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Common Interests by Snapegirl
Chapter 27 : Awakening
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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27

 

Awakening

 

Irma Pince slowly returned to consciousness, aware that something terrible had happened, but not remembering what it was.  It nagged at her, the missing memories, and she carefully used an old memory trick to retrace her steps in her mind, starting with the last thing she could recall, which was going to investigate a noise coming from the library.  And what happened after that? she wondered.  Something had happened, something that her mind refused to think upon, but Irma was not the sort to shy away from bad things happening.  She sensed it, just below the surface, and she probed gently.  She couldn’t afford to hide whatever it was from herself.  She coaxed herself to remember, using the ancient techniques espoused by the Society.  Because knowledge was their primary goal, those of the Society were trained in how to remember things verbatim and also photographically. 

Irma called upon those abilities now and suddenly she recalled what she wished forever erased from her mind—Pippin lying upon the table, mutilated and destroyed. A deliberate act of murder, directed at her. Then, before she could call for Lena, someone had hit her on the back of the head.  She opened her eyes.  “Dearest Cerridwen have mercy!” she cried. 

“Aunt Irma, you’re awake!” Lena exclaimed, her eyes lighting up.  “Do you . . . know who I am? Who you are?” Her eyes flooded with tears as she saw the light of recognition in her aunt’s face.

“Oh, Lena, my poor owl!” Irma wept, and Lena reached out to draw her into a loving embrace.

“I know. I’m so sorry!” Lena said, rubbing the older witch’s back, tears sliding down her cheeks.  “I heard you screaming in my head, but when I got there, you were lying on the floor and you’ve been in a coma ever since.”

The two Ravenclaws clung to each other, crying softly for what had been lost and also what had been regained.  Above them, a silent monitoring charm sounded, letting the Healer on call know that their patient was, at long last, awake.

After a short while, Irma pulled back and asked softly,  “Did you find who did that to my poor Pippin?”

Lena shook her head regretfully.  “No, I wish I had.  But whoever was sick enough to commit such an atrocity was gone before I found you. I was hoping that you . . . had seen who had done it.”

“No. When I entered the library, he was lying there . . . like that.  I believe who ever did it came up behind me and hit me.”

“But why? What purpose did it serve, to hurt Pippin and then you?”

“I think it may have been a warning of some sort.” Irma frowned, then stopped talking as a young Healer entered, a smile upon his face.

“Hello. My name is Healer Gordon, Irma.” He introduced himself.  “Welcome back.” He ran his wand over her, casting a standard diagnostic.  “Your vital signs are good, but I’ll need to ask you a few questions to test your memory.”

“My memory is as good as ever, young man, I assure you,” Irma told him firmly.  “Nevertheless, I shall let you do your job.  Ask away.”

The Healer began asking a standard battery of questions, starting with the usual name, age, occupation, and address.

Irma answered them all precisely, he recorded the answers on his clipboard, then asked more difficult ones.  To his delight, the librarian responded promptly and coherently.

“Well, it would seem you’ve suffered little to no memory loss, Madam Pince. I am going to recommend you be discharged in a few hours, as soon as Healer Mordecai arrives, since he’s the senior Healer assigned to your case,” said Healer Gordon, and then he left them alone.

Lena was so happy she was almost jumping up and down.  “Oh, thank Merlin! I was so afraid that you wouldn’t . . . come back to me. I’ve been praying and hoping . . . Mum sent a basket of your favorite spreads and jams and crumpets and muffins, and Dad sent some crazy singing flowers . . .”

“Singing flowers?” exclaimed Irma.

“They’re plastic, not real, and they run on batteries,” Lena giggled.  “They’re silly but cute.” She picked up a plastic pot with some pink and red carnations and pushed a small button on the side.  The flowers began to bob up and down and a voice sang “Get Well Soon, We Miss You.”

They brought a smile to Irma’s face.  “Your dad’s a sweetheart, Lena. I shall have to write and thank him and Morgana too.  How are things with the library?”

