Chapter 14 : Professor Pophorn's Tresses
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Bex could see that Sirius was worried. She’d nearly transformed, she could feel it, and he could too.
“That’s enough for one day,” he said.
“It’s a two hour lesson every day, Sirius. That’s what we agreed on,” Bex pointed out. “So far, we’ve been training for only an hour and a half.”
“Fine. Try again, then.” Bex grinned secretly. She was nearly there, and she had one week to do it. Half an hour later, the bell rang.
“Lesson time!” Sirius said, springing up from his seat on a pile of books. They were practising in Flitwick’s classroom. Bex picked up her bag and wandered out of the classroom, towards Defence Against the Dark Arts.
“Done it yet?” asked Lily.
“Nearly…” answered Bex. Sirius took a seat across the classroom from her, and scowled. Emily could see James muttering angrily to him, and caught phrases like,
“I told you so!”, “Next time you gamble, bet your own sanity!”, and, “Why, Sirius? I know you’re competitive, but WHY?” Coincidentally, the last word of the last sentence was heard by the entire class, including Professor Pophorn, who’d just walked into the room.
“Why what, Mr Potter?” he asked.
“PROFESSOR Pophorn, Mr Potter.”
“Well done. Good morning, class. This month, we will be learning the subtle art of Firebringing. This first spell I will teach you produces a heatless flame, which never the less burns anything it comes into contact with. For example…” Pophorn raised a piece of parchment in front of the class. He waved his wand, shrieked, “Canis Flampus!”, and promptly keeled over sideways.
“My apologies,” he said, climbing to his feet. “Sometimes the force of the spell temporarily causes the wizard casting it to lose his balance.”
“Wizard or witch.” Corrected Lily.
“His or her.” Corrected Bex.
“Yes, yes, of course.” Pophorn said, waving away the remarks of the two girls in the front row. “Right… so… anyway… take out your wands, and follow after me! Canis…”
“Sexist pig,” said Jess loudly. Bex just waved her wand. Sirius cried out. His hair was on fire. Professor Pophorn panicked, and sprayed Sirius with a jet of water from the end of his wand. When this didn’t work, he bellowed,
“I’LL GET MADAM POMPHREY! HANG ON IN THERE, YOUNG MAN! YOU’LL GET THROUGH THIS!” and rushed out of his classroom.
“It doesn’t actually hurt,” commented Sirius, sticking his hand through the flames crowning his head. Bex flicked her wand. The flames disappeared.
“But look what’s happened to your hair!” exclaimed Peter. While the flames hadn’t been hot, they had eaten away at Black’s hairdo. Sirius had a very lopsided bowl for a haircut.
“Bex, c’mon, gimme my hair back!” moaned Sirius.
“Why should I?”
“Because I’m begging you.”
“I don’t see any bent knees.”
“Fine.” Sirius got down on the ground. “All hail Rebekah Jennifer!”
“And a list of my traits?”
“You’re annoying, cruel, foul, twisted, in need of a counsel-“
“I meant my good ones,” interrupted Bex.
“You’re gorgeous, all-powerful… and that’s about it.”
“You could just repeat gorgeous over and over. Perhaps through in a few synonyms every now and then.”
“You’re very, very gorgeous, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, gorgeous, elegant, gorgeous, attractive, gorgeous, striking, gorgeous, good-looking, gorgeous, dazzling, gorgeous, lovely, gorgeous, magnificent, gorgeous, hot, gorgeous, dignified, and gorgeous. Okay?” Lily shook her head.
“Déjà vu…” she groaned. Bex walked purposefully towards Sirius, and taught him a simple hair growing charm. Much to the relief of the Ravenclaw girls they were having their lesson with, Sirius’s hair was back to normal in less than two minutes.
“Thanks.’ Sirius said grudgingly.
‘That’s okay,” replied Bex, returning to her seat seconds before Pophorn sprinted through the door, dragging Madam Pomphrey by the hand.
“Professor Pophorn, is this some kind of joke? Because I don’t find it very funny. Please, carry on doing your job, and stop wasting my time!” she scolded.
“But… his hair… what? His hair… it was… fiery? It was! His hair… was… on fire… it was on fire… his hair, I mean… it was… fire? On fire… it was on fire… his hair… was… on fire… it was! IT WAS! IT WAS - IT WAS - IT WAS!” Professor Pophorn mumbled to himself. “Merlin, at the end of this year, I’m retiring…” he said to himself. Sirius immediately cast the spell Rebekah had taught him, and Pophorn’s hair began to grow. By the time the poor professor had realised how undo the spell, his hair was down to the floor.
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