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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

The Day Hagrid Hired a Sub

Talon - Julie Kagawa

Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere, Scotland Circa 1993:


MJ: Good morning, class.  I’m your Care of Magical Creatures sub.


Draco: You’re a Yank.


MJ: Stating the obvious.  And while we’re on the subject.  I’m not Hagrid.  Ten points from Slytherin  for stupid questions.


Wish I could’ve found one with Draco being the victim. Ron will suffice though.


Draco: But…but…


MJ: Do you want me to take another five, Mr. Malfoy.


Draco: My father…


MJ: And fifteen for nepotism.  Now, let’s start the lesson.  What do you all know about dragons?


Hermione raises hand.


MJ: Yes, Ms. Granger.


Hermione: There’s a variety of dragons the most fearsome of the all being the Hungarian Horntail.




Hermione: No, I’m not.  It says right in the book…


MJ: Oh, you want to talk about books (pulls out Talon) read this and then tell me who the most fearsome of dragons is?


Hermione: I’ve never seen that book.


MJ: I suppose you wouldn’t since it’s written about twenty-one years from now.


Ron: You’re from the future?  Is that even possible?


MJ: I see Rowling gave you more credit than you deserved.  Five points from Gryffindor for being a complete dolt.


Okay, now it’s appropriate.


Ron: Hey, but I thought you liked us.  You took points from Slytherin.


MJ: I am a Slytherin (well, according to Pottermore and most other Sorting Hat tests on the internet, though I occasionally do score Ravenclaw).  I only took points from you because I can’t stand Mr. Malfoy. And since Snape is the only teacher who actually has the guts to take points, I had to sort of balance things out.  Back to the point, since it is twenty-one years in the past I guess I’m going to have to discuss Talon and how it features the most fearsome of dragons.


Hermione: It does not.


MJ: It does Ms. Granger.  Tell me, who annoys you the most in the world?


Hermione: Um, Lavender, I guess.


Lavender: Hey?


Hermione: Well, you do talk a lot about how you fancy Harry.  All.  The.  Stinking.  Time.


Lavender: Well, that’s because he’s Harry…


Harry: Please, tell me you’re not talking about this.


Hermione: Well, Professor MJ.  I don’t see how a dragon being annoying relates to Lavender.


MJ: But it does, Ms. Granger. The dragon in this book is an annoying teenage girl.  Who doesn’t have a lick of common sense.  She moons over a boy, who wants to kill her, by the way.  And she does stupid stuff without thinking.

Hermione: That’s annoying, but not dangerous.


MJ: She’s a dragon.


Hermione: Okay, true but….


MJ: She’s a dragon.  Fire breathing.  Reptilian creature.  I’m assuming that those of you with half a brain (eyes only Hermione) have read about how strong just physically a dragon is. Now, imagine that with hormones.


This but with insta love.


Hermione: Okay, you do have a point.  But still, I’m sure that she’s not the most deadly of dragons.


MJ: Okay, let’s talk about the love interest.  Would you date someone who’s trying to kill you?


Hermione: Uh, no. Of course not…


MJ: Well, it happens here.  Imagine dating Mr. Malfoy.  And not in the creepily hot fannon way.  That would be the equivalent to the relationship that Ember shares with Garret.


Draco: Me and Granger.  Can someone obliviate me.


MJ: I would but using memory charms against students have been prohibited since the whole Lockhart fiasco. But I get your pain. I have no issue with forbidden romance, but when there’s hints of abuse to it.  I just get the ick feeling.  And nothing says ick like a guy trying to kill you.


Hermione: Professor, would you mind talking about these dragon hunters?  What were their methods.


MJ: Well, they didn’t use broomsticks to…oh, yeah spoiler.  Um, they used guns from what I gathered.


Ron: Gun?  I think dad has some of those.


MJ: He does…and I thought the UK had stronger gun laws then America.  Please, tell me he doesn’t have bullets.


Ron: What’s a bullet?


MJ: Well, that’s something…I guess.


Harry: A gun didn’t do much to Hagrid.  Don’t reckon it do much to a dragon either.

MJ: Well, finally someone with common sense.  Mr. Potter five points to your house.  Unlike Ms. Kagawa whose house would be losing dozens of points if she attended Hogwarts.


Hermione: So, then he’s not really much a killer, is he?


MJ: The Stephenie Meyer It’s Fiction Situation, Ms. Ganger.


Hermione: Stephenie Meyer?


MJ: Oh, to live in a world where there is no Twilight yet… You know, maybe I should be doing rationale things with my time traveling device like preventing that book from publication.


Hermione: You can’t change the past.


MJ: You can.  I’m sure it’s allowed in some fictional universe. Just not the ones exposed to Back to the Future.  And BTW, still waiting for my hover board.  Okay, let’s see did we talk about dragon society yet?


Draco: Dragons are bloody animals.  They can’t have concept societies.


MJ: Ten points for being an idiot, Mr. Malfoy.  Magical creatures can have communities.  I suggest you pay more attention to your surroundings.  The food on your plate should say everything about magical creatures communicating and cooperating with each other.  Though to be fair, most magic creatures don’t have top secret creepy societies that come out of something you’d see on Ancient Aliens-future thing.


Draco: Make sense they don’t have any communities…because they’re so backwards.


MJ: Fifty points for being an intolerant bigot.  And the fact that you equate having a super evil society to being an advance civilization really shows what  potential psychopath you are.  No wonder, Voldemort gave you so many chances and hugs.



Harry: You said his name?


MJ: Well, yeah.  It’s not like he’s Biggie Smalls.  Back on the subject matter of creepy societies, I’m just done with it.  Why does every secret group have to be evil.  There’s no originality there.  And to be honest, both the crazy reptilian wannabe dragons and the society of St. George reminded me of the Alchemists (see Bloodlines by Richelle Mead) and any other group of self righteous hypocrites I see in YA books.  And I’m just sort of done with it, if there’s no hook to it that gets me to want to read it and it stars a Lavender Brown wannabe.


Hermione: Bad books suck.


MJ: Yes, they do, Ms. Granger.  But they make me angry enough to create a time machine that bends reality.  Hence, why I’ve went back in time to teach you guys about dragons. That and, well, I wanted to get away from Twilight.


Hermione: What’s Twilight?


MJ: A book that’s worst than any of the unforgivables.  A book (eyes Draco) the Dark Lord would love to get his grubby hands on…


Epilogue :


The Harry Potter series ended  abruptly  two days later in the middle of book three.  After hearing his sub inform him about a book worse than an unforivable, Draco stole her time traveling device and gave it to Wormtail.   When Wormtail goes forward in time he grabs Voldemort a copy of Twilight.  Proceeds to read it to the dark lord and kills himself and Voldemort in less than ten pages. Instead, of Voldemort being he who should not be named Stephenie Meyer has taken over that tile.  As for MJ, she was offered a position of Surviving Bad YA 101 where she taught students how to avoid some of the most horrible creatures in YA.  No one in the school has been attacked by a Kagawa dragon thanks to her brave actions, Draco did join the cult of the Shadowhutners though. But nobody is perfect. 


Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a C-  Myself I DNF’d it.  But despite the flaws I found with the plot and characters, the writing is solid and so is the pacing for the most part.


Source: http://howdyyal.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-day-hagrid-hired-a-sub-talon-by-julie-kagawa