Professor MacDougal and the Improbable Metamorph Punch

elephantPhoto credit EL Appleby

Professor MacDougal floated through the aftermath of the Graduation Ball, flicking her wand and tutting in equal measure. It was a marvel no students had been seriously hurt!

“Mrs Nibbles!” she exclaimed, releasing the scowling cat from the clutches of a giant Gummy bear. The bear oozed across the floor with a look of surprise on its rapidly melting face.

“Disgraceful!” she muttered, spying the improbable fusion of Spalding, Monkhouse and Pitheroe, still in animal fancy dress.

The elephant hiccupped.


Hanging their heads, the three Heads of House tumbled apart.

And a goldfish with the Headmaster’s beard circled the punch bowl.


This story was written for the Friday Fictioneers, as hosted on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site.  Click the smiley blue guy to read more stories from other authors.

For those familiar with Harry Potter, you might spot a few similarities! I’m a big, big fan of the books, and this photo screamed out for magic. My daughters prefer the films, and despite my cajoling (or maybe because of it) have never got past book one.

What do you think of Harry Potter? Do you think you can’t write about magic without drawing comparisons? Or don’t you like the books?

I’d love to know what you think – or just leave a comment on the story 🙂


32 thoughts on “Professor MacDougal and the Improbable Metamorph Punch

  1. Dear Trudy,

    I confess. The Harry Potter similarities were lost on me. I’ve neither read the books nor seen the movies. Nonetheless your story is entertaining.



    • Thanks Rochelle, I won’t try to convert you! If you’ve managed to avoid Harry Potter thus far there must be good reason 🙂

    • Yea Griffindor indeed. Sadly I once spent a happy half hour cheating on a Sorting Hat Quiz until it gave me that very answer. Ah, the irony, I guess the Sorting Hat was right after all, and I belonged in slippery Slytherin. ( It did relent and put me in Ravenclaw eventually!)

  2. We enjoyed both the books and the movies, although I rather dislike movies at least in this, that they forever imprint their idea of how the characters looked on my mind. Therefore, there are some movies or TV shows that I don’t watch because I want to keep my images intact. That being said, we also enjoyed all the LOTR and “The Hobbit” as well, even though not all the images fit.


    • I struggled with the LOTR trilogy, but I think the films are spectacular. The Harry Potter films were so rich in detail that it’s very hard not to be seduced by their interpretation of the books. We took the Harry Potter Studio tour just north of London, and the creativity of the people involved in bringing it to screen is just staggering!

  3. Great fun Trudy. I definitely recognised the HP influence. It sounds like it could be part of something bigger.

    • Thanks Claire, I hadn’t thought of that, maybe stick it in my ‘Ideas’ notebook!

    • Yes, he seems to have lost control of the situation, doesn’t he? I guess Professor MacDougal is teetotal else she might be swimming in the punch bowl too!

  4. I could totally see this happening at a magical ball, especially one where the punch is spiked. Hopefully someone can rescue the headmaster before someone swallows him.

    • Yes, Mrs Nibbles is one angry cat right now! Think he might end up ‘nibbled’!

  5. I saw the similarities and liked the take.

    Harry Potter was a great boost for a generation of young readers who found the books and recommended them to one another. Good though at least some of them were, I think the films tended to lock the stories in one visual form (as films-of-books so often do), making the books less accessible to the next generation of kids.

    But I’m confident someone else will come along with another series that will catch kids’ imaginations anew. Perhaps it’ll be you, Trudy!

    • I’d be happy with a fraction of that success! I love her books, I think she’s a wonderful story teller, and those books were the reason I took up writing for children. I agree with you about the films though – I can’t read the books without picturing Daniel Radcliffe!

    • They always seemed to go a bit wrong in the Harry Potter series, didn’t they? 🙂

    • Yes, I ‘borrowed’ quite a few details – though no one ever turned Dumbledore into a goldfish, or supersized a Gummy bear!

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