|In the Time of the Shadows|
|Preceded by: |
|The Ultimate Sacrfice||Succeded by: |
The Whisper Trap
Roran Parris, Charlie Malfoy and Amelia Frost are three very different people, all united by a single aim- to be forgiven for their family's past. Together, they will uncover a secret organisation, uncover a threat to the magical world and confront an ancient evil which is waiting in the Hogwart's grounds...
Prologue- The Doctors Edit
The moon danced on the undisturbed surface of the lake. A soft chill blew threw rustling leaves and hissed in a gentle, reassuring way. It was an incredible world. And Sophie Troy was about to leave it all behinnd.
A ripple extended from the centre of the lake as a fish leapt up, the moonlight glinting majestically off the creature's scales.
Don't think about the creatures. It will make it so much more difficult.
Sophie heard a call behind her. It took her forever to turn, as if she were moving through tar.
She smiled. Grant and Danny were approaching.
She had wandered whether she should bring Danny Williams- he was, quite simply a coward. But his knowledge of magic would help them survive, at least until it was time to die.
"Grant, Danny." She was grinning, despite everything. Her two oldest friends were by her side. It felt like first year again.
Danny sneezed, shivering in the cold. He looked worried. But Grant was the one who asked Sophie the question.
She had been waiting for this question for weeks, ever since she had understood the dreams for the first time. She had considered lying. But if they were to walk with her, then they would have to know the answer. It was the only way.
Grant asked the question. Sophie answered.
Danny spoke in a small, high-pitched voice. "But surely we could leave this to Professor King?" he asked. "How are we meant to stop it? We don't have the magic, or the knowledge?"
Sophie laughed. It was forced, but it seemed so...alien to laugh nonetheless. She hadn't laughed since she'd made her mind up. "Stop him? We're not going to stop him. We're going to feed him."
Soon. They didn't have much time.
Danny's lip was quivering, and the next words were barely a squeak. "With what?"
"With our flesh."
Danny's scream was piercing. Grant dived to stop him, but Sophie commanded him to stop. Danny tore away from the lake.
Grant turned to her. His face was pale, so white. His round, once-laughing face was now contorted with fear. But not hate. Never hate.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "If it is this close to death, shouldn't we let it end?"
Sophie shook her head. "We must do this."
"But why? Why can't we let it die?"
Sophie turned and walked away, towards the forest. If he followed her, he would follow. But she knew he would never turn away.
The question, again, more insistent.
Sophie turned, her hands glowing. "Because we are not killers, Grant. We are doctors."
Sophie turned, and stepped into the Forbidden Forest.
PART ONE: RORAN Edit
Chapter One: The Owl Edit
17 YEARS LATER
I loved the mornings. I would always wake up earlier than anyone else, and just lie in bed, looking up at the ceiling and observing intricate patterns in the ever-changing curtain. Along with my strange curtains, I had a self-winding clock, canary cream crackers and my own elf. Well, technically it belonged to my mother, but it listened to me as well.
In case you're not following any of this, I will explain to you who and what I am. I am a wizard, and will hopefully be enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry today.
But, I wouldn't be eleven until 11.36, so my parents had bought me more presents than usual to make up for the long wait. I got out of bed, put on my pyjamas, and went to the lounge, where a large cache of presents waited for me.
My mother walked up behind me. "Happy birthday, sweethart," she chuckled.
"Did I mention how much I love you guys?"
From my parents, I got an owl called Fred. Well, I called it Fred, before my parents pointed out it was a girl, and then I called it by the far more sensible name of Mouse. My grandmother got me a two way mirror, my cousin Alice a pygmy puff, Draco. My muggle friends cashed out on sweets. Lots of them.
By 10.00, I had finished opening every present and was playing with Draco. By 11.00, I was feeling nervous. Did I have the letter? I had shown signs of magic, yes, but would it be enough to get me into the most prestigious magic school in Europe? Something told me no, no, no...
10.30 and I was feeling violently sick. My mother wasn't helping matters, pacing around, occasionally moving something from its rightful position to a completely random and utterly ridiculous new home. 10.35 and I now doubted that the clock on the mantelpiece was right. What if I was a squib? How would I be able to live up to my parents then?
10.36. Please, please please please...
Then, a scuffle at the fireplace. A single feather fell- an owl? Another scuffle, louder this time. My father had dealt with the pressure by falling asleep. A loud bang, and then...
A squealing owl flew from the chimney, holding in its vice-like paw a letter.
I grabbed the letter, noticed the Hogwarts crest and tore open the envelope, ripped the letter from the envelope, and began reading:
Dear Master R. Parris, We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on the 1st of September, we await your owl by no later than the 31st of July.
Head of Slytherin House,
Defence against the Dark Arts Professor,
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Finally. Finally, after 11 years, I was off on my way to Hogwarts. My father greeted Tom the barman like he was an old friend, and then we went into the back off the shop to enter Diagon Alley.
Chapter Two: Welcome to Diagon Alley Edit
I had never been to Diagon Alley. My mother told me that it was a treat reserved for the day that the fateful owl arrived, and set us on the course for the legendary school. Despite this, my mother had been preparing for this day for a long time, putting the spare sickle and the occasional galleon in my vault at Gringotts. By this time, I had collected a modest 23 galleons and 4 sickles, so we were heading there for some money.
We entered the main hall of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and I have to say that I was impressed. The hall was large and very busy. There were plenty of wizards in long queues which stretched as far as I could see. Unfortunately, we had to join one of these queues.
After about an hour, we were accepted to the main desk, where we could hear an old lady complaining about the lengths of the queues nowadays. Although when I thought about it, I realised that Gringotts had always been portrayed as effective and strong, never packed and busy. I was still thinking about this when we climbed aboard the rail car that would take us to the very bottom of Gringotts' underground vault system. The car got off to a slow start, then without warning tumbled into darkness.
I was terrified as the car rolled one way, then another way. Each time I was thrown across the rail car between my parents like some demented and manic game of human pinball. The car pitched to the side, and for a few seconds all I could see was a cavernous maw that threatened to drag me down to the depths of Hell...
Then the car straightened out and we whizzed along in an unbroken line. We were hurled down a tunnel, before emerging in a cave, where we nearly slammed into another car that had slowed down for its stop. I was pushed back into my seat as the car accelerated once again, and tears stung my eyes until I was chucked forwards as the car rapidly decelerated.
Feeling a lot less inclined to eat out (or eat at all), I happily leapt out the car, still shaking from the awful ride. As the goblin approached the cell, I suddenly remembered the queues, and my curiosity was piqued enough for me to risk speaking.
"Dad, why where there so many people visiting Gringotts today?"
"Fear," my father sighed. "There was a break in a few weeks back, and over 2000 galleons stolen. And it's just the latest in security scares. Harry Potter himself was jinxed meeting the Minister of Magic, and a load of Polyjuice Potions were stolen from St. Mungos."
