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Task One Challenge by Debra20
Chapter 1 : Reclaiming the Sword of Godric Gryffindor
 
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“Ginny!” whispered Neville urgently as he tried to keep up to the trotting girl. He had a feeling. A definite feeling that all of this would not end well for them. But how would you reason with a hot headed Weasley? No one found a way yet.

“Stop for a minute, will you? Have you even thought about what you’re going to do?” he pushed on, grabbing hold of her arm and pulling her to a stop. Ginny struggled to free herself, but his tight grip was reinforced by his other hand that he placed on her shoulder.

"I’m going to do?” she spat furiously. “Yes, I have. I’ve already planned everything with Luna. She should already be there. We’ll be late and we’ll get her into trouble if she’s discovered!’ snapped Ginny. “The sword belongs to him Neville. I know about the will, and it clearly states that Dumbledore left Harry the sword. It’s only right for him to have it back. Plus, since when did you started backing away? You were usually the first one to volunteer whenever someone thought about ways of opposing Snape and the Carrows” she said indignantly, turning around to look him in the eyes.

“I’m not backing away, but this is Snape’s office we’re talking about. There is more than one thing that could go wrong” Neville said with a shiver and a slight tone of panic in his voice.

Ginny’s eyes narrowed and with a great heave, she broke free from his grip. “You listen to me,” she said, eyes positively burning at this point. “Where do you see the difference between Snape and the Carrows? They are equally foul and have done horrible things to students ever since the year started. Or have you forgotten that you were the first to stand up to them when they tried to force you into performing the Cruciatus curse on those first years that had done nothing wrong other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or the time we broke into the dungeons after nightfall to cure April Ross’s wounds and feed her because they were starving her? And when you – “ she tried to continue but Neville covered her mouth.

“Shhh…you’ll wake the whole castle.”

Ginny slapped his hand away and backed a few paces. Neville could see her flushed cheeks in the dim candle light. Her eyes were burning with the justice fire that burn within her. “You know it’s the right thing to do” she stated simply and crossed her arms over her chest. She was waiting for an answer. An answer Neville wasn’t so eager to give her. He felt like his heart gained another few pounds, just as it always happened every time he was about to break the rules and risk being caught. It never came easy for him. But as always, the revolting thought of looking away and let evil have reign weighed more than his insecurities. “Al right. Let’s go.”

Ginny smiled broadly, grabbed his hand and they both started sneaking around empty corridors, going down deserted staircases to reach the gargoyle behind which you could find the Headmaster’s office.

They found Luna peeking around the corner at a seventh year Slytherin that was standing in front of the gargoyle. “What is it Luna,” asked Neville craning his neck around Luna’s head to see what she was looking at.

“As I suspected,” she said thoughtfully and turned around to face her friends. “I knew this would come in handy,” continued the girl while starting to rummage in her school bag. After a few moments, that seemed too long for the other two students, she pulled out a little vial full of what looked like a Sleeping Draught.

Neville and Ginny exchanged quick glances. “Umm…Luna,” Ginny whispered, not being able to pull her eyes away from the silvery essence. “Why are you carrying a Sleeping Draught with you in your bag?”

“Well, there are nights when I can’t sleep. So I asked permission from Madam Pomfrey to brew it for me every once in a while. The nights when I drink it, are the only times I can keep away the Moon Frogs. They don’t seem to like it when I drink the potion’ said Luna with serenity as if it was most normal to be visited by some unknown, highly dubious creatures at night.

“I say we throw it at him and hope for the best. It’s known that the Draught’s effect won’t be as powerful as it would be if you swallowed it, but inhaling it should have a decent effect” suggested Neville with a hopeful tone, taking the vial from Luna and peeking around the corner as he spoke. “If not,” he whispered pulling out his wand “I’ll be prepared.”

“Mahogany, phoenix feather, 13 inches, flexible. A good defensive wand. I’ve always envied you for it.” said Luna dreamily extending her arm to touch Neville’s wand.

“Err – thanks? Why,” asked Neville a bit taken aback.

“Because the substitute one I have now is not listening to me properly, when yours seems to be part of your arm. Wish I had my first wand…” she sighed longingly.

“I’m sure that will change soon. After the War, we will look for a better wand for you” offered Ginny with a warm smile. “We should get going before someone comes around” she added hastily ducking below Neville so she could also see around the corner.

Neville turned back and tried to eye measure the distance to the Syltherin boy. When he was fairly sure it would hit its intended target, he leaned back as much as he could and threw the little vial with a single swing. After a few seconds of flying through the air, it hit the ground right in front of the boy’s feet releasing a thick, foggy smoke. The boy gave a start and crouched to see what was that. However, as soon as his lungs breathed in the vapours he instantly fell, face first into the ground.

The three students approached the now sleeping Slytherin. Luna poked him in his cheek with the tip of her wand and smiled broadly. “We should do that again.”

Trying to ignore her as much as he could, Neville looked nervously at the imposing gargoyle. “What now? Does anyone have the password” he asked tentatively.

“I do. Heard Snape say it the other day, before I was dragged into detention,” said Ginny with a bitter smile on her lips at the memory. It was hard not letting yourself get swallowed by despair when you realised how much things had changed. Shaking her head to scare the images away, she took a few steps to reach the gargoyle’s front and breathed tersely “Dumbledore.”

“Dumbledore?” asked Neville bitterly while the stone Gargoyle moved out of the way and exposed a swirling staircase. “How dare he...,” he whispered while eyeing the stairs. “I hope we don’t run straight into Snape tonight. That would be a blast.”