“As well as can be expected. We—Severus and I—cleaned up the mess and later on Severus and Skullduggery buried Pippin.  Skull even called a Raven Guide to lead Pippin down the Gray Road.”

Irma wiped her eyes again. The loss of her familiar cut her deeply and it would be a long time before she recovered from the shock of losing her faithful companion.  “How kind of them.  How long was I asleep?”

“Over a week,” Lena said.  She gestured to a table filled with cards and small gifts.  “Several of the students sent these for you.” She picked up a shiny leather book.  “This one is from Harry Potter.”

Irma took the book, it was a copy of the classic Rudyard Kipling book, Just So Stories. There was a short note which read:

Dear Madam Pince,

Please get well soon, I miss seeing you in the library. When you wake up, I hope you’ll read this book, it’s an old Muggle classic that Professor Snape suggested.  I especially like the story of How the Alphabet Was Made.

Your friend,

Harry Potter.  

“What a thoughtful and sweet child!” Irma said.  She loved books of any kind, and this one was new to her, as she didn’t get many Muggle books.

Severus entered the hospital room at that precise moment, and upon seeing the book in Irma’s hands, felt his heart start to crumble to pieces with anguish.  “I . . . hope I’m not interrupting,” he began, trying to regain his composure.  It was not easy.

“Severus!” Lena cried, running over to hug him.  “Look! Aunt Irma’s finally awake!” she sounded like an excited schoolgirl.  “Isn’t it wonderful?”

Severus made himself smile quietly.  He was glad that Irma was awake, for the librarian was his good friend, and this would have been cause for a celebration, if only Harry were not missing.  But the boy’s absence dimmed any joy Severus felt.  “It’s good you’re back, Irma.”

Lena stiffened, her uncanny intuition telling her something was wrong.  She gently drew away from Severus and looked at him sharply.  “Something’s happened.  Severus, what’s going on?”

He arched an eyebrow.  “What makes you say that?”

“I just know.  You’re upset, I can tell. Without reading your mind.  Where’s Skull? And Harry? Last time we spoke, you promised to bring him.”

Severus silently cursed the Ravenclaw’s uncanny perception.  But he couldn’t deny it, she was right.  And he needed their help.  “Skullduggery is away, paying off the debt he owes Thunderbird.  And Harry . . . Harry has gone missing in the Forbidden Forest.”

 

Page~*~*~*~*~Break

 

Fred and George had to grab breakfast on the run, they were late getting to the hall because they were brewing an experimental licorice whip in dungeon number three, which Snape had told them they could use that morning.  “But mind you, if you twist your tongue into knots with this experiment, boys, don’t come crying to me to fix you.  You’re old enough to take the consequences of your own actions.  So if I were you, I’d make sure you had a counterdraft ready in case something goes wrong,” he warned. 

The twins were clever potion makers, and usually did not expect him to get them out of their own messes. Although one time they had almost poisoned themselves and Skullduggery had fetched him; he’d had to give both youngsters a strong purgative, and kept watch over them for several hours until the misbrewed potion had worked its way out of their systems, then sent them to the Hospital Wing.  The memory of that incident still made them blush, but they also were grateful to their potions professor for saving them and keeping his silence.  Ever since then, he had made them promise to let him know when they were experimenting, so he could check on them when necessary. 

But this time they hadn’t needed supervision, the licorice adders, candy that made you hiss like a snake for ten minutes, had turned out well.  Only it made them late for breakfast, and they had only time to slip a muffin into their pockets before heading off to class.  They noticed that everyone, especially McGonagall, seemed strangely subdued that afternoon. 

“What’s wrong with everyone today, twin?” asked Fred.

“I don’t know. Maybe somebody died? Like the Minister’s Undersecretary?” answered George.

“Umbridge? Then we’d be having a party, George. Everyone hates her,” Fred disagreed.

Shrugging, they went to get changed for Quidditch practice.

