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From the Diaries of Minerva McGonagall: September 19, 1975

Dear Diary,

Every year James Potter and his friends attempt some new way of confounding me and every year I resolve to remain unconfounded. When they were third-years, the four of them all took Polyjuice potion and came to class as each other. They did not, however, go so far as to act like each other, and I knew almost immediately that it was actually shy Peter Pettigrew wearing the form of the more outgoing Sirius Black. (James, of course, was Peter—the best of the four at impersonation, although slightly cruel in the way he mimicked Peter’s unfortunate stammer.)

It took me two weeks to discover what they were up to this year, and I almost didn’t notice—until I realized that James Potter, usually eager to show off what he views as his extensive knowledge of transfiguration, hadn’t yet volunteered to answer a single question. Peter and Sirius have been equally taciturn. Their classwork and scrolls are receiving the usual high marks, but their lips remain sealed.

Remus, who tends to go along with whatever James suggests, does not appear to have signed on for this spell of silence. I would understand, perhaps, if he had a falling out with James—who can be fairly exclusive about whom he lets into his inner circle—but I can’t imagine him having fallen out with Sirius. Those two are as close as any friends I’ve ever seen.

I thought I would ask James about it after class today, but he disappeared before I could speak to him. I know I’m getting older, but I’d almost swear he vanished right in front of my eyes, as I was walking towards his desk. Of course, by the time I turned around, Sirius and Peter were gone as well. I will have to wait until next week to uncover why these boys have chosen silence as this year’s disruptive element.

Their self-enforced quiet does have the unintended effect of making class somewhat more peaceful than usual, though. Maybe it would be more beneficial to the rest of the students to let Potter and his friends keep at whatever game they’re playing. They’ll have to speak at some point. The longest I ever went without talking was a full month, and that’s because I was holding a mandrake leaf in my mouth as part of my Animagus training. They won’t be able to last half as long.

Yours faithfully,


Previously in The Diaries of Minerva McGonagall