My mother retreated from the room with 10 galleons, telling me that whatever I didn't spend I could take on the Hogwarts Express. With that, we returned to the atrium (after another sickly journey on the rail cars) and headed to Ollivanders and Son.
I was accepted inside. The assistant, a young man called Percy handed me a wand. I waved it, and a pile of wands came crashing down, and broke. Percy was new, and I got the distinct impression he disliked the job of cleaning the shop after the last visitor.
"Not to worry, not to worry!" was his answer after I bought case after case down, his responses becoming shorter and more irate with every wand I tried (especially after I set his trousers on fire), but I knew that everything had been worth it when I felt a jolt travel down my arm. Several boxes levitated into the air. Percy beamed, accepting my father's 5 galleons with obvious relief.
"Oak and veela hair, excellent for transfiguration and charms, not nearly so good at jinxes," Percy rapidly shouted as he more or less chucked us out.
We then went in Flourish and Blotts, the apothecary and the emporium. Afterwards, we "flooed" (or should that be "floo"?) out using the fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron.
At last! I was ready for the greatest adventure of my life!
Chapter Three: The Two Malfoys Edit
Please Note: The Frosts, specifically Rowan Frost, were created by SmudgyHollz. If you want to read more about them, please read the Darkness Within series by SmudgyHollz.
"Roran Parris! Get up this instant!"
Slowly, I rolled over to look at the time. 1st September, 2064, 10.34.
I got up, and ran to the shower, ran out, ran downstairs, and ate breakfast as we drove to Kings Cross Station. As soon as we got out, we ran to the barrier, and I boarded the train as my parents shouted something about Christmas.
As I looked around, I saw plenty of other nervous first years looking for a seat. A few of them were disappearing into compartments with their friends. I had spent my early years with muggle friends, at a muggle school, so I didn't know anybody here.
I eventually found an empty compartment, sat down, and stared in the mirror. I could see my reflection. I looked at my blue eyes, messy red hair and my face, with a multitude of freckles smeared across my cheeks and nose. As I stared at myself, the compartment door was pulled open and I saw a girl with long brown hair and glasses with very thin frames staring back at me.
"Can I take this seat?" She asked. I nodded. She was stunningly pretty. "I'm Amelia Frost," she told me. "Amy for short." The Frosts. I'd heard of them. They were a very controversial family. Had done many bad things, but also good things. "What's your name?" she asked me.
"R-Roran Parris" I stuttered back to her. I couldn't get over how beautiful she was...
"The Parris?" I saw her suppress a shiver, and wondered why my father had to be the descendant of manic witch hunters. Then, I saw her smile.
"You mean your great grandfather was the man who finalised the details of the 21st revision of the International Statue of Secrecy?"
"I suppose to..." I replied.
"And your ancestor was Minister of Magic in 1845?"
I smiled modestly. "Yeah..."
"And your distant ancestors led the Salem Witch Trials?"
My heart fell. I had been a fool to presume that she would not know about my family's involvement in those. It seemed to be the first thing taught to children, stay away from the Parris.
"Wow," Amy said. "Your family's history is really interesting.
"Wha-" I wasn't expecting that one. "Uhh, thanks."
"I've read up on all the major wizarding families. I find history of magic really interesting, I'm really looking forward to it."
"Isn't that ghost teacher still in charge?"
Amy smiled. "Yeah. They've tried exorcism.”
"Oh," I said. I felt like an idiot. Outside, it was starting to rain. The door flew open with an onomatopoeic bang jumped as a boy who was very obviously a Malfoy came storming into the carriage, pursued by a larger and scarier brother.
"And I expect father will be angry, and then he'll insist you go home, I mean it’s bad enough to have someone like you in the family, without you being a Gryffindor as well, I mean..."
The young boy turned around. "Harry, will you shut up?"
"How dare you speak to me like that, Charles? I could turn you to sand!" Harry bellowed.
"I doubt it. Anyway, I could turn you yellow."
"No you couldn't."
"Could not! Anyway, how is turning me yellow going to help defend against me turning you to sand?"
Charlie seemed to consider for a moment, then said "you'll have to go to a detention."
"I've been in detention before."
"Have you ever gone to a detention yellow?" Charlie asked.
Harry sighed and stormed from the carriage. Charlie sat down, and as if noticing us for the first time, said "oh, hello. Who are you?"
"Roran Parris," I said, shaking his hand. He introduced himself as Charles “Charlie” Malfoy. As the train rattled on, an awkward silence developed between the three of us. We talked occasionally, about chocolate frog cards and played Gobstones, but I had the strange feeling that I had heard more of that conversation than I was meant to.
Chapter Four: The Giant Squid Edit
I had heard about the boat ride to the castle from so many people, but nothing could prepare me for this. The boat rocked in the howling wind and Amy, Charlie, a girl we had just met called Hannah Kent and I were pitched forwards and backwards in the storm.
The rain lashed against the boats and their occupants like nothing I'd ever seen before. It was a stinging rain, and as I looked ahead at the bright castle, I saw the bright place that could only be the Great Hall. But I was disturbed when there was a shout behind me.
Another boat behind us was being forced back. They had lost their oars and were trailing behind. I looked in front and saw that the rest of the group were too far ahead, and our shouts were snatched away by the roaring wind.
"We need to turn around!" I roared. Hannah and Charlie had the oars. "Turn around!"
Amy looked at me, her eyes wide with terror. "Are you crazy?" she shouted, her voice only just audible over the crack of lightning. "We won’t be able to sail back!"
But I shook my head. "We have oars. They don't. They need our help!"
Before Amy could say anything, Charlie interrupted. "He's right," he simply said, his face grim. Hannah merely looked petrified as we turned the boat and began sailing back towards the others.
"Help!" they shouted again, their silhouettes only just visible amidst the thrashing rain. The wind was speeding us along, and I could now make out the others on their damaged, leaking boat. Amy took off her glasses to wipe them over.
We were alongside them, and I was ready to reach across and pull them over when we were suddenly pitched away from each other. We were thrown across our boat, crashing into each other. The boat was on the verge of capsizing when Charlie and I threw ourselves across to the edge of the boat, and used our weight to swing the boat back into the water.
"What was that?" I yelled, but before anyone could answer, I heard a yell from the others. They were slowly rolling over- within a few seconds, they would be underwater. I did what I had to.
"Roran, no!" yelled Amy, but I was already leaving the boat, flying through the air. All too quickly, gravity seemed to be pulling me down. I hurtled towards the water, but was able to grab onto the edge of the boat. The breakneck speed at which I had been travelling now pulled the boat back down, the right way up.
And then water closed over my head.
I couldn't breath. It was eerily quiet and calm down here, divided from the real world by just a thin film of water. But then hands grabbed me and hauled me out of the freezing water into the sopping, flooded boat.
I was gasping for air and violently shivering, but one of the people in the boat reached down and said saggitius. I felt warm air blasted in my face. "T-h-hanks," I stuttered.
"That's okay man," shouted the one who had used the spell. "You, like, totally saved us back there!"
