Dawn found Cho and Laurie sitting in the stands, watching the team practice, when she reached the Quidditch pitch. She dropped into the seat beside Cho. “Hey guys! Spying on the competition again?”
“Yep!” said Cho. “There’s also something I want to talk to Harry about.” Dawn saw that Cho’s eyes never left the pitch; they were tracking Ginny and Lindsey chasing a practice Snitch around the field. “Damn, but she’s got good!” Ginny had just snatched the Snitch.
“Yeah, she has,” said Dawn. “And she was already able to beat you last year too.”
Cho grimaced. “She got lucky.”
“So what do you want to talk to Harry about?”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to steal your boyfriend.”
“I’m not worried about that!”
“We’re starting up the DA again,” said Cho. “Thought Harry might like to join us, since he’s the one who founded it.”
“According to the version I heard it was more Hermione’s idea,” said Dawn.
Cho frowned. “Yes, well, whatever. We’re starting it up again, this time as an official school club, with a faculty advisor and everything, and we thought that Harry really ought to be involved.”
“Yeah?” asked Dawn. “Who’s the advisor?”
“Professor Lupin, of course,” said Cho. “He is the DADA professor after all.”
“Huh?” said Dawn. “I’m surprised he hasn’t mentioned anything about it.”
“We just went to talk with him, before we came down here,” said Cho. “He thinks it’s a really good idea.”
“Yeah, so do I,” said Dawn. “I’ll probably join.”
Cho gave Dawn a look. “Think you could teach us more of that non-magical defence your sister was showing us? I hear that you did the demonstration in your class, instead of her.”
“Yeah, I guess,” said Dawn. “If Professor Lupin thinks it’s okay. But I’m nowhere near as good as Buffy at that sort of thing.”
“Still puts you ahead of all of us,” said Cho. She turned her attention back to the Quidditch pitch. “Looks like Harry’s a pretty good Chaser too.”
Dawn held the punching bag, while Ginny punched and kicked at it. “So you think it’s a good idea?” she asked.
“Sure,” said Professor Lupin. “It’s just as good an idea now as it was last year.”
Ginny hit the bag with a spinning kick that Buffy had taught her. “You want me in it too?”
“Why not?” asked Lupin. “I think we can count it as part of your Slayer training.”
“You want Ginny practising this sort of thing in front of the other students?” asked Dawn.
“No, I think we’ll leave Ginny out of the public non-magical defence courses,” said Lupin. “We’ll be covering magical defence and dark creatures too, but I think you can hold courses for the other students who are interested in learning this sort of thing. Keep your eyes open for talent. Rupert asked me to keep an eye on the students here. He thinks it might be a good idea to get some more wizards into the Watchers.”
“Not sure I have the time to devote to the DA this year,” said Harry. “It wasn’t just the sessions themselves. I spent more time outside them planning than I did inside them. It’s the same deal with the Quidditch team this year. Most of my spare time is already taken up planning our practice sessions.”
Lupin smiled at him. “Welcome to the world of teaching. At least you don’t have to grade essays, or mark tests.”
Harry smiled back. “Really made me appreciate how much work you do.”
“You could pass the leadership on to someone else,” said Dawn. “Cho’s been doing all the organization so far. Let her do it.”
“It gets easier, the more you do it too.” said Lupin. “You’ve already done the lesson planning once. You might want to refine it a bit, but you’re not starting over from scratch.”
“But I don’t want to just repeat what we did last year,” said Harry. “Been there, done that. Time to move on.”
“Yes,” said Lupin, “but I think you’re going to find you have a larger membership to deal with this time. The new members are still going to have to learn the things that you taught last year, before they can learn more advanced techniques.”
Hermione watched Ginny sitting in her bed, writing in a notebook. She was just about to go in for her morning shower. “What are you writing?” she asked.
“Dream journal,” said Ginny.
Hermione frowned. “You aren’t taking Divination.”
“It’s not for Divination,” said Ginny. “Professor Lupin wants me to do it. It’s a Slayer thing.”
Dawn was coming out of the bathroom. “Slayers sometimes have prophetic dreams.” She tossed the towel she’d been using to dry her hair into the laundry hamper, and started to brush it. “Keeping a dream journal helps her remember them. Once she’s done it for a while, she won’t need to keep it anymore. It’s mostly just to get her into the habit of remembering what she dreams.”
“What?” Hermione scoffed. “If you dream a purple cat crossed the road, it means there’s going to be an apocalypse at noon next Thursday?”
“Was that the sort of crap that they taught in Divination?” asked Dawn. “No wonder you dropped it. No, it’s nothing like that, but she can get warnings about bad things that are going to happen, and clues about how to defeat them. Buffy’s had lots of dreams that helped her figure out what was going on.”
“What about that ‘ignore all prophecies’ rule of hers?” asked Hermione.
Dawn smiled. “Buffy’s never been one for following rules—even the ones she makes herself—and the dreams aren’t always about Prophecy. Sometimes dreams are your subconscious mind’s way of passing along information it’s worked out, but your conscious mind hasn’t figured out yet.”
