It seemed that a fire was lit under the staff at Hogwarts. This school term will mostly devoted to teaching the students how to defend themselves. Though it seemed the students were to begin the year without a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. In a shocking move, Gaellen Tate, an agent working for the mysterious International Task Force arrested Ethan Truebridge with a well placed stunner. When asked how he felt about arresting Professor Truebridge, “At the point when I arrested Professor Truebridge, we weren't coworkers. In fact, I only knew him rather vaguely from our time together as students at Hogwarts. But I remembered he was a pretty good chap, and he had a good track record. I really hated having to go through the motions of arresting him, but it was necessary for appearances.” Tate explained the ITF as, “The ITF is the peacekeeping agency attached to the International Confederation of Wizards. *We're a sort of borderless agency working with the Ministries of many countries. Some of our tasks are as benign as keeping the yetis and Muggles apart, or as serious as tracking and arresting dangerous fugitives.” This all seemed an awful lot of excitement for a Hogwarts Professor. "For the most part, the students didn't realize anything was amiss until they showed up for school and found that Truebridge wasn't there. *He was arrested before the term began." That was the final statement made by the Former IFC member Tate.
While Professor Truebridge was away from Hogwarts the Board of Governors sent in Thomas Duskurk. The formidable professor opened the year with a dueling theory class. The first lesson with the new professor was a subdued on as he took points off from Gryffindor for a student greeting him a little too loudly. The class would take on a ominous feeling as the Duskurk would tell the class, “Dueling is the number one occupation of those wishing to rise in the world of the Dark Arts.” That certainly is the first time students at Hogwarts have ever heard that. He then went on to instruct the Ravenclaw Prefect and another Ravenclaw student that “You will be in charge of escorting your fellows to the Hospital Wing when it is their turn to be injured.” I’ve never known a professor to intentionally try to injure the students. Celandine proved that she does have a lot going on in that pretty little head of her’s as she fired off spells expertly during her duel. She drew first blood with a well times glasseo charm that took poor Tiberius off his feet. It was all nice and civil with the two housemates but Professor Duskurk didn’t seem satisfied with the lack of actual bloodshed and he asked the class what they would do differently if they were trying to kill each other in a duel. The feisty blond bombshell would come out the victor in the dual and Tibi would get a nice nap out of the deal. Ravenclaw Neptune Bott seemed to have the sort of fortitude that Duskurk was looking for as she proclaimed, “Tibi should have feigned death right from the start. Then, knowing Cela has a good heart and would come check on him, he could have attacked her face when she bent over to check on him. He'd have totally won!" Remind us here at the Yearbook to be really sweet to that particular Eagle.
Support for the defeated Tiberius waned as student after student and even Professor Duskurk felt the little guy was outmatched and outclassed. He even offered that Tibi should have ran from the room than be beaten by a girl. As if girls aren’t as strong and capable of taking down a opponent as Ms. Toussaint just well proved. Professor Duskurk actually taught a class on The Dark Arts, Hogwarts and all his Headmasters have always taken a hard line on the dark arts and all their trappings. The restricted section of the library is the only place to even find a book on anything but the Defense Against the Dark Arts. The entire class was conducted with a sort of reverence to the dark arts. Duskurk even made disparaging remarks about the Ministry’s ability to keep the peace and create laws to keep us safe. Professor Duskurk was a strange bird indeed and many in the corridors of Hogwarts were glad to see him go.
Professor Truebridge, after his er...um...brief absence, returned to a packed house of well wishers. Among them the queen of all things pink and green, Professor Bunbury. His first term back it seems was going to be devoted to the theory and practice of dueling. The first DADA class was broken up into two lessons. The first half, the theory of dueling was opened with Slytherin Prefect Raiden Jae Kururugi showing up with kneazle ears. There are a few Eagles that would think that was a cute improvement. The class started off as most do with a question from the professor, however even before all the Lions could prove their bravery, a lone Eagle, Neptune Bott, wiggled her toes and raised her hand and asked, "Did you duel in jail? Did you learn all sorts of shady moves?” Though he didn’t answer her question, Professor Truebridge was gripping his wand like grim death and I pity the fool who tries to take it from him again. The second part of the lesson would contain the practical application of dueling.
The entirety that was defense against the darks was about dueling and the students took to the lessons like ducks to water. Most participate in the dueling practice area, though only suffered a few minor injuries. Our new Nurse sure got a workout her first term at Hogwarts. And we were all glad to have Professor Truebridge back at his post and doing what he does best; gripping Michelle and having the second best head of hair in the castle.