A girl sitting next to him said "so now we've too many people in the boat, in the middle of a storm and without oars. This couldn't possibly get any worse."
And then it got worse.
From the other boat, Hannah, Amy and Charlie pointed and something and shouted. Something wet slithered across my leg. I heard a strange groaning noise behind me. It took all of my will to slowly turn around shivering, not from the cold, but from revulsion and dread. I wished I hadn't looked.
My head snapped back to the other boat when I heard Amy shouting. "Accio!" She shrieked. "Accio boat!"
I heard a clicking sound. The thing was breathing more hot air down my back. At this rate I would be dry. I almost sensed it opening its mouth, leaning over to swallow the boat in one go...
"Accio boat," Amy roared, and the boat suddenly accelerated. I was thrown backwards, and kept a tight hold on the wooden side. We were being pulled towards them too fast. "I did it!" Amy smiled her voice full of glee.
"Um sorry to burst your bubble," said Charlie. "But I think you overdid it."
There was no time to slow down. The two boats collided, and everything happened in slow motion. I was thrown forward- I rolled over in the air, so I was facing the carnage. The boat was blasted to bits, people colliding, the sound of wood snapping and disappearing in a maelstrom of chippings, blood and water. Then I was forced back underwater, the liquid gurgling in my ears.
I kicked, and was rewarded with air and light. Amy was supporting a struggling Charlie. Hannah and the others were nowhere to be seen. Panic welled up inside me. Where were they?
Then a huge, slimy creature was rising from the depths, snarling, two viscous, red eyes staring down at me. A slit in its face was slowly growing larger, revealing a cavernous mouth. Water poured from its jaws, moonlight glistening off its skin and massive, twisted teeth. And then I felt something twisting up my body, ensnaring my skin and wrapping around my neck.
The creature pulled me out of the water. I screamed in sheer terror. I was soaring through the sky, the lake mapped out behind me, and then with an incredible jolt, I was bought down on another boat. The slimy tentacle retreated from my skin, and I was left shivering on a new boat.
After a few seconds I became aware that the oars were sailing by themselves. I turned, and saw the four occupants of the boats. There was no rain, and the wind that had been howling a minute ago only served to make the four figures at the stern look more impressive. One of them was very large, and slightly familiar. He was definitely not a first year, and he had probably cast all the charms on this boat.
At last, the huge man spoke. "Who is this scum? You two! Have a look."
The two small yet rather brutish first years stood up and ran to me. "He's alive!" said one of them.
The large figure sighed. "Of course he's alive, Mirian, find out his name! And why is he on my boat?"
Mirian punched Roran in the stomach. "You heard Mr. Malfoy. Who are you?"
It was then I recognised the figure. Harry Malfoy, the boy on the Express. What was he doing here?
"He said, ‘what's your name?’" the other one yelled, hitting me again.
"Roran Parris," I managed.
"A Parris, eh?" Malfoy's tone was suddenly a lot friendlier. "So, you'll be a Slytherin hopeful, then?"
"Rather be in Gryffindor," I snarled between clenched teeth. The boy hit me again.
"Imperius! Let him go," Malfoy shouted. "So, looks like the giant squid ditched another loser on my boat then."
Suddenly, I remembered the others. "We have to go back!" I nearly shrieked. "My friends are in trouble..."
Malfoy sighed. "You are a half-blood, are you not? If so, please explain why you share the beliefs of Mudbloods? The giant quid is a benevolent entity. Your worthless friends are quite safe. Probably. After all, we can only hope."
Mirian and Imperius sniggered. Malfoy raised an eyebrow in irritation. "Why are you here?" I asked. "This trip is for first years only."
"Because my father is head of Slytherin House, and Deputy Headmaster. I believe that Professor King has become somewhat inactive in her old age. My father more or less runs the school now. He has given me permission to come aboard this trip and interview two hopefuls for the Quidditch team." Malfoy smirked. "He has given these first years permission to play as beaters, if I consider them good enough."
Before I could say anything else, a call from Professor Hagrid roused me from my thinking.
"We're here! Firs' years, welcome to 'Ogwarts!"
"Stupid oaf," muttered Malfoy as we disembarked. "When my father gets rid of that King bag, then he'll be the first to go, mark my words."
I left Malfoy as soon as I possibly could, and joined up with Charlie and Amy. The others, apparently, had been whisked to safety by the squid. Charlie was recounting the story for the fourteenth time when a man barked: "Okay, line up and no talking!"
The man had sleek blond hair, blue eyes and a perfect face that made him seem wealthy. Which, Roran realised he probably was. He had heard many stories about Professor Scorpius Malfoy.
"What have you three been doing?" he asked, with a sneering voice that was obviously meant to be his "talking to peasants" mode. "Line up quickly, or I'll feed you to the Bloody Baron. He nodded to the ghost next to him, a shackled, heavily bleeding spirit with terrifying deep, black eyes.
We lined up.
"You are to follow me into the hall. Here you will be sorted into houses. At Hogwarts, your house will be your home; you will earn points for your houses through good behaviour, etcetera, etcetera."
Professor Malfoy, obviously believing his speech had served his purpose, turned and made his way into the hall.
Chapter Five: Percy and Potions Edit
I was still dripping after the incident at the lake, and was now desperate to be in Gryffindor. Amy, and surprisingly Charlie, had both been accepted into Gryffindor.
The Hat slipped over my head. I knew that he was talking to me, just me, but his voice seemed to boom inside my head and I grew worried. There was a part of his speech that I wanted to keep to myself...
"Ambitious, eh?" he scoffed. "Wants to prove himself, that's for sure. Other people have heard of the Parris, haven't they lad? What are they told? Stay away from them, there a nasty lot, burnt their fellow witches and wizards for money. Money. Well, that certainly sounds ambitious, but are you? There is a definite bravery about you as well- not too clever though. So what are we going for? Gryffindor or Slytherin? It's your choice, lad- I can't decide on everything. Just know this- whatever you choose, you must live with the consequences."
At once, I opened my mouth to say Gryffindor, but the words wouldn't come out. Involuntarily, my mouth took a voice of its own.
"Slyther-" I growled, just managing to stop myself, before I tried again.
"Gryff-indor" I managed, and it was if my voice was amplified across the hall. The Gryffindor table gave a tremendous cheer, and I went to join them, confused but happy.
"Roran, well done," shouted a familiar friend- Percy!
"Percy, I didn't know you were still at Hogwarts," I smiled.
Percy laughed. "Of course. I'm in my fifth year. I got this yesterday," he said, displaying his prefect badge.
I smiled, watching as Hannah Kent was placed in Hufflepuff, and the boy and girl on the other boat in Ravenclaw ("awesome!" the boy shouted). Finally the brothers Mirian and Imperius were placed in Slytherin, and Professor King stood up to deliver her speech.
