Chapter 5 : The Index
| ||Rating: 15+||Chapter Reviews: 1|
Background: Font color:
Harry slowly opened his eyes. He was lying on his bed.
“Guess who I’ve just been talking to?” Harry said a little groggily.
“Dumbledore! Well, actually a memory of himself he made the night he left me here as a baby.”
“Oh, I wondered who you were talking to.”
“You could hear?”
“Um, I heard bits. You muttered quite a lot.”
“Oh,” said Harry, making a mental note to be careful what he said to Dumbledore in future. “Hermione, I’m really sorry if I gave you a fright.”
“You certainly did that!” she replied, and Harry saw that she looked flushed and had puffy eyes.
“I’m afraid it may happen again. He said I had to read Chapter One of a book and then we’d do exercises later.”
“Yes. It must be around here somewhere,” said Harry, sitting up and realising that Hermione was still clutching his hand. He smiled at her and said gently, “I’ll be fine.”
There was a flash and Dumbledore’s textbook appeared out of thin air and dropped onto the foot of the bed. Hermione dived for it at once.
“Oh, Harry,” she breathed, leafing through the volume.
Harry smiled as she quickly went straight back to the very front of the book. He’d be lucky to have the book long enough to read Chapter One.
“Harry, the Index pages aren’t just for Grade One. This Index lists seven volumes.”
“Seven? Well, I suppose wandless magic must be quite advanced. It probably needs that many volumes to explain it all.”
“No, Harry. Volumes Two and Five are about Charm work and Volumes Three and Six cover Defensive spells.”
“What about Four and Seven?”
Hermione’s eyes were almost a blur as she scanned each section.
“Well, Volume Seven doesn’t have any Chapter headings at all. It just says Advanced Stealth and Concealment Techniques.”
Harry chuckled and said, “Well, the Contents must be hidden somehow. What about Volume Four?”
Hermione grinned and looked up.
“That just says History of Magic!”
Harry groaned loudly.
“I’m just kidding you,” she admitted with a laugh. “It’s Transfiguration.”
“Only one volume on Transfiguration? It was his subject, wasn’t it?”
“Here,” she said, offering the book back. “Read Chapter One so you are ready for your first lesson. Then I want to read the rest of the book. That will be okay, don’t you think?”
“Hermione, how is Dumbledore going to object?”
Harry read the first Chapter quickly, but admitted to Hermione that he hadn’t quite grasped some of the finer points of the text. She quickly caught up with him and they discussed the chapter at length before proceeding with the second chapter.
He soon realised that the “Wandless Magic” title of the Volume had been a little misleading. Dumbledore had peppered the book with handy little charms that illustrated the points he was making. He actually found that the subsequent chapters were reinforcing the theories raised in the first.
Although Harry felt the subject matter to be a little advanced for him, and he had no expectation of being able to actually perform any but the simplest of examples, Harry found he was just as interested in reading ahead as Hermione was.
As he read, Harry became quite envious that he had never had Dumbledore as a regular teacher. Even complex theories were explained in terms he could understand. Usually, it took Hermione to help him grasp the finer points.
They had started to read the book first kneeling at the bed but soon moved to lying on the floor when their knees began to ache. However the floor was hard and cramped. In the end they lay side by side on his bed, with their feet on his pillow, reading the book well into the night. Harry’s desk lamp had been arranged precariously to give them just enough light. He was surprised that Hermione didn’t complain that Dumbledore hadn’t provided two copies of his book, but for himself he realised he was quite content; even if Hermione did try to hurry him or lift the pages to read ahead.
“Oh, I wish we could try some of this,” muttered Hermione, now sounding very tired and yawning widely.
“How about we call it a night, Hermione?”
She gave a quite noise of dissent but almost immediately relaxed her head down.
“Yes, I suppose,” she said, rolling herself sideways and off the edge of the narrow bed. He immediately missed her body warmth and this seemed to wake him.
“Goodnight, Harry,” said Hermione, getting to her feet.
