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!
- Chapter 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:
- My dears! I am so terribly sorry that this chapter has taken so long to write! I was called away to Wien recently, and also my computer has been beset by problems- it had to be totally reloaded, causing me to lose chapters 23 through 28!!! Sacre bleu! Anyway, here you are! May the human race reign long o’er this world- after all, to it so many of my readers belong.
Harry Potter and a Thousand Mysteries
Into the Line of Fire
‘I don’t believe this, I don’t believe this.’
Hermione was being her usual panicky self, as she paced the floor of the Gryffindor boy’s fifth year common room, waving her hands frantically.
‘Hermione, sit down,’ said Ron snappily. He looked nervous too, but was obviously trying not to show it.
Inside, Harry’s innards were dancing the hokey-kokey.
‘I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous, I’m so nervous.’ Hermione wasn’t taking Ron’s advice, and continued to pace the room.
They were in the circular bed chamber themselves- everyone else in the castle had been called to an “all night feast” in the Hall. Harry had felt slightly jealous that they couldn’t go- it sounded like fun. Dean and Lavender were enjoying a promiscuous sexual relationship- Harry often awoke to find Lavender in the boys’ bathroom. Dean was flirting outrageously with Parvati- Harry had the suspicious feeling that that relationship might be consummated at the feast. Neville was still single, Ron was still sleeping with Cho Chang (although, Harry noted, their liaisons were becoming fewer and further between. He only knew this because Ron insisted on telling him the details of every single event). Harry had taken, unknown to all but himself, a vow not to have any kind on relationship with anyone that wasn’t strictly friendly until the OWLs were over. Hermione, he assumed, had made the same vow to herself- after all, despite the many owls she had received from Viktor Krum inviting her to spend the Easter Holidays with him in Bulgaria, she sent him few replies, and, from the ones Harry saw her write, they were all rather frosty. Typical Hermione, he thought, to put work before pleasure.
There was a knock at the door, and Professor Janney appeared in the doorframe.
‘We’re ready for you now,’ she said curtly, and turned. Harry watched Hermione mumble some prayer. Ron nervously twiddled with his wand, which spat out some electric blue sparks.
‘Sorry,’ he mumbled, and headed after Professor Janney.
As they descended the school, Hermione quizzed Janney, who was attired in mottled grey green robes, which swirled about her person, and seemed to end, not in a definitive outline, as most solid objects do, but rather in a haze, as if she were dissolving at the edges.
‘Professor, what are the chances something will happen to us tonight?’ she fussed nervously.
‘Hermione, calm down,’ said the tall American. ‘There is a higher chance you will be attacked by a bear than there is you will be seriously injured. You are surrounded by the most Wizards in the history of the world.’
‘They’re not all on our side though,’ said Ron pessimistically. Janney shot him a withering look.
‘That’s beside the point,’ she said. ‘I myself, after growing up in Vermont, moved to Ohio after college where I studied dark magic patterns and how to deal with them. I then went to the Californian Defense University, and then I spent ten years touring the world finding out about Dark Wizards. I think I’m more than qualified.’
‘But you’re probably the best qualified one out there,’ said Hermione, in a panic. ‘I don’t know what Dumbledore thinks he’s doing, sending three fifth years out there…’
‘Professor Dumbledore values you three, as he does all the students in his care, very highly,’ said Janney. ‘He happens to have a very high opinion of your abilities.’
‘He can be wrong!’ said Hermione. ‘What if someone creeps up on us from behind?’
‘Shh!’ Janney shushed her as they reached the stone gargoyle, which gave passage to Dumbledore’s office.
‘Jammy Dodgers,’ said Janney, and the gargoyle leapt aside. Inwardly, despite his nerves, Harry chuckled. Typical Dumbledore.
The circular office was filled with people. Obviously, Harry, Ron and Hermione were not the only students enlisted, although they did seem to be the youngest. Professor Janney seemed to have appointed herself their mentor.
‘Right,’ she told them, laying a hand on Harry and Ron’s shoulder. ‘There’s some magically enhanced coffee and energy snacks there, and you’ll have to change into some of our robes.’
‘Why do we have to change?’ asked Hermione. She still looked nervous.
‘Two reasons,’ said Janney. ‘Firstly, security. We’ve had ten wizards go over these to check for tracking charms or jinxes. Also, it means we can identify our own people in the field- no own goals.’
‘Oh,’ said Hermione meekly.
Professor McGonagall walked up to them, holding a mug of steaming black coffee.
‘Ah, here are three of our new recruits!’ she said excitably. There were patches of crimson in her cheeks, and her eyes were positively glowing. ‘Looking forward to tonight, are you? I daresay this is your first time in the field?’