"Welcome!" she shouted, definite glee in her voice. "Over the summer, I found myself wondering what I should do with my time, now that I no longer had a school to run!" There was an appreciative laugh, but not from Harry, I noticed. "I know you want to eat the feast, so I will delay you just long enough to introduce those who will be enjoying it with us. Professor Spice is the new Head of Gryffindor House, and we have a new divination teacher, Professor Leviculus!"
There was a large round of applause, and then Professor King smiled. "Now!" she said. "Let's eat!"
Later, when I was in bed, I wondered why I had nearly consigned myself to seven years with Mirian and Imperius. I wondered if it had been destiny, but destiny only happened in books, right?
The Daily Prophet was on the table, students who had grown up with the name of Harry Potter praised by their families, stared at the paper, as if it would suddenly jump up and deny the claim. Unlikely, not impossible in the world of Magic.
Amy was already reading, engrossed in the text by the time I arrived. I had only known her for one day, and I already felt like she was my best friend, and something told me that she would be reading for a while. I therefore got out my timetable and read it. My first lesson was double potions.
A few minutes later, Charlie arrived and we talked about Quidditch- a large sign inviting people to tryouts had been put up in the Common Room, and though we were not allowed to enter, we instead decided to try out the "Fantasy League" idea, the game that muggles played when they didn't have flying broomstick figurines to act out the match. By the time that Amy had finished reading, Charlie and I had made the decision to watch the Quidditch tryouts on the first Saturday of October.
We were talking sombrely about Harry Potter's death when the door to the dungeons was thrown open. A short man with a high-pitched voice addressed us.
"Hello, my name is Professor Danny Williams," he said. "And I will teach you potions from now until your N.E.W.Ts. Please enter, and find a seat."
I sat on the same table as Charlie, Amy and the Ravenclaw boy who I had met on the boat, Steve Parker. The four of us sat down, and listened to the potions master.
"Today, I would like to give you an introductory lesson to potions. Potions can be disastrous if formed incorrectly, and I would like to give you a rather easy one to make in groups today. A giddiness potion seems excellent, as it is easy but time consuming. Delegate the tasks in your groups. Instructions should be inside your books. You have an hour and a half, please begin."
I noticed how he kept glancing left and right, as if he was looking out for something. I could recognise emotions perfectly, and I could see paranoia in his face. What intrigued me the most was a gold magnifying glass hanging from his neck. But I couldn't investigate further- he had retreated into the back cupboard, and Amy was handing me the responsibility of squeezing the firegrass juice.
Despite my fear that potions would be an awful lesson, I found myself engrossed in the work, at least until the fumes of the giddiness potion got to Charlie and Steve, who had discovered a new spell to increase heat (maxima) and were now taking it turns to burn various objects, whilst Professor Williams remained in the cupboard.
We were nearly finished when Charlie, having finally been sent over the edge by the fumes, melted the cauldron. The boiling potion spread across the table, scalding Steve's hands and making a mess of Amy's book. Amy promptly smacked Charlie round the face, and we were forced to hand in a very small amount- the amount we were able to salvage from the cauldron.
After potions, we had charms, and then lunch. Whilst Charlie went to the toilet, Amy went to go and get another book. I decided to head to flying lessons early. On the way, though, I heard raised voices.
"Charles, stop! You know that father needs you! He just can't accept it!"
I heard Charlie laughing. "Really? Because that was not the impression I was getting. If he can't accept me for what I am, then he doesn't deserve to have me as a son."
"But I've told you what part they played in Gryffindor's plot! Can't you see why father would not want one as a son? There is another one, and the Inductors would be-"
"The Inductors, Harry? Is that all you care about!" Charlie bellowed.
"Keep your voice down!" I heard Harry hiss.
"I don't want to play a part in this plan. Don't you remember what happened to Sophie Troy?" Charlie said, not bothering to lower his voice at all.
"Charlie, I can promise you that this time it will be different. We have a plan, and we are close to finding out who he will choose. If we kill them, then the Reaper will be weaker."
For a few moments they were silent, and when Charlie spoke again, I heard barely suppressed rage in his voice. "You'll be willing to kill someone to save the Inductors?"
"To save everyone, Charlie, please," Harry pleaded.
I was listening out for the rest of the argument when I had storming footsteps. I panicked, and suddenly had a brainwave. I dodged behind a suit of armour, and saw Charlie, followed by Harry.
After a few minutes I emerged, shaking. I was more determined than ever to find answers. What was Charlie? And who were the Inductors?
Chapter Six: Defence against the Dark Arts Edit
When I was no longer nervous about going to Hogwarts for the first time, I found that time flew by. Within weeks, I knew my way around the school (more or less) had discovered my potential in charms (after seeing my excellent hover charm, Professor Blackthorn insisted I try the buffalo summoning charm, nearly identical, whose invention was accidental, and involved a lot of swearing) and impressed my transfiguration teacher by performing a complicated multiplication spell. True, I was only trying to turn a match into a needle, not create a herd of elephants, but I was pretty proud of my achievement nonetheless.
There was one lesson I never looked forward to- Defence against the Dark Arts. It was still taught by Professor Malfoy, and he was still arrogant and sarcastic. I really didn't like the man, and, as if to make things worse, we had it with the Slytherins.
It just so happened that our last lesson on a rainy Friday afternoon was Defence against the Dark Arts. We were all downhearted as we trudged to the classroom- he would probably get the Slytherins to jinx our hair off again.
However, one thing would be keeping me happy- it was Quidditch tryouts the next day, and this double lesson would be the last thing keeping me from watching the Gryffindor team. In flying lessons, I was alright, but not good enough for Professor Spice to ask for special permission from Professor King.
"Enter," Professor Malfoy boomed. The class walked in and we found our seats.
"Today we will begin work on the Impenetrus jinx, which, when used, will push your foe backwards several meters. In order to perform this, you must flick your wand in the direction of the desired target and shout "Impenetrus!" He attempted the spell on an unsuspecting Gryffindor, pushing them back into a pile of their friends. The Slytherins howled with laughter. Professor Malfoy smiled nastily. "Divide into pairs and attempt to push your opponent back. Switch every three turns," he said, before strolling to the desk to observe the class.
I went with Charlie, Amy usually being too difficult to defend against. Charlie went first. He shouted Impenetrus!, causing a mere breeze. Professor Malfoy looked away- the only Gryffindor he never picked on was Charlie, as if he was trying to avoid showing people who his son was. However, he had no qualms about picking on me.
"Parris, what spell was that? A squib could have managed better, for Merlin's sake," he sniped. "Let me show you." He flicked his wand, sending a blue streak into Charlie's stomach. Charlie flew back into his desk and lay groaning on the floor. Malfoy had a triumphant look about him. As he turned, Steve pointed his wand at the back of Malfoy's head and shouted "Masaschism!"
Malfoy spun a bright light at the edge of his wand. The light expanded, and a shockwave slammed into me, throwing me across the classroom so that I rolled to a stop next to the wall. Steve's spell flew straight back to and hit Steve, a multitude of killer bees appearing next to his head. For a second, Steve's complexion was disappearing- then his head was engulfed by the bees, which tore around him, their buzzing mixing with Steve's screams.