Divination this term brought us a surprise that not many of us might have foreseen—Professor Kapoor, who had been teaching the subject for four years, stepped down and took a new position as the school Librarian. His replacement was none other than the beloved Professor Dumont, who had been teaching Muggle Studies for just as many years on the first floor of the school. When asked why he was willing to make such a drastic change from the world of Muggles to the world of palm reading and Tarot cards, Dumont stated that “I had been teaching Muggle Studies for quite a few years and while I enjoyed it very much, I wanted to try my hand at another subject I'm very familiar with, which is Divination. I had always said that before I left Hogwarts I would teach the subject for at least one term, and now I've fulfilled that goal and can leave happy.”
Antonio Dumont certainly made a great impact during his last term as a professor. Rather than focus on the traditional methods of Divination that many are familiar with, like the Tarot and crystal ball reading, he focused his lessons during the term on different forms of Astrology. During his first lesson as Divination professor, he introduced students to the Sun signs, presenting students with a different type of Zodiac than many of them were familiar with. Predictably, the next lesson focused on Moon Signs, and he finished out his last lesson at this school with the Rising Sun sign. Which one was his favorite, however? When asked, Dumont said “My favorite lesson was the second one, the one dealing with moon signs. Even though there were only a few students in attendance I am hoping they all learned something interesting about the importance of the moon in a person's individual horoscope. So few people realize how important it is in shaping one's personality. Understanding the placement of all the planets really does make the difference, and make it much easier to see why piecemeal, general horoscopes from the media don't fit anyone. I hope the students are challenged to explore their horoscopes on their own and perform a complete reading.”
Dumont definitely accomplished his goal—after this term, students had a better insight into astrology and were able to think outside the traditional Western Astrology signs that many people are familiar with. Jack Fritzera, Head Boy stated that “I had no idea there were so many different horoscope signs out there that like, shape your personality and stuff. I always thought it was just based on the day you were born, but Professor Dumont helped show me that there is so much more to astrology than that.”
Even though we won’t get a chance to see Dumont pursue Divination further, he left a great impact on students during his term in that position, and Hogwarts will be sad to see him go. We asked him what some of his favorite memories were at school, and these are the thoughts we'll leave you with today:
"I have nothing but good memories of Hogwarts. One of my favorite memories, though, is of two students who used to attend, Jack and John Moiser. They were two troubled twins on first glance, but it turns out that there was a lot more to them under the surface. Tragically, they are both gone now, but I think they will always be remembered for years to come.
I also have a wonderful memory from the very first season I taught at Hogwarts, of my daughter Antonia being born. It is hard to believe that she is now going to be attending Hogwarts herself, she has grown up before my very eyes almost overnight. She is the main reason I won't be teaching anymore. I want to give her every chance to experience Hogwarts as I did and not have there be any kind of bias or favoritism associated with her time at the school. It's only fair.
I would like to say that I have enjoyed working with all the professors and staff at Hogwarts as well as all the students I have taught. I truly hope you can all go away with a little something that you might have learned in my class, and I wish you all much success, happiness and good luck in the future.
Now I'm off to other things. You see, I have land in another country, a very small country, and I am going back there to take care of this business. I will miss Hogwarts, and all of you, very much.
See ya later, Professor Dumont – we all can’t wait to see what else you do in the future!
Who can deny that Professor Vindictus has the best hair in the wizarding skies? I doubt anyone can - well, maybe its Professor Truebridge with his jet black tumble of curls, but that is neither here nor there. But the former professional Quidditch player certainly finds ways to make our flying classes interesting and captivating.
Professor Vindictus always starts the year off with a beginner flying class and this year he went with the now famous navy robes and trademark smile. Hufflepuff first Arya Lovegoods was so taken in with the majesty that is Professor Vindictus that she broke out into a singsong voice as she greeted the muscular professor. His hair was in rare form that day, and it might have contributed to the lack of concentration in the the students that day. Several tumbled off their brooms or were caught bird watching; as Professor Vindictus was quick to point out. The sun was bright and the wind was far the beginners flying class ended in only a few injuries and lots of smiles.
