Chapter 3 : A Nightly Fright
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“A m-muggle?” stammered Harry. A muggle here for him? The only muggles Harry knew were Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and Dudley, and surely they weren’t coming to visit him. Harry stood there amazed.
“Shall we proceed to my office than Harry?” said Dumbledore trying to peer into Harry’s eyes. He was staring off into space, still amazed. He looked up at Dumbledore with a start.
“Er-yes, yes,” he stuttered. He followed Dumbledore up to his office and there stood the muggle. The muggle was a boy, and he appeared to be looking around the office, talking to paintings as he walked by them, apparently amazed with the world around him. Harry walked into the full light of Dumbledore’s office and finally got a good look at the boy. He was fairly tall, probably about six feet two inches. He had dark blue eyes and dark brown hair that seemed to glow red in the light. His hair wasn’t arranged much more differently from Harry’s except while it was untidy, it didn’t come close to Harry’s mess. The boy seemed fairly muscular and vaguely familiar.
Harry walked in and the boy didn’t notice him. He was in conversation with one of the paintings examining some instrument.
“Joseph,” Dumbledore said, “I would like you to meet Harry Potter.” Joseph turned around with a start and his eyes widened at the site of Harry. A broad grin spread across his face and he moved to shake Harry’s hand.
“Hello Harry, I’m Joseph Cold,” he said eagerly.
“Er-hello Joseph, nice to meet you,” said Harry, quite taken aback. Who was this person?
“Yes, if you two will sit, please,” said Dumbledore as he walked behind his desk, motioning to the chairs in front of him. Joseph and Harry sat and looked at Dumbledore for some explanation.
“Well, Joseph, tell us who you are,” said Dumbledore warmly. And Joseph began.
“Yes, well-er. As I said I’m Joseph Cold, I come from just north of London. I came here, obviously, to seek out Harry Potter,” said Joseph with an air of excitement.
“Why Harry?” asked Dumbledore.
“Well, you see, I had a father who was a wizard and mother who was a muggle. They had two children, myself and my older brother. Well, while my brother came here to this school, I did not. You see, I am a regular muggle, incapable of magical powers. Every year my brother would come home with amazing tales and adventures that he had at Hogwarts. He loved the place. And through his tales, I began to love it, and I began to want to seek out my own adventures here at Hogwarts, despite the fact that I was a but a muggle.”
“He must have left school when I was eleven or so. I’m sixteen now, so it was five years ago when he left. He came home that summer and noted that Harry Potter had started his first year. I said ‘The Harry Potter?’ he said ‘Yes, one in the same.” Well, I had wanted to meet you then, wanted so badly to be a part of your world, but he forbid it. He said that I was never to come here. He started working as an Auror at the ministry and was so close this year to finally pinpointing his headquarters. Apparently, Voldemort was aware of this and came to my house and, and….” Joseph’s voice trailed off and Harry saw tears in his eyes, but they did not fall.
Harry allowed him a moment to compose himself, but to Harry’s surprise, he began his tale in the same jovial tone he started in.
“So Voldermort tortured my family to death. I was out shopping for groceries at the time and came home to find my mother and father dead and my brother tortured and inch from it. He said, ‘Go to Hogwarts, seek out Dumbledore and Harry Potter, they will help you.’ And with that, he died,” finished Joseph. He had an air of sorrow in his joyous voice.
For several minutes, Dumbledore did not speak. He just gave Joseph that analyzing look he gave Harry so often.
“I am sorry for your loss,” said Dumbledore simply. Harry could see the sympathy in his eyes. Joseph’s dark blue eyes flickered for a moment of sadness and then returned to their normal state.
“Oh, it’s alright, I’ve come here. I’ve dreamed about this place for so long and now I’m here. It’s just what I’ve wanted. My own adventure,” he said with a bright smile.
“Well, you are here and you are safe, no doubt. But I have no choice but to erase your memory,” said Dumbledore. Harry couldn’t believe this. Usually Dumbledore was compassionate and willing to bend the rules a little bit, now he wanted to erase a boy’s memory that had gone through so much. Joseph was apparently thinking along the same lines.
“N-no, please, don’t,” said Joseph. Tears were brimming in his eyes. “You don’t understand, do you? I’ve waited for this my entire life, for my own adventure, to come here and find a new world. Back home, life was dull and wretched and dreary. But here,” he motioned around the room, “things are so alive and everything is different. It’s amazing. This is what I’ve wanted my whole life, p-please…don’t take it away. I’m finally here. I found you, Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, the two people I’ve been waiting to meet my entire life.” By the time Joseph had finished, several tears had drifted onto his cheeks. Dumbledore’s face had lightened up. He understood and shed a single tear. After a moment of silence Dumbledore spoke.
