View Full Version : Different story for The Order of the Phoenix
December 14th, 2003, 11:54 pm
Hello, i found this strange "alternate" story of book 5. The story is completely different and is much more interesting that the book 5.
can someone tell me where this comes from?
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
Chapter 1 - The Trip 2
Chapter 2 - Mirror-Munchies 8
Chapter 3 - The Letter 19
Chapter 4 - Ambush At Mrs. Figg's 23
Chapter 5 - The Order Of The Phoenix 27
Chapter 6 - Black Phoenixes 33
Chapter 7 - Nabakza 40
Chapter 8 - New Students 43
Chapter 9 - Clonusouts And Tryouts 51
Chapter 10 - Decisions 61
Chapter 11- Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff 68
Chapter 12- Transformation Training 84
Chapter 13- Animals 94
Chapter 14- Dueling and Morphing 105
Chapter 15- The Plan
Chapter 16- The Return of the Phoenix
Chapter 17- Azkaban
Chapter 18- Back To Hogwarts
Chapter 19- The New Dueling Club
Chapter 20- The Trap
Chapter 21- The Yule Ball
Chapter 22- The Aftermath 203
Chapter 23- Second Round 208
Chapter 24- The Quidditch Final
Chapter 25- The Final Duel
Chapter 26- The O.W.L.s 250
Chapter 27- Dungeons and Dragons
Chapter 28- Harry's Order
Chapter 29- Voldemort's Story 305
Chapter 30- The Phoenix of the Order
Chapter 31- The Surprise Order
Chapter 32- Truth and True Correspondents 330
Chapter 1 - The Trip
It was the most wonderful feeling Harry ever experienced. He was flying through the air, feeling the wind blow by and through his entire body. The warm sun was glowing all over him and some birds were flying by, singing merrily. He raced them, not knowing where to, just knowing he was having the best time of his life.
As Harry was shooting ahead, he looked forward, and saw a thin line on the ground. Harry threw his hands back, getting a sudden burst of speed. He was going far faster than the birds now, he could hear their voices trailing behind him, getting farther and farther behind him. The thin line was getting closer as Harry sped up. As he got nearer to it, the Sun's warmth became slightly colder, and the wind was blowing much harder. Despite this, he continued on, having a huge desire to see what the line was dividing.
Harry suddenly realized that he was shivering, and his teeth were chattering. The wind was approaching the speeds of that of a hurricane. It just kept blowing harder and harder, until Harry was unable to fight against it any longer. So, he fell. He was falling, falling, falling. Faster, faster and faster. The ground was rushing at him. He fell through the clouds, and could just about make out the top of some houses.
He could see some cars. Now, he can make out someone below him. Harry abruptly realized what was happening, and he let out a scream, anticipating the painful impact… when all of a sudden he felt hands below him.
Someone caught him. Harry let out a sigh of relief. The hands below him felt bony and weak; they were concealed in a long flowing black robe. Harry looked up to see the face that went with the arms, and as soon as his eyes met the face, he wished he hadn't been caught at all. It felt as though there was a brick in his stomach that suddenly moved up out of his mouth, escaping with a scream. The face belongs to Voldemort. He merely gave Harry a small grin.
Harry jumped out of Voldemort's hands, and started running away. Green rays were shooting by him, and Harry recognized the green rays as killing curse beams. He kept running, not knowing where he was going. All of a sudden, he saw someone!
Two people actually, a man and a woman… they looked very familiar.
Harry ran as fast as he could towards them, spells still shooting by him every second. All Harry did was try and concentrate on the people ahead of him. As soon as he got a little closer to them, he realized who they were… they were his parents.
The woman was tall, and had red hair and unmistakable green eyes. She was cradling a bundle of blankets in her arms… it looked like a baby. Next to her, there was an even taller skinny man with untidy black hair. He was staring down at the bundle of blankets. What were they doing here? Weren't they… dead? All of these questions were running through Harry's mind when he suddenly remembered how he had gotten to see his parents in the first place. Voldemort!
"We have to get out of here!" Harry yelled to them. But, it was as if he didn't even say anything… or exist for that matter. His mom kept cradling the bundle of blankets, and his dad was just watching her.
"Voldemort's here!" yelled Harry as loud as he could. "We have to go!"
This time, they looked at him, and Harry felt relief come over him. Then, he felt a hand come over his shoulder, and squeeze down hard. He didn't even have to turn around to see who it was that was holding onto him… the bony fingers gave it all away.
"Give me the boy…" Voldemort hissed.
"You already know we won't," said Harry's dad.
"We had an agreement," said his mom, setting the bundle down into a cradle next to her that seemed to have just appeared. What agreement? Harry never knew that his parents had ever made some sort of deal with Voldemort.
"Yes, well… that agreement did not benefit me enough to continue it," said Voldemort. "I would rather just take the boy now."
"Never," said both of Harry's parents together.
"If you will not give him to me, then I will take him by force!" yelled Voldemort, brandishing his wand. Harry saw his father immediately respond by taking his out too.
But, he wasn't fast enough.
"Avada Kedavra!" yelled Voldemort. The familiar green flash brightened the white oblivion round them… where had the world gone? It seemed to have all just disappeared.
That was the last thing on Harry's mind, though. He saw his father be hit by the Killing Curse, and fall to the ground with a large thud. He was dead.
"No! James!" yelled Harry's mom, running over to him.
"Now give me the boy and you shall live," said Voldemort, pointing his wand right at Harry's mom.
"I shall never hand him over to you, even if it means my death!" she said.
"Very well then…" said Voldemort. "Avada Kedavra!"
The world flashed green again, and Harry's mom collapsed to the floor, right on top of James. Voldemort walked over to the cradle that the baby version of Harry was in.
He gave a sickening version of a smile, and pointed his wand right at Harry, and mumbled the Killing Curse.
Suddenly, there was a massive explosion like none Harry had ever experienced before. It was as if a nuclear bomb went off right in front of his eyes. The entire world turned black for an instant, and Voldemort, and his mom and dad were blown away. It lasted for only a second though… and Harry was back in his white, infinite oblivion… all alone this time.
"Harry…", came a voice. It was a soft, soothing voice that was barely loud enough to be heard. Harry ran toward where he thought the voice was coming from, though the world around him was appearing to get lighter.
"Harry…" This time, the voice was slightly louder. Harry ran faster… maybe it was his mom! Maybe she didn't die after all! The voice rang out again, and again and Harry ran faster and faster, not caring that he was getting tired.
"Harry!", yelled the voice. It was not soothing at all this time, it was instead very harsh and loud. The world around Harry was spinning now, with many colors.
The voice was yelling at him almost every second, and the world was coming into a blurry focus.
Harry shook his head, rubbed his eyes and looked around. He was in a small room… in a bed… with pajamas on… what was going on?
It now came to Harry that he had been dreaming, and was back now in his real life. However, Harry's real life is nothing like ours. Harry is a wizard.
Though, not a full wizard yet. He is still a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry threw his covers off himself, and climbed groggily out of bed. Every second he moved, he lost more and more memory of the dream he had. He remembered seeing his mom… and something about Voldemort… but that was it.
He groped around the table next to his bed for his glasses and put them on. Now his room came into focus and he walked over to his closet to pick out some clothes.
"HARRY!", yelled the voice. Now Harry knew who was making it, his Aunt Petunia. His door exploded open and she blasted through.
"Harry get down here this- oh!", she saw Harry while he was changing his pants and all he had on was his underwear. She quickly backed out of the room and yelled, just as loudly as before, "Get downstairs now! It's Dudley's birthday, and you're late! We need you to make breakfast!"
Harry heard her go downstairs. Harry quickly finished changing into his clothes and went to the door. He opened it, and turned around to look at his room before he went down. It contained many things that would be in our dreams: there was a cauldron by his bed that contained books on magic. Next to the window in his room was an owl cage that contained Harry's owl, Hedwig. She was a snowy white owl that was used to send and receive letters. Harry's two most recent letters were on his wall next to Hedwig. Once was from Hermione Granger, one of Harry's best friends from Hogwarts. It read:
Since I won't be able to send you another letter soon, happy birthday. I am having a great time here with Viktor at his house, I hope you are doing well with your aunt and uncle. Even though I've been with Viktor, I have been doing a lot of thinking, especially about what Dumbledore said last year. Since You-Know-Who (most wizards were too afraid to use Voldemort's real name, so they said 'You-Know-Who' instead) is back, you'll have to be extra careful since you do seem to run into him often. I've also been wondering about what the jobs are that Dumbledore sent everyone to do. I guess we'll find out this September.
That letter was exactly like Hermione. Always worried and concerned, though never forgetting to do work. However, she did have some good points. Harry was wondering about what Dumbledore said last year. He sent Hagrid (the groundskeeper at Hogwarts) on a secret Summer job, he sent Professor Snape (Harry's potion's teacher who was Harry's only reason to dislike Hogwarts) as some sort of spy to Voldemort, and Dumbledore asked the rest of the professors to "gather the old crowd".
Harry was also surprised, in reading Hermione's letter, that she did go to Krum's mansion for the summer. Viktor Krum is an excellent Quidditch player, he is the Seeker on the Bulgarian Quidditch team, the same position Harry plays on the Hogwarts Gryffindor House's Quidditch team. At the end of the year, she said she was still "thinking about it", so Harry assumed she wasn't going to go. He couldn't wait to get back to Hogwarts and ask her all about it.
The other letter on Harry's wall was from his other best friend at Hogwarts, Ron Weasley. It read:
Hope you're well, I know we're not doing too good here. That money you gave Fred and George last year, I'm not sure if that was such a good idea. They now seem more determined than ever to set up their joke shop, and since they got so much money from you for funding, mom can't object to them doing it. Every day, it seems, they have some new invention that they're more than willing to test out on us. When we're not turning into an animal or something from eating a candy, our faces turn green, or we grow an extra ear on our forehead.
Because of the chaos here, I doubt we'll be able to come over and help you if the Muggles try and keep you from coming back to Hogwarts, or just make you miserable.
So, I gave Pig a map that leads you from your house to our house. It took a while to make since dad's Muggle maps can't talk. I hope you don't have to use it in an emergency, but go ahead and use it to get here for fun!
See ya soon!
Harry had the map in his pocket at all times, just in case he needed it. Even though the names of the roads and towns were written very messily, Harry guessed he could just fly to the Weasley's house on his broomstick if he really had to.
Harry couldn't help but laugh when he came to the part about Fred and George's joke shop. Last year, Fred and George (Ron's older identical twin brothers) decided they wanted to open up a joke store (called Weasley's Wizard Wheezes) and make their living doing that. Mrs. Weasley, whose other three sons had graduated from Hogwarts and gone into "respectable" businesses (except for maybe Charlie who bred Dragons), would have nothing to do with their joke shop idea and destroyed all their inventions. Later that year, Harry won a tournament at school, and got a thousand galleons (quite a sum of money in the wizarding world). Already having a small fortune inherited from his parents, Harry gave the money to Fred and George to support their business since he liked the idea.
"HARRY! GET DOWN HERE NOW!" came a giant booming voice from downstairs. The voice belonged to his Uncle Vernon, obviously upset that Harry had taken so long to come down. However, Harry was used to this kind of treatment. The Dursley's hated magic in any form and, because of this, they despised Harry.
So, even though Harry was used to this way of communication, he thought it best to not upset Uncle Vernon any more, and he started on his way downstairs, which turned out to be a good deal more difficult than other trips doing the same. Every step was littered with wrapping paper, boxes, cards, tape, bubble wrap, and even some forgotten presents. Though he tripped twice (once on a box, and on a shirt), Harry eventually made his way to the bottom of the staircase, and headed to the kitchen where he tended to the bacon and pancakes on the stove. His cousin, Dudley was sitting at the table that was an island in the sea of wrappings. He was opening another present right now.
"Oooh another present! I wonder what it could be!" said Dudley as he tore open the next box in a giant pile next to him. Within two seconds, the present was open, and Dudley pulled out a giant red shirt. "Oh no, not another one!"
"Another XXXXXXXL shirt Dudley?" laughed Uncle Vernon as Dudley began opening his next gift. "Well then, just be glad that you can't wear them anymore anyway." It was true though. Last Summer, Dudley might have been too small for that shirt but, since his school, Smeltings, did not store uniforms in that size, Dudley was forced on an extreme diet that must've been enforced throughout his entire year there due to the amazing amount of weight he lost. Dudley was just a little bigger than Harry now, who was extremely skinny after being practically starved by the Dursleys for ten years.
"Yes!" said Dudley after opening his latest present. It was evidently some video game he had wanted as that was the only thing that could make Dudley so happy.
Then, when Dudley reached for his next present, he let out a shriek.
"Ah! There's only one left! Oh, but it's a big one!" Dudley walked over to the giant box which was at least as tall as Harry, and about five times as wide. Dudley climbed on top, and ripped the ribbon off as fast as he could. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were smiling in the back.
"Oh man! This one's gotta be good!" Dudley threw off the last of the wrapping to reveal…
"Another box!" yelled Dudley. This made Harry look over from the stove.
Wrapped in the box that Dudley had just opened was another box that was identical to the previous one in every way, except for the fact that it was smaller. However, this did not make Dudley and less determined, in fact he looked as though this was a present he really wanted to conquer.
Just as Dudley threw off the ribbon of the latest box, Harry let out a laugh.
Another box was inside that one, once again, identical to the last. Dudley quickly ripped through that one, and the present inside was again a box.
This continued for fourteen more boxes until Dudley, looking like he might explode at any second, opened the last one which was about the size of a hamburger.
Instead of there being another box inside, there was an envelope. Dudley opened it, and nearly fainted.
"Oh… my… god!" he stuttered. Harry walked away from the stove and over towards the presents to see what could have possibly made Dudley speechless.
"Get away from those boy!" yelled Uncle Vernon, "we didn't get one for you!"
"What?" asked Harry, "one… one what?" questioned Harry.
"Tickets! A ticket!" replied Uncle Vernon.
"Tickets, to where?" asked Harry.
"To… to… Hawaii!" yelled Dudley. He held up the three tickets that were bright yellow with hula dancers on them.
"Wow, that's great. I think I'll just explode with happiness due to the fact that I'M NOT GOING!" yelled Harry. Even though he had never gone with the Dursley's on any of their trips, they had never rubbed it in his face so much.
"That's right you're not going!" said Aunt Petunia. "We're taking YOU to Mrs. Figg's house next week, when we leave."
Harry was not going to put up with this. It was almost his fifteenth birthday, and he didn't have to deal with his Aunt and Uncle's dictatorship over him anymore.
"NO!", yelled Harry as loud as he could, his Aunt and Uncle looked appalled.
"HOW DARE YOU TALK BACK-" said Uncle Vernon before he was cut off.
"No! I'm NOT going to go to Mrs. Figg's, I'm going to Ron's house!" said Harry as he started running back upstairs, avoiding the presents. He could hear Uncle Vernon behind him, closing in.
All Harry has to do was grab the map, his owl, and fly out on his broomstick, and the Dursleys would not be able to do anything about it. Nothing they owned could fly, and they would not pursue him into wizard lands anyway.
Just as Harry reached the door, he felt Uncle Vernon's presence right behind him.
Harry threw open the door, and saw the strangest sight he ever saw: his owl was fighting with a black phoenix.
The phoenix was about five times as large as Hedwig, and a million times darker.
It wasn't just black, it was a pure-black, with dark flames coming out all around it. It had an unnaturally long beak with small sharp teeth all around it. It was pulling Hedwig apart, feathers and blood were everywhere.
Just then, the phoenix stopped fighting with Hedwig, and looked at Harry. There was an explosion of piercing, white-hot pain in Harry's forehead. He could feel himself falling backwards, then quickly falling into unconscious. He collapsed on the floor.
Chapter 2 - Mirror-Munchies
Harry woke up what felt like days later to him, though it must've been only a fewminutes. He shook himself up, and ran over to Hedwig. She looked like she had been mauled by a garbage disposal. Harry picked her up into his arms and put her chest to his ears. She was still breathing, and he could feel her heart beating.
Harry set her down on a bed, and looked through his cauldron for his wand. When he found his wand, he took it out of the cauldron, and pointed it at Hedwig.
"Anicure!" said Harry. Even though he wasn't allowed to use magic out of school for fun, if a life and death situation arose, it was legal.
A small glowing fish, bird, and dog flew out of Harry's wand and into Hedwig.
She glowed bright yellow for a second, then went back to her normal white. She opened her eyes, and ruffled her feathers. Hedwig then flew back to her cage, and let out a large hoot. As she flew over, Harry looked around his room, and almost screamed when he saw Dudley, just sitting there in a chair in the corner of his room.
"Dudley…" gasped Harry. "What are you doing here?"
"I have something for you," he said, standing up with his arms behind his back.
"Dudley," sighed Harry, "I don't have time for this right now, my owl is hurt and-"
"Here," said Dudley, extending his arm to Harry. Right on top of his palm, there was a small, brown box. What was he up to? Dudley had never given Harry a real present in his life! Could it really be real?
"Take it," said Dudley, sensing Harry's hesitation. Harry was almost afraid to take it, it was probably just another one of his pathetic jokes. "I promise its not a joke, just take it, alright?"
There was something about the way he said it that convinced Harry. With a questioning look on his face, Harry grabbed the small box out of Dudley's hand, and opened it. Inside, there was the most beautiful watch he had ever seen.
It was made out of some sort of green crystal, it shimmered all over. At the place in the watch where the face would be, there were a tiny snake-head, with two red rubies for the eyes, and its tongue going around as the hand. It was intricately carved all over, to look like not just any snake, but a Basilisk! The king of all snakes!
"Th- thanks, Dudley," said Harry, having no clue what to think. Throughout his entire life, Dudley had never even said one nice thing to Harry, much less give something to him… voluntarily. Maybe he had turned over a new leaf.
"Happy Birthday!" said Dudley.
"What?" said Harry. "Um… there's still several weeks until my birthday, Dudley."
"I know, but since we're leaving for Hawaii next week, I figured I won't have time to give it to you on your actual birthday."
"Where did you find it?" asked Harry, still looking it over and admiring it.
"I found it in the basement," he said. "It was in a box labeled 'Lily'"
Harry immediately looked up at him. Lily? Lily Potter? His mother?
"You mean my mom?" asked Harry quietly.
"Yeah," said Dudley. "I think we got a box of her stuff from her will. Even though my mom hated her, she still couldn't throw it out."
Harry looked at Dudley, then at the watch. Somehow, knowing that it had once belonged to his mother made it appear to be even more beautiful.
"But why are you giving this to me?" asked Harry, putting the watch on.
"Come on," said Dudley, smiling and patting Harry's shoulder, "can't a cousin do something nice every now an then, huh?"
"Other cousins, yes I'm sure. You… no way," said Harry. Dudley let out a sigh "Harry, I haven't told anyone this… no one at all."
"What is it?" asked Harry, interested.
"Well, a little into my school year last year, I started having these dreams," said Dudley. "Only, these weren't dreams of floating in the air, or falling, or whatever. No, these were dreams with a message. They were telling me something."
"What were they telling you?" asked Harry.
"That I should be doing something that I'm not," said Dudley, extremely seriously. "So, I tried everything. I tried losing more weight, but the dreams wouldn't stop; I tried to do better in school, but the dreams wouldn't stop; I even tried having a girlfriend for a while, but that didn't make them stop.
"So, one night, I laid awake in bed, contemplating what I could possibly be doing that I wasn't: being nice to you, treating you like a human being."
"And have the dreams stopped?" asked Harry.
"Ever since I proclaimed to myself that day that I would be nice to you for the rest of our lives… yes. I realized that I should have known to be that way ever since you first came here. Just because you can make glass appear, and talk to snakes doesn't mean you're a bad person… in fact, it makes you kind of cool."
"Um… thanks Dudley," said Harry.
"Hey, you want to come downstairs?" asked Dudley. "You must get awfully bored up here all by yourself."
"Um… sure," said Harry, still overwhelmed by Dudley's sudden and complete change of heart. "Just let me check on Hedwig."
"Alright," said Dudley, smiling as he left the room.
Once Hedwig had been settled back into her cage, Harry sat down on his bed. So many questions were burning in his mind: Why was Dudley being so nice to him? Was it really because of the dream? And before… what was up with the black phoenix in his room? He didn't even know phoenixes came in black! And what had caused his forehead to hurt when he saw it? Harry rubbed his eyes and walked over to the mirror in his room, and lifted up his bangs to reveal a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.
This scar made Harry even more unusual, even by wizard's standards. Harry was the only person to ever survive an encounter with Lord Voldemort, the most powerful and evil wizard in over a century. Voldemort barged into Harry's parent's house one night when Harry was only one year old. Voldemort killed his mom and dad, and when he tried to kill Harry, his curse backfired, turning him into a weak, powerless creature that over a course of thirteen years returned back to his original power with the help of his most faithful servant, Peter Pettigrew or Wormtail. The reason Voldemort's curse had backfired is because his mom, Lily, sacrificed her life for Harry giving him a shield against Voldemort's powers. However, last year, Voldemort used some of Harry's blood to rise again, letting him get passed Harry's shield.
Ever since Harry's first encounter with Voldemort, he has had the lightning shaped scar as a symbol of where the curse hit him. It had hurt other times during the course of his life, but only when Voldemort had been close, or had an extremely evil thought. So, how could his scar have hurt when Voldemort wasn't near? It must have had something to do with the black phoenix that was in Harry's room.
Now that Harry was thinking, what was that phoenix doing in his room? Was it a spy for Voldemort? The only other phoenix Harry knew of was Dumbledore's phoenix,
Fawkes. But, Fawkes was red and beautiful and it most certainly didn't cause Harry to faint. This phoenix Harry just saw was black with dark flames all around it, it was like nothing Harry had ever learned or heard about.
Harry suddenly remembered Dudley. He ran downstairs, avoiding the large mass of wrapping paper that was still there. He arrived at the bottom of the stairs, still being slightly cautious: this could be on of Dudley's more elaborate jokes. He still didn't trust him completely.
"What took you?" asked Dudley, holding his hands behind his back like he did when he was hiding the Basilisk watch.
Oh, um… nothing," said Harry. "What'cha got there?"
"This," said Dudley, his eyes twinkling, "is the secret of my success."
"What success?" asked Harry. Dudley looked surprised. He waved his hand all over his body.
"How I lost over five hundred pounds!"
"Oh, that success…"
"Yeah," said Dudley, not shrugging it off anywhere as fast as Harry was.
"Anyway, here it is." He showed Harry what he was hiding behind his back. It was some sort of rectangular package… it looked like some sort of video game.
"What is that?" asked Harry skeptically.
"The single greatest thing ever…" said Dudley, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The secret to my success…"
"How did that help you?"
"Well," said Dudley, "whenever I got hungry, I just popped this video in, and watched it. Soon, I was far too busy laughing to worry about eating. Not only that, but this video taught me everything I know, like logic. I didn't understand it in school, but after just watching this, I finally comprehended how, if you weigh as much as a duck, then you are a witch."
"Oh really…" said Harry, wondering if Hermione weighed as much as a duck.
"Come on," said Dudley, beckoning Harry to the living room, "let's watch it!"
Harry, having already finished his little amount of summer homework, had nothing better to do. So, he decided to join Dudley in watching his little video. Though, he would have liked to have had some time to ponder and research that black phoenix he saw.
They sat down, and Dudley put the movie on. For the next hour and a half, they bonded like they had never before. Laughing, repeating lines, and making fun of the movie together, it was a truly new experience to Harry, and he liked it.
For the next week, Harry and Dudley watched the movie several times each day, while Uncle Vernon was at work, and Aunt Petunia was away visiting friends or shopping. Fairly soon, Harry and Dudley were practically acting out each scene together, Harry felt as though he were back at Hogwarts with Ron… only there had he ever had this much fun.
But, once Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia popped their horrible heads into the house, Dudley transformed into a slightly less mean version of the way he used to be; he didn't want to look too changed in front of his parents. Apparently, he still thought very highly of them.
Finally, the day came when the Dursleys would leave for Hawaii, and Harry would be sent to Mrs. Figg's house. Either out of a newfound respect for him, or a prolonged fear that he may break the magical rules to get revenge on them (Harry chose the latter) the Dursleys did not drive him to her house, but were allowing them to walk to her house since it was so close.
"There'd better not be anything missing when we get home, boy," said Uncle Vernon to Harry, face to face as he was stepping into his car.
"Of course not Uncle Vernon," said Harry, trying not to laugh. He shot Harry one last dirty look, and then climbed inside his car, and shut the door.
"Goodbye Harry!" yelled Dudley, sticking his head and one arm out of his window As the car was pulling out of the driveway. That was a mistake.
"What did you say?" asked Uncle Vernon, immediately stopping the car. Harry saw Dudley go red, recognizing what he did.
"I… um… said goodbye to Harry," said Dudley nervously.
"You do NOT say goodbye to that… thing!" said Aunt Petunia.
"Oh come off it mom!" said Dudley. There were expressions of shock on Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and even Harry's face. Dudley never spoke like that to his parents.
"Mom, why do you insist on treating Harry like that?" asked Dudley, appearing to look more confident while speaking freely now. "He's just as much a part of this family as I am and yet you keep treating him like he's some sort of diseased alien!"
"Dudley!" yelled Aunt Petunia. "He is NOTHING like us! He does the… magic thing! He's.. different!"
"Didn't you learn that we should accept other's differences in Elementary School, mom?" said Dudley. "Trust me, I've been spending the last week with Harry, and let me tell you, I wish I'd been spending the last fifteen years like that with him!"
"DUDLEY!" yelled Uncle Vernon. "You've been associating yourself with him!? What is wrong with you!?"
"No, what's wrong with YOU dad?" said Dudley.
"We will discuss this later, Dudley," said Uncle Vernon, immediately turning the car back on, and backing the rest of the way out of the driveway. He evidently wanted to get out of there as fast a possible, before someone heard him say 'magic' or 'wizard'.
"Goodbye Harry!" yelled Dudley from the car as they began speeding down the road.
"Please, don't write to me! We've got some pretty big animals at school, and I don't want Hedwig to get hurt! And don't forget! We are the knight who say-" His last word was cut off, they were far away now. But, Harry knew he said 'nee'.
Harry stood there for a few seconds, still staring down the road that the Dursleys had driven away on. From that moment on, he knew that things would be completely different between him and Dudley.
Harry suddenly snapped back to reality, and remembered that he had to go to Mrs. Figg's house. He shuddered at the thought: cats everywhere, mess everywhere, old, cranky lady… yuck. The last thing he wanted to do was spend the rest of his summer vacation at her house. Harry stuck his hands into his pockets and began to think… what else could he do?
Then, he felt a piece of parchment in his pocket, and he pulled it out. Harry hit himself on the forehead for not remembering Ron's map. Why spend the rest of summer with Mrs. Figg when he could spend it with Ron?
Harry dashed back up to his room, and got ready to leave. Hedwig was in no condition to travel, she was still recovering from her massacre. That made him think: since the whole Weasley were wizards, and five out of nine of them are fully qualified, they should know more than he does about these things. Maybe they would know something about black phoenixes.
Harry packed up all of his possessions (which did not amount to much) into his cauldron. He swing the cauldron onto his broom, and he put Hedwig in his jacket. Harry walked downstairs, and opened the door. The air was warm, but not humid at all. The sky was a perfect blue, and he was about to spend the rest of his summer with his best friend.
Though, something was still troubling him: then black phoenix. But, he shouldn't let it get to him that much though. Chances are, Hedwig must've met it on one of her trips, and got in a fight. Maybe it came back to get revenge. And the fact that he fainted, maybe it didn't even have to do with his scar at all, maybe he bumped his head on his door (he was getting taller) or, maybe Uncle Vernon hit him, even though they had never physically abused Harry before. All in all, it was not that big of a deal, and Harry shouldn't let it spoil his good time.
Suddenly, as Harry came out of thought, he realized he was already flying in the air. Harry lost his balance for a second at the initial shock, but then, he realized what was going on and got his balance back. Flying came more naturally to Harry than anything else in the magic world, which was probably why he didn't even realize that he was doing it.
Harry took out Ron's map and attempted to decode the horrible handwriting.
Ron's house didn't seem too far away from where Harry was, and if he went fast enough, he could make it there within the hour.
Harry flew for what felt like only a few minutes to him since he was enjoying it immensely, it had been the first time he had flown in almost a month, and it was and even greater feeling than he had remembered. It was no wonder he had that dream of flying, he was craving it so much.
Ron's house was coming into focus, right beneath the clouds Harry was flying through. It was not that hard to miss, it was a massive house that leaned over to one side so much that you would expect it to fall over in the Muggle world, but in the magical world anything was possible.
Harry zoomed down towards the house faster than he had ever done so before.
He had never flown in such an open place as the open sky itself before, so he had never had the opportunity to gain as much speed. As he went closer and closer to the house, the anticipation of meeting Ron rose.
Harry was soon just a few feet from the Weasley's house, he slowed down considerably, and when he was near their door, he came to a complete stop and dismounted. He put his broom over his shoulder, and walked up to the door.
Harry, not being used to wizard doors, looked around for a doorbell. Instead, he found a shiny sphere that was attached to a gold rod coming out of the house right next to the door. Harry put his hand on the sphere, and it turned green. Harry then pushed down on it and when he pushed it all the way down, the entire Weasley house flashed a bright green, the same as the sphere had.
This took Harry by such a surprise that he tripped over his cauldron that was behind him, and landed on one of his books. As he was rubbing his back from the initial pain, the door opened, and Mrs. Weasley appeared in the doorway. She was a plump woman with fiery red hair and a loving personality. As soon as she saw Harry lying on the ground, she cupped her hands over her mouth and ran out to him.
"Oh my goodness! Harry! What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Well… err… uh…" mumbled Harry.
"Oh, say no more! We're happy to have you, you know, and I'm sure Ron will be just delighted to see you. Come in, come in!" she offered Harry her arm, and he grabbed onto it. She helped him up, and they walked into the house. Once they were inside, Harry stood in the middle of the kitchen, looking around for Ron.
"Harry dear, Ron's up in his room. You can put your stuff up there."
Harry nodded, and walked over to the stairs. He had been to Ron's room so many times before, he knew where to go. But, just as he was about to go on the first step, he saw Mrs. Weasley coming down the stairs. She looked at him and her mouth dropped open.
"Harry!" she said, "What- what are you doing here?"
"Uh, you just let me in," replied Harry, slightly confused.
"But I've been here the whole time- oh no…" her face suddenly turned to an look of anger. "Those twins! Arg!" She stomped down the rest of stairs, and Harry moved out of the way. Just as he turned around though, he was face-to-face with another Mrs. Weasley. The Mrs. Weasley that opened his door was right behind that one, each had an expression of surprise and confusion on her face.
Even though oddities were probably common in the world of wizardry, Harry had never experienced anything like this before. Seeing three copies of the same person at the same place and time was very strange. Suddenly, the Mrs. Weasley that Harry met when he turned around, spoke:
"Fred! George! This time you've gone too far!" she said to the two others. Both turned red, and they said the same thing at once:
"What do you mean?!"
"Creating some sort of item that transforms you into someone else! The world just isn't prepared for that sort of thing, and neither is this house!"
"How dare you yell at me! I'm your mother!" yelled the Mrs. Weasley that opened the door.
"Fred, George! Change back right now!" said the Mrs. Weasley that Harry had met on the staircase.
"No, you change back!" said the other two.
Harry felt so confused right now, his brain should have exploded a while ago.
"Sorry Fred, sorry George," said the Mrs. Weasley that was on the staircase calmly as she pointed to her eyes. "Your eyes gave it away, your item needs tweaking.
I'll never forget that you both are the only ones in the family with blue eyes."
After these words, the other two Mrs. Weasley's took out their wands, and pointed them at themselves.
"Epistrefus!" they both yelled. Their skin suddenly turned into a clear liquid that quickly dripped off, collecting in a small puddle at their feet. When all the liquid had dripped off, Harry recognized what was left as Fred and George Weasley, Ron's older, identical twin brothers.
"I can't believe you would play a trick on Harry! Especially since it's because of him that you even have those things at all!" said the real Mrs. Weasley.
"Yeah, sorry Harry. It was just a perfect opportunity," said Fred.
"We saw you flying in, and we just finished some of them," said George.
"Oh, it's okay," said Harry, "I liked them. What were they anyway?"
Fred and George looked at each other and smiled. They both reached into their pocket, and pulled them inside-out. About fifty, tiny gray spheres fell out, though they stayed suspended in mid-air due to Fred and George's magic.
"They're Mirror Munchies! Only a galleon each, a huge bargain!" said George, smiling. "They transform you into whatever person is closest to you. Best used in crowds."
"They took us forever to get right," said Fred. "Once we tested one on Ginny, and she turned into her toast. Once we got it to only change into people, we tested it on Ron, and every time he got near someone, he turned into that person. Now that was a confusing day."
"Here Harry," said George, offering several Mirror Munchies to Harry. "Take some as a token of our gratitude. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have been able to get all the ingredients to make them." Harry took them all and put them into his pocket.
