Elmo had never been inside Filch's office before; it was a place most students avoided. The room was dingy and windowless, lit by a single oil lamp dangling from the low ceiling.
A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place.
Wooden filing cabinets stood around the walls; from their labels, Elmo could see that they contained details of every pupil Filch had ever punished.
Fred and George Weasley had an entire drawer to themselves. A highly polished collection of chains and manacles hung on the wall behind Filch's desk.
It was common knowledge that he was always begging Dumbledore to let him suspend students by their ankles from the ceiling.
Filch grabbed a quill from a pot on his desk and began shuffling around looking for parchment.
"Dung," he muttered furiously, "great sizzling dragon bogies . . . frog brains . . . rat intestines . . . I've had enough of it . . . make an example . . . where's the form . . . yes . . ."
He retrieved a large roll of parchment from his desk drawer and stretched it out in front of him, dipping his long black quill into the ink pot.
"Name . . . Elmo from Seasame Street. Crime . . ."
"It was only a bit of mud!" said Elmo.
"It's only a bit of mud to you, boy, but to me it's an extra hour scrubbing!" shouted Filch, a drip shivering unpleasantly at the end of his bulbous nose. "Crime . . . befouling the castle . . .
suggested sentence . . ."
Dabbing at his streaming nose, Filch squinted unpleasantly at Elmo who waited with bated breath for his sentence to fall.
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