“Goodnight,” he said automatically. Then just as she reached the door, he added, “Hermione? I am glad you came early. There aren’t many days I can say I’ve enjoyed being here, but you’ve made this one. Thanks for being here.”
Hermione opened the door and the bright landing light lit up her face. It was a moment before his eyes adjusted. She wore an expression Harry couldn’t quite place and looked like she was about to say something but then changed her mind.
She smiled at him and a moment later was gone.
“Ah, good evening, Harry,” said Dumbledore as soon as Harry opened his eyes. They were both sitting in the leather armchairs this time. “I see you read a little beyond the first Chapter.”
“Hello, Professor. Yes, but it seemed it little advanced for me. I couldn’t practice anything, though.”
“Yes, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery should be respected,” Dumbledore agreed, nodding.
“No, it isn’t that, really. I gave my word I wouldn’t perform magic in the house. The Dursleys don’t like magic, you see?”
“How unfortunate. However, that should not present a problem. Now, unless there are any questions, perhaps we could review some of the exercises.”
“But, I don’t have my wand, Professor.”
“Well, as none of this is real, I’m not sure that should matter. Besides, our subject for this evening is Wandless magic,” Dumbledore said with a smile.
Harry was rather sceptical at first, but he tried none-the-less. He found that once he’d got over the strange feeling that he needed his wand, the exercises were actually not that difficult. Indeed, he realised that Dumbledore had arranged them in an order that made progression much easier.
After what seemed hours, they reached the very end of the textbook exercises.
“Excellent, Harry,” said Dumbledore. “I think that will be enough for going on with. Would you fetch me that book on my desk?”
The heavy volume flew from the desk into Harry’s hands. He offered it to Dumbledore.
“The book is for you, Harry. Please read the first Chapter, and then we’ll continue.”
“Um, Professor, we must have been at this for hours and hours. Will we have time to complete all seven volumes before my birthday?”
“Possibly not, but we should use the time we have.”
“Right. Professor, how come you didn’t include Fawkes in your memories. He would have been company for you, wouldn’t he?”
“He would, Harry. However, whilst I was prepared to commit myself to sixteen years effective imprisonment, it would hardly have been fair to do the same to another creature.”
Harry frowned slightly, but his feet sank back into the mist before he could respond.
Harry woke in darkness, feeling incredibly tired. He wondered dimly what time it was and just managed to check the luminous hands of his repaired alarm clock before falling back into a deep sleep.
Harry’s bedroom door opened again and Hermione peered into the room. Harry groped for his glasses.
“I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
“No, it’s okay,” he said, yawning widely and stretching. “Is anything the matter?”
“Well,” she began hesitantly. “I’m afraid your Uncle objected when I went down to breakfast earlier.”
“I usually wait until he’s gone to work these days,” admitted Harry. “Don’t let them upset you, Hermione. They’re really not worth it.”
“That’s easy for you to say. I decided to come back upstairs for a bit and I wondered if you still had Dumbledore’s textbook. I couldn’t see it though.”
“It may have gone. We finished that book last night.”
“Really? You entered his memory again?”
“Yeah, well, I suppose he entered mine really. It was strange, though. It seemed like we were practising for hours, but when I opened my eyes before I fell asleep barely an hour had passed.”
“Gosh. It’s a shame you can’t have a go at any of the things he showed you.”
A sly smile grew across Harry’s face.
“Hang on, what are you planning?”
“Well, I only promised not to do magic inside the house, didn’t I?”
“Oh, I think the garden would count as well, Harry.”
“Actually, I was thinking of somewhere outside the house and the garden.”
“No, Harry,” Hermione said firmly. “We can’t take the risk that we won’t be attacked.”
“Well, I’m going to have a wash and then we can have some breakfast and I can have a proper go at persuading you.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and withdrew from the room as Harry threw off his bedclothes. As he absently struggled to find the sleeves in his dressing gown, he wondered whether there would be another book to read now.
He gave up finding his second slipper and ventured out into the hallway towards the bathroom where he met Crookshanks.