‘Yes, it is.’ Professor Janney answered for them. ‘But they’ve all had plenty of experience.’
‘Oh, well, yes, of course,’ said Professor McGonagall. ‘Potter’s been doing this since he was a babe!’ She turned to the three pupils. ‘Oh, there really isn’t anything like a good battle to get your adrenaline pumping.’
Harry had never seen Professor McGonagall so animated. Ron shot him a wide eyed look, half way between mirth and surprise.
‘Well, you three had better get changed.’ She walked off into a corner of the room, to chat with Professor Moody.
Professor Janney handed Hermione, Ron and Hermione a set of greyish-green robes each, army coloured and almost camouflage styled- mottled with browns and blacks, and a cloak, coloured in a similar fashion.
Once they had fastened the claps together, they each took a mug of steaming coffee from the large silver pot on the table, and waited nervously. Professor Janney stood beside them, toying with her necklace between her fingers. She seemed to be slightly nervous as well.
The door opened, and Albus Dumbledore walked in. He had already changed into his mottled robes- it was quite surprising to see him wearing anything not covered in moons or stars or ancient runes.
‘Are we ready?’ he said. He, like Professor McGonagall, seemed to be thrilled with anticipation.
There was a general murmur of readiness, and everyone followed him through the wooden door into his office. Fawkes, the phoenix, was perched on the desk.
‘Rightey ho,’ said Dumbledore. He pulled a key from his cloak pocket and opened the door to a large chest in the corner of the room.
‘Everyone, take a broomstick and divide into your divisions.’ Harry, Ron and Hermione peered round shoulders to look into the chest. Harry felt his breath catch in his throat when he saw.
About one hundred broomsticks were in the chest, each perfectly polished and manicured to within an inch of its life. Across each handle, written in golden paint, were the words
Harry, Ron and Hermione took a broom each, and made their way over to their division, where McGonagall, Lupin, Janney, and a short, rather fat man with a red nose were standing.
Dumbledore cleared his throat.
‘Now that you all have your broomsticks,’ he said, ‘can you please reach into your right cloak pocket and withdraw your charm.
Harry felt inside the pocket, and pulled out what appeared to be a leather string, tied in the centre, and dotted with several small, yellow crystals, which had been attached to it at three centimetre intervals.
‘This will protect you,’ said Dumbledore, ‘from most hexes and curses. Now, let’s go!’
Harry looked around, and watched everyone else in the room straddle their broom. He copied, and watched Hermione and Ron nervously do the same, fumbling a little.
Harry watched, as some people flew slowly up to the window, before disappearing out the window.
‘Come on,’ said Janney kindly, motioning to Harry, Ron and Hermione to move. ‘I’ll be out straight after you.’
‘Okay,’ said Harry, and steered the broom towards the window. He felt his anxieties wash away as he concentrated on the broom.
The dusk air was cool and refreshing, as Harry slowly flew out the gothic arched window and out. Everyone who had flown out before him had assembled themselves into groups of seven or eight- the divisions. Harry felt this heart trill, as he watched the militaristic order and stony faces.
He glided over to Professor McGonagall, and Professor Lupin, who were levitating sixty feet above the hard earth below, chatting quietly.
‘Hi,’ he said nervously.
‘Hello, Potter,’ said McGonagall, her voice unnaturally chirpy. ‘Enjoying yourself?’
‘Rather,’ he said. ‘A bit nerve wracking.’
‘Oh, wait until you get out there,’ she said. ‘It’s the greatest fun!’
Harry was stunned by his straight laced Professor’s love for battle and violence.
‘Hi,’ said Ron, as he glided up beside them. They were joined by Hermione a few moments later, who was nervously trying to control her broom. It was shaking slightly.
Professor Janney appeared at the window, bent over her broom, her muggle high heels visible below her, and Professor Dumbledore, and then Fawkes the phoenix followed her.
‘Good luck, everyone,’ he said. ‘Hopefully I’ll see you all again soon.’
He flew off, and Harry watched as, all around him, the different divisions all swept off on their broomsticks.
They were all headed in the same direction, towards the setting sun.
‘Come on,’ said McGonagall, ‘Let’s go!’
They set off in a tightly knit group, following the directions of McGonagall and Lupin.
Harry smiled as the breeze whipped through his hair. He wasn’t nervous at all now. His wand was clasped in one hand, while he navigated the broom with the other. Beside him, Ron was looking slightly nervous, as was Janney on his other side, but Hermione was looking nauseous as she controlled her broom with both hands, her wand in between her teeth.
‘Hermione,’ said Ron, after they had been flying in the same direction for about ten minutes. They were above some rigged hills and glens- completely devoid of muggle civilisation. ‘Are you all right?’
