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Chapter 14: Hermione's Wisdom
A/N: Hey peeps! Hope you enjoy this one! As always, leave a nice long review at the end of the chapter in that cool little box you always see...poor thing, it is so underused... ;)
“No kidding!” Hermione retorted.
“Glad we landed on this thing though, and not a bed of nails,” Ron exhaled. Sam glanced over at Hermione, she appeared troubled.
“Hermione, what is it?” Sam figured that something had to be wrong if Hermione’s demeanor showed such concern.
“We landed on Devils Snare…” she whispered to herself.
“Devil’s Snare? Neville told me about that once… Wait a second! Doesn’t that mean-” Sam got cut off by the snake like movement of the Devil’s Snare. It slithered over her mouth, preventing her from speaking another word. It slowly wove itself around her wrists and torso. She tried to scream, but it was muffled by the thick plant.
“If you struggle, it’ll kill you faster!” Hermione shouted as Harry, Ron, and Sam began to panic.
“What! Kill us! And you’re telling me to relax!” Ron yelled at the top of his lungs. He was viciously fighting the slimy green tentacles.
“Relax!” Hermione bellowed over Ron. Hermione closed her eyes and stopped moving. Suddenly, she disappeared from the view of the others.
Sam was shrieking as the plant started to crush her lungs. Harry had stilled himself and closed his eyes, like Hermione. He too sank out of view. Sam saw this and started screaming louder, thrashing wildly. This made Ron panic even more and he continued to tear at the plant.
Hermione and Harry had fallen out of the plants grip, landing roughly on a cold stone floor. They could hear the frantic noises above.
“They’re not relaxing are they?” Harry asked, freaking out at the thought of Ron and his sister being strangled by an evil plant.
“Um… um… Devil’s Snare… sunlight kills them! Harry that’s it! We need sunlight!”
“Where’re we going to get sunlight?” Harry snapped, obviously not catching on.
Hermione gave him a funny look. “Lumos Maxima!” A bright yellow light burst from the tip of Hermione’s wand. As it hit the Devil’s Snare, the plant swiveled and shriveled until Ron and Sam fell out of it.
Sam hit the ground, all the color had drained from her face and her eyes were the size of Hagrid’s dinner plates. She cursed several times under her breath as Harry walked over and offered to help her up. Sam took his hand and rose to her feet. Ron got up on his own.
“Good thing we relaxed” Sam muttered, attempting to calm herself.
“I did tell you to relax!” Hermione said lightly.
“It’s kinda hard to relax when you’re being strangled!” Ron said shakily. Sam took a deep breath in order to get her head back.
“Well that was fun. What’s next?” She said, trying to lighten the mood.
Walking through the dank hallway, a strange hum reached their ears. None of them said anything, but they all heard the fluttering sound. Entering another room, they saw what the noise was. They looked like little birds, all floating around the room.
“I think they’re keys…” Sam stated. She scanned the room more closely and noticed a broom hovering in mid air.
“I think someone has to fly up and catch a key… Harry, that’d be you. You play Quidditch.” Ron offered.
Sam walked over to the door that was blocking them from going any further. It was ancient; the type of door that muggles would imagine to be blocking a dragon in a dungeon. Ron, Hermione, and Harry all walked over too. Ron whipped out his wand. “Alohomora!” He tugged on the handle, but the door remained solid.
“To get through, we have to get the key… Harry, you have to catch a key. Probably an old rusty one, like the door.” Hermione instructed.
Harry nodded and walked over to the broom that was hovering. He paused for a second, thinking that it was all a little too structured and balanced. Something had to go wrong here… He grabbed the broom handle and mounted it. The second he did, all of the flying keys launched at him like little muggle darts. He kicked off from the ground hard and flew up into the air, swiping at all of the keys that flew at him. Harry eyed a key that was different. It looked old and rusty, like the make of the door. Its wing was damaged as well, meaning that someone had caught it already… He launched forward and lunged at the key. He managed to catch it and fly down towards Hermione, Ron, and Sam. He dove and flung the key at Sam who caught it.
Sam struggled to keep hold of it as the key fluttered desperately. She shoved it into the lock and turned it. The door popped open. Sam, Hermione, and Ron burst into the next room, beckoning Harry to follow them. Harry flattened himself on the broom and sailed through the door. Ron and Hermione slammed it shut and blocked out the vicious keys.
“Good job Harry,” Sam beamed. Harry got off the broom and inhaled deeply. Harry grinned as he realized that Hermione couldn’t call Quidditch a useless sport anymore. After all, it had prepared him for a crucial part of this mission.
Out of the blue, intense lights flickered on. Sam raised her hand to shield her eyes from the blare. After her eyes adjusted, she looked around.
It almost looks like a… chessboard. Sam thought to herself.
“Well, let’s go.” Harry suggested. They started walking, intending to pass the pawns blocking the way. Sam was about to walk through a space in between two pawns. Abruptly, the pawn raised its sword and swiped at her. She screamed shot backwards, narrowly avoiding the tip of the sword. She stopped herself from swearing loudly as she took a breath.
“Okay, I do not think we’re getting through that way.” Sam said.
“I think we have to play.” Ron enlightened.