Usually the broom shed is used by Quidditch captains looking for a quiet place to plan out the roster, but the second flying glass of the year was held in the shabby lean to. It started off slow with a thorough lecture on proper broom care. With the added hair care tip laced through in true Maximus Vindictus style. And though Slytherin pretty boy Dylan Denver, the cousin to Quidditch player and former Slytherin captain Marco Denver, didn't want to get his hands dirty the fifth year got his broom almost as shiny as his spiked hair. This class not only promised house points but it had the excited air of fantastic prizes as well. Several students won prizes ranging from a free Butterbeer to a free chocolate frog. It was a welcomed change to the run of the mill house points. Not that anyone sneezes at winning the House Cup. The normally calm and collected Ravenclaw prefect Celandine Toussaint seemed to have forgotten her cool demeanor. The blond freaked out when Professor Vindictus tried to hand her a simple prize. You would have thought an enraged hippogriff had charged her. The class ended on a rather sour note as some students were a bit shaken by the Ravenclaw's behavior.
The final flying lesson of the year consisted of a practical exam that to any flying enthusiast would have seem like child's play. Though Professor Vindictus still maintains a certain academic level with his papers. After all the written exams were taken up he broke the practical up into several parts. And while some of the students are still nursing bruises from forgetting to hold onto their broom most students left the pitch with happy smiles on their faces. Gryffindor Prefect Chris Potter took to the task of cleaning the school brooms with a vigor that you would expect from a Hufflupuff. But then the fresh faced prefect has always been a bit of an enigma. After the brooms were cleaned Professor Vindictus set the students to the task okay completing a flying course with floating obstacles. Though he must have been having an extremely bad hair day as he failed to blind the students with his usual Witch Weekly award winning smile. Many a Slytherin heart was broken that day. In true Bunbury style Professor Vindictus lit up the Hogwarts skies with pink lights and set the students off on his obstacles course. It was a spectacular light show for those note involved in that final. Professor Bunbury could been seen from the skies in her garden dancing barefoot through the Mandrake plants as the air was ablaze with the lights. It was a awesome end to a truly high flying year.
Constantine "Too cool to own a cat" Masterson has been the grounds keeper at Hogwarts for fourteen terms now and for the past two terms he has spiced up the grounds of our fair school. Of course we have the lake with the giant squid and the colony of merpeople at the bottom. And at the bottom is where the merpeople need to stay after that attempted take over they tried to pull two terms ago. Some of us are just now drying out from that coup. Then we have the expansive walkways where many a wayward couple has been caught snogging on the case of a certain curly haired Slytherin, crying. This year however, Professor Masterson played with the landscape a bit and gave us a few more places to hang out and relax outside of class.
Professor Masterson always makes himself at home in the groundkeeper’s hut away from the school and possibly the other professors. But please don’t tell Professor Lafay I said that. The first day of classes his quiet reflection was interrupted by a eager Hufflpuff, Ryder Montgomery. The only thing the sixth wanted to know was how to be the best groundskeeper ever. It seemed the badger is a great lover of all things outdoors and all he wanted was to learn how to take care of the place he loved. Though he was truly flattered by the request, Professor Masterson turned down Ryder, “You have so much time ahead of your to choose what you want to be once you graduate from this school. You should take the time to explore your options and find other areas that interest you.” That is the advice he gave the Hufflpuff after which he directed him to seek his head of house, Professor Shackleton-Clarke, for further help and advice. When he’s not in his house composing music, or devouring muggle novels the devoted groundskeeper can be seen playing fetch with the lovable and drolly German shepherd Roma. The Miranda “Battering Ram Badger” BelCanto was the first visitor to the playful pups abode. And Roma was a happy camper for it.
Professor Masterson added in a jungle gym set and a playground. The jungle gym consisted of a set of swings and monkey bars and other apparatuses. This choice seemed to be popular among the student population as notorious fussyput Slytherin Dylan Denver could be seen pumping his legs on the swing set throughout the entire term. Not everyone was having a good time; the Ravenclaw prefect Miles Vorkosigan broke a few ribs when he missed the monkey bars with his hands and fell hard. Luckily longtime girlfriend and dutiful badger, Fia Allister was there by his side to help him hobble to the hospital wing.
From the studious seventh year to the sticky first year, everyone student in Hogwarts found themselves out and about on the grounds and many passed through the jungle gym as a stress reliever. It seems added in places for kids to just be kids is always a great idea and we as students are happy someone realizes that sometimes you just have to sit in a sand box and build sand castles and make mud pies.