Once on the pitch, they noticed Wood wringing his hands and looking extremely tense.  Since Wood usually got worked up at practices, they thought nothing of it until everyone except Harry was there.  George frowned. “Hey, Wood, where’s our shooting star Seeker?”

“Harry’s late, and that’s not like him,” Fred remarked.  “Is he sick again?”

“No, he’s missing,” growled Oliver.  “Where you this morning that you missed the big announcement?”

“We were experimenting,” George said.

“You should see our—”

“—licorice adders!”

“Never mind the sweets!” Oliver said irritably.  “Potter’s been missing since last night.”

“McGonagall gave all the firsties detention in the forest with Hagrid and something came and stole away Harry,” Alicia cried.

“Stole him away?” exclaimed the twins.

“That’s what Ron and Neville said,” Angelina told them.  “They were there when the vampire came after them.”

“Vampire?!”

“You can ask your brother about it later,” Oliver broke in with a sigh.  “Right now we’d better get practicing, before Slytherin comes.”

“But . . . we need a Seeker!” protested Fred, dismayed.

“You think I don’t know that, Weasley?” growled Oliver. 

“Who’s searching for Harry?” George demanded.  “Surely Dumbledore isn’t going to allow him to stay lost.”

“Or Snape, for that matter,” Fred added.  “Potter’s his ward now, and Snape practically had a coronary with the dragon stunt.  Ron said he was worse than the Pendragon mama.”

“Snape and McGonagall were out there last night searching and couldn’t find him,” Katie said.  “I hope he’s just hiding somewhere and isn’t hurt or . . . or eaten.”

All of them shivered.  Oliver scowled. “Okay, enough! We’re here to practice Quidditch not speculate on Potter dying.”  He released all the balls except for the Snitch into the air, then leaped on his broom and flew up to the goal rings.

It was a dismal practice, mostly because the team’s mind was not on their game, but their missing teammate.  Oliver called a halt after an hour, disgusted and upset.

While they had been flying, several other students had gathered to watch the practice, including some Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins.

Oliver landed on the ground, looking about to have a screaming fit.  “We’re going to have another practice the day after tomorrow and you had better play better than you did today, or else!”

“But Oliver, all of us are worried about Harry,” objected Katie.  “It’s hard to stay focused.”

Oliver threw up his hands. “What do you expect me to do about it? Conjure Potter out of thin air? I wish I could, then I wouldn’t be stuck wondering how the blazes we can still play in the game in a few days. Without a Seeker we’ll have to forfeit!”

“Why can’t you just get a new Seeker?” asked Craven, coming over to them.

“Why can’t we just get a new Seeker?” Oliver exploded.  “Because, Craven you jackass, Seekers like Potter don’t grow on trees!”

“Potter this and Potter that!” Craven mocked. “Personally, I say we’re well rid of the brat. Not only is he nothing but trouble, he’s a snake lover too. Gryffindor’s better off without him.”

Before any of the Quidditch team could protest, a quiet voice drawled behind them, “Looks like Gryffindors don’t practice what they preach, eh? Thought all you lions were loyal and true. One mistake and you’re ready to throw Potter to the wolves?”

They whirled around to see a tall Slytherin fifth year in Quidditch robes walking towards them.  It was Mark Tarrant.

“Not us, mate. Craven’s an ass,” George snapped, glaring at him.

“I’d have to agree,” sneered Tarrant.

“Who asked you, viper face?” Craven taunted.

Tarrant’s eyes narrowed. “If I were you, kid, I’d watch my mouth.  Before you get my fist in it. Didn’t your prefect ever teach you about House loyalty, you little rat?”

“Potter disgraced our House1” Craven snarled.  “Why should I stick up for him? He’s a two-faced little creep!”

Tarrant just shook his head.  “You don’t get it, do you? You Gryffindors like to boast about how proud you are to have Potter in your House, but when push comes to shove, you abandon him like a stray kitten. Now that’s disgraceful.”

