The Golden Wand
The First Chapter of my new fic, The Golden Wand. This is the sequel to the Serpent Master, so if you haven't read that yet, may I suggest you do so
Anyway... on with Chapter One!
The Golden Wand
Freya Asta observed the golden ring on her hand questionably, from different angles, from above, from below. It didn’t seem to add up. Why would she say yes? What made her do it?
An odd feeling was building in her chest, a mix of fear trepidation and excitement. She was going to be married.
Before she could get too engrossed in her thoughts however, a figure approached from behind, a man whose size shadowed her below and everywhere he walked.
‘Still gaping at that ring are you?’ he said gruffly ‘Relax you said yes.’
‘She’s obsessed with the damn thing, obsessed.’ Another voice said, this one was female, tough still rough. The hull of the barge shook violently making several of the crew members lurch suddenly.
‘Grubby storm,’ the large man said again, ‘Astara can’t we do anything about it?’
‘No weather manipulation charms, you know the rules. Besides, we’re passing Azkaban, so it’s bound to get a bit rough.’
‘Azkaban?’ Freya suddenly raised her head, her mind pulled away from the ring on her hand suddenly, ‘Are we going back to Britain then? Where are we going? Can we go and see-‘
‘Whoa Freya, one question at a time please.’ Astara said a slight sense of humour in her voice, ‘Darek can you call the other’s down please, I have an announcement to make.’
The large Darek stumbled up the stairs to the top deck. With the thought of finally returning to Britain running through her head. Freya couldn’t sit still. She could see her family again; visit her brother, her cousins, and her friends.
The anticipation was killing her but she could do nothing but wait. Eventually Darek returned, along with several other wizards and witches.
The witch Astara cleared her throat.
‘Well, I guess you’ve all been wondering where our next stop will be. Well, let me tell you. It’s Hogwarts.’
‘Hogwarts?’ a small man with a crackling voice cried out ‘I haven’t been to Hogwarts in almost seventy years.’
‘Why Hogwarts?’ Darek asked, ‘They seem to be getting along fine, as far as I’ve heard.’
Astara nodded, ‘Yes well... Professor McGonagall wrote to us in 1988 after the battle of Hogwarts. She requested our presence.’
‘So...’ a tall man with a top hat looked glaringly at Astara,
‘after twenty two years we’re finally going to go back? Seems a bit harsh if you ask me.’
There was a murmur of agreement around the room.
‘Well, Gryus you are correct. But you know how busy we are do you not? I thought we better fill our promise sooner rather than later.’
The group was silent. The only audible sound came from the waves crashing against the side of the ship. After a brief moment, Astara spoke again.
‘We will be landing in Northumberland within twelve hours. I suggest you all pack up your things and prepare for landing. Freya, keep an eyes on our package. We no not need a scratch on it. Gyrus, collect the letters from the desk on my office. Darek, tell the crew we are going to far south, we need to land in the right place. Everyone else... just be ready. We land at sunrise.’
Sunrise would be hard to spot in this weather, Freya thought bitterly and she bent down to lift a sack from a huge bulk of crates that had been sitting inside the room. She sought only one crate, and felt it with her hand. Though the air was cold she could feel an immense heat coming from within.
‘It’s fine Astara.’ She replied.
‘Then go get your things.’
She turned and hurried up the steps and out onto the deck. Though the ship had calmed slightly, it was freezing on deck. She hurried to the quarters, gathered her belongings and then hurried back to the storage room.
As the storm eased and eased, the weather seemed to get colder and colder. The others reappeared soon after with their belongings in tow and sat down on the floor for what seemed like hours. The chill was becoming unbearable though and no one seemed to want to speak either, unless the cold sneak into their open mouths and give them more suffering than they already had.
‘I wish we were back in Brazil.’ Darek said grumpily. Can you imagine what winter at Hogwarts will be like... unbearable.’
No one replied and Freya, who felt that Darek was over exaggerating a tiny bit, glared at him but everyone forgot their gripes ten minutes later when one of the crew burst into the holding room.
‘Todos sai aqui! Dementors Dementors!’
‘What did he say?’ Gyrus asked not looking at the sailor.
‘Dementors... everyone on deck now! Freya, secure the package and come up. Hurry!’
There was a sudden scurry for the door and Freya quickly checked on the crate. It was humming slightly but nothing untoward as she recognised it. She covered the stack, withdrew her wand and headed up on deck.
Around fifty dementors were soaring above the ship. Through the mast, over the deck. Freya withdrew her wand, pointed it at a Dementor and shouted ‘Expecto Patronum!’
Her horse came galloping out and chased several dementors away at once. Dareks, bull Patronus had just beaten five.
‘There’s too many of them!’ Gyrus shouted.
‘Keep at it!’ Astara shouted ‘We must keep the ship secure!’
Several crew members had hidden themselves away but the rest of the crew, including the old captain, were fighting off the Dementor’s with every bit of spirit they had with them.
‘Expecto Patronum!’ Freya cried but nothing happened. Ice was falling instead of rain, Dementors were attacking and she couldn’t perform a Patronus.
‘Expecto Patronum!’ she cried again but nothing happened. She was too far away to go and hide in the storage room. There was nothing she could do.
A sudden crack filled the air and the fighters raised their heads to see the main mast, splinter, crack and then fall limply.
Part of the mast had fallen away allowing a little cove. Freya ducked underneath it and tried to make herself hidden though she knew it wouldn’t do much good. Something was cold. Something was peering through. Freya gripped her wand tightly pointing it at the hole in the mast.
Slowly, something was tearing through. A scaly, dark and decrepit hand. Then a hooded head, face covered, no visible eyes.
Freya screamed. She could feel nothing but dark stabs of guilt on her. Someone was crying. Someone was running.
The Dementor fled and in its place, a bright bull appeared. Freya felt warm. Felt safe. Heat, protection. Darek appeared through the mast.
‘Are you alright?’ he asked reaching an arm down to pull Freya up.
‘I’m... are they still...’
‘No, they’ve gone. We managed to fight them off. What happened?’
Freya shook her head. ‘I don’t know... my wand... it didn’t...’
‘Don’t worry about it... lets get you inside.’
Darek led Freya through the debris. The main mast had fallen but the mizzen mast still remained.
Below, Freya found Astara and the others grouped around a jar, in which stood a dancing blue flame.
‘What happened?’ Astara hurried over to Freya as soon as she saw that Freya was okay.
‘My wand... I couldn’t perform a Patronus.’
Astara looked intently at Freya. She blinked twice, then said
‘What do you mean? You couldn’t perform a Patronus?’
‘I just couldn’t! I don’t know why.’
Astara bit her lip. ‘Well, we can’t do anything about it now. We’ll have to wait until we’ve landed. Either way we’ve got bigger problems, Dementors.’
The group was silent. Darek rubbed his arm where a long scar was visible. Gyrus was white as a ghost.
‘The British ministry will have some questions to answer when we get there. Luckily the mast can be fixed. I better go and help the crew. Gyrus come with me please.’
Gyrus and Astara left. Freya sat herself down on the floor. Her belongings had been thrown about in the fight and she had no idea where they were now.
She wanted sleep. Her eyes closed, and she tried to warm herself up. Eventually, she drifted off, with the chill of Dementor’s stewing in her mind.
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Last edited by shaun0505; March 28th, 2011 at 4:16 am.
Re: The Golden Wand
A Journey North
The ten fifty five to Bristol was leaving. Its passengers were businessmen, tourists, students and people who had gotten on the wrong train. Slowly it pulled away from platform nine, revealing a small family, hurrying along the platform with several large trunks, a tawny owl and a tabby cat, both of which were locked in their respective cages.
‘Dear god Philip, we’re going to be late!’
‘Calm down Claire we’ll be fine. Where’s the ticket barrier again.’
‘Over here.’ Jenny said pointing to a ticket barrier which seemed to be attracting a lot of attention today.
‘Okay, Cleo you first.’ Said Claire who was panting slightly.
Cleo, the blond haired boy, took the trolley with the owl and pointed it towards the ticket barrier. Then with a deep breath, hurtled towards it.
‘You next Jenny, come on be quick.’
‘Mum... we’ve got another twenty minutes.’
‘I know,’ Claire replied, ‘but that doesn’t mean we can dawdle, go on, in.’
Jenny pushed the trolley with the cat into the barrier and Claire and Philip followed.
‘I hate that thing.’ Philip said, sounding particularly nervous.
‘That’s because you’re a bit of a wimp Philip.’
Philip raised his eyebrows at his wife, but said nothing. Their children, Jenny and Cleo, were now halfway down the platform trying to find a place to put their trunks and sit. They stopped halfway down the train.
‘Found somewhere?’ Philip asked.
‘Yeah, here.’ Replied Cleo ‘Have you seen Will?’
Jenny shook his head and Cleo frowned.
‘He’ll be around don’t worry.’ Claire said.
As soon as their trunks were on board. Sophia turned to her children.
‘Have a good year won’t you. Be careful. And you Jenny.’
She leant down to hug her children, first Cleo and then Jenny who was particulary pleased when she got an extra tight squeeze.
‘You’re not going yet are you?’ Cleo said ‘We’ve got ages left!’
Claire bit her lip. Jenny could see that she was anxious. Sorry.
‘We’ve got magical maintenance coming at half-past twelve. Something’s wrong with the sink. Something a plumber can’t fix.’
Jenny sighed. She lowered her head and bit her lip, annoyed.
‘Come on Claire,’ Philip said, ‘we’re going to get caught in traffic at this rate.’
Claire nodded. She gave her children another hug, before rising again and hurrying along down the platform and out of sight. Cleo coughed loudly, bringing her attention back to him.
‘How on earth are we going to get our trunks on the train? And Basir and Aurora as well. We haven’t got a chance.’
Jenny sighed, but then a spark hit her. Spark of imagination she would have never thought of otherwise.
‘Technically, we’re at Hogwarts now.’ She said slyly, then withdrew her wand from her pocket.
‘Wingardium Leviosa!’ her trunk rose slowly off the ground and into the train where it was secured. She did the same with Cleo’s trunk and then grinned at him.
‘See, I can do something right.’
They climbed aboard.
‘I don’t know Jenny. Ever since May you’ve been a bit... I don’t know sneaky. Like something’s not right within you.’
Jenny glared up at Cleo. ‘You think? I wonder what could be causing me trouble... I don’t know, how about a dirty great snake living in me.’
She had gotten worse. Not visibly, but mentally. Cleo had noticed it, she was angrier, spent more time alone outside and often went days without saying a single word.
‘Calm down, I didn’t mean it like that.’ Cleo muttered. He tried to console Jenny but she wasn’t having any of it.
‘I don’t know how you’re feeling Jen, of course I don’t, but I’m trying to help you through this, we all are.’
The human part of her relaxed and purred like a cat. She turned and hugged her brother.
Cleo however, was less than amused. He stood bewildered as Jenny hugged him, then pulled away trying to act natural.
‘Let’s find a compartment, shall we.’ Jenny replied rather happily.’
They found soon found one at the back of the train and not a moment too soon as it began to leave the station.
‘Mind if I let Aurora out?’ Jenny asked, looking at her cat with intent.
Cleo shook his head. ‘As long as I can let Basir out.’
‘What let a dirty great owl like that all through the train, yeah I’m sure they’ll love that.’ Jenny said sarcastically.
Cleo laughed, but he wasn’t sure of whether it was intentional or whether he was laughing to appease Jenny. Either way, they were both distracted at that point with a knock at the door.
‘WIIL!’ Jenny cried and she clambered to the sliding door to let her friend in.
‘Jump on me why don’t you.’ Will said grinning. ‘Oh... Jenny, you haven’t got a cat now have you?’
‘Yeah... so what?’
‘I don’t like... cats.’
‘Are you allergic to them?’ Jenny asked.
This time, Cleo laughed intentionally ‘He’s afraid of them. Aren’t you Will.’
Both Jenny and Cleo laughed now. Will’s face went red.
‘Haha... very funny, just keep it away from me would you.’
Aurora stretched out its legs and curled neatly into Jenny’s lap, directly opposite Will who still looked slightly freaked out.
‘So, did you both have a good summer?’ Will asked. Jenny could sense that he wanted to move away from the discussion of the cat onto other things. She didn’t mind at all, in fact, she found the fact that Will was scared of Aurora rather empowering.
‘Yeah, we went to France for a holiday, went and saw our gran... um...oh yeah and some guy came over to visit. I don’t know who he was... bit odd if you ask me.’
‘Oh thanks a lot.’ Will said drably ‘You honestly make me feel ten times better... and, what’s with the pets?’
Will was watching Aurora who was purring contently on Jenny’s lap. A squawk from Basir also alerted Will’s attention to the large tawny owl next to Will.
‘Presents from mum and dad, for our birthday. It was weird actually; they actually gave us quite a lot this summer.’
‘Yeah, I think I know’ Jenny said but she paused then suddenly
‘Well, it’s me isn’t it?
Cleo and Will both looked at her. Jenny hadn’t talked about herself much over the summer, she had tried not to. Her parents, particulary her mother, were constantly being kind to her no matter what she had done. She wasn’t even discussing things with Cleo which was something she always did.
Cleo cleared his throat nervously.
‘How... is it for you...? I mean, does it feel any different?’
‘A bit,’ Jenny responded ‘now and again I can feel a change in me. That there’s something not right. I get angrier for no reason at times. But otherwise nothing. I haven’t even turned... into since...’
Cleo patted Jenny on the shoulder and Jenny smiled warmly to her brother.
‘Is Professor McGonagall going to help you through it?’ Will asked.
‘I don’t know, she said she was going to do some research. And I’m fine with it as long as I know a bit more about what I am.’
There was an awkward silence as the three contemplated what Jenny had said. They were broken from that silence when there was a knock on the glass door. It was the witch moving up the train selling sweets and other refreshments.
Once they had bought their fill, the mood lightened to an enjoyable and relaxing vibe as they flew through the English Countryside.
Around Two O’clock as they were passing through Northumberland, they heard another knock on the door.
This time, they were pleased to see Macey Weasley and Fred Denton, several fellow Gryffindor second years, both of them seemed rather excited.
‘What happened?’ Cleo asked dimly.
‘We just met the new potions teacher.’
‘She’s on the train?’ Will asked sounding bemused, ‘what’s he
Macey shook her head. ‘No, it’s a she and her names Professor Swann. I think she’s from Australia.’
Cleo blinked. ‘Australia? What’s an Australian witch doing here?’
‘She must be a good teacher if she’s coming to teach in Hogwarts. They don’t usually accept people from other countries, even to come and teach.’
The small group was quiet for a moment. Jenny, who had personally had a bad experience with the last Potions teacher, thought that whatever this Professor Swann was like, it would be nothing compared to what Professor Kreios had been like the previous year.
As the day drew on and the light grew darker outside, Jenny was anxious to get to Hogwarts. The warm halls of the castle were tantalizingly close now and after two months of staying in a nearly muggle house, the allure of the castle was, once again, building.
Eventually, the train began to slow. Jenny, Will and Cleo changed into their house robes and pocketed their wands. Then, with a small lurch, the train stopped at Hogsmede station.