"Oh yeah, and that'd be too bad. It's a real sad world without Fred and George's crazy stuff," said a voice coming down the stairs. Harry turned and saw Ginny Weasley coming down. Harry was amazed at the sight of her. He knew that she had a crush on him, but had never returned those feelings until now.
Ginny must've grown over the summer, she was now just a little shorter than Harry, and her long flaming-red hair went all the way down her back. She walked over to a cabinet, took out a green apple, bit into it, and then walked back upstairs. Harry could still hear her eating, and he kept his eyes on her as long as he could until Fred's voice broke his daze.
"Oh, don't mind her Harry," he said. "She's just upset because she woke up four different days as four different animals. I mean, I can understand not liking being a giraffe, what with your head hitting the ceiling and all, but you'd think she'd like waking up and seeing a horse or a flamingo face in the mirror, I thought girls liked those sort of things."
They all laughed, and Harry decided to head up to Ron's room. He once again grabbed his stuff, and ran up the crooked steps to the very top. He came to a door that had a plaque on it that read: "Ronald's Room". Harry knocked, and he heard Ron say, "Come in." Harry opened the door, and walked through.
Ron was on his bed reading some Quidditch book. When he looked over and saw Harry, his face turned to a smile, and he walked over.
"Well I'm glad I went through all that trouble to make that map now," said Ron.
December 14th, 2003, 11:57 pm
"Yeah, thanks", said Harry as he set his stuff down on the floor. "That saved my life. The Dursleys were leaving for Hawaii, and if I didn't have your map, I would have had to stay with Mrs. Figg all summer."
Harry walked over to Ron's bed to see what he was reading. The book was laying cover-up on top of the covers, it was Quidditch Tips and Tricks. Seeing the look of confusion on Harry's face, Ron spoke.
"Well, it's a new year, and since there's an open spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, I guess I might try out." He shrugged his shoulders, and looked at Harry for his approval. Harry had been the youngest player on a Hogwarts Quidditch team, and his team had only lost one game while he was on it. He was the unspoken champion of Hogwarts Quidditch.
"Sure, you'll do great Ron," said Harry who wasn't absolutely sure if that was true. Ron was an okay player, but Harry never seen him show the level of skill necessary to be on a team. Just then, one of the reasons Harry had come to the Weasley's, besides to be with Ron, came to his mind: the black phoenix.
"Uh… Ron?" proposed Harry.
"Yeah Harry," replied Ron, who began looking at his book again.
"Um… well… your dad's a wizard, and so are three of you brothers and I was just… well… wondering if any of them had ever come across a… black bird before…"
Ron lifted up his head from the book, and raised an eyebrow.
"What kind of 'black bird'," he asked.
"More of a… black phoenix," said Harry.
"A black phoenix? What are you talking about Harry…" then suddenly his face dropped and went white, "did you see something Harry? What was it? Does it have something to do with You-Know-Who?"
Harry didn't know what to say to this, so he just decided to tell the truth. He told Ron about what he saw when he entered his room, and what it had done to Hedwig. Ron was silent throughout the whole thing until the very end.
"Well, I've never heard of such a thing, Harry. But-", he was cut off by the "dong" of a clock somewhere. Harry knew from previous experience that this was an alarm to signal when someone arrived home.
"Hey! Dad's home!" said Ron excitedly. "If anyone of us knows anything about it, it'd be him!" Ron jumped up, and burst through the door when Harry stopped him.
"No Ron!" he yelled after him. "I don't want them to think I'm crazy or anything, seeing a black phoenix, or that I got scared of a bird if it turns out to be nothing!" Ron turned around and looked at him.
"Harry," said Ron, "this is more serious than a bird, an unknown phoenix somehow got into your room, attacked your owl, and put you into a state of unconsciousness! We have to know what it was!" He looked up, and saw the look of pleading on Harry's face. "Fine!" said Ron, changing hid mind. "If it makes you feel any better, I'll make up some other story."
"Thanks Ron," said Harry.
They walked downstairs quietly, and when they got to the bottom, Harry and Ron saw Mr. and Mrs. Weasley at the table talking quietly. Harry and Ron came up to them.
"Hey dad," said Ron, "uh… guess what Harry and I think we just saw through my… uh… telescope."
Mr. Weasley looked at Ron suspiciously, stabbed a piece of meat with his fork, put it in his mouth, and started chewing. As he did so, he replied, "What? What did you see?"
"We think we saw a black phoenix," said Ron.
At this reply, Mr. Weasley swallowed his meat quickly and Mrs. Weasley dropped her fork that was almost to her mouth.
"Now, what makes you think that son?" said Mr. Weasley in a loud voice.
"Well um… uh…" mumbled Ron.
"It looked just like a normal Phoenix," said Harry, "only, it had black flames instead of red."
Both Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's eyes fell upon him, and then Mr. Weasley spoke,
"Well then," he said, "if you ever see this 'black phoenix' thing again, um… call me up and I'll have a look, alright?" Harry and Ron nodded, and they sprinted back up the stairs not saying anything until they reached the top.
"What was that about?" Ron asked Harry when they arrived back in his room.
"Well," said Harry, "they either know nothing about it, or they do know something and they don't want to tell us."
"Yeah well, I'll go with the second one," said Ron.
"Me too," said Harry, "but for now, let's not worry about it. Hey, I've got an idea, let's go practice some Quidditch in your yard, ok?"
"Yeah, that sounds good," said Ron. He grabbed his ancient broomstick from the corner of his room and he and Harry set out to play. They were later joined by Fred and George, and had a mini-game: Harry and Fred against Ron and George. Ron must have been practicing over the summer as Harry was having a tough time keeping up with him, even though he was on the superior broom. The game kept progressing for hours until both teams were tied at four-hundred-thirty. Harry, having been putting off catching the Snitch for so long as to prolong the game, decided it was time to stop, and caught in just a few seconds. After a few exclamations of accolade, they all went in.
Just as they got inside the house, Mrs. Weasley had dinner ready, and they sat down at the unusually long Weasley table. The first thing Harry noticed as he sat down was Ginny. She was looking even nicer than usual dressed in light-blue not-formal dress.
It made him notice her face even more. She appeared to have an expression on her face that read she both did and didn't want to be seen. Harry guessed she was trying to look nice for him since she liked him, but didn't want to actually say anything. Nevertheless, Harry and all of the Weasleys sat began to eat.
Harry hadn't eaten so well in over two months. Even though Dudley's horrific diet was over, the Dursleys decided to still keep Harry on it while they ate normally.
Harry almost jumped in surprise when Mr. Weasley asked him is he wanted seconds.
Despite the wonderful dinner, Harry was feeling quite uncomfortable as Mr.
Weasley stared at him for almost the entire time. Harry noticed that Mrs. Weasley was doing the same, and wondered what it was all about. Perhaps they did know something he didn't. Harry ate the rest of his dinner very self-consciously, and when he finished, Ron declared that he had had enough and they both went upstairs, and to bed.
Harry climbed into bed, and he and Ron talked for a while: about Quidditch, Hogwarts, just about everything that came to their minds. After they started running out of ideas, though, both of them slowly slipped into unconsciousness.
Just as Harry was about to fall asleep, he heard a scratch at the window. He sleepily glanced over, and saw nothing there. As he looked away, trying to go back to sleep, he heard it again, louder this time. He sat up in his bed, climbed out, and went to the window. It was raining outside, and Harry could hear the thunder rolling in the distance, getting closer. Harry inspected the area, but saw nothing. He sighed and blamed the wind. Just as Harry was about to go back to his bed, lightning lit up the sky and a face appeared in the window.
Chapter 3 - The Letter
Harry jumped back in fear. The lightning made the night sky appear to be day, and the face glowed bright. Just as Harry was about to yell in terror, he quickly gained control of himself, took a closer look at the face. It wasn't a human face, it was an owl!
Harry opened the window and let the owl in. Instead of fluttering about and hooting as Harry expected him to do, it slowly and silently flew in as though it was trying to keep its presence a secret. Harry knew that this owl must have something important to deliver to the Weasleys, so he let the owl perch on his arm, and he walked downstairs to deliver it to them.
The lights coming from downstairs showed that someone was down there and Harry hoped that it was Mr. and Mrs. Weasley so he could give them the owl. As Harry got closer to the door leading to the bottom floor, he heard voices. It was Mr. And Mrs. Weasley, and they were talking.
"I just don't know Arthur," said Mrs. Weasley to her husband, "it just doesn't seem like the kind of thing they'd make up."
"They didn't make it up Molly," replied Mr. Weasley, "The only people that know about black phoenixes are either victims of Voldemort's attacks with them, or members of the Ministry of Magic during that horrible time. So, how could they now about them without seeing one? So, they either did see one today, or…"
"Or? Or what?" she asked.
"Or, Harry saw it and didn't want to tell us directly."
Harry felt his blood go cold and his body stiffen. He suspected him!
"Now Arthur, why would he do a thing like that?"
"Well, why did Harry come here in the first place. I'd bet everything I had on that he came here originally to ask us, then thought about it, and believed he'd sound weak and afraid if he did ask us, so he made up the story about seeing it through the telescope."
"Well," replied Mrs. Weasley, sounding a little angry, "Harry told me the reason he is here is because the Dursleys went on vacation to Hawaii, and he didn't want to stay with the lady that usually watches him."
"Molly, I've worked with Muggles enough to know that they do not take spontaneous trips like that. A trip anywhere, much less Hawaii, would probably take years of planning for them." They both stood there for a minute in silence pondering Mr. Weasley's comment.
"Well, if he did see it," said Mrs. Weasley quietly, "then what should we do about it Arthur?" Mr. Weasley put his hand to his chin, and Harry could tell he was thinking.
"I don't know Molly, I just don't know. Black phoenixes only meant one thing in my day: You-Know-Who. They were his symbol before the Dark Mark was, and they
assisted in his destruction wherever he went. If he saw one, either Voldemort is near us, or spying on Harry."
Harry decided this was not the best time to deliver the owl, so he headed back upstairs, all the way thinking about what Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had been talking about.
Obviously, they did know something about the black phoenix but were unwilling to tell him. Why? Why did everyone still think he was a baby? Sure, he wasn't a legal adult yet, but still, he had faced Voldemort four times and gotten the best of him at every occasion.
Why couldn't people treat him with more respect?
Just then, the owl that had delivered the letter bit Harry's finger, causing him a small amount of pain. Harry shook his finger, and as he did, the letter fell off of the owl's leg. Harry looked down at it, and saw his name written on the front of the small envelope, not Mr. or Mrs. Weasley's. Maybe the letter was for him.
Harry grabbed the letter and the owl, and ran back to Ron's room, careful to be quiet enough to not wake him up. He sat down on his bed, and opened the envelope, taking out the small piece of parchment inside. It read:
Be alone at the front of your Aunt and Uncle's house tonight at midnight.
That was it. There was no signature, no anything that would indicate who sent it.
Then, it came to Harry. It must be a letter from Hogwarts telling Harry to go back with his Aunt and Uncle for the rest of the Summer. Dumbledore told Harry that he had used a very powerful charm on him so that whenever he was near family, Voldemort could not touch him. Now, with Voldemort rising again, Harry assumed that Dumbledore thought that even the Weasleys were not enough protection for him. Dumbledore could find a way to get the Dursley's back and be with him, even all the way from Hawaii.
But then, Harry thought, if it was a letter from Hogwarts, why didn't it have the Hogwarts seal on it, or the professor's signature on it who sent it? Harry guessed that they wanted him back in a big hurry and they didn't have time for anything like that.
Since the letter said to be there alone, Harry didn't wake Ron, but scribbled a note for him telling him that he was being forced to stay with the Dursley's for the rest of the summer. Harry slung his cauldron over his broom (with all his stuff in it), and started on his way downstairs.
Just then, he remembered. Mr. And Mrs. Weasley were down there, and they would probably question him some more about the phoenix, and where he was going.
Harry didn’t really feel like dealing with that right now, he was very tired. He had to find another way out.
Harry turned around, and saw the window in Ron's room that the owl had come through. Since it took up almost half of the wall, he, along with all his other stuff, could easily fit through it. Harry walked over to the window, and opened it. A brisk summer night's wind blew by him causing his teeth to chatter. Harry threw Hedwig (who was now well enough to fly) out the window, and then he jumped out after him. They both flew as fast as they could all the way back to the place Harry had just tried to get away from.
It was a little after midnight when Harry finally arrived back at the Dursley's house. It took him less time to return than going since he didn't have to decode Ron's map, he just remembered the way to go. Harry dismounted from his broom, and sat down on the stoop in front of the Dursley's house, feeling extremely disappointed and unhappy.
Harry waited for a few minutes, and just when he was about to fall asleep, he heard footsteps coming closer from down the street. Harry stood up, and tried to see who was coming. Was it Dumbledore? Was it Hagrid? Who?
Harry grabbed his stuff, and started walking towards the figure. As he got closer, it came into focus, and as soon as Harry saw who it was, he turned around and walked in the opposite direction, trying to get away from it as fast as possible without being seen.
"Harry? Harry Potter? Is that you?" came the creaky old voice behind him. The voice that belonged to Mrs. Figg, the woman that the Dursley's were originally going to leave Harry with. Harry couldn't try and go the other way now, it was too late, she had spotted him. All he could do now was stand where he was, and wait for her to come over to him. Within seconds, she was right next to him.
"Why, hello Harry!" she said. "Fancy meeting you here at this time!"
"Hello Mrs. Figg," replied Harry with a sigh.
"Oh, why the sigh Harry?," she asked.
"Well, it's just that I was expecting to meet someone and-" She cut him off.
"Well that's very nice Harry," she said. "Why don't you come in for some tea and cookies? You look like you're awfully cold."
It was true. Even though it was a summer evening, Harry was very cold. In fact, the more he thought about it, the colder he got. Also, he thought to himself, Mrs. Figg's house wasn't too far away from where he was supposed to meet whoever was coming, so he could see them through the window, then come back when they arrived.
"Alright," said Harry.
"Excellent," said Mrs. Figg. She led the way to her house which was just as Harry remembered it. It was a perfectly green lawn with pink flamingos placed all over the yard, as if guards for the house.
When Mrs. Figg opened the door, Harry didn't hear something that he had expected to. Mrs. Figg owned many, many cats, as some old women do, and whenever she used to open the door, Harry would hear all of the cats 'meow' in unison as if saying hello to her. This time, however, when she opened the door, there was just silence. Harry guessed she must've put her cats in the basement or something.
They walked through the door, and into the house. Harry sniffed, and for once, could not smell a single cat. He could, however, smell the cookies, that were baking and the tea that was boiling. Before he could ask her what happened to her cats, she asked Harry a question:
"So Harry, how have you been?" she asked nicely. Her voice seemed different. It was not weak and old anymore, but stronger and louder.
"Oh, okay," Harry responded, not daring to tell her anything about the phoenix, Hogwarts, or anything else magical. "Um, Mrs. Figg, may I ask you a question?"
"Certainly Harry," she responded in the same voice.
"Um, what happened to your cats?"
Mrs. Figg gave Harry a look he didn't expect, she smiled.
"Well Harry," she said, still smiling, "I had to get rid of them all."
Harry, not understanding how someone could get rid of their only friends and be happy asked, "But why? Why did you get rid of them?"
"Because," she responded, "I got a dog."
Harry, who liked dogs, smiled and followed Mrs. Figg who was leading him into the kitchen. Right in the middle of the kitchen was a black dog whom Harry was positive he'd seen before. Wanting to continue with some conversation, Harry asked her, "What is his name?"
"Well," replied Mrs. Figg, now with a bigger smile, "I use the name he called himself before, Sirius Black."
Chapter 4 - Ambush At Mrs. Figg's
Harry's jaw dropped so far down, he thought it was in danger of hitting the floor.
How and why would Sirius, his godfather and a fully trained Animagus (a wizard that could transform into an animal) wizard who was being falsely accused of murder, be here at Mrs. Figg's house? As Harry's mind was racing over this, the dog that was in Mrs. Figg's kitchen transformed into Sirius Black. He ran up to Harry and gave him a hug.
"Harry, Harry! So good to see you! I haven't heard from you lately so I thought it would be best to be here when we-", he stopped suddenly, frowned for a second, then put his smile back on. "Well, I'm just glad to see you."
Harry's brain had finally seemed to consciousness, as he found himself able to speak again.
"What? How? When? Why? Why? Why are you here?" he asked.
"That, Harry, is a question that shall be answered once Remus arrives", responded Mrs. Figg.
"Remus? Oh! Professor Lupin! Is he coming?" asked Harry, quickly. Then, realizing there was bigger question at stake here, "Mrs. Figg... are you a... witch?" asked Harry. Mrs. Figg smiled.
"Yes Harry, I am a witch and a bodyguard," she said. "You see, Harry, Dumbledore put a Kinsafe Charm on you so that whenever you are around your family, your mortal enemy could not come near you. In this case, Voldemort could not touch you."
"Yeah", said Harry, "he told me that."
"Good," she replied, "from your expression at hearing me to be a witch, I am assuming that you did not know that when the Dursley's left somewhere without you, I was expected to take care of you. If Dumbledore couldn't have you around your family, he at least wanted you around a fully trained wizard, in this case: me."
"So you were the one that wanted to meet me, you sent me the owl didn't you?" Harry asked Mrs. Figg. She nodded.
"Well," said Harry, "now that I'm here, what do you want?"
Mrs. Figg and Sirius looked at each other and gave a look of excited sadness.
"Once again Harry," said Sirius, "that is for when Remus arrives."
Harry nodded, anxious to know what this was all about, but trusting them enough to allow them to continue going along in their secretive manner. Just then, an alarm went off, and Harry jumped.
"Oh!" said Mrs. Figg as she ran to her stove. "Well, I suppose Remus won't mind if we start without him." Harry and Sirius nodded in a hungry agreement as they saw and smelled the cookies coming out of the oven.
Despite the excellent food, and the fact that every time on cookie was eaten, two more magically grew in its place, it was a very tense time. They all ate in complete silence, and Harry's anxiousness to know what this meeting was all about was growing.
Then, when the plate of cookies was about three times its original size, Harry heard the front door quickly open and close.
"Ah! That must be Remus!" said Mrs. Figg. She tapped her napkin against her lips stood up, and walked back out to the living room. Sirius and Harry did the same. As soon as Mrs. Figg entered the room, Sirius and Harry heard a loud shriek, and they ran in.
As Harry saw what Mrs. Figg had seen, he let out a scream as well. Professor Lupin did arrive, but he had a large snake protruding out of his chest with blood all over it. It was evidently impaled through him as Harry saw a snake tail protruding out of his back. Sirius was the only one who kept his cool, and took out his wand.
"HARRY! RUN!" yelled Sirius, but Harry's feet felt as though they were cemented to the ground. Sirius finally pointed his wand at Professor Lupin, and yelled, "Magnetus!" an orange beam shot out of his wand, and right into the snake's mouth. The snake screamed and shrieked, but Sirius did not stop.
The snake was turning a bright green, and then suddenly, it exploded. Harry shielded his eyes as what seemed like millions of tiny snakes slithered all over the place.
They were attacking Sirius and Mrs. Figg, but they were both out of shock now, and shooting some sort of black ray at them all which made them disappear.
"HARRY! RUN NOW!" yelled Sirius again. This time, Harry did run. He ran to the door, and reached for his broom that was right next to it. As he put his arm out towards the handle, a tiny snake jumped up and but him in the arm. It was not very painful, but lots of blood was pouring out of Harry's arm where the snake gotten him.
Harry wrapped the fingers of his other hand around the snake, and ripped it off taking a little bit of his flesh with it. Harry threw it back into the sea of the snakes that Mrs. Figg and Sirius were trying to keep back.
Harry grabbed his broom and ran outside. He immediately mounted it, and flew into the sky, not knowing where he was going, just wanting to get away from there. As he flew higher and higher, the sounds coming from Mrs. Figg's house got fainter and fainter until Harry couldn't hear them at all.
Harry flew higher than the clouds, and then zoomed down. As he was flying, his mind flew faster. What had just happened? What was that thing in Professor Lupin? What happened when Sirius used that spell on it? Harry certainly knew a general answer to all of these questions: "Nothing good."
Just then, Harry realized he was back on the ground. He must have flown while he was thinking, lost track of what he was doing... again. He looked around to see where he was, and recognized the area as Diagon Alley, one of the largest wizard-only villages in the world. It was like a wizarding market where anything that you wanted could be found. How did he get there so fast?
Only, Harry had only experienced Diagon Alley in the daytime and crowded with people. As Harry looked around and saw the closed shops and clear streets, another question came across Harry's mind: how did he get to Diagon Alley so fast? It was all the way in London and Mrs. Figg's house is far away from London. Harry must have been a better flier than he thought.
Harry walked around looking for a sign of anyone, anyone at all. Suddenly, he saw a light in a store. It was Vold's Worm's Tails. The name of the store sounded familiar, but Harry's brain felt hazy at the moment, so he couldn't put his finger on it.
But, since it was the only store that looked open and inhabited, Harry went up to the door and opened it.
"Hello?" asked Harry. "Is anyone here?"
Just as he put one foot in, he felt something cold touch his face, then curl around over his mouth and pull him back. Harry couldn't breathe, he was being kidnapped!
The kidnapper pulled Harry into a room in the back of the store with his silver arm still around Harry's mouth. Harry was trying to pull it off, but the metallic arm was too strong. As they entered the room, Harry saw a tall red chair turned away from him.
The person holding Harry shut the door behind him, and let go of Harry's face. Harry immediately turned around and saw Peter Pettigrew, the man who was the reason he had no parents.
Peter was looking different though. He used to be bald and a little large. Now, he had a full head of hair and large muscles, gifts that Voldemort had evidently given him for being a faithful servant. Peter had a smirk on his face, and he walked backwards toward the door, fading into the shadows.
Harry's attention now turned to the chair. It was the only object in the room so Harry was naturally drawn to it. The chair slowly spun around, and when Harry's scar began to tingle, then sting, then hurt, he knew who was in that chair: Voldemort.
Harry's guess was confirmed when the chair turned all the way around and Harry, once again, came face to face with his enemy. Voldemort, who now looked more like a skeletal snake than a man, stood up, and glided on the air, rather than walked, over to Harry. When he was within a foot of Harry, his pale, snake-like face contorted into what Harry assumed was a smile, though it was hard to tell expression from the small slit in Voldemort's face. He put out a spider-like hand, and caressed Harry's head.
"Harry... Harry Potter.... The boy who caused my downfall, and who caused my rise. You will help me become greater than ever before..." hissed Voldemort.
"Never!" yelled Harry, quite louder than he expected. He grabbed Voldemort's hand, and tossed it off his head. It fell back to Voldemort's side. Voldemort's smile now turned to an expression of disgust, but then into another one of his grotesque smiles.
"Harry, I don't think you understand. You see, you will help me. Now, you can either use this opportunity to your benefit, and join me now, and I will make you more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Or, we could do this the hard way, and I could just wait a while, then kill you. Either way, you will help me in the end."
"Never!" yelled Harry again, not knowing what else to say. Voldemort took away his smile, and glared at Harry.
"Very well then, you have sealed your fate! You will die! And your little friends will pay, especially your Animagus god-father: Sirius!" spat Voldemort. His expression of hatred now turned to a small smile. "Wormtail and I have become better friends, Harry. We both share the same enemies and allies. If Wormtail desires Sirius dead, then that is what will happen. If I desire you to be dead, then that is what will happen. Lord Voldemort always rewards his faithful, as long as they help him..."
"No way! Even if you kill me, there's no way you can get to Sirius or my friends!"
"Oh, yes there is Harry, yes there is! Now, time to go!" Voldemort took out his wand and pointed it at Harry. "Expellius!" he yelled.
Suddenly, the world around Harry faded to a black, then it quickly transformed into Mrs. Figg's house. She, Sirius, and Remus were each looking at him from above while he laid on the ground.
Chapter 5 - The Order Of The Phoenix
"What happened?" asked Harry groggily as he rubbed his eyes. Suddenly he remembered Voldemort and Wormtail and he sprang to his feet. "Where are they!?
Where are they!?" he cried.
"Harry it's okay!" said Mrs. Figg. "The snakes are gone now." She walked over to him and waved her arm in the direction of a chair. It immediately popped up behind Harry, and he sat down in it.
Obviously they didn't know who Harry was referring to. He had completely forgotten about the snakes, and the ambush that had occurred. He was trying to ask where Voldemort and Wormtail were, but Sirius interrupted.
"A baby Hallython bit you, Harry, and caused you to hallucinate," said Sirius. "I forgot that baby Hallythons are stored inside the mother, so when I used the magnet spell, I accidentally pulled them out." Sirius looked very depressed, he must have felt as though the ambush was all his fault. Just then, Harry feel and iciness on his arm where the Hallython bit him. He looked over and saw Professor Lupin rubbing his wand over Harry's snake bite wound. The cut slashed blue for a second, and then it just disappeared.
"He's all fixed up Sirius," said Professor Lupin. "You don't need to worry,"
"We were all concerned when you started moving all over the place," said Mrs.
Figg quietly. "The Hallython must've caused you to hallucinate, but Sirius thought something had possessed you. Never seen him so worried in his life."
"What did you see Harry?" asked Sirius.
Harry, who didn't want Sirius to worry about getting caught because of a dream he had about Voldemort, said, "I don't remember." Harry still wanted to know why he was called here, and he didn't want that cut short because of a silly hallucination.
Suddenly, another blue flash appeared next to Harry, and he looked over.
Professor Lupin was rubbing his wand on the place where the snake impaled him, and it apparently took more magic to heal than Harry's wound because of the brighter flash.
There was a scar there for only a second, but that disappeared almost instantly.
"Professor Lupin-," began Harry before he was cut off.
"Remus Harry, just Remus," he said. "I'm not your teacher anymore, and I think we are familiar enough to be on a first name basis."
"Okay, uh… Remus. Why were you attacked by that Hallython?" asked Harry.
From the look on his face, this was apparently something Lupin didn't really want to tell him, but he sighed, and spoke:
"Well Harry, I got a letter from Arabella (he pointed to Mrs. Figg) and she said the Dursleys had left you home alone. I didn't bother to read the rest that said you were with the Weasleys and you'd come to her. I immediately came to the Dursley's house and barged in while someone else was in there."
"Who was there?" asked Harry.
"Peter Pettigrew, or as he is known now, Wormtail," shuddered Lupin. "He shot the Hallython at me, but not before I hit him with a Stupefy. It prevented him from kidnapping me, but not from apperating away. I immediately came over here and… well… you know the rest." Harry waiting a few seconds to take all this in, then he responded.
"But, how did Wormtail know I was there, and how did he know I would've been home alone?" There was a few seconds of silence.
"That, Harry, is still a mystery," said Lupin. No one spoke for about a minute, until Harry once again broke the silence.
"Anyway, why am I here?" he asked.
"Well, it's a good thing you're sitting Harry because if you weren't I'd ask you to.
This is a long story," said Mrs. Figg.
"Well, I've only got another month left until I got to go back to Hogwarts, so don't make it that long," replied Harry. Everyone forced a laugh. Mrs. Figg spoke again.
"Harry, the reason you're here begins before even Hogwarts was founded, before even Godric Gryffindor was born, well over 2,000 years ago. It is a story that has been passed down from each generation to the next." Harry was listening with intent, Sirius and Lupin were half listening, they both were looking tired, they must have heard this before.
"It started with a man named Garde Delafer. In his time, phoenixes were hunted, both for sport and for their healing powers. While a phoenix's tears are powerful healers, the actual phoenix, when put into a potion, is millions of time more powerful than its tears. Because of the intense hunting of them, the phoenixes were slowly but surely going from rare and endangered to extinct.
"Only one man, Garde, cared about the phoenixes for other reasons than their bodies for potions. He felt it was important for future generations to experience the beauty of a phoenix. He believed there was nothing on this earth that could compare with the splendor of a phoenix. So, to help them, he joined a group that hunted phoenixes for sport. This way, he would know where and when to find and save them.
"One day, a giant phoenix hunting expedition was planned, and it was a massive one, bigger than any other before. The hunting group had discovered an enormous pack of phoenixes that had eluded them ever since the group was founded. There were over one hundred phoenixes in that pack, and if the group managed to kill them all, they would make more money than any of them could possibly imagine, the phoenix species would be extinct, and Garde's dream would be over.
"Well, the group did succeed in planning and developing the expedition strategy and Garde had to find some way to stop it. He first tried to sink the ship (brooms that could travel distances that far were not invented yet) that was taking them all there by putting a small hole in the bottom of the ship. It was too small to be noticed easily, but large enough to left a good deal of water in.
"Unfortunately, the room that Garde put the hole in was converted into a cargo hold and a large box covered the hole he made, making it useless. Not a drop of water got inside the ship. But, Garde did not give up, he had another plan. When the ship landed and set up camp, the other men partied, anticipating the large sum of money they would receive when they sold the phoenixes: just one was worth a thousand times its weight in galleons.
"While they were feasting and partying, Garde snuck into their leader's tent and stole the maps that showed where the phoenixes were. He magicked the maps so that they were inaccurate, and his plan would be that the men would wander aimlessly, unable to find the phoenixes, until they decided to return home.
"It seemed like a good plan, but the next morning, when they set out, all of them men were terribly drunk. They tried to follow the inaccurate maps, but they instead went the correct path, and found the cave where the phoenixes were. However, all was not lost.
"Garde had one last plan, a suicidal plan. He would make the cave fall in, and they would all be crushed, but the phoenixes, who dwelt far back into the cave, would be saved. That day, they all went into the cavern, drunk as ever, trying to find their way to the pack. As soon as one of the men blurted out that he saw a dim flame up ahead, all of them started to run towards it, while Garde used a Siragus Spell on the ceiling.
"It was chaos, rocks were falling everywhere, men were yelling, blood was spraying, and all the while, Garde was trying to get passed the group to the phoenixes, just to try and see a real one in the wild: not the skin of one, or one from a zoo. Just as it appeared that he got passed the falling rocks, he stopped for a second and rested. But, the leader of the phoenix hunting group saw Garde use the Siragus Spell and with his last bit of energy, he threw a giant rock at Garde, and died. The rock knocked Garde unconscious, and the smaller rocks from the ceiling started to fall on him, practically crushing him to death.
"Just when it seemed as though Garde was about to die, he heard beautiful music playing; it was as though there were one hundred wonderful symphonies playing at once.
Garde looked up, and saw all of the phoenixes flying toward him. The one that was in front of the rest, however, was a golden color, and it was at least three times as large as the others. It came up to Garde, bent its head over him, and let a single giant tear roll down its cheek onto Garde. The second it touched him, he felt reborn, and gained the strength of fifty men. He easily lifted the rocks off himself, and stood up, in awe of the creature that was before him.
'Man,' spoke the golden phoenix, 'you risked your own life to spare ours, why?'
'Because, I want other generations to experience your beauty,' he responded.
'You speak with the wisdom of many years,' said the Phoenix, 'even though you are so young. Since you sacrificed yourself for us, we are in your debt. Tell us one thing you desire.' All of the phoenixes were still and the only movement was their flames flowing.
'All I want is for my children, their children, and their children to know and love your splendor,' spoke Garde.
'Very well then,' said the golden phoenix, 'to let them experience it better, we will give each member of your bloodline an Order. This Order will allow that person to heal one other of anything, even death if it is necessary, and enough magic is used.
However, each person in your bloodline shall only get one Order as we are unable to go all over the world healing people every second. Mankind would get suspicious, and we want to keep our location secret.'
'Thank you,' said Garde. 'I did not expect such kindness,' .
'Nor us from you,' it responded.
"And that's how the story goes, Harry. Each person in Garde's family has had an Order, and thus was established the Order of the Phoenix; all the people in Garde's family are in it. Now, however, Garde's family is so far spread all over the world, you can't tell who is part of the Order and who's not. Anyone you meet could possibly be part of it. You've already met four of them, Harry." Harry, who had been silent the whole time, now spoke.
"Who? I don't know anyone," he said.
"Yes you do," she said, "they're in this room right now." Harry looked around the room. Sirius, Lupin, and Mrs. Figg were all members of the Order of the Phoenix?
"You mean, you three are part of this Order?" he asked.
"Yes Harry, all of us… and you," said Sirius half-asleep.
"ME!" said Harry. "No way, I would have known before!"
"How would you, you didn't even know about the Order until just a few minutes ago," said Sirius.
"Actually Harry," said Lupin, "none of us even knew you were until recently."
"How did you find out?" asked Harry.
"Well Harry," said Lupin, "I was down in Diagon Alley one day when I came to a pawn shop. I looked around and something caught my eye. It was your mom's old schoolbook." Lupin sat up off the chair, reached into his pocket, and took out a small old tattered book. He opened to a page with lots of tiny writing in it, and showed it to Harry.
"It's your mom's family tree, Harry. She researched her genealogy all the way back to Garde. As soon as I saw this, I told Arabella and Sirius, and they decided on this meeting."
"But," said Harry whose mind was now filled and buzzing with information, "if you are part of the Order of the Phoenix, and I am too, then we're relatives! Why couldn't I have stayed with you instead of the Dursleys?"
