Harry Potter 6 - Instalment 11
Chapter 21 - Voldemart Returns
It was almost beautiful, in an extremely sadistic and twisted sort of way. At first, the pyramid acted as though it were a volcano, with the top of it blowing up into the air and then fire and smoke billowing out of the top, with molten rock erupting from the inside and flowing out. But, as all that was going on, chunks of it were shooting of all over, plunging into the growing lake of melted stone around the base. Finally, after only a few moments of all this, the Geb Pyramid just gave up and let the whole thing detonate from the inside out, causing the whole structure to collapse on itself, making a massive cloud of smoke rise into the air above.
Throughout all this, Harry could only think of one thing: somewhere, in that cloud of dust or in the pile of ash and stone was Malfoy’s body. He shuttered at the thought. What had he done?
“My oh my…” sighed Dumbledore to himself, shaking his head slowly and looking out the window. “That’s going to take a lot of work to clean up. We’ll need to get memory wipers in here by the hundreds, and quickly too!”
“But… what about Malfoy?” asked Harry quietly, not daring to remove his eyes from the window.
“There is noting we can do for him,” heaved Dumbledore. “All we can do is honor his memory by trying to find his body and having a funeral.”
Harry wanted to so badly to beat himself up. How could he have been so… stupid, greedy, selfish, and everything else bad? He abandoned his friend and left him to die in a small room by himself… all for a Ring. It didn’t get much worse than that….
“This is all your fault!” screamed Harry in his mind, directing his thoughts to the Ring. “If it wasn’t for you, the horrible pyramid would have never been built, and Malfoy would be here with us right now!”
But, as hard as Harry tried to be angry at he Ring, he still had no desire to take it off. It was like a child who had done something bad. Harry was certainly angry at it for what it did, but was no closer to disowning it than he ever was or would be. For this, he hated it even more… and yet he didn’t.
“Well,” said Dumbledore, turning his attention to Jamie. “It appears that in the process this trip, we have both lost and gained a student.”
“Hello to you too, Headmaster,” said Jamie, faking a smile.
“Jamie,” said Dumbledore, still looking at her with amazement in his eyes, “how did you ever survive for so long in the pyramid by yourself? You were only a second year!”
“The necklace kept me alive,” she said, looking at Dumbledore distastefully. “As long as you wear it, you cannot be killed by old age or malnourishment. Of course, you still fell the pains of both. It has not been an easy eighteen years.”
“I can see,” said Dumbledore, eyeing her up and down. Harry looked at her again, literally in a new light. Now that they were out of the dark caverns of the pyramid and in the light of day, he could see just how bad she really looked. Her skin was no longer peach, but a dark brown, caked all over with mud. The little skin she had was barely enough to cover her body; Harry could see most of her bones. But, still the worst thing was the hair. There were grubs and a few other moving things inside it, which Harry guessed Jamie
must have wanted. Those were probably her only source of food.
“But, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to hear all about those past years when we sit down with mom and dad and tell them that you’re okay!” said Ron happily, patting his older sister on the back.
“About that…” said Jamie slowly, removing her brother’s arm from her back. “Maybe we could wait a little while… until the end of the year perhaps, until we announce my existence to the rest of the family?”
“Why?” asked Ron.
“Because I don’t want to be alone when I see them for the first time. If you set up something not too conspicuous, like when we get back home to introduce me again, that would be much better. It would soften the blow for both parties.”
“That sounds good,” said Ron, though looking a little disappointed.
“And we shall all make sure not to tell anyone your little secret,” said Dumbledore, zipping up his lips. “Until you decide to show yourself, Jamie, I will allow you to stay at Hogwarts and assist Hagrid with his job.”
“Thank you Headmaster,” said Jamie, bowing slightly.
“Not a problem at all. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go organize the cleanup for the mess we just made, and figure out how in the hell I am going to explain this to the students.”
With that, he stepped through the small crowd, and made his way to the private compartment again, where the rest of the teachers were already seated. He shut the door behind him and locked it tight.
“Now what do we do?” asked Ak, breaking the small silence.