“Very well, Joseph, you may stay. Though you will be unable to attend classes, lacking the magical powers. Therefore, during the day, I do ask you to not break all too many school rules, but as you will be in the company of Harry, I don’t know if you shall be able to keep that promise,” said Dumbledore. He flickered a smile at Harry who chuckled back softly. “I hope to see you around, Joseph.” And with that, Harry was crawling down the steps of the stone gargoyle that guarded Dumledore’s entrance.
Harry and Joseph walked down from Dumbledore’s office in silence. Joseph was too busy admiring the scenery and setting of the castle around him. Harry was sure Joseph felt the same way Harry did when he first entered Diagon Alley, needing about eight extra pairs of eyes to drink in all the sites around him.
Joseph nearly fainted when he and Harry entered the Great Hall. His mouth fell wide open and he let out a faint ‘wow.’ Harry smiled and pushed up on Joseph’s chin to close his mouth. Joseph tore his eyes away from the Hall and smiled briefly at Harry. Harry led him to the Gryffindor table as many people turned their heads to see who the new handsome boy was. Joseph nearly tripped over the bench he was about to sit on, for he was looking straight up, marveling the bewitched ceiling above. Hermione, Ron, and several other Gryffindors were looking to Harry for an explanation, but Joseph was still marveling his surroundings.
“Er-yes, Joseph,” Harry half-shouted to get Joseph’s attention. Joseph turned to look at Harry and smiled, blushing slightly. Harry continued, “I’d like you to meet a few of my friends. This is Ron Weasley,” Harry said motioning to Ron across the table. Ron smiled and shook Joseph’s hand, “and this is Hermione Granger,” Harry finished. Hermione smiled politely and shook Joseph’s hand. After a few moments of awkward and more of Joseph’s gaping, the visitor finally spoke.
“I say, this truly is a marvelous place,” said Joseph in absolute awe. “Is that the real sky or the ceiling, I’ve yet to tell,” he added staring up at the bewitched ceiling.
“No, it’s bewitched to look like the sky outside,” said Hermione matter-of-factly, “I read about it in-“
“Hogwarts, A History,” chorused Ron and Harry, “yes, we know,” finished Ron drearily. Hermione shot daggers at the two of them
“Well he doesn’t,” she hissed to Ron.
“Yes, well that doesn’t change the fact…” but Harry had stopped listening. He beckoned Joseph to lean in to listen.
“Hermione’s really intelligent, but really fierce, especially when she argues. I wouldn’t cross her. She’s stubborn, like Ron, so they argue often. You’ll get used to it eventually,” Harry said slightly bemused. Joseph chuckled.
“I hope I never do, this place and all of these people are ruddy amazing,” said Joseph with that tone of awe. He continued to marvel the Hall while Harry listened to Ron and Hermione finish the argument.
“-doesn’t change the fact that you have to go shooting of facts at every new person you meet. The way you do that you’d think people couldn’t read,” said Ron heatedly.
“Urgh! Ron, you are so impossible!” finished Hermione. Harry looked at his watch.
“Well, if you two are done arguing it’s time for our Transfiguration lesson,” said Harry lightly. The both gave him angry looks as they got up. Joseph suddenly stopped gaping at the Great Hall and shot his attention at Harry.
“Transfiguration? Well, that sounds interesting, how does it work?” he asked with rapt interest.
Harry left this one to Hermione as she explained the subject of Transfiguration to Joseph while Ron and Harry walked ahead to the Transfiguration classroom. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Joseph entered the classroom just as the bell rang. Joseph found himself a seat at the back of the classroom to observe while the rest of the class busied themselves with transforming ravens into wooden goblets. Hermione, as usual, was the only one to fully transform her raven but complained it was too light a shade of tan. Harry managed to transform his into Goblet, but it still squawked whenever someone poked it.
The bell rang, at last, and Harry hurried to the boy’s dorms to drop off his things. Joseph trailed behind Harry, apparently wanting to memorize every detail of the castle. Hermione was right beside him, explaining all of the portraits and the structure of the stone, and so on and so forth. Joseph was absolutely flabbergasted.
“Man, his home life must have been really terrible. He can’t get over this place!” exclaimed Ron. Harry chuckled, it really must have been. Even still, when Harry first came here, he was also aghast, but nowhere near how awestruck Joseph was.
“I say, my watch has stopped,” said Joseph staring down at the watch on his wrist intently as the four of the entered Gryffindor common room.