The three hid the Slytherin boy’s body around a suit of armour before returning to the entrance. Gripping his wand and pointing it forward, Neville was the first to climb the stairs, followed closely by Luna and Ginny.

When they reached the top, Neville stopped dead in his track, turned around to the silent girls and motioned them to stay put. He approached the cracked doors noiselessly and peered round them. With a sweaty hand he pushed one of the doors open, wand still ready at his side. His heart was thundering in his chest, making him feel quite dizz. His mind was filled with endless scenarios where all of this could end so bad.

“Come on in. Snape’s not here” he whispered from the large circular room. Luna and Ginny stumbled inside in their hurry to leave the dark hallway and started looking about. Ginny vaguely remembered this room from that dreadful time when she almost died, five years ago. Her hand grabbed Luna’s as her now teary eyes started tracing all the portraits hanging on the walls around the room. Albus Dumbledore was sleeping soundly above the merry fire that still roared in the fireplace. “I still can’t believe he’s gone...” she said softly moving in front of the Headmaster’s portrait.

Neville looked up at her and his eyes rested on the sleeping figure of Dumbledore as well. “I know. Hogwarts will never be the same without him. Ginny, we should hurry. We don’t know when Snape will be back” he said softly, slowly pulling her away from where she was standing.

Rubbing her eyes, Ginny remembered why she was here. Turning swiftly, she started looking for the Sword of Gryffindor. Books and different objects were being moved around in desperate hopes to find it or at least reveal a secret place where it might have been hidden. But nothing was working. They were in the Headmaster’s office for fifteen minutes and no success yet.

“Oh - this is stupid. Accio Sword of Gryffindor!” cried Ginny pulling out her wand. Neville stopped removing some glass bottles filled with a greasy green substance from a cabinet and Luna ceased inspecting a table full of Dark Detectors.

“You thought that would work?” asked the Ravenclaw girl resuming her inspection.

“Well it was worth a shot. I just can’t imagine where he stuffed it!’ exclaimed Ginny in an exasperated tone.

“Why would Snape keep all of these? Come, come and take a look” urged Luna. The other two approached the table where Luna had spent the last minutes examining it’s contents.

“A Secrecy Sensor? With all the lies flying around from everyone in this school?” asked Ginny mockingly grabbing the aerial shaped object. She smiled at it widely, remembering the stories her father used to tell her about it.

“Isn’t this the Probity Probe Filch used on us when we were entering the School, two years ago?” asked Neville swinging the Dark Detector around. Luna nodded silently, not pulling her eyes from the Foe-Glass sitting upright on one side of the table.

“Looking for anything?” asked a rather too well known voice from behind. Ginny gave a start and spun around, knocking her wand off the table where she had put it when she started to examine the Secrecy Sensor.

Neville closed his eyes as his heart skipped a beat. WHY didn’t they hear Snape come in? He was biting his lower lip while his mind raced in the attempt to find a way out of this situation. He looked around desperately for something, anything that would help them escape. Moving his fingers a little, he remembered he still had his wand with him, and the thought struck. They would have to fight back. But this was Snape…Professor Snape. The person that frightened him more than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself.

When he opened his eyes again, his gaze fell on Professor Dumbledore’s portrait that seemed to have awakened. Maybe the fright of the moment played tricks on his mind, but Neville could almost wager that Dumbledore gave him a smile. Blinking, he noticed that the Professor fell asleep again. In an instant, Neville’s muscles relaxed and his mind cleared itself of all the apprehensive thoughts. A flow of renewed hope flooded his body.

“Yes, Professor. We would like the Sword of Gryffindor if you please,”said Neville in a voice that was almost too over confident.

Snape opened his mouth to say something but he didn’t have time to. He was too astonished to react for the second.

“Incarcerous!” bellowed Neville while he broke into a run, grabbing Luna, who was closest to him and pulling her through the open doors. But Luna didn’t need too much prodding. She knew when it was time to run. “Come on, Ginny” Neville shouted before they turned the corner of the swirling staircase.

Ginny remained flabbergast for a few seconds. She only reacted when an enraged Snape freed himself from the conjured chains and ropes.

He took one look at Ginny and it was enough to make her break into a run as well: his lips were so thin that you could barely see them, his eyes burning with fury. With a swift fling of his wand, the door closed with a loud snap right in front of the scampering girl.

She wheeled around and clinged to the doors as Snape was getting closer and closer. She tried to steady her breath and hold her chin high. “You were very bold trying to break into my office, Weasley. Very bold and very stupid,” he said in a menacing tone. His eyes were burning her own.

“Detention. With Hagrid in the Forbidden Forest. For a week. You, Longbottom and Lovegood.” He almost whispered their names. He gripped her arm tightly, opened the doors and shoved her out. “Starting tomorrow night!” he screamed shutting the doors after her.

Ginny remained rooted to the spot, not believing her luck. Detention? For what they’d done?

 




Author's Note
Prompts used:
Features:
* your House’s Champion
* a theme of flourishing in the face of adversity

Mentions:
* at least 1 Unforgivable Curse
* a Sleeping Draught
* 2 of the following types of magic: a transfiguration spell, a sleeping spell, the conjunctivitis curse, the summoning charm (accio)
* at least 2 of the following types of Dark Detectors: Foe-Glass, Sneakoscope, Secrecy Sensor, or Probity-Probe
* the details of your Champion’s Wand, as provided by your Head of House


Hey guys. Hope you enjoyed my story. It’s the first of many (I hope) that I will delight you with.




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