Chapter 17 : Research Discoveries
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This was creating a lot of tension between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. It was odd, since this sort of tension was usually between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Gryffindor had always gotten along well with Hufflepuff, but the fact was that they were in separate houses, and they were in a competition.
Because of this, Albus found himself in the Quidditch pitch more and more, if that was even possible. He practically slept there. He was seeing less and less of his friends, especially since they were spending more and more in the library. Even David, who absolutely hated the library, spent all of his free time in there, searching through potion books.
One Saturday afternoon in late February, they had a major blizzard. Of course, most students were unaffected by it, but Quidditch was affected. After spending five minutes out in the blizzard, Chris had to admit that the weather was not fit for Quidditch, and he called off practice. So, Albus found himself having a completely Quidditch-free day, which was a relief.
Since Albus was very behind on homework, he did most of that in the morning, at least the homework that was due tomorrow, since Albus always procrastinated. He decided to practice some spells as well, he couldn’t get the most recent charm, Incendio, the fire-making charm. Of course, they wouldn’t make a full-fledged fire until their later years; right now they just had to make a small flame. Albus, however, couldn’t even get that.
“Incendio,” Albus muttered. He had decided to light a spare piece of parchment on fire, which was what they would have to do for their exam. Right now, however, all he had was a pile of ashes.
“Incendio,” Albus said more forcefully. “Incendio!” This time, a small spark appeared on the end, but disappeared immediately. “Incendio!”
Over the course of a quarter of an hour, Albus still could not catch his parchment on fire. He was beginning to feel very frustrated. He had burnt holes in his parchment, and he produced plenty of sparks, he just couldn’t transfer it onto the parchment.
Albus heard someone sit down by him. He looked up, and Art was sitting there, watching his progress.
“I can’t get this stupid spell,” Al grumbled. He threw his wand down on the counter with a clatter, and then plopped down on the couch next to Art.
“Don’t give up,” Art told him. “Keep trying.”
“But I can’t get it,” Albus groaned, sinking lower into seat. “We practiced it all class yesterday, as well.” Art sat up on the couch, and faced Albus with a stern look on his face.
“Albus, don’t just give up like this! You’ll get it. One thing I’ve noticed is that you always take twice as long to get a spell, but once you do, it is twice as good as everybody else’s.”
“Really?” Albus said, surprised.
“Really,” Art assured him. Albus closed his eyes and concentrated. Finally, he opened them and fixed his wand at the paper.
“Incendio,” Albus whispered.
The entire table caught on fire.
After lunch, he went to go find his friends, since Albus hardly ever saw them anymore. He found them in the library, which was typical. David, Art, and Rose were all searching through the same aisle. Art spotted him first.
"Albus!" Art exclaimed, as Rose and David looked up.
"Hey, we're researching again, pick up a book and start looking," Rose said. She then turned her attention back to the book she was reading. David let out a sigh, and looked up at Albus.
"She's addicted to books," David whispered, just loud enough for Albus and Art to hear. Then, a lot louder, he said, "We've searched everything on the top of the shelf, so you can start searching the second."
"Okay," Albus said, and then he picked up a small volume off the shelf, The Potioneer's Guide.
The next few hours were very tedious. Rose was completely immersed in researching, and became snappy if anyone interrupted her or was loud. David did decent progress, but he loudly complained. Art was quiet, and made decent progress as well, but Albus knew Art was bored since his eyes kept glazing over.
After a few hours, Albus's eyes became droopy as he pulled the next book, A History and Instructions of Potions, by far the largest volume Albus had seen yet, off the shelf. Albus, who was the slowest researcher since he liked to examine books thoroughly, noted that the book was published in 1966. That was before Voldemort's reign, and before the time of his death eaters as well.
Albus scanned a few potions to see how it was organized. At the very top was the name of the potion, then a lengthy history, then the ingredients and instructions of how to make it, and then a brief description of what it looked like, and then a list of sources. Feeling pleased, Al started scanning the description of the potions and then moving on.
