“Well, that’s the last of them,” Hermione said. She closed the door to the Room of Requirement and tapped her wand on the Marauder’s Map. “Mischief managed.”
She glanced back over the messy room. It was the DA meeting room, but there were added sofas, chairs and tables. A large spread of food covered one table, empty Butter Beer bottles were scattered around, and Muggle balloons floated magically, without helium, all throughout the room. Ginny had figured out a spell that made confetti fall from the ceiling non-stop, and then disappear a few moments after it hit the floor. Luna had even enchanted the cracked Foe Glass to shout out things like, “Welcome to Potter’s Party!” and “Happy Harry Day!” whenever anyone walked past it.
“Finite Incantatum.” Hermione flicked her wand at the confetti and the last bit floated to the floor and vanished.
She walked over to where Harry was sitting on top of a small table. Ron was standing next to him, grazing over several bowls of snacks.
“That was really nice of them to throw you a party, Harry,” Ron said between mouthfuls of Dippy’s Cheesy Dragon Doodles.
“Yeah.” Harry forced a half-smile and looked down.
“Oh, Harry, I know it’s not easy, but you really should have tried
to enjoy it,” Hermione sighed as she picked up a pillow from the sofa and sat down. “They only want you to know that they support you and care about you.”
Harry felt a little lurch in his stomach. He had been so engulfed by his anger and self-pity following Sirius’ death that he didn’t even want to think about anyone else caring for him.
“And since the DA doesn’t really need to exist anymore, it was nice to see everyone together again, wasn’t it?”
try to have fun,” he mumbled. It was true. They had played a briefly amusing game of Charades which Harry quite enjoyed, particularly when the Creevey brothers tried to act out Fred & George’s famous “Escape from Hogwarts.” And not even Hermione could suppress laughter when Seamus led them in singing a rather vulgar little limerick about a leprechaun. But several times throughout the evening Harry could be found sitting by himself, sipping his Butter Beer and looking lost in thought.
“Look, mate…he wouldn’t want it to be like this. If Sirius enjoyed anything out of life, it was his time at Hogwarts, and I know he’d want the same for you,” Ron said as he put down the snack bowl. “I can’t really imagine what you’re feeling, I’ll be honest. But I knew Sirius just as…well, nearly as well as you did, and if he were standing here right now he’d say –”
“He’d say I’m less like my father than he thought,” Harry interrupted.
Ron frowned. He just started to say, “No, that’s not what I…” when Hermione piped in.
“That’s not necessarily a bad thing…oh, don’t look at me like that. You know what I mean, Harry. Ron’s right. Sirius would want you to have fun…and do well in school…he was very proud of you. He may have tried to see your father in you, but he also felt like a father to you.”
“I hardly think that sitting here on a Friday night while Voldemort… that…that thing that killed my parents…runs around free is something to be proud of!”
“I know it’s frustrating. It is to all of us. But we have to do what Dumbledore asks.”
The three sat quietly for a minute. Hermione chewed on her lip, trying to think of something comforting to say. Ron’s face was screwed up in deep concentration. Harry just looked lost.
Suddenly a balloon floated into the sharp edge of one of the many dark detectors in the room. It popped with a loud *BANG!* All three jumped, startled by the sudden, loud noise. Then Ron smiled.
“Well, then…let’s do something that would make him proud.”
“What do you mean, Ron?” Hermione asked.
“Probably the only reason Sirius even enjoyed Hogwarts was because of the Marauders. Just going to classes all day and studying isn’t fun.” Hermione began to open her mouth to protest, but stopped. “Fred & George got the Marauder’s Map, and they used it to their full advantage, didn’t they? And now we’ve got it. It would be a real shame to let that go to waste.”
“Just what are you proposing?”
“I don’t know, but someone needs to pick up where Fred & George left off.”
A small smile crept across Harry’s face. “Snape.”
“Snape?” Hermione asked. “Why would Snape…? Oh…oh, come on, Harry. You’re on barely civil terms as it is. Anyway, he’s on our side. You shouldn’t go messing with him. He’s not that bad...”
“Well if you think he’s so nice, then we’ll just have to see for ourselves.”
