Chapter Two: Defence against the Dark Arts Class Meets Elves
Hermione Granger opened her eyes, a bright stream of light resting across her vision, which made her momentarily blind. She sat up, stretching out the tiredness in her limbs, and looked around, mentally making a list of all the equipment and books she would need for her classes. Hermione yawned, pulling the covers off from around her body, and slipped her legs over the side, trying to prepare herself for her feet hitting the floor, knowing it would be cold. She wasn’t prepared enough, gasping at the icy feeling on the bottom of her feet, and tiptoed to the joining bathroom to take a shower before getting ready to meet Harry and Ron in the Common Room.
She turned the shower on, waiting for the water to heat, and she thought about the events of the night before. She wondered how in Merlin’s name Dumbledore managed to recruit to Wood-Elves to become Professors, especially for a subject she assumed they could not know anything about. It was evident to her, upon seeing their awed expressions to Dumbledore making the food appear, they seemed to know nothing of the world they were in, and everything was new to them.
Hermione frowned, stripping off her nightclothes and stepping under the hot flow of water, her hair plastering to her head. While she washed, shampooing and conditioning her hair, she thought, with much curiosity, on what the Elves would teach them. Hermione doubted it would be magical defence, but she read in an old tome the Elves were well-learned in the arts of Archery and blades. Especially with daggers, if she was not mistaken, and their skills were legendary. Of course, they were also supposed to be mythical and renowned as heroes of millenniums long past.
Hermione didn’t know what to believe now, considering two of them resided in the school. They even had private chambers within the Gryffindor Common Room. Unless the night previous was a dream and she was now waking up to reality.
Hermione sighed, they were strikingly handsome. She could even say they were beautiful, shining with a radiant aura about their pale, flawless skin. Their hair was neat, not a hair out of place, shining like a golden halo in the light of the candles burning high above them. Hermione sighed, remembering the piercing, beautiful pale blue eyes catching her own in a web. Capturing her like he was a spider and she was his prey, and she found it hard to look away, but she felt foolish for thinking such things after.
Hermione sighed again, turning the shower off and grasping for her towel, wrapping it around herself. Hermione had never considered herself pretty, let alone beautiful. She always saw herself as the bushy haired book-worm who just happened to be best friends with the Boy-Who-Lived. She was oblivious to any interest the male population of the school showed.
Nope, Hermione never saw it.
She looked into the mirror, wiping away the steam clouding it, and looked at her reflection, scrutinising the pale girl looking back. She realised the only thing she liked about herself was her hazel brown eyes. She sighed, sometimes wishing she could be like the attractive girls who seemed to be born with looks to die for.
Hermione shook her head in denial then, like she always did when these thoughts crossed her mind. She knew if someone appeared out of nowhere telling her they could grant her wish she would decline. To make her like them would ruin her uniqueness. She liked being different from them and every other girl in Hogwarts and refused to be a sheep following the flock, remaining prideful of the fact she was a black-sheep and a teacher’s pet.
She nodded to her reflection before walking out of the bathroom where her roommates were waking up, rubbing their eyes and pulling themselves from their warm beds to go for showers themselves. Hermione gathered her school uniform, laying it on the scarlet covers on her bed, and while she got dressed, she continued to think of the night before.
She, Harry, and Ron stayed up late talking about Voldemort and the Horcruxes, as they still needed to find and destroy them. Suspiciously, the two Elves stood in a silent, dark corner of the room, watching them until they went to bed. Hermione watched them from the balcony above the Common Room, while they made their way into their rooms after they left. It was strange, but Hermione opted to shrug it off, thinking it was paranoia which made them suspicious of the Elves. The three agreed not to speak of the Horcruxes in the Common Room again unless it was impossible anywhere else within Hogwarts.
She sighed once more, grabbing her books, spare parchment, quills, and ink wells, placing them into her school bag. She picked up the heavy load, strapping it to her back before making her way out the door. Parvati and Lavender entered the room from the bathroom, making their way to their beds to dress when she left.