“Yes, well electronic devices such as that tend to go haywire in Hogwarts, there is just too much magic,” said Hermione knowledgeably. Ron chuckled lightly.
“Hermione, maybe you should just lend him Hogwarts, A History. It’ll save you a lot of breath,” said Ron in an amused tone. Joseph’s eyes lit up at the thought of this.
“Yes, that would be splendid,” he said excitedly.
But Harry was not paying attention to the conversation any more. His eyes were fixed upon a stunning red-haired girl who sat on the sofa by the fire reading a Potions book and taking notes. He silently sat down beside her, but she didn’t look up. The flames cascaded her face making her gorgeous chocolate eyes flicker with beauty. Her red hair flashed like a beacon with the constant flicker of the fire. He smiled. She really was amazing.
“Ya know, you’re even more gorgeous when you’re working,” he said. Her head shot up and to look at him and immediately glowed.
“Harry!” she gasped as she threw her arms around and kissed him deeply. The force of her impact upon him was so great it knocked him back so she lay on top of him. They laughed together and she rested her head on his chest smiling contentedly. Harry’s rhythmic breathing was enough to send Ginny into the most peaceful of sleeps. His hand draping up and down her back spread warmth to every inch of her body.
“Oi! Get your hands off my sister,” shouted Ron jovially to Harry. Harry smiled up at Ron.
“What if I do this?” Harry leaned his head up and Ginny taking her cue leaned down to kiss him passionately. Ron smiled and grimaced at the same time.
“Ugh, get a room you two, honestly. My best friend and my sister,” said Ron with a note of disgust. He began to walk out of the portrait hole with Hermione (Who was still going on about the History of the castle to Joseph who was listening with full attention).
“We have a room, mate. You just happened to be in it!” shouted back Harry as Ginny giggled.
“Yeah, yeah,” said Ron. And with that, Ginny and Harry were left alone on the sofa. The common room was relatively deserted save a fifth year that was pouring over a load of books. Ginny put her head back down on Harry’s chest as they lay on the sofa together. Harry continued to stroke his fingers up and down her back. They both stared contentedly into the fire. Life couldn’t have been better.
“Ginny?” asked Harry softly. But she didn’t respond, Harry heard soft snores coming from her and smiled. He looked at her face. She was like an angel as she slept. Ginny’s smooth, gentle face so calm and relaxed and her red hair flopping carelessly around her ears.
Harry lifted Ginny up and carried her up to the girl’s dormitories. Surprisingly, the steps did not turn into a stone slide as they would have if a boy tried to get into the girls dormitories. Perhaps they knew if the male intruder had good intentions or not. Harry carried Ginny into the fifth year dormitories and lay her down on her bed. Harry could just not get over how gorgeous she was and how lucky he was to have her. He bent down and kissed her on her forehead and turned to leave the room. Harry stole one last glance at her as he departed from the room and smiled: She was his.
Harry proceeded back to the common room where he and Ginny sat a few moments ago and picked up the potions essay she had been doing. He read over the assignment. Define what a beozar is and name three afflictions it can heal and why. Snape was tough. He picked up the essay and noticed Ginny had written the same line three times. Harry decided he’d finish the essay, it having been his fault for her sudden nap. She was already halfway done, so it didn’t take Harry more than an hour.
The common room slowly filled up as time passed but Ron, Hermione, and Joseph still hadn’t come back from dinner. Harry suspected they were giving Joseph a tour. Harry had just finished the essay when the woman of the hour came walking down from her dorm. She smiled blearily and while her eyes appeared foggy, they were as bright as lighthouses. Harry’s heart lifted at the sight of her and his stomach did summersaults.
“Hello gorgeous,” he said sweetly.
“Hello handsome, I guess someone must have carried me up to bed,” she replied playfully. Harry laughed.
“Yes, well, I had no idea my chest could be so comfortable,” he said teasingly as Ginny sat down next to him.
“Yes, but it was,” she kissed him lightly on the lips and continued, “and I still have a potions essay to finish,” she added with exasperation.
“No you don’t,” said Harry smiling holding up the potions essay. Ginny beamed at him.
“Oh, Harry! You shouldn’t have!” she said clasping the essay.
“Ah, but I did. But you shouldn’t be too happy, I’m not exactly the Potions expert,” he said matter-of-factly. She smiled, “I think this will do.” With that she leaned in against him and pressed her lips against his. Harry wrapped his arms around her and ran his fingers through her hair as they embraced. Ginny dropped the essay and put her arms around his neck. Just then, the portrait hole opened up and Ron, Hermione, and Joseph all came bustling in. Joseph was doing an incredible balancing act with reading a book intently in one hand while balancing a stack of books in the other. Ron and Hermione were in front of him, smiling at Harry.