Ten minutes later they arrived outside the Potions classroom. Harry watched the map carefully to make sure no one would find them. Ron was trying every unlocking spell he knew to open the door. Minutes later he looked rather frustrated with his failing attempts to sneak in. Hermione looked rather frustrated with Ron.
“Ron, we just can’t be doing things like this…we’re Prefects!”
“Fine, Hermione!” Ron snapped. “Then just go back to your dorm and pretend you know nothing about this. But don’t get all upset when you feel left out because Harry and I have pulled off one of the greatest pranks in Hogwarts’ history!” He looked at Harry, who was wearing a huge grin.
“This might even make it into Hogwarts: A History
!” Harry laughed.
“But what kind of example do you…oh, just move over and let me do it!” Hermione mumbled a spell and the door lock instantly clicked.
Ron looked at her with a furrowed brow. “How did you…?”
“Charms class. Pay attention sometime,” she said snidely, and carefully opened the door. “Alright, just do this quickly and let’s get out of here.”
“But…but you’re the one who knows how to make the potion,” Ron muttered.
“Then how, exactly, did you plan on getting written up in Hogwarts: A History
without me? Really!” she said with an exasperated sigh. “Look, I’ll tell you what to do, but I’m not making it. And I really shouldn’t…”
“Fine,” said Harry, and he began gathering ingredients. After carefully following Hermione’s directions, he and Ron watched the liquid simmer and turn from bright magenta to completely clear. He bottled it up and they cleaned up all evidence of their trespassing.
“Right, Ron,” Harry said, handing the vial to Ron, “now just sprinkle it on Snape’s desk and chair and it will dry. Then when the area is disturbed during class Monday, the dried liquid will turn into a vapor, and when he inhales it…instant cheeriness!”
Hermione rolled her eyes as she put the last of the equipment away, and as soon as Ron had finished they made their way to the door. Harry looked down at the Marauder’s Map to make sure the path was clear.
“That’s odd.” He blinked a few times and adjusted his glasses, as though he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Hermione took the map, and with a similar expression asked, “What, or who, is Trillie?”
“I don’t know,” Ron said, looking over her shoulder, “but they’re coming this way. We’d better go fast.” He opened the door and peered out, and then laughed. “It’s just a little blue bird.”
Hermione and Harry looked out, too.
“That’s not just a bird, that’s a jobberknoll.” It flittered around the hall silently.
“What’s it doing here?” Harry asked.
“Well, their feathers are used in Memory Potions and Truth Serums…I suppose it must be Professor Snape’s.”
“We should go before it squawks or something and Filch hears.”
“It won’t squawk,” Hermione said, shaking her head. “They don’t make noise…not until they die at least.”
“How on earth do you know…?”
“Honestly, Ron. Listen in class. Third year, Professor Snape…”
“Speaking of Snape, he’s coming,” Harry interrupted. “He must be looking for Trillie. We’d better go fast.”
Harry grabbed Hermione by the arm and ran out the door. Ron came quickly behind, but Hermione stopped and turned around.
“The door! It has to be locked!” She quickly chanted the locking spell and took off down the hall after Ron and Harry.
As they rounded the corner, Hermione looked over her shoulder.
“It’s following us! And Snape’s right behind. But I don’t think he saw us!”
They ran a down the hall, around a corner and down the next hall…Trillie still followed. They heard Snape’s footsteps chasing right behind. As they rounded the third corner, Harry saw a broom cupboard. He motioned them in and closed the door quickly.
“Why in here?” Ron asked, panting.
“If we went to Gryffindor Tower, it would follow us and he’d know. Now shhhh!”
The sound of fluttering wings could be heard just outside the door.
“Trillie…how did you...? What are you…doing…down this…hall?” they heard an out-of-breath Snape say. “Come now…sweetheart. We’ll just…get you all cuddly…back in your cage…and if you’re sweet…maybe I’ll…sing you a song.”
The three could barely contain their laughter as Snape’s breathing and footsteps got quieter, then disappeared. Finally it was safe.
“Can you believe that? Who’d have known he had a soft side?” Ron giggled, wiping tears from his eyes. Hermione was covering her mouth and laughing silently.
Harry was laughing so hard he barely managed to say, “Well, since he’ll be in such a good mood on Monday, maybe he’ll sing for us!”