A/N: And here's the next chapter! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Godzilla. I only own my original ideas.
Chapter 50: Professor Moody
Classes began, and thing fell back into their normal routine. McGonagall was strict but fair, Snape was vaguely hostile... though seemed slightly confused when he looked at Harry. Flickwick was his usual cheerful self, and so on. Things got interesting when it came to Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Professor Moody entered the classroom with the distinctive thump of his peg leg against the stone. Now that he was closer, Harry noticed something odd. Moody's scent and magical aura was like that of two people overlapping. He knew this wasn't what an Animagus felt like: McGonagall and Sirius (and Pettegrew, now that he thought of it) smelled like human and animal blended together, not two people. On top of that, whatever he had in his hip flask absolutely reeked. It smelled like a boiling mudpot atop a volcano. More than that, there was a darkness about him… possibly a side effect of past encounters with dark magic, but there was a strange, but muted concentration on his right arm.
"Welcome," said Moody, "here you will learn about the principals of defense, but remember one thing above all: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"
'Did he really have to shout that last part?' thought Harry.
"Now then I've been given special permission to teach you about certain spells," said Moody, "These are spells you should never cast if you don't want a one way trip to Azkaban. Do you understand?"
The class chorused there ascent. Moody pulled out several jars containing spiders
"Now then," said Moody, pointing his wand at one of the spiders, "remember these are called the Unforgivable Curses for a reason. Let's begin with the Imperius curse. This spell allows the user total control of their target. This spell lets the caster force them do anything they command. IMPERIO!
The spider froze, then climbed out of its jar and started dancing on the desk. Some of the students found this amusing, but Harry wasn't laughing. This spell totally stripped the target of their free will… it was disgusting.
"You think it's funny, do you?" said Moody, "you won't be laughing when someone forces you to jump off a cliff or kill you best friend. Let's see how each of you handle being the target!"
Moody went through the class, making them each do something mildly embarrassing. Ron was reciting a poem speaking of Snape in flowery language, while Hermione was doing gymnastic backflips… huh, she was actually pretty good at that. Then came Harry's turn.
"Potter!" shouted Moody, "IMPERIO!"
The spell struck him, and he could feel it attempting to find a foothold in his mind. His defenses did their job, and Harry threw off the spell.
"Interesting," said Moody, "IMPERIO!"
His defenses were still fully raised, and this time the spell couldn't even scratch the surface. Moody grinned, and looked at the class.
"Potter!" said Moody, "impressive work, you must have worked hard to shield you mind so well. Now on to the next spell. I'm not going to target you this time. Next up is the Cruciatus Curse, also known as the Torture Curse. Watch the spider. Engorgio!"
"The spider grew in size, and Moody cast his next spell.
"CRUCIO!" shouted Moody.
The spider began to writhe in pain, twitching. Harry saw a look of glee flash across Moody's face… he was enjoying this. Eventually he let up, but the spider didn't stop twitching.
"Now for the last, The Killing Curse," said Moody aiming at the spider once more, "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
A jet of green light struck the spider, and its twitching stopped. After the class ended, Harry met up with his friends in the halls once everyone was available.
"So… study group again?" asked Harry.
"It's not a bad idea," said Hermione, "but why? Professor Moody seems competent enough".
"Because when he was casting the Torture Curse, I saw a look of sadistic glee cross his face, Hermione. I don't know if he's just mentally twisted or what, but there's definitely something wrong with him. More than that… he smells like two people", said Harry.
"Well, given that he's a retired auror, he's likely seen plenty of things that would leave him scarred," said Daphne, "what do you mean he smells like two people?"
"It's like one person layered atop the other," said Harry, "on top of that, whatever he's got in that flask of his smells foul… worse than the potions classroom on a bad day".
"What sort of scent?" asked Neville.
"Like sulfurous mud," said Harry.
"We'll have to do some research," said Hermione, "Luna, want to help me?"
"Sounds interesting," said Luna, "shall we?"
Shortly before dinnertime, their combined efforts bore fruit. They caught the rest of the group up on their findings.
"We've narrowed it down," said Hermione, "scents of that sort are often associated with transfiguration potions. Which means…"
"Moody may not be who he claims," said Harry.
"What can we do?" asked Neville.
A thought came to Harry, and the grinned. While Snape didn't exactly like him due to the actions of his father, the man had backed off from his previous unpleasantness to an extent, sticking to quietly sneering at him for the most part. If things worked out Snape would accept his word. If not… well, McGonagall would likely listen.
"What was the next potion Snape was having us brew?" asked Harry.
The others' eyes went wide as they realized. There was an answer, they just had to use their cunning.
The next potion class, they were tasked with brewing a Draught of Disguise, a potion which could be applied like makeup to make you look like a different person (but would fail under close inspection). Harry made sure to make it clear the odor of this potion was bothering him. Snape came over, sneering.
"Is there a problem, Mr. Potter?" asked Snape.
"No Professor, I was just unprepared for how bad this potion would smell," said Harry, "It smells almost as bad as Professor Moody's flask".
"Are you certain?" asked Snape.
"Yes Professor," said Harry.
Snape's expression was unreadable. He simply nodded and walked away. Snape's mind was reeling, but he quickly calmed himself. Potter had just told him, in a way, that he suspected someone was impersonating Moody. As he thought it over more, he noticed that Potter was not acting like his old nemesis, and had not done anything to make trouble, at least no more than the average student. When he tried to get a read on him via passive legimency, he found that Potter's mind was shielded by a strong Occulmency barrier, though one constructed through different methods that he was familiar with. Now that he thought about it, the only times Potter did anything to cause trouble were when someone was threatening him, and maintained a circle of friends across all 4 houses. Perhaps… he should speak to Minerva on this. They'd need to keep an eye out.
A/N: And there we go! The suspicion has been put in place, and the pieces are ready. Next time: the Goblet of Fire. See you then.