"Because," said Sirius, "the Dursley's are much closer as relatives to you than any of us and the closer the family, the stronger the shield is."
But Harry hadn't finished with his questions yet.
"Hey, if my mom was part of the Order of the Phoenix, then why didn't she use it to save herself or my dad after Voldemort killed them?"
"Because there was another part to Garde's deal with the phoenix, Harry," said Mrs. Figg quietly and seriously. "The person could not have been, is, or would be evil."
"But my mom wasn't evil!" yelled Harry quite loudly. Sirius, Lupin, and Arabella looked at each other with cheerless faces.
"I guess that no one ever told you your mom's history Harry," said Mrs. Figg, "it's not as pretty as Garde's or your dad's, but you have to know it to understand what's going on."
"I want to know," said Harry.
"Alright Harry," said Mrs. Figg. "I guess it starts over twenty years ago, when your mom was eleven years old and Voldemort was gaining power. No one really knows why, but when your mom was still quite young, he went to her house, changed into one of her friends, and went inside. After discussing several and irrelevant child topic with Lily in front of her parents, Voldemort and her went back to her room.
"He knew that your mom was obsessed with magic. She had acquired a Standard Book of Spells for Seventh Years from an unknown person even earlier in her life, and she did not let her parents know about it. So, before Lily got her letter of acceptation to Hogwarts, he told her some false story that she wouldn't be allowed in unless she did what he told her to do.
"She accepted before she even knew what the catch was. After she accepted, he told her. There was a man starting at Hogwarts: James Potter. Voldemort ordered Lily to befriend him, marry him, have a child, then give it to Voldemort. In return, Voldemort would ensure her arrival at Hogwarts. From that point on she became a Death Eater.
"At first, all went according to plan. She did befriend James, and did marry him.
However, after a while of being with him, Lily decided she liked her life with James, and did not want to give their son to Voldemort. By the time they had a son though, it was too late.
"Voldemort came that night for you, Harry, and when he was not given you immediately, he attacked and killed James and Lily, and tried to kill you."
"But, Mrs. Figg-" Harry was cut off.
"Harry please, Arabella," she said.
"Alright… Arabella, I still don't understand, what this has to do with me. I mean, it's nice to know that I'm part of this Order, and my mom's history, but what do you need me for?" Lupin reached into his other pocket, and took out a newspaper. He unfolded it, and showed Harry the front page. It read:
Body of Lily Potter Found!
After years of searching, the body of Lily Potter has been found. As you know, Lily was James Potter's wife, and died saving her son, Harry's, life. Ever since that infamous night, when she and James were killed, there have been extensive searches for their bodies so that a memorial may be erected. A week after the attack, James' body was found. Only a few ashes were discovered, but due to some special searching charms, they proved that that was all that was left of him. Lily's remains were not that easy to find.
Two years after the slaughter, all searches were discontinued due to lack of success, and the memorial was erected without any part of Lily Potter, until now.
Yesterday, three young students were practicing Quidditch in Godric's hollow (where Lily and James lived). After a crazy Bludger knocked one player off his broom, his fall was broken by a hard white stone. After a bit more inspection, that white stone was revealed as Lily Potter's skull, with the rest of her skeleton under the ground. Strangely enough, the skeleton was over five miles away from the Potter's house. Inspection of this phenomenon is still going on, though inspectors assume that You-Know-Who did not stop at merely killing the couple, but blowing them into the air.
"So you brought me here to tell me that there's a monument for my parents?" asked Harry, feeling extremely confused.
"NO!" all three yelled at once.
"Harry!? Can't you put two things together!?" said Sirius.
"What? What am I missing?"
"Harry!" yelled Sirius. "You can bring your mom back to life!"
Chapter 6 - Black Phoenixes
"Wha- wha- what?" stuttered Harry. He was at a loss for words. He could bring his mom back to life? Was this just another dream of hallucination?
"Yes Harry, that's correct. You have to power to do that. That is, if you want to use your Order on her," said Arabella.
"Of course I do!" yelled Harry. "All my life, I've wanted nothing more than to be with my parents. But, Dumbledore told me no spell could bring back the dead, was he wrong?" Mrs. Figg, Professor Lupin, and Sirius all looked at each other. Sirius spoke:
"He said that did he?" said Sirius. "Well, Harry, he was not entirely wrong. This is not a spell, potion, charm, or anything. It is an Order. It does not fit into any of those categories. So he is correct in saying that no spell could bring back the dead Also, bringing people back to life is illegal."
"Illegal? Why?" asked Harry.
"Because if someone were to discover how to do it, the wizarding world would be overpopulated, for one. Also, Dark Wizards would be practically invincible: they could revive each other all the time. All of this would reign unless every time a way was discovered, it was immediately shunned out and destroyed. Dumbledore was right to tell you that, Harry. He didn't want you chasing off and trying to find a way to bring Cedric back to life. You would've felt more guilty about his death when you would not be able to find a way to bring him back."
"Okay, I see," said Harry. He still remembered last year when he asked Cedric Diggory to touch a trophy with him that transported them both to Voldemort. Harry had survived the encounter, but Cedric did not. Harry felt it was his fault for his death since he asked Cedric to touch the trophy with him.
"But," asked Harry, "why can't one of you revive my mom instead? Why do I have to do it?"
"Well, there are two reasons for that Harry," said Lupin with a trace of sadness in his voice. "First, each of us has already used our Order."
"What? You used them already!?" said Harry.
"Yes," said Mrs. Figg, "we all wasted them, that is, except for Sirius. I, for example, used my Order on a baby rabbit that I had as a child. It was not even close to death yet, it just looked sick to me because some food was stuck in his fur."
"And I," said Lupin, "Also wasted mine. Back in my sixth year of Hogwarts, we had a school dance to celebrate the House Cup winner. My girlfriend, however, was sick that night and would've been unable to attend the dance. Not wanting to look like a fool in front of everyone, I use my Order on her so she could attend. Idiotic and head strung.
Thank goodness Sirius wasn't the same, if he had, I wouldn't be here right now."
"Yes," said Sirius, "you remember those Hallythons Harry? Well, the babies just inject their victims with hallucinogens, but a mother injects you with poison.
Lupin was about to die when I used my Order on him. After I used my Order, all that was left on him was that small cut that he healed himself."
"And I am forever in your debt for doing so Sirius," said Lupin.
"The other reason we would not be able to raise you mom, Harry," said Arabella,
"even if we did have our Orders is because an Order is strongest when used on a direct member of the family. While your mother is related to the rest of us, it is too distant to do he much good. She has been dead for a while, and it will take quite a but of magic to bring her back."
"We need at least three phoenixes and it should be performed on her birthday, the day when the most magic will be with her," said Lupin.
"Well, Harry can call upon one, and we can 'borrow' Fawkes from Dumbledore, so that means we only need one more," said Sirius. Just then, Harry blurted out something:
"I saw a black phoenix the other day, maybe you can use that," said Harry.
"What did you say?" asked Arabella. Harry swallowed hard. He just remembered that the fact that he saw the black phoenix was not a good thing.
"The other day, I saw a black phoenix in my room attacking Hedwig," said Harry slowly and gloomily. Sirius, Lupin, and Arabella each looked at him as though he was Voldemort himself.
"Harry," gulped Sirius, "that's not a good thing that you saw that…"
"Why? What is the black phoenix? I know it has something to do with Voldemort, but what else?"
"Well Harry, you remember that story I told you about Garde?" asked Arabella.
"Well, that man who was the leader of the phoenix-hunting group started his own Order of the Phoenix, only it wasn't and order, it was The Chaos of the Phoenix."
"But, you said he died! How could he have his own group?" asked Harry.
"Yes, Harry, but you've been to Hogwarts, so you know all about ghosts. Ghosts are people who have died, but still have enemies that they wish a vengeance upon. This is what happened to Veldomert."
"Voldemort? He was alive back then?" asked Harry.
"No, no, not Voldemort, Veldomert," said Arabella, "they are two totally different people. Where do you think Tom Riddle got his name from? Voldemort wasn't an original name, just a slightly different version of another."
"Alright, I get it," said Harry. Arabella must've been older than he though since she knew Voldemort when he used to go by Tom Riddle.
"Anyway," continued Arabella, "Veldomert started his Chaos of the Phoenix. He returned as a ghost and went back to his castle. There, he had a collection of phoenix skeletons. You see, the skeleton of a phoenix are not necessary for a healing potion, just the rest of the body. He conjured up a potion that bought the phoenix skeletons to life, though not back to their full life, a half-life, much like the kind of life that one would receive after drinking unicorn blood. They were are new type of phoenix, black and dark and more powerful than the normal red ones. Veldomert used these dark phoenixes to fight the Order of the Phoenix and used them to try and destroy Garde and his family.
"But, even a ghost is not immortal, Harry, and he was killed. However, his black phoenixes were not. They remained in his dark castle, waiting for someone to make use of them. Voldemort was that person, he used them as his weapons, and they became his temporary symbol. He sent them into houses, and just one could take out an entire family. It was horrible."
"So then why did he stop using them, if they were so powerful?" asked Harry.
"He didn't," said Arabella. "He continued to use them until they all died, or at least we thought they all died. Evidently, he either hid some somewhere, or some escaped from his clutches."
"And since you saw a black phoenix, Harry," said Sirius, "that means that either Voldemort or his minions are here somewhere, and they are keeping a close eye on us."
"But why would they care about me?" asked Harry.
"For the same reason we want you," said Arabella. Harry twisted his face into an expression of confusion. "Just as a pure phoenix can bring your mom back to a full life, a dark phoenix can bring her to a half-life, an existence of evil. Since your mom was such an amazing witch, they want her on their side."
"Who wants her on their side?" asked Harry.
"Voldemort," said Arabella. Harry quickly sat up, and spoke:
"Well then what are we waiting for?" asked Harry. "Let's get to her before Voldemort can!"
"Harry, Harry, sit down!" said Arabella. "We've already got your mom's body secure. It's out of the memorial and in a safe and hidden place."
"Well then why don't we just do the ceremony now?!" asked Harry.
"We already told you why," said Lupin. "We need two more phoenixes, and we have to do it on her birthday, the day when the most magic will be with her." Harry sat down again.
"Right, I forgot. Sorry, just getting a little excited I guess," he said. All four of them sat there for a few seconds when Harry heard a 'dong' sound. It was Mrs. Figg's clock. It was past five in the morning, and the sun was just beginning to peak over the horizon line.
"Oh my goodness!" said Arabella. "It's incredibly late! Harry, even though you've had a tough past few hours, I think you should get some rest."
"Yeah, I think you're right," said Harry. "Good night everyone." He sat up, waved to everyone, went upstairs, and fell asleep before his new information-filled head even hit the pillow.
"Harry…" said a voice from far away. Harry responded with an 'ugh'. He pulled his covers all the way over his head. The voice sounded like Aunt Petunia's. So, he was out of his dream and back at the Dursley's house. All that he remembered about some Order of a Phoenix, and a Veldomert wasn't true. He was still at the Dursleys for the next month.
Despite this, Harry sat up, groped around for his glasses and put them on. As the room around him came into focus, he saw he was surrounded by things he'd never seen in his room before, things that belong to Mrs. Figg… that meant he wasn't dreaming after all! He really had been at Mrs. Figg's house for the past few weeks, learning about his past.
Harry quickly pulled on some clothes, and ran downstairs to meet Sirius reading a newspaper, and Arabella cooking in the kitchen. Lupin must've not woken up yet.
"Oh, good old Nicholas Flamel finally kicked the bucket," said Sirius, reading the paper. "His god of gold juice finally ran out I guess."
"God of gold?" asked Harry. "What's that?"
"Oh, that's just a different name for the Sorcerer's Stone," said Sirius. "And the god of gold juice is the elixir of life that it produces…. Ah! The Ministry of Magic's been screwing everything up again as usual!"
"What now?" asked Arabella.
"They still refuse to acknowledge the fact that Voldemort has returned," he said, looking quite upset. "In every story here, where his presence is clear, they are still covering it up! Those idiots, they're just too afraid to accept the truth."
"Come on Harry, breakfast is ready," said Arabella. Now that Harry listened closely, her voice did sound like Aunt Petunia's. Harry smiled at this, and sat down at the table. After few minutes of eating, he heard the door open and close.
Lupin appeared in the kitchen seconds later dressed in wizard's robes. He had a small letter in his hand.
"Oh! That reminds me," said Harry seeing the letter, "I have to send a letter to Ron and Hermione telling them all about this! The Order, Veldomert, my mom, and everything else!" He sat up, and started running back upstairs to get a piece of parchment and Hedwig.
"Oh no you don't!" yelled Lupin, Sirius, and Arabella at once. Harry turned around and stared at them.
"Uh, why?" asked Harry.
"I thought we went over this Harry," said Sirius. "The Order of the Phoenix has been kept a secret for centuries. We're not going to let you start talking about it now!"
"But, they're my best friends!" said Harry.
"Harry," said Lupin, "at school, James was my best friend, but I kept my loyalty to the Order and never told him. Even Lily, his wife, didn't tell him. Do you understand Harry? You mustn't tell anyone! Not even…" Harry could tell Lupin was searching his brain for someone Harry respected, "not even… Dumbledore!"
"What!" yelled Harry, confused. "Dumbledore doesn't know about the Order of the Phoenix?"
"Of course not Harry!" said Arabella. "Only those within the Order know about it, and as far as we know, Dumbledore is not in it."
"Alright, alright," said Harry, "I won't tell them." He walked back to his seat looking depressed, but the rest were looking happy. This would be the first time he would have ever kept something from Ron and Hermione. They had always helped him with his secrets, his problems, and he trusted them. Could he really keep this from them for the rest of his life?
"Anyway Harry," said Lupin, "I have here a list of supplies for your next year at Hogwarts. It's about time to get your supplies for next year since you start tomorrow."
Harry nodded in agreement. The last thing he wanted to do was be at school tomorrow without everything he needed.
"Since Arabella and I have things to prepare, Sirius will accompany you," said Lupin. Harry's depressed face turned into an excited smile.
"You mean Sirius is free? He's not being prosecuted anymore?!" said Harry loudly. Sirius had been on the run from the rest of the wizarding world ever since he was falsely accused of murdering Wormtail.
"No Harry," he laughed. "I will transform into the dog and go with you."
"Oh, okay," said Harry. For a second he thought everything would be okay with Sirius, but then he remembered that nothing could ever be okay in his life, something always had to go wrong.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" asked Arabella. "We've all got thing to do so let's get going!" She waved her wand, and the mess of breakfast things on the table immediately disappeared.
"Right, I got some Floo Powder Harry so let's go Harry," said Sirius. Harry knew that Floo Powder was a way of traveling from one wizard fireplace to another.
Since Harry couldn't Apparate (disappear in one place, and reappear in another) yet, Floo Powder was the fastest way to get somewhere.
He and Sirius walked over to Arabella's fireplace in her living room. Sirius reached into his pocket, and took out some green powder. He threw it into the hearth of the fireplace, and some green flames magically came up. Sirius transformed into his black dog, and barked what must've been 'Diagon Alley' because the next second, the fire flashed blue, and he walked into the flames and disappeared.
Harry walked over in front of the fireplace.
"Diagon Alley!" he spoke. The fire tuned blue again, and Harry stepped through it. The world spun around several times, and then he appeared in Diagon Alley with Sirius next to him.
Diagon Alley was now as Harry remembered it: buzzing with people, shops, and money. It was nothing like in his hallucination. Harry then remembered why he and Sirius were here and he took out the letter of his supplies from his pocket that Lupin gave him. Harry opened the envelope. The letter read:
Fifth-Year Students Will Require:
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 5
By Miranda Goshawk
All You'd Ever Want To Know About Dragons, And More
By Charlie Weasley
By Eyesee Yoopi
Shields Against Darkness
By Gulden Armur
Morphing and More
By Polly Morfi
Growing Success, A Book On Higher Plants
By Tulep Grolots
Brewing Masterpieces, A Potions Guide to the O.W.L.s
By Lekwid Van Brewtoven
Magic History: Creation to the Now
By Verri Olde
Harry re-read it, just to be sure, then he spoke to Sirius quietly:
"Hey! Charlie wrote a book!" Charlie was the second-oldest boy in the Weasley family. Harry knew he dealt with dragons for a living, but he never knew he was writing a book. This also meant that Harry was going to be looking at dragons this year. Hagrid, their care of magical creatures teacher, loved dragons so Harry knew it was going be a great class this year.
However, with reading that letter again, Harry saw the book about the O.W.L.s.
All fifth-year Hogwarts students took massive exams at the end of the year called O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels). They determined whether or not you passed that year, and it contributed to you becoming either Head Boy or Girl for the seventh year.
Just as Harry was thinking about what next year would hold, there was a scream.
Harry looked to his left and saw a witch that was just a little older than him pointing right at Sirius and screaming.
Suddenly, the rest of the people looked at Sirius and started yelling as well.
Some started shooting different colored rays at him.
Harry started to panic. What was going on? Sirius panicked and began barging through the crowd, and Harry was following him. Every time they passed someone, that person started yelling or running after them. What was happening? Could they somehow see through his transformation?
Just as Harry thought he was through the crowd, a wall of seven identical wizards dressed in yellow and blue robes appeared in front of them. They squatted down in unison, took out their wands, and then they each shot out a red beam at Sirius at the same time.
Harry jumped out of the way a second too late, two of the beams hit him, and he froze in the exact position he was in. The seven wizards put their wands away, and then three of them walked over to Sirius. One of the three wizards pointed his wand right in front of Sirius and a hole appeared in the air.
They pushed the frozen Sirius into the hole, and he disappeared. After, six of the wizards dissapparated and only one was left. The one that was left came over to Harry and put his harm on Harry's shoulder. Harry was shocked and amazed. He was at a loss for words. What had just happened?
"You okay Harry?" the wizard asked him. His voice was very strong and deep.
But, how did he know his name? Then Harry remembered his scar, everyone in the wizarding world knew who he was because of it.
"Uh, yeah… I guess so…." said Harry. "But, what happened? What did you do?"
"Harry, you won't believe this," he smiled, and took his hand of his shoulder, "we just caught Sirius Black."
Chapter 7 – Nabakza
"What?!" yelled Harry, "How did you know that was him?"
"Huh?" asked the wizard. "What do you mean? That was Sirius Black in the flesh that we just arrested." Harry's brain was now pulsing, he could feel the blood beating to it.
"You mean he didn't look like a dog?" asked Harry calmly. He didn't want to sound too suspicious.
"Uh, no. He looked very human to me," responded the wizard questioningly.
"Harry, are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, yes I am. I'm okay," said Harry. How could they have known the dog was Sirius, much less see the actual Sirius while he was transformed? Harry's mind was hurting from all of these contradictions.
"Alright, well why don't you come down to Nabakza with me," he asked nicely.
"We have a few questions for you. Okay?" Harry tried to sound very agreeing, he didn't want to sound like he was guilty.
"Okay, let's go. But," thought Harry, "what is Nabakza?"
"You mean you don't know? Oh, well, it's understandable, you did live with Muggles for the most of your life. Nabakza is like Azkaban, only not as serious. It is where wizards and witches accused of crimes are put before their trial starts and while it is going on. We don't want to punish them by forcing them to be with dementors unless they are proven guilty now do we?" he laughed.
"Heh heh, right…." said Harry. "Another question: who are you?" The wizard turned around showing his back to Harry. On the back were five large white letters:
"I'm an Auror, Harry," he said. "We're the advanced police of the wizard world.
We're only involved in cases that deal with tracking down and capturing criminals. But, enough questions for now, Harry, we have to head out." He took out his wand and waved it. Two broomsticks magically appeared.
"Get on one," said the wizard as he mounted the left one.
Harry got on the other broom, and followed the wizard up after he shot away.
This broom was nowhere near as nice as Harry's Firebolt. It felt weak and clunky, as though he was flying on an ostrich.
Even with the low-grade brooms, it wasn't too long before they reached a large building secluded on a grassy mountain. It didn't look like a prison of any sort, it rather looked like a very tall apartment house. However, when Harry steeped inside, it was definitely not an apartment building. It was a perfectly square, perfectly white room that had black doors on the walls going up all the way to the very high up ceiling.
Harry looked up, and it appeared that they went up out of the sky, as if it went up forever. In front of Harry, though, was a small brown desk with a goblin behind it. He looked busy signing papers. On either side of him were wizards that looked like Aurors, only they were clad in red robes. The wizard that lead Harry here walked up to the desk and Harry followed.
"Mr. Lokup, sir," said the Auror to the goblin, "I have Harry Potter, you requested him for questioning." The goblin looked down at Harry, and squinted.
"Ah yes, Harry," said the goblin. He had a soft and deep voice, "I need to ask you a few-", he was suddenly cut off by the door suddenly opening. Harry looked behind him and saw Lupin and Arabella run in, appearing to be out of breath. Lupin took a second to rest, then walked up to the desk looking very confident.
"Mr. Lokup," he said, "I can assure you, Harry has nothing to do with this." Mr. Lokup took his eyes off of Harry and looked at Lupin.
"Oh really Remus?" he said. "How can I be sure? Sirius is Harry's godfather, was looking for him at Hogwarts, and was with him at Diagon Alley. I see many ways in which Harry is connected with his case."
"Yes, it may seem as though Harry is, but Harry has nothing to do with this.
Sirius Black is innocent of the accusations against him. He did not kill Peter Pettigrew. I have heard Sirius' side of the story for two years now, and it is far more convincing than the Muggle witnesses." Lupin waited for a few seconds for Mr. Lokup's response. Mr. Lokup gave Lupin a smile, then spoke:
"So, you admit you have known of the location of Sirius Black, a criminal desperately wanted by the Ministry of Magic and all wizards, and yet you did not turn him in?"
Lupin's face turned white, then it turned green. He obviously did not expect this answer, nor to give away that information.
"Well, yes and no… you see…." stuttered Lupin.
"Yes, I've heard enough. Take him to cell 67A, right next to Sirius Black," Mr. Lokup nodded in the direction of the guard to his left. The guard grabbed Lupin by the arm, and flew up with him. He didn't put up a fight.
"Well Harry," said Mr. Lokup, "I would like to know, do you know and talk to Sirius Black?" He grinned and squinted his eyes at Harry.
"No," Harry lied. "No I do not." Mr. Lokup looked disappointed.
"Away then boy! I don't have all day!" he waved his arm in the direction of the door. Before Harry turned away, he looked up and searched for Lupin. He saw that the guard was pushing Lupin into one of the black doors and Lupin just slid through the blackness as though it were water. Harry guessed that they must be the cells.
Harry then turned around, and walked away. Arabella walked him out, and as soon as the doors shut behind them and they were outside, Harry asked, "How did they know Sirius was there with me Mrs. Fi- err… Arabella?" There was a few seconds of silence before her answer.
"Well, Harry, I don't know," she responded quietly. "There's certainly no way one of them, much less all of the people in Diagon Alley could've seen Sirius. This is troubling me as much as it is troubling you Harry."
"You mean you have no idea how?"
"None at all Harry. All I'm glad about is the fact that we got down here fast enough so that Mr. Lokup couldn't use his spells on you and make you divulge all your secrets."
"What do you mean? And how did you get here so fast?"
"Well, we heard on the WWN (Wizard Wireless Network) that Sirius Black was captured in Diagon Alley, so we assumed they'd be taking him to Nabakza."
"And what about Mr. Lokup's spells?"
"Well, Mr. Lokup is infamous for getting people to admit their guilt. How do you think he got Lupin to say that he'd known Sirius for two years? Lupin must've been so angry from Sirius being caught that he forgot. If I hadn't been putting a mind barrier jinx on you while he was talking, you would be in a Nabakza cell right now."
"Thanks Arabella," said Harry.
"No time for thanks Harry, we both have things to do. Let's go back to Diagon Alley for you supplies, then go back home. We both have busy days tomorrow: you start school, and I have to go and defend Lupin and Sirius in court."
"Alright, let's go," said Harry. The brooms Harry and the Auror flew on to get here were propped up against the side of the building. He and Arabella each grabbed one, and they flew off. Within a few minutes of speedy flying, Harry was back in Diagon Alley.
All the time Harry was there, he kept a look out for Ron and Hermione.
"They should be here getting their school stuff too," thought Harry to himself.
But, he saw no trace of them the whole time. "They must've come earlier."
Before he knew it, Harry had all his stuff for next year, including a new dress robe, an article of clothing necessary for dances. On the way back to Mrs. Figg's house, he started thinking again: where is Voldemort now, and does he know he's here? How did the people in Diagon alley see Sirius? Will Sirius and Lupin win their case? Will his mom be returned to life, and will Harry live with her? Anticipating the new, exciting, and possibly dangerous year that lay ahead of him, Harry bid goodnight to Arabella, collapsed onto his bed, and immediately fell asleep.
Chapter 8 - New Students
To Harry, it felt as though no time had passed at all from when he laid down and fallen asleep to now, with Mrs. Figg's voice in his ears, telling him to wake up.
She came in, and Harry looked at her. She looked even more tired than he, she had probably been up all night preparing her case to defend Sirius and Lupin.
"Alright," said Harry, "I'm up." He sat up, and slouched downstairs, still half asleep.
He ate some breakfast, then grabbed his stuff for school. His cauldron was heavier than ever before, he had more and bigger books this year than all his other years. Mrs. Figg was waiting for him at the door when he finally got there after falling twice due to his heavy cauldron.
Harry and Arabella got into her old pink car that was in the driveway. Students didn't usually fly to school because it would be a big risk to have hundreds of brooms flying in the sky at once, all headed toward the same place. However, from his experience with wizard cars, Harry knew there was probably more to Mrs. Figg's car then met the eye.
Harry's suspicions were confirmed when he stepped into her car. It was more of a house than an automobile. There were sinks and beds, table and chairs, curtains on the windows, and even wallpaper. At the front of the 'car' were two large chairs that looked as though they were made out of wood with red cushions. Harry waddled (his cauldron was still weighing him down) over to the one on the left. He opened Hedwig's cage, letting her fly around a bit since she hadn't been out of her cage in a while. Harry looked over and saw Arabella in the chair next to him, she was looking determined as though she knew she had already won the trial. She pulled back on a lever next to her chair, and a voice came from the inside of the car:
"Good morning Arabella, where would you like to go today?" it spoke. It was a sweet and flowing mechanical voice, it was the car.
"King's Cross," she responded. She folded her arms, leaned back in her chair, and closed her eyes. The car suddenly started to back out of the driveway, and it drove forward perfectly as though it was being driven by an expert Muggle.
Harry decided to follow Mrs. Figg's decision, and he leaned back and fell asleep.
Just as he felt unconsciousness coming on, the car stopped. Harry sat up, and looked around. They had arrived at King's Cross, the train station that would take him and the rest of the students to Hogwarts. As he stepped out of the car, Arabella stuck her head out of the window.
"I'll see you soon Harry. Good luck this year!"
"Thanks Mrs. Figg," said Harry, wondering when he'd be seeing her. She put her head back in, and drove off, leaving Harry with only Hedwig.
Harry started walking to the platform that would lead him to the train that would take him to Hogwarts. There was something different about this platform though, it wasn't really there. It was between platforms 9 and 10, it was platform 9 ¾. The first time Harry had to arrive there, he was clueless on how do to do. Now, though, he had done it four times before, so he was quite used to it. You had to walk into a brick wall that separated the two platforms, and unless you were used to doing it, it was quite unnerving.
As Harry was walking toward that wall, he kept an eye out for Ron and Hermione. By the time he had arrived there, there was still no sign of them. Harry shrugged, and ran through the brick wall.
It was as though he just walked through a doorway. All around Harry were wizard students, younger and older than he, each was dressed in their black robes, all of them except for Harry who just realized he was still wearing his normal Muggle clothes.
"Oh well," though Harry, "no big deal, I'll just change on the train." He walked towards the golden train that just blew its whistle announcing that it would not be waiting much longer.
Harry stepped on the train, and sat down in the nearest compartment. He set all his stuff next to him, and decided to copy Hedwig who was sleeping. Harry leaned back, and closed his eyes, listening to the sound of the train slowly moving.
Just then, the door to Harry's compartment opened, and a very red-headed, very tall boy stepped in. It was Ron. He was clutching a newspaper in his hand, and he had an exasperated look on his face. He looked at Harry as though he was a ghost.
Ron just showed the front of the newspaper to Harry but, Harry could only make out the title:
"Sirius Black Is Caught!"
Ron walked over to the seat opposite Harry, and sat down, still staring at him.
Harry was about to say hello to Ron when the door to the compartment opened again.
Harry saw a bushy-headed girl step in.
It was Hermione. She, like Ron, had a newspaper in her hand. It was exactly the same as Ron's. What did they think, he didn't know? Well, that might be the case, thought Harry to himself, for all they knew, he was at the Dursleys ever since he left Ron's house and Harry was oblivious to the wizarding world, even the most important events he knew nothing about.
Hermione though, unlike Ron, had a look of sadness on her face. She sat down next to Ron, and they were all silent for a while. Each of them knew and loved Sirius just as much as Harry did. They were among the very few wizards who knew the real story about him, and they felt for him. Hermione opened her mouth, as though ready to say something when, once again, the door to the compartment was opened. This time, however, the visitor was not welcome.
"Hello Harry," said Draco Malfoy. If Harry ever needed another enemy besides Voldemort, his next choice would be Draco. He and Harry were enemies, like Clark Kent and Lex Luther, like Voldemort and Dumbledore, like King Arthur and the Frenchman.
Draco came from a wealthy wizarding family who prided themselves on being 'pureblood' that is, each member of their family had been a wizard, no Muggles. Malfoy's family were also big supporters of Voldemort, though they escaped the accusations that they were accused of after his downfall.
"Hullo poor-boy, mud-blood," said Draco, nodding to Ron and Hermione. A mud-blood was a nasty name for a wizard or witch who was from Muggle descent, Hermione, whose parents were both Muggles, was Malfoy's favorite target for this insult.
"Go away Draco," said Harry calmly.
"You know, I'd rather not," he responded. Draco's two friends, Crabbe and Goyle, appeared behind him. They both looked more like very muscular and stupid apes rather than humans.
"Just heard about your god-father there Harry, dreadfully sorry," he smiled, though there was a hint of truthfulness in his voice. "He was a great supporter of You-Know-Who, and it's a pity to lose him. May we have a moment of silence?" He smiled, and he, Crabbe, and Goyle each bowed their heads in unison. They were among the majority of the wizarding world who believed that Sirius Black worked for Voldemort.
"Shut it Malfoy!" yelled Ron who stood up and pointed his wand at Malfoy. He hated being insulted because of his family being poor. Hermione, who was used to such taunts of her being Muggle-born just sat there watching.
"Oh! Standing up for yourself are you now?" smirked Malfoy looking at Ron's wand.
"Just know this Weasley, I know more curses than you have brain cells." With that, he brandished his wand, ready to fire at Ron, when suddenly, a teacher walked by their compartment. Harry recognized him as the tiny wizard, Professor Flitwick, their Charms teacher and head of the Ravenclaw House.
"Hello boys, oh! And girl," he smiled spotting Hermione. "Not practicing Defense Against The Dark Arts against each other now, are you?" He smiled, not realizing that they were.
"Oh, no. Not at all professor," smarmed Malfoy. He hid his wand behind his back.
"Professor," asked Harry, "why are you on the train? Professors never used to normally ride on it." Professor Flitwick's smile faded.
"Oh well, we need to take some… err… extra precautions due to… well… you know…" He walked away and started mumbling incoherently. Harry knew what he was referring to, the fact the Voldemort was back meant more security everywhere. Even if the Ministry of Magic wasn't doing anything about it, Dumbledore certainly was going to.
"We'll finish this later Weasley," said Malfoy. He spun around, and left.
Obviously, he didn't want to fight in front of teachers, lest he get in trouble.
The door to their compartment closed by itself.
"What happened Harry?" asked Ron immediately. "I mean, with Sirius and all.
The paper says that you were with him." Hermione nodded, she must've wanted to ask the same question. Harry sighed.
"I don't know Ron," answered Harry. "One minute, Sirius was there with me as a dog, then the next second people were screaming all around us saying they saw Sirius Black and then some Aurors came down and took him away."
"How did they know that dog was Sirius?" asked Ron. "Did they know the type of animal he could turn into?"
"I don't think so," said Harry. "The Auror who spoke to me said he saw Sirius Black in the flesh. That means they must've somehow seen through his transformation."
"Is that possible?" asked Ron. Both he and Harry looked at Hermione, the smartest of them all. She, however, had her face buried in a book.
"Is it Hermione?" asked Harry, looking curiously at her.
"What?" she looked up from her book and shook her head. "Sorry Harry, what did you say? What was it?"
"Is it possible to 'see through' an animal transformation?" repeated Ron.
"No, of course not! That would defeat the purpose of transforming in the first place!" she said as she buried her nose back in the book. Harry's curiosity came over him:
"Hermione," he asked, "what are you reading?"
"Oh, just looking over the standard spells for this year. Getting ready for our O.W.L.s you know," she smiled and started reading again.