“I know what you need to do, Jamie,” said Ron, holding his nose. “For God’s sake, take a shower!”
“But don’t you like the smell of eighteen layers of muck, dirt, grime and bug skin all over my skin?” asked Jamie sarcastically. Everyone held their noses tight and shook their heads and she laughed. “Fine then. I’ll see you back at the school.”
She walked down the hallway to the end of the train, where there were the bathrooms. As she made her way each compartment, Harry heard many loud comments about the smell, and a few doors opening, to see what the source was.
“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed Madam Pomfrey suddenly when she saw Ron with his mangled face and body as she came by with her cart full of goodies. “My dear boy! You must come to my emergency room on the train now!”
She grabbed his arm, and ran down the hallway as well, to one of the final compartments. It had a white door, with a large red cross on it. She threw Ron inside and shut the door behind her. Even through the closed door at the back of the train, Harry could hear her yelling about how kids don’t take ‘flesh wounds’ seriously enough nowadays.
“If you don’t mind,” said Ak, “I think I’ll be off as well. I’m sure my friends were wondering where I am.”
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather come with us?” asked Harry, wondering if now Ak qualified as a true friend. But, after what they just did, how could he not be?. “After all that we’ve been through?”
“And miss the chance to once again try and beat out Harry Potter by not saying
that I defeated an Egyptian God and a werewolf when he failed?” asked Ak mockingly. “I hardly think so!”
“Fine,” sighed Harry. “See you later, Ak.”
“Well, where should we go?” asked Hermione when Ak arrived at his compartment. Harry wanted to say that they should go back to the remains of the pyramid, and help look for Malfoy, but he had to get over that. He had to save his sadness for the funeral….
“Why don’t we go check on Ron,” suggested Harry.
“Sounds like a good idea,” responded Hermione. Harry could tell she was fighting to hold back her tears, and had been ever since the pyramid crumbled. Even though her and Malfoy had never been very close, Hermione still never liked it when anyone got hurt, and especially not when they got killed.
They made their way down the hall, hearing the occasional exclamation of how the pyramid just exploded like that. From what Harry heard in his few moments of listening, it seemed that everyone thought that the pyramid exploding had just been a show, a magical holograph. A cool way to end the first day of the trip. None of them believed or even thought for a second that it was real.
“What! NO!” Harry heard Ron yell through the hospital compartment. “No! It can’t be true!”
Harry rushed inside, to see what was going on and saw Ron lying on the single bed in the small room, his hands covering his face. Madam Pomfrey was holding some sort of contraption in her hand. It was white and cylindrical and had a red dot at one end.
“What is it Ron!?” asked Harry, wondering what could have caused him to react like that. “What happened!?”
“I… I…” mumbled Ron incoherently through tears and his face.
“He was bitten by the werewolf,” sighed madam Pomfrey. “I’m afraid that your friend Ron now has its blood flowing in him, and is now one as well.”
“But I thought it just scratched you!” said Hermione.
“I thought so too,” said Ron, sitting up. “But, I guess I couldn’t tell the difference between its claws scratching me and its teeth biting me. They both hurt just as much.”
“Only the fangs are the ones that carry the magic,” said Madam Pomfrey. “If he had only scratched you, nothing would have happened. And, by the way, just how and where did you meet this werewolf?”
“Long story,” said Harry, shoving her off. How could Ron be a werewolf? This was too weird…. They were becoming just like his father’s old group of friends. They all were Animagi, and one of them was a werewolf. Harry hoped that there were no versions of Wormtail in their group.
“How am I ever going to lead a normal life?” demanded Ron. “I’m going to have to transform every month, just like Lupin… just like Lupin…. Great…! Just great, I’ll end up like Lupin; a poor, friendless loner. Just great….”
“Is there anything you can do for him?”
“Of course,” she said. “Once the magical blood was worked is way throughout him entirely, I will be able to perform the Homorphus Spell on him and return him to his human form permanently. But, that won’t be until after his first transformation, which will not be until around the end of June.”
“See Ron,” said Hermione, sitting down on the bed next to him. “There is hope.”
