(This blog post is for the final of the DADA 101 course on www.hogwartsishere.com. Please note that I had less than 210 minutes to write this. I did my best. There are no spelling, grammar or factual errors to the best of my knowledge.)

Friday, 20 June
Today is the first day of my backpacking around the country. I have no plans, only that I will be traveling anywhere it takes me or as I please and hope to come back home safe by the end of my vacation. Excited! So let’s do this!

Monday, 23 June
I reached London yesterday. I am staying over at the Ollivander’s. They are great hosts, and since we are family friends, they were kind enough to let me stay over.

I was chatting with Mr. Ollivander about Wand Lore (obviously) after lunch this afternoon, and he had something interesting to say about his wood selection/collection experiences. I will share it here:

“I find Bowtruckles the hardest to deal with when I collect wood for wands. They can be found living in most magical trees. These beasts are categorized XX but can be really dangerous. Even though they are only upto 8 inches in height and have no magic of their own, they have these really sharp fingers which they use for attack or self-defense, and they target the eyes. Magic doesn’t work agaist them for some reason. They have really good camouflage and look just like twigs. I take along a bag of fairy eggs and woodlice to distract them every time I go collecting wand wood. But one needs to be really quick. Dealing with them comes with experience…”
(Topic covered: Bowtruckles)

Friday, 27 June
I went exploring down the Knockturn Alley today. Actually it wasn’t intentional, I got lost. I didn’t know when Diagon Alley ended and Knockturn Alley began. I saw this shady shop where they were selling Firecrab shells in black! Firecrabs are native to Fiji, I have no idea how they smuggled it to England. They are supposed to be a protected species, but their shells are used as prized cauldrons. I suppose that’s why they are so expensive, because they are illegal and rare. Firecrabs are really funny creatures, they shoot flames out of their rear, so one must never approach it from behind. And they aren’t really crabs, they look more like non-magical tortoises.

Anyway, outside this shop there was an ugly, old and pale witch who was giving me weird suspicious glances. But then I looked at her feet, I knew exactly who (or what) she was. It was not a witch, it was a hag! Hags only have four toes on their feet. They have rudimentary magical capability but they eat raw liver and children! My journey down Knockturn Alley ended then and there. I disapparated away immediately before I got into any trouble I didn’t want to get into. I only want happy adventures!
(Topics covered: Firecrabs and Hags)

Sunday, 29 June
It’s SUNDAY! So I didn’t really venture out. It’s my last day of my stay at the Leaky Cauldron in London. I pretty much stayed indoors all day and caught up on the happenings around the world. I came across this interesting article about Werewolves in the Daily Prophet:

Monday, June 23, 2014
Werewolves are increasingly becoming a real threat to humankind as of late. Muggles can be forgiven for being ignorant about them, but it would be fatal to be careless on a full moon evening.

Always remember to keep a close look over your shoulder and your wands at the ready, lest you or those care about be attacked by a werewolf. In case of a werewolf bite, however, panicking will only make it worse than it already is. Instead, one must try to keep a cool head, as much as possible, to treat the wound to avoid further infection.

In case of a werewolf bite:
·  Get to safety first!
·  Rinse the wound under cold water for a couple of minutes and then wash it with soap for another 5 minutes. Let it air dry.
·  Apply antibacterial potion and Essence of Dittany (If you don’t have any, contact nearest Healer).
·  Cover the wound with a bandage. Change it every four hours.
·  Take a pain-killing potion, if the pain is unbearable.
·  If infection spreads, get to St. Mungo’s IMMEDIATELY. Do NOT delay any further. (Feverish, dark red skin around the wound, abnormal swelling or pus drain are clear signs of infection)

The best thing, however, would be to NOT encounter a werewolf at all. We encourage all our readers to…
Stay Alert, Stay Safe!