Erie yellow, nope- Bright blue, nope- Vibrant orange, nope- Pink and purple, nope- Vivid green with specks of orange, nope- And then- Invisible without appearing to have substance, with spirals of red vapor above the potion.
Albus's heart skipped a beat. He read over the description several times, to make sure he read it properly. Al then proceeded to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. Once he determined he wasn't dreaming, Albus stared numbly at the description. He couldn't believe they'd found it. It had been nearly two months since they first started searching in the library. They had all been in there hours upon end.
"Er- Albus?" Art asked tentatively. "Are you okay? You've been staring at the same page for the past few minutes." David looked up as well. There was no doubt that David badly did not want to go back to his book.
"I think I found it," Albus whispered, hardly believing what he was saying.
"Found what?" Art whispered, confused.
"I found the potion," Albus whispered in reply, pointing to the description with his finger. Art's eyes widened in shock as he read it. David quickly walked over and looked it as well. Delight spread onto his face, and then he went over and shook Rose.
"What?" she snapped, glaring at David. "Can't you see I'm reading?"
"Albus found the potion," David said breathlessly. "Come over and see." David then dragged Rose over to Albus, with a bewildered expression on Rose's face. All four of them gathered close around the book and began to read silently to themselves.
Salazar Slytherin discovered this potion, presumably after his departure from Hogwarts, since he experimented with around in the dark arts after he left the school. His son found the notes of instructions for the potion in Slytherin’s house after his death. Upon creation of the potion, it was found that it was completely invisible, deadly to the touch of the lips, provided no extra volume when poured into a liquid, and will not be revealed through revealing spells. However, there was a major drawback to this amazing poison- it produced a vivid red vapor.
Over the centuries, countless wizards including Emeric the Evil, Barnabas Deverill, Gorgolack, (famous for his potioneer skills and his interest in the Dark Arts) and even Grindelwald himself have been known to try to tamper with the recipe to get rid of the vapor. Nevertheless, none of these gifted wizards and warlocks had been successful in this attempt. If a wizard in the future ever were able to get rid of the vapor, the poison would be as useful as the spell Avada Kedavra.
This has not been provided because of the potion's affiliation with the Dark Arts.
Invisible without appearing to have substance, with spirals of red vapor above the potion.
Malfoy, Abraxas. "Invisible Poison." Dark Potions for the Dark Potioneer." N.p.:
Black Dark Writings, 1923. 52-55. Print.
"Wow," David whispered. 'Wow' just about summed it all up.
"We found it. So what do we do now?" Art asked, turning around to face Rose. Albus and David looked both looked at her as well, instinctively. Rose was biting her lip. She seemed to be thinking hard about something.
Finally, she said, "I think we should check out the book under the sources, Dark Potions for the Dark Potioneer."
"Why?" David asked. "This book gives us plenty of information to think about."
"It doesn't have everything," Rose retorted. "It doesn't say how to make the potion."
"You want to make the potion?!" David cried, revolted. "I am not doing anything that has to do with the Dark Arts." He crossed his arms, stood up, and glared at Rose. She stood up as well.
"Honestly, David, it's not like I'm going to poison anybody," Rose said, rolling her eyes.
"Still, it's the Dark Arts," David said stubbornly, continuing to glare at her.
"Why would you want to make the potion, anyway?" Albus piped up.
"Well, once we made the potion, we could poor a drop on the same spot Zajecfer did, and see what happens," Rose said smartly.
"Are you mad?" David gasped. "We have no idea what will happen, and what if something bad happens? You're actually suggesting that we go to a place we know that a dark wizard lurked around on at least one occasion?"
"Well, do you have a better suggestion?" Rose retorted, her hands on her hips. When David didn't reply, she said, "Now, we need to figure out how to get our hands on that book."
"Er- What is there discuss?" Albus asked timidly. Rose was obviously in a bad mood, and he didn't want to anger her.
"Well, it's called Dark Potions for the Dark Potioneer," Rose said, rolling her eyes at him. "I think it might be in the restricted section, what about you?" Albus didn't respond. She was right, of course. They'd have to get into the restricted section, which was nearly impossible.
