Harry Potter & The Thousand Mysteries
- Story Summary:
- When Harry returns to fifth year, he finds himself faced with a whole lotta problems- Voldemort, puberty, exams, Ron & Hermione to name but a few. A lot of characters enter into his life from his previous shenanigans, There’s a Christmas Ball, OWL exams, Sirius, Lupin, and more!
- Author's Note:
- Finally, we progress beyond the childish prelude and begin to immerse ourselves in the world of Harry Potter, and the horrors which he has to deal with. It’s a hard life.
'What was that about?' asked Ron, after Dumbledore had left.
'Oh, nothing, I'll tell you later,' said Harry. He could anticipate Ron and Hermione's reactions to Dumbledore's less-than-fantastic news.
'Sit down, please,' said Lupin to the two of them, and they sat obediently. Sirius changed back into his human form with a slight pop.
'We've had a tip-off from the Ministry,' said Lupin soberly. 'I'm not going to go into it, but it seems we need to step-up our defence mechanisms.'
'Why? What's happening?' asked Hermione frantically.
'Just stay calm, Hermione- we need to be calm and efficient if we're to stand a chance against the Death Eaters,' said Lupin. 'As I was saying, we're going to bolster our defences, especially with you three.'
He pulled a brown paper bag from under his chair, and fished out three leather necklaces, each with a small crystal dangling from the end.
'Here,' he said, handing one to each of you. 'This is a very basic danger detector- almost every wizard in the country has one. When it changed colour, it means there's something happening. Red means danger, pink advises caution, yellow tells you to get out, and brown tells you to find shelter. If it's green, like it is now, then everything's okay. It can predict little further than five minutes into the future, so get used to checking it.
'This,' he said, handing them each what looked like a silver compass, 'is a Navigation Controller. These are very rare and very expensive. I'm not going to tell you how I got it, so hold on to it with your life. If you end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it's at all possible to get out, then this should help you. The bad thing about it is that it's traceable, so once you've activated it, the magic it radiates will attract attention. You can activate it and deactivate it by touching the small button at the top with your wand.'
He paused, and looked at the three of them.
'Finally,' he said, 'you're going to have to help yourselves with this. I've got you these two books.' He placed two large, dusty volumes on his knee. Both were bound in green leather. 'The Advanced Guide to Escapology and Portkeys: How, When and Who? Should make for some interesting reading. You're going to need some back up plans in case something goes wrong.'
Hermione looked as if she would explode if she didn't get both books read within the hour.
'Another thing,' said Sirius. 'What do you do if Dumbledore's voice comes over the tannoy system and tells you all that the castle is under attack?'
'Well, as long as Dumbledore's here, we're safe, aren't we?' said Ron logically. Harry nodded- being in the same building as Dumbledore was the safest place in the world, in his opinion.'
'Don't be naïve,' said Sirius. 'Rule number one: don't go running away with delusional ideas about being safe with Dumbledore or saving the school. It's where the Death Eater's always get the upper hand. One thing you have to assume if the school is under attack is that everyone you can't see is either dead or incapacitated.'
'That's not very pleasant,' said Harry. He felt a bit disheartened by Sirius' Statement.
'What do you do?' he asked of the trio again.
'You get...' said Hermione, but Ron interrupted her.
'Get to the Library!' he said. 'Of course, we get to the Library! What else?' He had a tiny bit of malice in his sarcasm.
'Ron!' said Hermione. 'Will you shut up for once in your life?' She was quite red, and her eyes were slightly more watery.
'What were you going to say, Hermione?' asked Lupin delicately.
'I was going to say get out and to a safe place.'
'Exactly!' said Sirius, leaping to his feet. 'You get out. But where do you go? I'll tell you where. You enter the tunnel that has been specially built as a defence, and has entrances all over the castle. You get down the tunnel, and you run until you get to the safe house, where you seal yourselves inside.'
'What?' asked Harry. 'You've built a safe house?'
'Indeed we have,' said Sirius, looking excited. 'There's an entrance in the third floor corridor, behind the portrait of Malcolm the Muggle; there's another inside the disused classroom in the North wing, and another in the dungeons. I think there's another four as well, but I can't remember where they all are.