Mental note: I must remember not to venture out alone at nights, especially around the time when the moon is full.
(Topic covered: Werewolves)

Wednesday, 2 July
Today was the most adventurous day of my trip so far. I was returning from watching a local Quidditch game in Southampton, England. I had to cross through a small portion of the woods and marshland to get back home. Since it was getting late and growing dark, I quickened my pace. When I reached the edge of the marshland, it was nearly dark, so I broke into a jog. As I ran along, all of a sudden, I tripped over and crashed to the ground. A mysterious log had appeared under my feet our of nowhere, and I had failed to notice it, and my momentum had caused me to lose my balance.

I was unhurt, but suddenly I heard squeaky voices and giggles behind me. I was shocked. I quickly turned around while still sitting down, and noticed tiny little humanoid creatures, about six inches in height, bald and brown, staring and pointing at me. I recognized these little monstors. They were Imps! I never seen one before and here they were so many of them together. I was starting to panic. I took out my wand and waved it in a circular motion around my head and yelled “VERDIMILLIOUS!

A green jet of sparks shot out of my wand and exploded several feet in the air. The area lit up with emerald green light for a few seconds. It scared most of the Imps and they disapparated out of sight, but it also seemed to make a few of them unhappy. They began to growl and close in on me. I slashed my wand and screamed “FLIPENDO!“, the first thing that came to my mind, and the little Imps that were still around were thrown out of sight by the Knockback Jinx. I got up and walked slowly home, happy that I had fought myself out of trouble and hurried home to write it down here.
(Topics covered: Imps, Verdimillious Charm and Knockback Jinx)

Monday, 7 July
Yesterday was yet another fun day. I am staying over at the Weasleys’ Burrow. And since it was Sunday, the Weasleys were out de-gnoming their garden. These little potato-like creatures are so dumb, but they can bite! I’m glad we were wearing dragon-hide gloves. All you have to do is catch them by their feet, swirl them around over the head a few times and swing them away as far as you can and they lose their sense of direction and go lost. Jarveys can also be used, they are little predators that hunt gnomes, but it leaves a bloody mess in the garden, so Hermione avoids using Jarveys. A gnome bite would need treatment using Essence of Dittany after the wound is cleaned with soap, like Ron needed one after being a little careless for removing the glove and trying to handle an angry gnome.
(Topic covered: Gnomes)

Saturday, 12 July
I have reached Hogsmeade at last. This is my last weekend of my vacation. I’m staying at the Hog’s Head Inn. I see the conditions have no improved much since I was a student over at Hogwarts. I found doxies in the closet today!

Doxies are XXX classified beasts, and I was not happy to look at them. They have fairy like wings, but that does not make them one. They have thick, black hair and lay up to 500 eggs at once. The first one that lunged at me from behind the window drape caught me so unawares that I took out my wand at yelled the Softening Charm at it! I have no idea why, but “SPONGIFY!” was my first thought, of course, I did the “S” shaped wand movement. The poor little thing went all softy, I had my biggest laugh-out-loud moment holding it and looking at it. It didn’t last long but I had sprayed Doxycide on it before the effects of the Softening Charm wore off. The Doxycide temporarily paralyzes them, which gave me enough time to dispose of it. I found the Doxycide spray at the bottom of the closet, thankfully. I spent the rest of the afternoon fighting Doxies. And now I have the foul smell of the Doxycide solution that won’t leave me.
(Topic covered: Doxies)

Tuesday, 15 July

I am back at Hogwarts after all these years!

Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts!

This has been a beautiful adventure trip for me and I am glad it ended with Hogwarts. I am here for the meeting of the Wizengamot, to be chaired by current Headmaster Professor Jacob Baloeg.

I requested to be put up in Ravenclaw Towe, just to reminisce my old school days among the first year kids. “You will love your time in The League of 42” Dorm, Alex Quilmane, who is now Head of Ravenclaw House, said. “Those kids are the pride of Ravenclaw House. You will love getting to know them.”

So far it really has been fun. But guess what just happened?!

It is past midnight so I went for a stroll through the empty corridors. As I walked around, striking up conversations with the paintings on the walls, I sensed a chill. I looked around. It was dark, so I lit up my wand. “LUMOS!“, I said. As I said that, I moved my wand forward and up in a backward loop. I saw a pale silvery nearly-transparent figure, which shone bright enough to be visible against my wandlight, floating towards me. “Put that away, son.”