“Perfect timing,” mumbled Harry a bit disgruntled. Ginny smiled and kissed him on the cheek. “Maybe later,” she whispered, smiling mischievously.
“Hey Harry, hey Gin,” said Ron.
“Hey Ron,” chorused Ginny and Harry. Harry shot Ron and Hermione looks of curiosity.
“Oh, those,” said Hermione, looking back at Joseph. “He wanted to do some more reading on the school and after today’s transfiguration lesson he was absolutely itching to read up more on that, so I got him those books from the library for a bit of reading.” Harry was gaping at the stack of books Joseph had now balancing on a table at the far corner of the common room.
“Blimey, Hermione, that’ll last him ‘till the end of our seventh year! Bit of reading, really,” said Ginny.
“Well he was really interested,” said Hermione lightly. Apparently so. Over half of the table in the corner was covered with books about the history of Hogwarts, transfiguration, the dark arts and dark wizards through the years, and the history of the magical world. Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny just sat there and stared at Joseph for a few moments in amazement as he poured over his books. Harry chuckled. This kid really couldn’t wait to get here, thought Harry. His situation at home must have been worse than mine, he’s more amazed at all of this than I ever was!
“Oh, I almost forgot,” said Hermione breaking into Harry’s thoughts, “I brought you two some dinner knowing you were-er-preoccupied,” she finished with a knowing grin. Harry and Ginny blushed slightly and accepted the food graciously. Harry laid back and wrapped his arm around Ginny as he munched on a pumpkin cookie. The two just stared into the fire, content to be together. Harry felt so warm with Ginny there in his arms. It was like nothing else mattered and all that he wanted to do was stay there with Ginny and never let her go. He had only felt truly this comfortable with one other person: Sirius. Harry felt a lump in his throat and suddenly he went cold. Ginny must have noticed because she looked up at him with an expression of concern on her face. Her chocolate eyes had the same worry and concern that Sirius’ had for Harry.
“Are you alright, hon?” asked Ginny worriedly. Harry smiled at the look in Ginny’s eyes, the eyes that so reminded him of Sirius. It was an incredible joy and an incredible pain at the same time. Sirius was there, but he wasn’t.
“Yes, I’m fine,” said Harry softly, “I think I’ll turn in for the night,” he added. With that he kissed Ginny and headed up to his dormitory. He lay in his bed and sadness overwhelmed him. Harry didn’t know if he would ever get used to Sirius being gone or if he would ever get used to the pain. It was all too horrible.
“Harry?” said a familiar voice. Ginny had just walked in looking at him with her concerned look. Harry smiled, she knew him all too well.
“How am I supposed to get to sleep if I’ve got such a beautiful girl in my dorm with me?” asked Harry playfully. Ginny smiled and laid down next to him.
“You’ll have to manage,” she whispered with happily. Her face then became a bit darker and her tone more worried. “You were thinking about him, weren’t you Harry?” Harry sighed. She knew him all too well
“Yea, it’s just I miss him so much. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get used to him being gone,” said Harry shakily. Ginny moved closer and embraced him.
“You know, I’m sure he’s feeling the same way where ever he is,” said Ginny in a strained voice. Harry knew she hated to see him like this, and felt awful for always making her have to comfort him. “You remember what my mom said, sometimes Sirius had a hard time telling whether you were yourself or whether you were your father. And I’m sure wherever he is, he’s with your dad, and he misses you terribly,” she finished.
Harry smiled at the thought of Sirius and his dad together up to their usual mischief.
“Thanks, Ginny,” he managed to choke out as he kissed her on the cheek. “I’m sorry for always putting you through this, having to comfort me like I’m some baby,” said Harry with a note of amusement.
“Oh, hush Harry Potter,” she said dismissively. “I’m always here for you.” Harry looked her in the eyes and smiled.
“You know, you have his eyes,” said Harry drowing in Ginny’s deep, brown eyes. Ginny smiled.
“Just another reason to keep me around,” she said beaming at Harry. Harry laughed and kissed her deeply.
“It's no wonder I love you, Ginny.”
“I love you too, Harry,” said Ginny. And with that, they kissed again. Little did they know that a certain muggle was right outside their door, smiling with tears in his eyes.
“I’m glad you’re happy, Harry Potter,” Joseph said to himself. “I’ll make sure you stay that way.” And with that, he went back to his table full of books as Harry and Ginny kissed passionately.