Harry smiled and bent down to stroke the cat, but retracted his hand just in time before Crookshanks took a swipe at him.
“Hey, grumpy, what’s up with you? I only wanted to say hello,” complained Harry.
Several minutes later Harry returned to his bedroom to find Hermione sitting at his desk and completely engrossed in Dumbledore’s spell book. He was rather glad he saw her as it was his habit to throw off his gown the moment he crossed the threshold.
He threw his pyjamas under the bed with his other laundry and wondered if he had any clean underwear. He quickly grabbed some cleaner things from his trunk and his jeans from beside his bed and left to change in the bathroom.
When he returned again, he was sure Hermione hadn’t moved an inch.
“Hermione, let’s go down and have breakfast. You’ve got all day to re-read that thing.”
Hermione didn’t appear to have heard him, which was not unusual when she was concentrating. He smiled and went over to her.
Hermione was staring absently down at the open book, but Harry knew at once that she wasn’t reading.
He gently touched her arm making her jump in surprise.
“I’m sorry, Hermione,” he said smiling. “I asked if you’d like to come down for breakfast.”
“Oh, um, sure.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yes,” she said quickly.
Harry wondered if anything was the matter, but realised that she was probably unused to having early morning rows with anyone as unpleasant as Uncle Vernon. He decided not to enquire too closely.
“I see you found our textbook,” he observed.
“Yes, only it isn’t the same,” said Hermione, getting to her feet. “This is Volume Two.”
“Charms, wasn’t it? Well don’t get too far ahead of me,” he said with a smile.
“Oh, I was just reading the foreword. Dumbledore speculates what effect living in a heavily charmed house might have on a growing wizard child.”
“What? But surely, wizard houses must have even more charms on them?”
“Well, that is true. However, Dumbledore points out that certain charms may have a greater effect. I mean, the blood protections you enjoy must be unique to you.”
“So, what harmful effects did he anticipate?”
“Oh, nothing injurious to your health, Harry,” said Hermione. “He just thought you’d struggle with a bit with some aspects of Transfiguration and Charms.”
“Oh,” said Harry. “Well, he was only speculating.”
“He mentions your parents, Harry. Dumbledore says that a child who was raised by such talented parents would be expected to excel.”
“Well, that’s possible, I suppose. Mind you, how much did I really lose by not having them to teach and help me? Look at you, Hermione. You parent’s haven’t been able to help you perform magic, yet look how good you are.”
Hermione blushed and looked down.
“But, Harry, what if the charms have affected you? Is it possible that now the protections are being lifted, your true talent will be allowed to shine through?”
Harry snorted and said, “Well, if you want to see true talent you’d better let me make breakfast. On a good day my bacon rashers rival Mrs Weasley’s!”
Hermione laughed and followed him downstairs.
“Harry, what was it you said you wanted to talk about yesterday?”
Harry blinked and looked up from Dumbledore’s book. He was just finishing reading the last chapter.
“Um, well I wanted to talk about Dementors. You see, I had a dream about them and it got me thinking. I made a load of notes, actually.”
Harry got up and went over to his desk. He rifled through several sheets of parchment before finding his scrawled notes.
“Okay,” he said, sitting down on the edge of his bed. “I’ll try and explain my idea, but stop me if I’m not making sense.”
“Lupin was the first to actually explain to me why Dementors affect me so badly. They make you recall all your worst memories. He also told me that they were blind and only found their way to their victims by feeling their emotions.
“Sirius told us that they know when someone is dying too; he said they got all excited.”
“Now,” said Harry, getting up and pacing up and down the small room. “We know that Wizards can talk to Dementors. Whenever Fudge or anyone mentioned them before I knew what they were, I just assumed the Azkaban guards were people like us. Actually, I don’t recall Fudge ever saying that Dementors could talk back.”
“Actually, Harry, I rather assumed that they could communicate at some level," said Hermione. "Remember, Fudge gave his permission to perform the Kiss on Sirius.”
Harry’s face brightened and he said, “Right. I’d forgotten that. Maybe this might work then.”
