Harry Potter and the, ah man, ANOTHER trans Harry fic? Really?

Chapter 20

Part Two

~After they had successfully navigated three flights of the ever shifting Hogwarts stairways, and then successfully located their classroom, (and just why did Hogwarts have so very many empty classrooms anyway?) Harry led them to the three seats in the back, furthest from the door, but as there were only two rows anyway, Hermione chose not to complain. As the school had thus far produced two failures in the role of defence against the dark side, the entire class was a bit anxious to see what the newly minted Professor R. J. Lupin had in store. Harry didn't want to admit it, but he was a little nervous. He wasn't sure how to act around a man that had possibly saved his life, just the day before. It also didn't help that the last two professor to occupy that role had both attempted to murder them.

It was shortly after the bell had rung to signal the start of class that the professor finally strode into the room. Tall, with salt and pepper hair, and a bit too many scars for comfort, the man looked like he hadn't had a good meal and full nights sleep in ages.

"Good afternoon class, if you would be so kind as to please put away your books and things. We will be having a practical lesson today, so all you shall need are your wits and your wands."

The entirety of the Gryffindor only class began murmuring while they did as instructed.They'd never had a practical defense lesson before. Whatever this shabbily dressed wizard had in mind, they hoped he at least was up to the task.

After roll call, he led his third years down several corridors, before knocking on the door to the teacher's faculty lounge. Lupin led his charges into the room, but before he could close the door, a cold voice from near the fire called out.

"Leave the door, Lupin. I'd rather not subject myself to this."

"Of course, Severus. Do have a pleasant day."

When he had reached the hall, Snape seemingly couldn't restrain himself.

"Possibly no one has warned you, Lupin. This class contains one, Neville Longbottom. I would not trust him with any complex tasks were I you. Not unless Miss Granger is present to walk him through every little step."

"Actually Severus, I was rather hoping Mr Longbottom would be willing to help me with the first step of the operation."

Though Remus sounded completely at ease during his reply, Harry couldn't shake the feeling that those two had a history, and that Lupin did not appreciate Snape's less than subtle harassment of his students. The fact that he would stand up for his pupils, even if it was subtle, helped ease some of Harry's anxiety regarding their new professor.

"If you would all be so kind as to gather along that wall there please, right. Now, after reviewing the records from your previous two years, you will all be aware of the existence of what the ministry would term, 'dark creatures,' but can anyone tell me the definition of a 'dark creature."

To exactly no one's surprise, or so Harry imagined, Hermione's hand was first to shoot into the air. At Professor Lupin's nod Hermione announced,

"There are two recognised categories of Dark creature. The first are creatures that have been created by dark magics. This results in a near complete subversion of the entity's original nature. The second class are born malevolent in nature. They either create, or feed upon, negative emotions. Their very existence is anathema to a healthy ecosystem, magical or otherwise. The prolonged presence of such creatures can create a black magic stain, which can then imprint upon an area even after the creature has been removed. If the psychic stain is not properly cleansed, that dark aura will attract more dark creatures to the same location. Further contaminating the landscape, and as most magical creatures are drawn to naturally rich magical areas, that contamination can also have an egregious effect on any neutrally aligned lifeforms residing in the area."

Professor Lupin beamed at his bushy haired best friend.

"A textbook answer. Well done Ms Granger." Looking over the rest of the gathered students he asked, "Can anyone give me an example of a dark creature?"

Almost half the class immediately raised their hands. As Lupin gestured to each in turn, Harry couldn't help but be amazed by the variety of creatures named. Mummies, Kapas, trolls, giants, bogart, will-o-the-wisps, vampires, hags, werewolves, pixies (really Harry thought, pixies are considered dark?), and of course… dementors. Harry shuddered slightly when that one was called out. Hermione, of course, noticed.

"Very good, well done class, well done. Now what if I were to tell you that only one of the creatures you all name, truly meet the definition laid out by the ministry's definition?"

Unsurprisingly, the class erupted into a cacophony of disagreement. After giving them a few moments to vent their ire, Professor Lupin smiled and raised his hands. Silence fell pretty quickly.

"While I fully acknowledge that many, if not all of the creatures you all suggested are 'listed' by the ministry as dark, and yes they can certainly be dangerous, nowhere in the definition does it say that a dangerous creature is automatically a dark creature. After all, a common boar could potentially kill a wizard, especially if they are caught off guard, and yet, they are not even a magical species."