"Finite Incantatem!" yelled Amy, and the bees disappeared in a puff of smoke. Suddenly, Professor Malfoy seemed to grow, the air around him growing cold. Frost and ice appeared across the room, and lightning crackled in the air around him. A moment later, he shrank again, the light returning and melting ice leaving little pools of water.
Steve was lying on the floor, his face encroached by the bee stings. Malfoy spoke, and I heard he was attempting to keep anger out of his voice. "Steve," he growled. "Detention, tomorrow morning."
"That was really unfair of Malfoy, to give you a detention when you had already been stung."
It was that evening, and Steve was applying murtlap essence to his raw wounds. He had been in a bad mood since Defence against the Dark Arts, having learnt he was missing Quidditch the next day.
Steve merely grunted in response to our concern. Nearly everyone else had gone to bed half an hour ago. Amy was doing her potion's homework on the armchair next to the fire, Steve was sitting and healing his wounds, and Charlie was I were playing Wizard's Chess, relishing the thought that I had no more DADA until the next Tuesday.
"He isn't very friendly towards Gryffindors, is he?" asked Charlie, who always referred to his father as "he", "him" or "sir", as if he wasn't his son.
"I've heard he can get really nasty," I said. "He punished my brother once for something a Slytherin did," I mentioned, as my rooks took Charlie's last knight.
"He's just a biased, egocentric fool," Amy chipped in, still engrossed in her book.
"That's true enough," Charlie smiled, taking a pawn with his queen. "I mean, he's never really helped Gryffindor's chances in the House Cup, has he? We're last. Again."
"He's horrible. I can't believe he cursed you, Steve," I said, taking the queen with my final bishop.
"The killer Bee hex is a hex, not a curse," Amy scolded me.
"Oh sorry, genius," I rolled my eyes.
"It's checkmate, Roran," Charlie pointed out.
"So it is. Want another game?"
Charlie seemed to consider for a minute. "Na. I'm going to bed."
Once he had left, I looked over at Amy. Steve was asleep, so I told her what I had overheard on the way to flying lessons.
"Do you think he could be a werewolf?" Amy asked, frightened.
"I don't think so- Harry said that they needed him for something." I took a deep breath. "Amy- I want to find out what's going on. And I'll need your help."
"Okay," Amy muttered. "You want me to keep an eye on Harry?"
"No, I'll do the spying. I need you to go to the library and start looking for stuff on the Inductors."
Amy nodded. "Should we include Hannah and Steve in this?
"No. With what we're doing, the fewer people who know about it the better. Hannah's pretty carless."
"Fair enough. And wha- Roran?"
I had whipped my head around. For the slightest moment, I had heard a noise, and seen a blurring shape. But there was no denying who I had seen. My conspiracy had only just begun, and already Percy was on our tail.
Chapter Seven: Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Edit
The next morning was Quidditch tryouts, and Charlie, Amy and I had gone to watch them. Or at least, I decided not to go. Charlie and Amy wanted to go (or at least Charlie did, I'm not sure why Amy went), and it gave me the opportune moment to scour the school to find out more about the mysterious Sophie Troy.
First, I checked in the trophy room, and was rewarded- with a trophy outlining her successful Quidditch career as a beater. I was suddenly sad, for no reason- at least, none I cared for. It was just the thought that this girl, before whatever terrible thing had happened to her, had had a life, and lived just as much as everyone else.
With no other leads, I headed to the library, and looked through old Daily Prophets. Finally, in desperation, I asked the scary-looking but kindly librarian, Madame Libre.
I knew, as soon as I asked her, that I was on to something at last- her face paled, and when she spoke, her voice was quivering. "Sophie Troy? Is she maybe a... uh, Quidditch player? Because I'm afraid I don't know the slightest thing about Quidditch players."
Obviously, believing that this was an adequate lie, she smiled gently, pivoted and practically ran off. She may look old, but she can be hard to keep up with.
"No, she was a student, something happened to her," I corrected her. If she was going to lie, then I might as well play the fool.
"I have no idea. I suggest that you check the Daily Prophets, Mr. Parris," she snapped. "I assure you, there is nothing about Sophie Troy in my library."
As she skulked off, I was cursing myself. I'd need better charms than that. But I had learnt something- Sophie Troy was once a student at Hogwarts, and Madam Libre definitely knew what had become of her. Which left a choice- search the ‘‘Daily Prophet’’ on the off chance that I would find out what happened to Sophie- which could take hours just for me to admit that I wasn’t going to find her- or work out some other way of getting the information out of the librarian?
"Roran!" shouted an excited, squeaky voice. Amy through herself into my arms. "Guess what," she smiled, definite glee in her voice. "Charlie just asked me out!"
I suddenly felt very cold, and nearly collapsed. "Isn't that good?" Amy asked her voice full of uncertainty.
"No, it's excellent!" I forced a laugh. "But, don't you think that you haven't known each other for long enough."
Amy shrugged. I suddenly had the feeling that there was a reason she was going out with Charlie, and it wasn't young love.
"Amy!" I hissed. "Please tell me why you are going out with him, and that I am going to like your answer."
She looked at me inquisitively. "I mean," I continued whispering in a low, quick voice. "Are you going out with him because you..." Why was it so difficult to say the words? "Love him?"
She hung her head. "Yes," she said. Internally, I sighed with relief. If she had been using him to get information, I would have been horrified.
But also, maybe a little glad that she would have done that for me.
I shook my head. What was wrong with me? Amy was going out with Charlie, that was all. It wasn't even real love- we were just at that age when it was a race to get a girlfriend.
So why did it feel like a betrayal?
I thought that Charlie was addressing the question to me, but then I remembered that Charlie hardly ever talked to me anymore. Amy looked up, her eyes groggy. She nodded mutely. Charlie smiled, and said no more.
The Halloween decorations were up. It had been three weeks since Charlie and Amy had started going out, and I felt secluded. I noticed how everyone seemed to be talking to each other- even the nervous Douglas Crawley had started talking to the towering, but friendly, Mandy Greet.
I now put this out of my mind- I did talk to people. Steve. And Amy. Sometimes.
There was more reason for excitement than just people talking and Halloween- the first match of the Quidditch season had arrived at last, Gryffindor vs. Slytherin, and I had been looking forward to it. But did I still want to go? Everything had seemed so dull recently.
I took a deep breath. I was going to the match, and nothing could change that.
I opened my eyed, only just realising as I did so that I had had them shut. Amy was looking at me questionably.
"Yeah, I'm okay," I said. She gave me a curious glance before saying, "I was just saying goodnight."
"Oh, bye!" I managed that without embarrassing myself. Charlie, with no Amy to talk to, seemed suddenly very depressed.
"She's always going to bed early. Ever since I started going out with her." He looked up, into my eyes for the first time in days. "What's wrong? Is it me?"