Harry woke up the following morning to find Ginny sound asleep next to him. Apparently, after a fervent snogging sessoin, she had fallen asleep on his chest. Harry looked to his side. Ron was snoring loudly as usual. Harry smiled. He was glad Ron accepted their relationship, knowing Harry would never hurt Ginny. He then looked down at his beautiful girlfriend. He smiled at the sight of her angelic face so peacefully at rest. He kissed her on the forehead and she smiled her beautiful smile. She peered blearily out of one eye.
“Hey sweetie,” she said sleepily leaning up to give him a quick kiss.
“You know, you’re a wreck in the mornings,” said Harry teasingly. Ginny yawned and smiled at the same time, grabbing a pillow and throwing it at him.
“I wouldn’t be talking there, Mister. Nice hair,” she said peering up at the mop upon Harry’s head. Harry chuckled.
“When isn’t it?” he said. Ginny chuckled and stared into Harry’s amazing green eyes. Harry stared back into hers.
“Man, you are gorgeous,” he said, sincerely this time. Ginny smiled and blushed.
“Oh, stop,” she said playfully hitting him.
“Well you are,” he said. Ginny giggled and then gasped. She pointed to behind Harry. Harry turned to find Joseph laying with his mouth agape and piles of books cluttering all over his bed. Harry and Ginny giggled together at the sight of him.
“I think we’ve found Hermione a soul mate,” said Ginny in between laughs. Harry chuckled.
“Oh no way, that’s what Ron’s for,” said Harry smiling. Ginny looked at Harry bewildered and then back at Ron who was sprawled on his bed snoring.
“Ron?” she asked incredulously
“Oh yeah, you can’t tell?” asked Harry in an amazed voice.
“Well, yeah, but…come on, they argue constantly,” replied Ginny. Harry laughed. This was true, Hermione and Ron did argue quite constantly, but that was just because they were both so stubborn.
“Aah, but that’s just their great chemistry. They both absolutely adore each other deep down,” said Harry wisely. “Besides, we argue sometimes,” he added matter-of-factly. Ginny raised her eyebrows at him. “Do we?” she said sounding amused
“Oh yes,” said Harry with mock concentration.
“And what do we argue about?” asked Ginny playing along.
“Well,” began Harry with that same mock seriousness, “I like snogging in bed and you like it in the broom closet. I like tickling you like this,” Harry said as he began to tickle Ginny all over. She yelped with delighted laughter.
“…and you don’t like that,” continued Harry. “And finally, you like to wear clothes and I prefer you without them,” he finished with his mock seriousness as she giggled.
“Yes, I can see the discrepancies there,” she said between laughs. Harry kissed her one last time as Ron began to wake. He rubbed his eyes and looked over at Harry and Ginny, who were staring back innocently. Ron laughed and stretched.
“You two, can you ever keep your hands or lips off each other?” he asked smiling.
“Nope,” replied Ginny and Harry simultaneously. Ron laughed and spoke as he left the room.
“I’m taking a shower, gotta get cleaned up for the match today.”
“Yea, I better take one too.” With that, Harry kissed Ginny one last time and headed for the showers.
After his shower, Harry headed down to breakfast where Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were already sitting reading the Daily Prophet. All of their faces were pale, Harry knew this couldn’t be good.
“What’s happened now?” he asked grimly.
“Terrible, four muggles killed in Nottingham,” replied Hermione in the same tone, “and they say Voldemort’s planning to attack the school sometime.” Harry went cold at the thought of this. The only reason Voldermort would attack the school is because of one thing: him. Voldemort was going to end Harry’s life at any costs. Harry didn’t want to be the cause of any more deaths at Hogwarts.
“Hey-er-maybe we should all bring our wands to the match. You know, just in case,” said Harry shakily and quietly. The other three looked at him and nodded gravely. They could never be too careful.
After finishing their porridge, Harry, Ron, and Ginny headed down to the locker rooms to change into their game robes. Angelina wasn’t much for game times speeches so when it was time to go, she announced it with a simple grunt. Harry and the rest of the team walked out onto the sunlight bathed pitch. Ravenclaw appeared at the other end dressed in their royal blue robes. Harry dared to look at Cho who gave him a sympathetic look. He replied with a hard, angry stare. Not that he cared anymore, he had a wonderful girlfriend, but Cho was an awful girl. They hadn’t talked since that night so long ago. Johnson and Davies shook hands and as Madame Hooch released the quaffle, the game began.
