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Chapter 255 : Gryffindor - TidalDragon
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After all, it wasn’t every day that a new student at Hogwarts was shorter than many of the younger siblings his peers were leaving behind. I was proud to be attending. But behind every glance was a question – what is that doing here? What’s wrong with him? Was he in some sort of accident?
I learned swiftly to excuse the awkwardness. I knew my appearance was rather distinctive, being distantly related to Merdo the Green, a goblin warlord from the Middle Ages who insisted on augmenting the naturally greenish tint to his skin with magic. In quite the ancient scandal, Merdo had mated with the youngest daughter of a heavily indebted King, producing one of my oldest ancestors. Beyond my stature, I also had the rather distinctive walk sported by most goblins due to their stocky build and stubby limbs.
It would be nice to say that despite my heritage and odd appearance I was treated universally well by my peers, but sadly it was not the case. I was teased and bullied quite frequently. But this allowed me to develop a very specific set of skills that would stand me in good stead for the rest of my days. I mastered all types of defensive magic and concealment charms. I learned to chain spells together not just in the same magical family, but across boundaries, sequencing charms and curses to make nearly indefensible attacks or to allow a sturdy defense against multiple attackers. I also developed a fixation on books an experimental magical theory that far exceeded that of even my most well-read housemates. By the time I graduated I was fully capable of creating my own spells and when I uttered the incantations around Hogwarts, often to splendid effect, I was regarded warily yet again.
After completing my education, I ended up earning another peculiar distinction. Master Duellist. There are not many in the world, and only a certain number can be considered active at the same time. When I earned the title after besting a Romanian sorcerer at age twenty-nine, I became the holder of two records in the dueling community. The one that drew the most attention was the one I held in my own right – the shortest Master Duellist to ever live. I was an oddity in that regard as well with most believing my shortened limbs would produce stunted movements that would diminish my power and reach. The second I was happy to share with my old classmate Albus Dumbledore. Though we rarely spoke as students, we had always respected one another and it was no surprise to me when we became the first two students from the same year at the same school to achieve the title of Duelling Champion when I matched his level again at age thirty-two.
When I retired into academia, I never expected to need such knowledge again, teaching students Charms rather than Defense. But alas, war can set asunder the best laid of plans. Throughout my career I had gone to great lengths to conceal my history from my students. I would have been happy enough to answer all their questions, but despite my many accomplishments, I had never been terribly fond of the effusive praise and fawning they attracted. I would’ve rather stayed focused on the task at hand and constantly kept improving.
Once I’d been seen dueling and defeating Antonin Dolohov however, I knew that was out the window. In the hours after the victory over Voldemort, I must have had more visitors to my barely intact office than I had endured in the last seven years put together. Still, this time it filled me with a sense of pride. My skills had been a part of something greater than myself this time. In this Battle, in this place, I had helped defend freedom and defeat one of the darkest wizards of all time. Even at my age it was sobering to say out loud. I hoped it would pay dividends in terms of the amount of attention students paid to my lessons. Who could guess what this fearless new world would bring? Some would stay the same thankfully, but some I was
happily certain that others would be quite different. One that would change was clear.
I would no longer be regarded strangely, but rather in awe.
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