Jozua Sparks, Teppenpaw
On guard!
Wed Sep 5, 2018 22:15

When Jozua signed up for his advanced classes, DADA had been the first on his list to take. Not only was it his very best subject and a pre-requisite for the cursebreaking curriculum he wanted to take after he graduated, but he also tended to be a little closer to the DADA professors than the rest of the staff just because they had to work together more to keep the dueling club running smoothly. While he was still getting used to Professor Hawthorne, he saw no reason why that trend wouldn’t continue. At just about a month into the new year, he thought he was already getting on with her better than he ever had with Professor Pye.

When she started today’s lesson, her warnings about the dangerous nature of the material just made him sit up with greater interest. Was it a curse? He hoped it was a curse. He was probably a bad Teppenpaw.

It wasn’t a curse. It was better than a curse. It was Legilimency. Well, Occlumency for them, but still. Awesome. And probably the more useful of the two. Protecting your mind was a key skill with a number of creatures and beings, and even some cursed objects. He’d need good mental defenses if he was going to become a professional curse breaker.

He wasn’t entirely sure what the purpose of the demonstration was since there wasn’t really anything to see with occlumency, though he guessed it was good to know that it didn’t look effortless even with experienced adults. Otherwise, it just looked like a staring contest with one of them holding a glowing wand.

Though he had to wonder if the shortcut version of occlumency was to just close your eyes, if they really were the doorway to the mind. Of course, living your life with your eyes closed was impractical, but if you had a good reason to believe someone or something was making a mental attack, was closing your eyes a viable defense? He made a note to ask later.

Soon enough the lecture was over and he opened his textbook to start the homework while he waited for his chance to try it out. He wasn’t too worried about it. He trusted Professor Hawthorne well enough and he had no serious secrets he needed to keep from her. He maybe wasn’t entirely keen on a teacher knowing he and Lily spent the last while of the Ball climbing trees in the Gardens, but that was literally what they’d been doing and she’d see clearly it wasn’t a euphemism, so there were far worse things teenagers sneaking off at night could have been doing, so he doubted he’d get in much trouble for it even if she did see that.

Jozua was making some notes on vampires - he wasn’t sure if their powers could be blocked by occlumency or not, but it was worth looking into further - when the two teachers reached his desk.

“Oh!” he said, putting aside his book and notes for now. “Before we start, I had a question. Is there any reason closing your eyes wouldn’t work to stop a legilimens from reading your mind?”

Once he had an answer, they started. Jozua looked into Professor Hawthorne’s eyes and imagined an empty dueling arena, which looked exactly like the one he created in MARS for the Dueling Club meetings. It was an easy picture to hold as this was how he’d set the Sports room every week for the last four years or so.

After a moment, he heard her cast the spell and he felt a strange foreign presence in his mind. The dueling arena wavered for a moment, then steadied as he imagined Professor Hawthorne in front of him in the arena. This was the foyer of his mind. She was welcome this far. But behind him was the door that in MARS lead to the rest of the school, but in here lead to his memories. He would defend that door. His mental self took a defensive dueling stance.

He wasn’t quite sure how to expel her from his mind. Maybe win a duel? But how did that even work when they were both just mental fragments? He wasn’t even sure if her mental fragment was controlled by herself or if that was his own mental representation of her presence here and it wasn’t even her at all. And he wasn’t living inside the mental fragment of himself either. He saw both figures and the whole room from a greater distance, like he was watching it on a stage. He could control the Jozua figure in the room, but it wasn’t him-him.

But at any rate, he thought he could hold this room indefinitely unless she really tried a deeper probe and she said she wasn’t going to do that today.

So he just waited. Dueling had taught him patience and wisdom not to overextend himself, which would leave openings that could be exploited. It was safest just to hold still and remain on guard. So that was what he did.

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    • On guard! — Jozua Sparks, Teppenpaw, Wed Sep 5 22:15
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