Harry was too busy looking for the snitch to pay attention to the commentary. Every now and then he would peer down at Ron when Ravenclaw tried to score, but Ron’s goalkeeping skills had improved drastically over the summer and he was nearly impenetrable. Harry stole a glance at the scoreboard and saw that Gryffindor was in the lead 70-10, then, he saw it. The snitch was fluttering just below the Ravenclaw hoops at the far end of the field. Harry shot down at the posts like a bullet in pursuit of the snitch. Cho caught on and tailed him quickly catching up with him. He was thirty yards, twenty yards—SWOOSH! A bludger had just blown by him nearly knocking him off his broom, he did the sloth roll to avoid it. Harry held on and was nearly there…he reached out…just a few more feet…he might crash…
“HARRY POTTER HAS THE SNITCH, GRYFFINDOR WINS 220-10, SLAUGHTERING RAVENCLAW!” shouted Colin Creevey (Lee Jordan had left school) as Harry pull out from his dive with the snitch clasped triumphantly in his hands. Harry smiled as he flew a victory lap around the stadium. He descended into the mass of Gryffindors that were flooding the field shouting their brains out. Harry found Hermione and Joseph there, flooding toward him with looks of glee.
“Harry, that was brilliant,” said Hermione as she embraced him, “I thought you were going to crash, you scared the daylights out of me. Are you all right?” she asked with concern. Harry laughed, “Yes, Hermione, I’m fine. Now you have to let go before my girlfriend gets jealous,” he said smiling. Hermione let go and Harry flowed through the mass of people to greet Joseph.
“Harry! That was brilliant! You flew just like your father did, even better!” said Joseph as Harry was carried away for a victory celebration. (AN-BIG CLUE THERE!)Harry shouted a thanks as he was hoisted onto the shoulders of the cheering Gryffindors. He went into the locker rooms to change, and felt a familiar tap on his shoulder. He turned around to find a clean Ginny, just out of the shower. Her face was glowing and her red hair was fell down to her shoulders. Her chocolate eyes were alive with happiness as Harry embraced her. He then pinned her up against the lockers and began to kiss her wildly.
“Oh, Harry, what’s gotten into you?” she asked moaning in delight as he kissed her all over.
“I’m just happy to see you, and your absolutely snoggable,” he said through kisses. She giggled.
“Come on stud, it’s time to get up to the common room, big party waiting no doubt,” she said. Harry finished getting cleaned up and walked up to the common room with his arm around Ginny’s waist. When they opened the portrait hole, the blast of sound that awaited them nearly knocked them off their feet. Harry walked in and was smothered with hugs and offers of butterbeer and food of all kinds. Parvati and Lavender asked for a dance with the handsome seeker (As there was music playing) but Ginny said she wouldn’t allow it until she was through with him. Harry winked at her as she said this and she winked back, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
They celebrated well into the night eating, laughing, and dancing. Lavender and Parvati got their wish as Ginny danced with Dean and Seamus. Finally, at one in the morning, Harry decided it was time to turn in. He and Ginny kissed furtively at his bedroom door and they said good night to each other. Harry laid down in his bed in exhaustion and fell asleep almost immediately.
WHAM!!! Harry and his bed were knocked sideways as a crash sounded throughout the dormitory. He felt as if an earthquake had struck the entire place. His head was ringing, head was splitting, and he was coughing from all of the dust and rock that had been knocked about. Harry got up slowly to find something had smashed through his window knocking glass and even parts of the stonewall away. Harry brushed away the smoke.
“Joseph, you all right,” he shouted.
“Yea, I’m fine,” replied Joseph coughing out smoke.
“A bit of stone hit my arm, a little bruised, but I’m good,” said Ron through clenched teeth, obviously trying to hold back pain.
“Dean, Seamus?” shouted Harry.
“Yea, we’re ok,” they replied coughing out the dust. Harry got up and looked at the gaping hole in his wall. He looked out and saw a hooded figure on a broomstick shooting off towards the forest.
“SOMEONE’S OUT THERE!” shouted Harry. He immediately grabbed his wand and broomstick from his bedside to chase after the hooded figure. He heard shouts of protest from the other four, but he didn’t hear it. His ears were filled with rage. Voldermort was after him again, and this time had hurt one of his friends. He’d pay this time. Harry saw the cloaked figure about a hundred yards or so in front of him. Harry accelerated after him, he was closing in. The figure shot off over the forbidden forest and Harry followed, not thinking of what he was doing. Harry was fifty yards now…the cold night was piercing his skin and making his eyes water…forty yards…his knuckles grew white from gripping the broomstick to hard…thirty yards…he might be able to hit him with a spell now…fifteen yards…Harry pulled out his wand.