“What might work?”
“Well, in my dream I saw Sirius being given the Kiss again. His soul was almost sucked out before my Patronus drove the Dementors away.”
“Alright,” said Hermione cautiously.
“Well, a Horcrux is a container for a bit of someone’s soul, isn’t it? What we need is a safe method to remove the soul from the Horcrux and destroy it. The Dementor’s Kiss does almost exactly the same thing. I wondered if a Dementor could suck out the torn piece of Voldemort’s soul from a Horcrux.”
Hermione just looked at him with an astonished look on her face.
“I want to try and ask the Dementors how they do it, that’s all. I thought we could try and replicate what they do.”
“Um, Harry, the Dementors are loyal to Voldemort now. Why would they help us?”
“Well, maybe they won’t,” he agreed. “But I’d still like to know how Fudge talked to them. In Defence Against the Dart Arts, we covered Dementors but there was no mention of how the Azkaban Guards were controlled in any of the texts.”
“True. So, how do we find out?”
“Well, I wondered if Fudge might help.”
Hermione tried to keep a straight face for a full five seconds before laughing.
“Well, it wouldn’t hurt to ask him, would it?” said Harry smiling, although he privately agreed that Fudge would be unlikey to help.
“Even if Fudge were to help, how could we be sure he wouldn’t be indiscreet about what we asked him. What if news got back to Voldemort?”
“Have you got a better idea?”
“Why don’t we ask Alastor Moody? As an Auror I bet he had plenty of contact with the Azkaban Guards.”
“Hey, that’s a good idea!” agreed Harry. “I also wanted to ask him why Dumbledore disliked the Dementors so much.”
“You mean, sucking out all the happiness in the room may not have been enough for him?” said Hermione sarcastically.
“I just remember his reaction to them in the Pensieve at Barty Crouch’s trial.”
“Well, someone from the Order should pop by later today to check up on us. We can get a message to Moody through them.”
As luck would have it, Mad-Eye Moody had volunteered to check up on them that afternoon so the three of them sat in the living room over drinks of tea.
Moody stretched his good leg out and relaxed back into the easy chair, looking tired and worried.
“I’ve been on the go since before dawn,” he said rubbing his thigh.
“How are things?” asked Hermione.
“Oh, much the same. Actually, things have been rather quiet. We suspect that he’s not risking his senior people at the moment.”
“He’ll need them for when he takes Hogwarts,” said Harry.
“Yeah, that’s what we think. Still, there won’t be much left by the time he makes his move.”
Hermione frowned slightly.
“I was wondering about Hagrid,” said Harry.
“He was very reluctant to leave,” agreed Mad-Eye. “But once he found out McGonagall’s plans he volunteered to help with the move at once. The only problem is that he’s being a bit stubborn about leaving himself. I fully expect he’s planning on making a stand on his own. He thinks he owes it to Dumbledore.”
“What about Grawp?”
“He was due to Portkey over there this morning. There is a forest around the school that he should like. Oh, yes. Professor McGonagall asks if there is anything hidden in the castle that we should move to safety.”
“What happened to the Mirror of Erised?” Harry asked quickly, making Hermione turn towards him sharply.
Moody seemed surprised by Harry’s quick response too and his magical eye scanned him from head to toe several times.
“That’s been placed in the Head’s office. I should explain that we decided not to take any chances and have transported the entire tower.”
“Wow,” said Harry. “How did you do that?”
“Oh, there’s not much that Flitwick can’t do if he’s a mind to. It took him much longer to make the dormitories uninhabitable.”
“Can the Room of Requirement be sealed?”
“We’re not sure how at the moment; but we will if we can. Is there anything hidden in there you need to retrieve?”
“No, I got my Potions book back before we left. The room gave us dark detectors and defensive books that would be handy to keep.”
“What about the Merpeople and the creatures living in the forest?” asked Hermione.
“They will have to fend for themselves,” said Moody. “The Centaurs are the only ones at risk but they have refused our help.”
“Why are they at risk?”