'When you enter the tunnel, using the password, which is Sterben wir nicht, from the German, you will have to go through a series of checks, to ensure that no-one else gets through. We've got some trolls that have been trained to let only you three pass, along with a barrier of light energy, which can only be shattered by a curse from your three wands. We have some muggle electronic fingerprint and voice-recognition stuff as well, so that should put off any Death Eaters.'
'Where's the safe house?' asked Ron.
'It's at the top of a mountain miles and miles away. It's composed of solid stone and is magically impregnable. There's no door, and the only way in is through the tunnel. Hopefully you'll never have to go there, it's just as a safety net.'
Harry, Ron and Hermione descended the staircase from the South Tower, with a lot to think about.
'That's so scary,' said Harry. 'We might be attacked at any moment.'
'Mmm,' said Ron. 'I have to go, I said I'd meet Lavender.' He smiled stupidly, before heading off.
'Fancy a walk around the grounds?' asked Hermione. 'We could visit Hagrid?'
'Sure,' said Harry. 'Great idea.' They set off down to the Entrance Hall.
'I just can't believe it,' said Harry, as he and Hermione discussed their somewhat embarrassing shanegans on the night of the Hallowe'en Ball 'I would never have done something like that if it hadn't been alcohol induced.'
'Oh, I know,' said Hermione. 'I would never have been so forward if I hadn't had too much mead.'
'I think Ron would've.'
'Uch!' said Hermione. 'Ron's really annoying me. I mean, I know he's a handsome guy and everything, and Lavender certainly spends a lot of time making herself beautiful, but there's a time and a place for everything, and they just don't get that the Common Room isn't that place.'
'Tell me about it,' said Harry. 'I wish Ron would stop it. I mean, I know he likes Lavender and everything, but still, keep your hands where we can see them.'
Hermione giggled, then her face hardened, and her lips thinned dangerously. 'I really want to slap Lavender sometimes, you know.'
'Why?' asked Harry.
'Oh, I don't know,' said Hermione. 'It's just that she's so... so Trelawney, and so Miss Prom Queen. She never shuts up either- her and Parvati were talking last night until three o'clock!'
Harry didn't say anything. He suspected it might just be that Hermione was in love with Ron.
They continued to bitch about Ron and Lavender until they reached Hagrid's cabin, some hour and a half after they had left the South Tower.
'Hagrid, it's us,' shouted Harry as he banged on the door.
'C'min,' he called, and they pushed it open.
'Ah, good, it's you. I've been wantin' to have a wee word with ye,' he said, spying Hermione and Harry. 'Where's Ron?' he asked.
'With his girlfriend,' said Hermione, not without a trace of resentment.
Hagrid giggled. 'Oh, now, boy's will be boys.' He looked up to a spot on the wall, where a small photograph of Madame Maxime was pinned. Harry felt slightly nauseous.
'What do you want to speak to us about?' asked Hermione, as she sat down at the wooden table beside Harry.
'Well, Dumbledore's told me not to mention nothing the ye,' said Hagrid, looking uncomfortable. 'But I figures ye's 'ave got a right tae know.'
'Spit it out,' said Harry. He was beginning to feel slightly worried.
'Dumbledore thinks,' said Hagrid slowly, 'that there's a Death Eater at Hogwarts.'
Harry and Hermione had some tea and rock cakes with Hagrid. Harry guessed that Hagrid had taken the word 'rock' literally when he baked the cakes. They returned to the castle for dinner, when Parvati walked up ot Harry in the entrance Hall.
'Harry, can I see you for a minute?'
'Okay,' he said, and followed her.
'Harry,' she said, looking at him with her big brown eyes. 'Oh, Harry. I don't know what to say.' She paused, and looked around awkwardly. Please god, not another bombshell, he thought to himself. It was the last thing he needed after such a hectic day.
'Harry, I don't know if we're going out, or whatever, but if we are going out, then I don't want to go out with you any more.'
Harry stood there, stunned. After a few minutes, he pulled himself together.
'Harry, I'm sorry, I had a really great night, and you were really great, you know, at it, but it's just not doing anything for me. When I look at what Lavender and Ron have, we just don't compare. I feel like I'm just standing wasting time.'
'Okay, then,' said Harry, feeling like a dumbass.
'Goodbye, Harry,' said Parvati. 'I think you're just going to have to work a little more.' She leaned up and kissed him on the cheek, before walking away hurriedly.