“Stupefy!” he shouted as a red beam shout out the end of his wand and hit the target square in the back. His broom immediately slowed and Harry nearly overshot the man. The cloaked figure fell off his broom and Harry caught him. He began to head back into the castle until…WHAM! Harry was knocked off his broom and fell into the trees of the forbidden forest. He hid the ground with a hard thud and felt for the second time that night as if his head might split in two. He looked up and noticed that his broom was lying not twenty feet from him, if he could only reach it.
“Accio Firebolt!” shouted Harry, and the broom came shooting toward him. He was ready to mount it until-
“Hold it right there, Potter!” shouted a voice. Harry knew that voice. He turned to see Macnair, Lestrange, and Nott standing there before him.
“One move, Potter, and you’ll wish you had never been born, now drop the broom and your wand,” said Macnair from behind his cloak. Harry was cornered. He was foolish to come after the Death Eater on the broomstick, he should have known it was a setup. How could he have been so stupid. But then an idea struck him. He held up his arms as if to surrender and shot red sparks into the air with his wand, hoping someone would come find him. Unfortunately, MacNair noticed.
“Crucio!” he shouted. But Harry was ready.
“Reflecto!” he shouted and the spell bounced back at Macnair who began to twitch and shout horribly on the ground. Harry saw a look of surprise on Bellatrix’s face and anger surged from within him.
“Crucio!” shouted Harry at Bellatrix. She twitched and screamed along with Macnair. Nott was left standing and charged at Harry.
“Impedimentia!” shouted Harry and Nott was knocked back. Macnair was recover from his pain and reached for his wand.
“Stupefy!” shouted Harry, and Macnair went out cold. Bellatrix was stirring, but was faster this time as she grabbed her wand. She shouted the Jelly-Legs curse at Harry, but he dove behind a tree to dodge it.
“Oh, Potty wee Potty, come out, come out,” said Lestrange in that childish voice that Harry had grown to hate. “Come out and die like your worthless godfather did,” she said more menacingly this time. That struck a nerve. Harry became overcome with anger and came out from behind a tree but once again, Bellatrix was too quick.
“Slesazo!” she shouted. Harry nearly dodged it, but the spell grazed across his midsection, cutting a gash into his side. Harry shouted with pain. Nott picked up his wand and was ready to attack now.
“Expelliramus!” he shouted. And Harry’s wand shot out of his and to his side ten feet. He bent his head down in defeat and slammed the ground. Bellatrix and Nott were laughing at him.
“You put up a good fight, Potter,” said Nott, “but not nearly good enough. Crucio!” he shouted. Harry felt pain beyond pain. Pain like he had never felt before. His nerves were aflame, his bones ached all over, his skin felt like electricity was running through it. Harry shouted like he had never shouted before. Then, it all stopped, and Harry lay panting in pain and exhaustion on the ground. Nott and Bellatrix were still laughing and speaking to Harry, but he was into much pain to listen. He saw his wand but ten feet away, if only he could grab it.
“Come along Potter, Lord Voldemort wishes to-“ began Nott. But Harry never figured out what Lord Voldemort wanted for someone had knocked out Nott from the trees above. Bellatrix was pointed her wand in the direction the spell came from, but Harry had charged at her and tackled her with all the strength he could muster. She fell to the ground and her wand fell to the side. She began to claw at his face, scratching him several times. Harry lifted up his fists and slammed them into her face as hard as he could. All the anger that he had welled up from her killing Sirius was let out.
Then he heard a familiar voice.
“Harry, move!” shouted Ron’s voice from the trees. Harry didn’t need telling twice. He hopped off Lestrange as Ron shot another stupefying curse. Bellatrix when out cold. Harry lay there panting on all fours as three Death Eaters lay knocked out in front of him.
“Accio wand,” he murmured. And to Harry’s surprise, his wand shot into his hand. He had just done wandless magic. No need to marvel now, he had to get these three back to Dumbledore.
“Accio Firebolt!” he shouted, and his broomstick flew into his hands. Ron and Hermione then landed beside Harry on his Comet Two-Sixty. They had looks mixed with worry and anger on their faces. For a moment, they just stared at each other and then Hermione spoke.
“Harry, how could you be so foolish!” she began with a tear-strained voice, “Going after a Death
Eater in the middle of the night. You should have known it was a trap, what’s wrong with you!” she shouted obviously upset that he could be so stupid but relieved to see he was alright.
“I-just, wasn’t thinking,” he replied through panted breath.
“Yea, well, think next time mate, you gave us a scare,” said Ron shakily. Hermione had tears
flowing down her cheeks and then embraced Harry.
“Whoa-er-Hermione, I’m fine,” said Harry shocked. Hermione cried into his shoulders.
