Okay, so this was purely a request from the Imaginary Sock. I was going to wait until after I'd finished my other story The Lost Fullmetal Heart, but this just keeps bugging me, and I suppose I should get back into the Harry Potter groove since I'm planning on updating Metaphorically Invisible soon.
If anyone can guess what I'm referencing here, I will be very impressed and delighted. It comes from one of my favorite TV series. That's all I'm giving you. Either way, any concepts referenced are not owned by me, neither are the characters from Harry Potter. Thanks and enjoy!
Note: Takes place sometime after Voldemort's return has been made public. Pretend Dumbledore invited Order members to come speak to the kids.
Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock
Research is Key
"Alright, listen up, troops," Alastor Moody began, but paused when Fred or George snickered from the sideline. His magical roving eye rolled in their direction, and Harry was sure the ex-Auror was glaring at them through his skull. Mad-Eye stood, confident and tall, before the students he was lecturing and it seemed like an odd flashback to fourth year.
But this was the real Moody, and he wasn't going to suddenly lash out and attack them. He hoped.
"Now, Professor Dumbledore's asked me here to tell you about some dangers due to the war, and what you can do to protect yourself. But I'm not going to do that."
"No, I'm here to tell you the worst. I'm here to tell you about the things that if they come after you—they. Will. Kill you. No chance, no hope. Because I think you deserve to know what might happen."
Harry thought dimly he could hear a first year sniffling somewhere behind him. He had admit many of the upper years were looking rather pale and frightened as well. He himself, well he was steeled for what might happen, but it still filled him with a certain anticipating dread.
"I'll start with something I doubt very few of you have heard of. It's a relatively new tactic, not yet widespread in battle. The Death Eaters have been developing something they call Biological Warfare, where they'll infect you with some sort of deadly disease that will kill you. Most often, painfully." A few gulps were heard, and Moody gave a dry laugh.
"You should be worried. Not even I have seen them in action. They're new, so there's little that can be done to stop them. I'd like to start, with a little infection called Neuropraxia."
Murmurs went through the crowd of assembled students, though Harry thought he heard something like a laugh disguised as a cough from the Hufflepuff section for some reason. Who cared if it had a silly name if it killed you?
Hermione was frowning in concentration, obviously trying to remember where or if she had ever heard the term.
"Neuropraxia is a disease of the nervous system. The earliest warning you get that you have it is when you start foaming at the mouth."
"Bloody hell," Ron whispered, and Harry had to agree. Hermione was still frowning, though.
"But, other good indicators, while not absolutely symptoms, include dizziness, hyperactivity followed by weakness, and trying to bite your own nose. I don't have anything to worry about there, then," he smirked, referring to the rather large chunk of nose missing from his face.
A few students laughed weakly in an effort to stave off there fear, except there came that coughing covering up a real laugh again. Honestly, the sense of humor some people had!
Hermione seemed to be muttering under her breath now. "But, I thought…injury…"
"It is highly contagious. But, there is one thing that can and will save you. Once you have it, you are done for. So listen carefully. Only people who bite their nails can get it. So—" Neville ripped his hand from his mouth as though scalded, but Moody stopped because the faceless Hufflepuff had completely burst into laughter. He seemed ready to shoot a curse to sober the student up a little, but Hermione suddenly shot her arm into the air, eyes bright, which meant she had figured out what was bothering her.
Probably only because of the odd title did Mad-Eye turn and acknowledge her.
"What is it, Granger?"
"Those aren't the symptoms of neuropraxia at all! It does affect your nerves, but only in a concentrated area and it is caused by injury to that area. It's not a disease!"
"What?" He bellowed, and the whole student body was talking excitedly, somewhat in a stir about the completely false lecture.
"Lupin!" Moody snarled, turning to look at the man who Harry saw was trying to fight off a smile.
"Yes, Alastor?" He asked calmly, though with a slight waver to his voice, battling his laughter as well. Harry wondered if he was seeing Remus Lupin from his days as a Marauder at Hogwarts. Moody certainly was playing the livid teacher very well.
"You said it was a disease! And all the rest of that rubbish! I knew I shouldn't have trusted you, but you!" Now he whirled around to point the accusing finger at Kingsley Shacklebolt, who only had a slightly better poker face on at the moment. "You backed him up!"
"Well, we knew you would believe it if I said so," the Auror explained, and couldn't stop his grin.
"Nice one!" One of the twins yelled, while the other was doubled over in laughter.
The lesson was concluded with a demonstration in dueling while in retreat, as Moody went thumping after Lupin and Shacklebolt as fast as he could down the stairs and through the gates of Hogwarts.
So yeah, just some silliness. I know Remus and Kingsley wouldn't actually mess around with something that serious, but Mad-Eye never would've believed Fred and George. Anyway, major respect points if you know where the false neuropraxia comes from; Hermione's description, as always, is correct. The Hufflepuff is some random kid who knows what Lupin and Kingsley were referencing. Most likely muggleborn. I figure it's believable someone would know it. Thank you for taking the time to read, and please review!