“Well, they claim to read the future from the planets. We suspect that Voldemort will try to learn what they know. He won’t be very scrupulous how he gets that information, either.”
“Yes, I see,” said Hermione.
“So, what did you want to ask me?” asked Moody, looking at Harry.
“We’d like to know about Dementors,” said Harry.
“Yes. First of all, I’d prefer it if no-one else knew of our interest. This is something I didn’t get a chance to ask Dumbledore.”
“No problem,” said Mad-Eye confidently.
“Thanks. Can you tell us how you communicate with the Dementors? How do you summon them?”
“Well, I’ve never summoned a Dementor, to be honest. Very few people know how. Fudge can, but I doubt if anyone else at the Ministry can. Dumbledore knew how, I’m sure; but he never did to my knowledge.
“I have been present when Fudge talked to the Dementors, though. On some of his trips to Azkaban, I used to accompany him. That was long before he became Minister. He used his wand somehow and it appeared to ward off the ill effects.”
“He used his wand?” repeated Hermione. “No incantation?”
“No, and there was no Patronus either. I’m fairly sure Fudge was relying on the Dementor’s co-operation too. When they got agitated, I could feel waves of coldness.”
“Did they speak English?”
“Oh, no. Fudge would speak normally, but they seemed to reply telepathically. I never heard anything I understood.”
“Do you know what kept them loyal to the Ministry for so long?”
“I’ve never worked that out. I know that Fudge was genuinely shocked to learn that the Dementors had left the control of the Ministry. He was convinced that they were somehow obliged to them, although Dumbledore always said they would desert the Ministry eventually.”
“Why did Dumbledore dislike the Dementors so much?”
“I don’t suppose that we’ll ever know the whole truth about that now. I know part of it, but I’m sure there was more.” Mad-Eye gave a barking laugh and said, “I used to rib him about it; pretending I knew more than I did. Those were better days,” he added sadly.
“As you know, Dumbledore was the Chief Wizengamot member for years. Years ago, there was a case which involved a Dementor attack which Dumbledore presided over personally. The ruling was considered very controversial at the time because Dumbledore argued for the Dementor’s acquittal, recognising that they had acted out of self defence.
“Unfortunately, the accuser was found a week later minus his soul. The Kiss had been performed on him, apparently as retribution. Dumbledore ordered the trial of the Dementor that did it but they maintained it was their right to feed upon anyone they wanted. They also threatened to abandon Azkaban, which is when the Ministry stepped in.”
“So, they got away with it?”
“Yes. Dumbledore never forgave them. At the time he didn’t get much support because although he argued that they were sentient, everyone else thought they were just unthinking creatures. In the end the Wizengamot ruled that unless they were prepared to abide with the Law then they should indeed be treated as dumb animals.”
“Did the Dementors have an Advocate at the trials?” asked Hermione.
“I don’t know,” admitted Mad-Eye.
“Would Fudge know?”
“Yes, probably. I could find an excuse to ask him, if you’d like?”
“We weren’t sure if we could trust him to keep quiet. Is there anyone else you can think of that might be able to help?”
“No, not really. I’d talk to Fudge if I were you. I can assure you he has no love of Voldemort or the Dark Arts. He was a vain and stupid Minister, but he’s heart is in the right place. He knows that by fighting Dumbledore he allowed Voldemort to gain strength; he wants to make amends, Harry.”
“Well, it’s his brains we are concerned about, not his heart,” added Hermione acerbically.
“Maybe we’ll pay him a visit when I can leave,” said Harry.
He turned and spotted Crookshanks lying under a chair, eyeing him.
“Hermione? Have I done anything to upset Crookshanks? He won’t come near me unless he thinks he can give me a good scratch.”
“Don’t be silly, Harry,” said Hermione, and Crookshanks immediately came out and jumped lightly up onto her lap.
“Nice pyjamas, Harry.”
Harry wakes and is most embarrassed to discover Professor McGongall, Mad-Eye and Tonks have arrived to check up on him.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Other Similar Stories