'What was that about?' asked Hermione, when Harry sat down beside her and began to start on the mashed potatoes.
'I just got dumped.'
'Dumped?' she asked. 'Were you ever not-dumped? I thought you and Parvati were just a fling.'
'So did I,' said Harry forlornly. 'So did I.'
'Oh, well cheer up,' said Hermione, spooning some cheese sauce over his cauliflower. 'At least you've still got me! Even if my hair is a little bushy.'
'Oh, lucky me,' said Harry, and he popped a sprout into his mouth. Why does everything have to be so melodramatic, he thought. Can't anything just be simple?
'Potter!' Professor McGonagall's voice cracked through the classroom, on the usual end of week gloom. It had been a week since the ball, and the entire school was exhausted, Harry especially. The Prelims were coming up next week, and the teachers were swamping them with revision notes. Harry felt he would drop down dead if he didn't get some rest soon.
'Would it be too much to ask you to extend your concentration span beyond your usual two minutes?
Harry had been sitting gazing out the window of the transfiguration classroom, thinking, of course, about Quidditch. After Transfiguration, he would make his way down to the Quidditch field to help Angelina and the rest of the team make their final decision about who would be the Gryffindor Keeper on Saturdays impending match, which was in two days.
So far, they had narrowed it down to Ron, Dean, Frank McGarvey of fourth year and Jo Lyndasi, a third year.
When the bell rang, Harry packed his bag hurriedly and tried to get out of the room as quickly as he could.
'Potter! Wait behind!' called Professor McGonagall.
Harry cringed, and turned around.
'Yes?' he asked, almost insolently.
'Potter, I have been speaking with the Headmaster, and he agrees with me that, come next weekend, we will discontinue your animagus coaching sessions.'
Harry stood for a moment, numbed.
'What? Why?' he spluttered. He had been doing so well he thought he had been doing well. He really thought he was improving. Why was McGonagall stopping now, just as things were picking up?
'Because, Potter,' she said, 'I think you are almost finished. It is my opinion that you will be able to transform within the week, notwithstanding any setbacks that usually befall you.' She smiled at him.
'So I'm nearly finished? I'll be able to transform by next week?'
'Absolutely. You really have come on a treat this year, Potter, good show. I didn't think you had it in you.' She nodded her head at him. 'I think you better go and choose our keeper now, Potter. And make it a good one.'
She sat down at her desk, and began to skim a piece of parchment. Harry slowly made his way out the door, stunned. He hadn't thought he was anywhere near complete.
With a new skip in his step, he appeared at the entrance to the changing rooms.
'Okay, team,' said Angelina, rubbing her hands together. This is it. The day we've all been waiting for. The big one.'
'Angelina, it's not a match,' said Fred. 'Calm down.'
'Yeah,' said Angelina, taking a deep breath. 'Calm, calm.'
The four candidates walked out onto the turf of the Quidditch Pitch.
'Hello there!' called Angelina. 'Okay then, we're going to be grading you on three things- how you fly, how you respond to situations, and how you interact with team members. We will probably select two of you- one to play for the team against Hufflepuff on Saturday, and another who we think could be a better keeper, with a little coaching.
'Okay, Frank, you're up first.'
Frank McGarvey mounted his broom and flew up to the goalposts, meters above the ground. Alicia and Katie flew towards him, while Fred and George zoomed around him, shouting things and whacking bludgers, trying to put him off. After ten minutes in the air, he was doing quite well- he only let in six balls.
'He's not bad,' said Angelina to Harry, as they both sat in the stands, watching the action.
'Yeah,' said Harry. 'I'd give him seven and a half out of ten.'
'That's okay,' said Angelina, 'but it's not brilliant. We'll see how the others get on.'
She stood up, and shouted at the players.
'Okay, thanks a lot Frank,' she called. 'Now, I want Dean against Alicia and me, with Fred and Harry going as Dean's team. George and Katie, you're going to grade him. Okay, everyone, let's go!'
They swapped positions. Harry felt his hair whip back as the air rushed through it. He could feel the breeze tingling the goose pimples on his skin. He looped the loop, before corkscrewing down and narrowly missing Katie.
They continued flying and grading until the sun finally set in the sky. Starving, the team made their way into the entrance hall, still no final decisions. Ron was looking nervous and jumpy, Dean was looking sick, and the two younger students were wide-eyed with anticipation.
