“The day has come!” Dumbledore announced, standing outside my door in one of his particularly irritating ways.
“What day has come?” I asked with venom, still in my nightgown. It must have been four in the morning.
“The final piece—the final enchantment—the final…touch.”
I just glared at him.
“The mirror,” he said eventually with exasperation, as if it had been so obvious. “We’re going to put the Mirror of Erised in with the Philosopher’s Stone before everyone wakes up!”
He gave me a perky smile that I longed to wipe the floor with.
Instead I searched for my less-fluffy slippers and trundled out after him into the dark hallway. Dumbledore didn’t always seem like a sharp tack, but I had been at the wrong end of his Ear-Hair Jinx enough times to know not to argue.
We found the empty classroom that held the Mirror of Erised. Dumbledore hadn’t been exactly prompt about moving it.
Dumbledore bent over it and began to tug at its base.
“Alright, Severus, just get ‘round the other side and we’ll hoist it on the count of three.”
I stayed where I was.
He gave a great pull, and though the mirror didn't budge, he did manage to fall over backwards and knock his glasses askew.
“Ahem,” I said, “Wouldn’t it be more expedient to use magic, sir?”
He stared at the mirror a bit like it had betrayed him and then said, “Clever, dear Severus! Just the reason I brought you!”
He took out his wand and levitated the mirror. We began to walk, and I followed him, making sure that he kept the mirror level. For some reason he liked to pretend that he and the mirror were having a dance as we walked, and I had to check him many times to keep him from smashing the thing into a wall.
“I think Quirrel is trying to steal the Philosopher’s Stone,” I said conversationally, more to distract him from his dance than anything.
“Ahhhh yessssss. Well, wellllll,” he said. Which was so unhelpful I almost imploded.
“Well, what do you think of that?” I asked.
“Quite, quite,” he said serenely.
“Do you think he’s trying to steal the Stone?”
“Well, is he or isn’t he?”
“Perhaps.” He nodded wisely. “Relatively. Quite.”
Dumbledore was the master of uncertainties, and I acknowledged myself outwitted.
“Alright, have it your way,” I said.
I sighed. “Let’s not talk anymore. You’re shortening my life.”
We kept walking.
Finally he stopped, smack in the middle of the Entrance Hall.
“Headmaster?” I said, “Shouldn’t we be going to the third floor? Past the beast and all?”
He chuckled, “Ah, no. How inefficient and silly. Follow me.”
He proceeded to a regular-looking door just left of the main staircase. He opened the door and levitated the Mirror through (with difficulty, since apparently it had to waltz through with him) and then we entered. The room was empty but for a little red light sitting on the floor right in the center—or—could it be—?
“Dumbledore? Is that…the Philosopher’s Stone? Right there?”
“But of course. Where did you think we were going?” He peered at me as if I were a bit dim.
“But—don’t you think—are you—but you…”
“Won’t you help me with this, Severus?” he said, ignoring my flabbergastation.
I dazedly helped him place the Mirror in the exact center of the room, and stared at him as he picked up the red stone and performed a few incantations on it and the mirror. He performed one last spell and the Mirror sort of absorbed the Stone into its glassy face.
“Come,” said Dumbledore, and we left the room together.
“Er…I don’t know how to ask this,” I began, “But…don’t you think it’s a bit…dangerous? Couldn’t anyone just walk in there and take the Stone? I mean, what’s the point of all those enchantments on the third floor if you can just—“
“Ah,” the old man interrupted, staring at me, “Quite.”
I must have made my About-To-KILL-You Face because he quickly continued:
“Don’t worry, Severus,” he said, “No one will find it. It’s too obvious.”
“Right,” I said, twitching a bit, “And one last question. Why did you need me for all this if all you had to do was open a dumb door?”
“Oh,” he said, “I enjoyed the company. So kind of you to offer.” Though of course we both knew I had done anything but offer.
He grinned at me and sort of zig-zagged up the stairs towards his office.
I stood there for a minute and then turned around to look at that door. Was he joking? Was a panel of wood all that really protected the Philosopher’s Stone? And in the middle of the Entrance Hall?
I tried the knob on the door. It was unlocked, just as I had suspected. This was total madness. I magically locked it for good measure, and went back to bed. It wasn’t my problem if it was stolen, after all. I was just in this to annoy Quirrel. And Quirrel, after all, was probably too dimwitted to find a door anyway. He’d probably just smack right into the frame and be done with it.
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