"Harry," slightly startled, he looked up to see a sad smile on her professor's face, "would you care to take a guess as to which of the creatures in question truly meets the definition? One that creates, and then feeds on negative emotions?"

After a moment, Harry forced out a passable imitation of a calm voice, "The dementors, sir."

"Yes, well done Mr Potter. Now, over the course of the semester, we will be discussing each of these creatures, and where possible, I shall bring an actual example of the creature to class, and we will be learning how to defend yourself against them."

The class was abuzz with a mixture of fear and excitement. After giving them all a reassuring smile, he continued,

"and that brings us to today's exercise. A bogart has moved into that cabinet there, and the staff was kind enough to leave it be, until you lot would have the chance to tackle it."

Professor Lupin was smiling happily to his class, but the majority of class were wearing expressions of what could only be described as pure terror.

"Not to worry Gryffindors, the spell I'll be teaching you is quite simple, but before we get to that, who can tell me what a bogart is?"

Standing next to Harry, Hermione was practically bouncing. With a chuckle Lupin said, "Go for it Ms Granger."

Smiling brightly, "A bogart is one of several species categorized as a Phobophage. Bogarts are shapeshifters, but they do not actually create fear like dementors. Instead they inspire fear by taking on the physical form of that which frightens you most."

"Ten out of ten Hermione. While bogarts can sense a person's fears, they neither create it, nor do they feed upon it. Instead, their goal is to defend themselves and the territory they have claimed. Interestingly, because they are shapeshifters, it is unknown whether they have a physical form of their own, or if they only take on a form once they are confronted by another being."

Stepping up to the cabinet, which rocked violently at Lupin's approach, he gestured at the cracks around the door.

"Currently, the magizoological community believes that their natural form may be either gaseous, or perhaps a colony of tiny, hive mind creatures. How else could they enter through miniscule cracks such as these."

Clapping his hands together, Lupin continued, "Now, we have two big advantages when dealing with this bogart. Have you spotted either of them, Harry?"

Trying not to be too distracted by Hermione's bouncing form, hand raised of course, Harry considered everything they'd been told.

"Well," he began slowly, "if we know what form scares us the most, we should be able to prepare for its appearance, right?"

"That's one, well done Harry. And the second one, Mr Weasley?"

Ron took a few seconds longer to answer, but eventually replied, "Umm, I guess, since there are so many of us here, it might have trouble deciding which form to take?"

"Exactly so Ron, well done."

Once he had explained the principles of the spell they would use, Riddikulus, and then cleared a large space for them to work with the bogart, he pulled Neville forward.

"Now Neville, can you tell us what it is that scares you most."

Before Neville could begin to answer however, the scarred, older man shook his head and added,

"I should probably clarify first, what PHYSICAL form scares you most. A bogart cannot take on the form of a concept, such as loneliness after all."

Neville nodded, smiling sheepishly, he murmured, "Well, uh… it's kind of stupid but… I guess i-it'd be, uh, Professor Snape..."

The entirety of their class laughed, even Harry and Neville both chuckled, though Harry couldn't help but think about how messed up that was, especially as he could easily empathize. Snape scared him some too.

Lupin muttered something like, 'scares us all,' under his breath before he turned back to the short, round faced boy, "Right-o, Mr Longbottom, because the bogart can sense your fear, it can also sense the opposite, such as emotions like joy. Laughter frightens the bogarts, and so the spell, riddikulus, is used to change the image of fear into that of humor."

Turning to the rest of the class he said, "I want you all to take a moment, and think of a way to make your bogart's form amusing instead of frightening. Once you have it, take a step forward from the wall, and I'll call each of you up in turn."

Looking back to Neville he continued, "Do you have a plan yet Neville?"

When Nev shook his head, Professor Lupin leaned down to whisper in his ear. After a few moments of whispered back and forth Neville was grinning hugely.

"Right everyone, remember to picture the changes very clearly in your mind, then wand movement, and clear pronunciation."

With that, Professor Lupin stepped back, and used his wand to open the cabinet door. As the door swung wide, so too did the billowing, black robes of an enraged Severus Snape, as he walked swiftly forward, readying his wand. Neville backpedaled a couple steps before straightening his spine, gritting his jaw, and loudly calling,

"RIDDIKULUS!"