"WHAT!?" yelled Ron, dumbfounded. "Hermione! We don't take our O.W.L.s until the end of summer! We've still got almost ten months!"
"Yes, well, never too soon to start studying," she said, "and the O.W.L.s make up most of our grades, and they determine Head Boys and Girls."
"Speaking of prefects, Hermione," said Ron slyly, "what's that in your pocket?"
Harry noticed it to, there was something shiny and circular popping a little out of her pocket.
"Huh? Oh! That! I totally forgot about that with all that's been going on with Sirius lately," she took the circle out of her pocket and pinned it onto her chest. It was a badge that read: 'Hermione Granger: Gryffindor Prefect'.
"Hermione? You're a prefect?" stuttered Harry. Though, now that he was thinking about it, it shouldn't come as a surprise to him. Hermione had always gotten the best grades of anybody in their grade.
"Well, you should know," she said. "By the way, where's your pin, Harry?"
"What do you mean?" asked Harry. "I'm not a prefect, I didn't get a letter."
"Well, in my letter it says you are one," said Hermione, taking it out from her backpack. "See?"
Harry grabbed the letter from her and read it:
"Slytherin Prefects: Draco Malfoy! What How did he get on that list?"
"Keep going," said Hermione.
"He probably bought good grades," said Harry to himself, "and Pansy Parkinson is the girl prefect. Hufflepuff Prefects: Ernie Macmillon and Hannah Abbot. Ravenclaw Prefects: Paulo Calvacanti and Lisa Turpin. Gryffindor Prefects: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger! Hey! I am a prefect!"
"So then how come you didn't get a letter?" asked Hermione.
"I don't know," said Harry, giving her the letter back.
"Oh, wait, I think I know," said Ron, digging through his backpack. He took out an envelope. "This came for you the day after you left my house."
Harry snatched the letter from Ron, and tore it open. Sure enough, inside, was the prefect letter, and his shiny badge.
"Wow," said Harry to himself. "I'm a prefect…" He threw his Hogwarts robe on over his clothes, and then pinned the badge onto to it. The incredibly shiny badge reflected the sunlight all over the room.
"Great job Harry," said Ron. Harry thanked him, then realized something. Four years ago, he had found a mirror that showed whoever looked in it their deepest desires.
In it, Ron had seen himself as Head Boy and captain of the Quidditch team. But, only prefects could become Head Boy or Girl. So, one of Ron's dreams was not going to come true.
Just then, the train stopped, and Harry looked out the window. They had arrived at Hogwarts. Ron and Hermione walked out of the compartment, and Harry ran out after them. As he stepped off the train, he heard a familiar voice:
"Firs' years! Firs' years this way!" yelled Hagrid, the very large groundskeeper at Hogwarts. Traditionally, he led the first years at Hogwarts over the lake to the castle in boats while the other students went up a path.
"Hello Hagrid," said Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
"Hullo Everyone!" he said. "Can't wait to get started this year! Got some great lessons planned for yeh." Harry knew Hagrid was looking forward to teaching about dragons, Hagrid had always wanted one for as long as Harry knew him.
He, Ron, and Hermione headed up to the Hogwarts castle while about ten little kids got in small boats and crossed the lake with Hagrid. Harry wouldn't have minded crossing the lake today, it was bright and sunny, clear and warm. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were the first to reach the gates of the castle, so they threw open the door.
It was just as Harry remembered it. The front entrance was… huge was the only word to describe it. It was fifty times the size of Mrs. Figg's house, and it had pictures on the walls, ghosts flying, and students walking everywhere. Harry kept walking forward until he came to the Great Hall, the place where the first feast of the school year would take place, and where the new students at Hogwarts would be sorted.
At the beginning of each year at Hogwarts, the new students were sorted into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin. A student was judged by a hat they placed on their head which house they shared the most common traits with: Gryffindor is they were brave, Ravenclaw is they were clever, Hufflepuff if they were loyal, and Slytherin if they were ambitious and cunning. All were good houses, that is, except for Slytherin. There wasn't a single witch or wizard that hadn't gone bad that hadn't been in Slytherin.
There were four tables in the Great Hall, one for each house. Harry, Ron, and Hermione (who were all in Gryffindor) sat down at the Gryffindor table. Harry spotted the rest of the Weasleys, all of whom were in Gryffindor, and they sat down across from him.
"Harry, meet us on the Quidditch Field after the Sorting. We have to have a team meeting," said Fred to Harry. Harry nodded in agreement. Harry, Fred, and George were on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and they hadn't played as a team for a year now due to the fact that Quidditch was cancelled last year because of the Triwizard Tournament.
Just then, the doors to the Great Hall flew open again and the ten or so students who crossed the lake with Hagrid came through the door. Harry watched them as they walked through the center of the room, and up to the front where there was a three-legged stool with a large and tattered black hat on it.
As Harry watched them go across, he noticed something funny about one of the new students. He didn't look like a first year at all, he looked as old as Harry. Also, he didn't look nearly as scared as the other first-years, he in fact looked confident. He wasn't wearing black robes either, he was instead wearing a long, black flowing coat. He was also wearing white gloves that seemed to dissolve into his skin rather than have cuffs. His wand wasn't in his pocket or his hands either: it was slung over his shoulder.
On his back, there was a sheath for it, and a long string that went over his shoulder, over his chest, and then connected to the bottom of his sheath. Inside the sheath there was a long sword that had a beautiful wand painted on the blade. Harry decided to just wait and see what happened when he was sorted, maybe he'd be in Gryffindor so Harry could ask him some questions.
All of the new students were lined up in front of the stool now, and Professor McGonagall was next to the stool with a long piece of paper. Suddenly, the hat floated off of the stool that it was on, and began… singing.
"Many, many years before,
There was a gigantic war.
It was between both wizards and men.
However, no one won in the end.
When all the dead bodies lay strung out,
Four voices, did ring out:
Godric Gryffindor: Bold and true;
Salazar Slytherin: Cunning and shrewd;
Rowena Ravenclaw: Quick and bright;
Helga Hufflepuff: Loyal and with might.
Together these four made the place in which you stay,
So that others may learn their magnificent ways.
And so that a war like before would never happen again,
To tutor their pupils, and help them become true men.
So that the world may become a better place,
They built Hogwarts, where you learn the magical ways."
There was a magnificent amount of applause for the hat, like always, and when it died down, Professor McGonagall brought the hat down from its hovering position, and back onto the stool, ready to sort the newcomers.
"When I call out your names," she spoke loudly, "you will come up to this stool, place the hat on your head, then go to the table of the house that the hat designates you to.
With that, let's start: Vernon Crabbe!"
The boy that was first in line stepped up to the stool, and placed the hat on his head. His clumsy movements and unmistakable similarity caused Harry to believe that this was Vincent Crabbe's, Malfoy's friend's, little brother. It was confirmed when he placed the hat on his head and it yelled out:
"SLYTHERIN!" The Slytherin table cheered, and Crabbe gave his brother a pat on the back as he sat down.
"Prancy Patil!" A small, cute little girl stepped up to the stool, and placed the hat on her head.
"RAVENCLAW!" yelled the hat after a second of being on her head.
"Aw, too bad," said Parvati Patil, another fifth year Gryffindor who had been Harry's date to a dance last year, "I was hoping Prancy'd be with me, not Padma. (her twin sister who was in Ravenclaw)"
"Akshay Dayal," said Professor McGonagall. The next boy in line stepped up to the hat, and placed it on his head, waiting for less than a second.
"GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat. As with the rest of the new students, the Gryffindors clapped as he walked over to their table. The next name on the list took Harry by surprise:
"Aylar Dumbledore!" said Professor McGonagall with a hint of proudness in her voice. Could this be Professor Dumbledore's son? If it wasn't his son, than he surely looked a lot like Dumbledore. He had the same long nose, skinny figure, and a certain blissful look in his eyes. Dumbledore was also looking at him with proudness in his face.
Aylar confidently stepped up to the chair, and put the hat on, the hat looked as though it was thinking very hard, just as it had done with Harry.
"SLY- no… GRYFFINDOR!" yelled the hat. Harry looked shocked, that was the first time the hat had ever stuttered. Aylar didn't look to happy, however, he must have wanted to be in Slytherin. But, the next second, as he was cheered over to the table, he looked excited and glad, so Harry thought he must've just imagined his sadness.
"Michael Whalen!" A small, skinny little boy stepped up to the chair.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" said the hat. The next five sortings went by uneventfuly (Christopher Zimmermann in Gryffindor, Vikram Kumar in Ravenclaw, Joe Coppellotti in Gryffindor, Pawan Kodandopani in Slytherin, Mike Baronowski in Gryffindor, and Oshi Mandahib in Hufflepuff). Then, the older-looking student walked up to the hat, and just as he was about to put it on, Dumbledore stood up.
"Tuh.. Tuh.. Sy? Tuhsyeh… neb? Tuy sy?.." stuttered Professor McGonagall.
"Tuh-sy-uh-neb," said the boy, looking frustrated.
"Oh yes," said Professor McGonagall looking embarrassed. "Tcieneb… uh…"
"Del-on-rah," he pronounced to her, "Tcieneb Delonra. Sounds exactly like its spelled," he smiled. The Great Hall gave a small laugh.
"Yes well… how about just Tci?"
December 14th, 2003, 11:57 pm
"I am pleased to announce," said Dumbledore, interrupting the boy placing the hat on his head, "that we have a new fifth-year student joining us this year from Durmstrang (another wizarding school). Since he was obviously not sorted here in his first year, he will be now, and I hope you will make him feel just as welcome as any other new student to your house." With that, Dumbledore sat down and smiled. Tcieneb now looked extremely embarrassed as he sat there with the hat on his head. The hat looked as though it was thinking very hard, then it spoke:
"SLYHER- ahh!" Tcieneb shot up, and started walking over to the Gryffindor table, as though he didn't even hear the hat say he was in Slytherin, or the fact that he made it fall on the floor. He walked straight up to Harry. The entire hall was laughing.
"Hello Harry!" he said. He had a deep voice that flowed nicely, "I saw you earlier and I wanted to get to meet you." He put out a hand for Harry to shake.
"Uh, yeah. That's great uh… Tci, but uh… you're in Sly-" Harry was cut off.
"I just know we'll be great friends, we both have a lot in common, you play Quidditch, I play it, you were raised by Muggles, I was too…" just then, Dumbledore spoke very loudly:
"Tci!" he said loudly. "Would you please proceed to the Slytherin table?" The entire hall exploded with laughter and Tci looked around.
"Oh, you mean… I'm not in Gryffindor?" he asked, looking almost scared.
"But… I did everything I was supposed to do.. I-" he was cut off by Malfoy coming over and speaking to him.
"Come on over Tci, you don't want to hang around this filth. Nice Swand you have there. I wanted one, but father said they're too hard to find and not worth it. I can tell you…," Malfoy trailed off indicating the thing in Tci's sheath as he led him over to the Slytherin table.
"What was that about Hermione?" asked Harry as he poked her in the ribs.
"What? Huh? I wasn't paying attention, I was busy studying."
Chapter 9 - Clonusouts And Tryouts
After Harry and Ron had a good laugh about Hermione, Dumbledore stood up to make an announcement for the year.
"Hello students, welcome to another, or first, year at Hogwarts!" he said loudly.
The hall burst into applause, Fred and George whistled and screamed sarcastically.
"I hope," said Dumbledore, "that you will all leave this year with your brains more full than how you arrived, and I hope you will all also go on to your next year in the first place." He looked in the direction of Marcus Flint, the seventh-year Slytherin Quidditch team captain who had set a record of stupidity by staying back for three years.
He just smiled a disgusting toothy grin while the people next to him patted him on the back.
"I would like to introduce," continued Dumbledore, "two new teachers this year."
Harry just noticed the two people sitting next to Dumbledore. "Our new Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher: Mrs. Arabella Figg!" The hall clapped loudly and Harry's mouth opened wide. Why hadn't she told him she'd be his new teacher? She stood up and waved. From the smile on her face Harry thought that the trial must've gone well. Even though she hadn't told him, Harry was glad that Mrs. Figg was here, in case he had any more questions about the Order.
"And," Dumbledore went on, "our new potions teacher, Mr. Mundungus Fletcher!"
Harry's jaw, if it was possible, fell even more towards the ground. Professor Snape, one of Harry's only reasons, besides Malfoy, not to love Hogwarts, was gone! He looked up and down the tables for him, but there was no sight of him. Ron was looking ecstatic, and Hermione didn't have any expression, she was still reading, oblivious to all around her.
This was turning into the greatest year of Harry's life at Hogwarts. He was going to be with his mom, and Snape wasn't going to be around to hate and punish him for no reason all the time!
Mundungus Fletcher stood up and waved like Arabella did. His robes were not black, but yellow and fluffy looking. He had long curly blonde hair, and pale skin. The applause for him was even louder than it was for Mrs. Figg, he even got a few standing ovations. Everyone was happy to be rid of Professor Snape. He was the most evil and unfair teacher Harry had. Everyone was happy, that is, except for the Slytherins. Snape was the head of the Slytherin House, and always favored them. Professor Fletcher sat down.
"Now that the announcements are out of the way," said Dumbledore, "I invite you all to eat, drink, and make merry!" He smiled, and sat down. The second he sat down in his chair, huge bowls and plates of food appeared on each table. Harry took a little bit of everything, then a question came into his mind:
"Hey Hermione, how was you summer with Viktor?" he asked. Hermione looked up at him, slammed her book shut, and said, red in the face, "I'd rather not talk about that right now Harry," she retorted, with a stiffness in her voice. There was an awkward silence as they both stared at each other: Harry in shock, and Hermione glaring at him. Ron coughed loudly.
"Well then!" he said, trying to change the subject. " Ahem… uh… Hermione… uh… so, where's Crookshanks? I haven't seen her so far this school year." Hermione stopped squinting and looked at Ron.
"I packed him in a kitty cage," she said. "She's being brought up with the rest of the luggage, along with the rest of my books."
"Hermione," said Ron, "you're going to burn yourself out from studying before the time comes that you really have to cram."
"Oh, I'm not studying too hard now Ron, just building myself up slowly, I've decided on a little more than a book a day. Once the exams get closer, I'll start really studying."
"Hermione!" said Ron, "Not even Percy studied that much the week before the tests! And he got an almost perfect score!"
"Yes, well, he would've gotten a perfect if he'd started sooner," she said. Ron turned away from her and rolled his eyes at Harry.
"She's crazy you know, she going to drive herself insane," he said.
"Hmph fa mph mf fum fa," said Harry as he spoke with mashed potatoes spilling out of his mouth. Just then, a golden piece of parchment appeared in front of Harry. It was his schedule for next year. He folded it up, and put it in his pocket. Just then, he saw Fred and George leave the table and, remembering the meeting, he took a last swig of pumpkin juice, and ran off after them, spitting at Ron, "Shee ya tenite!"
Harry soon caught up with Fred and George and they walked the rest of the way to the Quidditch field. When they arrived, Harry saw the other three members of the team Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, and Katie Bell. They were each standing there looking annoyed.
"What took you so long?" asked Angelina. "You told us to meet you here just before the feast!" Fred and George looked at each other and smiled.
"Yeah, oh, well, we decided we were more hungry than eager to get started.
Thanks for your food Angelina!" said Fred. All three of them started angrily at the twins.
"Anyway…" said George breaking the silence, "onto business! As all of you know, we are short a Keeper and a captain."
This was true, Harry thought. He hadn't thought about it before but when Oliver Wood graduated, their previous captain and Keeper, they became short one player, and they never got a new one.
"So," started Fred, "we need to vote on our new captain, and have tryouts for the new Keeper." He reached into his pocket and took out six pieces of tiny paper, and a small box. He passed out a piece of paper to each.
"What's this for?" asked Katie in a squeaky voice.
"It's a Muggle voting system, dad told me about it," said Fred after each person had a piece of paper. "Each of you writes down who you think is the best person to be captain, put it in the box, then I'll tally up the votes and whoever has the most votes is the new captain!"
Angelina, Alicia, and Katie looked at each other awkwardly, thinking that there was no way that this would work, and something had to go wrong. Harry smiled, he knew that most wizards were brilliant, but had no common sense. He quickly wrote down: 'Fred Weasley' on the piece of paper, and put it in the box. The three girls looked at Harry as though he was a genius, then quickly copied him, and put their votes in the box.
Fred and George did the same seconds after.
"Alright!" said George, picking up the box and shaking it. "Let's see!" he opened the box up, and looked extremely hopeful. He reached his hand inside the box, and pulled out a piece of paper, "One vote for…" he read the paper, and frowned, "Fred Weasley".
Fred looked very happy. He drew a red transparent sphere in the air with the words 'Fred' above it and made his vote fly into it. George reached his hand in for the next one "The next vote is for…" he smiled, "George Weasley!" He created a blue sphere with 'George' written above it in the air, and placed his vote inside it. He shot his tongue out at Fred who was looking sulky. It would definitely be between those two, thought Harry. They were excellent Beaters, and very talented when it came to strategy.
George reached into the box and pulled out the next vote, as he read it, his eyebrows went up, "One vote for Harry Potter!" he said surprised. Harry was even more surprised than George was. Sure, Harry was a pretty good Seeker, but him… captain of the team? Harry didn't think that would suit him very well. But there were still three more votes to go, thought Harry, maybe that vote was just a fluke.
"Alright then," said George after Fred created a yellow sphere and put Harry's vote inside it, "the next vote is for… Fred." he said blankly. Fred happily shot the vote into his red sphere. Good, thought Harry, his chances were getting less of becoming captain.
"The next vote is for…" said George as Fred made a drum magically appear in front of him, and he started tapping it very fast, "…Harry." Fred made a cymbal appear, and he whacked it creating a loud sound. Harry was now tied with Fred. Once more vote for him, and he was captain. Now that the initial shock of the thought of him being captain was over, Harry thought it wouldn't be so bad. He pictured himself holding the Quidditch House cup with hundreds of cheering people all around him.
"Okay… the last and final vote is for…" said George suspensefully as he reached into the box, and took out the last piece of paper, "Harry Potter!" he yelled. He was apparently happy that at least Fred hadn't made captain. He put the votes for Harry into the yellow sphere, and it exploded into a small fireworks display, destroying Fred and George's votes.
Harry was standing there with a look of shock on his face. He was now the captain of the team… but how? He voted for Fred, Fred and George obviously voted for themselves so… all three girls must've voted for him. Harry looked over at them to see that they were slightly giggling.
"Alright Harry," said Fred nicely to him, apparently over his shock, "since you're captain, you make all the decisions… sure you wouldn't rather let me do it?" he asked, Harry was about to speak when Alicia shouted, "No way Fred! Harry earned that position! Ever since he joined the team, we've only lost one game, and that wasn't even his fault. He deserves to be captain!"
"Alright, alright!" said Fred. "Anyway Harry, you do need to decide who's going to be the next Keeper. Have anyone in mind?" Harry thought about Ron.
"Yeah, your brother!" said Harry. Fred and George snorted.
"Heh, Harry," said George, "you can't let your friendships interfere with your decisions! Ron's okay, but we need someone awesome!"
"Alright," said Harry, "let's just have tryouts this Friday. The best person gets the position."
"Sounds good," said everyone at the same time. It was so perfectly synchronized, Harry thought they must have rehearsed. They all left back up to the Gryffindor Common Room. As Harry reached the painting of the Fat Lady who guarded the room, he saw one of his other friends, Neville Longbottom, curled up outside.
"What are you doing Neville?" asked Harry. Neville sprang up.
"I've forgotten the password to get in Harry! Hermione told me just a second ago, but I forgot it!" Neville looked pleadingly at Harry. Neville never did have much of a brain.
"Password," said the fat lady in the portrait.
"I know, hold on a sec, I've forgotten it!" said Neville.
"No dear," she looked at Neville, "the password is: Password." She smiled and swung open. Neville turned around and gaped at Harry in a dumbfounded surprise.
"She's been saying that for the past five minutes, and I didn't figure it out!" said Neville as he waddled into the room. As Harry walked in, he saw a large group of people all standing together. He walked over to see what it was all about.
They were all standing in a circle, with a small boy in the middle that Harry recognized as Aylar Dumbledore. There was a small animal in front of him that Harry had never seen before. In fact, people all around him were holding animals that he'd never seen before. Some looked like aardvarks, only with wings. Others had elongated faces with scaly feet, and one looked like a purple blob with red eyes. The creature in front of Aylar was long like a snake, but it had long golden mandibles instead of a face.
He picked it up, and wrapped it around his neck. It licked him on the cheek.
"I think I'll call you a crake, a crab and a snake… combined!" he smiled and the people all around him clapped. He took a bow. What was going on? Aylar suddenly looked at Harry.
"Harry Potter?" he asked, looking at the scar on Harry's face.
"Yes, that's my name. What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Oh, just conjuring up some pets for people who don't have any," said Aylar. He smiled and waved his wand at all the animals. The people who were holding them looked as though they were in a state of pure bliss.
"You want one Harry? I've got plenty more ideas left!" he said, tapping his head with his wand.
"No, no thanks. I've got an owl," said Harry, amazed that a boy who hadn't even started school yet could conjure animals right out of his wand. That was magic that was too advanced for some seventh years!
"Oh, all right. But, if you ever need a pet to guard your room, I'll happily make a vicious, spiked, fluffy ball for you!"
"Harry!" said Hermione. "Did you already show the new first year boys where their rooms are?"
Harry went red. He forgot that prefects had responsibilities: among those being to show first years where their dormitories are. Harry looked around and saw the four new boys standing around Aylar.
"Come on guys," said Harry to them, "I have to show you where you're sleeping."
"But we want to see Aylar do more tricks!" said Joe.
"Not today," said Harry. "Maybe tomorrow. Come on, let's go." All five of the boys followed him up the stairs leading them to their room. Harry opened the door, and immediately the five of them shot in.
"Have fun," said Harry quickly, trying to get away from them.
"Wait!" yelled Aylar. "You mean I have to share a room with these… others? I thought we all got our own rooms!"
"No such luck Aylar," said Harry. "Good night!"
"Wait!" yelled Akshay. "Where can I plug in my computer?"
"Muggle things don't work here," said Harry, becoming very impatient. Didn't these kids know anything? He wanted to get way from them.
"Wait, where can I put up my Kanji charts?"
"You're not putting them up on my part of the room!" yelled Chris.
"Baka!" yelled Mike.
"What did you call me?"
"Why you little!" yelled Chris, jumping off of his bed, and right onto Mike's face.
Harry decided it was time to leave, and let the boys figure this stuff out for themselves.
"Good bye boys!" said Harry, quickly shutting the door. He breathed a sigh of relief as he turned away from their door, and took a step away. But, he felt suddenly weighed down at his feet, and he fell over onto the ground.
"Ow!" yelled Harry, falling right onto his face. "What the?" Harry looked down at his feet and saw, holding onto his legs, the skinny first ear boy, Joe. He scrunched up his face, and suddenly excreted a horrible and incoherent statement from his mouth:
"I LIKE THE PIEZ!" he yelled as loud as he could.
"Okay…" said Harry, peeling Joe off of his legs, and throwing him back into the chaotic room, happy he wasn't part of that group. Harry hoped that Aylar, appearing to be the smartest of them would whip them into shape.
Harry ran up to his room. He opened the door, and saw Ron sitting on his bed, shaking his wand up and down, as through trying to force something out.
"Um, what are you doing Ron?" asked Harry.
"Oh," said Ron, still working on moving his wand, "just… trying to make a pet like that Aylar kid." Just then, a silvery ball flopped out of Ron's wand, stood on the floor for a second, then melted into a puddle.
"Darn," said Ron. He stopped shaking his wand, "that's the third time that has happened!"
* * *
Harry's first day of classes was great. He woke up on time, came downstairs, ate breakfast, then hurried off to his first class: Care of Magical Creatures. When he arrived there, Hagrid was pacing back and forth by his hut, anxiously awaiting class. When he saw Harry, he smiled at him.
"Hullo Harry! Can't wait ta get started!" he said, beaming. Harry looked next to Hagrid and noticed there was a large box. The lid was sealed, so Harry couldn't look inside it. But, he guessed it had something to do with the dragons.
As he stood there, more kids came down, getting ready for class. Hermione and Ron were among the first. This was the first time Harry saw Hermione without a book so far this year.
"Hermione!" said Harry when he saw her. "You're not reading!" Rod nodded in agreement, and held back a laugh as he walked away from Hermione and over to Harry.
"Don't be stupid Harry," said Hermione. "I'm not going to miss lessons because of studying, I'm only going to study after classes." She smiled and walked over to Ron.
More and more Gryffindor students came down to Hagrid's hut.
Most of Harry's classes were with another House, and Care of Magical Creatures was with the Slytherins. Harry saw two Slytherins arriving, and recognized one as Tci, and the other as Malfoy. They were engaged in conversation, though Tci looked more interested in the grounds than he did with Malfoy's blab. Then, when Tci saw Harry, he shot over, forgetting about Malfoy.
As he ran, Harry heard some girls giggle. He looked around to see what it was that was causing it, then he looked more closely at Tci. He was wearing a black jacket, long red pants, and his Swand, but other than that, he had no shirt on. His chest and stomach were, for the most part exposed.
"Hey Harry!" he said as he finally arrived next to Harry.
"Err- uh… hi Tci…" said Harry awkwardly. He had never had a serious conversation with a Slytherin before, so this was quite new to him.
"Brrr!" he shivered. "Kind of brisk today, eh Harry?" he said. Hermione and Ron laughed out loud.
"Well, Tci, maybe it wouldn't be as cold if you put a shirt on," said Harry, using his usual voice and attitude he used towards all Slytherins. Tci looked down his front, then looked back at Harry with a confused look.
"You mean, people wear shirts here… and robes?" he asked. All the people around him, except for Harry and Malfoy burst into laughter.
"Yeah, Tci, that's what most people in the world do," said Ron, still laughing. Tci just shrugged.
"Well, at Durmstrang," he said seriously, "third years and up are encouraged just to wear a jacket to increase our mind power. We must use our mind all the time to keep ourselves thinking we are warm. It is like constantly making your brain lift weights, it helps your mind grow and become more powerful." Everyone around him stopped laughing. Malfoy finally arrived over.
"Hey Tci, why don't you show all of them your Swand?" he said slyly.
"Okay," said Tci. He quickly reached into the quiver on his back, and pulled out the Swand. It looked exactly like a sword, except for the blade that had a picture of a wand on it. The rest of the blade looked like a highly polished mirror, and the handle was golden. Tci brandished it, and swung it around a few times, doing a few amazing moves.
Everyone clapped when he put the sword back in.
"Is that you wand?" asked Ron, amazed.
"Yeah," said Tci, "only, a Swand is much more powerful than a regular wand."
"Not to mention more rare and valuable," said Malfoy, putting his hand on Tci's shoulder. Tci rubbed it off. Malfoy, looking a little annoyed, went over and stood with Crabbe and Goyle.
"You know Harry," said Tci very quietly, bending over, "I really wanted to be in Gryffindor. I can't believe the hat put me in Slytherin." He stood back up, and gave a small shudder. Harry thought he might get to like Tci.
Harry noticed that the entire class had now arrived, and Hagrid clapped his hands together very loudly.
"A'ight everyone!" he said excitedly. "Today we're gonna be startin' a lesson that will take us through th' res' of th' year!" He walked over to the giant box that Harry saw earlier, and threw off the lid. He grabbed from inside what appeared to be large eggs, each a different color with a different pattern on it. Harry recognized that they were:
"Dragon eggs!" yelled Hagrid, "for th' res' of th' year, yer gonna raise and teach yer dragon. Then, t'wards the end, we'll see who has done the best job by having a lil' competition." He smiled, "Now I wan' each of you ter come up, an' pick an egg. Look at yer books if you want a specific kind. Today I just wan' you to look at 'em and read a few pages 'bout 'em, no getting' ready to hatch or anything' like that just yet." He moved out of the way "Well what are yeh waitin' fer? Get one!" All of the kids came running up, and grabbed a random egg. Harry instead came up to Hagrid.
"Hagrid," asked Harry, "isn't it illegal to have a dragon?"
"Well, usually it is 'Arry, but… Dumbledore made a few deals with the Ministry, said that kids should be trained to deal with everything even dragons."
"But, Hagrid," said Ron who was next to Harry, "dragons don't stay small forever! Where are we gonna keep them when they get… huge?"
"Oh, me an' Dumbledore got all that worked out, great man that Dumbledore is, got a special room all set up to keep 'em good."
Their questions satisfied, Harry and Ron then went over to the box of eggs where the rest of the class had been. Ron took a red egg with yellow spots on it, and Harry took a golden egg that had no pattern on it. Nobody had bothered to consult their books on choosing, too excited to bother, but now they were all rushing to see what kind they had gotten.
"Oh! I got an African Abysmall," said Ron.
"Yer quite luck there Ron," said Hagrid. "Even though th' African Abysmalls may start out bad, each one of 'em has a special power."
"Yeah," said Ron, "but it says here that no one has ever found out what that special power is."
"Well, maybe ye'll be th' first," said Hagrid.
"What kind did you get Harry?"
"I don't know yet," said Harry, looking through his book. Finally, he stopped on a page. "Here it is! Oh no, I got a Hungarian Horntail." Last year, Harry had to fight one as part of the Triwizard Tournament, and it was a massive and terrible beast.
"Well, you're gonna have your hands full all year!" said Ron. "Hermione, what did you get?"
Hermione was still looking rapidly through her book.
"No, it can't be!" she said. "Why didn't I look more carefully before I choose?" she asked herself.
"What is it Hermione?" asked Harry. He looked at Hermione's egg that was a dark green with light blue stripes.
"I wanted a Welch Green," she said, "but that dragon's egg is light blue with dark green stripes, not the other way around!"
"Well than, what did you get?" asked Ron. Hermione finally stopped on a page, and pointed to a dragon that Harry couldn't see…
"I got a… a… Transylvanian Three-Headed Terror!" she said, looking horrified.
Ron and Harry laughed.
"Geez Hermione!" said Ron. "And I thought Harry was gonna have a hard time, you'll have three times as much trouble!"
The rest of the class went okay, they all spent it researching their eggs. Harry didn't have to ask Malfoy what he'd gotten, from seeing his egg, he knew he had gotten a Hungarian Horntail just like Harry did. Tci had a pure-black egg that Harry looked up and saw that it was a Mongolian Mutilator, a large dragon with an extremely fiery temper.
When the bell rang, Harry, Ron, and Hermione went to their first Defense Against the Dark Arts class of the year. As it turned out, Mrs. Figg was just as good a teacher as she was a person. She spent the whole class trying to teach them basic defense spells: shields.
According to Mrs. Figg, this was the first time she'd ever seen a shield spell used to inflict damage on someone. Neville somehow messed it up, and it hit Parvati right in the forehead. Highly embarrassed, Neville ran over, and apologized at least one hundred times. Parvati didn't seem too angry though, especially after she put a hex on Neville that caused his nose to grow to the size of a beach ball.
"Now now!" said Mrs. Figg after Parvati hexed Neville. "No cursing in class! Come on over Neville, I'll show you how to do it right." She spent the rest of the class tutoring him, and when the bell rang, Neville could do it better than any other student in the class. His shield was perfectly white and shiny, appearing exactly one foot in front of him like it was supposed to. As he strutted out of the classroom, looking especially smug, Mrs. Figg called Harry over.
"Harry, could I see you for a minute?" she asked. Harry mouthed 'see you in a minute' to Ron and Hermione as they stepped out.
"Harry," she said, "we need to get Fawkes." Harry looked at her, amazed at first, then realizing that they needed two more phoenixes to bring his mom back to life.
Fawkes seemed like the perfect phoenix for the job. "I heard that Dumbledore has to go to the Ministry on Saturday on some business, so we need to get him then. It will be one of the only times this year that he will be gone. I'll meet you outside his office at ten o' clock at night, okay?"
"Alright," said Harry. This would be the first time he'd ever stolen anything from Dumbledore. Harry could only imagine what would happen if he got caught. He shuddered at the thought.
Harry wasn't really paying attention during his Charms class next period, even thought they were learning the exciting Clone Charm today. Harry was thinking about tonight, and what was going to happen. Just then, Hermione nudged him in the side.
"Harry!" she whispered, 'the Cloning Charm is one of the most important spells you'll learn this year! Pay attention!" Harry swung his eyes over to Professor Flitwick who was talking.
"… the Cloning Charm is unique from all other spells in magic due to one fact! Instead of it taxing your mind, it strains your body! The spell takes some of your energy, and uses that to create new material… the clone. Even if you are a smart wizard, more intelligent even than Dumbledore himself, you will not be able to perform this charm, you need a strong body to do it!" He pointed his wand at a pillow in front of him.
"Clonusout!" he yelled. A white ray shot out of his wand, and hit the pillow. A hazy copy of the pillow appeared next to the original one. It was like a TV that was stuck on the black and white fuzz, it wasn't coming in very clear. Professor Flitwick then grunted, quite loudly, and the blurry copy disappeared. He was breathing hard.
"I… hope… you… now see… how much… energy… it takes…" he panted.
