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CHALLENGES > Off-Site Challenges > How Filch Found His Firepower Challenge
HARRY POTTER FANFICTION > Hogwarts Castle
Characters: Argus Filch, Gregory Goyle, Irma Pince, Millicent Bulstrode, Mrs. Norris, Pansy Parkinson, Poppy Pomfrey, Vincent Crabbe
Genre(s): Drama, Humor, post-HBP/HBP, compliant, Snapshot
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Disclaimer: I’ve borrowed a few of J.K.R.’s characters, but I’ll return them when I’m done. Any Galleons being made? Of course not!
I’d like to thank CocoaChristy for going over this for me. Also, I want the world to know that Wartcap used an Unforgivable Imperius on me, forcing me to answer her Filch’s Firepower Challenge over on Potter Place! (Details found at the end.) I’m thinking Aurors should be alerted.
Argus was not so thick as to not know how to find a few troublesome teenagers without any help from his ever-faithful Mrs. Norris. When he’d finished polishing the manacles hanging in his office, he’d noticed that the door was ajar and his cat had gone. He’d assumed that she’d gone out to search for any rule breakers that she might have heard with her keen sense of hearing.
However, dinnertime came and went. Mrs. Norris never returned. He didn’t wait for her to start his rounds, simply moving a little slower, missing her companionship. He made his way through shortcuts, down corridors, up flights of stairs, and even out onto the grounds. It was nearing midnight, and he was, for the first time, starting to get worried about her.
Had someone taken her from him? Had she fallen ill? Surely not. As he turned to go back into the castle, he heard a snort of laughter out near the forest and could just make out the glow of what had to be a lantern.
You’re missing out on this catch, my sweet. The students shouldn’t be out in the forest, he thought to himself, pretending he was lecturing his beloved about her disappearance.
Hurrying forward as quickly as his tired legs would carry him, he pulled a fat club from within his robes. He hadn’t had the need for it in years, but he’d decided that if he ever saw one of those Weasley twins again, he’d give them a bashing, so he kept it in his cloak.
He pushed aside the leaves and shrubbery blocking his path into the forest, wanting to sneak up on the rule breaking lot. When he got closer, he saw only a small fire on the floor of the forest. A golden cauldron was bubbling atop it, greenish smoke rising from it.
“How long will this take?” a frightened, boyish voice asked.
Argus would know that fat lug anyplace. It was Crabbe! So the other one had to be—yes—Goyle. But as he eyed the other two figures with them, he wondered who had accompanied them out. Neither spoke loudly enough for him to hear, but one seemed to be comforting the other. He tiptoed around to get closer to them.
He heard the most horrifying thing he could have expected.
“I just don’t feel right about killing a cat,” a girl said thickly as she wiped her hand across her nose.
Killing a cat? They’d better not think of touching my Mrs. Norris. Headmistress McGonagall will have them—yes, she will!
The other girl, who he could tell was Parkinson, said, “Millicent, I know you are fond of those dreadful creatures, but this will help us complete the potion that Draco needs. It clearly says—”
“Quiet,” Goyle said. “What was that?”
The sound of a twig breaking startled them all—except for Filch. He was staring at the unmoving bundle on the ground near the cauldron. Parkinson had indicated that the animal was inside. Had they killed her already? Had they taken his only true friend? Had they killed the one thing that cared for him unconditionally besides Irma?
“The temperature is dropping,” Crabbe said, looking around. He blew out a deep breath and watched it frost in the air to prove a point. He moved closer to Goyle as another twig broke.
“Who’s there?” Parkinson called out, pointing her wand out into the darkness on the opposite side from where Argus was standing.
He was still looking down at the sack that held the body of a cat… likely his beautiful Mrs. Norris. He’d counted twenty-six thick stitches across the worn bag, had taken note of the large rusty stain near the bottom, and had counted the number of knots in the rope binding the top together. There were three.