“We haven’t!” Alicia cried.

“Why would you care anyhow, Tarrant?” Oliver demanded.

“I care because ever since Potter became the professor’s ward, it made him family. He’s Slytherin by adoption now, and we snakes look after our own—even if they are annoying little brats that get in trouble all the time, like Malfoy. Hell, even Malfoy straightened himself out now.”

Craven’s eyes bugged out. “You hear that?” he shrilled. “See? Potter’s a traitor! I was right!”

Oliver glared at the obnoxious third year.  “Shut it, Craven. You just like the sound of your own voice.”

But Craven ignored him, continuing to rant. “Potter’s a dirty snake-loving—ack!”  He choked as Tarrant grabbed him by the collar of his robes and lifted him off his feet.

“Listen, you slippery little piece of crap! I’m sick of you insulting my House.  Potter’s an honorary snake and there’s nothing wrong with that.  He’s no more a traitor than Dumbledore’s a dragon.  You keep your mouth off him, kid, or else I’m going to jam your foot so far down your throat it’ll come out your ass. Got me?”

“MMasdfthg!” Craven gasped.

Tarrant loosened his grip slightly.  “What was that?”

“Okay.  Okay!” the other boy gasped, red-faced. 

The Slytherin set him down. 

“Why didn’t any of you do something?” Craven whined.  “He could have killed me!”

 “That might have been a blessing,” Angelina snorted.

“It’s your own fault,” Oliver said sternly.

“You’re a complete jackass!” the twins chanted, their eyes gleaming.  Then they pointed their wands at their Housemate. 

Suddenly there was a blue flash and then everyone started pointing and howling with laughter. 

Craven turned about in circles, crying, “What is it? What did you two twits do to me?”

“Gave you exactly what you deserved,” chortled Tarrant. 

Craven now had a jackass’s face where his rear end used to be and a rump and a tail where his face used to be. 

Oliver snickered. “How long will that last?”

“Oh, quite awhile,” drawled George.  “But not forever, it’s not permanent.”

“Too bad,” said Angelina.  “I think it’s an improvement.”

Katie pulled out a mirror and showed the stricken boy what he looked like.

Craven started wailing. “No-o-o-o! I’m a jackass! Take it off!”

“Coward, it’s just an Illusion Charm!” Tarrant sneered.  “It’s not real, otherwise you’d have been dead.”

Craven ran off blubbering for McGonagall, and the rest of the Qudditch team just shook their heads. 

“I wonder if we could trade him?”mused Katie.

“Yeah, like for a new Nimbus,” Alicia remarked.

“I’d happily trade him for Potter,” Oliver sighed.

Tarrant snorted, clearly amused. “If you’re really concerned about Potter, why not join our Operation Potter Search?”

“What’s that?” asked the twins.

“It’s where some of my House, including myself, volunteered to go with Professor Snape into the forest and help search for Potter.  Professor will only let us come if we’re fifth year and over.”

The twins groaned. “Dungbeetles!  That leaves us out.  But not you, Oliver! Or Percy!”

Oliver nodded solemnly.  “I’ll help. And so will Percy, I’d wager.  I’ll ask around and see who else wants to join.” He felt slightly ashamed that Slytherins beat him in organizing a search party. 

“You do that, Wood.  If the professor doesn’t find Potter today, we decided we’ll go in with him tomorrow to help.  You can meet us down by the greenhouse, okay?”

“Sure.” Wood said, and started praying that Harry is found.

 

Page~*~*~*~*~Break

“Severus, that’s terrible!” Lena cried.  “How did it happen?”

Severus explained, starting with the ill-fated Pendragon incident and the detentions and punishments that followed.  “I don’t know if you were at the castle that night, Lena, when the Astronomy Tower nearly collapsed.”

“No. I was here, sleeping in the chair next to Aunt Irma,” she replied.  “And after hearing that crazy tale, I’m glad of it.  You must have been scared out of your mind, to see Harry like that. Not to mention furious.”

