Harry opened his eyes and yawned...."Wow is it 5 already!"...he rolled over and went back to sleep...Fours hours later,his cellphone beeped, Ron had sent him a text,'Where are you? We're at the Column..see you soon!'..Falling out of bed Harry raced to his closet ,threw some clothes on and tore down the road to the Leaky Column.
A bunch of his friends were already there that night.Loud music and obnoxious t-shirts greeted him too!The hole virology group was having a bar crawl that night.A few hours later..and many,many drinks down,the structure bunch got a little out of hand.They began to bully the new molecular biologists.They made them dance on the tables...turn cartwheels...it was an awful sight.Harry,Ron and Hermione hid behind the bar....while the drunken bullies let off steam.Eventually , Hermione peered around the bar,"This is ridiculous.I have a growth curve to do..I need to get going"..so saying..off she stormed.
Back at school...everything seemed normal..or as normal as Grad School can be!They quickly settled back into a routine..one gel melted into another as the days passed on.They had a new Defense against the Dark Bugs teacher,Hep E Moody.During their very first class,he said in a gravelly tone,"Put away your books...there ain't nothing in there that can help you here.Can anyone name the three Uncurable bugs?"..."Please sir ", began Hermione,"It wasn't on the reading for this week".Ron however raised his hand uncertainly..."My dad mentioned someone he knew who had one...uhh.. HPV?..""Correct Weasley..thats a nasty one", so saying he showed them an electron micrograph of it.Every so often Moody,would duck behind his deck to take a large bite of something..this shocked everyone..though no one dared mention it.To everyone's surprise,and his own,Neville raised his hand"Hmmm Professor, Hepatitis B ?".."Correct Longbottom!"He clicked on his new Macbook,and the screen lit up with its life cycle."And the last one..can anyone name this deadly killer? No one...why HIV of course!",his eyes gleaming like a mad-man,Moody zoomed in on a picture of gp120.The bell rang..and the students peeled themselves from their desks...in the halls as they walked to their next class they nodded to each other"He knows...he really knows!".
One morning , Albus Dumbledore,the Head of Departmen,t announced that Hogwarts was soon to be home to two other schools of Virology .The Magical Virology Conference was to be held at Hogwarts this year.and everyone was rather excited.Germstrang,a Russian school of Virology was to arrive first, followed shortly by Bornabatons Academy of Microbiology .All the Hogwart-ians whispered excitedly amongst themselves waiting for their guests.Germstrang arrived amid much drumming and clapping.The Head,Ebor Karkaroff was a famous Russian scientest.Off late though he was more often in the news for his lapses of delusion.He had worked with Voldemort,the retrovirus and had once been one of the brightest Retroviral minds.Somewhere along the way however,his mind unhinged...Today, he could be heard telling anyone who would care to listen that he was responsible for the discovery of Voldemort...that his Nobel was snatched from him!
Bornabatons Academy was headed by Madame Marburg.She was publishing Giant, well known for her work on large genomed viruses.She expected a great deal of hard work from her students..and her lab was famous as one where first years often slept at their bench.
Participants for the Conference were to be decided by the Beaker of Fire.Dumbledore announced the rules one morning,"Only students who have one first author paper can apply.A student who wishes to participate must submit his/her name on a piece of litmus paper into a beaker on a burner.We call this the 'litmus test'.However I must warn you, if you do not meet the condition , the consequences will be severe...."A loud uproar broke out in the hall,"That's not fair! The editors don't like us.Its not our fault! I am working on a resubmission!Someone scooped me!"..and on it went.
Fred and George,riding a wave of fresh disappointment,their last commitee meeting having crucified them,decided rashly to enter.They added their names to the beaker, and walked away!..The effect was immediate.The slip with their names burst into flames and turned into a Howler.It raced off to their Major Professor to say that the student had ' data' they wanted to discuss with them.Oh no!!
The following day,Dumbledore took the beaker off the burner and gingerly read the names that the beaker had selected.Fibro Delacoux,Corona Krum ,Chlamydic Diggory...and Harry Potter!!!!! "Harry, how did you enter your name into the beaker? Do you know what this means? You must now present at the Conference!..This is binding!".Harry stumbled forward in a daze,"But but sir..I don't know how my name got in.I didn't enter..I don't have enough data to present!".The other teachers gathered around bewildered...all agreed however, that Harry would have to participate.
"This is so unfair..I don't know enough ", said Harry..desperately trying to finish his poster."Pictio"he howled,summoning the suitable gel pictures to complete the poster.The Conference had three arms - A poster presentation,An abstract presentation and a quiz.It started off badly for Harry, for during the poster presentation while trying to put up his,managed to knock someone elses off.Grumbling he bent over to pick it up, when a girl hissed at him,"Take your own only,leave the other one!"...What ever happened to being helpful! The quiz went off without a hitch...the abstract however was another story.Every person in the crowd,Moody included ,went straight for the jugular.Fending off their questions the best he could,Harry hoped that he could disappear..."Why did you use that enzyme?Why didn't use use a nested PCR? What temperatures were these done at?"..and on it went.At the end of it..everyone agreed that Harry had managed credibly..and that his research had direction! He was even awarded 'Most promising research 09'.."Yipee...guaranteed funding! No more TA-ing!"...celebrated Harry!! Harry's competitor Chlamydic Diggory,disillusioned by the comments he got and the holes in his theory ,however,quit grad school.( Note from the author: Diggory is doing well.He found employment in a Software firm,just bought his third Lexus and was most recently spotted holidaying on the Galapagos Islands)
Harry meandered over to a quiet section of the hall.Moody,looking rather grim ,cornered him.He began,"Well congratulations Harry! Well done...But let me be honest with you.No point shielding you eh? Hmm..I don't this project will go much further.You've done well...but the parameters just don't add up.Come..now show me your future plans.Lets sit there shall we?"..so saying he led him into the deserted library.Dumbledore,watching the whole thing out of the corner of his eye raced over to them.Snatched up Harry's book, and grabbed Moody.
"Who are you ?The real Moody wouldn't discourage a 4th year!", so saying he waved his wand and forced Moody to respond.In front of their eyes..Moody turned into someone else..shorter,thinner and with a crooked nose."Bacterial Crouch! How is this possible ?",so saying Dumbledore tipped a few drops of Veritas Complete Serum into his mouth." Well...years ago",began Crouch,"I discovered Prions.I found a way to make a prion potion that could change me into someone else as long as I kept eating rare cooked burgers every hour.I enetered Harry's name into the Beaker of Fire , I wanted to discourage Harry from this project , and then steal his data and publish it!"......Dumbledore raged silently..with a reassuring pat on Harry's back he led the fake Moody away.
A week passed.The real Moody was back,coughing wildly, from a forced imprisonment in Crouch's cold room.Harry,Hermione and Ron huddled around the lab computer,putting their mental faculties together for a game of TextTwist.Harry looked around the lab...he felt at home!
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