Bats, Cats, and Venus Flytraps
By: Benjamin He
Xander leaned against the windowsill, his wand clutched between his fingers as he swirled it around and around, emitting a soft, eerie light. He liked the weekends. There weren’t any classes to go to, you could do anything you wanted, and Harry Potter had eradicated practically all of the dangers in the Wizarding world a decade ago. There was absolutely nothing to worry about…Xander shoved another leg of his chocolate frog into his mouth. He could remember the day he found out he was a wizard. He came from a Muggle family, in other words, normal human beings without magical powers. But Xander had them…
“Xander?” his friend Clyde called.
“Yeah?” said Xander, looking up.
Clyde took a deep breath.
“It’s uhhh…Snyco. Harassing Muggle-borns again.”
Xander jumped up immediately, stuffing the rest of the chocolate frog into his mouth.
He ran down the corridor, barely hearing and ignoring Clyde’s No, wait! as he tore down the hallway. He was so mad, so blinded with rage and anger that he barely noticed when he slammed into a wall. He fell onto his back and was suddenly lifted into the air from his ankle. His robes fell over his head, concealing his vision. A great snickering noise flooded into his ears; he could hear the chortling that was surely meant for him. He lifted his robes out of his face. Snyco stood about two feet in front of him, looking unusually smug, even his goopy, dark hair seemed to be giggling. Snyco had a slightly pointier nose than the average human, and his eyes almost seemed to be a different color every day. Behind him were two first years, one seemed to be tap dancing uncontrollably, and the other’s legs appeared to be bound together.
“Well, hello there, Tockerkey.”
Xander grimaced as Snyco added a nasty emphasis on his last name.
“I can really appreciate the gravity of this situation, can’t you?”
Without thinking, Xander lifted his wand and pointed it at Snyco’s face while hissing something under his breath. A jet of light flew out of the wand and blasted Snyco full on the nose.
“What the…” Snyco sputtered, doubling over. “How…?”
A bat wing suddenly sprouted from one of his nostrils.
“AAARRRGGGHHH!!” he screamed.
He grabbed the wing and pulled, which resulted in a large, squeaking bat protruding from his nose. The bat shook itself off, then flew out of an open window. Squeaking could be heard from inside Snyco’s nose as more bats tried to claw themselves out. A small fruit bat wiggled out of his nose, while another one with red eyes stuck its head out of his other nostril. The corridor had begun to fill up with students, who laughed as their sights turned upon his pathetic performance. (He kept attempting to pull the bats out which resulted in him slamming into the castle walls.)
Xander smiled. One of his favorite spells was the bat-bogey hex, which resulted in the target’s boogers becoming well…bats. Snyco appeared to have a lot, as the bats still hadn’t stopped coming out of his nose. That was when the cat arrived. Previously, it just sat on the windowsill, licking its paw and hardly anyone noticed it was there. Then it jumped off the windowsill and stood on its hind paws. Whoosh! Where the cat once stood was a tall, thin woman. A large hat perched upon her head, and she was draped in emerald-green robes. The woman was the headmistress of Hogwarts, and also one of the strictest members of staff here. This woman's name was Professor McGonagall. She took out her wand and, emitting a soft light from the tip, drew a half circle. Xander dropped to the ground. The bats stopped coming. The first-year’s legs became functional again. Most of the bats fluttered away, and some tried to go in her direction. She aimed her wand at the one with red eyes. It folded itself into a clear, glass teacup, and flew straight into her hand. For a moment, no one spoke as she filled her teacup with tea that was summoned by her wand and as she took a sip from it.
“Poshni, Tockerkey, into my office please.”
The moment they sat down, Snyco pointed an accusing finger at Xander.
“It was him, Professor! He…”
Professor McGonagall raised a hand, which cut Snyco off abruptly.
“I saw everything, Mr. Poshni. I have seen you do your magic inside of these corridors. That will be ten points from Slytherin.”
She turned to Xander. “As for you—”
The door burst open, and in walked Professor Longbottom, the herbology teacher who was equipped with an oddly short memory. He was a round-faced man and was so short that much of his robes dragged on the ground behind him.
“Sorry to bother you, Professor McGonagall,” he said, approaching the desk. “But some students thought that it would be funny if they enlarged some venus flytraps to the size of airplanes, so we’re kind of under attack by them. All the teachers are on the case. We’re trying to get all of the students back to their common rooms.”
Professor McGonagall considered this for a moment, then opened her mouth.
“Alright, then. On you go.” The moment Snyco and Xander stepped out of earshot of the professors, Snyco wheeled on Xander.
“This isn’t over!” he snarled, then marched off toward the Slytherin dungeons.
Xander sighed and headed off toward the Gryffindor Tower. He joined a march of students who were all walking down a wide corridor. Ravenclaws and Gryffindors headed for the towers, while the Hufflepuffs and Slytherins made their way to the dungeons. The walls of the corridor were lined with large, tall windows, through which sunlight was streaming. He was following a fifth-year Ravenclaw girl when a ray of sunlight caught him in the eye. He was temporarily blinded, and when he recovered, the Ravenclaw girl was gone, the book bag she was carrying flopping to the ground. What the… he stopped and looked around.
He spotted a Hufflepuff third-year who looked like he was trying to shake something off of his wand. He rubbed his eyes. And he was gone too! His wand clattering onto the ground where he once stood. Xander looked around, and to his horror, people seemed to be disappearing all around him. He watched as a Gryffindor fourth-year appeared to have tripped over something but didn’t get back up again. A Slytherin in front of him appeared to have seen something in front of her as her eyes went wide and she opened her mouth to scream but appeared to have almost melted into the ground. Wait. Xander put two and two together. His worst suspicions were confirmed when two huge tentacles crashed through the window and snatched up a screaming Slytherin sixth-year. The hall erupted with screaming as kids pushed past each other, trying to escape the onslaught of tentacles that was now bearing upon them.
He ran for the towers, but not even two feet in front of him a Hufflepuff was wrapped up with tentacles like a mummy and dragged away. Xander spun around, only to see three Gryffindor first-years get wrapped up by a single, huge tentacle and pulled out through a hole in the window. A tentacle whipped towards him. An orange glow shot out from his wand tip and struck the tentacle, which recoiled immediately. Inspired by this action, a group of first-years attempted to use the same spells but kept hitting other students, and they were dragged away by a tentacle anyway. Out of nowhere, a tentacle whipped out, lightning fast, and pulled Xander through a large hole in a window. He was brought face to face with a Venus flytrap the size of an air blimp, its huge teeth gleaming with malicious intent as it opened his oversized mouth. Xander held a firmer grip on his wand. He hadn’t dropped it yet. Wait, his wand! Magic! Upon realizing this, Xander pointed his wand and shot a spell directly into its mouth.
“Densaugeo!” he screamed.
The monstrous plant shut its mouth immediately, realizing that its two front teeth were starting to grow rapidly in length. Xander then pointed his wand at its tentacle that was binding him.
Blue flames sprouted from the tips of his wand and burned a hole right through it. It let go, and the last thing he saw before hitting the ground was the flytrap’s tentacle burning away in a haze of blue flames.