Hermione made her way down the stairs, dumping her bag on the couch, and took a seat, waiting for Harry and Ron to emerge from their pit. Hermione looked up when a figure emerged from a room behind her, the gentle squeaking of the hinges being the only sign of this, and she turned to look at the person.
Hermione noticed it was one of the Elves who arrived the night before, and her idea of the events of the evening before being only a dream flew out the window. He smiled, walking over to stand next to the couch.
Hermione smiled back at him. ‘Hello, Professor,’ she greeted with a respectful nod of her head to him.
The Elf smiled. ‘My companion and I are uncomfortable with the title of “Professor”. In class this day, he and I will stress you call us by our given names. I am Haldir, Miss Granger,’ he told her with a grin Hermione found to be heart-melting.
Hermione felt shocked at these words, struggling to grasp the concept of having to call Professors by their given names. It just wasn’t done. Hermione felt it was best not to irritate an Elf if she could help it though, and instead wondered how he knew her name. ‘How do you know my name?’ she asked him curiously because she didn’t remember giving it to him, knowing this was their first exchange.
Haldir smiled, but he wasn’t the one who answered, ‘We are aware of many things,’ came another voice, and Hermione turned to the newcomer, looking into those piercing pale blue eyes again. The Elf tilted his head, stopping next to Haldir and bowing his head. ‘I am Legolas,’ he told her, and Hermione couldn’t help whisper his name, letting it roll along her tongue.
‘Hermione or Miss Granger considering you are a Professor,’ Hermione answered.
Legolas’ lips twitched. ‘Pleasure, Hermione,’ he whispered, and with a glance to Haldir, the two walked away out of the room. They disappeared before she even had a chance to blink or form a coherent sentence in her mind, let alone in her normal speech.
Harry and Ron decided to stumble down the boy’s stairs still rubbing their eyes and dragging their feet. Hermione stood, grabbing her bag. ‘Morning,’ she muttered to them.
Harry and Ron stopped, both squinting at her through bleary eyes. ‘Morning Hermione,’ they said in unison.
Hermione rolled her eyes, turning and leading them out of the Common Room. They walked through the halls and down some stairs into the next hallway leading to the moving stairs. Harry and Ron, who both woke up a bit while walking, were now in a deep discussion about Quidditch which Hermione tuned out. They reached the moving staircases, taking one on the left which led them to the third-floor hallway. Hermione, Harry, and Ron looked at it with curiosity. ‘What do you think is there now?’ Harry asked them.
Hermione shrugged, grabbing their arms and leading them away from it to the next moving staircase. ‘Nothing which concerns us,’ she told them, stepping on the stairs.
They grabbed the rails to avoid falling from the sudden movement, and they followed Hermione into the second-floor hallway leading to a large beautiful marble staircase descending into the Entrance Hall. Ron looked around when the Slytherin’s made their appearance from the dark dungeons, and he growled. ‘Oh, good. Malfoy and his dogs,’ he muttered to them, and they glared at the blonde leader of the Slytherin’s as well.
‘Let’s just ignore him, shall we?’ Hermione said, pulling them into the Great Hall which was already full of students laughing, talking, and joking about inconsequential things. The main subject focused on the two Elves, and they wondered what they were going to teach them, or what kind of Professor’s they’ll be. The Golden Trio were also curious about what they would teach them while taking their seats at the Gryffindor Table.
‘So, what do you think they’re like?’ Harry asked, spooning some scrambled eggs onto his plate.
Hermione looked up at them. ‘They seem nice,’ she answered, looking back at them.
‘How do you know?’ Ron asked curiously.
‘I met them before you came down, and they introduced themselves to me. They don’t want us to refer to them as Professors. We’re to call them by their first names,’ Hermione explained, taking a bite of her toast.
‘So, what are their names?’ Harry asked, scooping up some eggs onto his fork.
‘The one on the left of Dumbledore is Haldir, and the other is Legolas,’ she answered, looking up at them.
The two boys looked up at the staff table before lapsing into a short silence while eating their breakfast. Ron looked up after a short time, glancing at them. ‘So, what class do we have first?’ he asked Hermione more than Harry.