"Now… you… try!" he collapsed on the pillow he was trying to copy. In front of every student was a small rock that they had to copy. Each of them pointed their wand at the rock and yelled, "Clonusout!" It was much easier than professor Flitwick made it look. Harry made about twenty copies of the rock before he even felt slightly tired. The bell rang, and everyone filed out, everyone, that is, except for Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas (two other Gryffindor boys). Each of them made a copy of sleeping Professor Flitwick, and then ran out. They shut the door loudly, and everyone put their ears to the door, not being able to wait to hear Professor Flitwick's reaction. Suddenly, they heard him wake up.
"AHH! HELP! DARK MAGIC!" they heard Professor Flitwick (or at least one of his copies) yell as they all walked away laughing, back to the Gryffindor common room.
Chapter 10 – Decisions
The rest of Harry's classes weren't nearly as exciting as his others. Divination (predicting the future) was just as bad as always. The teacher, Professor Trelawney, seemed to have forgotten that she'd already taught crystal ball gazing, and was repeating it. It did improve, however, from the last two years when she kept predicting his death. She hadn't said Harry would die even once yet.
Herbology (the study of magical plants) wasn't as bad as Divination since they were at least doing new things. They were studying plantimals, plant versions of animals. It was a fun lesson, especially when a plant version of a kangaroo started bouncing all over and chasing Neville.
Transfiguration wasn't as much fun as it was interesting. They were learning how to transfigure themselves. They started by just making their fingers scaly or fluffy, but Professor McGonagall said, that by the end of the year, they should know how to change almost all of their bodies, though of course not to the level of an Animagus.
Potions was so much better this year, Harry almost looked forward to it rather than dread it. Professor Fletcher, it seemed, knew even more about potions than Snape did, and he had a much nicer demeanor. Instead of having Gryffindor lose twenty or fifty points each class, it gained that much. However, Tci kept Slytherin in balance. It seemed he knew as much about magic as Hermione.
"Who can tell me the main ingredient of a Necrevival Potion?" asked Professor Fletcher one day in class. Tci's hand flew up half a second before Hermione's.
"Yes Mr.. uh… Tci?"
"The ingredients of a Necrevival Potion are, one: a carcass of a dead person or animal, two: three drops of blood from that person or animal, three: blood of a tri-corn, and four: the eye of a mandrake. While some say that the skeleton is the most important for the mixture, the things that will come alive, others argue that the blood of a tri-corn is more important. It has been shown that the potion itself can come alive without the skeleton, but not without the blood of a tri-corn.
"The Necrevival Potion is used to bring skeletons to life. Though the revived skeleton will have no abilities or memories from its former life, that doesn't it mean it can't fight or used magic. Hordes of revived skeletons are a favorite army for dark wizards." He stopped with everyone in the class gaping at him. Hermione was looking especially angry.
"How'd he know all that?" she asked Harry quietly. "I didn't even know all that and I've read all the books on dark potions!"
"A very good response," said Professor Fletcher. "A much greater one than I would have expected from a fifth year. Twenty points to Slytherin. Even though we will obviously not be reviving human skeletons with this, we may be bringing some smaller beings back." Malfoy patted Tci on the back and Tci didn't react at all, he just kept sitting there as though he had just given a basic answer to an easy question. There was something more to Tci, but Harry didn't know if he'd ever find out what it was.
Before long, the tryouts for the Gryffindor Quidditch team came. Fred and George put up signs up all over the school advertising it, so when the time came, there were about fifteen Gryffindors ready to try out for the team. Since Harry was captain, it was his responsibility and decision how to run it, and who, from the fifteen, to choose.
"All right!" yelled Harry over the voices of the fifteen people trying out. "Line up here in front of me, and we'll do some tests!" They all did as he said, and filed in front of him.
Harry recognized a few people: Seamus, and Dean were there, and so was Ron. One of Fred and George's friends, Lee Jordan, was there too. Another boy, Colin Creevey, was there. He was a bit of an excessive fan of Harry's, always trying to get his picture or something. This year, however, he hadn't been much of a bother to Harry, and he almost forgot about him since he wasn't breathing down his neck every second. Harry didn't know the eleven others by name, but knew their faces.
"I am captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and I will be deciding who will be the Keeper for this team!" said Harry loudly. Some of the people looked at him confused, and Ron gave him a 'why didn't you tell me that!' look. Harry felt a little guilty, he should have told Ron that he was captain, but he didn't want Ron thinking he'd give him an unfair advantage, even though he was his best friend.
"I'm sure that since you're here, most of you know how to play Quidditch," continued Harry, "but, I'd just like to do a quick review of what it is: there are seven players on a team: three Chasers (he nodded toward Angelina, Alicia, and Katie). They chase the large red ball called the Quaffle, and score goals. A team also has two Beaters (he waved his hand at Fred and George) who whack two large balls at the other team to try and debroom them. A team also consists of a Seeker… me. I have to find the tiny golden Snitch, and end the game, giving the Gryffindor team an extra one hundred and fifty points.
“Now, a team also needs a Keeper to prevent the other team from scoring goals. That's what you all are here to try and become.”
"I thought we'd have a small tournament for the tryouts, and whoever's left at the end will get the position. Sound fair?" he asked the Keeper hopefuls. They all nodded, and started getting ready to mount their brooms.
"What we'll do first is test your accuracy," said Harry. "I'll throw a ball in the air, and I want you to fly up and hit it back toward me as close as you can, alright?" The group nodded again. "Now, form a line, and get ready. You go up when you think it's time, and everyone who succeeds will go onto the next round."
Harry looked at all the nervous faces. Most of them were white, and some of them were even a little green. Ron was among the few that looked confident.
"Ready… set… go!" yelled Harry as he threw the Quaffle up in the air.
The first person in line was Ron. He blasted off the ground, met the ball at its maximum height, did a fancy spin, and the ball came soaring back, right into Harry's arms. Ron came quickly back to the ground. He had done a perfect job!
"Excellent work Ron!" yelled Harry. "Next!" He threw the ball back into the air, and Lee Jordan flew up, earlier then Ron did. Harry had to lean just a slight bit to catch the ball when it came flying back at him.
Each other person went, and only six people had passed. Everyone except for Ron, Lee, Seamus, Dean, Colin (much to Harry's dismay) and another Gryffindor whose name Harry learned was Bill McCunley. The other nine left, muttering to themselves that they 'didn't really want to be on that dumb team anyway'.
"Our next test," said Harry, "will be to test your blocking ability. Fred, George, and I will be shooting Quaffles at you. Every time you block one, you will get one point." Harry pointed to a magical scoreboard that Angelina, Alicia and Katie were looking after.
"Whoever the top three are that block the most will go onto the last round. Ready… set… go!" Fred, George, and Harry started cloning Quaffles by what seemed like hundreds at a time. They shot them towards the six hopefuls at extreme speeds, and Harry was glad he was doing the shooting rather than the blocking.
There was a mad rush for every Quaffle. Even though they came from every direction, all of them seemed to want the same one at the same time, and ended up crashing into each other. After five minutes of this chaos, Harry thought they had enough, and stopped the test. Angelina, Alicia, and Katie looked positively exhausted from keeping track, just as exhausted as Harry, Fred, and George were from cloning all the Quaffles.
Once Harry caught his breath, he looked up at the scoreboard and saw that Ron, Bill, and Colin were each tied with seventy-two Quaffles blocked each. Harry walked over to Dean and Seamus (who were lying on top of each other and appearing to be unconscious) and told them sorry, but they didn't win. They didn't seem too sad, on the contrary, they looked positively thrilled that they wouldn't have to be tortured anymore.
"For the final test!" yelled Harry to Colin, Ron, and Bill. "We will test your speed! It's as simple as this: the first one to the other end of the Quidditch field first wins." Colin, Ron, and Bill each mounted their brooms, and grasped the front tightly. Each was looking just as much determined as the other.
"What will I do if Ron doesn't win?" Harry thought to himself for a second.
"Nah!" he reassured himself. "Ron will win for sure! He's the best." Harry blew on a whistle, and the three hopefuls were off, with Fred at one side of the three, and George at the other, to see who crossed the finish line first.
They seemed to be speeding bullets rather than humans as all three shot forward. Even Fred and George were having a tough time keeping up. Since the race was so fast, it was over very quickly. Less than five seconds had passed when it was finally over. Harry saw Fred and George signal him to come over. He shot over there on his broom, and saw glum looks on their faces.
"Harry," said George, "I think we have a tie." He pointed to Ron and Bill who were currently arguing with each other.
"How can there be a tie?" asked Harry, worried that he would have to choose between the two of them.
"Movus Pictorus," he whispered as he tapped his wand on the picture. Harry moved the image of Ron just a tiny bit forward, so it appeared that he had won.
"What are you talking about!" yelled Harry as he held up the changed picture, "Ron is clearly the winner!" Ron grinned eagerly as Harry gave the picture to Fred and George.
They scratched their heads.
"How'd we miss that, George?" asked Fred, "Ron did win after all! Congratulations Ron!" Bill and Colin left looking sulky, and Ron got a handshake from each of the members on the team. Harry was feeling a little guilty. Did he do the right thing? What if Bill was the better player?
"But, Bill and Ron are so close talent-wise, it didn't really matter," Harry reassured himself silently as he shook Ron's hand.
"I can't believe it Harry!" said Ron. "Ever since Charlie was on the team, I've wanted to be on it too. I can't believe I'll be on it… with you!"
"Yeah… great Ron!" said Harry, trying to sound happy, but still feeling guilty.
"Here we go!" said Fred and George as they brought in several mugs filled with yellowish-brown liquid.
"What is that?" asked Katie.
"Butterbeer!" said Fred. "To celebrate out new Keeper!" Everyone eagerly grabbed a glass, and they cheered them all in the air, creating a loud 'clink'.
"To a Gryffindor victory on Sunday!" said Harry. That would be their first game of the Quidditch season, and their first game with Ron, against Hufflepuff.
As everyone chugged it down, Harry noticed Fred and George laughing.
"What's so funny?" asked Ron, he had obviously noticed it too.
"Your face!" said George still laughing.
"No seriously!" said Ron.
"Seriously, your face!" said Fred. Harry looked over at Ron, and burst out laughing.
Ron's face had turned into one of a bunny's, ears and all. Suddenly, the same thing happened to Angelina, Alicia, and Katie. Fred and George laughed even more, and Fred fell onto the floor. Harry started to worry that the same would happen to him, after all, they did test their other invention on him.
"Don't worry Harry," said Fred, sensing Harry's feeling, and recovering from his fall onto the floor. "Yours and ours butterbeers are real." After everyone's face turned back to normal, Alicia asked,
"What was that?"
"Bunny-Butterbeer! We also have Beetle, Bear and Bumble-Bee!" said George. "A real bargain! Only a galleon a gallon!"
The next day went by very quickly to Harry. All he really remembered was at breakfast when Ron was bragging to everyone that he was on the team, and also pestering Hermione to tell him what happened at Krum's house over the summer, and to 'get her face out of that book' that she was reading. She did neither.
All that happened toward night was Aylar, still showing off his magic by making Butterbeer come pout of his wand and into glasses (which he had also conjured up). All day long, Harry was nervously anticipating kidnapping Fawkes, and he wasn't able to lessen that fear by talking to Ron and Hermione about it.
Finally, when ten o' clock came around, Harry said he'd forgotten his books in Transfiguration as an excuse to leave, and he slipped out the door with his invisibility cloak tucked under his shirt. The invisibility cloak was the only thing Harry had inherited from his father (except for the giant fortune), and it made whoever wore it completely invisible, and it came in handy many times before.
It didn't take Harry too long to get to Dumbledore's office, it was pretty close to the Gryffindor room. As he got closer, he wondered where Mrs. Figg was. He looked around, and suddenly saw that she was next to him. He slipped the hood off his head.
"How'd you get here so fast?" asked Harry.
"Oh," said Mrs. Figg, "I've been here for a while, Harry. Eventually, you'll learn magic that can make you invisible without a cloak." Harry nodded, and Mrs. Figg walked over to Dumbledore's door that was guarded by a gargoyle. She was holding a small, lightblue cube.
"Wizard Scout Cookies", she said, and the gargoyle moved out of the way, and the door opened. She and Harry quietly and quickly walked up the staircase leading to his office.
It was just as Harry remembered it. He had been in Dumbledore's office before, but never with the sort of intentions that he had now. It was a large circular room with many pictures of the old headmasters on the wall. In one part of the room was a cage, and a tiny black bird was in it.
"It works out nicely doesn't it?" said Mrs. Figg,. "The day that Dumbledore is out is the day Fawkes will burn (burst into flames and be reborn). That's when they're the weakest you know." They top-toed over to the cage where the tiny black bird (that looked nothing like a phoenix) was sleeping.
"Now Harry," said Arabella, "this is when you come in. I'm to weak to do it, but I need you to clone a copy of Fawkes." Harry swallowed hard.
"Alright," he said, thinking that all this would be worth it when he was with his mom. He walked even closer to the cage, and brandished his wand, feeling extremely conscious of everything around him, and trying not to jump at every minute sound.
"Clonusout!" he said quickly. Another Fawkes suddenly appeared inside the cage right next to the original one.
"Good job Harry!" said Arabella. She then opened the small door to the cage, and grabbed the original Fawkes around the mouth, so that it couldn't make any noise. She touched the blue cube that she had brought with her to the head of the now awake Fawkes, and he suddenly flashed blue. Then, he disappeared, evidently into the box.
"Now lets get out of here, Harry," she said, stuffing the cube back into her pocket. Harry nodded in agreement: he wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. As she put the box in her cloak pocket, and started walking down the stairs, she put out her arm, signaling Harry to stop. He froze right where he was on the staircase. What happened?
Was someone coming?
Someone was definitely coming. Harry could hear footsteps coming from far down the hallway that were getting closer every second. As Harry saw Mrs. Figg turn invisible, he slipped his cloak back on. Harry heard Arabella open the door just a tiny bit more, and then run out it. Harry followed her, and closed the door behind him. As Harry ran across the hallway, he glanced down to see who was coming. It took him by surprise to see who it was: Tci. What was he doing here at this time?
However, Harry didn't have time to ponder this. He heard Arabella continuing to run down the halls, and Harry did not stop following her. He didn't want to fall behind. They ran all the way to her office, and then, Harry heard her finally stop. She became visible again.
"Good job there, Harry, I'm glad you weren't caught," she said, panting slightly. "We just need one more phoenix now. I'll contact Lupin and Sirius about that later."
"About them," asked Harry, "how did their trial go?"
"Very well Harry," she said. "Sirius presented his side of the story regarding killing Wormtail, and Lupin presented his story regarding the thought that everyone though Sirius was trying to kill Harry. If they aren't found innocent, I will be very surprised."
"That's great," said Harry, feeling relief flow through him.. "One other thing, why don't we just get another clone of Fawkes for the other necessary phoenix? Won't that save time?"
"Harry, oh, there's still so much you don't understand about magic. Clones, while they share the same physical and chemical attributes of the original, do not contain the same magical properties. So, if we were to use a copy of a phoenix, it would be just as good to use an ostrich. Understand?"
"Yeah, I think so," said Harry, his head spinning. "One last question though: did you figure out how all the people in Diagon Alley saw Sirius?"
"No Harry," she said, "that is still a mystery. All witnesses said they saw Sirius Black, not one of them mentioned a dog. But, enough of that, I guess you'll be wanting to go to bed now, you've had a very exciting night."
"Yeah, see you in class tomorrow," said Harry as he walked off, not really wanting to leave, but also wanting to rest as well. When he came back into the Gryffindor room, no one was there, they had all gone to bed. Harry decided to do the same, and headed up to his room. As he collapsed on his bed, he felt something under his stomach. He stuck his hand under it, and grabbed a piece of parchment. It read:
"I know what you did Harry Potter, I know what you did…"
Chapter 11- Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff
Harry didn't get much sleep that night, he was so worried over the note. Not only was he scared of who saw him and Arabella steal Fawkes, but he was also worried that he'd be sent back to the Dursleys, his mom wouldn't be brought back, and he'd never see Sirius, Ron, Hermione, or anyone else again. Worst of all, he couldn't tell Hermione or Ron.
Sirius, Lupin, and Arabella made it very clear that they didn't want Harry saying anything about the Order.
So, Harry awoke the next morning, after what felt like two seconds of sleep, and waddled downstairs to the great hall where breakfast was being served. He took a seat next to Hermione and Ron, who had each already almost finished breakfast. Ron was engaged in conversation with Hermione.
"So, Hermione, what every happened to S.P.E.W?" he asked. S.P.E.W. was the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare, a club that Hermione had started as a small protest group for elf right. She believed that all elves should be paid and given days off from work. However, they were all horrified at even the thought of that, and continued to work. They believed doing thankless work was their purpose in life.
"Well Ron," answered Hermione, "over the Summer, I found that there are some very large idiots out there, and to continue with S.P.E.W. would be hopeless as long as they exist on this planet."
"Does this have something to do with Krum?" asked Ron slyly, and leaning his elbow across the table. Hermione, however, became very interested in polishing her prefect badge with a napkin.
Throughout breakfast, Harry kept wondering about the note he got. Who had sent it?
How had he seen him? Then, it hit him. Who was the only other person that could've known what he had done?
It was Tci. He was walking by while they were leaving, and he probably saw the door shut by some invisible force, and ran over to investigate. Harry also remembered he forgot to lock the door! Tci must've gone up to Dumbledore's office too! He might've used his advanced magic to see that Fawkes had just been copied or something.
Harry's blood just went cold, and he began to sweat. He looked over at the Slytherin table, and looked at Tci, next to Malfoy, pretending not to like it over there. Oh, Tci was the most appropriate person for Slytherin Harry ever saw.
Just as Harry was about to walk over to Tci and tell him he knew that the letter was from him, an explosion of owls appeared in the Great Hall. Hundreds of them swooped in, and delivered their parcels to the right person. A brown owl came to Hermione with a newspaper attached to its leg. She put some money in the owl's sack, and it flew away.
Hermione took out the newspaper, and began to read. The second her eyes met the paper, though, her face turned into an expression of terror. She turned the paper around, and in big letters at the top, it read: "Sirius Black and Remus Lupin Found Guilty of Murder and Conspiracy". Harry grabbed the paper, and read the rest:
Today, the ministry judge sentenced both Sirius Black (convicted of murder) and Remus Lupin (convicted of conspiracy of knowing where Sirius Black was while he was being tracked, and not alerting the authorities) to a life sentence in Azkaban. Despite the believable 'stories' coming from both Black and Lupin, the judge still found reason to convict them: "I just don't see how a large group of trusted wizards and witches witnesses can be wrong. They all saw the same thing: Sirius Black killed Peter Pettigrew." Despite the fact that both Black and Lupin said Peter is an Animagus and transformed into a rat to escape Black's curse, there is no evidence to support that claim.
Their life sentence begins today, no visitors are allowed.
The cold blood that Harry felt inside him before now started boiling. How could they do that? Sirius was the only adult that Harry could confide in, tell everything to. What was he going to do? What was he going to do? He couldn't live his life without Sirius, as odd as it sounded, he needed him. Suddenly, Harry had an idea. An insane, crazy idea that could not work… or could it?
"Where is it?" asked Harry quietly. Ron and Hermione looked at him in question.
"Where is… where is what Harry?" asked Hermione. He looked at her coldly.
"Where is Azkaban?" he asked slowly. They other two looked at him curiously, and then their eyes widened with realization of what he was suggesting.
"You- you want to… rescue them from there?" asked Ron slowly.
"Yes, Ron, I do. I don't think innocent people deserve to have their minds sucked out, do you?" asked Harry impatiently.
"No, of course not Harry, it's just that… well… how are we-" Ron was cut off.
"Don't you understand!" yelled Harry, causing some people to look at him. "It doesn't matter if we can, or if we can't! We have to try!"
"Why though Harry?" asked Ron. "I mean, I know Sirius is your godfather, and Lupin was a great teacher, but why do we have to risk getting killed to try and rescue them? I mean, there's almost no chance that it would work."
How could Harry respond without telling them the truth, without telling them about the Order of the Phoenix? He had to, there was no other way around it. If he was ever going to see his mom again, and keep Voldemort from getting to her, Sirius and Lupin had to be rescued. Harry gave a deep sigh, then spoke. For the next few minutes, he told them the history of the Order, just as Mrs. Figg had told him, and the fact that he, Sirius, Arabella, and Lupin were in it. He did, however, leave out the part of him stealing Fawkes.
At the end of Harry's story, both Ron and Hermione were staring at Harry with concern, anger, and fear. Ron spoke first, "How come you're just telling this to us now Harry?" he asked.
"Because they told me not to! You two are the only people, outside of the Order, to ever know about it."
Hermione sighed, "Well, Harry, I see your point. We do have to try and rescue Sirius and Lupin. With your mom on You-Know-Who's side… he'll be even more powerful. If we don't do something, no one will, that is, no one except You-Know-Who."
"Well, I guess you're right," said Ron.
"Alright, it settled then," said Harry, "we will try and rescue them. The only question that remains is… how are we going to do it?"
Ron and Hermione looked at each other.
"Well," said Hermione, "we have to first create a distraction here and leave. Then, we have to somehow get to Azkaban. After that, break in, rescue them both, and get back here before anyone catches us. All the while, prevent anyone from knowing that we have left Hogwarts."
Harry's smile quickly faded. The more Hermione went on about the plan, the more hopeless it seemed.
"Well the distraction part's easy," said Ron. "All we need to do is get everyone inside one room, and then scare them away. And, when's the next time that everyone's going to be in the same room at once?" he asked Harry and Hermione, appearing to already know the answer.
"The Halloween feast!"
"But Ron," said Harry, "the feast is just a little less than a month away. By then, Sirius and Lupin could be going insane, or they could have gone insane! We need to do it as soon as possible!"
"No Harry," said Hermione, "we should wait. For one, we do need everyone to be in one place, and the Halloween Feast is the closest. Even now, for breakfast, not everyone's down here. Some are early for class, others are sleeping, and teachers are spread all over the place. Also, we need time to form a plan, and we need to wait a while so that the ministry's security isn't as tight around Sirius and Lupin. After a few days of being in Azkaban, your mind starts to go, and you don't need guards anymore."
Harry was about to argue, but he thought better of himself, and knew that she was right.
By the time their conversation was over, the bell had rung for their first class (Care of Magical Creatures) and Harry didn't have time to confront Tci…. During breakfast anyway…
It was a very exciting class: almost everybody's egg hatched, and everyone got their first glimpse of a newborn dragon. Even though they weren't especially… cute, there was a special aura around them that made all the kids love them.
When the bell rang, Hagrid collected them up, and Harry decided this would be a good time to talk to Tci. Harry ran up to him, and tapped him on the shoulder. Tci turned around, looking ecstatic.
"Harry!" he said. "How are you-" he was cut off.
"What do you think you're doing Tci?" asked Harry angrily. Tci looked shocked.
"What? What do you mean?" he asked, looking taken aback.
"You know, Tci, you saw me!" Harry yelled.
"Saw you… doing… what? Where? What are you talking about Harry?" Tci asked. He looked as though he was on the verge of tears.
"You mean… you didn't send me a note saying you saw me… well, did you?!"
"No, of course not Harry!" said Tci. "I would never do anything like that!" Harry looked at Tci, and he couldn't help but trust him.
"Well then, what were you doing last night by Dumbledore's office?" asked Harry. Tci's sadness suddenly turned to an expression of seriousness.
"What? Oh, that! I was… going to see Dumbledore. See, at Durmstrang, we take a Curses class, and I had a few questions for him on whether or not I'd be continuing that.
But, I didn't know a password was necessary to enter so, I left soon afterwards." Harry stared at Tci for a second, but then he smiled at him.
"Alright Tci, I believe you," said Harry.
"But, Harry, what note did you get?" asked Tci curiously.
"Oh, uh, no… I was just joking about that. Just wanted to know what you were doing last night. Oh no, class is about to start, I gotta go Tci! See ya later!" yelled Harry as he ran back to the castle.
"Hey Harry! How did you know I was there? I didn't see you!" yelled Tci as Harry ran.
Harry pretended not to hear him.
As Harry headed to his next class, the note stayed in his mind. If Tci didn't write it, who did? Who else could have possible seen him? As he was spacing out and walking, he slammed right into someone.
"Oh! Sorry!" said Harry as papers, quills, books, and ink flew everywhere. He squatted down, and started scrambling to help pick everything up when he looked up, and saw who he had run into. Harry's face went dark red. He had bumped into Cho Chang, the girl whom Harry had a crush on ever since he'd first seen her. He had asked her to the dance last year, but she went with Cedric Diggory instead. Ever since then, he hadn't spoken to her much, except for now.
"Oh, Cho! I'm so sorry!" Harry was working twice as fast to pick up the stuff.
"Oh Harry, it's okay. I wasn't looking and-" she said before Harry cut her off.
"No no, I wasn't looking and-"
"Harry!" said Cho, slightly loud. "It's okay. Calm down!" She squatted down next to him, and started picking up stuff too.
"I'm sorry Cho," repeated Harry, feeling more embarrassed now than he had ever been before in his life. "It's all my fault!"
"No Harry," said Cho nicely, "it is my fault. I walked into you on purpose." She smiled, and Harry stopped picking up stuff for a minute.
"Well, Harry. Because…. I like you. Last year, I didn't want to ask you to the dance because… well… I thought you'd think I was just liking you because you were the school champion, not just because of who you are." She smiled again, and Harry's jaw dropped, and his heart skipped a beat. The final warning bell rang, but Harry didn't care.
This conversation was worth a thousand History of Magic classes.
"You mean… all this time… you… liked me?" asked Harry, still in disbelief.
"Yeah Harry, that's right," said Cho. She seemed to be looking a little nervous, like she didn't know what to say.
"Well, um uh, you want to… uh, do something sometime?" asked Harry.
"Sure!" said Cho excitedly. "How about tonight, after the Quidditch match? We can go to Hogsmeade and see a movie."
"Okay," said Harry as fast as he could without thinking, still in a state of disbelief.
"Great!" she said. She stood up, and waved her wand. All of her stuff on the floor magically sorted itself, and flew into her arms, "I'll see you then Harry! Oh, and congratulations of becoming a prefect!" Harry stared at her as she ran down the hallway, still in shock of what had occurred… Then he suddenly remembered that he was late for his History of Magic!
Harry ran there as fast as he could. It didn't take him long to get there, though, since he was already almost there, and there were no other people in the hallway. When he burst through the large doors to his class, everyone stared at him, including Professor Binns, their teacher. He looked absolutely crazed. His hair was flying all over the place, and he was zooming all over the room (he was a ghost after all). His hands were gripping his head, and when he saw Harry, he yelled.
"Harry Potter! What do you think you're doing! Never, in all of my years teaching, has a single student ever been late!" As he spoke, tiny flecks of ghostly saliva shot from his mouth all over Harry. "I hope you have a good reason for this young man!"
"Oh… um… yes… professor," stuttered Harry. His mind was racing, he had to think of an excuse that wouldn't mention Cho. "Well, you see, my dragon egg just hatched today… and… um… Hagrid needed to show me how to… uh… take good care of it."
Harry's lie was almost true, his egg did hatch today, and hopefully Professor Binns wouldn't ask Hagrid if he had asked him to stay later. Harry waited in silence for Professor Binn's response. It appeared as though he had bought the lie since his angriness faded, and he merely pointed at Harry's seat and said, "Sit."
Harry took his seat, and put his head down on his desk. History of Magic was by far his most boring subject, and it seemed to go on forever. As Professor Binns droned on and on about how the Ministry of Magic started, Harry felt sleep coming on. Suddenly, Ron put up his hand. Professor Binns looked shocked: apparently, not many students asked him questions. Harry sat up to witness this rare event.
"Yes, um, Mr. Weasley. What is it?" Professor Binns asked dully.
"Professor, " asked Ron, "I was wondering, could you tell us a little bit about the history of Azkaban?" Harry and Hermione's heads shot up from the table while the rest of the class' stayed down. They were all expecting just another boring speech.
"Well, uh, Mr. Weasley, you see… Azkaban was built in 1027AD. It was originally a place where Hogwarts students went for punishment and-" he was cut off by Hermione.
"But where is it located Professor?" she asked. Professor Binns looked on the verge of another death. Today, not only did a student arrive late, but he was asked two questions!
There must be something in the water… After he took a second to calm down, he floated behind his desk, reached up above it, and pulled down a large map.
It was a great map, thought Harry. If he had known about it, he would've asked Professor Binns if he could use it during every lesson. It was not a flat Muggle map, but it was a three dimensional map that showed the entire world. Each place was clearly labeled, and the water was flowing. Clouds were moving above the land, and Harry could even see some lights coming from some places that contained buildings.
Professor Binns took out a long pointing stick, and pointed to a location on the map Harry couldn't make out. The map, seeming to realize this, rotated, and zoomed in on the place Professor Binns was pointing. Harry saw that it was a map of England. Hogwarts was near the bottom, and at the top was a black dot with the writing 'Azkaban' next to it.
Harry saw many rivers, forests, and miles between the two.
When Harry just about had the map memorized, Professor Binns let his pointer off the map, and it zoomed out again. He floated to the front of his desk again, and the map went back up into some invisible container.
"I hope that answered your question Miss. Granger," said Professor Binns, sarcastically.
He started going on about the founding of the Ministry of Magic again, and Harry felt tired once again.
"Hopefully Ron or Hermione memorized the map," thought Harry as he fell asleep. He woke up minutes later to the loud ringing sound of the bell, and ran to meet Ron and Hermione.
"Do you remember the map?" asked Harry.
"No need to," said Hermione. She reached into her pocket, and pulled out a small camera.
"I got a picture of it. We'll need the map when we set off."
"Harry, why were you late?" asked Ron curiously. Harry went red, and told them how he had bumped into Cho. Hermione giggled throughout the whole thing. Ron just spoke at the end.
"Well, good luck with her Harry," said Ron. "She's a year older than you, so you'll need it,"
"Yeah, thanks," said Harry. Then, looking at his watch, remembered their Quidditch game tonight.
"Hey Ron, we have to get changed and get out to the field, our game is in an hour!" They said goodbye to Hermione, and ran back to their room while Hermione set out for the Quidditch field to get a good seat.
Harry and Ron raced back to the Gryffindor common room, and ran to their room. Where they changed into their Quidditch robes. Ron was incredibly nervous, just as Harry was before his first game.
"It's okay Ron," Harry reassured Ron. "I was nervous before my fist game, but remember, I won!"
"Yeah, yeah," responded Ron, "but at least you had a few days to practice beforehand."
He was right, though, thought Harry. They didn't even have one practice session with Ron as their Keeper, whereas they had many practice session when Harry was the new Seeker on the team.
"But Ron," said Harry, "you've been practicing all summer long." Ron finally pulled his Quidditch robes over his head, and grabbed his broom.
"Yeah Harry, you're right," said Ron. He started heading down the stairs from the room, and to the field. Harry followed him excitedly. This would be his first actual Quidditch game in over a year, and the first time he'd be playing as captain.
Before he knew it, he was down at one end of the field with Ron, Fred, George, Angelina, Alicia, and Katie. Fred and George were pacing back and forth, the girls were each biting their nails. Harry thought it was time for a little inspirational speech, like Oliver Wood used to do.
"Everyone!" said Harry loudly, to get their attention. The rest of the team looked at him and Harry started a speech, making it up as he went along, "All I've got to say is… we've got the best team in this whole school and… we're going to win! Really, there's nothing else to say, we are the best!"
They all clapped to this pathetic speech, and heard the announcement for the teams to come out. As the walked out, they saw the Hufflepuff team; they were clad in canary-yellow robes, and looking very nervous. Last year, they lost their captain (Cedric Diggory) and without him, they were significantly hurt.
Harry walked to the center of the field to shake hands with their new captain. When he saw who it was, he smiled. It was Justin Finch-Fletchley. He was a boy who was an acquaintance of Harry's, never really his friend. They shook hands.
"How'd you become captain Justin? I mean, you weren't even on the team."
"Well, I tried out for the team this year, and since no one else stepped up to the position as captain, I volunteered, and everyone said okay!" He looked very excited as he mounted his broom, a Cleansweep Eight. It was the Cleansweep company's latest attempt to make a better broom than the Firebolt. However, it was a vain attempt, as Harry's Firebolt was far superior.
"Teams! Mount your brooms!" Lee Jordan's voice boomed over the entire field. He was the announcer for the game. Harry swung his leg over his broom, and he saw Justin and the rest of the Hufflepuff team do the same.
"On my mark! One… two…" Madame Hooch (the Quidditch teacher) let the Bludger and the Snitch out of the box.
"Three! Go!" Madame Hooch threw the Quaffle in the air and Katie immediately dived up for it. It was in her arms within a second. Harry zoomed out of the way to let the Chasers do their work and started circling the field, looking for the Snitch. As most of the game was heading for the Hufflepuff goals, Harry flew over to Ron who was flying from the right-most goal to the left one.
"How are you doing, Ron?" yelled Harry.
"Oh, I'm-" Harry never got to hear his response though. Lee Jordan's voice rang through the field.
