Harry hurriedly straightened his schoolbooks, and gathered the stack in his arms as the bell sounded. Sliding off the bench he had been sitting on, the young elf waved to his professor and dashed out of the classroom, with his two comrades at his heels. The young man’s mind was busying digesting the impact of the two-hour period he had spent in his relation’s classroom. The lad grinned as he ran his fingers through his hair: for Elrond was almost like a Gryffindor Snape, and merely thinking about his relative caused him to be in high spirits.
“I like Elrond as a professor, don’t you?” Ron queried, contemplatively.
“Aye,” Harry agreed, “He is kind of like a Gryffindor version of Snape, isn’t he?”
“Is that not good?” Ron doubted.
“Harry just wants to ensure that our classmates will receive proper Defense Against the Arts training. The Head Boy is merely minding his duty to his family and school.” Hermione explained.
“Well, I personally believe you have nothing to worry about, Harry.” Ron began, “Your Cousin Elrond is an extremely qualified teacher, you should be ashamed of yourself.”
“Since when did you start lecturing me, Ronald?” Harry asked, jokingly causing the three chums to burst out in laughter, simultaneously. The trio soon ceased their jokes however, for they came upon Celeborn who ushered them into their Potions class. The three mates scurried up the aisle alongside their classmates, and slipped into three front seats. On the contrary, Celeborn proceeded up the aisle to his desk, and began to address the class.
“Good morning, class. I am Professor Celeborn, your new Potions Master.” Celeborn started, clearing his throat. Now, I understand that last year, Professor Slughorn introduced your class to Felix Felicis, yes? Well, this year I’m going see if you have ability to brew this potion. If you are successful… you may use your potion during an exam, which will take place in two weeks.” Whereupon, immediately after Celeborn finished speaking, the room exploded with excited chatter.
“Whoa, the test is going to be a freebee!”
“Do you think I’ll be able to brew the potion?”
“SILENCE!!!!” Celeborn had an extremely stern look on his face as he reprimanded the class and continued the lesson. “Who can name the primary ingredient in the potion, Felix Felicis?”
Harry shifted in his seat with his hand up, as his uncle stared around the room, waiting to see if any of the other students would raise their hands. Predictably, Hermione was the only other student, and Harry flashed her a smile of encouragement. Meanwhile, heaving a sigh, Elrond called on the female elf.
“The main ingredient in Felix Felicis is the residue of a plant called starlight. The magical starlight is an aquatic plant, which only grows in the waters of the Black Sea. My housemate, Neville Longbottom, received an opportunity to travel to the Black Sea this past summer, and he was able bring home samples of starlight for Professor Sprout.”
“Excellent answer, Hermione; ten points to Gryffindor.” Celeborn smiled at the Head Girl, prompting Malfoy to roll his eyes and make a rude hand gesture. “I saw that, Malfoy, ten points from Slytherin.”
“But… but Professor…”
“That’s it, Malfoy!” Celeborn came to stand at the sneering boy’s desk, in an instant. “A respectable student does not provoke his Head Girl, and neither does one backtalk his teacher. Be in my office at seven-thirty, tonight, for detention.”
“I usually eat my supper at seven-thirty, sir.”
“Well… you can either eat at six-thirty like most of your classmates, or you can go without supper, this evening.” Celeborn proposed, staring impassively at the young Death Eater. Now, get to work, all of you. I expect your potions to be finished at the end of the hour.”
After watching his uncle rebuke Malfoy, Harry set out his supplies and used his wand to light a fire under his cauldron. Flipping through his seventh year Potions textbook, Harry found the instructions for brewing Felix Felicis, began to methodically chop the necessary ingredients, and cautiously deposited them in his scalding cauldron. The minutes slowly passed as the elf gripped a long-handled spoon, and stirred his golden concoction. Finally, as the hour’s end approached, the raven-haired lad filled a glass vial with his potion, and gave it to Celeborn before going to lunch with his mates.
“So…” Harry began, cutting his chicken breast. “How were your first three classes, Ginny?”