I didn't answer straight away. I had suddenly frozen. "She's had a lot of bad nights. She's been tired for the last few weeks, and nearly fell asleep in Potions today-"
"No, she was er, resting her head. That's right, resting. On my lap," Charlie said, growing redder by the second. I stared at him, envy and hate filling my head.
"Anyway, she's been having trouble sleeping. It's the only explanation."
"Actually," started Charlie. "There are plenty of explanations. She could have been hit by a tiredness jinx, or drunk a diluted grogginess potion by mistake."
"Then it's the most likely explanation," I said, my patience growing thin.
"True that. I'm going to bed." Charlie seemed like he no longer cared, as long as what was happening to Amy wasn't anything to do with him. Hope raised itself from my chest, but I scowled inside. He's probably just tired. I'll just trust him and go to sleep.
And so it was my fault when I woke up to go and get ready for Quidditch that Charlie had left before me, leaving behind a torn note:
Chapter Eight: The Unbreakable Vow Edit
The school was eerily quiet with everyone at the match. My wand was in my hand, and I was expecting to be attacked every corner that I took. The journey to the library took a lot longer than I remembered, the corridors twisting and turning. And by the time I had arrived, it was too late.
Creeping behind bookcases, I was able to approach Harry, Charlie and Amy without being seen. Also there were Mirian and Imperius, plus Douglas Brawley, Harry's "bodyguard". I saw Charlie, hand in hand with Harry. Binding their hands was a thin, fiery strand.
"...pledge yourself to keep the Inductors existence and plans a secret?" asked Malfoy.
"I do," replied Charlie, gritting his teeth.
The unbreakable vow, I thought. I had to help. Somehow.
"...and do you pledge..."
I remembered Professor Malfoy, Defence against the Dark Arts, anything that could help.
"...to aid and obey me, Harry Bartholomew Malfoy, in all you do?"
I thought of Malfoy, Steve, Slytherins and killer bees...
Harry whirled around, raising his wand, but I had taken him by surprise. Before he could respond, his head was engulfed by a torrent of buzzing insects. He yelled in pain, Mirian and Imperius ran towards him shouting, Charlie and Amy were running towards him and Douglas, his face contorted with rage was raising his wand...
"Run!" I roared, charging behind a bookcase, Charlie and Amy right behind me.
"Expulso!" shouted Douglas, the bookcase exploding into tiny fragments, books slamming into walls.
And my head.
"Expulso! Expulso! Expulso!
The bookcase was dissolving as we tore along, books and shelves tumbling down into oblivion. The entire structure wobbled dangerously, and yet more books slipped and fell.
Again, on my head.
Harry, his face swollen, looked up, the bees having disappeared. "Get them!" he shouted.
I charged, turning at the last second, continued by my momentum into another bookcase. Charlie grabbed me and dragged me after him out of the library and onto the moving staircases.
We ran up them, barely breathing. Behind us, Harry and his cronies were on our tail. As we tore up the stairs, they began to move. Charlie and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing- if we could get across to the other platform before Harry, then we might be able to cut them off, and escape.
"Sprint," I managed to wheeze, putting on a little extra speed.
Charlie got to the stairs first, dodging between the closing gaps to squeeze through. Amy was next, vaulting over the banisters (above a huge drop to the floor) and landing on the platform. I dived off the stairs, my momentum carrying me further. I was able to grab the platform edge with my left hand, left dangling above the drop. Amy grabbed me and began hauling me up.
"Charlie!" roared Harry. "Get rid of them! Now!"
Charlie looked at me, raising his wand. "I'm sorry."
Then, Amy was driving her elbow into Charlie's chest, knocking him backwards. I slipped from her hands, and was jolted back, my hands gripping the stone banister. Amy grabbed me again, pulling me up, before hauling Charlie with her free hand through a door. Finally, she slammed the door shut, and we collapsed onto the ground, laughing.
Charlie, taking in gasping breaths, stood up, groaning. I saw the disdainful look that Amy gave him, and whispered, "don't blame him- you know he would have died if he hadn't tried to do what Harry told him to."
But even as we left, I couldn't help but feel a little elated at the way that Amy walked a few steps behind Charlie.
The good news was that, for this meeting, Harry had abandoned his Quidditch team, meaning that Slytherin were, in the hour or so that I was watching, absolutely abysmal. I saw that the Gryffindor seeker was simply blocking his foe, hoping to stop him getting the snitch, and drag out the torture for Slytherin. Eventually, we caught the snitch, ending the game on 520-20, giving Gryffindor a 500 point lead on the other houses.
It was only the first game.
As such, the captain and prefects threw a huge party, celebrating the match that we felt sure was going to be told again and again, until it became something of a school legend.
Amongst the cheering and dancing, Amy, Charlie and I forgot about the events of the day. Not even Professor Spice's profession that we should go to bed could stop us. As Percy pointed out, it was Halloween, and we were waiting for Midnight.
I'm not quite sure how it happened, but the next thing I knew, I was picking myself up from an armchair. People were on the floor snoring, and the first tentative rays of sunlight were peeking through the window. I got up, washed and went downstairs for breakfast.
The first of November was passing in a blur- at least, until potions. Professor Williams had handed out our final assignment of the half term- a gillywimp potion, which immediately quenched thirst when drunk.
I went to the store cupboard to get some more aqueous Newt's eyes after Steve spilt the last lot down Amy's jumper, but was suddenly stopped when I heard Professor William's squeaky voice.
"Yes, yes, of course, please don't hurt me, no, I wouldn't dream of it, your highness." I crept round the door of the cupboard, and could see him bowing, holding the gold magnifying glass in front of his face. He appeared to be talking to it.
"No, why would I do that?" Williams laughed uneasily. "I know you can't interfere. Don't worry, I can find the girl and stop what's happening to her. Yes I know you can't interfere, and I won't let you down. I won't let what happened to Sophie happen to anyone else. So I need to look for someone who’s having bad dreams and hel-" he stopped, breathed suddenly, and then said "it's him, isn't it? The Jaw's behind this, isn't he?"
His voice was panicky and fast. I dodged back out as he turned around, and couldn't catch the rest of the conversation over the babble of noise from the class. He lumbered out a second later, his magnifying glass back in its usual position. As he looked round the cauldrons, I didn't think of Sophie, or the mysterious Jaw, I thought of what I had heard him say.
I need to look for someone having bad dreams? And I had a horrible feeling that I knew who that was.
Time was running out. Whatever had happened to Sophie Troy was happening to Amy. I needed to find someone who knew about Sophie. And I knew where to find him.
"I need to steal the Sorting Hat," I said to myself.
Chapter Nine: Bertie Bott's every Flavour Bean Edit
Amy and I had spent weeks preparing for this moment. It was the snowy depths of early December before we were able to put our plan into action. We had spent entire evenings spying on Professor King's office. We had passwords, timetables of what she did when, and we had an invisibility cloak that I had managed to steal from Professor Malfoy when Amy was questioning him about her homework, and the phial of stolen Polyjuice Potion was in my bag.