‘Ron! Don’t distract me! Oh, shit!’ When she had opened her mouth to speak, her wand had fallen.
Quick as a flash, Harry dived after it.
At first he had thought that the Firebolt: Excel was exactly the same as his normal broomstick, but the dive proved him wrong.
He caught up with Hermione’s wand in a matter of moments, and plucked it from the air.
‘Here,’ he said, extending it to her, when he regained the level of the rest of his division.
‘Mmm,’ she mumbled incoherently, and the unusual ensemble continued up on their journey, with thoughts of nervousness, exhilaration and captured Death Eaters on their minds.
‘Shh!’ Remus Lupin hissed to the rest of his division, as they sat in a small copse, at the top of a hill. In the distance was Farthing Wood House, exactly where the dot on Lupin’s map had been.
They had been waiting for almost an hour, and nothing had happened.
‘Let’s go home,’ said Ron. The sun was almost set, and the sky was a watercolour of fiery reds, oranges, and flaming gold.
‘Follow me,’ said Lupin, quietly. ‘And be quiet.’
‘Where is it?’ asked McGonagall. Harry saw that Lupin was peering over a small green compass, and the needle was glowing green and vibrating.
‘It’s at Alastor’s division,’ said Lupin hoarsely, as they straddled their brooms.
‘Birnam Woods?’ asked Janney, as they manoeuvred their way through the upper branches of the trees.
‘Yes,’ said Lupin. ‘Get your wands out. It’s over there.’
He pointed towards a spot about three or four miles away from them. Harry turned, and gasped at what he saw.
Before the background of the languishing sun, five flocks of wizards, mounted on broomsticks, were heading for the same point. Harry watched them move slowly across the horizon, mere black dots, as they approached their goal.
‘Come on,’ said Lupin. ‘We’ll have to go fast.’
Harry swooped his cloak around them, and leaned forward on his broom, so that it sped forwards at a steady pace. He felt the wind rush through his hair and smack his face awake.
‘Ooops,’ said Hermione quietly, as she shot forward at ninety miles an hour and then slowed to five, before shooting forwards again at two hundred and thirty.
They reached the side of Birnam Woods, which arced in a horse shoe shape around the dewy clearing. Harry could see the Death Eaters as they sneaked across the fields outlying the thick spruce forest.
Lupin motioned to them all to follow him, and slowly glided across the tree tops, his feet touching the topmost leaves.
Harry watched, as the other divisions slowly prowled across the trees, to the edges, and peered over to watch the Death Eaters creep towards the large house in the centre, it’s windows blazing with light.
‘NOW!’ shouted a voice behind him and to his left, that Harry recognised to be Dumbledore, and every member of the divisions fired a curse at the Death Eaters on the ground.
There was a flash as the hexes and curses flooded through the air towards their target, and some mist, but Harry could tell at a glance that easily half of the thirty Death Eaters were down.
‘Come on,’ said Lupin, over his shoulder, and flew down to the ground. Harry followed McGonagall and Janney, with Hermione and Ron on either side.
Once on the ground, Harry watched as half their side leapt off their brooms and began firing curses all over the field, while the other half remained in flight, firing curses from the air.
Harry watched Hermione, Ron, Lupin and McGonagall leap off their broomsticks and run across towards the Death Eaters, but Harry and Professor Janney remained airborne.
‘Genesah!’ shouted Harry, and a greenish brown comet shot from his wand and straight through the heart of a Death Eater.
‘I taught you well,’ shouted Claudia Janney. ‘Simplethey!’
‘Jinjenga!’ shouted Harry. ‘Meletra! Kana’ak! Hinges!’
He continued to fire curses, and watched as everyone around me did. There were still around ten or eleven Death Eaters fighting when Harry landed on the ground a few minutes later.
‘There’s an apparition field around here,’ shouted Janney to Harry, as they both touched down on the grass, which was now a marshy bog. ‘No one can apparate in or out!’
Harry and Janney jogged over to where Hermione, Ron, McGonagall and Lupin were standing in a tight circle, advancing on a Death Eater, who was deflecting all their curses.
‘STUPEFY!’ shouted Harry, but the Death Eater deflected it casually.
The group divided into two, with the teachers on one side, and the three students on the other.
Harry was concentrating on hexing the Death Eater, who was also concentrating the efforts of McGonagall, Lupin and Janney, when he heard Hermione scream behind him.
He turned around in time to see Hermione, screeching as a Death Eater stood over Ron, wand pointing down on the flame haired sixteen year old.
A voice began to sound from the face behind the horrific black and red mask.
Hermione screamed louder, as the wand pointing towards Ron quivered. Harry acted fast.
Whipping his wand towards the Death Eater, he shouted the only thing he could think of which would stop this terrible thing from happening, faster than the masked figure could.