Rejected by the Headless Hunt

Nick is upset he has not been accepted as a member of the Headless Hunt

Extract from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

By J.K. Rowling

'You look troubled, young Potter,’ said Nick, folding a transparent letter as he spoke and tucking it inside his doublet.

‘So do you,’ said Harry.

‘Ah,’ Nearly Headless Nick waved an elegant hand, ‘a matter of no importance … it’s not as though I really wanted to join … thought I’d apply, but apparently I “don’t fulfil requirements”.’

In spite of his airy tone, there was a look of great bitterness on his face.

‘But you would think, wouldn’t you,’ he erupted suddenly, pulling the letter back out of his pocket, ‘that getting hit forty-five times in the neck with a blunt axe would qualify you to join the Headless Hunt?’

‘Oh – yes,’ said Harry, who was obviously supposed to agree.

‘I mean, nobody wishes more than I do that it had all been quick and clean, and my head had come off properly, I mean, it would have saved me a great deal of pain and ridicule. However …’ Nearly Headless Nick shook his letter open and read furiously.

‘We can only accept huntsmen whose heads have parted company with their bodies. You will appreciate that it would be impossible otherwise for members to participate in hunt activities such as Horseback Head-Juggling and Head Polo. It is with the greatest regret, therefore, that I must inform you that you do not fulfil our requirements. With very best wishes, Sir Patrick Delaney-Podmore.’

Fuming, Nearly Headless Nick stuffed the letter away.

‘Half an inch of skin and sinew holding my neck on, Harry! Most people would think that’s good and beheaded, but oh no, it’s not enough for Sir Properly Decapitated-Podmore.'

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

By J.K. Rowling