“The air… it feels so thick… like it’s moving,” Bulstrode said, rubbing her hands along her arms to warm up. “It’s fucking cold suddenly.”
“It’s the magic from the cauldron. You can feel the energy crackling,” Goyle said. “Draco told us it was a hard one to make, but if we can make it and smuggle it out to—”
Crabbe pointed his wand to Filch’s left, not seeing the man still cloaked in the darkness, eyeing their sack. “You’d better come out now, or I’ll hex you!”
“Zabini?” Parkinson tried.
“You told him?” Bulstrode asked incredulously.
“No, but I thought he might have followed.”
A loud scream sounded through the air as the branch of a nearby tree fell directly on top of the two boys. Parkinson had jumped behind Bulstrode for protection.
“Lumos!” The taller girl called out, pointing her wand at the tree above. “The bloody thing just snapped! Go see if they’re all right!”
“You go see,” Pansy said. “They’re not moving.”
Bulstrode stalked forward. “Knocked out, looks like, but breathing.” She stooped down, placing her wand on the ground, and grabbed the thick portion of wood on the branch. “Get your arse over here and help me.”
Filch closed his shocked mouth as the girls tried to move the branch away from the boys. He’d been imagining the tree falling on them right before it happened. He looked down at his hands in amazement. Had all those years of trying to get through that Kwickspell Course finally paid off? They’d warned him that it normally didn’t work for Squibs, just those with low magic, but something felt different tonight.
He was finally coming into his magic. Who cared if it was this late in life? He would have revenge for his cat’s death! He strode forth with confidence he’d never possessed, enjoying the feel of energy crackling around him. He stooped down and picked up the girl’s discarded wand, pushing it into her back, his club forgotten on the ground in its place.
“Get up,” he wheezed. “Thought you were smart, eh? Thought old Filch would never know, did you?”
Both girls had shocked expressions on their faces. Bulstrode moved off right away, hands up.
Argus pointed the wand at the unmoving girl. He couldn’t remember any disarming incantations, but he just thought really hard about wanting her wand out of her hand and flicked the wand. The girl jumped back quickly, tripped over the sack, which likely held the body of his beloved cat, and her wand flew towards his feet.
“Yes, that’s more like it, that is,” he said in a low voice. “You lot are going to pay for what you’ve done—that’s right. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the screaming of rule breaking students.” He stepped forward. “Pain is a great teacher, it is.”
“We… we didn’t do anything,” Parkinson said. “They,” she pointed to the fallen boys, who were still not awake, “forced us to come out here.”
“Ah, yes, I heard it all. I heard it all. It won’t save you.” He could feel the sweat on his palm as he clutched the wand tightly. “You’ll all be getting a beating over this. Pain. Blood. Torture. Screams.” He closed his eyes as he relished the imagery his words gave him. He trembled in anticipation.
When he opened his eyes again, he saw that Parkinson was closer to him. “Get back, girl,” he said.
“You’re a filthy Squib! You can’t even do magic,” she said, moving closer. “I remember Professor Snape telling us that you couldn’t even zap flies to save your own life or get out of Azkaban if you had a choice!”
Outraged, he wielded the wand much like one would hold a knife before stabbing someone. He thought to himself, Come forth curse that makes one do what you say without question. Blast, what’s it called? The one that You-Know-Who used on Malfoy way back when. “Get back!” he said forcefully.
Parkinson moved to Bulstrode’s side, fear etched onto her face.
Argus nodded in approval and left them cowering together as he stepped closer to the sack before him. My cat. They’ve killed my cat. I will kill them. They will pay. He began rocking and mumbling portions of a prayer, hoping that he could command life back into his feline friend. If he was suddenly so powerful as to not let them see him while he was standing nearly amongst them, to make a branch fall, to make the temperature drop, to disarm opponents, and to use one of the Imperius Curses, then he might be able to bring her back, his faithful Mrs. Norris. Tears stung at his eyes. “I’ll kill them, my sweet. I’ll have them for this; mark my word…”
Twigs breaking signaled to him that the two girls had run off into the forest. “You can run, but you can’t hide! I’ll have you!” he called to them, knowing his newly found magic would help him find them and punish them properly.
