A Dream Deferred: What Exactly Are the Dark Arts?

by Mayavanaviharini harini

“Yes, your visions. What exactly do you see?”

“I see this girl… An Indian-looking girl, around sixteen or so… And I see Snape… He’s roughly the same age. The girl ties something on his wrist and drops down dead immediately.”

Narayani sat erect and closed her eyes, concentrating on Parvati’s description. “Do you see anything else?”

“Yes, I see You-Know-Who, and his snake, Nagini. You-Know-Who laughs madly while the snake approaches Snape. It’s all blurred after that.”

“Is that all?”

“Wait, there’s a glowing dial that appears around Snape’s wrist after Nagini attacks him.”

Narayani did not speak a word. Tears rolled down her cheeks uncontrollably.

Parvati was perplexed. She wasn’t used to seeing the emotional side of her mother. In fact Narayani had been the one to convince Vitthal not to take the two girls away from Hogwarts. (“We are Marathas, Vitthal! Such cowardice doesn’t suit us,” she had said loftily.)

Aai, are you OK?” Parvati asked her mother gently.

Vitthal, who had just come back from the Ministry, was shocked at what he saw.

“Narayani! What’s the matter?” He was terribly worried to see his wife crying. She hadn’t cried even once in all the twenty-seven long years they had been married.

The Patil matriarch wiped off her tears violently. “This is the problem with you Western guys. There’s little you learn about mastering your mind. That’s the sole reason why I ended up losing an old friend,” she said bitterly. “Because her only crime was to fall in love with the wrong person,” she added with a hint of sarcasm in her voice.

Parvati didn’t know how to react.

“Are you talking of Heer, by any chance?” Vitthal finally broke the awkward silence.

Narayani nodded sadly.

“But how did she die? Dumbledore told us that it was an act of Dark Magic! I am ready to avenge her death, come what may! She was my best friend at Hogwarts.” Vitthal looked visibly angry.

Padma was entering through the fireplace at that very instant.

She held her breath, wondering what the conversation was about. But she chose to keep quiet. If Narayani Patil was indeed a Dark Witch, it might be revealed any moment now.

Narayani’s reaction was unprecedented.

“Dark Magic, did you say? Do you remember the definition of Dark Magic?” she challenged.

“The branch of magic dealing with unknown and potentially dangerous forces,” answered Vitthal, when the impact of realization hit Padma like a bolt of lightning.


The word had lost its significance to the more prominent second part of the definition, ‘potentially dangerous’.

So ‘unknown’ forms of magic, more specifically, forms of magic unknown to the Western world were included under this definition too. And that included the traditional Indian magical arts taught at Mayavati.

That was grossly unfair.

But Parvati was only getting more and more perplexed. Who was this mysterious Heer, the mutual friend of her parents? All she could guess was that this girl was a Hogwarts alumnus, and possibly a hapless romantic like herself. But what could be her possible connection with Snape?

A/N: The Marathas are a well-known warrior clan hailing from Maharashtra, India.

This story archived at: Occlumency