“I was.  I couldn’t believe he had risked himself like that.  I punished him as both teacher and parent.  I gave him detention over the weekend and I spanked him also.  Minerva took points and gave all of them a session with her dunce cap and detention as well. Only I didn’t know what the detention entailed until later on that night. Had I known, I would have argued against it.  Or gone with them.  By the time I found out from Draco and Neville, it was too late.”

Irma shook her head sadly.  “Have you searched for him using a Tracking Charm?”

Severus nodded.  “Minerva, Hagrid, and I went back out into the forest once the other children were safely inside the school.  We found nothing save his protective amulet lying on the ground next to his footprints.  Neville reported that there was a revenant feeding upon a unicorn before he and the youngest Weasley boy fled.  But there was no sign of it when we searched there.  Dumbledore and I went again in the morning to search, and he sent Fawkes out also.  None of our locator charms can get a fix on his signature.  Something very powerful is blocking them, a concealment charm of the highest order.”

Lena was thinking hard.  She wondered if the attack on Irma and Harry going missing were connected.  “Aunt Irma, I’m wondering if these two incidents are related.  When you came into the library and found Pippin, did you happen to notice if anything else was out of place or missing?”

Irma slowly shook her head. “No, I . . . I was so horrified that Pippin was . . . mangled that I . . . didn’t even think to look about.”

“Perhaps that’s what the intruder wished you to do,” Severus mused.  “Forgive me, Irma, but maybe the owl was killed as a distraction.”

“A distraction for what?” cried the librarian.

“For the intruder’s true target. I cannot help but feel that as terrible as Pippin’s death was, it was done to cover up the intruder’s true purpose. Irma, was there anything you have added recently to the library, anything old and rare, that would have peaked the interest of an intruder?”

“The only new books are the tomes in the Society of Ravens section, and they aren’t magical,” Lena interjected.

Abruptly, Irma sat up in bed, her hand groping for something about her neck.  “Lena! After I was unconscious, did you take my key to the Restricted Section?”

“No, I have my own. Why?”

“Because it’s gone! I had it around my neck that night, I never take it off.” Irma said agitatedly.  “Especially not when I . . . recently hid something in there for the Society.  A few days before, I received a parcel and a letter from the Ravenmistress, instructing me as senior archivist to keep safe a very valuable and ancient spellbook.  You see, there had been an attempt to rob the Vault of Ancient Texts, and the thief almost succeeded.  The Ravenmistress was concerned they would strike again, and so decided to split up the texts, sending a few to different locations. Those she chose to guard them were sworn to utmost secrecy.  I’m breaking my oath now because I fear the text in my possession has been stolen.”

“Aunt Irma, who else knew of the text being at Hogwarts besides the Ravenmistress?” Lena inquired gently. 

“No one. Even the Ravenmistress was not given the particulars, Lena. I told no one, not even you or Dumbledore.”

“Could the thief have stolen your key to look for another book in the section?” Severus asked.

“Possibly.  But somehow I doubt it.  I fear it has gone missing . . . and only another Society member would know of its existence and seek it out.” Irma said gravely.  “We three are the only ones at the school, and neither of you knew about the book.  So this could only mean that the thief learned of it, how I do not know, perhaps by scrying, or some other method, and came to retrieve it that night.”

“If only I could check and see,” Lena said.  “Tell me where you hid it, Aunt Irma and what the binding looks like.”

Irma sighed.  “Very well, but I fear your search will go unrewarded.”

“Whoever did this was once a member of the Society.” Severus mused.  “I fear this same person also has Harry.”

“Yes, that is very likely.  The thief is probably using the book to hide him from us, the book is very powerful and contains many spells of old magic.” Irma sighed.  “What a fool I was! I should have protected the book better.”

“It’s not your fault, Aunt Irma. How could you know an enemy was inside Hogwarts and waiting to attack you in your own library?” Lena said. “The whole premise is absurd!”