He rose to give chase.
He felt a pain slice through his head, and the world went black, save for a few sparkling stars that twinkled briefly before his closed eyes.
“Argus!” Irma said the moment he opened his eyes. “I was so worried. Poppy said you’d be all right, but I thought I’d lost you.”
“Mrs. Norris,” he managed to say through dry lips, the previous night’s events playing over in his mind.
“She’s here,” Irma said, nodding towards the foot of his bed. “Hagrid heard her meowing out in the forest. That’s where he found you. It seems a tree branch hit you and knocked you unconscious.” She pressed a cup of water to his lips. With a snort, she said, “It was that, or you clubbed yourself again.”
“Where’s that lot that was out there? I want to see some punishment! Killed Mrs. Norris, they did. I brought her back with my magic,” he said after he took a long drink.
She shook her head and eyed him warily. “Poppy said that the draught might give you hallucinations or odd dreams like last time. Mrs. Norris is fine.” She stood. “I’ve got to go on up to the library before the students start filing in.” She squeezed his hand affectionately and left him alone with his cat.
As he gazed down, Mrs. Norris opened her lamp-like eyes and stretched languidly, seemingly smiling at him.
“They’ll never believe it,” he said, nodding to her. “Those little bastards got away. One of the boys, he clubbed me good, made it look like I was the one hit by a tree branch instead of them, but not before I brought you back from the dead, eh? Not before I showed them what this Squib could do.” He smiled broadly. “After all these years, I finally got my magic. Even if it only worked for last night, I’ll know that it’s there when I need it.”
He leaned back against the pillows smugly.
“That’s right, my sweet. I’ll just keep taking the Kwikspell Course, I will. One day they’ll pay for trying to kill you… when I can wield my magic better.” He closed his eyes and drifted back off to sleep.
On the other side of his curtain, Madam Pomfrey shook her head in exasperation, having heard both conversations while tending to another patient. She’d have to give him something to counteract those vivid hallucinations he had each time she gave him a strong draught for pain. Perhaps she’d send Minerva to have a talk with him about this time’s events that he believed to have happened. Someone could very well get hurt if he went off halfcocked again. Perhaps another Memory Charm was in order.
Southern’s Notes: I had no idea what to do for this challenge, being uninspired, but I know that I wanted poor old Filch to have a moment of triumph (while in reality, it was just a set of coincidences, making him think he’d come into his magic).
Christy’s Notes: Poor Filch! I almost feel sorry for the Squib! But at least he can do magic in his mind.
Wartcap’s How Filch Found his Firepower Challenge
Recent discussion about polls on Potter Place has led to the decision to create a challenge
centered on Argus Filch. We all know that Filch is a Squib and that
he’s tried to take a course in magic to learn how to wield a wand and
make it work. It’s never worked yet—that we know of anyway.
J.K. Rowling has stated in one of her earlier interviews
that someone who is not magical will show his or her magic
later in life. There are only a few that we see much of in
the books that aren’t magical. Filch happens to be one of them.
1. One-shot story only (no minimum word amount limit)
2. If Filch would find his “firepower” (magic), how would it happen?
3. Any genre, any ships, anything goes…
4. A special folder will be made at the Petulant Poetess for this challenge. Please upload them there. (Depending on length, Lumos over at SH would likely accept it as well—under the challenges section.)
5. Be sure to email us at Potter Place to let us know where to find it.
6. This would be set post HBP please.
7. Please post by the deadline to be included in the voting.
8. The deadline will be 11:59 BST July 1, which is a Saturday.
9. Winners get banners and can help decide the next challenge created.
Wielding His Wand by Southern_Witch_69
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The Patronus skin was created especially for The Petulant Poetess by TarahFae.