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Jozua Sparks, Teppenpaw
I didn’t mean to
Tue Jun 5, 2018 10:11

The conversation with Deputy Headmistress Skies had helped somewhat with Jozua’s guilt over bringing the disease into Sonora and causing a quarantine over Christmas. It wasn’t gone. Sure, it was spreading all over the wizarding world and it could have reached the school through any of the staff, but it hadn’t. It had come to Sonora through him. Sure, there was no way he could have known he was carrying a highly contagious disease when he arrived in September, and he would have surely stayed home a few extra weeks if he had known, but he hadn’t. He’d returned to school and brought the plague with him.

Intentional or not, unlucky happenstance or not, it was still all Jozua’s fault.

And illness or not, Patient Zero or not, Jozua had been the first to show symptoms, the first to lose control of his magic, before anyone knew what was happening. People knew now why he had, Professor Skies said people shouldn’t hold plague magic against anybody, but Jozua couldn’t shake the feeling that his incidents were somehow different from those that came after. Less forgivable.

Maybe not the sparks. The sparks were about on par with what other kids were doing. That had clearly been accidental magic, well outside his control.

The more concerning issue, in Jozua’s opinion, was the flame out in Transfiguration. That had been different. His bout of accidental magic had been in putting that out, not setting it off in the first place. That had just been out of control magic, plain and simple. It was possible, probable even, that the illness had exacerbated the issue, but it didn’t seem to be a symptom everyone had. He wasn’t even sure if anyone else had experienced it. Maybe Parker. Jozua wasn’t sure. But if it wasn’t just a rare side effect of the illness, what did that mean? Had Jozua been at fault for his unstable magic at the beginning of the year?

Or did it just mean he was more in tune with his magic, more consciously aware of how it felt day-to-day so he was able to recognize a change and just being so hyper-aware if it made it harder to control when it wasn’t in its natural state? It had seemed to settle back to normal as soon as his fever was gone. But was that causality or just coincidence?

He supposed there was no way to know for certain unless the instability returned, and whether or not it coincided with a reinfection, but so far he had shown no signs of either occurring.

Which meant Jozua had no excuse for claiming a library pass when Professor Nash offered them to the infected. Not that Jozua really wanted one anyway. Sharing his greatest fear with the entire class (less the five of them who got passes) wasn’t exactly high on his list of favorite things to do, but he doubted it could do much more damage to his self-esteem than realizing he was the reason everyone had to miss Christmas already had.

So he not only stayed for the practical demonstration but somehow managed to be at the front of the line to face the boggart. He hadn’t attempted to push forward to be at the front, but neither had he attempted not to be at the front while apparently everyone else had. So here he was. First.

Well, maybe Professor Nash would look kindly on him for this after he’d skipped so many classes at the beginning of the year.

“Ready,” he said, taking a defensive stance with his wand between himself and the boggart as Professor Nash opened the chest.

He wasn’t entirely sure what he expected. Probably a Lethifold or something. Lethifolds were terrifying. He used to have nightmares all the time where he woke up thinking his blanket was a Lethifold trying to smother him and eat him.

The boggart didn’t turn into a Lethifold.

Deputy Headmistress Skies stood in front of the now empty chest. She looked stern and a more than a little bit angry. Quite a lot like she had that Transfiguration class when he’d briefly set his desk on fire, actually.

He was still trying to adjust to the idea that he wasn’t up against a Lethifold, and therefore his idea to turn it into a fuzzy yellow blanket with the Teppenpaw crest on it wasn’t going to work (his personal theory was that the Teppenpaw crest was at least as equally effective as holy water on dark creatures) so he didn’t manage to do anything to the Boggart Skies before she started talking.

(And seriously, how do you make the Deputy Headmistress funny without risking turning your DADA professor against you for disrespect to his boss? Really, it was bad enough that Professor Skies was his boggart but now he somehow had to make her hilarious, too?)

“Mr. Sparks,” she/it said in a very disappointed tone. “As if being responsible for getting the entire school sick and quarantined wasn’t enough-“ Jozua flinched visibly, his face going pale and his mind going more blank than it already was because it wasn’t Skies he was afraid of.

It was everyone else knowing he was the reason they had missed Christmas. He was why everyone was getting sick. He was why they had been stuck at school instead of able to see their families and friends at home.

It was all Jozua’s fault.

And now everyone knew.

Terror gripped him, held him frozen in place. Not so much of the boggart. The boggart had done its thing. There was nothing further the boggart could say or do to scare him more than he was already.

What would everyone else think? What would they do? What would they say?

Jozua had ruined all of their holidays.

He wasn’t quite sure what happened in the seconds followed those damaging words. He guessed Professor Nash took care of the boggart for him. Merlin knew Jozua was in no condition to do it. The thing probably got a good and tasty meal out of him. But somehow the boggart was back in its chest and Jozua was being directed back to the end of the line and being told he could recover while everyone else got a turn and he could try again after that, if there was time.

Jozua walked back to the end of the line, as if in a fog. That had happened. Everyone knew. The worst thing was, the boggart wouldn’t even be the same thing for his second attempt. That cat was already out of the bag now.

“I’m sorry about your midterm,” he mumbled to the student he ended up behind, still feeling almost numb. He wondered if that was the physiological effect of his greatest fear being realized, or because the boggart fed off of him. “I didn’t mean to get everyone sick.”

  • Intermediates - BoggartsProfessor Daniel Nash, Sun Apr 29 16:44
    Daniel was starting the new year with the dangerous creatures unit, which he normally rather enjoyed, but this year . . . was complicated. Veelas were completely off the curriculum this year, not... more
    • Not going to hideWinston Pierce, Crotalus, Tue Jun 5 15:27
      Winston arrived in the DADA classroom with a sense of dread. Yesterday, Professor Nash had gone on about boggarts, and had everyone learn the Riddikulus spell. It wasn’t a huge jump from there to the ... more
    • I didn’t mean to — Jozua Sparks, Teppenpaw, Tue Jun 5 10:11
    • From the Silly Pureblood FilesIvy Brockert, Teppenpaw, Fri May 18 16:01
      Although Ivy had been disappointed to not go home for the holiday break, it hadn't been really been all that terrible as she'd still had Vlad, Peyton, Natalie, Kira and Fabian. Plus, Vlad had invited ... more
      • Continuing the theme.Simon Mordue, Crotalus, Mon Jun 4 18:21
        Simon could imagine things he would like to do more than take Professor Nash up on his offer to skip class today, but very few of them were things that he could also do immediately. He did not know... more
        • I don't think yours is that silly.Ivy, Thu Jul 5 21:29
          Ivy stood back and watched the rest of the boggarts. She felt kind of wrong about it, like she was invading their privacy even though they had all seen hers. That was one thing about doing them in a... more
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