"Gryffindor scores! Ten to zero!" The stadium erupted in cheers from every house except Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Harry did, however, see Tci stand up and clap.
"Gotta go Ron! Good luck!" Harry shot off, looking for the Snitch. He saw Justin doing the same, he must also be the Hufflepuff Seeker. Deciding to take advantage of this, Harry flew over to Fred.
"Hey Fred!" yelled Harry.
"What is it Harry?" asked Fred, he was scanning the field for a Bludger to whack at the Hufflepuffs.
"When I put my hand in the air, hit a Bludger towards me!" Fred, though looking confused, said okay. Harry soared over to the opposite end of the field that Justin was on.
Pretending he saw the golden Snitch, he flew toward the ground, and put his hand in the air, giving the signal to Fred. Justin, seeing Harry go into the sudden dive, flew towards the same spot as him, hoping to get the Snitch. Harry just hoped Fred had hit the Bludger over to them.
Justin and Harry flew faster toward each other, everything around Harry was a blur.
Then, when as he was a few feet away from colliding with Justin, Harry suddenly veered up. Justin stopped suddenly, and looked up to see where Harry was going. As he was hovering there, a Bludger flying at top speed collided with Justin, knocking him out, and causing him to fall to the ground.
Fred flew up to Harry, and gave him a high five.
"Great idea Harry! Now their Seeker is out of the game!" yelled Fred excitedly.
Sure enough, Lee Jordan came over the speaker:
"Oh no! The Hufflepuff Seeker has been knocked out of the game!" The cheers from Ravenclaw and Gryffindor were deafening. Gryffindor had pretty much won the game already since Hufflepuff would be unable to get the Snitch. This didn't mean, however, that Hufflepuffs couldn't score a lot of points in the process.
The Hufflepuff Chasers seemed to be thinking along the same lines. One of their Chasers quickly stole the Quaffle from Angelina, and was soaring to the Gryffindor goals. Just as that Chaser flew passed Harry, he saw a glint of gold over by the Gryffindor goal. Harry shot over there, beating the Hufflepuff Chaser by a mile. He zipped all over the place, chasing the shimmer of gold. It was centered around the three goals, going in circles. But, no matter how Harry flew, it seemed to be just a little bit ahead of him. What was going on with it? However, it was moving in a predictable pattern. Harry had another idea on how to get it.
The Hufflepuff Chaser was getting ready to shoot.
"Ron!" yelled Harry. "Hit the Quaffle toward me!" Ron nodded, not looking at Harry, concentrating on the Hufflepuff Chaser. The Chaser threw the Quaffle at the goal, but Ron was too quick for him. He spun around, whacking the Quaffle at Harry…
He ducked at the last second, and the Quaffle went behind him, hitting the Snitch. The Snitch bounced off at a angle right into Harry's waiting open palm. He wrapped his fingers around the Snitch, and listened as the stands explode in applause.
"Gryffindor wins! One-hundred-sixty to zero!" Lee Jordan's voice rang out across the entire stadium, though it was barely hearable due to the applause.
Harry landed on the ground, Snitch still in hand, and the rest of the Gryffindor team came over, and lifted him into the air.
"That's the best victory we've ever had!" said Angelina.
"Not to mention one of the quickest!" said Alicia.
"Nice work, deflecting the Snitch right to you Harry!" said Fred.
It was one of the happiest days of Harry's life, and it made him forget all about the crazy Snitch. He had won his first game as captain, and he had slaughtered the other team. As he was basking in his glory, Harry looked over at the Hufflepuff team, slowly walking back to their end of the field. Just as Gryffindor had their greatest and quickest victory, Hufflepuff had their worst and fastest loss.
As Harry watched them walked solemnly and slowly off the field, sad thoughts came to his mind: Sirius and Lupin were in jail, and he, Ron, and Hermione would have to rescue them. What if they failed? What if they were forced to stay in Azkaban? Then Harry tried to set his mind on happier things: He'd be with his mom soon, and he'd never have to be with the Dursleys ever again… even though he wouldn't mind staying with just Dudley.
And best of all, he'll be going out with Cho later…
That's right, Harry thought. He had to get ready to go to Hogsmeade with Cho! He jumped off the hands of his teammates, and ran over to Ron and Hermione who were down on the field.
"Great job there Harry," said Ron.
"Yeah, thanks," said Harry, panting. "I have to get ready to go to Hogsmeade."
"Alright," said Ron. He and Harry walked back up to the Gryffindor common room and up to their room. Harry changed into his dress robe, an emerald green version of his school robes.
"Now Harry, don't stay out too late and be careful!" said Ron sarcastically.
"Ha ha," said Harry weakly.
"But seriously, just be careful Harry," said Ron, putting his hand on Harry's shoulder.
"You're my best friend, and… there's just something about Cho that-". Harry cut him off.
"Don't worry Ron! I'll be fine!" said Harry, looking at himself in the mirror. Once he was satisfied with how he looked, he walked out of his room with Ron saying good-bye, and then back to the common room, trying to avoid as many fans of his victory as possible. Harry, however, was no match for the Creevey brothers. Colin and Dennis ran up to him, and didn't stop congratulating Harry until he walked out the door. Apparently, they had gotten back their obsessive liking of him.
As he left the room, and started on his way down the stairs, to the Great Hall, a thought came to him: he didn't know where the Ravenclaw common room was. Harry started to panic, what if Cho thought he didn't come because he didn't like her? Just as he was starting to really worry, he heard footsteps coming down the hallway. Harry walked over to see who it was, and to his relief, it was Cho.
She was looking especially pretty tonight, dressed in a shorter silver robe that went up to a little above her knees. Her hair seemed longer, and it was a darker blonde than it usually was. Harry felt almost ugly next to her, he hadn't bothered to change anything except his robes. Now that he was thinking about it, he should've at least combed his hair a little more. Cho, however, looked indifferent to Harry's appearance. She smiled and walked over to him.
"Hello Harry!" she said, smiling. "Shall we?" she extended her arm to Harry, and he took it. They started walking toward the door out of the castle when Harry had another thought: how were they going to get to Hogsmeade? Just as before when Harry was worried about how he was going to meet Cho, he felt panicked again.
As they got closer and closer to the door, Harry's fear rose. Did she expect him to have something ready? Were they going to walk? They arrived at the door, and Cho pushed it open. Just as before, an enormous feeling of relief came over Harry.
There was a giant broom outside. It was at least fifteen feet long, and definitely not for playing Quidditch. At the tip, there was a small wizard dressed in a blue suit, with a square blue hat on his head. He waved a white gloved hand at Harry and Cho, and she led Harry onto the broom. He sat behind the blue-clad wizard, and Cho sat behind Harry, her hands on his waist.
"Where to kids?" asked the driving wizard. He had a friendly voice, and it made Harry feel less nervous and more confident.
"Hogsmeade," said Harry. They shot up in the air, and Cho squeezed his sides. They flew through the air at a fast speed, and Harry saw that they were definitely not taking the shortest route. He had been to Hogsmeade many times before, and they were not following the quick way that the Hogwarts students followed. This was probably just a technique to extend the pleasure of the evening, thought Harry.
Even though they didn't take the shortest path, it didn't seem like a long time before they did arrive at Hogsmeade. They landed, and after Harry and Cho got off, the long broom shot off again, just as fast as when Harry and Cho first got on it.
"Let's go in Harry," said Cho, still smiling. Harry spun around, still looking at the sky for the broom, and saw the theater. Harry's first thought was: this was no Muggle theater. It was at least half a mile long, and half a mile high. It was covered in flashing lights of every color, and searchlights came out from everywhere on the top. As Harry looked around even more, he saw that he and Cho were by far not the only people there. There were people of every age around the entrance of the theater. Harry recognized a few students that were there, and there were some wizard and witch couples there that looked like they were just as old as Dumbledore.
Cho pulled Harry in the direction of what appeared to be the door to get in. It didn't look like a door at all though, it looked like a pool of water that had somehow been turned sideways, and attached to the side of the building. Harry walked closer to it, gaping while Cho pulled him slightly towards it. Cho stopped when she got in front of the 'door'.
"Two tickets for um… what do you want to see Harry?" asked Cho nicely. Harry looked around the door, and saw magical posters for each of the movies. Harry knew which on he'd like to see: Blood Quidditch VII, the Devil's Broom. It looked like a very exciting version of Harry's favorite sport. However, remembering that he was here with Cho, looked at the other posters and decided on something else.
"Um… how about… Eternal Adoration," he said. Cho smiled at him.
"Two for Eternal Adoration please," she said to the door. It turned from a blue color to a red.
"That will be one galleon and ten sickles please," said the door. As it spoke, it rippled, a cool little effect. Cho reached inside her pocket. Harry, who had anticipated something like this, spoke,
"No, Cho, no," said Harry, grabbing a hold of her hand, and taking it out of her pocket.
"I've got it covered." Harry took out two galleons from his pants pocket, and as soon as he took them out, a piece of the door extended like an arm, and took them out of his hand.
The arm flowed back into the main door, and the galleons disappeared. Seven sickles then appeared inside the door, and it extended back out with the sickles in hand. Harry put them in his pocket.
"Thank you, you may enter now," said the door. It turned form red to a yellow, and Cho stepped through. When she appeared unhurt, Harry did the same. As he was walking through, it felt like he was moving through some sort of hard water. It was a nice tickling feeling, and Harry had to control himself from laughing.
When he appeared on the other side, Cho took his hand and started leading him to a door.
Even though the outside was not like a Muggle theater at all, the inside was exactly like one. It wasn't very bright inside, and there were a few concession stands. There were even bathrooms. There were also massive doors everywhere, with labels above them for the movies that were inside. Harry and Cho walked over to the door for their movie, and Harry opened the door for Cho, letting her through. They stepped through into what, thought Harry, looked exactly like a Muggle theater. There were seats all over the room that got higher every row, and there was a massive screen in front of them all.
Most of the theater was already filled up with other couples, so Harry and Cho walked over to a row that was close to the back. The second Harry sat down, a neat thing happened: a small cup of soda appeared on his right arm rest. Harry looked over, and saw that the same had happened to Cho.
Just as he was about to ask her how that happened, the lights inside the theater dimmed, and the screen lit up. Harry leaned over, to ask Cho if she'd heard anything about this movie. Then, just when his face was next to hers, an even more unexpected thing happened than the food and drinks coming up from the chair.
Cho kissed him.
If Harry thought the feeling of winning the Quidditch game was great, it was nothing compared to this. She hadn't given him a little peck on the cheek, she got him right on the lips. Harry's eyes became wide, and he saw Cho with her eyes closed. Harry's first instinct was to run away, but as he was sitting there, he started to get over the initial shock of it. As Cho continued, Harry's heart beat faster and faster, and he was feeling warm inside. Then, Harry felt Cho slowly drawing back, and she sat back in her chair.
"You okay Harry?" she asked. He just realized that he still had his face out, and eyes closed. Harry quickly opened his eyes, and sat back in his chair.
"Oh, yeah. I'm good," said Harry. He had never experienced such a wonderful feeling before in his life. It was as if someone had used the complete polar opposite of the Cruciatus Curse on him: a spell that spread pleasure throughout your entire body.
Harry tried to look cool about it, and reached for his soda, when he felt Cho's hand on his arm. He looked over at her, and she was smiling. Harry leaned forward, and they kissed again, exactly as before, only longer this time.
"I really like you Harry," she said when they had stopped. Was she serious? This seemed to good to be true, thought Harry. But, was she just looking for another boyfriend since Cedric died? Harry suddenly felt angry at himself, for thinking such a thing.
Cho and Harry just sat there, watching the movie for the next few minutes. Harry pretended to be enjoying it, though he couldn't even pretend to like it as much as Cho.
She was constantly weeping, and crying over the film. Harry looked forward to these crying moments, though. When they were both sitting there, silent, the tension was unbearable. Should he act on her, or should he wait for her? These thoughts raced through Harry's mind during these periods of intense quietness.
Then, just when Cho stopped another one of her cryings, Harry couldn't take it any longer. He put his hand on her cheek, and he pulled her face over to his. Amazed by his bravery, Harry smiled. Cho took this smiling as a sign, and the put her face out as well.
They both leaned their heads closer together, and embraced in a kiss. This one, however, seemed to last forever. Harry's head was spinning the entire time, he was in a state of bliss.
What seemed like an eternity later, Harry and Cho receded their heads, and sat back.
When Harry looked up at the screen, he saw that the credits were rolling, and almost everyone else in the theater had left, except for a few others that were currently engaged in what he and Cho had just finished doing, and were oblivious to everything. Harry and Cho sat up, and walked out hand in hand.
When they stepped out of the theater, it was pitch black, except for the extremely bright lights all over. The same wizard was waiting outside for them, on the same broom.
"Aw, what a cute couple," he said as Harry helped Cho onto the broom, though she needed none. Once Harry and Cho was secured, the broom took of again, soaring through the sky. "I hope you had a fun night."
"You have no idea," said Harry, feeling the breeze running through his hair, and Cho's hands on his waist. He took in a deep breath, wishing this night would never end. That he and Cho could just ride the broom for the rest of their lives. Despite this wish, however, the broom arrived back at Hogwarts, quicker than the trip there. Harry and Cho stepped off the broom, and Harry tipped the driving wizard a galleon. The wizard tipped his hat, and smiled to them, "Good night kids!" he said as he flew away.
Harry and Cho walked up the stairs to the main entrance and then through the giant doors. Once they got to the main staircase that separated into many others, Harry and Cho stopped in their tracks. They turned around and faced each other, and Harry took Cho's other hand, now holding onto both.
"Thanks Cho," said Harry. "I had a great time."
"No, thank you Harry," said Cho. "You know, all summer, I was grieving over Cedric. But, finally, I told myself that he was gone, and crying and mourning over him would not bring him back. So, I decided it was time to move on." She smiled at Harry as he stood there. "You know Harry, I've always liked you, and well, I guess… well… thanks for tonight Harry. I really needed to get out." She bent over slightly, and gave Harry a kiss.
She let go of his arms, and then ran off to the Ravenclaw common room.
"See you later Harry! Let's do this again sometime!" she said as she ran. Harry just stood there for a few seconds, motionless. Then, he jumped up in the air.
"Yahoo!" he yelled as loud as he could, he didn't care if anyone heard him. All he cared about was that he was with Cho, the girl he always wished he was with.
"There's only one thing to do at a time like this," said Harry, tipping an imaginary hat, and taking out an imaginary cane. "Strut!"
Harry strutted all the way up to the Gryffindor room. He stepped in the large crack in the staircase that he usually avoided, but he didn't care. He kept going, pulling at his leg, bringing up a small piece of the stair with his leg, widening the hole slightly.
"Well, well, well!" said the Fat Lady as she saw Harry walk up to her, looking very happy. "Where have you been?"
"Oh… just to the theater…" said Harry, slightly oblivious to everything around him.
"Password." The Fat Lady swung the door open, slightly disappointed that she didn't get any more out of him. Harry walked in, and the majority of the Gryffindors were still up:
Aylar was performing some new trick which attracted some attention, Fred and George were showing off their latest invention (Harry didn't bother to see what it was) and Ron and Hermione who were talking together with each other at a table, away from everyone else. Harry ran up to them.
"Hey guys! Wait until I tell you-" Harry was cut off.
"Keep it down Harry!" said Hermione. "Do you want everyone knowing what we're doing?" She turned back to a colorful piece of paper on the table.
"Well, that depends, what are you doing?" asked Harry curiously.
"Trying to find the best route to Azkaban!" said Ron.
"Oh! That!" said Harry. During the past few hours, everything about Sirius and Lupin and Azkaban melted away from his brain. "Yeah, how's that coming?"
Ron glared at Harry.
"Very well thank you," he said. Harry sat down next to them, and looked at the map. It was the photo Hermione took. There were marks all over it. Apparently, Ron and Hermione had been arguing over the best route there.
"This is not going to be an easy trip," said Hermione, putting her hand to her forehead.
"Even the shortest and easiest route contains more obstacles than inside the Forbidden Forest!" She sighed, and buried her head into her folded arms. Just then, Ron's face lit up.
"I've got it!" he said. "Hermione! That's it, the Forbidden Forest! I know how we can make a distraction that will get rid of everyone!"
"How?" asked Harry and Hermione together, each looking very surprised that Ron came up with an answer before them.
"We'll use one of the creatures in the forest, Aragog!" said Ron, putting his hand’s in the air. Hermione had an expression of confusion, but Harry looked excited.
"Just one look at him in the Great Hall, and we'll have the entire school running all the way to Mexico!" said Harry excitedly.
"Who is… Aragog?" asked Hermione. She hadn't been with Ron and Harry during their second year at Hogwarts, when they went into the Forbidden Forest, she was too busy being petrified. There, they encountered a giant spider named Aragog, who wanted to eat Harry and Ron.
"Yeah, okay. One more question… how exactly are we going to get it out of the forest, much less into the school?" Hermione asked. Harry and Ron looked at each other, puzzled. Sure, Aragog was the perfect beast for the job, but how would they get him in?
Harry yawned over the thought.
"Hey Ron, what time is it?"
December 15th, 2003, 12:02 am
"Um… eleven thirty," said Ron, looking at his watch. Just then, an idea came to Harry's mind. He knew how to get Aragog into the school!
"Ron, spiders are afraid of basilisks, right?" asked Harry slowly.
"Yeah… so? It's not like we have a pet basilisk anywhere though."
"No, but we do have something else!" said Harry as he left a confused Ron and Hermione at the table, and ran back to his room. He grabbed the watched that Dudley had given him and ran back downstairs. Held up his watch for Hermione and Ron to see. His watch was in the shape of a basilisk, the thing that all spiders feared the most.
"All we got to do is put an Engorgio Charm on this watch's face, and then chase them right into the Great Hall!" Hermione and Ron looked at him.
"Harry, so many things could go wrong-" Hermione was cut off by Harry:
"So!? This is just a small part of the even more impossible trip Hermione! If you can't stand up to a spider, how are you going to fare against an army of dementors, sucking the happiness out of you?"
Hermione nodded. This was the only way. Aragog was the closest monster, and this was the only way to bring him in.
"So it's settled then," said Harry. "Before the Halloween Feast, we'll all meet outside the Forbidden Forest, and chase the giant spider inside the castle." Ron and Hermione nodded in approval. "Now, show me the best route to get to Azkaban." Ron and Hermione shook their heads.
"Not until you tell us how it went tonight," said Ron, with a smile on his face. Harry put his hands in his pockets, licked his lips, and told them about his date with Cho, with Ron and Hermione's mouth gaping open the entire time.
Chapter 12- Transformation Training
The next day, Harry was anxious to get on with their plan. Even through Halloween was still a few weeks away, Harry couldn't help but think about it, while having the same thing continually cross his mind: how are they going to get in Azkaban? Harry assumed that they wouldn't just be able to walk in, go to Sirius and Lupin's cell, and let them go.
They had to think of a way to do it. Harry proposed this question to Ron and Hermione during Transfiguration,
"So how do you reckon we can do it?" he asked them. Hermione stroked her chin thoughtfully, while Ron just stared at him, as though expecting Harry to give him the answer.
"Well… we could… but… no. It'd take to long and…" said Hermione, inspiring interest in Harry and Ron.
"What's your idea Hermione?" asked Ron. She sighed, looking as though she wished she hadn't said anything.
"Well," said Hermione, "we could follow in your dad's footsteps Harry." Harry's face lit up.
"Of course!" said Harry excitedly. "We can become Animagi!" His father, Lupin, Sirius, and Peter Pettigrew had each become Animagi during their years at Hogwarts. They were each able to transform into an animal.
"Yes, but Harry, it takes many months, even years to become one! It took your dad almost his entire time at Hogwarts to become one!" said Hermione, trying to take Harry off the idea.
"Well, they didn't have proper teachers, or help to do it. All they had was each other and books to learn it," said Harry.
"So what are you saying?" asked Ron. "We enlist the help of a teacher?"
"Yes Ron, that is what I'm saying," said Harry. He looked at Hermione, who now looked excited.
"That's it! Of course! If we get proper help, we could probably become Animagi quickly. We may even have it down in five or six months-" she was cut off by Harry.
"Five or six month! But we have to do this in-" Harry suddenly realized that the entire class was looking at him. He wasn't exactly surprised though, if someone else had been going on as loud as he was, he'd be looking at them.
"Do you have something to share with the rest of us Mr. Potter?" asked Professor McGonagall who was busy transfiguring a fish into a turtle.
"Um… no professor," said Harry. Professor McGonagall looked at him suspiciously for a second, then retuned to her work, and Harry returned to talking with Ron and Hermione.
"But Hermione, we need something that will get us into Azkaban," said Harry, much softer than before.
"Well, we'll just need another plan for that," she said, listening more to Professor McGonagall, and taking many notes. Ron, however, was looking slightly disappointed.
"Too bad, for a second there, I thought I might learn to do something that only I, not any of my other brothers, could do." Harry and Hermione looked at him sympathetically.
"Well, even if we can't use it to get into Azkaban, it would still be an invaluable technique to have, especially when we're all Aurors," said Harry. Ron's face brightened up, and Hermione looked at him.
"You do realize that this will take months, maybe even years of work and practice, and we've got tests coming up soon and-"
"No it won't Hermione," said Harry. "Not with McGonagall teaching us!" All three of them looked up at Professor McGonagall in a new light.
"Well, it might be nice to know more about it, it could help me on the O.W.L.s," said Hermione, trying to hide the fact that she really wanted to do this.
The rest of the class went by slowly, and Harry's anxiousness to get started was getting higher. By the time the bell actually rang, Harry was gripping the front of his desk, with his eyes bulging out.
"Ah, finally!" said Ron, he had been waiting too. When the rest of the class had left, Harry, Ron, and Hermione headed up to Professor McGonagall who was busy grading some papers.
"Um, professor…" stuttered Harry. He hadn't thought about how he was going to start this conversation.
"Yes Mr. Potter?" asked Professor McGonagall. She peered up at him through her halfcircle glasses that were on the tip of her nose.
"Well, we… that is… me, Ron, and Hermione have been wondering if… well you could train us to… well…"
"Become Animagi, Mr. Potter?" she asked, not looking at him, but putting grades on papers. Harry's jaw dropped, how had she known that? Could she read minds? Harry had suspected for a while that many of the teachers here were able to do that, but he'd never suspected Professor McGonagall… until now.
"Yes, that's it. How did you know?" he asked, feeling relieved that he wouldn't be the one to bring it up. She took her glasses of, set them on the table, and then rubbed her eyes.
"I expected that you'd be paying more attention to your godfather's trial Harry," she said. "to defend himself, he admitted to being and Animagus, and Lupin backed him up saying that he, Peter, and James had each become one." She put her glasses back on. "I knew, eventually, that you'd be coming to ask me. The urge to be an Animagus has been passed down to you from your father, who got it form his father, who got it from his."
"You mean, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather have all been Animagi?" asked Harry, dumbfounded that he never knew this. However, he had never known anything about any of his family past his mother and father, except for those currently in the Order of the Phoenix.
"Yes Harry," said Professor McGonagall, she put her glasses back on, "It was only a matter of time before the urge overcame you. As for you two though (she pointed to Ron and Hermione) I did not expect you at all. I am assuming that you are following Mr. Potter?"
"Yes, I thought it could help me for the O.W.L.s," said Hermione.
"And I thought it'd be great to be able to do something my brothers, or my sister, couldn't," said Ron.
Professor McGonagall, however, looked furious at them.
"Becoming an Animagus is not something to be taken lightly you two!" she scolded Ron and Hermione. "It should not be utilized to help you pass a test, or to show off! It is magic at its finest, its most difficult! It is not to be taken lightly at all!" she glared at them both, Hermione looked shocked, she was rarely ever talked to harshly, much less scolded, by a teacher. Ron, however, was used to this sort of thing, and looked unaffected.
"Well, professor, I think it would help me a lot to have some others work on this project along with me," said Harry, trying to save Ron and Hermione.
McGonagall appeared to have accepted that.
"Yes, I suppose it would help you, Potter. Having two others to help you along would be very valuable. Yes, that is a good idea," she said to all three of them. "Meet me here at seven tonight, we will begin your training. It will be long and vigorous work, and if any of you want to drop out of it, I will not be surprised. Many wizards, while extremely wise in one or more other areas, are unable to become Animagi."
"We know professor, but we won't give up," said Harry.
Professor McGonagall looked pleased "Alright then, don't be late! Now go, I've got another class coming in!" she shooed them off as her new class filed their way inside. Harry saw that they were the Slytherins.
Hoping to leave before Malfoy came in, Harry sprinted out the door. Unfortunately, he crashed into someone.
"Watch it Potter! You're like a brick… only the brick has more brains," said Malfoy after Harry bumped into him.
"Move it Malfoy," said Harry disdainfully.
"What are you doing, staying late Potter? Catching up on some work? Begging McGonagall to give you a better grade?"
"Sorry Malfoy, already got good grades. I didn't get this prefect badge by buying one with money from my rich father," said Harry as he slid past Malfoy, and to his next class.
Harry walked triumphantly to Defense Against the Dark Arts with Ron and Hermione, each looking forward to their Animagus lessons. The class started going by quickly, with everyone finishing up perfecting their shield spells. By the middle of class, Harry could produce a shield that deflected all the hexes that Mrs. Figg tested on them. Once each of them had been tested and passed, she made an announcement.
"Everyone, I have an announcement about… your learning schedule." All the students in the class looked at her with interest. "I know that we're supposed to be moving on to more advanced shields now, but Dumbledore had just informed me that he wants to go a bit more… ahead." Now everyone in the class was gazing right at Mrs. Figg, wondering what they were going to do next.
"How many of you have ever felt extreme pain?" she asked the class. Everyone started at her confusedly, but a few people put their hands in the air, in fact, almost everyone did, including Harry. He had his bones grown overnight, had his scar burn, and been hit by the Cruciatus Curse twice.
"Now, among you that have your hand up, how many have felt pain so extreme that you wanted it to all just end, just to die?" Everyone was looking at her very seriously now, and everyone that had their hand up, put it down… except for Harry. Mrs. Figg looked at him.
"Mr. Potter, you are the only one in this class… this entire school perhaps who can answer this question. What was it like to have the Cruciatus Curse put on you?" Now all the eyes shifted to Harry. He was feeling very nervous. He had tried to block those memories out of his mind and now that they were flooding back, Harry felt like he was being put through the curse all over again.
"Well, it felt like… felt like… I guess it's like when you break a leg, only breaking every part of your body at once," Harry stopped there, thinking he was done, but, he felt as though this didn't show how bad the curse was, so he continued. "And then having hot pokers put all over you, and being jabbed with spears, and then being slit open with a dagger and having your intestines fall out, and then having them tied to a pole, and that… that's only the beginning…" Harry now stopped, with everyone gawking at him, including Hermione and Ron. He had never told them how bad the curse really was. Even Mrs. Figg was looking at him in surprise, "Well, Harry. What I am trying to get at is, wouldn't you have liked to be able to shut off the flow of pain to your head?" Harry started at her, this question had a very obvious answer.
"Well, yeah," said Harry.
"Of course you would! It would have helped you greatly!" Mrs. Figg slammed her fist on the desk loudly. "Come on Harry, you can give me more of an answer than 'yeah'. To be able to turn off the pain would've been a godsend." Harry could only nod in response, it was only too true.
"And that's what I'm going to teach you all to do," said Mrs. Figg. Each student was looking at her appreciatively, as though they never wanted to go through what Harry had.
"Under the certain current… circumstances… Dumbledore has thought it important to start teaching you all how to do this. It will require much patience and skill, it takes as much intelligence to do this as it does to become an Animagus…" she said and looked at Harry. Did she know Harry was trying to become one? Well, Harry didn't care. He knew what these 'circumstances' were… Voldemort rising. Harry would be more than happy to learn this skill.
"We will start today, and hopefully, by the end of the term, you will all be able to voluntarily shut off pain," Mrs. Figg said to the class. Each looked more ready than ever to begin. "To start off, I want each of you to come up, and get a PainBall. We will start with these first then move on to… more advanced techniques." Harry looked around the class, Neville was whiter than a ghost, he must have been very afraid. Suddenly, he put up his hand.
"Yes Mr. Longbottom?" asked Mrs. Figg.
"Um… you're not going to… put the Cruciatus Curse on us… are you?" he looked absolutely terrified. Harry knew that both of Neville's parent's were tortured with the Cruciatus Curse, and were now in an insane asylum because it had messed up their brains so much. Mrs. Figg looked at him sympathetically, she, along with almost the rest of the wizarding world.
"No Neville, of course not. That curse is illegal to use on humans, and I don't feel like spending the rest of my life in Azkaban." Neville looked slightly relieved, though his face was still white. "Anyway, I want you all to come up and get a PainBall. It will give you a little stinging shock that you will eventually learn to not feel. Come on, come up!"
The class started to come up slowly, and reached into the a box that contained the PainBalls.
Harry was the first in line, and looked in the box. It was filled with about twenty small transparent spheres. Each sphere had a dark cloud in the center that was constantly growing and shrinking. Harry bravely put his hand in, and gripped one of the balls. The second he touched it, he felt as though he was stung by a bee in his hand. He quickly receded his hand from the box, wobbling it vigorously, trying to shake the pain off.
"Ow!" was all that Harry could say. Mrs. Figg glared at him.
"Harry! If you could endure the Cruciatus Curse, how come you think this small little PainBall is so bad?"
"Well, it's just that… I guess I didn't think that-"
"Exactly!" said Mrs. Figg. "You didn't think! I will teach you all how to think, how to control your mind, and shut off pain! Harry, this time, when you reach in, and grasp a PainBall, try to concentrate on something else besides the pain."
Harry nodded, somewhat understanding. He reached in again, and just when his hand was about to grasp the ball, he thought of his Quidditch victory against Hufflepuff. How happy everyone was, how happy he was. Then he thought of his date with Cho, and the complete bliss that flowed through his body the entire time he was there. Harry smiled…
"Harry! You did it, excellent job!" said Mrs. Figg. Harry suddenly came out of his catatonic phase, and looked at his hand. He was holding the PainBall, and he didn't even feel it. However, just as he thought that he was feeling nothing, a sudden stinging pain was sent through his arm.
"Arg!" yelled Harry as he dropped the ball, and rubbed his arm.
"Very good Harry, very good for your first time. I will soon teach you how to transform those happy thoughts into a pain shield that will slow all around and through you. You will be able to stop any and all pain, even when realizing you are being hurt… Now, I want the rest of you coming up and trying to do like Harry."
The rest of the class came up to the box, and took a PainBall. Some of them dropped it immediately, like Harry did at first. Ron and Hermione, however, held theirs for a while.
Harry wondered what happy memories they were focusing on.
When class ended, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were able to prevent pain for little less than a minute, and the rest of the class could prevent from dropping the ball for a few seconds.
The bell rang, and their school day was over. Harry, Ron, and Hermione's learning, however, was only just beginning. After doing their homework in the Gryffindor common room, and just playing around for a few hours, they all walked down to Professor McGonagall's office, ready for their first Animagus lesson.
As they walked in, they saw Professor McGonagall. They also saw something, or rather someone, that they did not expect to see there. Harry, Ron, and Hermione's jaws dropped all the way to the floor.
It was Draco Malfoy.
"Hello Potter. So, what kind of animal are you going to be, a bunny? A piglet?" He smiled at all three of them as they walked in, and stood next to Professor McGonagall who appeared to be busy at the moment. Harry took this opportunity to interrogate Malfoy.
"What are you doing here!?" whispered Harry, venomously. Malfoy curled a smile.
"Well, I asked McGonagall what you were doing, staying after class. She said nothing, but then I snuck a peek at her schedule, and saw here write: 'Animagus Lessons: Potter, Weasley, Granger.' So, I asked her what those were about, and asked if I could take the class as well. She looked positively terrified that I knew about the lessons, and just said, 'Okay, meet me here at seven.' So, here I am!" Harry and Malfoy glared at each other.
"I know you're just doing this so that you can try and be better than me Malfoy," said Harry.
"I know you just wanted to becomes an Animagus to one up me, Potter," responded Malfoy. By now, Professor McGonagall had finished her work, and stood up. She looked up at the four of them (more or less glared at Malfoy), and spoke.
"Tonight, we will begin your training as Animagi. This will be very tough training, some wizards think it is not worth the trouble of learning. However, I hope you all will stay with it as it will benefit you in the end, by far worth all the trouble.
"The most difficult part of Animagus transformation is the fact that you cannot use a wand. A wand does not enhance your magic power, however, as is commonly thought. It centralizes your magic. It takes the magical power that is spread throughout your body and puts it all into one area, letting you do more complex magic.
"To do a transformation, you must concentrate on each magical cell in your body individually, and force that one small area to transform, part by part. Your first few transformation will be very… err… choppy. But, eventually, you'll be able to centralize your magical cells yourself, instead of piece by piece, and transform smoothly, though this may take months… even years to master…. Are there any questions before we begin?" asked Professor McGonagall. Malfoy, surprisingly, raised his hand.