“Yeah,” added Harry, “and until then, you’ll be invincible to almost every spell that there is! Think of the possibilities….”
“Hmm,” sniveled Ron. “I guess you’re right. Being a werewolf for a month may have a few advantages.”
“That’s the spirit!” said Hermione, hitting him on the back.
“Can we take him back to out normal compartment?” asked Harry. “Or does he need to say here?”
“Oh, I managed to fix those gashes and everything already. He is free to go.”
“Alright,” said Harry. “Come on Ron… Hermione. Let’s go back to our compartment and wait until we get back to Hogwarts.”
“Okay,” said Ron, looking as though he was over his little trauma. He bounced off the bed and hopped right up next to his two friends, looking as happy as he usually did, which was often far too much. They thanked Madam Pomfrey, and let her return to her duty of selling food, while they returned to their compartment. When the door opened, Cho and Ginny were already inside, sitting down and waiting.
“There you are!” said Ginny.
“Where have you been?” asked Cho.
“And where’s Draco?” asked Ginny, peering all around them. Harry, along with Hermione and Ron, heaved a great sigh and collapsed into the available seats. With Ginny looking at them in a confused way, Harry took a deep breath, and told her what happened, right from the beginning.
It was the worst trip ever on the Hogwarts Express Harry had ever been on. Once Harry finished his explanation, Ginny asked once again where Draco was, with a rather blank expression on her face. Just as she did, Dumbledore came over the speakers, and gave the grim announcement that the explosion had not been fake, but very real.
As soon as he stopped explaining, a sort of panic broke out on the entire train. Ginny burst into tears and all the prefects were called upon to settle down their house’s younger students. Harry had to grab Joe the second before he jumped out the window with no magical parachute on this time, and took Mike’s marker away, before he wrote ‘We’re All Going To Die!’ in Japanese all over the train.
Once Harry calmed them down, he returned to his compartment where Hermione was gone, tending to the girls, and Cho and Ron were trying to comfort the traumatized and heartbroken Ginny.
“It’s just… not… fair,” she said spastically through her flooding tears, sounding as if she was going to hyperventilate.
“I know, I know,” comforted Cho, stroking her hair. “It’ll be okay….”
It went on like that for the entire two hour ride. Hermione never came back, and Harry had to constantly patrol the halls, taking care of some students that we’re going crazy, saying they could have died, the ones that the other prefects were too busy to watch. Harry breathed a huge sigh of relief when it all was finally over, and the train pulled into the Hogwarts station.
“Come on,” sighed Cho, heaving Ginny up onto her shoulder. She had cried herself into exhaustion, and looked as though she may collapse at any given time. Her face
was about the same color as her hair, as were her eyes. “Let’s get you to the school, come on.”
“Thanks for helping, Cho,” said Harry, happy that he at least didn’t have to deal with the mourning Ginny.
“No problem,” she whispered back. “But I think this one is going to need some serious counseling.”
“I don’t doubt that,” said Harry, watching Cho carry Ginny off the train. Though, he thought, he might want to sign up for a little mental help himself. No one that he personally, really knew had ever died when he was old enough to actually understand what death meant. Harry didn’t know if he were in shock right now from it, but if he was, he hoped he would stay like that, so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. He didn’t want to accept that fact that Malfoy had died.
Just last year, Malfoy’s death would have affected Harry, but in a different way. Over the past year, he had grown to appreciate Malfoy as a person, an actual human being; and not a bad one at that. He was funny, kind, intelligent, serious when he had to be, and meant a lot to many people.
And now he was gone.
Harry shuddered and stepped off the train with the teachers, all the students had already gotten off. He held himself tight. It was so much colder here than in Egypt, very much. Even more so since it was very late at night, almost early morning.
His teeth chattering, Harry walked up to the main entrance, along with the hundreds of other students, most of which didn’t look too much better than Harry. Dumbledore quickly walked by them, and threw open the doors. The entire mass of students ran inside, trying to get warm.
“Everyone to the Great Hall!” announced Dumbledore, magnifying his voice so everyone could hear him. “I have a very quick announcement!”