“Well, Binns’ class is definitely not my favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.”
“Nobody likes History of Magic.” Ron agreed, “Except for Hermione, that is.”
“I do not like History of Magic, Ronald.” Hermione corrected. “Oh…maybe I do like it, but only ever so slightly.”
“Ever so slightly… yeah right.” Harry laughed, playfully before glimpsing something unusual out of the corner of his eye. “Isn’t Malfoy’s eagle owl?” This tidbit of news sparked much interest in all of four of the elf’s chums: for Narcissa had already sent her son a care package that very morning. And as a result, all four friends were soon straining their eyes to see what the owl had brought this time. Harry especially was growing more perturbed by the second.
“The owl is coming our way!” Ron said, animatedly. “Oh! And, it is only carrying a slip of parchment! I wonder whom the paper is for!” The redhead was so wrapped up in the prospect of adventure and mystery; he didn’t notice his friends were unresponsive.
Harry had lapsed into one of his deep reveries, and his elven senses enabled him to know…. Yes, he knew who had sent the note, he knew whom it was for, and he had even had a fair notion as to what the letter was about. Too soon, however the boy was drawn from his personal thoughts, by a sharp nudge in his mind.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Hermione asked, mentally.
“Yeah, it is he.”
“We will find out soon enough.”
With a loud hoot, the magnificent eagle owl descended upon the table, dropping the letter in Ginny’s outstretched hands, before taking flight once more. For a moment, the slight girl could only stare dumbstruck at the neatly folded parchment… and then still stuck in a stupor, the female elf unfolded it with trembling fingers. Scanning the note quickly, Ginny’s eyes moved to and fro as she absorbed the information, it contained. At last, the child tore her eyes away from the grubby scrap of vellum, and began to speak.
“It’s from my ‘father’.” The elfling stated. Whereupon, Ginny mutely passed the note to Harry who quickly read it, before passing it to his fiancée, who in turn passed the paper to Ron. This is what was scribbled upon the yellowed parchment:
The Dark Lord wants to receive your monthly report on Potter and the so-called resistance, in person. Your brother shall be waiting to escort you to the Riddle House, outside of the Gryffindor common room at ten o’clock pm on Saturday. I am counting on you to be there, and to deliver a satisfactory account. Do not forget or you will surely suffer the consequences.
P.S. Your mother conveys her warm affections.’
The four friends sat in silence after having read the short, penned note; each of them lost in their own thoughts. Harry sat with a slouched back; running his long, gangly fingers through his mussed mop of jet-black hair: thinking.
“ The goblet will have to be taken care of sooner or later.” The boy said, “Not now, but soon. Yes, first we must begin searching for another horcrux.”
“Something of Gryffindor’s or Ravenclaw’s.” Hermione elaborated, twirling a lock of her wavy, chestnut hair. “Merlin… why didn’t I think of it before? The fifth horcrux, the one Harry has to find…. It has to be an elven object because Gryffindor and Ravenclaw were elves!”
“Of course!” Harry exclaimed fingering the silver mithril links, which composed his bracelet. “Mione, you’re a genius! We know it has to be something other than my bracelet and blades, so all we have to do is go ask Father Godric and Mother Rowena about other important elven objects, which were once in their possession.”
“When are you going to ask your grandmother about the whereabouts of the Hall?” Ginny inquired, curiously.
“Soon.” Harry answered simply.
“Wait…” Ron intervened “Wouldn’t the Malfoys know that we rescued Ginny; when they see the empty prison?”
“Actually, Ron.” Harry explained. “The prison isn’t empty, you see before I left Lucius’ office, I transfigured a handkerchief into a dead redheaded girl. I also made the situation appear as if she had hit her head on the concrete floor. The Death Eaters, and Voldemort will all believe Ginny Weasley died in an accident.”
“Harry!” Hermione shouted in her mind, kissing him. “You are brilliant!”
“I will never be as amazing as you, my love.” The elf responded, with a kiss of his. Thereafter, the three seventh years departed to Transfiguration, and their younger counterpart went on her way to Charms.