The first meeting of the DA took place in a large classroom. Dawn looked over the gathered students. There were about fifty of them, many she hadn’t met before. They were all milling around and talking with each other. It was nearly eight o’clock, the time set for the start of the meeting. Dawn looked toward Professor Lupin, wondering when he would call the meeting to order.
Eight o’clock came and went. Lupin still hadn’t done anything. Several people kept looking his way expectantly. Hermione especially fixed him with a glare. “Hey,” said Lupin. “I’m just the advisor. You guys are running things.”
“Right,” said Harry. “I guess as the former leader, it’s my job to get this show on the road.” He moved to the front of the classroom. “Alright everyone!” he called. “Can I have your attention please?” Silence fell over the group. “Okay, welcome to the first meeting of the Defence Association.”
“Dumbledore’s Army!” called out Seamus from the back of the room.
“That too,” said Harry. “Now that we’re an official school club, rather than the very unofficial and unauthorized association we were last year, there are a few formalities that we need to get out of the way. For starters, we have to elect a club President.”
“Harry!” called out someone from the back of the room. “It has to be you, Harry!” called someone else.
Harry waved for silence. “I’m here, I’m going to be here to teach what I know, but I don’t have the time this year to run the club. I open the floor to nominations. I nominate Cho Chang for club president!”
“Seconded!” called out Dawn on cue.
“We have one nomination,” said Harry. “Any more?”
“I nominate Ron Weasley!” said Ginny.
“Huh?” asked Ron.
“Seconded!” said Hermione.
“Any more nominations?” asked Harry.
Everyone else was too stunned to say anything. Harry could see that they had all expected that he would continue as the DA president.
“Okay, we have two nominations,” said Harry. “Show of hands. Who wants Ron to be club president?”
Cho won the vote by a narrow margin. Harry smiled at her. “Okay, it’s your show now.” He went and sat down.
Cho was somewhat non-plused for a moment, but she recovered quickly and came to the head of the class. “Alright, this is mostly an organizational and orientation meeting, letting the new members know what we’re about. You’ve already heard Harry say that he’ll be teaching what he knows again this year, and Dawn Summers has agreed to teach us some more of the non-magical defence that her sister was showing us last week. We also have Professor Lupin as an advisor, and he’ll be teaching us some more advanced defensive spells…”
Dawn looked over the twenty or so students who had decided they wanted to learn more about non-magical defence. Harry, Ron and Hermione were there, and so were Rob Harding and Laurie Davis. They had the use of one of the classrooms again, and the floor was covered with mats. She was feeling a little nervous, this wasn’t like teaching Ginny and a couple of friends.
“Alright, let’s get started. We’re here to learn some more non-magical defence. What Buffy showed us a couple of weeks ago was mostly just to get you thinking about other forms of attack and defence, instead of relying entirely on magic, but to really learn about non-magical defence, you have to start with the basics, and the most basic thing of all is how to fall, without hurting yourself. And believe me, once we get started in this, you are all going to be falling a lot.”
Half an hour later several people were grumbling. They thought learning non-magical defence would involve more than falling on their asses. Dawn decided it was time to show them something different, or no one would come back to the next class.
She clapped for attention. “Okay! Everyone’s doing really well, it’s time to move on to something that makes use of what you’ve been learning. I gotta warn you now though, that we’re going to be spending a lot more time practising breakfalls. If Harry would step up here, I’ll show you why you’ve been learning them.”
Harry smiled as he stepped toward her. “And again, I ask: You aren’t going to hurt me are you?”
“Not if you do your breakfall right,” said Dawn.
Dawn and Harry held onto each other in front of the class. “Okay, this is one of the most basic takedowns.” Dawn shifted a bit, pulling Harry off balance, hooked a leg behind his, and pushed, tripping him so he fell onto his back. He slapped the mat with his arms as he landed, in a fairly well executed breakfall.
“You see?” asked Dawn. “Harry did a pretty good breakfall there. Now I want everyone to pair up, and we’ll show you what I just did. You’re going to be taking turns as the flippers, and flippees, and I want to see the flippees doing their breakfalls when they land.”
Dawn demonstrated the throw she’d done on Harry again, going more slowly, and then had the pairs of kids repeat it. She spent some time wandering around, watching each pair, sometimes stepping in to correct what someone was doing, showing them how to do it right.
Rob Harding was paired up with Laurie Davis. Dawn watched them for a while, taking turns throwing each other. She glanced around the room. Rob was nearly the only one there from Slytherin. She asked him about it.
“Oh, this non-magical stuff is ‘below’ a lot of those stuck up pureblood types,” said Rob. “They weren’t devious enough to realize that it’s a good way to get to grope pretty girls.” He leered at Laurie. Laurie slammed him down hard onto the mat next time, knocking the wind out of him.
Dawn pointed at Rob as he lay gasping on the floor. “And that’s why you need to work on your breakfalls!” she said loudly.
|Chapter 33: Trei the Trivet||Contents||Chapter 35: Wiccan Magic|