Chapter 12 - A Spot of Bother

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The courtyard where they were asked to meet for their next class was bright, sunny and airy; a lovely change from the Great Hall. Waiting for them was Professor Flitwick and a woman who had to be another Auror, if her severe pony tail and grim expression were anything to go by.

"Welcome," Professor Flitwick said as soon as the last of them was through the doors, "please gather round."

Draco kept himself between Harry and the rest of the group as they all huddled in front of the diminutive professor. Only as he glanced around did he notice several targets placed at the far end of the enclosure.

"It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to Offensive Defence," Professor Flitwick told them all. "This is Auror Parma and together we will be improving your timing, your aim and your grasp of some very useful spells."

[This sounds like fun,] Harry told Draco and grinned at him.

[How did I know you were going to say that?] Draco replied. [If there's one thing you like almost as much as flying it's throwing debilitating spells around.]

Harry's grin only grew.

[So do you,] Harry pointed out.

[That's not the point,] Draco said.

Okay, so he did feel a certain thrill of excitement about the class. What made it even better were the targets; Harry would not be putting himself in the way of any spells. That pleased Draco no end.

"In your Defensive Flying class you were expected to aim at a moving, but large target," Auror Parma said. "In this class we will be working on pinpoint accuracy."

"By the time we've finished with you, you'll be able to shoot the head off that pin," Professor Flitwick added and Draco laughed along with everyone else.

Parma didn't look overly pleased with the joke. Draco made a mental note to keep an eye on her; Aurors without a sense of humour could be troublesome. Mad-eye Moody sprung immediately to mind.

"I'm sure you're used to all the testing by now," Professor Flitwick said with his usual good cheer, "and this afternoon you're in for some more."

Everyone groaned on cue.

"We will first test you on your accuracy," Parma told them. "We will be using the Shooting Spell. Who is familiar with this spell?"

Over half the class put up their hands and for the first time Parma's stern expression eases a little.

"Excellent," Professor Flitwick said, "that should, indeed, save us some time. We will of course go over the spell for those who do not know it and to refresh everyone else's memory."

[And to make sure no one is going to shoot themselves in the foot,] Draco added silently.

"Please form a line along the side of the courtyard," Flitwick said.

The courtyard was about twice as long as it was wide, so they all fitted along the wall nicely. The professor and Parma remained in the centre of the area.

"I believe the Muggles would say 'stick 'em up'," Professor Flitwick said, much to the apparent annoyance of Parma.

Unlike Hooch and Duggan, it did not look as if their two instructors for this class were on the same page at all. Draco looked forward to the fireworks. He had no doubt Professor Flitwick would win if it came down to it.

"This is the Shooting Spell," Parma said, pointing her wand at one of the targets, taking aim and demonstrating perfectly so a small hole appeared just slightly to the right of centre of the bullseye.

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