'Who do we choose?' asked Harry, as the members of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team sat, clustered at the end of the house table, well out of anyone else's earshot.
'I think Ron was the best performer today,' said Fred.
'You're just saying that 'cos he's your brother,' said Angelina.
'No, seriously, Ron was good,' said Katie. He really held me off- he's the right build for a keeper: long, gangly and agile.'
'I thought Jo was good,' said Alicia. 'But I wasn't really watching Frank.'
'Frank was good,' said George, 'but he didn't do anything risky or anything that might upset someone- he's not a competitive, aggressive player.'
'You know, it might be good to have someone on our team who doesn't chuck bats at opponents every time they score,' said Alicia to George. 'You know, we might keep the points that I score.'
'What do you think, Harry?' asked Angelina. 'You've been pretty quiet.'
'I don't know,' said Harry pensively. 'Ron was good, but I think with training Jo could be better. That would take time, though.'
'What makes you say that?' asked Fred.
'She was very swift and agile, and she never left the goalposts unattended, which was one of Oliver's bad points. I think she seemed a bit permissive, though. She let you score a few times when I know she could have stopped it. But I think that for the next year or so, Ron's our best chance. Until we train up Jo.' He looked around the group. 'That's just my opinion,' he said, submissively.
'Right,' said Angelina. 'We need to make a decision. We shouldn't just go by default- we need to pick the right person for the job.'
'Easier said than done,' said Fred, and the others nodded in for agreement.
'So let's see,' said Alicia, two hours after they had begun to decide. 'We think Dean has co-ordination, Jo has potential, Frank has confidence and stability and Ron's the best out of them all. So why not Ron for tomorrow?'
'No, it can't be Ron!' said Katie. 'Ron's too emotional. He flies off the handle, and that's the last thing we need. Frank would be much better, he knows what to do and he does it. He won't pull his wand out and hex everything in sight.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' asked Fred.
'There's nothing wrong with it, per se...' replied Katie.
'Right, folks, this is dragging on and on, but we're still getting no where.' Angelina ran her hands through her thick, black hair. 'We need to make a decision. I think we tell Jo that she'll be in as soon as there's another space, and we pick Ron for tomorrow. If he really messes it up, we can replace him with Frank. Make sure Ron knows that, Harry.'
'But...' interrupted Fred.
'You can't...' said Alicia.
'Yes, I can, because I'm captain, and I'm deciding. If you don't like it, you can quit. If you do, or you don't care, get to bed. We need to be practised for tomorrow. Goodnight.'
They all made their way up to Gryffindor Tower. When they entered the Common Room, they found it was packed, despite it being 1 o'clock in the morning.
The babble of chatter died away completely as the team entered the room. Angelina cleared her throat nervously.
'We've come to a decision. In the match tomorrow, Ron Weasley will act as Gryffindor Keeper. Can I speak to Jo, and Alicia wants to talk to Frank. Otherwise, goodnight, and we'll see you at the game tomorrow.' Angelina stood down, and the common room broke out into applause. Everyone clapped, although there was no cheering or whooping- Harry suspected everyone was too tired.
'Ron,' said Harry. 'I need to talk to you.' He dragged him away from Lavender, and a very grumpy looking Hermione. He could see Parvati looking at him, but he totally ignored her.
'Ron, the team chose you on condition that you keep your emotions on a leash tomorrow,' said Harry, gravely.
'What d'you mean?' he asked, quite defensively.
'It's just that some people felt that you were a bit of a risk, and didn't want to choose you in case you ended up attacking someone. So I have to tell you that if you do, we won't want you on the team.'
'Are you threatening me?' he asked. Harry looked at him, taken aback. This certainly wasn't the answer he had expected.
'No, just...' he searched for the correct phraseology. 'Just a word in the ear, that's all. Night!'
And with that, he headed up for bed, to close the door on what had been a long, hard, gruelling week, which had left him physically and emotionally drained. He still felt he couldn't relax with the imminent threat of attack, or the constant onslaught of playground politics, in it's most elementary form.
One of these days, he thought to himself as he curled up in his warm bed, I am going to fall asleep and not wake up for a thousand years. And had it not been for Ron, whacking him on the head and shouting, 'Mornin', team-mate!' in the least suitable voice for eight o'clock on a Saturday, he very well could've.