"Yes Mr. Malfoy?"
"Why can't one use a wand when performing an Animagus transformation?" he asked.
Professor McGonagall started at him in surprise.
"Well, I thought that would be obvious Mr. Malfoy. Using a wand to perform an Animagus transformation totally defeats the purpose of transforming in this manner. Being an Animagus will help you when you have no wand, or are otherwise handicapped. Now then, are all of you ready to begin?"
The four of them nodded.
"All right then," began Professor McGonagall, "to start, have any of you ever changed parts of your body without the use of a wand?" Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy each raised their hand.
"Mr. Potter? What have you done?" Harry remembered, from his childhood, that whenever the Dursleys gave him a haircut, they could cut off as much as they wanted but, no matter what, the next day, he would have a bushy head of hair again.
"Well… when I was little, I made my hair grow back when my Aunt and uncle cut it." said Harry. Professor McGonagall nodded in approval.
"And you, Mr. Weasley?"
"Well… once, my brother, George, hid my favorite teddy be- err… toy… on the highest shelf in our room. I could almost reach it, but I was just a few inches away. So my hand it… just grew a little I guess. George was freaked out afterwards." Professor McGonagall, once again, nodded with approval, as if testing them to see if they were worthy.
"Now what about you Miss. Granger?" Hermione blushed a little before she spoke:
"Um… this Summer, while I was at Viktor Krum's mansion, we were both on his couch and he leaned over to- well…. I leaned over to him and all of a sudden my teeth, they grew larger and larger, at least three times their usual size. I eventually did get them back to normal… after a while." Professor McGonagall once again nodded, though not as much as before. She made up her lack of blushing, however, with a small smile.
"What about you Mr. Malfoy?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Well, I haven't ever actually done anything on accident, Professor, but I can do this," Malfoy put out his hand, stretching his fingers. He closed his eyes, and at first, Harry thought he was imagining it, but Malfoy's fingernails started to grow. At first it was slow, but then there was a recognizable difference, especially when mayfly's fingernails were three inches long.
Then, just when Harry thought they couldn't get any longer, Malfoy's fingernails shrank back to their original size. He put his hand back down by his side, and then opened his eyes, looking especially proud. Harry knew Malfoy had been practicing earlier, he obviously didn't want to tell the three of them any embarrassing childhood stories about him transforming himself, he wanted to be a step ahead, and be able to do it then and there.
"Excellent work Mr. Malfoy," said Professor McGonagall, looking quite shocked. "I have never seen a student so young be able to perform such an expert transformation so quickly. I think we can expect excellent things from you… maybe even our first Polymagus…"
"What's a Polymagus?" Harry whispered to Hermione. She was looking pale, and even a little scared.
"What? Oh! A Polymagus… that's a wizard that can transform into many different animals, or one combination of many different animals, not just one like an Animagus," she whispered angrily back to Harry, whose mind was perplexed.
"I can't believe he'd be able to do something that I can't!" How could Malfoy be able to do something so difficult? He had never shown any particular talent in any area, much less transfiguration.
"Now, onto practice! Mr. Malfoy has already taken this step, but on a different part of the body than I usually start with. I prefer to start with your fingers. For the next few days, we will try and perfect growing and shrinking them.
"To do this, you will have to concentrate hard. Look at your hands, remember them, memorize every detail: every wrinkle, scar, mark, and cut." Harry looked at his hand, and tried to take in every bit of it. He started at the end of his wrists, and worked his way up to the tips of his fingernails.
"Now, close your eyes, and try to see your hands… only now with longer fingers. Concentrate hard…" Harry closed his eyes, and formed a picture of his hand in his head.
He pictured his fingers longer than they were, this new longer-fingered hand of his looked very odd.
"Now, open your eyes!" said Professor McGonagall. Harry opened his eyes, and to his (and apparently Ron, and Hermione's whose hands had done the same) shock, saw his fingers longer than they were by about two inches. Not as long as he had pictured them, but still quite long. Malfoy, however, looked lazily at his longer fingers. He appeared anxious to go beyond this basic step, and onto the more complicated stuff.
"Close your eyes everyone, and picture your hands as they are now. Morph the fingers in your mind, make them back to their original length. After you do, open your eyes." Harry did this, and, sure, enough, when he opened his eyes, his fingers were back to their normal size. Malfoy gave a very fake expression of surprise, slapping his hands against his cheeks, and bugging his eyes out.
"Excellent everyone, excellent! Now, if my watch is correct, it is eight o' clock, and time for you all to be in your common rooms. We will do this again tomorrow, same place, bright and early."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione all walked out together, talking excitedly.
"Oh, and, start thinking of what kind of animal you will transform into! It is the most important decision you will make as an Animagus!" said Professor McGonagall as they left. Malfoy slipped away from them quickly. Harry thought this odd, why wasn't he making fun of he, Ron, and Hermione for being behind him? Harry shrugged it off, and saw it as a good sign.
"Wow, I can't wait until we can actually become animals!" said Ron.
"It wasn't as hard as I thought," said Hermione excitedly. "We may be able to becomes Animagi sooner than I thought!"
"Yeah, well, Malfoy will be one before any of us at the rate he's going anyway. With his 'skill' and all…" said Harry grumpily. He was not used to Malfoy being better than him.
Before they new it, they arrived at the Gryffindor common room, and went in. Since no one was around, and they were tired from their Animagus class, they all decided to go to sleep. As Harry got ready for bed, he started thinking of what animal he was going to transform into. He took out his Care of Magical Creatures Book, and looked through it. A bird maybe? A snake? A dragon even? The possibilities were endless.
Harry decided to sleep on it, and flopped down on his bed. When his head hit his pillow, he felt something on his pillow. Harry sat up, and looked to see what it was. It was another piece of parchment. It read:
"I know what you did Harry Potter, I know what you did… unless you want to be in trouble, I suggest to undo your wrong…"
Chapter 13- Animals
Harry couldn't sleep all that night. He was awake, thinking about, and looking at the note. Who sent it? How much did they know? What were they going to do to him?
Finally, at around three o' clock in the morning, he decided he would tell Ron and Hermione. After all, they already knew about the Order of the Phoenix, he might as well tell them this too. They might be able to help him.
So finally, at around six in the morning, when breakfast was just being served, Harry got up from bed, got dressed, and went downstairs. He was the only one there for quite a while. Then at around seven, people started coming down. Among them were Ron and Hermione.
"Wha- wha- what are you doing down here so early Harry?" yawned Ron. "It's the weekend… sleep in."
"Oh, I couldn't sleep," said Harry. Ron and Hermione sat down on either side of him and started on their breakfast.
"Why couldn't you sleep?" asked Ron, eating some eggs.
"Because of this," said Harry, slapping the note onto the table. Ron and Hermione lazily looked at the note, not expecting much. However, once they realized what the note said, Ron dropped his fork, and Hermione choked on her waffle.
"What? What do they mean Harry?" asked Hermione after she drank some juice, recovering from her choking incident.
"Well, I have a theory about what it's on…" started Harry. He still hadn't told them that he had stolen Fawkes, and was planning on not telling them. But, now, it appeared he had no choice. He told them about how he and Mrs. Figg had sneaked into Dumbledore's office, he had copied Fawkes, and then taken the original. Then how they snuck out, while Harry saw Tci down the hall.
"Well, why don't you ask Tci about it?" asked Hermione.
"I did, he said he didn't know anything about it!" responded Harry.
"Well, there must have been someone else there that saw you," said Ron.
"Yeah, but, how can I find out who?" asked Harry.
"I know!" said Hermione. "Give it to Professor Flitwick, and then he can perform a Grapholo Charm to see who wrote it and-" her excited speech was cut off by Harry,
"Hermione! I can't show this to a teacher! They'll ask who I think I got it from, and why I think I got it, and then they'll know I stole Fawkes!"
"Well… then I don't know what you should do Harry. Except… of course! Go to Mrs. Figg!" Harry was in shock and surprise that he hadn't thought of that. Arabella was the only adult that Harry could talk to about this problem, except for Sirius and Lupin, of course, but they were in Azkaban.
"Excellent idea Hermione! I'll go to her right now!" Harry shoved the last bit of his muffin into his mouth, and then dashed out of the Great Hall, and to Mrs. Figg's office.
He arrived there soon, and entered. Mrs. Figg was sitting at her desk, grading some papers. The PainBalls from his last class were in a box next to her on the desk.
"What is it Harry?" asked Mrs. Figg. She immediately looked up at him. He reached into his pocket, and took out the note.
"I think someone knows we stole Fawkes, Arabella," said Harry plainly. Mrs. Figg sat up, and walked over to him, becoming paler with each step. When she arrived at Harry, she looked like Nearly Headless Nick.
"Wha- what do you mean Harry? How could… how?" she stuttered. Harry just offered her the note, and she grabbed it from his hand. She glanced over it quickly and handed it back to Harry, looking positively terrified.
"I got another one just like it a few days ago, after I won the Quidditch match," said Harry, just adding to the terror on Arabella's face.
"Do you think you know who- who wrote this Harry?" asked Arabella.
"Well, when we left Dumbledore's office that night we stole Fawkes, I saw Tci in the hallway."
"Did you ask him about it yet?" asked Mrs. Figg.
"Yeah, he said he didn't know anything about it," said Harry. Mrs. Figg contorted her face into an expression of non-belief. "And… well… I believe him."
"Well, we'd like to believe him Harry, but as for now, he is our only suspect, and we must treat him as such."
"Can't you just do a… oh… what's it called? A… Grapholo Charm on the note to see who wrote it?" asked Harry. Mrs. Figg gave him a smile, and a weak laugh.
"Harry, the Grapholo Charm is one of the hardest charms there is. The only way I could do it is to learn it from Professor Flitwick, who would want to know my reasons behind learning it. I'm sorry Harry. That would be a nice solution, but it is an impossible one as well."
"Well, what should we do then?"
"Just stay on the lookout Harry. If you get any more notes like these, show it to me. I don't know if this person is serious about his threats, though. He would obviously want something in return for him not telling, and he hasn't made any demands yet. So yes, Harry, just be on guard… and keep an eye on Tci."
"Alright professor," said Harry, walking out the door.
"Arabella, Harry! Arabella! You're not in class!" yelled Mrs. Figg as Harry ran out, and back to the great hall.
He caught Ron and Hermione just before they were about to leave, and he walked back to the common room with them, telling them what Mrs. Figg had said.
"So she reckons Tci did it, eh?" said Ron.
"Yeah, but… I don't know. He just doesn't seem like that type of person," said Hermione.
"Oh Hermione!" said Ron. "You just like him because he's handsome! You know, with his special Durmstrang training thing. Yeah, give me a break! He's in Slytherin after all! This is just the kind of thing one of them would do!"
"Well, he did say he wanted to be in Gryffindor, and he seemed pretty devastated when he found out he was in Slytherin," said Harry, turning the conversation to Tci's favor.
"Yeah, well… we gotta go to Animagus class you guys," said Ron, changing the subject.
However, he was right. They were supposed to meet Professor McGonagall early today, so they could spend the entire day practicing. The three of them walked to their Transfiguration classroom, and met Professor McGonagall there, already talking with Malfoy.
"-so I was thinking maybe a dragon, or a hydra of some sort. A powerful, magical beast!" said Malfoy to McGonagall.
"Well, with some practice, you may be able to do all of those Malfoy!" said Professor McGonagall, smiling. It was sickening, a teacher praising Malfoy…. Harry shuddered at the sight. He pushed the door fully open, and the three of them walked in.
"Hello you three! I was just helping Mr. Malfoy here decide which animal to transform into. Have you been thinking about it?" asked Professor McGonagall to them. Each of them nodded. Harry wondered which animals Hormone and Ron were thinking of utilizing.
"Excellent, excellent. I hope each of you have a good idea in mind, because that is what we’re all going to be doing today, researching animals!" said Professor McGonagall.
Hermione smiled excitedly, but Harry and Ron rolled their eyes and sighed. They wanted to get on with transformation, not do research.
"Now, I now you all want to get on with transformation practice," said Professor McGonagall. Wow, could she read minds? Harry thought, "but you need to decide which animal you will be copying before we go any further. So, hit the books!" she pointed to a large stack of books in the corner of the room that reached the ceiling. The three of them walked over, picked out a book (except for Hermione, who took five) and then walked back to a table, and opened them up. Malfoy walked over to the stack of books after Harry, Ron, and Hermione were settled in at a table. He grabbed a particularly large black book, and returned to his secluded table in the corner.
As Harry looked through the book (A Guide To Almost All Animals), he saw many creatures he'd never even knew existed before. There were dragons, snakes, and lions, but there were also things called Zyrexes, metallic humanoids with blades for arms that inhabited pyramids. There were also Mylins, small turtle-like beings that had wings, and four eyes. There were uncountable others, as Harry saw while looking through the book for hours on end.
By the time Harry reached the last few pages, he had his heart set on a dragon. It would be big, powerful, and fast. However, when Harry turned to the next page, a different animal caught his eye: a gryffin. It looked exactly like a lion, except for wings that came out of its shoulders. At first, he thought it was a spelling error in the book. He had heard of griffins before, but never gryffins. He looked at the index in the back and, sure enough, they were two separate beasts.
A gryffin would be perfect, thought Harry, turning back to its page. It would still be powerful and fast, only more compact, and more inconspicuous. The more Harry thought about it, the more he knew that he must transform into a gryffin. It was as if voices were calling him to do it.
Harry flipped through the rest of the pages without really looking at the animals, he needed to be a gryffin. He felt as though all other animals were inferior to it, and that he would only be happy when he would be able to become one. Harry looked around, and it appeared as though Ron and Hermione had made their choice. Each of them had a slight smile, and had notes written down on parchment with most of the names crossed off, and only one or two left.
Then, after five straight hours of doing nothing but looking through books, Professor McGonagall spoke.
"It is now two o' clock in the afternoon, and I do not wish to keep you here all day. I hope you have had time to thoroughly research your animal. I want you all to practice making your fingers grow and shrink today and tomorrow. I also want you all to make a decisive decision on which animal you will be copying, and get a piece of it. Fur, hair, teeth, anything will do. Try to get it by our next class, which will be on Monday, at seven o' clock in the evening. Until then, good-bye and good-luck!" The four of them filed out of the room.
"So, what did you decide on Harry?" asked Hermione.
"A gryffin," said Harry strongly. Ron and Hermione's eyes widened.
"Really? Wow, that's cool Harry," said Ron.
"I thought that's what you might choose," said Hermione. "After all, gryffins are in your blood." Ron and Harry stared at her in question.
"What do you mean Hermione?" asked Harry.
"Don't you know the animal of your own house Harry?" asked Hermione.
"Uh, yeah. A lion," responded Harry, a little annoyed. Hermione sighed.
"Harry, haven't you ever even glanced at Hogwarts, A History?"
"Nope," said Harry and Ron together.
"Well, people think the mascot for Gryffindor is a lion, but that's just because of a mistake. Back when Hogwarts was new, the four founders hired a Muggle artist to paint the banner since wizards were terrible at art.
"When the artist got to the Gryffindor animal on the banner, he thought there was a mistake in the sketch that was given to him. A lion? With wings? Impossible, he thought.
So, he painted just a lion instead of a gryffin. By the time he was done, though, Godric Gryffindor had died, and no one knew that he had wanted a gryffin instead of a lion. The original sketches for the banner were discovered just a while ago, and that's when people discovered the truth, though not many cared. They were used to the lion, and it's just stayed that way."
"And what does all that have to do with me?" asked Harry.
Hermione gave a deep sigh.
"Harry! Isn't it obvious! You're the heir of Gryffindor, remember?"
"What? How could I be that?" asked Harry, amazed.
"Oh come on," sighed Hermione. "Red and gold sparks shot out of your wand the first time you used it, you pulled Godric Gryffindor's sword out of its sheath. Harry, all signs point to heir of Gryffindor."
"Yeah… I guess you're right," said Harry, feeling proud of himself.
"As usual…" murmured Ron, Hermione glared at him.
"But then, why didn't my dad choose a gryffin for his animal instead of a stag?" asked Harry thoughtfully. Hermione looked puzzled.
"Well… um… I don't know. Maybe-"
"Ha! For once, Hermione does not know the answer!" said Ron happily as he started skipping and jumping.
"Well, what animal did you choose Hermione?" asked Harry.
"Oh, me? I chose a unicorn," said Hermione. "Even though it's a magical creature, and will require a little more work to learn to transform into, I think it's worth it."
"But what about gryffins, Hermione? Aren't they magical?" asked Harry.
"No, sorry Harry, they're not."
"But, they can fly and-"
"Harry," said Hermione stiffly, "if a creature can fly, that doesn't mean it's magical. To be magical, a creature must have one special property: it can be used in a potion, and there's not one single potion in the world that requires anything from a gryffin."
"Well, I guess it's a good thing that it's not magical. It can do a lot, fly and bite, and it won't require any extra effort to become," said Harry, looking happy.
He called down to Ron who was about twenty feet ahead of them, still skipping along merrily.
"Hey Ron!" yelled Harry. Ron turned around.
"What?" he asked as he started to come back.
"You haven't told us yet, what animal did you pick?" asked Harry.
"Oh, me? I chose an chameleon," said Ron.
"An chameleon?" asked Hermione surprised. "Why'd you pick that?"
"Well, it just seemed like it was… calling to me… I suppose…" said Ron.
"Really?" said Harry. "Me too. I saw the gryffin and it was like… telling me to pick it. There was like a voice… in the back of my mind."
"Me too," said Hermione looking excited. "I guess this proves that the animal chooses the Animagus, and that the Animagus does not choose the animal."
"I wonder what animal was calling to Malfoy?" said Harry. Hermione and Ron stared at him.
"Well, we'll find out soon, when he brings a piece of it in," said Hermione.
"Oh yeah! That reminds me, where am I going to get a hair or something from a gryffin?" asked Harry. Hermione and Ron nodded.
"We'll all need help getting a piece of our creature," said Hermione. "But how?"
"I know!" said Ron. "Hagrid! He'll probably know where a million gryffins are!" Harry and Hermione nodded in agreement.
"Let's go see him now," said Harry. They all headed out of the castle, and to Hagrid's house on the grounds. As they were heading to the door, they passed the potions classroom and saw Malfoy talking to Professor Fletcher. They were both talking excitedly. Harry shrugged it off, potions was Malfoy's best class, even though Snape wasn't around to give him automatic good grades anymore. He was probably trying to do some extra credit or something.
They soon reached Hagrid's house, and knocked on the door. They heard Hagrid's dog, Fang, bark loudly, but they didn't hear Hagrid coming to the door. Harry opened the door slowly to peek inside, no one was there. Just then, Harry felt Hermione tug on his shirt.
"Oh! Harry! Look!" she said. Harry turned around, and saw a unicorn. It was the most beautiful animal Harry had ever seen. It was pure-white, with a silvery mane going from the top of it's head all the way down it's back, and ending in a perfectly white tail. On top of its head there was a single, clear horn that looked as though it were made of crystal. It merely looked at the three of them, as if asking them to come over.
"Let's see if we can get a piece of its hair," said Ron.
"Why?" asked Hermione, looking angry.
"Because you need one to be able to transform into it," replied Ron.
"Oh, that's right. I'm sorry Ron," said Hermione.
"C'mon, let's go over!" said Harry. They slowly crept towards it, trying to be quiet, but also trying not to look to intimidating. They didn't want it to run away. After what seemed like a long time, they eventually reached the unicorn. Since they are more friendly to girls than boys, Hermione put one of her hands out, and stroked the unicorn's mane. It made a noise, but not a 'neigh' like a horse, it was more like a song of a whale.
It was long and beautiful.
"That's a good unicorn," said Hermione soothingly as she stroked it. "Harry, hand me my wand." Harry reached into Hermione's pocket, and pulled out her wand. He handed it to her, and she brought it up to the mane of the unicorn where she had been stroking it.
"Shearus," said Hermione quietly. A tiny pair of scissors popped out of the tip of her wand. But, just as they came out, the sun's light reflected off of it, and into the unicorn's eyes. It made a noise that wasn't as pleasant as the song before, and it ran into the forest.
"Oh no! I'm sorry unicorn! Come back!" yelled Hermione. "Come on Harry! Let's follow it!" Hermione ran after the unicorn, and into the dark forest. Harry and Ron started after her.
"Come back unicorn! Come back!" yelled Hermione as they were running, even though it would obviously do her no good. She ran faster and faster after it, and Harry and Ron just tried to follow her, though she was getting ahead of them very quickly.
"Wait… up… Hermione!" yelled Ron, panting. They had been sprinting for several minutes now, and were getting deeper and deeper into the forest. It was getting very dark all around them.
"Let's… stop… for… a minute," said Ron, ending his pursuit. Harry stopped with him, though he wasn't nearly as winded as Ron appeared to be since he had been running and was used to it. Suddenly, they heard Hermione scream, as though from far away.
"Hermione!" yelled Harry and Ron. They both started running again, toward where they heard the voice.
"Oh, what could've happened to her?" asked Ron, to nobody. Harry was thinking the same thing. Did the unicorn attack her? Did unicorns attack people?
"Ow!" yelled Ron. Harry looked over, and saw that he'd run into a tree. Harry stopped running, and laughed.
"Ron! C'mon! You're not that stupid! How could you have run into a tree that was right in front of you?" Ron stepped back, and rubbed his head.
"It wasn't there a second ago!" he yelled at Harry.
"What do you mean? Of course it was! How could it not be-" Harry suddenly looked at the tree, and realized that is was not a tree at all.
It was a leg.
Harry and Ron screamed at the same time, but Harry looked up instead of staring at the leg. He eyed it all the way up to a massive head which had an expression of curiosity on its face. Harry then realized what it was that Ron had run into: a giant. It was at least thirty feet tall, and was clad in clothing that would have been appropriate for a beggar. It was extremely dirty, and, as Harry thought about it, smelled really bad.
Then Harry looked at the giant's arm, and saw that it was extended out. He eyed it, all the way to the clenched fist… a clenched fist that was holding Hermione!
"Hermione!" yelled Harry as loud as he could. Ron stopped screaming, and looked up at the giant's fist.
"Hermione!" he yelled.
"Help me!" yelled Hermione, though it was very faint, she was at least twenty feet away.
Harry ran up to the giant's leg, and pulled out his wand.
"Excallibus!" he yelled, and a long sword popped out of the end of Harry's wand. It was very sharp, and extremely shiny. Harry brought it back, then shoved it with all of his might into the leg of the giant.
"Aaaaaarg!" screamed the giant. It dropped Hermione, making her fall, screaming the entire way down.
"Ron! Get her!" yelled Harry. He was still digging his sword into the giant's leg, causing it to scream even more. When Harry heard a 'thump' sound, he looked over, and saw the Ron had caught Hermione in his arms. She immediately jumped out of them, looking highly embarrassed, and stood up.
"Harry! Let's go!" she yelled. "She'll come after you now!"
"She?" asked Harry and Ron at the same time. They both looked up, and saw that it was indeed a 'she'. It had very long, brown hair, and Harry realized that it was now bending over.
"Let's go!" yelled Harry. He pulled the sword out of the giant's leg, and started running away, not sure of where he was heading. He heard the massive strides of the giant, catching up to them, very quickly. It wasn't long before Harry felt as though he were being squeezed very tightly, which was exactly what was happening.
A humongous hand was curling around Harry, getting a tighter grip on him every second.
Harry tried to struggle free, but it was to no avail, it was too tight. He thought of using his wand, but it was in his pocket, which he was unable to reach. Harry glanced over, and saw that Ron and Hermione were in the giant's other hand, both trying to free themselves, as Harry was.
When Harry realized he was about twenty-five feet off the ground, he decided that even if he did free himself, he'd be no better off when he collided with the ground.
"WHA' IS YOU DOIN'!?" yelled the giant, incredibly loud. It was so loud, Harry thought his ears were on fire at first, then he thought that they were going to explode.
"I ASK YOU WHA' YOU IS DOIN'!" yelled the giant once again. Harry was sure his brain was melting. But suddenly, another voice met his ear, "Stop! No mom, stop!"
"NO! NOT THIS TIME 'AGRID!" bellowed the giant. Did she say Hagrid? Harry thought.
"Put them down mom! They're my friends!" said the voice again. As Harry listened to it this time, it did seem familiar, though he couldn't really be sure, the ringing in his ears was excruciating.
"No buts mom!"
"ALL RIGHT!" Harry felt the sensation of going down very swiftly. It was like he was going down on a roller coaster, only faster. Harry thought he was going to scream, but his feet were on the ground before he could. Harry wobbled backwards for a second, and then brushed himself off. He looked over at Ron and Hermione, they were looking just as dazed as him.
"WHY'D YOU TELL ME T'PUT 'EM DOWN?!" the giant bellowed, only this time it was slightly softer.
"They're students at this school mum, they're my friends!" said the voice again. Harry looked over to see who was speaking, and he was surprised to see that it was indeed Hagrid.
"Hagrid," Harry yelled, "do you know this… this… giant!"
"Well of course I do Harry!" he said. "She's me mum!"
Harry's jaw dropped. Looking over, he saw Ron and Hermione with the same expression.
"You mean… that… that…" stuttered Ron.
"Yup, that's Fridwulfa, my mum," said Hagrid as he walked over to the leg of the giant.
When he saw the huge gash in her leg, he gasped.
"Mum! Who did this to you?" he asked. Fridwulfa pointed an extremely large at Harry, and glared at him.
"Him! He did it!" Hagrid looked even more shocked at this than he did when he saw the wound.
"But, mum, this is Harry Potter! He'd never do summat like that!"
"OH YES HE WOULD! ASK HIM!" she yelled.
Hagrid turned around.
"Harry, did you… did you…"
"Yes," said Harry, feeling slightly guilty.
"But, why?" asked Hagrid, looking very sad.
"She had Hermione! I didn't know what she was going to do with her!" yelled Harry, pointing a finger at Fridwulfa.
"Mum! Did you pick 'er up?" asked Hagrid, indicating Hermione.
"Well… um…" she didn't sound nearly as menacing as before, or nearly as loud.
"Mom! How many times have I told you! Humans do NOT like bein' picked up, 'specially by giants!"
"Mum! I want you to apologize to all of-" said Hagrid, but Harry stopped him.
"It's okay Hagrid!" said Harry. "I'm sorry… uh… Fridwulfa. I was just scared for Hermione."
Instead of glaring at Harry, Fridwulfa gave him a smile.
"It's okay Harry," she said, not nearly as loud as before. "It didn't really hurt, and I guess I shouldn't have picked up your friend."
She squatted down as low as she could to try and met Harry's gaze, but she was still a good ten feet above his head, even when all the way down.
"Well, tha's good. I'm 'appy it's all worked out!" said Hagrid, smiling.
"Uh, Hagrid?" asked Ron timidly. "What is she doing here anyway?"
"Well… I'm not really s'posed to talk about it," said Hagrid defiantly.
"Oh come on Hagrid! They've already seen me!" said Fridwulfa.
"Well, I guess yer right mum," said Hagrid. He looked at Harry, then Ron, then Hermione, as if checking to make sure there was nothing wrong with them. "O'er th' summer, I was told to round up all the giants, and try an' get 'em on our side before You-Know-Who did."
"So, are there more?" asked Hermione, looking around. She still seemed a little shaken form her very close encounter with the giant.
"Here? Yeah, there's about two more in th' forest," said Hagrid.
"Three Hagrid," said Fridwulfa. "Olympe jus' brought in another yesterday."
"Olympe?" asked Harry. "You mean… Madame Maxime?"
"Yup," said Hagrid, not sounding the least bit embarrassed. "She was the one who found my mum, and is off gettin' some more now while I teach here."
"But, doesn't she have an entire school to run?" asked Harry.
"Well, yes and no. She's still th' official 'eadmaster, but someone else took over for 'er for a while. Since most of the giants are around her area, we thought she'd be the bes' to do it, been doin' a good job of it I guess!"
"But why are you keeping them in the Forbidden Forest?" asked Harry. "There's got to be better places to hide them!"
"Not really Harry," said Hagrid. "Giants like this kind of place, and since it's near Hogwarts, it's pretty safe."
"Do you think you're going to get all the giants to join us, Hagrid?" asked Hermione.
Fridwulfa spoke, "I doubt it Hermione," she said.
"You mean, they're joining forces with You-Know-Who?" Ron asked quietly, as though terrified to say even 'You-Know-Who'.
"No Ron," said Hagrid. "Most of th' giants perfer ter stay where they are, in their mountain home, or where ever they're livin'. A few of 'em will join us, but most won't, they probably won't even join You-Know-Who."
Harry gave a shudder at the thought of what Voldemort's army would be like if he had hundreds of giants on his side.
"So, why are you keeping them here? Why not have an all out attack on You-Know-Who right now?" asked Ron. "Or are you waiting for a special time?"
"Oh! Look at th' time!" he said, trying to change the subject. "You guys better get back to the castle or you'll be late fer yer classes! See ya mum!"
Hagrid started walking away, dragging Ron and Harry with him.
"See you later Harry!" yelled Fridwulfa as she stood up, and waved good-bye.
"So, is this like what all the other teachers were sent out to do last Summer Hagrid? Did they have to recruit giants? Or did they have to do other things? I bet Snape had to-" Ron's babbling was stopped by a shout from Hagrid who let go of them.
"NO!" he yelled, making all three of them feel like they were blown backwards. "You should not even know abou' this! You cannot talk abou' this with other students, do yer understand me!?"
The three of them nodded in agreement, far to scared to even think about disagreeing.
"Good," said Hagrid, much more softly. "Dumbledore would skin me alive if he knew yer three saw 'er!"
As they were walking back to the edge of the forest, the whole reason that the three of them had come out finally came to Harry.
"Hagrid," he asked, "do you know where we can find a gryffin, an chameleon, and a unicorn?"
Hagrid immediately tuned around, staring at Harry.
"Uh… depends why, Harry," he said suspiciously.
"They're um… for… uh… Professor McGonagall!" he said, trying to come up with a good story.
"Now what would she need those for?" asked Hagrid.
"To… um… uh… grade students on their accuracy! One of her classes had to change some stuff into those animals, and she just wanted something to compare their transfigurations to, something besides pictures in a book," said Harry.
Ron and Hermione looked at him, amazed that he could come up with such a good story.
"Oh!" said Hagrid, looking much happier. "Well, in that case, sure! I can get the chameleon and unicorn easily enough… but the gryffin… that might be a little difficult… I'll see what I can do. You tell her that, okay Harry?"
"Okay Hagrid," said Harry. He waved good-bye to Hagrid, and then ran back to the castle with Ron and Hermione. When they finally arrived at the front gates, Ron smiled at Harry.
"Excellent story there Harry! I thought you were going to tell him we were becoming Animagi!" he said. "Hey Harry, you think instead of using Aragog to scare everyone away, we could use a giant?"
"I don't think so Ron, they're on our side, we don't want to take advantage of them," said Hermione.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. It's just that… any opportunity to not use a spider, I'd prefer," he said as Harry and Hermione laughed.
Chapter 14- Dueling and Morphing
The next few weeks of school went very well for Harry. They were not doing anything new in any of his classes, so every free moment he had, he practiced changing himself without a wand. By his next meeting with Professor McGonagall, Harry could make his fingers grow more than a foot and back to normal in less than a second. Ron and Hermione were able to do almost as well, but Hermione was actually having a little trouble. Since she was studying for the O.W.L.s every minute, she didn't have much free time to practice.
When the day finally came to begin their next level of training, all three of them walked up to the Transfiguration classroom feeling quite confident in their ability. When they walked in, though, they were shocked to see smoke filling the entire room. Harry began to panic, what had happened to Professor McGonagall? Was she okay?
"Professor!" he yelled as loud as he could, hoping she would respond to him. Did someone set fire to the room?
"Over here Potter, over here!" came Professor McGonagall's voice from across the room.
She didn't sound like she was in the least bit of trouble, in fact, she sounded excited.
Harry walked towards her voice, coughing and wheezing the whole way. The smoke was so thick, how could professor McGonagall not be in trouble?
When he saw her, however, he realized why she wasn't in trouble. She was inside a giant bubble that was perfectly clear of smoke, except for a thin line of it that was escaping from a small hole in the bubble. Professor McGonagall had a grin on her face as she was stirring a multicolored potion that was frothing and bubbling all over.
"It should be ready soon Mr. Malfoy!" squealed Professor McGonagall with delight.
Harry looked over to the other side of the bubble and saw Draco Malfoy standing there with a very wide grin on his face.
"Why is he making his potion already!?" asked Ron angrily.
"Mr. Malfoy's potion required a bit more… preparation than a normal Animagus' potion would," said Professor McGonagall.
"Why is that?" asked Hermione, sounding hurt. She wasn't used to others doing more advanced things than her.
"Because," said Professor McGonagall, "I am pleased to announce that Mr. Malfoy will be Hogwart's first Polymagus!"
"You mean… that Malfoy!?" asked Ron, in surprise, pointing a finger at Malfoy.
"Yes I do Mr. Weasley," said Professor McGonagall. "You three can start on your potions now, I have three cauldrons set aside for you. Professor Fletcher will assist you."