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Re: The Golden Wand
A small wind was beginning to pick up. Jenny Cleo and Will swayed as they stood on the platform wondering where they were supposed to go now. They had taken the boats last year but they knew that there was some other form of transport to carry the rest of the students up to the school.
‘Shall we just follow them?’ Will said pointing up at the throng of students walking away from Hagrid and down into an unknown darkness.
Jenny was all for it. She didn’t want to stay on the platform and freeze to death. So they hurried to catch up with a line of Hufflepuffs who were chatting happily and followed them down out of the station and onto a road where a line of carriages waited. Horseless Carriages.
‘How are we supposed to get up to the castle in a horseless carriage?’ Cleo asked sounding annoyed.
Jenny was about to respond when she saw a carriage stutter off into the distance, it’s occupiers looking snug and warm inside.
‘I don’t know just pick one and get in.’ She said, so Will found an empty carriage and climbed in. They were soon joined by Tandy Riggs and Issy Thomas both of whom looked extremely excited.
Suddenly. The carriages were off, winding down a narrow dark street, the only light being the huge presence of Hogwarts Castle in the distance, Jenny for one was starting to relax a lot. Though she knew she would have to deal with her problem soon, the fact that they were so close to Hogwarts eased her in ways she didn’t know.
The short ride was mostly uneventful. Eventually, it halted at the front doors to Hogwarts and the warm inviting light of the Entrance Hall seemed like heaven to Jenny.
The three made their way in to the Entrance Hall and then to the Great Hall where the finest Goblets and cutlery were laid out and the four house banners hug from a grim, rain threatening ceiling outside.
They found the Gryffindor table and took a seat. Cleo moaned.
‘Can’t they just get the feast on?’ he said ‘I’m starving...’
‘Oh quit complaining you’ll get your food soon enough.’
Soon, Jenny, Will and Cleo were joined by Macey Weasley and Fred Denton.
‘Any idea where Cody is?’ Fred asked the group but Jenny shook her head.
‘He’ll be here don’t worry.’ Will said.
But as the minutes passed and the rest of the students arrived there seemed to be no sign of Cody at all.
‘Where is he?’ Fred was starting to look worried.
‘Maybe he got caught up on the train?’
‘But I didn’t see him on the train, I-‘
Suddenly, there was a large crashing sound from outside the Great Hall. Students rose from their seats to see what the commotion was. Hagrid stumbled into view.
‘Sorry...’ he said ‘I er... just walked into a suit of armour.’
The majority of students laughed but they couldn’t laugh for much longer as soon, tiny
Professor Flitwick began to lead the line of first years up the hall and to the front, where the patched and frayed Sorting Hat sat.
Everyone was no silent waiting for the Sorting Hat to begin his song. Jenny was suddenly reminded of a year ago today, when she was one of the first to place her head underneath the hat. How nervous she had been then! What a strange and mysterious place Hogwarts had felt like. But not anymore, it felt more like home than even her home did.
And the hat began to sing.
‘Greetings students old and new, I am here yet once again.
To sort out the youngest of you, into your houses.
But do not fret and do not fear, there shall be no pain.
For I am the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and sorting is my Game!
If you be brave and chivalrous, then to Gryffindor you will go.
Those mighty lions know that your nerve will never falter and your courage will always show.
Perhaps you’re loyal and true, then Hufflepuff would be for you.
Hardworking badgers, honest through and through.
Maybe wit and matter mean more, then in Ravenclaw you will find those who abhor. Majestic eagles of gold and bronze, always know the score.
If you’re cunning and wanting then to Slytherin you must fly.
Those ambitious serpents are definitely sly.
Give me a go, try me on, I swear I won’t bite.
I’ll tell you were to go and all will be alright!’
There was a large round of applause from the tables. Jenny could see many of the first years looking extremely nervous. She chuckled, then watched as Professor Flitwick began to call up students to be sorted.
The Gryffindor table screamed with cheers as a tiny Matthew Creevey stumbled into view, and sat down at the further end of the Gryffindor table near James Potter.
As the sorting continued, Jenny was fondly reminded of a time, exactly a year ago, when she had been called up to the Sorting hat and told to put it on. Fear had swept through her then as she was sure it was for all the first years waiting in line now. Jenny heard Cleo growl with hunger, she too was starting to feel hungry and as the line of students waiting to get sorted began to ease, she got hungrier and hungrier. Eventually, the line of students shortened and at last, Professor McGonagall stood at the front of the hall.
‘Welcome First years, and welcome everybody else, to a brand new year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I can sense you are all quite hungry and so I will not keep you waiting. In the words of one of my predecessors, Tuck In.’
And food appeared before them all, all varieties and types. Jenny grabbed a bit of everything and began to eat.
‘So Mr Abel,’ a voice from up the table rang out to them. It was James Potter who was
sat a little way up, next to Louis Weasley.
‘Rumour has it you’re trying out for the Quidditch team this year. Reckon you got what it takes?’
Cleo, who had a mouth full of food, swallowed and in a weak voice said, ‘I think so.’
‘I hope so; otherwise we’ll be a chaser down this year.’
Cleo gulped. Jenny felt for him. Over the summer he had practiced as much as possible with a broom he had been given for his Birthday. Living in a muggle street had not been easy for him at any rate as his practice times were severely limited.
At that moment there was the sound of feet walking up the Great Hall and Cody Vasco slid into position next to Will.
‘What happened to you?’ Fred asked aggressively.
‘Don’t ask, I just got caught up.’
Jenny raised her eyebrows but said nothing, Fred seemed happy that his friend was back at any rate.
After a pleasing desert, the room quieted down, as Professor McGonagall stood to address the school.
‘Welcome back to Hogwarts, it is lovely to see so many familiar faces and some new faces as well, I am sure we will all get to know each other very well.
‘I have a few start of term announcements to make. Firstly, Mr Croaker has asked me to remind all students that no magic is to be performed in the corridors. If caught, I am afraid the punishment is at his behest.
The Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin Quidditch teams are looking for some new players, if you are interested, please contact your head of house. The-‘
At that moment, each torch, every floating candle went out. People screamed, Professor McGonagall’s loud voice called out calling for calm. Jenny swore she felt something rush past her.
‘Everyone please relax. Professor Leander could you please check the perimeters. Filius see if you can enchant the lights again.’
A booming voice rang out just as Professor Leander stood up.
‘In the ancient times, when man was weak and magic was new, came a glorious wizard. His power was unknown to many and his magical skill outstripped everyone. His name was Merlin.’
From behind the teachers table, a figure emerged, a young lady holding her bright wand aloft.
‘Merlin was indebted to the king of the time, King Arthur. Merlin helped Arthur in his many challenges and problems he faced. Merlin even defeated the Evil Witch Morgan le Fay and thus rid the world of its evil for a long time.’
Another figure arose from the darkness, behind the Ravenclaw table, her wand lit.
‘Merlin soon left this world, but not before he left his wand in the care of Arthur. The simple oak wand was embedded with a bit of Golden Magic that Merlin himself created, gave the wand a gentle golden glow that would last forever. But shortly after Arthur’s death, the wand was lost.’
At the entrance to the great Hall, another man, this one incredibly old, his wand aloft.
‘For hundreds of years, the wand lay hidden away, but at the beginning of the twelfth century, wizarding archaeologists discovered it on a beach in Cornwall, buried in the sand.
The wand had survived the time underground and was in fine condition. It was discovered that the wand had a power of its own.’
Another wizard spoke, ‘The wand was able to protect places for many years, sometimes hundreds, and thus we, The Keepers, began our work taking the wand from place to place, protecting it from evil and malice. And every year we moved to a new place to let the wands magic seep through. And then, we would move on.’
‘This year, we are proud to announce that Hogwarts will be the home of Merlin’s wand or,
The Golden Wand, until such a time in which it will move on.’
At that moment each stranger raised their heads to the ceiling where a light was shining. Several people screamed as an image of a Dragon appeared in the sky. But it was fake, Jenny knew, it couldn’t have been real. Then more moving images, a pair of wizards flying through the air on Broomsticks, then several men firing their wands at something, then a man doing battle with a large snake, a sword in hand. A final a bang as an indoor firework was set of.
Everyone was still looking at the ceiling as the images vanished.
Suddenly A large golden light appeared from above and a wand, encased in a glass box, was lowered from above and finally was placed in the middle of the Great Hall.
Lights were back on, Professor McGonagall and the other teachers were applauding, slowly the rest of the school began to applaud as well, the strangers, seven of them all in total stood against the back wall behind the Ravenclaw table.
Professor McGonagall stood up ‘Yes, I would like to thank The Keepers for coming here this year. It is a great honour to have the Golden Wand visit us this year. I am sure you will treat our guests with the upmost respect and kindness as they go about their duties. Please feel free to ask them questions, I am sure they will not object. While they are here there will be a variety of different events throughout the year, I will not say too much now but please be ready when they arrive.’
‘As I was saying before, I am pleased to announce we have a brand new Teacher at Hogwarts this year, I would like to welcome Professor Elenna Swann who will be taking over as Potions professor. I am sure we will all welcome her warmly.’
There was a light applause, but it was muted by the extravagance of what had come before.
‘Now I am afraid that you all must be off for bed, as you all must be ready for your lessons tomorrow, off!’
There was a slow rumble as people realised they were free to go. Jenny looked to Will and Cleo who both looked excited. It was taking a while for people to move out of the Great Hall as many of them passed the Golden Wand, in an attempt to get a good look at it. When they had finally managed to get out of the Great Hall, Jenny turned to Will and Cleo.
‘Well, what do you think?’ Jenny asked.
‘It’s amazing... I was so scared when the lights went out. I didn’t know what was happening.’
‘I’ve never heard of The Golden wand...,’ Will said ‘I’ve heard of Merlin obviously, but not his wand... I didn’t know there was anything especially odd with it?’
Jenny had no idea either, the thought that they would be looking after Merlin’s wand this year was a bit overwhelming.’ Jenny had known about Merlin for a long time, even before she had started at Hogwarts. So to have his wand at Hogwarts was a bit odd to say the least.
The chatter, as they made their way to Gryffindor Tower seemed to be all about the Golden Wand and The Keepers. Jenny had only just realised how tired she was, and it seemed too odd to her that she would be starting her lessons again tomorrow.
Once in the Gryffindor Common Jenny bade farewell to Cleo and Will and headed up to her Dormitory.
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Re: The Golden Wand
-A Swann Song-
The next morning, The Golden Wand had been moved to the Entrance hall and was being guarded by two of the keepers, a large burly wizard and a young witch, who stood either side of it. Jenny, Will and Cleo stood to observe it for a moment but the crowd behind them were pushing forwards to get a look at it so they left. Flutters of owls flew here and there as they delivered letters to people. Cleo was greeted with a Flutter as Basir, his tawny owl landed on his shoulder to nibble at his ear. Jenny poured herself a glass of orange juice as Professor Longbottom dropped off their timetables.
‘What have we got?’ asked Will who was busy reading a copy of the Daily
Prophet, and had not bothered to pick up his timetable.
‘History of Magic to start off... lovely... then Defence against the Dark arts, charms and Herbology.’
‘No Potions? Cleo said as he gave Basir a final stroke; Basir flew off to the Owlery where he would, no doubt spend the rest of the day asleep.
A red flush appeared on Cleo’s face, and he looked away, a spoon of Cornflakes hanging loosely at his wrist.
Jenny laughed; Will looked up from the paper, and stared towards Cleo.
‘I think that Cleo fancies Professor Swann.’
Cleo look taken aback. Obviously trying to hide the truth he said ‘No I don’t, what are you talking about?’
Jenny and Will laughed putting Cleo in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Jenny knew that Cleo did fancy Professor Swann, he’d had to admit it eventually and when he did, she hoped things would go back to usual.
Cleo didn’t speak to Jenny and Will all through History of Magic and break, after Defence Against the Dark Arts, Jenny decided to try and bring Cleo back to the real world.
‘Come on Cleo, we were only joking.’ Cleo looked to Jenny and Will and sighed.
‘Alright... I do fancy her... is that alright?’
‘Cleo...’ Jenny said ‘It’s fine. Don’t worry.’
The three cheered up greatly after that, and with an incredibly fun Charms lesson in which they were given a variety of objects of which to change the colour of.
After Charms came Herbology, where they were set with replanting Mandrakes, a fiendishly difficult task, especially seeing as the earmuffs they were given did not protect them one bit. Several Hufflepuff students, Laura Kingsley and Sophie Powers were sent to the Hospital wing as the Mandrakes screams had knocked them out.
The next day dawned as the first day had, people hanging in the Entrance Hall observing the Golden Wand as the Burly Wizard and young witch stood by. As Jenny Will and Cleo entered the Great Hall for breakfast, Cleo turned to the other two.
‘Where do you think they’re sleeping?’ he asked.
‘I dunno... they haven’t got anywhere on the grounds have they?’
‘Maybe they sleep somewhere in the castle?’ suggested Will, ‘I mean, this place has loads of room, they may be sleeping in one of those. One thing we know is that they take turns in guarding it... it must be really important.’
‘Of course it’s important.’ Cleo said ‘It’s Merlin’s wand...Merlin’s, I can’t think of anything more important other than the Minister of Magic’s brain! Then again...’
As they sat down, Jenny saw out of the corner of her eye, the burly man and young witch move out of sight as a man wearing a top hat and the old wizard from the other night replaced them.
Turning back, Jenny put on a grin. ‘Bet you’re happy this morning Cleo, Potions later today. Eh?’
‘Oh shut up.’
As much as Jenny enjoyed Transfiguration she couldn’t deny being excited for Potions. Having had an odd relationship with the previous one, odd in that he had been involved in turning Jenny into what she was now, she couldn’t help but be excited about it. Whoever Professor Swann was, Jenny doubted she could be worse than Professor Kreios had been.
Transfiguration passed incredibly slowly, what was worse was it was a double lesson and things were going highly theoretical.
Eventually, the bell rang and Jenny, Will and Cleo made their way down to the Dungeons where Professor Swann was waiting.
‘Good Morning Class.’
The class rang back ‘Good Morning Professor Swann.’
She smiled mutely, ‘Well that just won’t do know will it. Try again, nice and clearly, Good Morning Class.’
‘Good Morning Professor Swann.’
Professor Swann blinked ‘That will have to do. Now before I get started I would like to tell you a bit about myself. I am from Australia and I know you don’t meet many people from Australia, especially a witch so I thought it would be nice to get to know each other.’
She breathed in deeply, the rest of the class were watching her with baited breath.
‘I was born in Australia, in Brisbane, I attended the Sydney Institute of Magical Art for seven years, then went on to the Australian Magical College, the only wizarding university in the world, where I studied under Professor Slughorn, and four years later here I am. In fact, it was Professor Slughorn who suggested me to Professor McGonagall over the summer, and here I am!’
She seemed obviously enthusiastic about the whole thing. Tandy Riggs and Issy Thomas startled giggling. The class observed her for a moment until she began to speak again.
‘My hobbies include Art, Tennis, a muggle game played with sticks, I love the Weird Sisters... and I am a huge fan of Woollongong Warriors. Now I want each one of you to tell me something about yourself.’
She went around the classroom talking to each student in turn asking them to reveal a facet of knowledge about themselves. As Will muttered on about his dad breeding racing Hippogriffs Jenny was given time to think. What could she tell the class about herself? What did she want to reveal. She liked animals... she had a cat... she was an animal.
