Making a Lesson Stick

LbN: Written for Trumparrot Forever's "What Would You Do?" Challenge. Prompts were:

"Goyle has his fingers stuck in a Chinese Finger Trap and is hopelessly confused. The Muggle Studies teacher will only help him if..." and "Vase" and "Toilet Paper"


Charity Burbage had had enough! Something had to be done… Muggle Studies was an interesting teaching position. She'd seen the whole spectrum, from student like Ms. Granger, who were thirsty for knowledge and genuinely wanted to be in the class, to…

"MR. GOYLE!" she snapped. "Perhaps you would like to answer the question?"

"Er…" he was quiet for a moment, trying to find a way to weasel out of his predicament. "No."

"No? We've just been reviewing the list. Surely you can give me one example of a Muggle adhesive!"

"No," he grumbled as the class tittered at him.

Charity sighed. She understood, of course. A pureblood kid thrown into this class because he had to fill his schedule with something, and the teachers thought this would be enlightening. Plus, Muggle adhesives weren't the most entertaining subject of the year by a long shot. Still, he could show a modicum of respect for the subject. "A little more attention to the lesson, please Mr. Goyle." She went back to teaching the lesson, keeping an eye on him. Finally, it was time for their independent work. "Right, now today you'll be experimenting with some of the things we talked about. No need to talk, I want you to work on your own." With a wave of her wand, she divided up the materials and sent them to the students.


Goyle sat at his desk, looking over his items, but making no attempt to use them. He didn't want to be in this stupid class, and the first chance he got, he was going to jinx the hell out of McGonagall for forcing him into it…. He saw the professor glowering at him and sighed. He picked up the object closest to his right hand. Chinese Finger Puzzle it said. Well, he'd paid a little attention in class, and this didn't look like any kind of adhesive he'd ever seen. It was a brightly colored tube with arrows pointing to the two openings. He stuck his index fingers in either side, but still didn't get it. He tried to pull them out.

They were stuck.

Feelings of panic rose in his chest. He hadn't heard about these before. He pulled harder, trying to use brute strength against the toy. It was no use. The harder he pulled, the tighter the toy got. He gave one last heave, but only succeeded in falling out of his chair as the bell rang. Hurriedly, he fumbled through his textbook, looking for answers. This particular toy wasn't in there. Growling under his breath, he made his way to Burbage's desk. "Er…Professor?"

She looked up at him pleasantly. "Yes, Mr. Goyle?"

"Help?"

"We talked about these in class today. Didn't you see Ms. Granger demonstrate one?"

"Er…must've spaced out."

"Yes, well, I daresay you shouldn't do that so often."

"Please, Professor?"

"Indeed," Burbage said with a smile. "However, I'll only help you if you put my vase back together without magic. I think you'll understand today's lesson very well after that."

Goyle nodded glumly.

Burbage pinched the middle of the tube, allowing him to pull his fingers free. "I'll see you tonight after dinner, Mr. Goyle."


The one thing Goyle liked about Burbage was that she wasn't like everyone else. Everyone thought he was stupid. He wasn't, and she knew that. There were just certain things he was better at than others. She remembered, for instance, that he enjoyed puzzles. So putting a vase together, even if he wasn't allowed to use magic, wouldn't be so bad. He walked into her room later that evening, ready for the task.

She nodded at the desk.

There were large shards of red ceramics there, along with a small bottle of something called Sooper Gloo. With a shrug, he got to work.


"What did you learn this evening?" Charity asked the sullen 5th year.

"Even though they can't do magic, Muggles can be very powerful too," Goyle grumbled.

"What else?"

"That learning about their ways can help if I'm ever in a situation where I can't use magic," he grunted.

"And?"

"That I should pay better attention in class to avoid mistakes." He made a futile effort to move his hands. They, along with a few shards of vase, the bottle of glue, and some fragments of toilet paper from where he'd tried to wipe up a spill, were stuck to the desk.

"Very well." Charity smiled and waved her wand, unsticking the boy and Vanishing the mess. "You may go."

He gathered his things and raced out of the room.

"Reparo," she said, chuckling. Smiling, she put the mended vase back on her desk.

LbN: Hope you liked it! Send reviews please!