She waved her arm lazily behind her, indicating three small black cauldrons.
"But, how do you know he's a Polymagus and we're not?" asked Hermione, almost on the verge of tears.
"Actually," replied Professor McGonagall, "I have just discovered a spell of recent invention that allowed me to discover this. The spell lets one Animagus see the human form of another Animagus. When Mr. Malfoy did a transformation, and I used the spell, and I couldn't see him, I knew that there were only two possibilities: either he is not an Animagus which cannot be true since he transformed before my eyes, or he is a Polymagus. The spell cannot be used to detect those." Malfoy gave a sinister smile. He was really enjoying this, thought Harry, being better than them.
"So, you just had to be better than us, didn't you Malfoy?" asked Ron, practically spitting. Professor McGonagall looked appalled.
"What do you mean Mr. Weasley!?" yelled Professor McGonagall. "Being a Polymagus is a very rare gift! In fact, I can only think of three wizards in the history of magic, not including Mr. Malfoy here, who were Polymagi. This is certainly not something that he chose to have."
"Yeah Weasley," said Malfoy, almost sarcastically. "Of course I didn't choose this!"
What did he mean? thought Harry. How could he have chosen to be a Polymagus?
"I believe the rest of you have potions to be making," came a familiar voice. Harry looked over, and saw Professor Fletcher standing there, looking impatient.
"Oh, sorry professor!" said Harry, Ron, and Hermione together as they walked away from Professor McGonagall and over to their cauldrons, trying to ignore Malfoy's snickers.
"Alright," said Professor Fletcher. "Hagrid brought up your three animals this morning. I need each of you to get a piece of it, and then give it to me. Harry and Hermione, get a hair from your animal. Ron, yours will be a bit more difficult. You'll have to get the chameleon's tail."
"His tail?" asked Ron, confused.
"Yes, but it will grow back. Don't worry," said Professor Fletcher. "Your animals are over there." He pointed to three cages that were outside the bubble. Each one of them had an animal inside it.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione stepped through the bubble, and towards the cages, the smoke significantly cleared since Malfoy's potion had just stopped bubbling. They each arrived at the cage of their respective animal.
Harry's cage was about three feet tall, and five feet long. He peered inside and saw a wonderful creature. It looked like a lion, but it was not a brownish-orange, it was a light gold with a huge bushy mane. Harry saw the wings on the gryffin, they were a bright white, and when light from the window shined on them, Harry had to turn away from the shine. The gryffin gave a lazy yawn, and the teeth were magnificent. They appeared to be made out of crystal, and there were hundreds of them, all perfectly clear and sparkling.
When he finished with his yawn, the gryffin glanced over at Harry, and their eyes met.
Harry felt hypnotized. Whatever he did, he felt as though he could not leave the gryffin's view. He fell deeper and deeper into them, and he felt as though he was the gryffin. He could feel fur all over his body, he felt extremely warm all over. Harry closed his eyes, and he felt himself flying. It wasn't anything like being on a broom, he was flying under his own power…
"Harry!" yelled Hermione. Harry opened his eyes and suddenly remembered where he was. He looked over, and saw that Hermione was holding a long, silvery hair. The unicorn inside her cage was asleep. On top of that cage was a smaller one with a small green blur running all around it. Harry looked over next to that cage, and saw Ron holding a small green thing in his hand, far away from him, as if it were something revolting. Then, Harry remembered, it was something bad. It was the chameleon's tail.
"Harry? Did you get your hair yet?" asked Hermione. Harry gave her a glazed look. "Are you okay Harry? You look like you're asleep."
"No, I'm okay," said Harry. He reached his hand inside the cage containing the gryffin. It was still staring at Harry, not moving or blinking. What's wrong with it? Wondered Harry. He nervously moved his hand toward the mane of the gryffin, and quickly pulled out a hair from it. The gryffin didn't move.
Harry stood up, and backed away slowly, returning to his cauldron which was now filled with a thick, black liquid that Professor Fletcher had obviously put in there. The same was in Ron and Hermione's cauldrons.
"Okay, now put your animal piece into the potion, and wait until it changes color," said Professor Fletcher to them. Harry dipped his hair into the cauldron, and bubbles suddenly started appeared near where it hit the concoction. After a few seconds, the potion turned a dark yellow. Harry looked over and saw that Hermione's was a light-red, almost pink, and Ron's was a deep green. Professor Fletcher was handing each of them a small box.
"Drop this box in now. It contains all the rest of the ingredients for the potion," said Professor Fletcher to them. Harry dropped the box in, and the potion immediately started fuming. Thick white smoke poured out of the top, and into the air.
"Oh, this is exciting! Isn't it?" said Professor Fletcher. Ron shrugged,
"Yeah, I guess it is. I mean, I can't wait to actually-"
"No that!" said Professor Fletcher loudly. "I mean, Mr. Malfoy here being our first Polymagus!"
Harry, Ron, and Hermione sighed.
"He has the potential and talent necessary for transfiguration unlike any other student I've ever seen."
Harry was about to respond, saying something bad about Malfoy, but just then he was taken surprise when his potion stopped smoking and bubbling and became white.
Professor Fletcher looked over at them, taking notice of this.
"Your potions are ready. You need to drink them quickly," he said. He gave each of them a small glass. Harry dunked his glass into the potion. It was surprisingly warm, and as he put his glass further down, got almost unbearably hot, too the point of burning. Harry quickly brought the glass up to his lips, and drank it. It tasted very good, like liquid happiness. However, a very unexpected thing happened. This potion didn't feel like it was going down his throat and to his stomach. It felt as though it was going… up. It was flowing up his sinuses, and into his brain. It was seething its way through every pore in Harry's mind.
This did not feel nearly as good as drinking it. In fact, it was very painful. Harry dropped the glass, and it shattered into a million pieces. Harry's head felt as though it was ripping apart. He glanced over and saw that Ron and Hermione were obviously experiencing the same feelings since they were squirming on the floor and had their hands gripping their screaming faces.
Harry decided he had to do something to try and stop the pain. He focused his mind on a joyous thought, and tried only to think of that, like he did in Mrs. Figg's class. This was just a bigger PainBall, thought Harry, trying to reassure himself. Harry searched his mind for the happiest thought he could muster… the time he was with Cho.
Suddenly, the pain went away. Harry took his hands off of his face, and put them back down to his sides. Harry walked over to Ron and Hermione, each of whom was still squirming on the floor. Harry helped them up, off the ground. They stopped screaming, but were still clutching their heads.
"Don't worry. The pain will go away in a few seconds," said Professor McGonagall. She walked over from Malfoy's cauldron over to them. After she said it, Ron and Hermione stopped gripping their heads.
"How come your pain went away so fast Harry?" asked Ron.
"I just used that little technique we learned in Defense Against the Dark Arts," responded Harry.
"I should've remembered to use that!" said Hermione. "What caused the pain anyway professor?"
"It was caused by the animal's DNA merging with yours. You have to contain twice as much as before, in the same amount of space. Your body had to change around slightly to make room," said Professor McGonagall. "Now that you have had the potion, we can go into your next phase of training: actually turning into the animal."
"See you later professor!" said Malfoy. He walked out of the room, carrying a glass full of his multicolored potion.
"Why is he leaving?" asked Ron. "Doesn't he have to train with us?"
"Well, no Mr. Weasley," said Professor McGonagall. "Mr. Malfoy will continue his training privately. He will need… err… special attention."
"Why is he leaving now, though?" asked Hermione.
"Mr. Malfoy's potion will hurt him considerably more than yours did. He is taking in the DNA of several animals, and may have to stay the night with Mrs. Pomfrey. He is heading to the hospital wing now."
A sudden feeling of sadness came over Harry. Even though he and Malfoy were enemies, he still didn't want him to have to go through pain like that. He didn't want anyone to have to. Just the one animal potion was bad enough, a many animal potion would be worse than the Cruciatus Curse.
"Now back to your training. By the end of this session, you should all be able to form the head of your animal. To start, close your eyes."
Harry closed his eyes, and darkness was all around him.
"Picture your animal's face. Imagine every curve, every hair, every detail, no matter how small," said professor McGonagall soothingly. Harry visualized the gryffin's face. He remembered the gryffin's golden hair, its crystal teeth, and its deep eyes. He tried to picture the head on his own body, and had to keep from laughing.
"Open your eyes," came Professor McGonagall's voice.
Harry opened his eyes and there was a mirror floating in front of his face. Harry jumped back when he saw what he saw in it.
Harry saw his face in it, only it was more… hairy. His entire head was covered in golden hair, and he had a small mane growing all around his neck. Harry opened his mouth and saw small, clear, sharp teeth popping out.
Harry looked over at Ron and burst out laughing (well, growling). Ron's face was a light green, and he had big, bulging eyes that were at least the size of baseballs. Hermione had a shiny horn coming out of her head that was about five inches long, and her face was becoming slightly elongated. But, just as Harry saw them all this way, all three of them went back to normal. They all looked extremely disappointed.
"Why'd we go back to normal so quickly professor?" asked Hermione, feeling her head for any sign of a horn.
"You were not concentrating on your animal form," said Professor McGonagall sternly.
"You three were looking at each other's transformations, and you stopped thinking about your own."
"How come we didn't transform exactly into our animals professor?" asked Ron. "I imagined every detail on the chameleon, and all I got were the eyes."
"And the green skin," whispered Harry to Ron. They both laughed silently.
"In order to do a perfect transformation, Mr. Weasley, you need to exaggerate your animal's features in your mind. If its horn is eight inches tall, imagine it to be sixteen. If its skin is a light-green, imagine it to be a dark lime. The more you exaggerate your features, the more accurate you will be."
"And Sirius made this looked easy," whispered Ron to Harry. Professor McGonagall had heard him.
"Yes, he does make it look easy Mr. Weasley. As does any Animagus. However, it took him all of three years to get it down perfectly, and each of you has barely worked on it for a week. Now, continue imagining your animals and their features. When you do transform, concentrate hard on staying that way, try not to become distracted."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione worked on their transformations until late into the evening.
They got tips from Professor McGonagall and by the time she announced the lesson was over, each for them could perfectly form the head of their animals, and hold it for about ten seconds. It was very difficult to keep from laughing and becoming distracted while transforming, especially when Ron's head shrunk down to the size of the chameleon's, being far to small for his body.
As they were walking down the hallways, finally leaving their lesson, talking excitedly about their transformations, they stopped suddenly after hearing a very loud scream from far away.
"What was that?" whimpered Hermione.
"I don't know," said Harry, standing dead in his tracks looking around. The voice screamed again.
"It's coming from over there!" yelled Ron. He pointed his wand in the direction of the Great Hall, and when they entered the room, the voice screamed again. All of their heads tuned the other door that led out of the Great Hall, and near the Headmaster's office.
They ran though that door, and when they got through it, the scream came again.
"It's coming from the Hospital Wing," said Harry. At once, he immediately realized what was going on. "It's Malfoy. He must have drink his potion." Each of them put an expression of forced sadness on their faces, and the scream came again.
"Should we see him?" asked Hermione.
"No, that's probably the last thing he wants: to be comforted by his enemies, us thinking he's weak," said Harry. "Let's give him this one."
They all walked away from the Hospital Wing, and back to the Gryffindor Common Room. While they were walking, they head no more screaming, so either Malfoy wasn't in pain anymore, or Madam Pomfrey had just put a Sound Proofing Charm on the room.
Harry and Ron said goodnight to Hermione, and they each went up the staircases into their dorms. When Harry and Ron, got in their room, Seamus, Dean, and Neville were already asleep. Ron strode over to his bed, and pulled out a calendar from under his pillow.
"What's that?" asked Harry as his put on his night shirt.
"Oh, this?" said Ron. "It's a calendar. I'm marking off the days until Halloween."
"Why are you doing that?" asked Harry. Ron looked at him in surprise.
"Don't you remember? That's when we're going to rescue Lupin and Sirius from Azkaban!" said Ron as he took out a red quill and marked off another day.
"Oh yeah," said Harry. He had forgotten about that with the excitement of becoming an Animagus. They still had work to do to prepare. "How long until we go?"
"Two weeks," said Ron, with a hint of fear in his voice. He was evidently no more anxious to do this than Harry was.
All through breakfast the next morning, Malfoy kept glancing at Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and laughing. Soon being followed by almost the entire Slytherin table.
"I wish there was some way we could show Malfoy how bad he really is, and how good we are. Like, dueling with him or something," said Ron as he lazily did a Originus Charm on a copied ball in Charms class. Harry got an idea:
"That's it Ron!" said Harry excitedly. "We can start the Dueling Club again!" Ron and Hermione laughed. There was a Dueling Club in their second year, but it was very unsuccessful. All they had gotten from it was the Disarming Spell.
"You can't be serious Harry," said Ron. "I mean, we've got Quidditch and rescuing Sirius and Lupin to worry about."
"Oh come on Ron," said Harry. "Our next Quidditch match isn't until after Halloween, and we can set the meeting of the club for after we rescue Sirius and Lupin."
"If we rescue them," said Hermione, pessimistically.
Harry and Ron looked at her.
"That doesn't sound like you Hermione," said Ron.
"It's just that, well, I've been reading about Azkaban-"
"Big surprise there," said Ron quietly so that only Harry could hear.
"-and it'll be next to impossible to get inside, much less rescue Sirius and Lupin."
"Don't worry Hermione. I… I've got it all worked out," lied Harry. He didn't know what made him say that, he just wanted to make sure she wouldn't back out of their plan.
"Well, I guess so, but, I expect to know exactly what it is before we go!" said Hermione, looking slightly happier.
"Anyway," said Ron. "Back to the Dueling Club."
"I thought you said it was a bad idea," said Harry.
"Well, with You-Know-Who around again, it'd be nice to have some dueling experience on our side," said Ron. "And it would be nice to kick Malfoy's butt."
"What do you say Hermione? You in?" asked Harry.
"Sure, I mean, it'd be great practice for the O.W.L.s," said Hermione, not looking at either of them, but concentrating on her Originus Charm. "So yeah, of course I'm in."
"Now the only problem is: which teacher are we going to get to supervise us?" asked Ron.
"Maybe Professor Fletcher or Mrs.- er… Professor Figg," said Harry.
"I've got a better idea!" said Hermione. "How about Professor Flitwick? I mean, he was the dueling champion when he was in school so I'm sure he could give us some excellent tips!"
"Good idea," said Harry and Ron together. Just then, the bell rang, signaling the end of class. Instead of leaving, Harry, Ron, and Hermione went up to professor Flitwick.
"Excuse me Professor," said Harry. Professor Flitwick spun around with a smile so wide, it looked like it would barely fit on his small head.
"Yes Harry? What is it?"
"Well, we were thinking about starting up another Dueling Club, and we were wondering if you'd want to help us," said Harry hopefully. Professor Flitwick's smile got, if it is possible, even larger.
"Oh, you three… I'd be honored!" squeaked Professor Flitwick.
"Really?" said Harry in surprise. He didn't think Professor Flitwick would be that eager to do it. "You really want to help?"
"Of course I do Harry!" said Professor Flitwick. "I think dueling is an excellent thing to know, and I was the school champion in my day, you know. We should have our first meeting on Halloween, when-"
"No, that's not a good day professor," interrupted Hermione. He looked at her funny.
"That's… um… when we have to stay after with professor McGonagall to do some extra credit."
"Oh, ok. Well, how about a week after Halloween?" asked Professor Flitwick.
"That's good," said Harry, wanting to sound agreeable to Professor Flitwick since he didn't ask any questions about their "extra credit" in Transfiguration.
"We'll need a captain you know," said Professor Flitwick, looking at Harry. "How about it Harry? You up to it?"
"Yeah Harry, it was your idea after all," said Hermione.
Ron, however, was silent.
"No," said Harry defiantly. "I think we should have a competition and the winner should become captain. I don't want people to think I'm captain just become I'm famous." Ron gave Harry a smile of appreciation. Though he never said it out loud, Ron had always been jealous of Harry, and Harry wanted to give him the opportunity to show himself.
"Excellent idea," said Professor Flitwick as his next class was filing in. "Well I have to go teach my next class now, and I suspect you have to go to your next lesson."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione each nodded.
"Yes, and, thanks professor," said Harry as they left the classroom, avoiding the small first years walking in.
"Hey Harry!" yelled Joe, the little Gryffindor first year. "Joo rozorz meh soxorz!"
"Uh… good," said Harry, running away from him as fast as possible.
Chapter 15- The Plan
Harry still had no idea how he, Ron, and Hermione made it through the next week. Every day they would wake up, go to their classes, do their homework, go to Animagus lessons (Malfoy was never present at one), go to Quidditch practice (Hermione would watch and read her books), talk to Professor Flitwick about how the Dueling Club should be organized, and then end the day discussing how they would rescue Sirius and Lupin, and collapse in their beds at around two in the morning.
All of this was paying off though: each of them could successfully transform the heads of their animals, and keep it for as long as they wanted. Ron was able to get down to the size of a chameleon fairly well, and Harry could even transform his back into wings, and he was getting pretty good at flying with them. None of them had seen what animal Malfoy had chosen.
The Dueling Club was decided to be almost like official duels: two teams of two wizards each who fight until either one gives up, or is disarmed. If, after the qualifiers for the captain, people wanted to do un-official duels (one on one, two on one, or even three on one), those would take place.
"Maybe we should cause a distraction," suggested Ron at their latest meeting on how to rescue Sirius and Lupin. Halloween would be tomorrow, and they still didn't have a good idea on how to get in to Azkaban, much less get into some cells and rescue two people. "I mean, if we can confuse the dementors, then maybe we can slip by them."
"But what kind of distraction Ron?" asked Hermione, right before she yawned. It was already midnight, and the Gryffindor Common room was completely empty. It was almost pitch black except for a few candles around the three of them.
"Harry can do his p- p- p- Patronus Charm," yawned Ron. A Patronus Charm was a spell that conjured a patronus, a kind of silvery protector, a shield between you and a dementor. It prevented the happiness from being sucked out of you.
"No, I don't think so Ron," said Harry. "I mean, there's bound to be hundreds of dementors there, and I don't think a single patronus can fend them all away. And even if it does, there's going to probably be other wizard guards there who won't be affected by it."
"Why don't we just buy some dementor costumes, run into Azkaban wearing them, and bang our heads on the cells until they open," suggested Harry sarcastically. Ron and Hermione glared at him.
"Harry, we need a better plan than that!" said Hermione.
"Oh come on!" said Harry. "We're all tired, and we have a big task tomorrow! I'm sure we'll think of something when we get there."
"I don't think we should leave it to chance Harry," said Ron.
"Well I do, Ron," said Harry. "I have a feeling that we'll get an idea when we arrive. Maybe we'll see a secret passage or something."
"Maybe you're right Harry," said Ron. "Besides, we've got a bigger problem, how are we going to get to Azkaban in the first place? I mean, we're not going to just walk there, are we?" Harry stroked his chin, "Well, I'm getting pretty good at flying with my wings, so I can do that. I guess you two can share my Firebolt," suggested Harry.
"We both won't fit," said Ron. "A Firebolt's only big enough for one."
"Well," said Harry, "Ron, you can become smaller, and then you and Hermione will fit on the broom."
"Oh god, I hope no one sees us," said Hermione. "A kid with wings flying next to a girl on a broom holding a ten inch boy."
Harry and Ron burst out laughing and when they couldn't stop, they decided it was time for bed.
"Well meet here at five o' clock, just when the feast starts," said Harry as they all wobbled to their dorms.
Harry slept in later that day then he did all of his life, to catch up on the sleep he missed the last week, and to save his strength. He'd need it when he had to fly all the way to Azkaban.
When he finally got up at two in the afternoon, he sprinted down to the common room, and was surprised to see almost no one there except for Ron and Hermione (who were engaged in a game of chess) and a few younger kids.
"Where have you been sleepy head?" asked Hermione as Ron took her queen. Harry shook himself awake, and looked around.
"Where is everyone?" he asked groggily.
"Hogsmeade," said Ron as he put Hermione in checkmate. "It's the first trip of the year. We decided not to go, Hogsmeade's started to lose its… excitement."
Harry smiled, Hogsmeade was plenty exciting, especially when he was at the theater with Cho. All of a sudden, Ron gave a very loud laugh.
"What is it Ron?" asked Hermione. "I didn't play that bad… did I?"
"No, no… it's not that Hermione," said Ron, still laughing. "It's just that… I can't believe we didn't think about this before… how is it that we're going to be here and at Azkaban at the same time?"
Harry and Hermione stared at him.
"What do you mean Ron?" asked Harry.
"Well, people are bound to notice that were gone for a few days, aren't they?" asked Ron. "I mean, while were at Azkaban, how will people not notice that we're not here?"
Harry and Hermione's mouths dropped wide open.
"How… did… we… not… think… of… that…?" asked Hermione, sounding appalled at the fact that she did not think of something.
"How are we going to accomplish that?" asked Harry. He looked at Hermione, expecting an answer.
"Well, we could make models of ourselves and then try to bring them to life, but… oh no… there's no way we can do anything! We only have three hours! Why didn't we think of this earlier!?" Hermione looked as though she might collapse from worrying.
"Hermione!" yelled Harry. "Calm down! We will think of something!"
"What? In three hours? You're going to think of something?" she asked.
"Well, yeah…" started Harry, but then he looked around. "Actually… no."
Hermione looked like she was going to explode,
"No?! Well, we have to think of-"
"No, I mean I won't think of something, Aylar will!" said Harry. He looked over at Aylar, who was busy making a perfect sculpture of a dragon out of a large block of marble to the entertainment of some other first years, looked over at Harry, apparently hearing him say his name.
"What will I think of, Harry?" he asked. Harry had to think of something fast, he wasn't ready just yet.
"Well, Aylar… you see… um… well…" Harry had to think of something fast or Aylar would get suspicious. Suddenly, and idea popped into his head, "I like Ginny."
Aylar raised an eyebrow.
"And what does that have to do with anything?" he asked.
"Well… I'm currently going out with Cho," continued Harry, having a slight idea about where he was heading. "You see, I promised Cho that I'd go out with her tonight after the Halloween feast, but then Ginny came up to me, and asked if I would go out with her the same time. I didn't want to say no to her since I like her, but I also don't want to cancel my date with Cho. So, I need to be in two places at once. Any ideas?"
Ron and Hermione were looking at Harry with an expression of amazement on their faces. Aylar, however, smiled.
"Of course Harry," he said. "Just use a Cloning Charm on yourself."
Harry could have kicked himself in the face.
"Oh! Thanks Aylar!" said Harry affectionately. Aylar started to walk away.
"Don't mention it…. Oh, and by the way Harry… don't expect any luck with Ginny… she's already busy," said Aylar as he walked back to his group, shaking his head.
Harry turned around to an excited Hermione, and a confused Ron.
"Excellent story Harry!" said Hermione. "I couldn't have come up with anything better!"
"What did he mean by Ginny being 'busy'?" asked Ron, being big-brotherly. "What does he know that we don't?"
"Uh, about a million spells," said Harry. Then, seeing the look on Ron's face, "Oh don't worry Ron, he was probably just joking." Ron's frown turned into a smile again.
"Yeah, I guess you're right Harry," said Ron.
"Geez, what's wrong with me today?" Hermione asked herself. "I never thought about us having to be in two places at once, and I didn't think of using the Cloning Charm. Maybe I should see Madam Pomfrey."
Ron and Harry laughed.
"We had better get started making the clones of ourselves," said Harry. "In case a problem comes up, we want to have time figure it out."
Ron and Hermione nodded in agreement.
"Where should we make the clones?" asked Ron.
"Well, definitely not here," said Harry. "Or in any of the classrooms. Who knows who might pop in and see two of each of us. Where would we be guaranteed that no one would ever see us?"
A smirk came across Hermione's face.
"The girls' bathroom!" she said. In their second year at Hogwarts, they had to make a Polyjuice potion, and to hide it from everyone, they made it in the broken down girls' bathroom.
"Great idea Hermione!" said Ron. "The only person who'd see us would be Moaning Myrtle, and it's not like she'd care." Moaning Myrtle was the miserable ghost of a girl who haunted the bathroom.
"Right, let's go," said Harry. They walked out of the common room, and to the girls' bathroom. Even though no one would see them, or know they'd been in there, it still felt weird to Harry to go inside. When they got in, it was exactly how Harry had remembered it: rusty and disgusting.
"Who's there?" came a voice from one of the stalls. The door to it opened, and before them was Moaning Myrtle. She floated about three feet off the ground, right above a puddle of water which Harry hoped was made from Myrtle's tears.
Instead of crying and moping around, though, a smile came across Myrtle's face as she saw the three of them. She flew towards them, and put her arms around them. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were all very surprised.
"Oh, it's so good to see you again… especially you Harry," said Myrtle, blushing slightly. Harry made a very forced smile, and Ron nudged him.
"I think Myrtle likes you Harry," he said, trying hard not to laugh. Myrtle, however, appeared to have heard them.
"Hey, I'm old, not dead!" she said, jokingly..
"What?" said Hermione. "Myrtle, you're young, and you are dead!" All three of them laughed, and, surprisingly, Myrtle took part in the laughter. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stopped immediately. This was the first time any of them had head Myrtle laugh. It was very eerie.
"Uh, Myrtle?" asked Ron. "Why are you laughing?" Myrtle stopped, and glared at Ron.
"Because what she said was funny, Ron," spat Myrtle. "Am I not allowed to laugh at funny thing?" Ron went red.
"Uh, no. Of course not Myrtle… it's just that… well, you've never laughed before," stuttered Ron.
"Well, I've taken a new outlook on life- err… death, Ron. It's been more than fifty years since I've died, and I still haven't crossed over into the next life yet." Ron and Harry looked confused. "You know," said Myrtle, seeing their faces. "When I stop being a ghost and become a spirit."
"Yeah, sure Myrtle…" said Harry, not really knowing what she was talking about.
"So what are you doing here?" asked Myrtle.
"We have to make copies of ourselves," blurted Hermione. She immediately put her hands over her mouth as though to try and erase what she said, but it was too late.
"Why do you need to do that?" asked Myrtle suspiciously. Harry decided he might as well use the same story as before.
"Because all of us want to go to Hogsmeade with two different people," said Harry.
Myrtle eyed him suspiciously.
"Really?" she asked slowly. "All three of you?"
"Yes," Harry, Ron, and Hermione said in unison.
"Okay…. Well then, I'll leave you to do that," she said as the disappeared out a window in the room. The three of them breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well there's something you don't see everyday," said Harry.
"Let's do this," said Ron, taking his wand out of his pocket. Harry and Hermione followed him and took their wands out as well.
"Let's make a circle, and each make a copy of the other," said Hermione. Harry nodded in agreement, it would be rather difficult to do it on yourself. Harry got behind Ron, and he got behind Hermione. They formed a rather triangular circle. Hermione pointed her wand to Harry's back, and Ron pointed his wand to Hermione's back. Harry pointed his wand to Ron's back.
"Clonusout!" they all yelled at the same time. Harry immediately saw a fuzzy version of Ron forming next to him. He suddenly felt as though he had run a mile. Copying humans was evidently harder than copying pillows. The copied Ron was slowly coming into focus, like a bad television station you were adjusting. Every second was like sprinting another hundred yards. Harry was panting now, feeling his muscles ache all over.
Finally, after what felt like a marathon run, the copy of Ron was crystal clear, and Harry collapsed on the floor, gasping for breath. Each was difficult to draw, but he was slowly gaining his strength back. Harry wondered how Ron and Hermione did. He immediately leapt to his feet, and looked at them. They were standing upright, but there were no clones of Harry or Hermione to be seen.
"Where are your clones?" asked Harry. Ron and Hermione bet their heads down.
"We couldn't do it Harry," said Hermione. "It just took too much energy." Harry put his hand on his forehead, disappointed.
"You're just stronger than us Harry," said Ron. "I guess you do more exercise in those Quidditch practices than I do." Harry gave a deep sigh.
"Well, what are we going to do?" asked Harry. "We only have one clone."
"Well… could you… do us?" asked Hermione, twisting her foot on the ground. Harry sighed again.
"I guess I could, but I'd rather not if I didn't have to," said Harry. But suddenly, and idea came to him. "I've got it!" Harry pointed his wand at Ron's arm.
"Engorgio!" yelled Harry. Ron's arm got bigger and bigger, the muscles were bulging, they looked as though they were in danger of popping out of Ron's skin. When Ron's biceps were about six inches high, Harry stopped, and did the spell on the other one.
"There you go Ron! You should have plenty of strength, enough to make a hundred clones," said Harry. Ron raised his arms above his head, and then brought them down upon a sink behind him. There was an earsplitting loud crash, and then all that remained of the sink was a small pile of dust.
"I could get used to this!" said Ron.
"Well, you shouldn't," said Hermione. "The Engorgio Charm only works on humans for a little while. You're massive arms will be back to how they were before in less than a half hour." Ron frowned.
"Oh, and I was just getting to like them!" said Ron.
"Yeah, yeah, back to work now," said Harry. "Ron, use the Cloning Charm on me and Hermione, and then lets get ready to go, we only have about two hours left. Ron quickly took his wand out, and pointed it at Harry.
"Clonusout!" he yelled, and Harry suddenly felt lighter. He felt as though he were a few inches off the ground. Then, he felt like he was spinning, slowly at first… but then faster… and faster. Harry felt as though he was going to be sick, he wished Ron would hurry up with the spell.
Then, suddenly, the sensation stopped, and Harry saw a copy of himself standing right next to him. The clone's eyes were closed, it looked like it was asleep.
After he was done admiring his clone, Harry looked over at Hermione who was eyeing her copy, which also appeared to be asleep. It was very odd, seeing two identical people standing right next to each other. But, Harry thought about Fred and George, and the idea didn't sound as odd as before.
"Alright," said Harry to Ron. "Good job!" Ron walked over to his clone, who was asleep as well.
"How do we wake them up?" asked Ron, looking at his copy as though it were a statue, peering around the head and the back.
"I dunno," said Harry. "Snap your fingers?" Ron laughed, and loudly snapped his fingers directly in front of his clone. Unexpectedly, Ron's clone's eyes opened quickly.
"Ah!" yelled the clone, walking backwards. "What's going on here!?" He walked backwards more, until he suddenly tripped over his feet, and fell into a trashcan. Ron walked over to him, and helped him out.
"Why, why are you… me?" asked the clone of Ron. Ron laughed.
"Well, we're not perfect clones, are we?" asked Ron, indicating his bulging arms. His clone gave a very weak smile. Harry, seeing that this was not going anywhere, decided to speak up.
"You see," said Harry to Ron's clone, "you are a clone of Ron." It was the best Harry could think of to say. How else do you break it to someone that you're a clone of someone else? Ron's clone had an expression of utmost surprise on his face. "You mean… I'm just a clone of him?" asked Ron's clone, pointing to Ron.
"Yes," said Ron. "We need you to pretend to be me for a few days."
"I am you," said the clone. Ron sighed.
'No, you don't understand," said Ron. "Harry copied me, and you are the copy." The clone smiled and shook his head.
"No way," he said. "I can't be a clone. I am Ron. I have memories, I am not a copy."
Harry now knew they were definitely not going to convince Ron's clone that he was a copy. They had to form a different plan.
"You know what," said Harry to Ron's clone. "You're right. You're not a clone, we are the clones." Ron's clone folded his arms, and nodded his head.
"I knew it," he said. Ron and Hermione looked at Harry, apparently confused. Harry mouthed, "Play along."
"If you're the clones," asked Ron's clone, "then why did you pretend I was?" Harry gritted his teeth, he hadn't should've expected this.
"Um… you see… we were…um… testing you. To… uh… make sure you were the originals. The people we were cloned from. Only the true originals would have all the memories." The clone of Ron seemed to have accepted this.
"I see… but, why don't I remember cloning you guys and, why does my clone have bigger arms then me?" he asked them.
"Well, um… to answer your first question… um… the Cloning Charm took so much energy out of you that you… uh… collapsed," said Harry, hoping that Ron's copy would believe him. "And your clone's arms are bigger than yours because… uh… you accidentally used an Engorgio Charm on them when you were almost unconscious from using the Cloning Charm." Though he looked a little confused, Ron's clone seemed satisfied with this.
"One last question," he said. "Why did we clone you?"
"Because we're going to Azkaban to rescue Sirius and Lupin," said Harry. Ron's clone smiled and nodded.
"Yeah, why risk our necks when we can make clones of ourselves and let them do it?" he said, laughing afterwards.
"Speaking of which," said Hermione, playing along, "we've got to go now. We want to have time to scare Aragog into the Great Hall. Don't forget to play along with the crowd and be scared." Ron's clone nodded, and Ron, Harry and Hermione started to walk out of the bathroom.
"Oh, don't forget to wake them up!" yelled Harry to Ron's clone just before he left the bathroom. As soon as they were outside the shut door, all three of them leaned against the wall, and slid down, giving a deep sigh.
"Great job Harry," said Ron, rubbing his face with his now back-to-normal-size arms.
"Great story. I can't believe you came up with another good one!" Harry grinned and looked at his watch.
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