Tell them what you are. Tell them that you are a monster.
She couldn’t. She couldn’t just announce to the rest of the class and Professor Swann that she was a beast. Something to be hidden from the public at all times. But she wanted to let them all know. Cleo had helped her over the summer, she was sure that Will would help her in time. But only them. She wanted to blurt it out to the rest of the school. She wanted everyone to know what Kreios had made her become.
Cleo began talking about Quidditch. Jenny was going to do it. She was going to tell everyone what she was and to **** with the consequences.
Cleo finished and it was Jenny’s turn. She took a deep breath.
‘I’m Jenny and I really like animals... I have a cat and...’ she paused. No. What was she doing she couldn’t tell anyone what she was, it was suicide. It was foolish and stupid, it wasn’t her.
Professor Swann raised her head ‘And?’
‘And... I have a cat at home as well.’
Cleo turned to look at her, his eyes wide with suspicion. No one else seemed to notice Jenny’s peculiar behaviour and Professor Swann was now listening to how Macey Weasley was learning to play the piano.
Once everyone was done, Professor Swann clapped her hands and spoke aloud, her hair rippling behind her.
‘Fantastic. Lovely. Right. We have a few things to do today. Firstly, I want to test your knowledge on antidotes as I hear your last teacher was highly interested in them. Then I would like to see your make a blistering solution, followed by a reading from your books on the correct usage of Dragons Blood in antidotes. To work!’
The test Professor Swann had prepared was a series of questions to be answered by the students, ranging from the difficult to the fiendishly difficult to the impossible. As bad a Kreios had turned out to be, he had proved to be an effective Potions teacher; Jenny couldn’t tell whether Professor Swann was a proficient teacher, not yet at any rate.
Once the testing had been completed, they began to work on the Blistering solution which was as difficult as the test had been if possible more.
‘What happened to you earlier... in the questions.’
Cleo was leaning over his boiling cauldron, chopping up mandrake roots. Jenny gave him a feverish glance and muttered, ‘Nothing happened.’
‘Oh come on, I’m not stupid.’
‘Hey!’ Professor Swann had spotted Cleo talking to Jenny and was waving her wand at them, ‘How are you supposed to work when you are a talking?’
Cleo looked up at Professor Swann. Her eyebrows had narrowed and her arms were folded, looking intently at Cleo as she waited for him to answer.
‘Um... what...?’ Cleo’s face contorted into a mixture of confusion and humour.
‘Ten points from Gryffindor Mr Abel. Back to work.’
Cleo raised his eyebrows but said nothing and returned to his potion. Professor Swann hurried away to look at Fred Denton’s work.
An hour later, the dungeon was full of a wispy smoke in the air. Jenny’s potion was half completed but it had become very hard to complete it with Professor
Swann leering over them every few minutes.
‘Right, once you have finished the potion please pout some into the vial and place it on my desk, then-‘
At that moment, the bell rang for lunch and there was a huge rush for people to vial their potions and get out of the dungeon.
‘Homework, I want you to read the chapter about Dragons blood and write three paragraphs summarising it. For Friday please.’
The classroom soon emptied, Jenny made sure she was one of the first out, she didn’t know what it was but something about Professor Swann confused her. The way she treated them like two year olds, how clammy the dungeon felt and the difficulty of the work she had set gave Jenny a mixed impression about the teacher.
Professor Longbottom was strolling down the grand staircase wearing robes of deep magenta. Will looked up.
‘A word if you would, my office. Good day to you Mr and Miss Abel.’
Will followed Professor Longbottom up the stairs and away to the upper levels of the classroom. Cleo gave Jenny a bemused expression. ‘What’s all that about?’
‘I don’t know... oh...’
At that moment, an owl swooped in from the grounds and screeched just as it flew over Jenny then into the Great Hall. As it screeched, Jenny dropped her books and her bag.
‘Come on...’ Cleo said as he helped his sister retrieve her things, let’s head outside.’
Presuming that Will would find them at their next lesson, Cleo and Jenny hurried out of the Entrance Hall to the empty grounds.
There was a soft rain falling from an ever threatening dark sky, in a matter of seconds the heavens could open and bring down torrential rain and thunder.
But Jenny and Cleo didn’t pay any attention to the rain. They found a beech tree which offered a bit of protection from the rain. Jenny sat herself down and
sighed, Cleo sat next to her.
‘So are you going to tell me what happened earlier?’
‘Why are you going on,’ Jenny argued ‘I only paused, you pause every other minute.’
Cleo shook his head; Jenny could tell that he wouldn’t let this moment rest. He was always this frustratingly annoying. Annoyingly brilliant.
‘I know what you’re like Jenny; you can’t hide this from me or from anyone else.’
Jenny looked into her brothers eyes. He was right, at these times he always was. How annoying.
‘Fine... I was going to tell them what I was. This thing inside me. This monstrous thing that could kill and could maim and was just horrible. I didn’t realise til earlier... we were in the same room that it happened in. Maybe that’s why I wanted to say it. Maybe it’s because it wanted the world to know.’
Cleo gave his sister a quick hug.
‘We’ll have to stop it getting out then won’t we. We can’t have anything stopping you from being you can we?’
At that moment there was a loud crack and a small house elf appeared before them wearing a shirt which was two times its size, children’s slippers and a fez on its shaking head.
‘Hello Mr Abel and Mr Abel. I have news sirs, from Professor McGonagall.’
‘What is it?’
The house elf looked ridiculous wearing the ensemble of clothes but Jenny still listened in intently. She had learnt not to take things by their outward impression while at Hogwarts.
‘Professor McGonagall wants to see you in her office on the twenty first sir, at eight o’clock.’ Styk was looking towards Jenny so she assumed that he meant her but knowing Styk, he could have equally of meant Cleo as well.
‘Okay then... I’ll make sure I’m there.’
Styk clapped his hands excitedly ‘Excellent. Good Day sirs.’ He gave a low bow and then with another crack disappeared again.
‘What does Professor McGonagall want?’ Cleo asked.
‘Probably wants to see me about... you know...’
The rain was falling hard now so Jenny and Cleo decided to retreat to the castle to avoid getting wet before having a quick bite of lunch.
Will was nowhere to be seen at the Gryffindor table when they arrived back in the Great Hall. Nor did he appear in Charms or History of Magic. On their way back to Gryffindor tower to drop off their bags, they finally found him standing by a statue of an old man, looking intrigued.
‘Hey,’ Cleo said ‘Where have you been?’
‘Oh... Professor Longbottom wanted a word... nothing serious.’
Jenny laughed. If Will was telling the truth he wouldn’t have said it was nothing serious, especially after he missed two lessons.
‘Go on...’ Cleo queried yet again ‘Where have you been.’
‘I... can’t say.’
Will looked genuinely truthful this time. His head was lowered and his body slumped.
‘Professor Longbottom told me I can’t tell anybody at all.’
‘I can’t say.’
Cleo sighed, and then shrugged. ‘Whatever... shall we go and get some dinner.’
Through the next few days, Will vanished again and again, and Cleo and Jenny could not work out why. Only on the weekend did he not vanish, but this did not provide Jenny with any idea what he was doing. He was hiding something, and Jenny was determined to find out what.
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Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
-Chasers and Keepers-
Cleo was nervous. For Jenny, this was an interesting experience as she had never seen Cleo as scared as he was now. Usually he was a excitable, eager and brave person, so to see him as he was now, shaking from head to foot wearing Quidditch robes that seemed three times his size was something not to be missed.
‘Why did I decide to try out for the Quidditch team?’ he said while waiting in the Gryffindor common room on a Saturday morning. The sky was clear but it was cold, others would say this would be a perfect time to fly, but for Cleo, who was use to the warmth and always being near a fire, wouldn’t find it that easy.
‘Oh you’ll be fine. You’re a fantastic flier.’ Will said lying back in an armchair.
‘Yeah?’ Cleo said eagerly.
Will nodded, Cleo breathed in deeply, seeming to get a little bit more brave than he actually was.
‘We should head down to the Quidditch pitch or we’ll be late.’
Though Will had gave Cleo a boost of confidence, on the way down to the Quidditch pitch, this seemed to ebb away quite quickly. He almost tripped over his robes a few times and several older Slytherin’s took to laughing at him, as he almost fell down the grand staircase.
Once out onto the grounds though, Cleo found that the cool air helped calm him down and he was a lot more relaxed as he made his way onto the Quidditch pitch.
The rest of the Gryffindor’s were already there, joined by the captain, Dani Finnegann a muscular seventh year, who commanded the team with precision. A large crowd were gathered underneath the team, looking up awkwardly. Among them, Cleo saw Cody Vasco, holding his broom tightly, up in the stands, Cleo could see Fred Denton watching, sat next to Will and Jenny.
‘Okay, hello everyone. We obviously have a lot of you here today so we’ll have to get through you all as quickly as possible.’
Dani flew above the small crowd, and looked down, observing them all while her long hair whipped behind her.
‘First of all, I would like you to fly twice around the pitch please.’
Cleo climbed onto his broom and kicked off. His fear abated very quickly as he saw that barely anyone of them was able to fly, only a sixth year called Gavin Ferrow and Cody Vasco was able to keep their broom steady. Cleo was the first to arrive back where he had started, even lapping a few of the more slower fliers as well.
The morning continued with tests of agility, tests of skill and finally speed. At the end of morning, only Cleo, Cody and Gavin Ferrow were left and Dani only had one more challenege left, involving a small mini match between the two existing chasers. Gavin went first managing to score five times in the three minutes. Then it was Cleo’s turn, he was nervous beyond anything and when he kicked off from the ground to join the others, it was a shaky ascent to join the rest of the team.
Despite his grievances, Cleo managed to score seven times, two more than Gavin. Will and Jenny cheered him from the stands and Cleo descended to firm ground.
Finally it was Cody’s turn. Cleo watched with baited breath as his fellow Gryffindor swerved and ducked and span around underneath the Quaffle and Bludger managing to score three times, four times, five times.
The clock was ticking, twenty seconds to go before the bell rang and Cleo announced as the newest Chaser on the Gryffindor team. Cody took the quaffle and sped towards the goal hoops. Aiming for the left his shot was saved by the keeper. Ten seconds. The determination in Cody’s face was frightening and the speed with which he flew towards the goal hoops was masterly quick. Five seconds, he threw the Quaffle at the centre hoop, the keeper completely off shooted and dived to the right but there was not time to correct his problem as a bell sounded and Cody swore loudly.
Dani clapped loudly as she returned to the ground, the rest of the team following behind her.
‘Congratulations then to Cleo, who is now our new Chaser. Congratulations Cleo!’
Cleo looked flushed with happiness. Jenny turned to Will in the stands and said ‘Shall we go down to see him?’
Will nodded, so they found a set of steps that led down onto the ground and onto the pitch itself. Gavin and Cody looked a bit annoyed but were still applauding by the time they got there.
‘Well done Cleo!’ Jenny said and she gave her brother a hug. Will clapped Cleo on the shoulder.
‘Ok then Cleo, we have training sessions three times a week, one on Saturday, we need to get you some smaller robes as well, I’ll talk to Professor Longbottom and then find you in the common room later. Check the notice board for our training sessions.’
Gavin had already left by Cody was hanging about by the exit looking sorry for himself. Jenny saw Cleo’s face drop as they approached. Cody’s head was lowered.
‘Hey Cody.’ Cleo said. Cody looked up his eyes pitifully red where he had obviously started crying.
‘I’m sorry you didn’t get in.’
Cleo showed full empathy, and Jenny hadn’t felt any prouder of her brother than at the moment.
‘Yeah...’ Cody said weakly.
‘It was close though,’ Cleo said keeping his head level with Cody’s and refusing to blink.
‘It was... you were really good.’
Fred Denton had just climbed down from the stands to meet Cody. His face too was glum and he patted his friend twice on the shoulder.
‘Never mind buddy.’
‘They seem happy.’ Whispered Will.
Once back in the Great Hall Jenny was pleased to see that lunch had been lain out. Cleo was more hungry that usual because of the Quidditch trials and was oblivious to any other goings on around him. Will was eating quickly which greatly confused Jenny, the only other thing they had to do for the rest of the day was their Transfiguration homework and Jenny was sure that he wasn’t eager to get back to that.
‘What’s the rush?’ she asked Will hesitantly.
‘I have to see Professor Longbottom.’ Will said.
Will just shrugged by Jenny was sure he was hiding something he had been doing so for a while now and she was deterimened to find out what.
‘I’ll see you too later.’
And with that, Will tidied away his knife and fork and exited the Great Hall in what can only be described as ‘a hurry.’
‘I’m going to follow him.’ Jenny said to Cleo who was shovelling pork pie down his throat.
Abandoning her own dinner Jenny hurried out of the Great Hall just in time to see Will follow the staircase up.
Jenny made sure to stay far away from Will as was possible, hiding herself behind statues and pillars.
Up on the third floor, Will stopped. He knocked several times on what Jenny could only assume was a wooden door which instantly opened. Will stepped inside and the door closed behind him.
Jenny hurried up the several steps until she was in front of the door. Only it wasn’t a door. It was a stretch of bare wall. Not a blemish or a torch bracket affixed to it so harshly. Nothing out of the ordinary so that it was abnormal.
So where had Will gone? Jenny raised her hand and placed it against the cold stone. She could feel something beyond it, her heart was beating hard within her chest, daring to break out. She could feel the presence near.
Tantalisingly near. So close, she could just touch it.
‘Hey are you okay?’
Jenny’s heart jumped a mile. With a cry she fell to the floor with only enough time to withdraw her wand and point it at the person who had disturbed her.
It was one of the keepers. She was young, in her mid twenties and had long dark hair (which was admittedly tied up into a ponytail) and a ring on her right hand, a tiny band of gold.
‘Are you alright. I didn’t mean to frighten you.’
‘I’m fine.’ Jenny said and she clambered back up and stowed her wand away.
‘I’m Freya Asta.’ The witch said, I’m one of the keepers... hey.’
Jenny had turned away absent mindedly and stroked the wall again.
‘What’s odd?’ Freya asked.
Reality began to kick back in. Jenny bit her lip and turned away from the wall, the longer she looked at it, the longer it would take for her to talk to Freya.
‘Nice to meet you Jenny. A Gryffindor?’
As Jenny was not wearing her robes it was a bit of a shock that Freya knew this, she slowly nodded keeping her eyes on the older witch.
‘I’ve seen you at the Gryffindor table. It is good to be back.’
‘You used to go to Hogwarts?’
‘Of course. I was in Ravenclaw. Worked in the auror department for a bit but then I met Astara, and she gave me a job protecting the wand.’
‘It doesn’t seem like a job anyone could do.’ Jenny admitted. Freya nodded
‘Yeah, only the best are chosen to be keepers... like Gryus, he used to be in the German ministry. He’s caught more dark wizards than anyone alive.’
Jenny was urged to say ‘I’ve caught one as well,’ but she resisted. Freya’s smile was awkward and Jenny wanted to move on. Either Freya assumed that Jenny didn’t have anything to add or she was just beinjg rude, either way she decided to carry on with her story, saving Jenny the trouble of replying.