Everything was in place. Sort of. Percy was growing suspicious of what we were doing, but I doubt he knew the truth. Amy had thought I was becoming obsessive- of course, I hadn't told her what I had heard Professor Williams saying to the magnifying glass.
So, at last, our plan was ready. Professor King was going to be walking to the Great Hall within a few minutes. Amy was waiting for the optimum time to set off the Weasley's Wizards Wheezes fireworks in the middle of the third floor, hidden under the invisibility cloak. And the moment I heard the bang, I had to start moving.
I was waiting in the common room, trying to look casual. Nothing was going to go wrong; nothing could go wrong...
"Roran." It was Charlie. "I've noticed you've been spending a lot of time with Amy recently."
No, I thought. How can such a plan be ruined by jealousy? "Listen, Charlie, I know what you're thinking, and whatever it may look like, Amy is not cheating on you."
"Then what is going on?"
"Charlie, you’re going to have to trust me this time." I looked up. "Amy's life is in danger."
"Then let me help you," Charlie begged. "Tell me, what are you doing?"
"Charlie, I need you to trust me..."
"Then trust me. What are you doing?"
I realised as I opened my mouth that I was about to accept my fate. I was about to accept that I had made my decisions. "I need to break into Professor King's office."
"I'm afraid I can't let you do that." The voice came from behind me.
I wheeled around, my wand in my hand and extending towards him before he could respond. Sort of. I think that the duel went pretty well for me, considering he was in fifth-year.
"Expelliarmus!" Percy yelled, my wand spinning out of my hand. "You’re not going anywhere," he snarled, his hands still gripping his wand, pointing it at my chest. At that moment, there was a noise that sounded suspiciously like a crate of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes going off on the third floor.
"What th-" was as far as Percy got. His face assumed a blank expression, despite the shouting, screaming and excited babbling going on around him.
"Your to forget every suspicion that you had about Amy, Roran and I," said Charlie. He turned to me. "Okay Roran, I just confounded a prefect for you. You can break into Professor King's office. And I'm coming too."
The two of us ran down the corridor, finding the gargoyle which hid Professor King's office from view. With everyone heading to the third floor, the corridor was empty.
I unstoppered the phial of Polyjuice Potion, and drank it in one go. I was suddenly growing, my hair falling in torrents and turning blond. My nose got larger, and it felt as though someone was pressing on the side of my head, squashing it. When I spoke, it was Professor King's voice which came out.
"Charlie, stay here, and stand guard," I said, before approaching the gargoyle, and saying "Bertie Bott's every flavour Beans."
The gargoyle sprang aside, revealing a slowly revolving staircase. I ran up them as fast as possible, entering Professor King's office, where I abruptly stopped, forgetting about my mission.
The place was huge- sunlight glimmered through the stunning window, from where one could see the lake, a beautiful sight beyond the astronomy tower. Comfortable sofas were placed in front of these windows. The office had its own library, and a plethora of tables, piled high with strange instruments.
"Back already, Headmistress King?"
I couldn't see where the voice was coming from, and then I looked up at the Sorting Hat.
"Yes," I said. I realised now that I hadn't thought this far ahead, couldn't explain my returning. "I forgot my, eh, magnifying glass?"
All thoughts of the plan forgotten, I ran to the magnifying glass, and looked through it.
I gasped. I could see a person- blurred, bald headed and with a melted face, the features flat and a head that looked like it had been moulded out of wax. He was standing in front of the windows, but went I peered round the magnifying glass; he was nowhere to be seen.
"Uh, Mr.... Sorting Hat, what is that?" I asked.
The Sorting Hat looked surprised. As surprised as a hat can look, anyhow. "But Professor, this is a joke, surely? You have been studying the Whisper for seventeen years now."
"I was confunded. Some idiot set off fireworks and made an awful din. Students are running riot downstairs," I said, hoping that I sounded confounded.
"I don't hear rioting."
I sighed. "You're a hat; you can't hear anything, can you?"
"I heard that!"
The argument was getting us nowhere. Though I wanted to know more about the mysterious vanishing Whisper, I also had to find out about Sophie. "Sophie Troy, what happened to her?"
The Sorting Hat was still for a moment, before finally responding. "It must have been a very strong confundus charm," he said. It said. Whatever.
"Yes. It was a very... strong... charm," I finished meekly. If only I had thought up a better story. Ah well, no point crying over spilt potion. "Anyway, about Sophie."
"Sophie Troy was a first-year, who went missing some time ago, along with her friend Grant. She wanted to feed her magical potential to a warlock called the Reaper, hiding in the Forbidden Forest. She had been suffering for some time with nightmares, where the Reaper was feeding on its previous victim. The victim had been there for seventeen years, and was dying. Sophie chose to free them before they could die."
"She sounds brave," I said, my eyes stinging with tears. "What's a warlock?"
"A warlock is a creature, identical to a human, that cannot be killed unless by another warlock. It can die if it does not feed on magical energy. This can be from a great deal of people, but in the Reaper's case, he has isolated himself from society and feeds of single people, killing them."
"So, the Reaper lures people into the Forest, and then feeds off their magic." This was bad. A fate which I could not, would not, allow to happen to Amy. "And after seventeen years, the person dies. But I don't understand. If the Reaper took two people last time, couldn't it live off them for double the usual amount of time?"
"In theory. But you must remember Sophie, Professor King. You used to go to school together?"
"Nope, sorry, please continue the story, you might, eh, jog my memory," I said.
"Sophie escaped from the Forest," he sighed. "Once the dreams stopped, she made a run for it with Grant. They split up so that one of them could escape and bring help. The Reaper hunted down Grant. Sophie escaped. Help was sent, in the form of the Ministry's top 8 aurors. None were ever seen again. Grant hasn't been seen since, and Sophie abandoned her old life. She took a new name, and started out as a teacher. She is still a teacher today."
"Professor Ki-, I mean, me?"
"Well," I laughed uneasily, temporarily forgetting my cover. "I wasn't expecting that."
The Sorting Hat was still, again. Then, "I wonder whether you are Professor King at all."
I panicked. "I was hit by a confundus charm, remember?"
The Sorting Hat chuckled. "Not that. It's just that, you're standing here..."
"And over there."
I turned. Sure enough, Professor King, her face furious and gripping Charlie's ear, was standing by the door.
"Hello," she said her voice icy cold. "I forgot my magnifying glass."
Chapter Ten: The Room of Requirement Edit
I gulped. "Well, I needed to find out about Sophie Troy." I saw a flicker of surprise and- fear?- in her eyes.
"You could have just asked me," she sighed, after what seemed like an age. "I would have told you. If you had had a good enough reason."
"We do have a good reason," I said quickly. "We have a problem. My friend Amy is having the same dreams as Sophie- as you- did seventeen years ago. Charlie and I wanted to find out what they meant."
Professor King sighed. "Sit down, and I shall tell you. But you must know that what I am about to tell you will change your life, on such a scale that others would think was inappropriate for someone like you- a youth- to hear. I disagree. You are old enough to make your own decisions, and you must choose whether you want to hear what I have to say, or not."
