. You've had your fun. I think it is time to go now." Nova said as he began to walk off.

"Nova draw your wand. I will let you know the price for calling me incompetent and insulting my looks." Lockhart said fiercely.

The room grew quiet as everyone waited for Nova's response.

"No. You're not worth my time." And Nova started to walk out the door.

"Stupify!" Lockhart cast out. And sent a red flash in Nova's direction.

"Sigh." Nova just snapped his fingers and the spell halted mid air. "If you want to play that bad here." Nova waved his hand and the spell was suddenly multiplied a dozen times and was sent back to Lockhart.

Lockhart and everyone else was shocked by this and could only stare in disbelief as dozens of red streaks pounded Lockhart.

"Cla.s.s dismissed." Nova said and left.

Harry Potter And The Forger Of Worlds 72 The Great Laugh

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Harry Potter And The Forger Of Worlds 72 The Great Laugh summary

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