"We need to figure out what sort of protection is on the restricted section," Rose said. "I highly doubt it is just a rope."
"We could ask Fred, Louis, or James," Albus suggested. "They probably snuck in there at one point."
"Okay," Rose agreed. "Who should we ask?"
"Probably Louis," Albus said. "Fred and Louis are both jerks anyway, but Louis isn't as much as a jerk as Fred. It will be tough to get him alone though, since Louis is always with Fred. But we are not asking James."
"Then let's go," Rose said. She marched all of them to the door.
"Wait, we're going now?" David exclaimed in surprise.
"Of course," she said, turning around sharply towards David. "Is there any reason not to?" When David didn't reply, she turned around again, throwing her hair around her shoulders, and left the library. Albus, David, and Art followed behind meekly.
When they returned to the Gryffindor common room, they spotted Fred and Louis very quickly. The two of them were currently playing a few rounds of exploding snap. Rose strolled right up to Louis and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Louis,” she said timidly. “Can we have a word?” Before Louis could respond, Fred ran over to Rose.
“Rosie!” Fred exclaimed, hitting Rose on the head with an exploding deck of cards. “How are you?”
“Not good anymore, thanks to you,” Rose mumbled. Her hair was now smothered in black soot.
“Aw, come on Rosie, we can fix your hair in a hurry. “ Fred turned to Louis. “Any idea how to get rid of it?”
“Er- VICTOIRE!” Louis bellowed. Victoire, who had been sitting, reading a book at a table, sighed and walked over.
“What happened?” Victoire sighed irritably.
“Er-well- Fred and I were playing exploding snap…” Louis said nervously, glancing at Fred. “And the pack sort of exploded on Rosie’s head…”
“Very well,” Victoire sighed. In a quick wave of her wand, the ash and soot were gone. “But I’m keeping an eye on the two of you,” she added, as she went back to studying.
“So, Rose, what is it that you need from us?” Louis asked.
“I need to know how to get into the restricted section, and what sort of protection is on it.” Louis and Fred stared at each other in surprise.
“I can’t believe it!” Louis exclaimed.
“Rosie is finally following the family tradition of pranking!” Fred exclaimed as well.
“Er- well- it’s not that-“ Rose said nervously, but Fred and Louis didn’t hear her, since they both picked her up and hugged her. Albus and David, meanwhile, were both trying very hard not to laugh. Even Art couldn’t resist a small chuckle.
“STOP!” Rose wailed. “Fred, put me down!” Fred and Louis let go and she crumbled onto the floor.
“Anyway, er- back to my original question?” Rose panted. Her face was so hot; Albus could have cooked bacon on it.
Both Fred and Louis’s faces were instantly downcast at Rose’s statement.
“It is impossible,” Louis whispered. “Too much protection.”
“Every evening, Madam Pince puts up spells around the restricted section, preventing anyone from coming in or out,” Fred explained. “Dunno why she did it, it’s a pity she does.”
“It’s because you tried to sneak in there first year, remember?” Louis said.
“Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that,” Fred said thoughtfully. “Anyway, Mrs. Umbridge also patrols around there. She even sometimes sleeps in there, and she pukes on the floor. It’s revolting. The only reason Madam Pince puts up with it is because Mrs. Umbridge guards the section.”
“Does Madam Pince take the spells off in the morning?” Rose said thoughtfully.
“Yes, but students swarm around the library during the day, so someone is bound to see if a person sneaks into the restricted section,” Louis explained. “So it’s pretty much hopeless.” Fred and Louis departed and went back to exploding snap. Albus, Rose, David, and Art all sat hopelessly on the sofa.
Finally, David broke the silence by snickering, “Rosie?”
“Shut up,” Rose muttered. Then she said to the rest of them, “Now we need to figure out how to successfully get the book from the restricted section.”
“You heard what they said,” Albus replied. “It’s impossible.”
“No, it’s not,” Rose said. “I think I have a plan.”
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