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PAASBAAN-E-HARF: The Defenders of Magic.

Hello Guys! So this is going to be my first foray into the Harry Potter fan-fiction. I noticed that JK Rowling has not yet written about any magical school in either India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. I wanted to know if there was any school of witchcraft and wizardry in the region, but since I have not yet come across any fan-fiction regarding it, therefore I hope to be one of the first ones to write on it. Hope you all enjoy it. Do gimme your feedback too.

 

PAASBAAN-E-HARF

(Paas – ba – nay – hurf )

By

Sania Sidiki

Situated at Hardeol (The Temple of God) in one of the major peaks of the Kumaon Himalaya. It is the highest peak on the northern side of the ring of peaks guarding the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, in Pithoragarh, India.

This magical school was founded after Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur conquered the Sub-Continent after defeating Ibrahim Lodhi in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Ibrahim was said to be a fierce ruler with no love for magical community, which propelled many wizards and witches from the region to defy him and seek refuge from a tyrant. Babur being a pure-blood, caught wind of the situation and decided to embark on his next conquest.

Babur decided to employ his best wizards and witches to hide the school from prying eyes of the muggle community which was distraught to find their ruler defeated, and demanded retribution. Babur never revealed he was a wizard, and would employ muggles sympathetic to the plight of the magical community in his royal courts.

The school was named Paasbaan-e-Harf (Protector of the Word), because since the Subcontinent was a war –torn region, many magical (and non-magical) books were destroyed, and Babur charged Shaikh Abu-al-Fazal-ibn Mubarak the Wise with finding any lost manuscripts or texts which could contribute to the magical learning of young wizards and witches and that the knowledge of magic would not be lost forever. Mubarak, much like the illustrious French wizard Nicolas Flamel, wanted to be an immortal. He was also an alchemist. Contrary to fashioning a stone, like Flamel did for staying immortal, he chose to instead make use of his considerable talents (he had a gift for elemental magic). He used the five elements, air, earth, fire, water, and his spirit to tune into the psyche of Mother Earth and make use of the elements of his surroundings to keep him alive till the end of days. Therefore, he was alive during Akbar’s rule. Sadly he died during the battle of the War of Independence since he was attacked by Alif the Unseen, who held the power to absorb the soul of the person he has his eyes set on.

Owing to his patronage, thousands of people, both Indians and foreigners (magical mostly), flocked to Akbar’s court to learn from one of the great Eastern maestros about magic (oriental and otherwise). One of them was Beedle the Bard, who was once heard saying: There is no wizard in the East as great as Rumi or Shams Tabrez (a Squib who dabbled in alchemy) than Mubarak. His mere words hold more knowledge than any one I have yet to come across.

The school was quintessentially Eastern. Much like Hogwarts and Ilvermorny, the institute was a grand sight and impressively protected by charms to repel any muggle who comes across it. With counsel from his daughters Gulbadan, BegumFakhr-un-Nissa and the famed Turkish wizard Ali Efendi, it was agreed that the school should be somewhere remote. Where no muggle could interfere. Therefore Hardeol was the preferred location. It was a castle, which much to the amazement of Godric Gryffindor who visited the school on its inauguration, was more cleverly built and heavily fortified with charms and spells, unheard of in Europe.

What sets the school apart from other institutions was its grandeur. It was built from Mountain Ash, to protect the inhabitants of the institute from dangerous and lethal creatures such as the Chinese Nian which was said to hunt all life with an ounce of magic in them and the werewolves. An interesting fact was that the security detail outlined for the school employed The Scorpion Man and his Wife The Scorpion Woman with their clan indebted to Babur for saving them from a horde of angry Ming Dynasty’s warriors.

The grandeur of the school is legendary. It is notable because the fortress of the school stretches to 45 miles, keeping in mind that it is situated in a mountainous region and fashioned out of the mountain itself. The walls, however are made from a combination of colourful tiles and rare gemstones that are jinxed to safeguard the school’s premises. To muggle eyes, they would seem to be icicles but if any muggle touched them, they would suffer temporary amnesia (lasting for days at a time) and forgetting that they even visited Hardeol in the first place.

The minarets are as high as 150 ft. Much like the Grand Staircase at Hogwarts, the school has an unusual helix-shaped spiral diamond staircase which will drop students to the dungeons below if they are caught doing anything illegal. It screams and cries tears of blood if there is danger to the school and transports the students to safe locations. There is magical carving alongside the staircase which appears and disappears since Mubarak bewitched it to be a breathing organ of the school. Like Hogwarts’ Great Hall, Paasbaan-e-Harf’s dining hall is huge which could fit upto 20,000 students excluding the 5000 professors. The fae cook the food which is what differentiates the school from Hogwarts. The elves are visiting faculty and take up key position in the school’s administration. The ceiling is enchanted to depict the history of Magic and the various battles and conquests that took place in the region, and outer space.

Students from all over the Sub-Continent are welcomed to the institution. Whether they are Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist, Sikh, or Zoroastrian, the school welcomes all regardless of their race, caste, colour or gender. The school was progressive unlike its muggle counterparts since it included both witches and wizards not only as students but as the faculty as well.

What was very unusual to the Ministry of Magic, and who objected to the security of the school, is that it is guarded by Thestrals who are said to be an omen of misfortune for any who see it. This opposition was not welcome by Babur who set out to do as he pleased with the school, which he argued in one of the court proceedings by the Ministry, “was the cornerstone in helping young witches and wizards to understand magic and magical creatures and not fear it. This fear is what leads to prejudice, and no such thing is welcomed in the school or my kingdom”. He was said to storm out even though the verdict was given in favour of him.

As for the houses, there were five as opposed to four. Each represents one of the five elements which is practiced by the magical community of the region. Nür (spirit) was home for the self-actualised individuals who embraced the unknown and lack artificiality or cunningness. Vayu (Air) honoured those aspiring candidates who had the powers of telepathy, and were thought to be born leaders. The most legendary figure to graduate out of the school was Akbar who was in Vayu. Na’eema (Water) was family to those who possessed the abilities of commandeering, and would be equally destructive in battle. Legend has it that the founder of the house Anushka Kaur was descended from the one of the only surviving family of the ancient race of Sarmatian. Qa’albin (Fire) called out to those who were born guardians and were passionate about channeling their inner warriors for the quest of knowledge. The last of the houses, Hunkaar (Earth) accepted those with the power of logic and sound reasoning. One of the recent graduates of the school Sakshi Malik (from Hunkaar) participated in the Quidditch World Cup at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and represented India, winning the Cup for the country.

The sorting ceremony is unlike Ilvermorny or Hogwarts. There is neither a wand nor a hat. The fledglings are judged by magical creatures instead who judge them based on how receptive each newcomer is to the magical beasts. Pegasus for Vayu; Dragon for Qa’albin; Leviathan for Na’eema; Uchchaihshravas for Hunkaar, and the Marid for Nür. Children enroll from the age of 5 and graduate when they are 17. Wands are given to the children when they are 12 years of age. They are allowed to do magic during their vacations but are seriously penalized if they are caught doing it in front of muggles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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