Picture by Saffron Foxclaw
It seems all is not well at Hogwarts as we face another attack signed with the ouroboros symbol. A dinnertime poisoning is the talk of the school at present, and its execution was all too simple. A common plant, an everyday meal period, and an unknowing student played victim in a near fatal plot. To do wrong is apparently easy enough, so protecting yourself against an unknown threat is all the more difficult.
There are some ways to defend yourself, however. In times like this, a little extra caution goes a long way. My tips for self protection are as easy as some modifications to everyday life. They are as follows:
- Hogwarts is a safe place, but that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to avoid common sense. Curfew is in place to keep you safe, staff are here to help, and unknown gifts of consumables should never be accepted.
- Purchase bottled water at Hogsmeade and use it in place of open, goblet drinks. Open drinks are easily tampered with. Bottled water isn’t impossible to abuse, but it is a safer alternative. Water is also the safest choice, as there is no natural odour or colour to aid in covering up a poison.
- Carry a bezoar with you at all times. This tip especially applies to prefects who may be called upon if a poisoning occurs. While a specific counter to a poison’s effects may be required and obtained through the Hospital Wing, a bezoar is a valuable tool with life-saving properties against poisons in general.
- Use a buddy system. I especially encourage upper and lower years to intermingle. Don’t linger alone and be sure to communicate information or news with each other. Knowledge is power, and a united front is more threatening to a solo or small group attacker.
- As an add on to the last, learn who the school prefects are. They will be your best bet to get in contact with different Heads of Houses and can be helpful allies. If you’re a Hufflepuff, you never know if you might need to contact Slytherin Head of House should a Slytherin student fall victim. Most likely, your best option will be relaying your message through a Slytherin prefect or the Head Girl or Boy. React calmly and carefully. Plan to go to proper authorities after you ensure any potential victim has arrived at the Hospital Wing.
- Attend dueling practices. Dueling helps you learn to react more quickly. If you face an attacker, you might struggle to think of a defence or offence off the top of your head, especially if the situation is complex. Practice duels help you strengthen your spellwork, recall a broader array of spells quickly, and learn to use your strongest spells creatively. Don’t be afraid to practice with an older year, as you may receive pointers or learn to combat spells you wouldn’t otherwise have known.
- Try to find a good pair of old Spectrespecs. They’re good for seeing invisible things, so maybe they’ll help against unseen threats.
Put on your thinking caps and see what you can deduce for yourself. To join the sleuthing, one need only access old copies of our beloved Owl Post. Staying safe while doing so is an entirely other matter. Stay safe, keep an open mind, and be ever paranoid.
-The Unseen One