“I know, I’m just glad you’re alright. When Ron said you went after him, I thought you’d be…well…let’s just get these three back to the castle,” she finished, motioning to the bodies behind them.
“There was one other that I had, but when I fell off my broom he flew into the woods,” said Harry. “I think he may be over there,” Harry motioned to the woods where his Firebolt originally landed. Harry, Ron, and Hermione looked and found the Death Eater in a bush about ten feet away.
“Well, let’s round ‘em up,” said Ron.
Hermione conjured up a spell for ropes to tie up their hands and feet and then did the mobilcorpus spell making the bodies float on invisible stretchers. Harry each of the prisoners to his and Ron’s brooms so they could fly back. Harry had two of the Death Eaters tied to his broom and Ron had two tied to his. The trip back seemed shorter and in now time it felt as if they were in front of the stone gargoyle
“Rubber duck,” said Hermione. Harry shot her a curious look. She shrugged, “Prefects know the password,” she said simply. The three of them hurried up into Dumbledore’s office to find most of the staff already there. Dumbledore sat at his desk looking very grave. Around him were situated Cornelius Fudge, Snape, Professor Tofty, Mr. Weasley, Kingsley, and Lupin.
“Harry, Ron, Hermione, oh Merlin’s beard, thank heavens your safe,” shouted Mr. Weasley. His look of extreme worry changed to slight relief when they showed up.
The other six peoples faces also lightened up considerably when they entered the office. Dumbledore smiled a weak smile. After Mr. Weasley was finished hugging the three of them they presented the Death Eaters.
“We brought them back,” said Harry wearily, “thought they might be of some help.” The group of adults just stared, half of them with there mouths open.
“Merlin’s beard Harry,” said Fudge breaking the silence, “how did you…” But Harry cut him off and immediately dove into the story of what happened, with aid from Ron and Hermione. About how he foolishly went after the first Death Eater, how he shot up the sparks, how he dueled, and how Ron and Hermione saved him. After he was finished, there was an uncomfortable silence. Then Dumbledore spoke.
“Considering tonight’s events, I believe you three should head down to the hospital wing. Harry, you have done a brave thing, foolish, but brave, by pursuing and capturing these Death Eaters. You must be more careful in the future. Voldemort will go to any means to capture and kill you. You shall all be awarded fifty points for Gryffindor, thought I don’t know whether that is wise, for I do not want to be reinforcing this behavior,” said Dumbledore. He had a rather grave look on his face but looked relieved to see them healthy. Harry had lost his voice for a moment and then spoke.
“Yes Professor, I’ll try and be-er-smarter in the future,” said Harry wearily, but he meant it. Harry didn’t want to disappoint Dumbledore.
“Very well, head to the hospital wing and get some rest,” finished Dumbledore.
“I expect you’ll receive Order of Merlin for this Harry,” said Fudge jovially, peering down at the bodies.
“Oh, I had help sir. If it weren’t for these two, I might not be here,” Harry said motioning to Hermione and Ron who smiled weakly. Fudge clasped him on the back.
“Yes, for the three of you then, but I expect you’ll be needing your rest now. Get some sleep.” And with that, Harry, Ron, and Hermione descended the staircase exhausted. Ginny was waiting there for Harry, pacing back and forth. Tears had obviously dried on her face. When she saw Harry, she was so relieved it look like she might faint. She rushed up to him and jumped into his arms and began speaking through sobs.
“Oh, Harry! I was so worried when I heard what happened. I was afraid you might have been taken to V-Voldermort and killed or, or who knows what!” And with that, she rested her head on Harry’s shoulder and began to cry. She quickly changed her tone and began to scorn him through tears.
“But how could you be so stupid, Harry? And you three! How could you let him go, oh, I swear you’re all mad!,” she said through tears that were still flowing down her face. “Falling into an obvious trap, you had better be more—“ but Harry but a finger to her lips and looked her in her eyes.
“It’s okay Ginny, I’m fine, we’re all fine. You can relax,” he said soothingly. And with that he picked her up and carried her down to the hospital wing with Ron and Hermione. They were ushered into three beds (Ginny refused to let go of Harry, apparently she thought she’d lose him again if she did). Madame Pomfrey was scolding the four of them for doing such foolish things, chasing after Death Eaters, but she too was fighting tears just as Ginny was. Harry lay back and rested his head on his pillow and wrapped his arm around Ginny. He pulled the blankets up over them and immediately dozed off.
Off in the Gryffindor fifth year dormitories sat Joseph Cold, pale and white, shaking in his bed. Wondering what would have happened if Harry or Ron or Hermione had been hurt. He had to try harder from now on. He couldn't fail.