Suddenly stumbling back, bogart-Snape slowly straightened to reveal that he was wearing a long, dark green dress trimmed in lace, a matching blazer with gold buttons, a rather large, garishly green ladies hat, and best of all, the hat was topped by an honest to goddess stuffed vulture! Harry started to grin at how incongruous Snape's outfit was compared to his normal, dark demeanor, but then everyone began to laugh…

Something about that laughter gave Harry pause. She couldn't really explain why, but the laughter made her decidedly uncomfortable. Worse still, he was pretty sure Parvati noticed, but before she could say anything, professor Lupin called out to her to take Neville's place, as she had been one of the first to step forward.

A moment later and the bogart transformed into an Egyptian mummy. It stiffly began to shamble in her direction. With a cry of 'Riddikulus' the bogart wrappings began to unravel around it. The mummy-bogart frantically tried to hold the wrappings in place before also stumbling as one of its feet caught the other's trailing cloth. As the class roared with laughter again, a smiling Patil stepped back, and Lupin then called for Seamus. Seamus dealt with a most heinous looking banshee by turning her wail into the croak of a hoarse voice. In the meantime, Harry tuned everything out, subconsciously registering what was said, but unless his own name was called he'd mostly forget it (another skill he'd desperately needed to get through the hell the Dursley's had forced upon him). He was focusing on what form his own bogart might take, and how to deal with it. The first image to flash before in his mind was a purple faced Vernon. Though the man had only seriously hurt Harry once, and that when he was pretty young, his temper was legendary. It didn't take long for another face, imprinted on the back of his former professor's head, to come to mind. It was quickly followed by the younger shade he'd battled in second year. As he was debating how on earth he was supposed to make the so-called Dark Lord, Voldemort funny, the image of a rotted, near skeletal hand flashed through his consciousness, followed by a deep, creeping cold that would seep into your very bones. It was a struggle, but he managed to tamper down the flashback, the memory, he supposed, of his mother's last moments of life. Steadily growing more nervous, he frantically tried to decide which would appear, not that it really mattered though, nothing was really occurring to Harry that may make either entity less than terrifying.

Meanwhile, most of the rest of his classmates had already stepped forward, and were steadily being called upon.

#Crack! The banshee turned into a rat, which chased its tail in a circle, then — crack! — became a rattlesnake, which slithered and writhed before — crack! — becoming a single, bloody eyeball.

"It's confused!" shouted Lupin. "We're getting there! Dean!"

Dean hurried forward. Crack! The eyeball became a severed hand, which flipped over and began to creep along the floor like a crab.

"Riddikulus!" yelled Dean.

There was a snap, and the hand was trapped in a mousetrap.

"Excellent! Ron, you next!"

Ron leapt forward. Crack! Quite a few people screamed. A giant spider, six feet tall and covered in hair, was advancing on Ron, clicking its pincers menacingly. For a moment, Harry thought Ron had frozen. Then —

"Riddikulus!" bellowed Ron, and the spider's legs vanished; it rolled over and over; coming to a stop directly in front of Hermione.#

With a rather high pitched screech, the bushy, brown haired bookworm bolted for cover behind Lavender. Unfortunately, Hermione jolted her dorm mate so badly that she dropped her wand. Without her wand, Lavender couldn't cast reddikulus, and even more unfortunately, with a loud "crack", that was the moment the bogart transformed… into a true nightmare.

Authors Notes

Ha! Cliff hanger huh. Any guesses what monster is soon to appear? I'll give you a hint, my Lavender's father is a muggle, and loves older horror movies.

So yeah, this still isn't chapter 18 done, but I forgot that Tuesday was are in person home inspection for foster care, and my hubby wouldn't give me any time off for writing. It was build this, clean that, work work work, but... WE PASSED!! We might be getting calls for foster kids as soon as the end of next week. So I think I'm entitled to be a little frazzled.

I'm probably not going to say yes for a few weeks unless it's an lgbt kid. We live in a rural, Christiany area, and sadly very few Christians follow the judge not and love they neighbor part of the book.

If anyone is curious, the phobophage term was stolen from The Dresden Files (which I love).

And as always # symbols means this portion is more or less copy and paste from J.K.'s actual work.

I'll try and finish the chapter by Tuesday. No way I'll get to write this weekend with as much yard work as I hope it's cool/cloudy enough to do.