I looked at Charlie, still being gripped by Professor King's vice-like grip. We nodded at each other. "Tell us."
"The Reaper is hungry again. It will lure Amy into the forest and drain her of her life. It will take it for its own, and she will slowly die a terrible, painful, death."
"What can we do?" I asked, fearing the worst.
Professor King looked up, her eyes full of compassion and kindness. "There is nothing we can do. Amy cannot resist the Reaper. He will call, and she will be dragged against her will to the Forbidden Forest. There is no help available."
"Then can't we take her away?" I begged.
"She would still come back. If we imprisoned her, the Reaper would leave, hunt her down, and wipe out entire cities. If he wanted to, he could wipe out humanity; drive them to the brink of extinction. No one knows why he has been hiding for so long."
"Is there absolutely, positively, nothing we can do?" I practically cried, my voice trembling.
Professor King looked up. "There is one thing, but we never prepared to put our plan into action for a long time. After I escaped the Forest, after six years of torment and pain, I made my way to the Ministry of Magic. Half insane, I still persuaded them to take action against the Reaper. I joined a team of witches and wizards who planned to build a Warlock of their own, to fight the Reaper. We found that, though we could not create one, we could modify an unborn child to be a warlock. And guess who wanted their child to be the Reaper's murderer?"
I shrugged my shoulders. Professor King glanced at Charlie. "Scorpius Malfoy wanted to get himself into the Minister's pockets. The way he saw it, if he fathered the being destined to finish off the wizarding community's greatest threat, then the Ministry would be in his debt, and he'd have himself an invincible son. But his plan went wrong. His wife died in childbirth, and he has come to hate Charlie. He is a bitter and resentful man, and we will make sure that he does not go unpunished."
I looked at Charlie, noticing for the first time that Professor King's nails had pierced his ears, but with a quick flick of her wand, Professor King fixed them. I don't know how much longer we waited there, contemplating the fact that Charlie must kill the Reaper, or sacrifice his girlfriend. But I do know that it was pitch black outside as I left Professor King's office, my disguise bubbling and melting off my face.
"Come on Roran, focus," smiled the charms teacher, Professor Blackthorn, a kind, 10 foot tall (a result of a disastrous quick-growth charm in his youth) bearded man. Whilst the rest of the class were still focusing on changing the green sheets of paper purple, Professor Blackthorn had been so impressed with my pokadots that he had sent me straight onto the continuous colour change charm.
"Suspendise Pulvidar," I recited, rotating my wand once forwards then backwards, to see the paper constantly switch between blue and green. Professor Blackthorn beamed, and then tottered off, the ridiculous hat he wore scraping along the ceiling.
The moment he was out of sight, I pulled the note that I had found on my bed in the morning:
The moment the lesson was over, I jumped up, managing to avoid the teacher, who was attempting to present me with a box of chuckling chocolate, and made my way as quickly as possible to the seventh floor.
Charlie was already waiting for me, tutting, when I arrived. In front of him was an enormous door, which I had never seen here before. Charlie turned to me. "Welcome to the Room of Requirement," he smiled.
"The what of what?"
He sighed. "I found out about this from a house elf. The Room of Requirement is a room which changes to fit the needs of the user. I've made it change," he added, a smirk on his face, "into a room where I can talk freely without the Unbreakable Vow interfering."
"Genius!" I praised him. Charlie pushed the door opened, and I entered. The room looked exactly like the Gryffindor common room, although there was nobody else there to listen to our conversation. I entered, marvelling at the similarities, before following Charlie to the fireplace. Immediately, I knew something was wrong.
"Charlie, there are too many places for people to hide here. I thought you said this place had been told to transform into something where nobody could hear us? But there are loads of places a person could hear us in hear."
"That's the idea," somebody laughed behind me.
I pushed back, driving into him. We flipped over the coffee table, sending saucers and milk crashing down onto the floor. We followed, sprawling across the carpet. The fire roared dangerously close to my head, the heat coming in waves which licked the back of my neck. Mirian grabbed me, pulling me into a headlock.
"There's no help coming, big boy," Mirian whispered, as my vision began to fray at the edges, disappearing. I felt myself falling into unconsciousness, slowly. Mirian said something I couldn't hear. But I heard what he said next.
"You're going to meet the Inductors."
Chapter Eleven: The Inductors Edit
When I awoke, I was in a new room. Or perhaps the same room, different version. I didn't know. My head ached and I felt slightly sick. I sat up, realised I was on a sofa, and slid off, wobbling. In the middle of the room was a table with two chairs by it. I walked over, sat down, and poured myself a cup of tea.
I looked behind me, seeing Harry Malfoy walk in. Of course. Who else would it be?
Malfoy sat down, picked up the tea, and poured himself a drink. He then waved his wand, a plate of croissants appearing before me. For once, I wasn't hungry.
Malfoy sighed. "Why do I always get the tough ones?" he moaned. "Okay, Roran, welcome to the Headquarters of the Inductors!"
"Who are the Inductors?"
"You may have noticed that there is some rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. This rivalry goes back hundreds of years, to the very founding of the school. Shortly after the school began, Slytherin was delivered information about a prophecy, that he would be defeated by his greatest enemy. Taking this to mean mudbloods, he set up the Inductors, a group of pure blood students who would help him in his quest to rid the mudbloods from Hogwarts."
Harry took a sip of tea and a bite from a croissant before continuing. "Gryffindor became wary of the new Slytherin, whom Gryffindor knew had constructed a chamber where he hid his giant serpent. Gryffindor formed his own group of loyal students. The situation disintegrated, and Hogwarts became embroiled in an all out war. We are slowly sliding towards the same situation. My father chose me to lead the Inductors during this time of chaos."
"So," I said, stalling whilst I tried to work a way out of this prison. "Why do you need me?"
"We have a plan, the Inductors and myself. A plan to defeat the Reaper. He is dangerous and a threat to the Inductors, and he must be removed. I have already put this plan into motion. Since my dear brother isn't strong enough to beat the Reaper now, then I will weaken him. And you have a part to play, Roran Parris."
"What?" I asked, not entirely sure I wanted to know the answer.
"You'll find out soon," Malfoy grinned horribly. He took another bite from the food, before continuing. "The Inductors have remained hidden for centuries. Now we will rise again. Today, we take revenge against the house of Gryffindor, and remove a powerful enemy at the same time."
"Revenge?" I asked, confused.
"Yes," Malfoy chuckled, gravely. "For the prophecy came true, eventually. It was not the mudbloods who led to Lord Salazar's murder, however. It was their champion."
My stomach suddenly felt ice cold. "No," I stuttered.
Malfoy laughed. "Yes. Godric Gryffindor killed Salazar Slytherin."
To be continued January 2012.
What do you all think? I'll admit it isn't that good, but it is my first fan fic, and I'm kind of happy with the way it has ended out. Please post comments, advice, criticism, and anything else on the talk page. Thanks!