"Point your wand at the padlock and say alohomora," Flitwick demonstrated. There was a small clicking noise as a small padlock opened in the teacher’s hand. Tom let out a deep sigh. This class period was another hour of review and it was passing all too slow for his taste.
Tom watched as Scott attempted the spell, " Alahomora." Scott said as the spell did nothing. He furrowed his eyebrows and tried again, "Alahomora." Again nothing happened. Tom smiled slightly to himself. Scott always cast his spells in a commanding way. He couldn’t expect it to work if he was ordering his wand around. Magic was a natural thing, it needed to be coaxed not demanded. It was almost humorous as Scott sat there yelling spells at stationary objects.
Tom turned his attention from his struggling friend and gazed around the class room. Hermione Granger had her lock open already as did Harry and Ron. She must have taught the other two the spell before, because it was rare Weasley got things right on his first try.
Scott glanced up at his friend’s smirk, "Why don't you try?" he said with a huff. Scott wasn't very adept at Charms and Defense Against Arts.
"Alohomora," Tom said pointing his at the padlock, it clicked open immediately. Scott frowned at the lock.
"Doesn't count you cheat," Scott said looking hurt.
Tom raised his eyebrow," I cheat?"
"Yeah you do. Knowing all this stuff in advanced is cheating. If you had to learn it from scratch you would be frustrated to," Scott said indignantly.
Tom nodded towards Hermione and company, "Struggling like Ron and Harry?" He left out Granger because Scoot would accuse her of cheating because she read ahead.
Scott grimaced as he saw the other boys' success. He went back to trying the spell many more times. Eventually he got the thing to start sparking up when he cast the spell. Tom was waiting for the thing to combust into flames. Unfortunately the class ended before things started catching on fire. The boys got up, Scott with the padlock still in hand, and left the room. Next the Gryffindor first years had potions and the group was more or less walking to the dungeons together.
"Hey Potter I hear you Granger and Weasley got caught after hours. Lost us one hundred and fifty points, nice going," a voice called from another level of the stair case as the group made their way down.
"You lost us how many points?" Dean Thomas asked shocked.
"I think Lee just said one hundred and fifty," Seamus Finnegan supplied for Dean.
"What did you do?" Scott asked. Tom glanced at Scott; it was rare that they all talked in a group like this.
"We got caught after hours," Harry mumbled in reply.
"What were you doing after hours?" Lavander Brown asked in a squeaky high pitched voice.
"We were getting rid of a dragon," Ron muttered sarcastically. Hermione shot him a dangerous look and Ron shut up. Tom's eyes darted up at Ron, did he just say dragon? Tom thought back to the large round object that Quirrell had gotten in the woods. Snape had said he thought that was a dragon egg. He also said that the point was to figure out how to get passed some dog.
"A dragon?" Tom asked seriously.
"Oh Ronald is just kidding," Hermione responded nervously, she was a really bad liar. Tom nodded and left it at that. He had to assume that if they had to get rid of a dragon then Hagrid must have been in possession of the dragon at some point. He knew the three were close with the games keeper and he wouldn't be surprised if he had confided in the three. That meant that he had let it slip how to get passed this mysterious dog to Quirrell. Tom made a mental note to say something to Snape after class.
They were learning how to brew Drought of the Living Dead that day in Potions class. Tom knew how to do it already, and sat there bored as Scott made the potion. He had offered to help but Scott claimed that it would be cheating if he received help from Tom.
Scott squinted at the book taking a sopophorus bean and trying to cut it in half unsuccessfully. There was the sound of a slap on the back of Scott's head. Tom glanced up to see Snape holding a book with which he just whacked Scott with.
"When cutting things it would be wise to hold it in place," Snape said with a sneer, it was implied that Scott was stupid for not knowing this already.
Tom jumped on the moment, "He knows," Tom said seriously, not at all talking about Scott. Snape's eyes darted over to Tom and narrowed. Tom returned his gazed. Snape's lip twitched a little as Tom saw understanding in the man's eyes. Quirrell knew how to get past the dog and now Snape.
"If Mr. McKnight knows so much then why is he so incompetent?" Snape replied in a sardonic manner. Tom turned playing out his part as the put out student.