“I was thinking more along the lines of we fly over the pawns.” Sam countered. Ron turned around and picked up a piece of ruble. He threw it up into the air and caught it. Nodding his head, he chucked it with all his might over the pawns. As it sailed over the pawn, it appeared to hit something invisible, and it soared back, unable to make it to the other side.
“That settles that then.” Harry confirmed. “Looks like we’re going to have to play chess. Ron, you have to be the caller.”
Ron nodded, happy to have a significant job. After surveying the surroundings, Ron appointed Hermione queen, Harry tower, Sam tower, and himself a knight. Nervously, he instructed one of his pawns to move forward, towards the pawn of the other team. He was stunned when the other team’s pawn took out a stone sword and crushed the pawn on his team. After seeing this however, he was very careful to ensure that none of the real people went anywhere near the enemy.
Sam watched, sure to stay in her little square. She had no idea how to play chess and was very confused by everything Ron said. So she decided it was best to keep quiet and let the professionals handle it.
After about half an hour of battling, Ron glanced at Harry. “Harry, when this guy takes me out, you’re free to take the king.”
Harry thought for a second. “No! Ron you can’t do that!”
“Wait, what’s going on?” Sam asked.
“He’s going to get crushed like every other piece!” Harry’s voice elevated. “There must be some other way!”
“Harry, I’m doing this.” Ron replied. “Knight to G4!”
Sam watched in horror as the stone knight scraped against the ground. She bit her lip when the knight approached the nearby chess piece. The other team’s piece took out a sword and jammed it into the knight. Ron was thrown backwards and he bashed into the playing ground.
“Ron!” Hermione squealed. She put a foot out of the little square box she was standing in for the past half hour.
“Hermione no! We’re still playing!” Sam yelled at her. Hermione was surprised, but put her foot back into the box. Harry had turned pale but he strutted forward to face the piece that had attacked Ron.
With a shaky voice, “Check mate,” came out. The other team’s piece was still for a moment. Suddenly, the stone fingers released the sword it was holding. The sword clattered to the ground and no more figures moved.
Sam was watching to make sure that they had won the game. After nothing moved, Sam ran over to Ron, Hermione right behind her. She felt for a pulse and got one, but it was slowed.
“He’s okay… I think. Might have a nasty concussion though. ” Sam smiled weakly at the fact that Ron wasn’t going to die here.
“We…we need to go.” Harry said quietly.
“The next one’s Potions.” Sam muttered.
“What?” Came Hermione.
“The first was Hagrid, the second was Herbology, third was Charms, fourth was Transfiguration. Fifth will be Potions. Sixth will probably be something Dumbledore thought up, and the most challenging… and witty.” Sam disclosed.
No body said a word for the next couple seconds.
“I’m not that great at Potions. And if you have to drink something, there might be enough for two…” Sam trailed off.
“Are you saying that you’re not coming any further?” Harry questioned a little snappishly.
Sam grinned. “Harry, if there is only a tiny bit of Potion, I think two people could split it. Three is not going to happen. I think it would be best if I tried to head back and get Ron to the Hospital Wing. Besides, we all know I’m very average at Potions.”
After discussing the issue, Harry and Hermione agreed that it would be best for everybody if Sam turned back.
Sam wished them good luck and watched her twin brother and her friend walk through the door.
I really hope they come out…
“ Translatum Appropinquo!” Was a spell Professor Flitwick had introduced. It was a spell that was used to make unconscious people float in the air, flying closely to the spell caster. Sam wondered for a moment how she could so easily perform this advanced spell, but had a ridiculously difficult time with the Wingardium Leviosa charm.
She shook her head and began to walk quickly back to the Devil’s Snare, (the keys paid no attention to her) Ron floating lazily along beside her.
Sam stood, staring up at the hole left by Hermione in the oversized plant.
She mentally measured the distance it would take to jump up and touch the hanging plant.
If I touch it, the oversized weed is going to try and strangle me again. There has to be another way…
It was about four feet. She remembered Hermione chatting to her about a spell that could make rubber extra bouncy. That happened to be a day when Sam had been paying attention to Hermione’s endless speeches on spells Hogwarts didn’t teach.
“Um… um… Ingens Pervenio!” Sam waved her wand and pointed at the soles of her shoes. She held her breath and jumped as high as she could. Amazingly, she bounced five feet in the air. She grabbed at the slimy green plant, but was unable to hang on to it. Touching the ground again, she bounced ten feet. Touching the ground for the third time, she made it to fifteen feet. Landing again, she sprung up twenty feet and managed to catch the edge of the open trap door. She hauled herself up and through the trap door with anxious breath.
Her heart froze when her gaze met Fluffy, but he was snoozing on his own now, the harp had long stopped playing. Tip toeing across the wooden floor, Sam quietly opened the door. As she did, she crashed into someone very solid. She fell backwards and collided with the floor. Blinking, she looked up at… Professor Dumbledore.
“Professor! It’s not what it looks like!”
“You aren’t going down there to rescue the Stone because you think someone’s trying to steal it and Professor McGonagall didn’t believe you?” Dumbledore asked.
“Well… actually it is what it looks like. But someone is down there. They’ve beat us to it so far, but Harry and Hermione are going to stop him!”
Dumbledore eyed Ron who was floating dumbly in mid air.
“Take Mr. Weasley to the Hospital Wing.” Dumbledore commanded. Sam complied immediately and started off in the direction of the Hospital, Ron bobbing after her.