‘But next year... I’m leaving.’ Freya said with a hint of sadness in her voice which could not go unnoticed by Jenny.
Freya lowered her head and looked at her hand, the golden ring shone in these dark corridors, relecting light up into the ceiling.
‘I’m trying to work out why I said yes. It doesn’t seem like me but I obviously did. He’s a well trained wizard. Respected, honoured in some circles. I just didn’t think he was my type. Apparently he is. Anyway, I’m late for my shift. What were you doing anyway here may I ask.’
‘Oh I was...’ Jenny turned back to the wall and stared at it for a moment then turned away ‘I don’t know... I’m going to head down and grab some lunch.’
‘Yeah I’ll come with you. Astara will be pulling her teeth out.’
Freya and Jenny headed down the stairs to the entrance hall, where one of the Keepers, a middle aged witch, was tapping her feet impatiently.
‘There you are Freya, what kept you so long.’
Freya gave Jenny an awkward grin then stood on the right hand side of the wand while the witch headed back upstairs.
The Great Hall was now empty of food and students. Jenny sighed, she assumed Cleo had gone back upstairs to the Gryffindor common room where he would be waiting for her. With a huff, Jenny hurried back up the stairs.
On the sixth floor, Jenny was forced to stop. Outside one of the toilets, she spotted a statue. A snake wrapped around a pillar with emerald eyes sparkling out at them. She slowed to take a proper look at it. The serpent was itritaclty carved and the emeralds were alive. Her left hand lightly touched the serpent.
Pain, and shock, she was loooking through those emerald eyes, she was the snake. She saw the girl that stopped the creature coming free. She saw her huddled on the other side of the corridor, her arms covering her head and her face. Then it stopped.
She was herself, she was Jenny. The pain had stopped, in fact it didnt’ even linger. Jenny wasn’t sure it was there at all. The serpent had risen but it had quickly been beaten once again.
The meeting with Professor McGonagall couldn’t come any quicker.
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Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
A Serpent Rises
Two weeks later, Jenny found herself in front of a stone gargoyle. But she had been told the password, she knew what to do.
‘Quaffle.’ She said and the Gargoyle slowly moved aside revealing a spiral staircase which was moving up and up. Eventually, she reached a old oak door with a brass handle, she knocked twice.
‘Come in.’ a voice said from within, Jenny pushed the door open.
Professor McGonagall’s office was a large circular room, adorned with many books which were stacked into shelves. Above them, were portraits of previous heads of Hogwarts. Professor McGonagall was sat behind her desk.
‘Ah, Jenny, good to see you.’
She stood and moved in front of her desk then took a deep breath.
‘Now, Jenny, you know why you are here.’
Jenny gulped ‘Yes Professor.’
Professor McGonagall smiled ‘Please relax. I assure you nothing bad will happen to you here. Now, I want to take a look at what you are now capable of. What your powers are.’
Jenny couldn’t help it, she gulped again. Despite McGonagall’s reassurances Jenny was still quite terrified. She had not turned into the serpent for over four months and during that time; she had had a series of worst case scenarios that ran through her mind. What if she attacked someone? What if she killed someone? She wasn’t sure of her powers, no one was. What if she hurt someone?
Professor McGonagall seemed to be tapping into Jenny’s fears. She laid a soft hand on Jenny’s shoulder then smiled again.
‘I want to know,’ she said ‘whether you have felt different over the summer? Whether anything has... happened at all?’
Jenny breathed in slowly. All of the summer came swirling back to her, in a myriad of memories and visions. She remembered shouting at her brother for doing something inconsequential, spending more and more time alone than usual. Cleo had noticed but for whatever reason he wasn’t going to tell Jenny about it.
‘I have.’ Jenny said finally in a gasping breath ‘I’ve... been... angry, spent time alone and I can never remember why.’
Professor McGonagall nodded. She turned to her book case and pulled out a thin book with a golden spine, then opened it.
‘It seems as if the serpent, is trying to get out at these moments, trying to fight its way out. You’ve done very well to repress it but now I want you to do something for me. Please become the serpent.’
‘What?’ Jenny said. She couldn’t become the serpent, she couldn’t turn now. She didn’t
know how. And what if she did, Jenny wasn’t going to hurt anyone.
‘Please turn into the serpent.’ Professor McGonagall repeated.
‘If you do not turn into the serpent I will not be able to help you. Please.’
Jenny clenched her teeth. Doing something you didn’t want to do was harder when it could hurt someone. She closed her eyes.
She imagined. She imagined the snake statue she had seen a few weeks ago, how its eyes had pierced into her mind, how she had felt something inside her wanting to break out. It came.
She was no longer Jennifer Abel from St Albans, she was it. She was the serpent. Her arms folded and became one with her body; her legs shrank and shrivelled to become a thrashing tail. She looked up.
The old woman looked down on her with mild interest. The woman was old meat; she wouldn’t make for a meal but what- the hearts!
Hearts beating, young and vibrant and fresh, this was where the meal would come from. She turned.
But she could feel a change, a leg returned, and another, her head became normal, she had arms, she could see, she was Jenny.
Jenny turned back around to Professor McGonagall who was now looking into her book. She shivered despite she knew she wasn’t cold.
‘It seems as if we have stumbled onto a little piece of something here.’
Professor McGonagall put the book down and said ‘It seems as if your transformation is merely a basic animagus spell, however, other wizards who can turn into an animal keep their own mind when they transform, you do not, is that correct?’
‘Yes Professor... but before... when I transformed, I stopped when I saw Cleo, they, wanted me to kill him but I couldn’t.’
Professor McGonagall paused for a moment, then turned and sat behind her desk. She sat silently for a moment or two before saying ‘That is where I think we have the advantage. I believe that you couldn’t attack your brother because of the care you show for him, the love you show him, that’s something that cannot be disputed and it burned through and beat the serpent back. That is why we can control this.’
Professor McGonagall was silent for a moment as she looked over the book in her hands once more. It didn’t seem as if Jenny was about to be asked to do anything else, so she sat in the chair in front of the desk and waited.
Questions had been running through Jenny’s head for a while now. Questions had bubbled, and then gone again in an instance, she needed to know.
‘What is it... inside me?’ she asked ‘is it a... serpent, or am I an animagus?’
‘It looks... as if it is a serpent. I am sorry.’
‘How can a serpent live inside me?’
‘What happened that, hasn’t been studied before. I had not even heard of the serpent master before it happened to you. It was lost in myth and legend. Magic does strange things Miss Abel, we can’t always presume to know what will happen.’
There was an awkward pause. Jenny started to wish she hadn’t said anything. After a brief moment, Professor McGonagall spoke again.
‘We’ll leave it short today. I do not want to put you through too much, besides I have plenty to think on.’
‘Thank you Professor.’
Jenny stood up from the chair and approached the door, upon closing it she heard Professor McGonagall say from behind her ‘Thank You Jennifer.’
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Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
Under the Cover of Darkness.
Jenny had much to think about in the next few days, everything that had happened in that short meeting seemed years ago. She wasn’t averse to revealing everything, in fact the following morning she told Cleo and Will everything Professor McGonagall had told her. Will found it particularly interesting that Jenny was animagus.
‘But not a proper one,’ Jenny reminded him, ‘I can’t control it.’
‘Sorry... I mean... I know a bit about animagus. Usually its takes years to become one...’
The talk with Professor McGonagall had given Jenny much more to think about aside from whether she was an animagus or not, no, what pleased Jenny most, was that she was now freely able to talk to Cleo and Will about what was happening to her without having to feel awkward about it. This pleased Cleo greatly, he disliked thinking that Jenny was hiding something she didn’t like. He and Will seemed much happier than they had done before.
A few days later, Jenny, Will and Cleo had just left Defence against the Dark Arts and were heading up to Gryffindor tower to drop off their bags before dinner. As they approached the fat lady, the portrait swung open and out came James Potter wearing his Quidditch Robes and holding his broom.
‘Hey Cleo, We’re going to do a quick practice, grab your broom and lets go.’
Cleo had no time to argue. He dropped his bag with Jenny and then hurried up to his dormitory; he was back within minutes wearing his Quidditch outfit and holding his broom in his right hand.
‘I guess I’ll see you later then,’ and he hurried down the staircase and out of sight.
Will and Jenny dropped their bags off then made their way downstairs to the Great Hall and sat themselves at the Gryffindor table.
‘Might do that History of Magic homework now,’ Jenny said ‘There’s something in that book about Aldair Moonhawk but it doesn’t give much detail.’
Will gave a resounding ‘Hmm’ and took a bite out of his chicken.
Personally, Jenny knew that now was the better time to ask him about this, when he was off his guard without Cleo around and not expecting it.
‘So where is it you go now and again?’
‘Not allowed to say Jenny.’
‘But just say, it’s affecting me in some way. What if I’m getting worried about you?’
‘Are you getting worried?’
Jenny shrugged, ‘Not really... I mean... I’m sure whatever you’re doing you know what the risks are but still....’
Will didn’t raise his head ‘You’ll find out in due time Jenny.’
‘In due time.’
Though Jenny tried and tried to make Will reveal what he was up to, Will didn’t break at all. And it was with a deep regret that Jenny hadn’t broken his secret from him. Nevertheless, she had not planned to give up just yet.
Cleo didn’t reappear until three hours later, when Will and Jenny were in the common room writing their History of Magic essay. Cleo looked muddy and bruised. He walked in with a distinct limp.
‘Are you alright?’ Jenny said aloud as Cleo fell into a nearby seat and sighed.
‘Yeah... Quidditch practice.’ He gave a great hacking cough then looked back up at Jenny.
‘Was tackled my James. All part of the training though... apparently I’ve got to learn how to deal with a rough tackle so I don’t over-react in the match.’
Jenny raised her eyes but said nothing. She wasn’t about to question the methods of Quidditch practices.
‘How are you doing with the essay?’ Cleo asked sitting up to take a look at the parchment in front of Jenny that was full of scribbles and crossed out lines.
‘Badly. I can’t understand a single thing of this nonsense.’
‘Ah... I’m sure you’ll get it... anyway I’m off.‘
‘What?’ exclaimed Jenny, ‘You’re not doing your essay?’
Cleo raised his eyebrows and lowered his eyes to the mess of robes below him.
‘Like this? No, I’ll have a shower and go to bed.’
Jenny envied Cleo. How he could walk away without doing any work annoyed her greatly. Then again, he had Quidditch practice three times a week, a practice that Jenny knew she couldn’t do. As the night wore on the essay grew more and more difficult until, frustrated, Jenny decided to give up and go to bed.
‘Wake up now. Please wake up.’
Jenny’s eyes were blurred with the dirt of sleep. Struggling, she opened them and stretched her arms out taking in her surroundings.
She was in her dormitory, as she expected, only it wasn’t right. Lily Potter was looking over Macey, Tandy, and Issy urging them to wake. There was no light save for the dying embers in the heater. Jenny slowly sat up.
‘What’s going on?’
Lily turned to Jenny, her face sombre and said ‘Someone has been attacked.’
The news alone allowed Jenny to wake much more than she had done before as did the other girls. She climbed out of bed and threw her dressing gown over her, swept on her slippers and hurried down into the common room hoping that it hadn’t been Cleo or Will who had been attacked.
Luckily she found Cleo and Will stood next to Cody (who was pale and looked ill,) and the rest of the house looking down at a figure on the floor.
It was a sixth year, Melanie Ashwood, by the sound of the whispers around them. Jenny turned to Cleo and Will and asked ‘What happened?’
‘Apparently someone came down here to find something and she was lying there on the floor.’
Jenny looked at the figure of Melanie Ashwood and almost threw up. Her neck had been ravaged by something; scars were all along her neck. Some long, deep ones, other’s short and shallow. To add to this, her face was covered in a thickening blood.
‘What could have... done this to her?’ Jenny said slowly, trying not to look at the figure on the floor.
‘I don’t know but whatever it was it was powerful.’
The realisation came almost suddenly and Jenny froze with dread. The horror was obvious now. How she had not noticed it before. She looked down to Will and Cleo and said ‘It was me wasn’t it? I did this. I ki-‘
‘Stand aside, stand aside,’ a voice called. It was Professor Longbottom who had just arrived in the common room and was looking towards the figure on the floor. A gap was made in the surrounding circle as he kneeled down to inspect the body.
After a tense few minutes Professor Longbottom raised his head and said ‘She is not dead, but she is not far from it. I must take her to the hospital wing. Everyone back to bed now!’
The crowd slowly dispersed talking about Melanie’s attack in raised voices. After a few moments everyone had gone back to their dormitories leaving Jenny, Will and Cleo alone.
‘I attacked her... I attacked her... I-‘
Will took Jenny’s shoulders and looked into her eyes. ‘Jenny look at me, you didn’t do this... this was something else. This was something dangerous, a horrible disgusting something.’
Jenny took a deep breath then hugged Will deeply. A few moments later she withdrew and hugged Cleo. ‘Thanks... I needed that. But ... then who did?’
Neither Cleo nor Will replied and Jenny felt herself shudder again. Like Will had said, whatever it had been would have been very powerful.
Tiredness began to creep back up on her so slowly, Jenny headed back up to her dormitory where everyone was talking about the attack. Jenny wanted nothing to do with it though and so lowered her head onto a pillow and entered a dreary world of sleep.
Despite the teachers best efforts to keep the attack under wraps, by the next day, everywhere Jenny went someone was talking about it. The theories as to what had happened had started off plausible enough but after a while had got more and more wild. Jenny heard that it had been a vampire, a basilisk, a werewolf and everything in between. Jenny herself was quiet throughout the day. She knew Will had been right but that didn’t put her at ease at all and despites Will’s best efforts, the following day Jenny still believed it had been her.
It was an odd mix of fear and worry. Fear for what would become of her when people would find out, and worry for whom, if anyone, she would attack next, for she knew that unless it was contained, it would strike again.
As for Melanie Ashwood herself, she had gone to the Hospital Wing where Madam MacRae was attempting to fix her up as best she could. Apparently, the blood loss was so great Madam MacRae had problems restoring it. Jenny assumed that whatever had attacked Melanie (whether it was her or something else) had fled quickly in order to avoid attracting to much attention. That’s what she would have done, that may have been what she had done. All in all things were taking a sudden downturn. In light of her talk with Professor McGonagall, after which she had felt happier than she had done all summer, to a horror that ached at her very being and would not, it seemed, let go.
Whether Professor McGonagall knew about Jenny’s attack was unknown, she certainly hadn’t talked to her yet, nor had she organised another meeting with her, so it was possible she didn’t yet suspect her. It could have been that she was waiting for more evidence, Jenny was unsure. But every night falling to sleep was dangerous task for her, a task she never wanted to do.
As September faded into October the weather became chillier and the trees began to turn from faded green to a golden orange. Cleo’s Quidditch practices were getting dirtier and grimier and every day Jenny would walk past the Keepers and the Golden Wand, but they never changed, and they never faltered.
A week after the attack, Professor Longbottom spoke to the Gryffindor’s in the common room, after dinner. His face, like many of the teachers, was pale with worry, but when he spoke there was an evident feel of a bounce that had not been there before.
‘I have some good news,’ he said ‘Melanie has recovered from the attack, she is going to take a few weeks to get better but she should be fine.’ He paused for a moment as the Gryffindor’s all cheered, even Jenny could not help but feel elated at such news. Then he said ‘We still have no idea who or what attacked her, and I urge you to come forward if you have any idea of what may done such a thing.’