The remaining days of the week were uneventful. Finals were approaching and it seemed teachers were intent on going on about them for legthy amounts of time. If they were as easy as classes had been this year, Tom would be able to pass them blind folded. Scott, however, was a different story.
"Urggggggg," Scott groaned, "Why does it have to be so hard."
Tom sighed," You are getting frustrated and moving your arm wrong. The trick to learning any spell is not to get frustrated and do it calmly every time."
Scott pointed his wand at the lock once again, "Alohomora," he said again, irritation heavy in his voice. The padlock's dial spun in a circle a few times before sputtering a bit and giving off the sound of a dying machine. Scott groaned again.
"You're not listening," Tom said wearily. He had been helping Scott with the spell for three hours now, it was well past bed time, and he was getting a bit tired, "Watch me do it. Alohomora."
The hooked part of the lock made a clicking sound as it released and opened obediently for Tom. Scott put his hands on his face, "God I'm going to fail final exams this year."
Tom shrugged, "You're not that bad you're probably just a bit tired," he lied. The reality was that Scott was just that bad, but Tom wasn't going to say anything about it. No need to make Scott feel any more nervous about the approaching finals.
"Flitwick said that we needed to know this spell for the test. I've been working on it for a week now and I still don't have it. I'm going to fail," Scott moaned. The boy eye lids looked extremely heavy under his thick glasses which sat crooked on his nose completing his tired look.
"You have some time," Tom said trying to be comforting, though he was never a really sentimental person.
"Easy for you to say, you know enough to get you through N.E.W.T.S. already," Scott shot back sourly.
Tom shrugged and returned the padlock into the locked position, "Try the spell again."
Scott groaned and pointed the wand at the thing again, "Alohomora." The lock sparked a little retaining its closed position. Scott groaned again and chucked the lock at a chair on the other side of the room.
"I give up," he declared, "I will just fail charms class this year."
Tom didn't argue with his friend mainly because he wanted to get some sleep that night.
"I'm fine Hermione really," a voice said coming from the common room entrance. Tom looked up to see Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom walking in.
"What are you guys doing out again," Scott asked. He sounded annoyed, but Tom knew it was probably more because he couldn't cast the spell than, because Harry had probably just lost their house more points from wandering the halls at night.
"We had detention," Harry replied sounding a bit put out. Tom didn't blame him. A lot of people were giving Harry a lot of crap lately about his late night outings. Hermione was looking at Harry worried.
"What happened?" Tom asked. He had no expectation that they would actually answer him, he simply wanted to see what they would say.
Harry shifted uncomfortably, "Nothing really. I just saw something and my scar had a bad reaction."
Tom raised his eyebrow," Your scar?"
Harry nodded," Yeah some kind of hooded figure. I think it was you-know-who."
Tom paused, a hooded figure in the woods that was suspected to be Voldemort. He was having some déjà vu. Only last time there was also a Quirrell, a third person, and a suspected dragon egg.
"We don't know it was him," Hermione said. Tom looked up she was analyzing his face. He realized that he probably looked like he didn't belief the two because she looked quite convinced that Harry was telling the truth.
"No I believe you," Tom replied. Scott glanced over at Tom. Scott was probably going to get all worked up now that he knew Tom believed in Harry's words.
"You do?" Harry asked looking surprised.
Tom nodded thinking of his dark mark, "Yeah I mean it would make sense that your scar had a reaction to him. He gave it to you anyway."
Harry nodded still looking slightly shocked that Tom had taken his word for it. "We should probably call it a night," Scott said with a big yawn. Tom nodded and the group went upstairs for bed. Quirrell definitely possessed the knowledge to get this stone now. It would only be a matter of time before he went to actually retrieve it. He was working with Voldemort though so he must be planning to do it at a time with the ideal chance to succeed. All Tom had to do now was wait and predict when Quirrell was going to move. Then he could intercept him and stop him. Tom lay down and started to fall asleep. It wouldn't be long now before he could go out and really give his magical ability a good stretch. He smiled a little to himself; hopefully he wouldn't be too rusty from all of this beginners stuff.