‘Potions,’ Harry answered with disgust.
‘Oh joy,’ Ron muttered, stabbing a sausage on his plate with his fork while envisioning it to be Snape’s face. He took a bite of it, looking up at the greasy haired Professor who was talking to Legolas. ‘A beautiful morning with Snape,’ he muttered.
Hermione smiled. ‘It won’t be so bad if you pay attention and stop making smart arse comments under your breath. Snape always hears them,’ she told him with a sarcastic smile.
Ron returned it. ‘I don’t make comments under my breath.’
Hermione laughed. ‘Oh? Do you realise our Potions class takes place in a dungeon which echoes? You may as well scream them from the top of your voice. You should know by now that nothing gets past Snape,’ she told him firmly, checking her watch. ‘And speaking of class, if we don’t leave now we’ll be late,’ she told them, picking up her bag and shouldering it. She walked out of the Great Hall, not turning to see if they were following or not.
From the staff table, Legolas sighed in boredom while Severus spoke to him. ‘So, what do you know of Potions?’ he asked curiously.
Legolas looked at him. ‘It depends on what Potions you are speaking of,’ he answered, taking a small bite of Lembas Bread which Dumbledore had provided some for them until they got used to the food of modern times.
‘True. Do you know what the Amortentia Potion is?’ Snape asked him.
Legolas’ lips twitched. ‘A powerful love potion, if I am not mistaken,’ he answered, looking down at where Hermione was sitting with her two friends.
Snape almost dropped his fork. ‘That’s right,’ he said in confusion, and he decided to go for something a little more challenging, which was also a potion Granger didn’t know about. ‘How about the Cerise Lazier Geris Potion?’ he asked, taking a bite of his toast and looking at the Elf.
Legolas turned to him. ‘That is a very ancient and powerful potion indeed,’ he answered.
Snape spat out his tea in surprise and looked at him with wide, shocked eyes. ‘Do you know what it is?’ he asked, wiping up his spilt tea.
Legolas’ lips twitched again. ‘If not made correctly the concoction explodes, causing the maker to lose their memory temporarily, or, in worse scenarios, permanently. If the potion is made properly, the consumer will have temporary godlike powers, and it also gives them everything they have always dreamed of having. It is terrible, but great, and is also illegal if I am not misguided,’ he answered, taking a sip of water.
Snape stared at him in shock. ‘How do you know that?’ he asked in awe.
Legolas smiled, but he didn’t answer and watched Hermione walk out of the Great Hall, her two companions trailing behind her. He spent most of the night looking through the workbooks Dumbledore provided him, and Potions happened to interest him more than the others. He finished the book, committing it all to memory.
He turned in his seat, looking out the window at the sun. ‘We should get to class,’ he said quietly before standing. He made his way out of the Great Hall, followed by Haldir, leaving a shocked and bemused Snape in his wake.
‘That was the most horrible Potions lesson we have ever had,’ Harry muttered, leading Hermione and Ron down the corridor.
Hermione smiled. ‘At least we didn’t lose many points this time. Ron concentrated for once,’ she said, grinning at Ron who blushed.
‘So, what do we have now?’ Ron asked her, changing the subject.
Hermione raised her eyebrows. ‘Defence Against the Dark Arts if I am not mistaken, which I’m sure will be quite an interesting lesson. I wonder what they’ll teach us,’ she said to them thoughtfully.
‘I hope they teach us how to use daggers! I heard they have some skill with them,’ Ron said in excitement, pretending to hold blades, and swinging his arms around causing Harry to laugh.
Hermione rolled her eyes at his antics. ‘They won’t show us how to use actual weapons, Ronald. Dumbledore wouldn’t allow it,’ Hermione said in a bored tone while leading them into the DADA classroom.
Hermione noticed the Elves didn’t seem to be present yet, and she took her seat between Harry and Ron to wait for them to begin. The rest of the students filed in and the Golden Trio groaned when the Slytherin’s entered indicating this class was to going to be with them.