I looked on with amazement as I saw the Ghost of Novellus Batman float towards me. I didn’t realize my mouth was still open. “Son, your wand”, he reminded me. “Oh, sorry sir!” I said and put out my wand with a “NOX!

It was nice speaking to him. He has a wonderful way of leading the conversation and such amazing stories and anecdotes to narrate! I shall recount what he said when I asked him how it feels to be back:

“Ghosts are described as “disembodies spirits”, weightless and indestructible. I am one now. I guess I was always afraid of death and refused to move on. Or maybe I had a strong connection to Hogwarts that kept me here. But I love being a ghost. I can fly through solid objects. I can drop the temperature and turn a flame blue. Sometimes I do these just for fun, much to the amusement of the kids.”

To those who do not know, Novellus was the Heir of Ravenclaw and Batman, Member of the International Confederation of Wizards and the British Wizengamot till the date of demise. Survived by a son (Novellus Senior, aged 33), twin daughters (Kate and DupliKate, aged 30) and six grandchildren, with the seventh grandchild on the way (DupliKate is expecting). His eldest grand-daughter is now a first year Slytherin at Hogwarts (Skylynn Rae, daughter of Kate Batman-Rae). He also has a Goddaughter who is a first year Ravenclaw (Anna-Noel Imbriaco) and a Godson who is a first year Hufflepuff (Airbus Dumbledore ♛).

A native wizard family from the magical land of India, the Batman clan have gained a reputation for being masters of spiritual Indian magic (which is believed to be much more intellectual than practical), and Astrology (a combination of Divination and Astronomy). Some of the smartest and most brilliant Indian witches and wizards in the last thousand years have either been a Batman or are somehow linked to their bloodline. The family’s association with Ravenclaw happened when Lady Cassandra Shelldon (heir of Rowena Ravenclaw) traveled to British India in 1761 A.D., she met Ramius Batman (great-great-great-great grandfather of Novellus), and they both fell in love and got married.

Albus Dumbledore, during his travels across Asia, as a part of the Wizengamot, invited the Batman family to send their children to study at Hogwarts, to promote Indo-British peace. Novellus was the first Batman to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, between 1964 and 1971. His younger sister followed in his footsteps 3 years later. And thus began Batman’s association with Hogwarts. He also met the love of his life, Jessica Day (a Hufflepuff, who was a year older) and later married her.

Novellus moved back to India in 1971. He worked in the Indian Ministry of Magic for a few years, in the Department for Protection and Restoration of Magical Artefacts. He was elected as a member of the International Confederation of Wizards when Dumbledore was the Supreme Mugwump. Novellus was forever loyal to him. He even considered Dumbledore as his hero. The two shared a friendship of mutual love and respect. They used to correspond regularly by owl. In fact, they both exchanged a lot of technical knowledge in-secret (about Horcruxes and Sybil Trelawney’s prophecies), when Lord Voldemort was at his peak. Even though Novellus did not actively take part in the resistance against the dark forces in England, he was happy to give Dumbledore tactical suggestions every now and then, till the latter’s untimely death. However, Novellus Senior, a student (the only Gryffindor in the family) during Harry Potter’s time, did take part in the Battle of Hogwarts, much to his father’s pride.

In the late 2000s, after the death of his wife, Novellus moved to England to settle down with his kids. In June 2014, aged 61, Novellus passed away in his sleep during his visit to Hogwarts (for a meeting of the Wizengamot, to be chaired by current Headmaster, Professor Balog).

The ghost of Novellus Batman now roams the corridors, the Great Hall, and the Ravenclaw common room. He is especially fond of Dorm #24,669: The League of 42, where he spends most of his time, talking to the students and telling them nice stories. They all love him. It was a privilege and a wonderful opportunity to interact with him and get to hear about his life and death from the man!

(As recounted by the Ghost of Novellus Batman )
(Topics covered: Lumos, Nox and Ghosts)

And with that ended my adventure. It’s now time to get back to work.

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