After a brief pause, Cody stepped forward in front of the house. He breathed in then said ‘Professor, I think it was me.’
The Gryffindor’s looked at Cody as he stood in front of Professor Longbottom. There was a hushed silence as they waited.
A strange expression crossed Professor Longbottom’s face. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Well you see Professor.’ Cody said slowly ‘I’m a werewolf.’
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
‘Have you seen him?’
‘Not since last week, since you know.’
It was a cold Sunday and Jenny, Cleo and Will were sat in the Library researching one of Professor Swann’s devious essays. The talk had turned, almost drastically in the past couple of weeks, from the attack on Melanie Ashwood to the revelation of Cody Vasco, as a Werewolf. Many students, Mandy Parkinson included, felt outraged that a werewolf had been living in Hogwarts without students being notified about it. There was talk of parents writing to Professor McGonagall to complain, there had also been a whisper about notifying the governors about Cody, but, as Cleo rightly pointed that could only turn to trouble.
In all of it, Jenny found that she was moving the blame to Cody rather that keeping the blame for herself, though it was true that she hadn’t told anyone that it was her yet. Cody and Will sighed whenever she brought the topic up, and tried to tell her, yet again, that it wasn’t Jenny’s fault.
As to the whereabouts of Cody, no one could be too sure. He had been whisked away almost as soon as he had mentioned that he was a werewolf and no one had seen him since.
The Hospital Wing was out of the question. Issy Thomas reported that the only other person in there was Melanie Ashwood herself, awake, but not entirely herself.
Though Cody remained an ever present issue in the minds of the students, for the Gryffindor’s at least, there was something else to occupy their mind. The first Quidditch match of the season was approaching, and Gryffindor would be facing off against Slytherin on the twenty-sixth of October.
Cleo was training every other day in preparation and according to Will, who occasionally went to watch his training sessions, there was a definite improvement in his skill, brought forth by the constant training sessions and discussions of tactics with James Potter.
The day before the Quidditch Match however was not as stress free as Cleo would have liked. The teachers, aware of the constant throb of rumour and conjecture began to pile on the homework in order to give the second years something else to think about.
That Friday saw Professor Swann handing back their essays, to which Jenny was pleasantly surprised to find she had received eighty-four per cent.
After a quick wash, it was up to Defence Against the dark Arts where Professor Leander, was discussing how to use to moon to predict attacks from certain magical beasts. While he discussed at length the probability of being attacked by a Lethifold on a new moon, Jenny started absent minded at the lunar char he had pinned up to the wall. The end of last month was visible and as she looked in closer she noticed that something wasn’t right. The full moon, it appeared, had been the week before. The week before Melanie had been attacked.
Jenny stood almost suddenly, attracting the attention of her classmates.
She grabbed her bag, threw her things in and approached the door.
‘Is there something wrong Miss Abel?’ Professor Leander said lightly.
‘No... I mean... yes... I mean... I have to... go.’
She dashed out of the room and hurried along the corridor. Lucky for her she chose to realise something in the middle of classes meaning that everyone was in lesson and the corridors were bare.
Eventually, Jenny arrived at Professor McGonagall’s office. The gargoyle at the front stared blank eyed at her before she shouted the correct password
and was allowed admittance.
Professor McGonagall herself was set behind her desk examining a piece of parchment she held in her hand. At first she didn’t notice Jenny but then she raised her head as the sound of Jenny arriving met her ears.
‘Miss Abel? Aren’t you supposed to be in your lesson?’
Jenny’s voice wavered.
‘No... I mean yes, I mean... Cody Vasco didn’t attack Melanie. If he’s a werewolf... he couldn’t have. He couldn’t have!’
‘Calm yourself girl. Please explain.’
‘I checked the lunar chart. That night wasn’t full moon. It was a week after. That’s why Cody handed himself in, he could feel the change readying.
You’ve got to let him go!’
‘I’m afraid I can’t.’
Jenny paused and she watched Professor McGonagall look down on her. Professor McGonagall lowered her head and spoke in a sombre voice.
‘I am afraid Mr Vasco has left Hogwarts for the foreseeable future.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Werewolves... despite recent changes in our law, must be trained in how to control their ability before they are allowed back into society. I am afraid Mr
Vasco will not be back in Hogwarts for at least a month.
The dead air made Jenny gasp. She gave Professor McGonagall a begging look then lowered her head and bit her lower lip.
‘However,’ Professor McGonagall spoke again, ‘I admire your loyalty towards your classmate. Twenty points will be added to Gryffindor. In the meantime, please do not worry about Cody. He will return when he does.’
There would be no need to argue. Jenny knew that try as she might, Cody would not be coming back any time soon. At least, she thought, he would not be blamed for the attack on Melanie; then again she wasn’t sure who would, or what.
A wave of regret fell over her, tinged with sadness and fear. If it had not been Cody, this made sure that it was her. And she wasn’t happy about it one bit.
Cleo stood in his Quidditch robes at the bottom of the staircase. Jenny and Will looked on; a growing sense of pride came over her. Cleo looked terrified but Jenny knew he would be fine. He always was, whether it was playing Football for the school team or messing about with a cricket bat on Sunday afternoons. As eleven o’clock ticked nearer, Cleo became more and more anxious, until James Potter arrived and decided that it would be best if the team went down to breakfast.
Jenny wasn’t expecting it, but when they arrived in the Great Hall, the Gryffindor’s cheered at the team. Jenny saw Cleo go a bit red.
‘I can’t do this...’ he said nervously.
‘Of course you can, you’ll be fine just have a bite to eat.’
After some food, some of the colour had returned to Cleo’s face but he still looked nervous. However Dani Finnegan decided it would be best if they got down to the Quidditch pitch to get ready for the match.
The Gryffindor table cheered again when the team stood up to leave, Jenny gave Cleo the thumbs up.
‘He’ll be fine.’ Jenny said breathing in deeply.
As Will and Jenny were making their way down to the Quidditch pitch, Dani
was giving the Gryffindor team the pre-match speech.
‘I don’t want anyone to worry. You’ve got nothing to worry about. Now I want full concentration. Cleo watch James’ side, I don’t want him loosing the Quaffle to easy tackles. Louis, keep your eye on Cleo, Fred, as usual. There is a bit of wind today so you may want to keep that in mind Lucy. Are we ready then?’
Jenny and Will had got good seats in the high stands next to Macey Weasley. Professor Valmir was not far behind either. The weather was cool and with a slight bit of wind on the air, that tugged and pulled at all sides. Lighter players would have a hard job staying up today.
As usual Lily Potter was commentating, this year accompanied by a fifth year Hufflepuff named Darton Eddly.
‘Welcome everyone to a brand new season of Quidditch! Let’s get those balls released and fired up for Today’s game, Gryffindor versus Slytherin.
‘And here come the Gryffindor’s, Potter, Abel, Finnegan, Hadder, Proust, Weasley and Weasley! Quite a young team wouldn’t you say Darton?’
‘I would indeed. New chaser Cleo Abel is possibly the weak link here; let’s just hope Finnegan has trained him up alright.’
‘From what I’ve heard Cleo will be fine.’ Will muttered into Jenny’s ear and she laughed.
‘Now the Slytherin’s Malfoy, Howard, Jones, Potter, Peakes and Nott.’
‘It will likely be a good game of Quidditch today; we got siblings, cousins and classmates all fighting it out.’
‘And not to mention a new addition to each team, providing a good amount of variety to their play.’
The Quidditch talked washed over Jenny, though Will was leaning in intently, soaking up every word.
‘They are off, Gryffindor grabs the quaffle, James Potter of Gryffindor, throws a decent pass to Cleo Abel who dodges Malfoy extremely well and- no come off it that’s a clear foul!’
Lee Howard, a Slytherin chaser, had ploughed into Cleo’s side and taken the Quaffle clean off him. Will was likewise outraged.
‘He could have knocked him off his broom. Penalty!’
Unfortuantley, Madam Hooch called against a penalty and play continued.
Cleo looked battered but he was carrying on as best he could.
‘Howard with the Ball, to Malfoy, Malfoy to Jones and goal!’
The Slytherin’s across the pitch cheered and a torrent of green flags and scarves waved up against the pile of Gryffindor’s sat opposite.
‘And now it’s Abel, very nicely played, to Potter, Potter just about ducks a flying bludger to Finnegan and she puts it away nicely.
It seemed that Gryffindor and Slytherin were evenly matched. For every goal that Gryffindor scored Slytherin matched them. Cleo was the scorer of a couple of those goals as well and seemed to be playing just as Will had said he would.
‘Come on Cleo...’ Jenny muttered under her breath.
Far above Cleo was struggling to keep on his broom. The wind had increased so much during the match and he was afraid that any extended time he spent on his broom was time he could have been knocked off it.
As soon as he could, he called to Dani for time out. Dani signalled to Madam Hooch and the team met on the floor.
‘What’s the score?’ Cleo asked.
‘We’re twenty points up, but the way this is going we could be playing until the night.’
James Potter rubbed dirt out of his eyes ‘We need to capture the snitch.’
The team looked at Lucy, who’s tied back hair was flapping across her face.
‘Don’t look at me as if I haven’t been trying. It’s too windy and I can’t see my hand let alone the snitch.’
Dani breathed in deeply ‘Okay Fred, Louis, I want you to keep your eyes on Lucy, any sign of Bludgers or anyone else trying to stop her catching the Snitch, stop them. Everyone else, we need to tire them out, evasive manoeuvres if you please. Keep a hold of the quaffle for as long as you can.’
Their tactic seemed to work, James, Dani and Cleo were holding on to the quaffle with all their might and the Weasley’s seemed to be keeping Lucy safe from any disruption.
It was about half an hour later, when Gryffindor were leading by sixty points that it happened. First, Cleo went into a dive to catch the quaffle that a Slytherin chaser had dropped, and then Lucy went into a dive as well. Albus Potter seemed to have noticed it as well and went into an almost vertical dive.
Unfortunately, Potter was faster than Lucy and in a great deal lighter. He was closing in his arm outstretched but Lucy had the head start. Someone arise from the dive the victor.
It was Lucy. Her initial dive had given her the head start she had needed and now she arose from the dive clutching a tiny golden ball within her hands.
The Gryffindor’s cheered and screamed, while across the pitch they saw the Slytherins go silent.
Jenny looked out to the Quidditch pitch and nodded at Cleo. She wasn’t sure whether he could see her, but it didn’t matter. He and the Gryffindor team had changed her mind about Quidditch, and that was as big a victory as any.
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
A Halloween Show
Gryffindor’s Victory over Slytherin had been a crucial win. At least, that is what Cleo said time and time again after the match. Gryffindor would have been leading the table were it not for Ravenclaw’s gargantuan victory over Hufflepuff a week after.
‘It’s all about the points we could make,’ Cleo explained ‘If Hufflepuff beat Slytherin by a large margin we won’t have to worry about them catching up on us, but then we got to play Ravenclaw and we’ll have to make sure we put in all out efforts there if we’re going to win.’
While Cleo and Will yapped on about Quidditch Jenny was stuck with digging thoughts that made her lay awake in bed at night. Melanie had not yet returned to the common room though her friends had been allowed to visit her and bring her her homework.
According to them she had no idea who had attacked her, but ever pessimistic, Jenny laid back on the thought that it had been her who had attacked Melanie, or at least, a part of her.
Cleo and Will tried to ease her worries but Cleo was often away on Quidditch practice and Will kept vanishing off to who knows where that they didn’t have a chance to. Luckily for Jenny, Professor McGonagall had arranged their next meeting to take place on Halloween morning. A tantalising hope of an explanation to what had been going on was all that kept Jenny going in the week leading up to Halloween. She found herself keeping quiet in classes and in the common room, waiting for that time when fears would be eradicated.
Halloween morning eventually broke. Cold wind whipped across the grounds carrying golden fresh leaves. Hagrid could be seen in the early hours of the day carrying giant pumpkins, from his patch outside his house into the castle. As it was a Saturday many of the students would sleep in and have a late breakfast but Jenny was up early sitting in the common room reading just for something to do, waiting for ten o’clock to swing by.
When it did, she moved so fast, down out of the common room across the castle and up to Professor McGonagall’s office, barely three minutes had passed in the time it took to get there. Jenny rapped on the door.
Professor McGonagall sat reading at her desk. She put down a large green leather-bound book and said ‘Ah Jenny, hello.’
‘Good Morning Professor.’
‘How are you today?’ Professor McGonagall asked.
It was obvious that Professor McGonagall knew exactly how Jenny was but was only asking to sound polite. In equal measure Jenny replied ‘I’m... fine Professor.’
McGonagall stood from her desk and approached a window and gazed out over the grounds. Jenny felt that if she didn’t say it now she never would.
‘Actually, Professor, I’m not fine at all. I can’t sleep... I’ve barely spoken over the past week. I can’t stop thinking that it was me who attacked Melanie.’
Professor McGonagall was silent for a moment, then she left the window and sat once again behind her desk. With a deep breath she said ‘I can ease your worry if it helps. When Madam McRae examined Melanie’s injuries she found that the skin had been ravaged, not bitten. It was not fangs did this but claws. Of what it is, is still a mystery I can assure you. Besides... you didn’t change over the summer... why would you change now?’
‘I don’t know,’ Jenny replied ‘Maybe because of the magic?’
‘Miss Abel, you must stop thinking that this is your fault. You had no hand in this.’
Jenny seemed to breathe easier. Professor McGonagall was right it couldn’t have been her. Then again, if it wasn’t the right cycle of the moon that had turned Cody into his werewolf form, and it wasn’t Jenny, then who was it?
‘I don’t know,’ Professor McGonagall said as if she had heard Jenny think, ‘People believe it was Cody. Do I tell the school that it wasn’t him? Just to save him from persecution? I don’t want to scare the students. It’s like the old days... student’s being attacked... he would have known what to do.’
She pointed at the portrait of Professor Dumbledore who was snoozing in his frame.
‘Still, let us not dwell on that for now. You may be interested to know that I have tracked down a few people who may have been the serpent master before them. The list is short and rather sparse in places but none the less.
‘First we have a man named Erak Maor. Born in 1765 became the Serpent Master in 1818. He died after attacking one of his companions... then there is Orrachemus Ial, born in 1592, became the Serpent Master in 1619. After that the list gets a bit mixed up I’m afraid. A French wizard in 1421, we can guess the one before was about 1220ish and the only other one we have is a man... possibly Scottish... in 1017.’
‘Where did you find this?’ Jenny asked in amazement.
‘The ministries, archives are an incredibly valuable source. But I must say it took me a while to find even this.’
Professor McGonagall and Jenny spoke for a few more hours. A lot of it wasn’t even to do with the Serpent Master. She asked about Jenny’s classes and her friends and Professor McGonagall even let loose a bit of gossip she had heard. It was probably one of the most fun times Jenny had had in a while and with the relief of knowing that it had not been her who had attacked Melanie, Jenny was able to enjoy herself a lot.
Around lunch time, Jenny left Professor McGonagall’s office and went down to the Great Hall for some food. Afterwards she went up into the common room to fine Will and Cleo but could not see them anywhere, she eventually found Cleo in the Library working on a piece of homework.