Malfoy sneered at them. ‘Why so glum? You should be grateful you are getting to sit within my vicinity,’ he said, passing them and taking a seat near the front, surprising the three Gryffindors.
‘Who would want to?’ Ron asked casually, getting his book out of his bag.
Draco smirked. ‘Everyone Weasel, especially you,’ he said, and his friends laughed.
Ron tapped a finger to his chin. ‘No, I don’t think I would even if I was rich,’ he answered, opening his inkwell.
Harry and Hermione looked at each other in confusion because Ron wasn’t rising to whatever Draco was saying. Draco looked at him with a frown. ‘Well, you’re not rich are you, Weaselby? Don’t you and your pathetic excuse for a family live in the same room?’ he asked snidely, and his friends laughed again.
Ron turned, looking at him angrily, which almost caused Harry and Hermione to reach out and grab him. They paused in shock, seeing he was calm. ’I may not be rich, Malfoy, and my family do not live in one room. Let me ask you this; do your Mother and Father even love you?” he posed in a serious tone which made the entire class go completely silent. Draco opened and closed his mouth a couple of times, unable to answer, and Ron raised his eyebrows. ‘I didn’t think so,’ he said, turning to face the front of the class.
Hermione leaned towards him. ‘Ron, that was a low blow,’ she whispered, looking over at the stunned Slytherin.
Ron frowned. ‘After everything he has said and done to us in the past, that was not a low blow, Hermione. Maybe now he’ll think about his misfortunes and not bring up other peoples to make himself feel better,’ he muttered, opening his book and writing the date at the top.
Hermione shook her head, looking at Harry who raised his hands up in defence. ‘Don’t look at me, I’m not getting involved,’ he said, and Hermione shook her head again, opening her book.
Haldir and Legolas chose that time to enter, walking gracefully to the front of the room. ‘Good morning, children,’ Haldir said, and the class said the greeting back only excluding “children”, and putting in “Professors” instead. ‘There will be none of this Professor title in this classroom or anywhere else in this castle,’ Haldir told them, clasping his hands behind his back.
Legolas looked around at them all. ‘We wish for you to call us by our given names; my name is Legolas, and my companions name is Haldir. We will not accept anything else from anyone, is that understood?’ he asked them, gazing around at them piercingly.
‘Yes,’ they all answered.
‘Good,’ Haldir said, looking at them all. ‘We have thoroughly read the assigned book for the year, and we have decided not to go with it. Please, put your books away,’ he said. With hushed whispers from the students, they placed their books back in their bags.
Hermione raised her hand, and Haldir nodded to her. ‘If we are not going to be using our books, then what are you going to teach us?’ she asked, and the class murmured in agreement to this question.
Legolas’ lips twitched when he looked at her. ‘We will teach you defence. Only, it will be for situations forcing you into hand-to-hand combat where you cannot use Magic to protect yourselves. Also, do not misunderstand we are here to teach you how to use shields. We are going to teach you how to defend yourselves with weapons and today we start with daggers,’ he told them, and the class once again fell into whispers.
Ron nudged Hermione. ‘Not going to be teaching us with weapons, huh?’ he said, exchanging an excited grin with Harry while Hermione rolled her eyes.
‘Today will not be a practical lesson. Legolas and I will show you how to use your daggers in defence if need be,’ Haldir told them, and the class became attentive. Legolas unsheathed his blades, spinning them skilfully in his hands before getting into a fighting position. Haldir notched an arrow to his bow, turning to the class. ‘This demonstration will show you what to do if an arrow, a knife, or any other weapon is thrown at you,’ Haldir explained, drawing the string back to his mouth, and releasing it towards Legolas.
Hermione gasped, covering her eyes while the rest of the class watched with eager anticipation. Legolas crisscrossed his daggers quickly, and the arrow fell to the ground in pieces. ‘Dangerous. Few can achieve the skill the first time they try it,’ Legolas said, spinning his daggers and sheathing them again. ‘It takes practice. We will safely teach you this manoeuvre, and not in the dangerous manner we just demonstrated,’ he explained, and the class cheered.