“Nevertheless, I am responsible. We must recover the book.  In the wrong hands it can cause great harm.” Irma said. She leaned close and whispered the location and description of the book, though not its name. “Go quickly and return quickly, Lena.  And be careful.”

“Would you like me to accompany you?” Severus offered.

“Please stay here with Aunt Irma. Now that she’s awake . . . the thief may try to return and finish what he or she started.  I can protect myself. It’s very difficult to surprise a telepath.” Lena said. Then she shrouded herself in her cloak and vanished. 

Severus seated himself next to Irma’s bed.  His face was lined deeply with worry.  “Irma, would you happen to know who has been dismissed or cast out of the Society recently?”

The librarian was silent for several long minutes, searching her memory for the information she needed. “There were only three that I recall being turned out within the last five or ten years. One was a young man named Theodric Horn, he was discovered trying to sell one of our artifacts on the black market.  He was given a trial and Obliviated, so it couldn’t be him.  Another one was Jeoffrey Maitland, he was a relative of Lucius Malfoy, and was close to making master status when it was discovered that he was still a follower of You-Know-Who.  He was cast out, but fled before we could use a Memory Charm.  Then there was young Marlene McKinnon, she was convinced the Society would help her in her quest for revenge—she wants to destroy all the Death Eaters, since they destroyed her family and almost killed her as well.  She was such a bright student when I knew her in school.  It’s such as shame that such a fine mind could be so twisted by vengeance.  She asked to be initiated, but the Ravenmistress felt that she was too . . . unstable, we do not as a rule seek vengeance against our fellow wizards, and Marlene was consumed by it.  We regrettably had to let her go, but I have heard that she was employed by the Ministry as a personal bodyguard to UnderSecretary Umbridge.”

Severus stiffened when he heard McKinnon’s name.  “I remember her from school.  She was a Gryffindor and obsessed with Sirius Black.  She used to fawn all over him and follow him everywhere making eyes at him.  It was revolting.  She even tried to tell Lily not to be my friend, but Lily always ignored her.” Until that fateful day at the lake during fifth year. 

Irma chuckled.  “Black always had girls eyeing him, for all he was a troublemaker. I guess there’s something about a bad boy that draws silly girls to them like moths to a flame.  I’m not surprised she had a crush on him.”

Severus rolled his eyes, but refrained from saying that only a girl with air between her ears would be interested in bloody Sirius Black.  “So . . . we have Maitland and McKinnon as suspects.  If I had to choose . . . I’d say Maitland is behind the theft. If the book is as powerful as you say, then he would definitely want it.  The greatest goal of all Death Eaters is to resurrect their dark lord.”

Irma nodded gravely.  “He would be at the top of my list also.  He would have studied in the vaults and he was strong in magic and cunning enough to try and rob the vault.  If he had the backing of the Malfoys, he would dare much.  And he never liked animals . . . all the familiars disliked him.  Whoever killed my Pippin was a very sick person, one lacking any kind of common decency.”  She brushed at the tears flowing from her eyes.

Severus handed her a handkerchief and patted her shoulder comfortingly.  “I’m very sorry for your loss.  I know how much he meant to you.  Skullduggery and I gave him a proper burial and Skull called a Guide to show him the way upon the Gray Road.  He is safe now in the Realm of the Dead.”       

“I know. Lena told me.  Thank you for that, Severus.  It helps, knowing he’s in a better place, especially after the way he . . .” She choked up then, and began to cry into the handkerchief.  She would miss the little elf owl so much! He had been her constant companion for over twenty years.  Losing him was like losing a part of herself.

Severus reached out cautiously and put his arm around the distraught witch.  He truly felt for her, knowing he would be shattered if he had lost Skullduggery that way, for he, like Irma, relied upon his raven for companionship.  He did not bother telling her that things would get better, for he knew that was the last thing she wanted to hear right then.  So he simply held her, wordlessly providing her with silent sympathy.