‘Did you sort things out with Professor McGonagall?’ Cleo asked.
‘Yeah... it was fun... we just chatted. Where’s Will?’
‘I dunno probably done another disappearing act on us again. He said he was going to the library to do some work but by the time I got here he wasn’t here.
Will’s vanishing act was unimportant at the moment. Jenny was in too good of a mood to worry about what he was up to.
‘Want to go out to the grounds for a walk?’Jenny asked.
‘Might as well, I’m not making any progress with this.’
The grounds were rather full today, people obviously enjoying the nice autumnal weather before the chill of November came. They walked along the lake, around the edge of the forest and up to the Quidditch pitch where a group of Hufflepuffs were playing a friendly game of Quidditch.
Soon, the cold began to creep up and everyone headed inside to warm up and to prepare for the Halloween celebrations. Still,
Jenny and Cleo could not find Will. He was not up in the common room nor when they finally entered the Great Hall for the feast did he appear.
Though the feast was fun Jenny couldn’t help but worry about Will. He had vanished before but he always turned up for dinner.
Halfway through the feast the lights went out. Professor McGonagall and tried to light the candles and torches but she couldn’t. The room was quiet with fear until a familiar voice spoke.
‘No I will not marry you, Orgeluse; I have my heart set on Guinevere.’
It was Will, dressed in regal robes and a crown upon his head. He entered in a rush from the door behind the teachers table and stood tapping his feet in front of them as a Ravenclaw Jenny didn’t recognise entered as well.
‘Guinevere is a harlot; do you not agree that I am the fairest in the land?’
‘The old kings against me I shall not have you as a wife.’
‘Heartless king... I shall go but may the wicked words I speak forever curse you.’
‘So be it. Your words have no ploy with me.’
The Ravenclaw left. Another older student dressed with a white beard entered.
‘Merlin my friend. What news?’
‘The wretched Morgan Le Fay has held herself in a castle in the depths away from Camelot. It would be foolish to attack her there.’
‘Perhaps but I cannot rest while that evil witch spills her dark magic all over my kingdom.’
‘What would you have me do, sire?’
‘I shall gather my knights, Gawain, Sagramore, and Lancelot. We shall ride to this castle and take her down.’
Jenny watched in amazement as this performance took place in front of her, this was what Will was vanishing off for. The play used magic; most performed by Merlin but will used a spell now and again. As the climax of the play came around, the whole of the Great Hall held its breath.
‘I must go my liege...you do not need my council no more. The wicked Morgan le Fay lay dead at my hand, you must trust in the loyalty of your knights, they will not lead you astray.’
‘Farewell my dear friend. Know that whatever path your life now takes, it will have my blessing. Go with the faith I have given you and prosper.’
‘Farewell my king. Let evil not longer raise its hand in this hallowed land.’
The staff table erupted into applause and the students followed shortly after. It was a great inclusion to the great feast and even though it may not have been entirely Halloween based it was still incredibly fun to watch.
As the last few minutes of the feast finished off, Will fell into place opposite Cleo, still wearing his costume.
‘So that’s where you’ve been all this time, eh?’ Cleo said lightly punching Will’s arm, ‘I thought it was something serious.’
‘That was serious... that’s a very important play... they had to get someone who had a bit more practice to play Merlin but you know-,’
‘So who do we blame that you’ve been hiding from us all these weeks then?’
‘Professor Leander, I dunno why he chose me but it was fun... And I got to spend a lot of time with the keepers as well... they told me a few interesting things, I’ll have to tell you all about that another time.’
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
Winter arrived suddenly. The golden leaves and bustling wind of autumn vanished in a night, to be replaced by frost covered lawns, chilling weather and a light patter of snow. Though it was a fair time away, Jenny couldn’t stop thinking about Christmas. The break was just what she needed, after all the stress that had hit her over the past few weeks. Unfortunately, Christmas was still a long time away and in the meantime, the second years continued with their ever increasing workload.
There was a benefit to the increased workload, in that Jenny was often so busy with work that she had little time to worry about herself or anything. Cleo was so engrossed with Quidditch practice that she rarely saw him and Will had found himself a new celebrity status after appearing in the Halloween play and had found a collection of followers in the second year, including Heather Wood, a Hufflepuff, who seemed to follow him around whenever she got the chance.
About two weeks after Halloween, Jenny, Will and Cleo were in Herbology. The Mandrakes they had repotted where lined on the table at the front of the green house and the students were finally taking off their ear mufflers, out of the corner of her eye, Jenny spotted Heather Wood, mutter into Maggie Bones’ ear, both girls giggled.
‘I’d be careful if I were you.’ Jenny muttered to Will under her breath, ‘I think they may be planning something.’
Will glanced over at the two Hufflepuffs quickly, they were still giggling.
‘I wish they would just leave me alone.’
Cleo, who was removing compost from between his fingers with a scouring spell, looked agitated.
‘I’d be happy if it were me... no girls seem to pay any interest in me.’
‘You say that now,’ Will replied ‘but imagine a girl just ... always following you, all the time, I’m afraid to go to the bathroom alone these days.’
‘I dunno... I reckon I could get used to it.’
Will didn’t seem to take that particularly well, ‘Oh, really?’ he took off his dragon hide gloves and threw them onto the table, ‘How about I give you a challenge then.’
‘Guy’s not now...,’
Jenny’s voice seemed to fall into the mumble of the rest of the class; neither Cleo nor Will seemed to hear her.
‘I’ll tell some girls something... I dunno... something like, you can beat anyone in our year in an arm wrestle, and we’ll see how long you last with girls following you everywhere.’
‘Fine. It’ll be easy.’
Will laughed but thankfully both of them became quite quiet on the subject.
After a quick wash in the castle, the Gryffindor’s headed up to the third floor for Defence Against the Dark Arts. Jenny for on was particularly pleased when she saw Freya Asta and another keeper who she didn’t know the name of, waiting inside the classroom with Professor Leander.
‘Good Afternoon class, we have a couple of special guests today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Freya Asta and Darek Herman who you will know as being members of The Keepers... I think I’ll leave it to you to explain.’
Professor Leander stepped aside and Freya took his place at the front of the class.
‘Well, while The Golden Wand is here at Hogwarts, one of the keeper’s jobs are to interact with the people of the place we are protecting. For instance a few years ago, we went to a magical music college in Spain and we helped out the students with their lessons, taught them new pieces of music that sort of thing.’
Professor Leander spoke up, ‘We will be continuing our look at Vampires next lesson but today I thought we could do a bit of work on duelling. Usually we don’t look seriously at offensive spells until your third year but it can’t hurt to take a little look at a couple of spells now.’
Leander moved to the board, waved his wand and a series of spells complete with their wand movements appeared.
‘Competitive duelling has a long list of guidelines participants must abide by., However, the number one priority for competitors is following three rules. Number one, always bow before a duel. Bowing, shows that you respect the other combatant and will not aim to harm him. Second rule is no dark magic. Duelling championships have a detailed list of spells you are not allowed to perform. If you do manage to perform one of these spell, then not only will you be disqualified from the tournament but you will be contacted by the legal authorities in the country you are in, depending on the type of spell you use.
‘The final rule, is more of a guideline but duelling teachers across the world will swear by it. I once knew a man in Bratislava who had it tattooed on his head, this rule states, ‘Play Fair, or don’t play at all.’ Don’t attack someone when their back is turned, don’t attack someone when they are recovering from a spell. It’s simple it’s courteous.’
Leander looked around at the students then clapped his hands. Tandy Riggs, who looked as if she had been falling asleep, startled suddenly, almost falling off her chair.
‘What I think we’ll do is I’ll put you into pairs and we can run through the start of a duel, then if we have time, we may be able to do some duelling.’
That seemed to perk up some of the more quiet people in the class, Tandy and Issy started looking excitedly towards each other. Even Fred Denton, who hadn’t said much since Cody left, raised his head in anticipation.
Leander then went around the room putting people into pairs, Jenny got paired with Macey while Will and Cleo got paired with Fred and Issy respectively.
Professor Leander raised his want and brushed the tables and chairs across the room, creating a large space in the middle where they could work.
‘First, make room for yourselves. About a meter around you. Very good. Now face your opponent and bow.’
Jenny bowed, trying not to break eye contact with Macey. Her hair flopped over her face and she brushed it aside with her hand. Macey laughed.
‘Now, turn around and take several steps forward. When I say so I want you to turn around and move into a position with which you can begin your duel.
But do not attack anyone. Okay... now.’
Jenny had taken the several steps backwards and when Professor Leander said so, she moved around and held her wand above her head while her left arm hung loosely at her side.
Professor Leander, Freya and Darek were now walking around looking at everyone’s position, Freya approached Jenny.
‘Hello again. Jenny wasn’t it?’
Jenny strained her head to look at Freya. Her arms stung from holding them
still for so long.
‘You’re positioning looks pretty good. I’d stand sideways if I were you though, less of a body to hit. And.. your friend..’
‘I’m Macey Weasley miss.’ Macey replied
‘Another Weasley? I was a few years younger than your mum and dad you know? They were in their sixth year when I started though... so I didn’t speak to them much... you’re position is alright. Hold your wand a bit higher though or you’ll hit you feet.’
Jenny let her arm go slack. She turned to face Freya who was beaming, she looked a lot happier than when Jenny had seen her last.
‘So, how have you been keeping?’ Freya asked.
The truth seemed to bubble inside Jenny’s stomach for a few seconds before she said ‘Fine, you?’ she didn’t think that it would be wise to tell Freya in the
middle of a classroom surrounded by people.
‘Not too bad, I think I’ve finally got around to the fact that I’m getting married.’
‘You’re getting married?’ Macey said and her eyes lit up, ‘that’ amazing.’
Freya laughed ‘Yeah, he’s a really nice man as well.. I don’ know why I was
‘I suppose everyone has doubt’s’ Jenny said and Freya nodded. Professor Leander was now moving to the front of the class and began to speak again. Freya said her goodbyes, and joined him.
‘Right then, we have time for a bit of a duelling competition, assuming you are all ready?’
The Gryffindor’s looked at each other in excitement, Jenny felt herself go tense.
‘What we will do is you will each face your own partner’s in turn at the front of the class, then whoever wins will go on to the next round. We’ll start with Mr Douglas and Mr Denton if you please.’
Will and Fred moved to the front of the class, Will’s face shook with what Jenny could only surmise as a mixture of anxiety and fear.
They bowed and began to walk several paces. A bang from the end of Leander’s wand signalled the start of the duel.’
‘Petrificus Totalus!’ Fred screamed.
With lightning fast reactions, Will ducked to the left and then raised his wand
shouting ‘Mucus Ad Nauseum!’
Fred stumbled backwards as the force of the spell hit him. He held his wand up to his nose as bogies began to fall freely. He tried to raise his wand in defence but the force became ever more powerful.
‘Well, it looks as if Will has put you out of action. Finite. There you go, best clean yourself off.’
Fred left the classroom holding his nose as he passed Tandy Riggs she moved as far back as she could afraid that his snot would attack her.
Next it was Jenny’s turn. Though she tried with all her might, she was at the end beaten by a particularly powerful Leg Locker Curse.
Moving back next to Will, her legs felt stiff as if she had been on a long run in the cold.
Next up, there was a strange three way duel, compensating for the fact that Cody was no longer there, Cleo managed to beat off Issy but Tandy slammed him with a knockback jinx.
The next round saw Will narrowly beaten by Macey Weasley and Tandy, who had to fight Will again best him with a Jelly legs curse.
‘A galleon on Weasley,’ Cleo muttered to Will who laughed.
‘Expelliarmus!’ cried Tandy as the duel began.
Macey dodged it then threw a sticking curse at Tandy which seemed to only do half as much damage as she had wished it had done. The spell eventually faded and Macey hit a knockback jinx at Tandy which missed, smashing a picture of a dragon on the wall.
Tandy ducked as Macey shot another knockback jinx her way, then Tandy sent a disarming charm at her which ricocheted off a silver trophy on the wall then hit Macey on her side, Tandy jumped up and caught her wand.
‘We have a winner!’ Professor Leander said, ‘Well done Tandy well done, Twenty points to Gryffindor.’
Tandy stood back next to Issy Thomas. Macey was rubbing her elbow but did not look to disheartened to learn that she had lost.
The bell rang in the depth of the castle. The Gryffindor’s hurriedly tried to pack up their bags in time to get to lunch.
‘Homework. I would like a ten and half inch essay, detailing the variety of different rules in the world of competitive duelling to be handed in one week from now. And lets thank our guests as well.’
In the mayhem of the end of the class, Jenny lost Cleo. She saw Will whispering to Tandy and Issy who were giggling.
She wanted nothing to do with Will and Cleo’s stupid little bet and so threw her bag over her shoulder and left the classroom.
However she didn’t realise that there was someone outside of the classroom waiting for her, it was Freya.
‘Oh, hello,’ Freya said as if she wasn’t expecting Jenny to leave the classroom despite having been in the room with her for an hour past.
‘Oh hello.’ Jenny said rather awkwardly.
‘Listen, I wanted to ask you if you were, alright.. you know after our little meeting a while ago. You seemed out of it.’
‘I’m fine... thanks. I don’t know why I acted so... strangely. Just an odd moment I suppose.’
‘Yeah, like I told you a while ago, I was getting married. I didn’t think I would say yes. I mean I’m quite... absorbed with my work with The Keepers but I did say yes. He’s... great though, he really is, he works in the ministry.’
‘Good...’ Jenny didn’t have anything to say to that so remained silent. Freya however, didn’t seem to notice.
‘His name’s Richard Hayes... he’s... brilliant..just brilliant.’
They had reached the Entrance Hall. Freya looked over to the Golden Wand where an old witch and a small man in a top hat were waiting.
‘I better go... it’s my shift. See you later Jenny.’
Jenny nodded politely. Then slowly turned away then headed back upstairs.
It was on the third floor that she heard a terrible scream. The swearing and the sound of spells going off.
‘You liar! I hate you! I hate you!’
Jenny hurried along the corridor, down a side passage and then up a flight of stairs where it seemed half the school had gathered forming lines against the wall, as two people duelled, a Ravenclaw and a Slytherin.
The Ravenclaw was a tall boy, probably in his fifth year. His face was splattered with blood and he was attacking the Slytherin as if there was nothing else in the world he would rather do.
‘Enough! What is this?’
Professor Longbottom had arrived, carrying a pile of books with his wand held tightly underneath.
‘It was Stephen...’ the Slytherin said, ‘He attacked me.’
‘I didn’t attack her. It was that wolf. That wolf attacked her.’
Professor Longbottom raised an eyebrow. ‘Wolf, Jenkins?’
‘Over there! Came right up behind her.’ He pointed to a statue of a old wizard down the corridor. Professor Longbottom hurried down the corridor and knelt beside it, the rabble of students followed.
There was a brief pause until Professor Longbottom said ‘I want everyone to
return to their dormitories now please and quickly.’
Jenny squeezed through several students until she was at he front.
Scratched across the floor were marks as if they had been made by claws, but more shockingly, in his hands, Professor Longbottom held several strands of wolf hair.
