A/N: It occurred to me, while watching Goblet of Fire, that there must be some sort of secret or long-forgotten spell on some of the staircases or towers in Hogwarts that would allow a person to navigate up or down if they were otherwise incapacitated in their ability to use said stairs. Like Moody, climbing all those stairs with a pegleg.
2nd Year (Shay)/ 3rd Year (Bobby)
The excited exclamation of his name drew quite a few startled and curious looks from the students milling about the Hogwarts halls. Shaletar paused in his limping stride to look as well, though he hardly needed to. He recognized that dry, Midwest American accent; it was probably the only one in all of magical Britain.
"Shay! Shay-shay-shay-shay-" Bobby bounded up, coltishly long stride making the long-haired 3rd year seem even more spastic as he latched onto his best friend's arm and began tugging him down the hall, a beaming grin on his face. "Shay, I figured it out, c'mon, I gotta show you!"
Shaletar stumbled, lamed leg struggling to keep up with his exuberant companion's eagerness, and barely managed to keep hold of his textbooks. A short, confused laugh escaped his throat as he tugged himself free of Bobby's grip. "Figured what out, Bobby?"
Bobby wasn't deterred, and immediately grabbed Shaletar's hand again. "I figured it out! Can't tell, gotta show! It's too awesome for words!"
Shay was starting to grin as well, the American's enthusiasm infectious, and let himself be pulled along further for a few more steps before his balance waned again. "Bobby, Bobby, hey! Will your amazing discovery still be there if we slow down a bit?"
Bobby turned, puzzlement crossing his expression. Shay raised an eyebrow and looked down at his leg. The brunette followed his gaze, and then his own eyebrows rose in remembrance, and he grinned again – this time, a bit sheepishly. "Yeah, it'll still be there. Sorry, I kinda forgot about...the other night."
The other night had been a full moon. Although the Wolfsbane potion kept Shaletar's mind clear, it didn't keep his body safe; in the throes of transformation, he'd clawed his leg to ribbons. The physical damage had been easily fixed, but such injuries always ached for days afterwards.
Shaletar smirked at his fellow Hufflepuff. "Yeah, man. I bet your Animagus form'll be a ferret. You're easily distracted by shiny objects." Bobby snorted and stuck out his tongue, grabbing the young werewolf's arm again and dragging him at a steadier pace down the hall. It took a few turns for Shay to realise where they were heading: the Defence Against the Dark Arts tower.
Bane of his existence.
No matter which direction one attempted to reach this particular tower, the last leg of the journey to the offices and classrooms that resided here consisted of a disturbingly narrow staircase that ran spirally clockwise along the outer wall, with a thin and discomforting iron rail being all that separated the ascending and descending students from falling down the hollow interior. If one stood at the top and peered over the railing, down through the centre of the tower, they could see just how far they would fall if they should tumble over – all the way to the cold stone floor several stories down.
For Shaletar, who could barely command a broom to rise to his hand with his fear of heights, making this trip every week to attend class was nerve-wracking on two good legs. With one leg lamed and his balance, and stamina, compromised, DADA was proving to be his most hated class of the year. So, understandably, he scowled when he realised where Bobby was taking him.
He barely had time to protest before Bobby had dragged him into the centre of the tower's ground floor, and positioned him with a few minor tugs and nudges, still smiling smugly. "Bobby, what on earth are you-hey, cut it-" A heavy sigh – "Bobby!"
"Patience, my fuzzy one, all will be revealed," the American drawled, tweaking Shaletar's standing position a little bit more, then stepping back and smiling. "Okay, so, I had this thought running around in my head for a couple months, and I started wondering stuff about stuff." He started pacing in front of, beside, around Shaletar as he talked, gesturing broadly.
Shaletar, who had gotten used to Bobby's odd tangents, sighed, crossed his arms across his chest, and rested his weight on his good leg, waiting for the other boy to continue. At this, he earned another bright smile.
"It kinda started back a while, when you were laid up, missing classes and stuff, remember, and then I had to help you up and down all these stupid stairs. And I was wondering, because I'm sure there've been other times, or at least hypothetical times, where a student's had trouble on these sort of steps. I mean, who wouldn't put in redundancy features? Muggles use them all the time, and the magical world is way lazier than those guys! Y'get what I'm saying?"
"Frankly, no," the werewolf replied, watching Bobby with a puzzled expression. "Nouns, Bobby. Nouns and descriptors are our friends."
Bobby sighed, giving his friend an exasperated look, and pulled his wand from his back pocket. "Fine. Elevatas!" He swirled the tip in a tight loop, emitting a brief golden glow.
Shaletar raised an eyebrow. "Was that supposed to do-HEY!"
The floor beneath them shuddered, shook, and jolted. Shaletar lost his balance and clung to Bobby, staring wide-eyed as they began to rise. The students who had paused on the stairwell to eavesdrop on the two boys gaped, dumbfounded, as the platform levitated towards the top floor of the tower. Bobby, meanwhile, was grinning like a loon.
"Robert, what did you DO?"
Bobby crowed like a jackdaw. "I found the elevator!"