The Breed of Destruction

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"...these are creatures born out of an emotion opposite of love. Everything about them is dangerous, so do not be fooled. There is no use of weapon, spell, or force from their part. Instead, they hurt you with what you've got. Your fear."

At the front of the classroom, Professor Longbottom watched silently as the group of students were torn between gulping in anticipation or staring off into space, uncaring for the lesson. 

"Different from Dementors, who rather feed off your every happy memory until you are paralyzed with fear, Boggarts use every terrible thought you've had to defeat you," the professor continued. "It is said the only person to have caught a glimpse of the true identity of a Boggart was Merlin himself. However, this cannot be proven true, can it? But that is exactly what a Boggart does, it takes form of anything. It transforms itself into your greatest fear. A way to repel....." 

Professor Longbottom's lesson became a faint noise when Ariana turned to look out the classroom window. Her silver eyes followed the path of a stray cloud in the sky before she blinked down to the evergreen grounds of Howgarts; a group of students were huddled together for their Care of Magical Creatures class, others roamed the hills on their way to their own lessons or as leisure for their free period. Then, over the trees, she spotted the Quidditch posts in the distance. Her heart swelled at the memory of wind in her hair as she soared. She loved flying; it was the only time she felt nothing weighing her down.

"Miss Malfoy."

Startling herself upright, Ariana met the eyes of her professor. "Yes?"

Professor Longbottom continued to frown. "I do hope you've been taking notes all this time. This will be on your final exams and I am not fond of repeating information." 

Ariana glanced down at her blank piece of parchment.

"The spell, Miss Malfoy," said the professor, "to rid yourself from a Boggart is Riddikulus. Alike your attention span, apparently."

A round of laughter broke out in the classroom at Ariana's expense. She narrowed her eyes, balled a fist under her desk, and held herself back from letting the professor know her mother taught her all about Boggarts before she could walk. "I'm sorry, Professor," she said instead, because her mother had also taught her manners, "I'll go to the library and do my research."

The bell rung throughout the castle, signaling to the students they were dismissed from their current classes to head for a spot of lunch. 

"Miss Malfoy, stay for a moment," the professor ordered. 

Ariana nodded obediently, remaining in her desk as the others shuffled out, still laughing and teasing.  

"I said Miss Malfoy, Potter. Not you." Frowning at the lingering Slytherin that had not gathered his belongings and walked out with his house-mates and the Gryffindors, Professor Longbottom motioned him out. "Now, Albus."

"But I was going to ask you about—" Groaning in resignation from the firm stare, Al tossed his schoolbag over his shoulder. "Fine. I'll leave. But if I fail my next exam, it is all on you, Hannah."

Professor Longbottom snorted at her student as he stomped out, eyeing Ariana once before he really crossed the threshold. 

"Is something wrong?" Ariana asked, almost impatiently. 

"I don't know, Ana. I was going to ask you the same thing."

Ariana's lips tightened into a thin line before saying, "I had no sleep the night before. I'm sorry for not paying attention, but I will have my parchment filled with notes by next lesson."

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