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
Prisoners and Emeralds
No one knew where the wolf was now, if there was one at all. In fact, the professor’s acted as if there hadn’t been a wolf at all and were going about their regular schedule as if nothing had happened.
Jenny wasn’t too sure. She knew she had seen Professor Longbottom holding the wolf hair, and she had seen the claw marks on the ground but then she had to be realistic about the whole situation, she went to a school of magic, all the normal logic went out of the window.
A week after the duel, Professor Longbottom went around to ask who would be staying for Christmas. Jenny, Will and Cleo put their names down almost instantly having not stayed the year before, they were eager to experience Christmas at Hogwarts.
In their last week, decorations went up all over Hogwarts, twelve giant Christmas trees went up in the Great Hall, the corridors were festooned with bells and wreaths. In many places along the corridors mistletoe had been hung which, if one walked under it, would emit playful music and snow.
Jenny was lucky not to fall into the trap of standing under one for too long but Cleo seemed to be accosted everywhere he went. Clearly Will’s rumour about him had worked.
It was hard for Cleo to walk down the corridor without someone running up to him and saying how amazing he was and trying to edge him towards the mistletoe. Jenny was in two minds over this prank. On the one hand she knew that Cleo sort of had it coming to him. Then again, she wasn’t so sure that Will had done it entirely fair.
As Christmas edged around the corner, Jenny felt at ease more than she had done so for a long time. Her work was going well, she was getting along well with others and she no longer felt as though she was holding something inside of her, something she should be ashamed of.
On Christmas day, Jenny awoke to see a pile of presents at the end of her bed. Rather than open them with Tandy, Issy and Macey, she decided to take her presents up to the boys dormitory.
Once there she saw Cleo and Will both asleep and both snoring loudly.
‘Oi! Wake up.’ She said. Cleo turned in his bed and opened his eyes.
‘What is it?’ he said groggily, his eyes half open.
‘Presents you nitwit.’
At the sound of presents, Cleo sat up and hit Will next to him with his pillow.
‘Presents,’ Cleo said to Will who seemed to perk up at the idea of presents as much as Cleo had.
‘What are you doing here anyway?’ Will asked as he began to tear into a package,
‘You’re not allowed up to the boy’s dormitory.
‘No,’ Jenny replied, ‘You’re not allowed up to the girls, dormitory, Lily Potter said so.’
Jenny had just opened her own package, a book about wizarding legends from her parents. The rest of her presents were equally as satisfying. From Will she got a book about potions, from Cleo a large box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and a surprising gift from Aunt Beth which was a muggle CD. She chuckled at the present. She hadn’t listened to any of her old cd’s in months. Cleo likewise pulled out a DVD for a film that looked about sixty years old.
For the rest of the morning, Jenny, Cleo and Will sat in the common room, chatting, enjoying their presents and watching Cleo trying to avoid talking to a large crowd of girls that seemed to have noticed him and were trying their best to try and draw his attention.
At midday Jenny, Will and Cleo headed downstairs to the Great Hall that had an extra coat of decoration for the Christmas meal. Before even the good arrived however,
Professor McGonagall stood up at the staff table and spoke to the students in front of her.
‘Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you have had a delightful morning opening presents. It is a pleasure to say that, as part of the festivities of having The Golden Wand with us at Hogwarts this year, a tradition, is to have elders dine with the lower people. As such, the staff here, and the Keepers who have joined us this year, will forgo usual seating arrangements and sit among you students.’
Professor McGonagall and the rest of the teachers and the keepers who weren’t guarding the Golden Wand stood and began to sit randomly at different tables. Professor McGonagall went to sit on the Hufflepuff table, Professor Longbottom seated himself at the bottom end of the Slytherin table and Professor Valmir sat not far from Jenny, Cleo and Will.
When all staff and keepers were sat, Professor McGonagall clapped her hands and piles of food appeared on the table. Four roasted turkeys a per one table, piles of sprouts, carrots, peas, Yorkshire Puddings and pigs in blankets.
As Jenny began to eat she overheard James Potter and his friends talking to Professor Valmir.
‘Sir, my dad was in Sheffield yesterday... he was saying he saw your mother.’
‘My mother... ah yes, I believe she was doing some work in Sheffield. She’s still working... and at her age... I keep telling her to stop but does she?’
One of James’ friends Henry Cottle spoke up ‘What does she do?’
‘She works in the Dragon Breeding Office, making sure no one is trying to breed dragons... or cross breed dragons. Makes your stomach churn..’
‘Wouldn’t they notice though sir? I mean, dragons are quite big... you wouldn’t have thought it would be easy to get them to mate in the middle of Sheffield... they’d be spotted.’
Professor Valmir swallowed a large amount of sprouts and said ‘Yes... but I’m afraid it’s a bit more complicated than that. See, these Dragon breeders... they get eggs from abroad... middle east, far east, places where rules on Dragon breeding aren’t always followed up on. Usually they’ll have two eggs, make them both hatch, then keep the hatchlings small and use them as a breeding pair. Then they’ll sell the eggs off to wizards who want a particular unique breed of Dragon as a... pet... it’s a horrible business. But enough of that for now, it is Christmas, did anyone get anything nice? Jenny?’
Jenny wasn’t sure that Professor Valmir had noticed her listening in on his conversation. As such she was at bit of a loss of what to say. After a brief moment which felt like a thousand years, she eventually said ‘My mum and Dad got me a book about wizarding legends, it looks really interesting.’
‘Wizarding Legends? I used to love the one about the Wizard who could turn to stone. That was always my favourite.’ Professor Valmir chuckled, he took a bite of turkey then said ‘So Jenny, how are your other subjects going? Professor Swann say’s you are doing extremely well in Potions.’
‘Yeah... Potions is going great... and I’m really liking Defence Against the Dark Arts at the moment as well, we’re learning about duelling, I’m getting really good at it.’
‘Fantastic,’ Valmir said ‘It is always useful to be good at duelling, you never know when you’ll need it.’
‘And what would make you say that?’ the thick Australian twang of Professor Swann fell around the table. She stood above the table holding a plate in one hand and a goblet in the other, looking to find a place to sit down. Jenny shoved Cleo in the ribs, pushing him up to Professor Swann could sit down.
‘Thank You Jenny,’ she said seating herself in between James Potter and Jenny, ‘What were you saying Steven?’
‘Just that it’s always handy to have a good duelling skill, you never know what’s going to happen.’
Professor Swann chuckled, ‘Really? Come on now Steven, this isn’t twenty years ago, you’re not likely to be attacked by Death Eaters now are you?’
‘Even so, it can’t hurt to have a few spells up your sleeve just in case.’
‘What, in case a load of criminals escape from Azkaban? No one’s escaped from Azkaban
since the war. Then again, I assume you read the news?’
Professor Valmir nodded glumly.
‘I did, I hope they can capture them before it’s too late.’
‘What news?’ asked Jenny.
‘A load of criminals escaped from Mont Maudit, the French wizarding prison.’ she added sensing Jenny’s blankness ‘It’s on top of this huge mountain in the alps. No idea how
they got out, the French minister looks to be in trouble, doesn’t he?’
‘Well, he did what he could. There’s spells all around that Prison, anti apparition spells, most magic is hard to do there unless they work for the ministry themselves, and to that they say they have Griffins guarding it as well.’
‘In Australia I think we do it a little bit better. We don’t have one prison as such, rather three and they’re all spread around the country and only the top wizarding authorities and if you have to visit one prison you get your memory wiped afterwards.’
‘Wouldn’t that... scare people... I mean... I know Azkaban is in the middle of the North Sea... and that’s fine, I’d rather know where it is and have it in a place where... it’s impossible to get anywhere from, than not know where it is... what if it was right near where you lived... I wouldn’t feel safe.’
Professor Valmir and Professor Swann observed Jenny for a moment or two. Professor Swann looked slightly insulted but Valmir raised his eyebrows and nodded intently.
‘You know Jenny’s right. I’d rather have it in such a remote place that there would be no chance of a criminal escaping and wandering into my house.’
Professor Swann flustered, she began waving around fork quite erratically as she responded, a mouth full of potatoes which trickled down her chin.
‘But you’d have it in a place where anyone knew its location. What if some crazed wizards wanders up to the prison and breaks out a load of criminals... look at France.’
‘You can’t blame the French for this. Whoever is behind this breakout is clearly a dangerous wizard. But I can’t imagine the French ministry taking ages to capture them... I mean... look at Volare.’
‘Oh you’re quite right.. I remember..-‘
Jenny turned from Valmir and Professor Swann’s conversation to Cleo who was tearing apart a leg of turkey.
‘Professor McGonagall wanted to give this to you. She only passed by... I think she wanted to be... discreet.’
Cleo handed Jenny a small package, wrapped up in fine paper and with a small bow on top. Jenny put down her knife and fork and carefully tore the paper apart to find a small wooden box. Inside she found a small emerald gem barely the size of a pea. It was oddly beautiful but for the life of her Jenny had no idea what it was for.
‘Is there nothing else in the box?’ Will asked leaning over.
Jenny shook her head, she ripped off the soft cushioning, the emerald had been sat on but found nothing underneath. She threw the box onto the table with a sigh.
‘Hey what’s that?’ Cleo asked. He pointed to the lid, which Jenny had forgotten about after finding the emerald. On the inside of the lid were several words.
You may find this useful.
‘Falmouth Falcons?’ Cleo asked bemused.
‘Oh...,’ Jenny almost hit herself for being so stupid, ‘She wants to meet me again, on the eighteenth of January.’
‘Yeah... but Falmouth Falcons?’
‘It’ll be the password I reckon.’
‘But... you’re not having any problems with... it anymore, are you?’
‘Not really. But...,’ Jenny took a quick glance around her and lowered her voice, ‘I want to know all I can about what I am. It can only help me.’
Cleo and Will both nodded. At least Jenny could go to McGonagall and not think she had done something terrible, at least now she could be the one asking the questions.
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
Practice Makes Perfect
By the first of January, the snow had melted all around Hogwarts, leaving a slippery slush that gathered in clumps around the grounds. It was still freezing cold, and as the new term came students could still be seen wrapping up warm whenever they had to go outside. The second years were swamped with work as well. Professor Swann had them working until the bell rang. Professor Leander had them reading up on Vampires and teaching them ways to subdue them, while in Herbology, they were expected to experiment with the repotting of mandrakes over and over to get the perfect result which Professor Longbottom said, would come when the teenage mandrakes were calm and well behaved.
With all this work to do, Jenny was surprised to see that she was still managing to keep up. Even more surprising was Cleo. As soon as term had started again, Dani Finnegan had requested tri weekly Quidditch practices despite the fact that their next match wasn’t until the end of march. Cleo often returned from the Quidditch pitch, grumpy and muddy and added to the fact that Will hadn’t let up on their bet, he was still being accosted by almost every girl in the second year, meaning moving about the castle was a dangerous activity for him.
One thing that Jenny was pleased about with the return to school work was that her meeting with Professor McGonagall wasn’t far off. She could put up with all the work all the moaning from Cleo if she knew that soon, she would be talking to McGonagall once again. She had also taken to looking at the Emerald she had been given for Christmas.
Still not knowing what it was for, or why Professor McGonagall had gone to the bother of getting her anything at all, she would sit in her dormitory and run it through her fingers wondering what on earth its purpose was and watching the flickering candlelight reflect off its shiny surface.
Finally, January the Eighteenth arrived. Jenny was anxious all day, barely paying attention in any of her lessons until at last seven o’clock came around and Jenny made her way to Professor McGonagall’s office.
At the top of the staircase Jenny took a deep breath to calm herself then rapped twice on the door.
Opening the door, Jenny found Professor McGonagall sat behind her desk reading a copy of the Evening Prophet. She was wearing Emerald robes that reminded Jenny of her own emerald. She smiled and motioned for Jenny to sit which she did, her excitement building despite her attempts to calm herself down.
‘Good Evening Jenny how are you?’
‘Very well Professor thank you.’
Professor McGonagall nodded. She put away her newspaper and stood to the side of her desk.
‘And..., thank you for the Christmas present.’
‘Did you like it? I thought it would help you. I assume you know what it does?’
It does something? Jenny thought wildly to herself. While she was sure that it wasn’t simply ornamental she had never bothered to find out what it actually did. She assumed, if it did anything it would have revealed its function by now.
Jenny coughed and looked shyly to the ground. ‘Actually, I don’t know what it does.’
‘Ah, not to worry, it’s a charmed Emerald. I made it myself. You remember telling me how when you felt angry or frustrated, you would feel the need to transform?’
‘Well, what the Emerald will do is keep you calm and collected so you don’t transform at any random moment. As long as you have it on you. Where is it now?’
‘In my trunk.’ Jenny replied wishing she had thought to bring it with her.
‘Ah, not to worry, I’d advise you keep it with you at all times from now on, just in case.’
‘Just in case.’
Professor McGonagall nodded. She moved over to a bookshelf and pulled out an old dusty book larger than any book Jenny had seen before. She dropped it onto her desk and began leafing through the pages.
‘I found this in the ministry archive not long ago. It was a real hassle to get out but I was most persuasive. Ah here we are...’
She turned to a page which was barely readable, the text had faded and the pages were torn in several places. Professor McGonagall didn’t seem to mind and instead looked to one of the passages that was just readable.
‘Here, ‘Of The Serpent Master, the great beast of ancient times that lives in the lives of those chosen. He beats as one with two and will bring life to a stop.’ This is the only other passage about the Serpent Master that I can find. Unfortunately, the book young Erin was using last year doesn’t tell us much about the powers of the Serpent rather how to summon them and a lot of how the Serpent is a wondrous being who must be praised.’
Professor McGonagall sighed. Slowly, she closed the book and turned back to Jenny.
‘What I think we need to do today is work on controlling yourself when you are in the serpent. We already know you have your own mind but we want that from the start, we don’t want to have you attack anything before you get your own mind.’
Jenny nodded. ‘Do you want me to change... now?’
Jenny breathed in slowly once again, then stood, pushing the chair aside and moving into open space.
It was a lot easier to transform now. It was as if she had always been the serpent. Her twisting head and body did not cause her discomfort or pain and when she had finished she felt more alive than ever before.
The hearts were beating again. So many of them. So many hearts beating, so many chances...
But another beat was coming, larger and more powerful than anything she had ever felt before. It was coming from within her, pulsing again and again, faster and faster, the hot rush filling her up. She screamed and everything went dark.
When she awoke she was Jenny again, and she was lying on a mattress in Professor McGonagall’s office.
‘Are you okay Jenny?’ the professor asked as she saw Jenny come to.’
‘I’m... fine..., what happened?’
Professor McGonagall helped Jenny back up to her seat and got rid of the mattress with a flick of her wand. Jenny took a deep breath.
‘Well, it seems that when you transformed, you had a brief look around the room then started thrashing your tail and twisting your head. What did you feel?’
Jenny strained her head. It had only happened moments before but she suddenly felt as if she couldn’t remember what happened. After a minute she said ‘I think I felt my heartbeat.’
‘Your heartbeat? What do you mean.’
‘When I was the serpent, I felt a beating inside me... something which was much too strong to be the serpents heart... it was mine I know it was.’