Page~*~*~*~*~Break

 

Lena quickly crossed the grounds and entered the castle, making her way up to the library at lightning speed.  Luckily, most of the students’ classes had been let out for the day so she didn’t have to answer any questions about how her aunt was or where to find a book in the library.  She had lowered her shields as well, but there was no one lurking in the shadows, the only minds she sensed was those of young students studying or griping about homework or detention.

She made her way over to the Restricted Section, and unlocked the door to the annex with her key. Once inside, she locked the door behind her and moved five shelves down and six over, running her fingers over the spines of the books.  She felt the crackle of ambient magic as she did so. Silently she counted in her head down the row of books until she came to the fourth wooden post that divided the sections.  She carefully placed her hands in fan fashion on the post, with the tips of her thumbs touching.

Then she bowed her head, summoning her magic.  “Know thyself,” she spoke in Greek.

Her hands flared with brilliant green light and the energy radiated outward, revealing a small hidden door in the post.

Lena gently tugged the door open and felt about in the dark space beyond.

But the secret cupboard was empty, its treasure gone.

Lena swore softly and closed the cupboard. A quick motion of her hand restored the post and hid the cupboard once more. 

Irma had been right.  The thief had been after the ancient text.  They would all have to be very careful, for the fugitive was desperate, dangerous, and depraved.  Poor Harry! Lena thought, her heart going out to the boy.  What sort of torment must he be going through? She only hoped they could find him before it was too late. 

 

Page~*~*~*~*~Break

 

Harry had fallen asleep in spite of himself after Marlene had left the room.  But now he was wide awake and itching to explore the place. He knew he had to find a way out of here.  But first he need to figure out where things were in the house and find his wand.  Then he would bide his time until an opportunity presented itself to escape. 

He padded over to the door and turned the knob.  Thankfully it wasn’t locked.  He padded quietly down the hall in his socks, trying all four doors in the hallway. The one to the right of his room was the loo, opposite was a closet.  The door down from the bathroom was locked.  Across from it was what looked like a walk in closet with several cloaks, capes, and robes, all in differing hues and materials.

He reached the end of the hallway and peered out into a large sitting room with a crackling fireplace.  A sofa colored brick red was across from it, and the whole room was done in reddish-brown earth tones.  A large rug with a lion rampant was in front of the hearth.  There was a large bookshelf on the right hand side of the fireplace.  On the left was a large wooden stand, sort of like the podium in the Great Hall where Dumbledore stood to give announcements. 

Only this one had a scrolled top and held a very large book.  Harry had never seen a book so big in his life, it was almost as thick as the dictionary, and half the size of the coffee table in front of the sofa.  Something about the book seemed to call to him and he approached it carefully.  The cover was a vibrant silver, with golden clasps.  The silvery material was not leather, but some sort of animal hide, with tiny scales, like a snake’s.  Or perhaps  . . . a dragon’s.  There were runes upon the cover which Harry couldn’t read.  An emerald carved in the shape of an eye was beneath them.

Harry placed his hand on the cover. It felt warm to the touch, and suddenly the runes rearranged themselves into words he could understand. 

The Codex Magicka.

Harry felt an urge to open the book.  His fingers skimmed the pages and clicked the clasp open.

Welcome, child of prophecy.  I have waited long for one such as you to find me.  Open me, and I shall teach you all the secrets of the ancients. 

Harry was so startled he nearly stumbled backwards.  Who said that?

I did. 

You’re a talking book?

I am a magical repository of all the spells of the ancients.

Can you help me get out of here? I want to go home.

I want the same thing. Take me with you, boy.

Harry was about to open the book when there came sudden footsteps behind him.

“Harry James Potter, get your hands off that book! Now!”

A/N: Sorry for the long delay but my mom was in the hospital having surgery and I've been taking care of her once she came home. Hope you like this latest update!
 


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What is the name of the Harry Potter character seen in the image on the left?


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