Professor McGonagall nodded. ‘Good, that means that you are aware of your human self from a early start, this is good. This means you are well on your way to being able to transform with your own mind. We’ll leave it at that today, I don’t want to strain you. Here, have some chocolate.’
Professor McGonagall handed Jenny a slab of Honeydukes chocolate and sat down. Jenny bit in and felt a warmth return to her that she had not felt for a while.
‘Professor...’ Jenny began after a few minutes, ‘Can I ask you some questions?’
A polite smile fell onto McGonagall’s face, ‘Of course... I have asked you plenty of questions, what do you want to know?’
Though she had had plenty of questions in her head in the past few weeks, now Jenny had trouble remembering one. She thought for a few moments before asking ‘Do you
know... who else has been the Serpent Master?’
Professor McGonagall bit her lip and sighed. ‘I’m afraid I do not. History hasn’t been too kind in this legend. There is no recorded information, no list, no bank of information to tell us. We do know that it happens every two hundred years... so we can go back and see if we can find any similar traits among people. I can think of one person that may fit the bill. Loxare Masal. He was a dark wizard who lived in Spain in the seventeenth century. They say he could transform into a snake but people simply thought he was an animagus. It is quite possible that he was the Serpent Master as well, he fits the timeframe and there were long periods of his life which have gone unrecorded... so he’s a certain possibility. As for others I can’t say, I may have to look into this a bit more.’
Jenny accepted this grimly. It wasn’t the historical fact that interested her, rather what became of them after they had become The Serpent Master. She was in the best possible position and she knew it. How it would be to be the Serpent Master and have no support or even a wanting to kill and hurt people, she didn’t want to know.
‘Do you have any other questions? Please don’t be afraid to ask?’
‘Where did you learn all this stuff?’
A warm laugh escaped from McGonagall and she gave a gentle smile, ‘About ninety years of magical education and research. I was Transfiguration teacher for about forty years, I’ve worked in the ministry, studied as an animagus, as well as read countless books. As for how I know all this about The Serpent... well, the ministry has a very detailed archive you can go and visit, as well as my own personal book collection and the Hogwarts Library.’
‘What happens now then? With... me?’
‘Well, I want to continue what we’ve been doing, but I don’t want to wait too long between our meetings. I say every two weeks you come here and we can practice your transformations, we can talk about anything you are concerned with and just talk from there? Does that sound alright?’
Jenny nodded eagerly. The thought of regular meetings with Professor McGonagall excited her to no end. Not only would she be able to control the serpent, but the questions that rose whenever she dwelt on the matter would be answered.
‘I think that’s enough for today. We’ll carry on in two weeks but in the meantime, make sure you carry the Emerald around with you at all times.’
‘I will, thank you Professor and Goodnight.’
Mai fan fics... let me show you them. (click the spoiler tag!)
Ravenclaw and proud
Re: The Golden Wand
The Solemn Guard
As January ended, Jenny felt happier than she had ever done before. The work she was doing with Professor McGonagall stopped her worrying in the dead of night, stopped her from having any thoughts whatsoever, about anything that would cause her pain and torment. Though their workload was as high as ever, Jenny relished it working hard often late into the night, happy that the only thing she had to worry about was her homework. The grounds around Hogwarts became the target of torrential rain pour that smashed onto the lawns, and sent Hagrid’s pumpkin patch into overdrive. Several Herbology lessons were cancelled because of a flooding in one of the greenhouses, Jenny watched Professor Longbottom and Hagrid clearing out the rain water and taking care to move the mandrakes to higher ground.
The rainfall was effecting Cleo as well. Quidditch practices were becoming a strain on him. Not only was it becoming almost impossible to see what was going on, but he and several others of the Gryffindor team were hit by strong colds that sent them almost daily to Madam McRae at the Hospital Wing for a heavy dose of pepper up potion.
Despite Cleo’s continuous colds, Will was not giving up on their bet. He had managed, to Jenny’s astonishment, to get almost every girl, fourth year and below to take a bizarre interest in Cleo. Some would follow him down the corridor giggling, while others simply admired him as he sat in the Great Hall eating or in the common room. Cleo, for his part, had taken to ignoring the girls entirely but Jenny could tell that he was struggling with the whole situation and whenever Jenny asked Will to call it off Will outright refused.
‘He should have known what he was getting himself in for. No one makes a bet with me and wins it.’
‘How did you do it anyway? How did you get all those girls to like him?’
Will winked and said ‘I have my ways.’
Cleo was careful not to get angry at Will for his part in this. Jenny thought that this was rather polite of Cleo until she caught him stabbing his parchment with his quill quite violently one day, as Issy and Tandy talked about him in Charms. That moment aside Cleo and Will still acted friendly towards each other but Jenny wondered how long the friendliness would last before Cleo cracked.
A week after Jenny’s meeting with Professor McGonagall, she Cleo and Will had decided to go for a walk to get away from the girls that had been causing Cleo so much trouble. Added to the fact that James Potter had been given a load of fireworks from his uncles shop and had began setting them off in the common room making it almost impossible to do any work there.
It was a dull grey day, clouds covered the sky and every now and again a drop of rain would fall but not amount to anything making Jenny angry as she constantly adjusted the hood on her coat. The afternoon’s bleak weather however, meant that the grounds were virtually empty, most people retreating to the warm dry safety of the castle.
They walked around the lake several times talking and laughing until a rumble of thunder sounded overhead and Jenny had a legitimate reason to pull her hood over her head. They returned to the castle as quickly as they could.
‘Mess! Mess everywhere! You there!’
As they stepped into the Entrance Hall, they were disheartened to see Dannis Croaker, the caretaker, looking over several puddles of muddy water, with his wand out looking furious.
‘Take your shoes off! I don’t want any mud to be tracked through the castle. That oaf Hagrid’s already stomped through here, traipsing mud all over my floors. Shoes off now or I’ll jinx your feet off!’
None of them wanted that. Will had recently been the target of one of Croakers punishments after he had left Chocolate Frog wrappings all over the second floor corridor. Will claimed his hair hadn’t been the same since.
Shoes off, Jenny, Will and Cleo slowly made a retreat to Gryffindor Tower where Jenny planned to take a relaxing shower before heading down to dinner.
‘Stupid Croaker.’ Will said once finally out of earshot of the angered caretaker. ‘We barely even stepped inside. He’s probably looking for revenge after what I did the other day.’
Jenny chuckled ‘You did leave wrappings all over the floor.’
‘Hey, that wasn’t my fault. Remember we had just worked on the jittering charm. I couldn’t help it if I dropped all my chocolate frog wrappings everywhere.’
‘Maybe you should stop eating chocolate frogs?’
Will gave Jenny a piercing look. ‘Now that’s just silly.’
As they headed upstairs, the storm that had presented itself while they had been outside began. Rain lashed against the windows so fast and powerfully it was impossible to see what was happening outside, until a flash of lightning briefly illuminated the sodden grounds.
‘Kwickspin.’ Cleo said upon reaching the fat lady who was giggling with her friend Violet from Downstairs.
‘Of course, in you go.’
Despite the happy nature the Fat Lady seemed to be in, once they were in the common room, Jenny was shocked to see that none of the students seemed overly happy. In fact Jenny would have described the scene as grim. Chucking her shoes to the side for now, she sat down next to Fred Denton who was reading a copy of the Evening Prophet.
‘What’s going on?’ she asked lightly.
Fred looked up from the paper and said ‘Breakout form Nurmenguard.’
‘What?’ Jenny asked. A quick glance around the common room told her that other people seemed to be reading the paper as well. Fred gave her the Prophet and Jenny read.
MASS BREAKOUT FROM NURMENGARD
The Minister of Magic today announced that there has been a mass breakout of Prisoners from the German prison, Nurmengard. This news, the minister said, came direct to him from Hans Zalthiest, the German Minister of Magic.
It is believed that sixty criminals of varying degrees broke out of the prison late last night. It is unknown whether they had outside help or whether there was a disturbance within the prison that caused the breakout.
Nurmengard Prison is known as one of the most secure prisons in the wizarding world, often holding some of the most dangerous prisoners in Europe. After the war, several Death Eaters were imprisoned there.
‘Mr Zalthiest assures me that they are doing all they can to round up the criminals before they cause any damage to peoples or property. I must also assure people at home that Azkaban is as safe as it ever was and there is very little chance that the escaped prisoners will come here.
This news comes only weeks after prisoners escaped from the French Wizarding prison Mont Maudit. The Minister has assured people that these two breakouts are not connected.
‘We currently have no connections between the break out at Mont Maudit and the breakout at Nurmengard.’
Despite the Ministry’s assurances, it has been reported that the Auror department are on high alert in case a breakout at Azkaban does occur.
For more on the breakouts, please turn to page sixteen.
‘Sixty people broke out of Nurmengard?’ Cleo asked as he read the article above Jenny
Fred shrugged. ‘I don’t know. My dad say’s it’s almost impossible to escape from Nurmengard, like Azkaban so how they did it I have no idea.’
Suddenly, Jenny remembered the conversation she had with Professor Swann and Professor Valmir about Mont Maudit. According to Professor Valmir, Mont Maudit was guarded by Griffins and had a load of other spells and protections on it that would make it seem almost impossible to get out of.
Grimly, Jenny leafed through the paper to read the rest of the article which detailed a long list of known criminals who are believed to have escaped. The reading was bone chillingly terrifying but Jenny read it nonetheless. Suddenly Jenny didn’t feel hungry any more.
News of the breakout had exploded throughout the school the next day. Everywhere Jenny went she heard people talk about it, about the criminals who had escaped and where they were now. The teachers attempted to stop the flow of conversation wherever they could but Jenny could see that they too were looking anxiously worried. The prophet bought no news of any of the prisoners whereabouts, or activities leading many to assume that it was a breakout with a further purpose in mind.
However the day after, Jenny was pleased to see that several of the escaped criminals had been recaptured and put back in prison. Whether this meant that it was not an outside job but rather a simple breakout Jenny didn’t know but she felt that little bit more safer than she had before.
Others though seemed not to have heard the news that several had been captured and continued wandering the halls of Hogwarts as if a gang of criminals were about to break down the walls of the castle at any minute.
‘No I do not believe we are in any trouble at all now will you please finish transfiguring your Rabbit Miss Riggs.’
It was the end of a tough Transfiguration lesson. The Rabbits, that they were attempting to transfigure into a pair of slippers lay about the classroom in varying forms of completion (Cleo’s squeaked when he tried to put them on).
Jenny had been quite happy with her work though she was sure that occasionally the end of the slippers would twitch suddenly and without provocation.
‘Professor aren’t you worried about the criminals?’ Issy Thomas asked, as she stroked her rabbit-slipper hybrid.
‘Please Miss Thomas, there is nothing to worry about I assure you. Any escaped criminal is at least eight hundred miles away and not likely to come to Britain. As for Azkaban, I can promise that no one is going to break out of there any time soon.’
Part of Jenny wondered whether people were asking about the criminals not because they were scared but because it was something to do apart from work. She would have believed it if the Gryffindor’s weren’t particularly good at Transfiguration but she couldn’t be sure for the rest of the school.
The bell rang signifying the end of class. ‘Homework I want a short summary on chapter sixteen of your books please to be handed in next week, thank you.’
The Gryffindor’s milled out into the corridor beyond and began to slow walk down to Great Hall for dinner.
‘Can you believe some people...’ Jenny said shouldering her bag, ‘If there was a serious threat you’d think the teachers would tell us something right?’
Will shrugged, ‘Probably, unless they wanted to protect us.’
‘Yeah, but I’d rather be told the truth than be told that everything’s going to be fine. I don’t want to be lied to.’
‘Well people are idiots aren’t they,’ Cleo said as they passed a group of nervous looking Ravenclaw’s.
The Ravenclaw’s weren’t the only ones who were looking scared. All around the castle Jenny spotted groups of scared people talking and whispering to each other in hushed voices. Even the Great Halls was more subdued than normal.
As Jenny Will and Cleo seated themselves at the end of the Gryffindor table, a third year Jenny recognised as Hugo Weasley sided up to them and said
‘Hey, have you heard about Markus Haust?’
‘Markus who?’ Cleo asked as he began to dig into his Sheppard’s Pie.
‘Apparently he was in Nurmengard. He’s this really dangerous wizard and he’s one who escaped.’
‘So, he’s dangerous. Like really dangerous. Apparently, during the war he wanted to come and join in with the Death Eaters...but he got caught killing several muggleborns.’
The idea that someone as dangerous as this scared Jenny slightly, but she still stood by her thought that they were safe where they were.
‘Okay... well when he comes here tell me and I’ll be worried.’
Hugo sided away looking insulted. Will raised his eyebrows ‘It’s as if you don’t care,’ he said with a sarcastic twang.
Jenny laughed. She did care. It was terrible that all these criminals had escaped and were wandering the countries, but what was the point of worrying if you couldn’t do
anything about it?
Unfortunately, it seemed as if the rest of the school had taken to reading the tale of Markus Haust, both in the Evening Prophet, which once again was the main reading material in the common room that night and in several cases by research in the library.
As Jenny expected, that night everyone seemed to be talking about this escaped criminal. Jenny didn’t know what was worse, the tales people made up about him, or the constant fear that emanated around the common room. It was incredibly difficult to focus on her homework when right next to them, a couple of third years were having an animated conversation about the supposed time that Markus Haust ran down a street in Munich picking off random people to kill.
‘I wish they would just knock it off.’ Jenny had almost given up on her homework now.
Throwing her quill onto the table, she gave a exasperated moan as the quill knocked into
her ink pot, spreading ink all across the table and her work.
‘People are idiots...’ Cleo said, ‘I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. As soon as something comes up that looks like it could cause them trouble, no matter how far away
it is, they’ll go mental.’
He cleared away the ink with his wand and helped Jenny clear up the ink from her parchment. Jenny appreciated the help. Cleo was never one to jump to the worst conclusion, ever the optimist, he believed that if there was going to be trouble nearby, it would be nearby and not hundreds of miles away.
Will, who was curled up in his chair reading a charms book said ‘You can’t blame them though... I mean... would you rather face the enemy you know or one you don’t?’
Jenny knew he was right but it didn’t stop her hating the constant fear that was going around the common room. She sighed. Threw her now clean parchment onto the table and lay back in her chair.
Jenny turned to see Issy and Tandy sat behind her, reading a copy of the Daily Prophet.
A picture of Markus Haust leered up at her and Jenny had to admit that he was a frightening looking man. His jaw was lopsided, as if he had gotten it broken too many times for it to be fixed properly. Dark bags covered his surprisingly bright blue eyes while atop his head, thin strands of blonde hair wavered. He snarled up from the paper.
‘Did you know that Haust... he was going to come to Hogwarts to study... what if he does come here?’
Jenny lost it. Her fists clenched and her face went red with anger. Slowly she stood and called out to the rest of the common room.
‘Everyone! I want your attention.’
Faces turned towards Jenny, muttering confused, scared faces which made her more angrier than she had been before. They fell silent.
‘I want everyone to know, that you’re all ridiculously stupid. No one is coming to this country to try and kill us or...whatever. Those criminals... are in Germany and in France, they won’t decide to pop over here for a quick visit to Hogwarts. Alright? I’ve had enough of this nonsense.’
And with that, Jenny packed her things into her bag and stormed off in the direction of the girls dormitory.
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