The whole throng of kids first groaned, then turned, rather than going straight, into a dark Great Hall. The professors flew in above them and quickly lit all of the lights, brightening it up so that everyone could take their seats. With a yawn, Harry sat down at the Gryffindor table.
“I’m sorry to repeat this,” announced Dumbledore, speaking as he walked up to the front, “but, as you know, the Geb Pyramid is gone. We were that last group there, and we are the last group to ever see it. The team of wizards that was sent there to do whatever they could confirmed that it is far beyond repair. However, no Muggles saw it, and no bodies have been found.”
With that last statement, he turned to Harry’s direction and gave a frown. Harry nodded his hand in understanding. Malfoy’s body had been disintegrated by the fire, then the crumbling rocks. What a way to go… he wondered if Dumbledore was going to say anything about him.
“Tomorrow, I will continue with a few more announcements about the pyramid,” he said, lowering his voice slightly, answering Harry’s question. “But, for now, I encourage you all to go to bed, and get a good night’s sleep. You will need it after what happened…. Once again, I am deeply sorry that your field trip was cut short, but that is no excuse not to get a good night’s sleep. So, off you go!”
The student body once again sat up and walked off to their common rooms. Harry
didn’t bother to seek out Ron or Hermione, he was far too tired. All he wanted to do was collapse into bed, and when he got to his dormitory, that’s exactly what he did.
“Harry!” yelled Ron when he came in. “How can you sleep at a time like this? Ginny’s a mess, Malfoy is dead, and-”
“Ron,” mumbled Harry, not moving an inch. “Please, just shut up.”
“Oh Ron,” mumbled Harry, turning over. “Not now, I don’t want to talk about what happened now!”
“Ron!” yelled Harry, sitting up and opening his eyes. “Will you stop doing that? Can‘t you see that I am tired? T-I-R-E-D spells tired! Aren‘t you feeling the same way after we passed the hero’s-”
Harry stopped right in the middle of his thought. Instead of Ron peering over him, waking him up like he usually did, Voldemort, in all of his horrible glory, was standing there instead.
Chapter 22 - The HeadMaster's Room
“Hello Harry,” greeted Voldemort through a thin smile, as if they were old friends.
“We have to stop meeting like this,” said Harry, looking around. He was in a rather large room that he had never been in before, and had probably never been in there for good reason. All around him were old statues, stacked on top of each other and thrown in random places, both large and small, with cobwebs all over them.
“Aren’t they wonderful?” asked Voldemort, moving his arms in the direction of all of the statues. “They’re sculptures of previous headmasters, you know; the greatest headmasters that Hogwarts had ever had.”
“I don’t see Dumbledore anywhere,” spat Harry.
“Humph,” he groaned. “This room is reserved for the immortalized versions of only the headmasters that are far to great to be within a fifty mile radius of that old buffoon. These statues here are of the many headmasters that have tired to turn Hogwarts into a school for the Dark Arts, but failed in their valiant efforts. Apparently, Dumbledore doesn‘t think you children should see them.”
“What do you want,” hissed Harry. He had been through this before and knew that the Voldemort in front of him wasn’t real, just a holographic version, a dream, like the time he was in the common room with him.
“I think we both know what it is I want,” he murmured, glaring straight at Harry.
“No, do tell me,” said Harry mockingly.
“I want the Glove!” he yelled, looking furious.
“Why didn’t you just get it yourself at the pyramid?”
“I tried,” sighed Voldemort. “I told the previous guardian to try and get it from you, after he had exterminated you six. But, of course, he failed.”
“I’m not going to give it to you,” said Harry sternly, patting his pocket to make sure it was still in there. “You can torture me all you like, there’s no way. I know that you already have at least one Item, and there’s no way I’m giving you this one.”
“Very well then Harry,” laughed Voldemort. “Very well. I see that you are you are a man of business, Harry. So, I suppose, I will just have to give you a little bit more… incentive.”
“Like what?” asked Harry curiously. But, Voldemort just grinned and tapped himself with his wand, disappearing into thin air and leaving Harry all alone in the dark, creepy, windowless room.
“Great, now what?” Harry asked himself, looking around. He was wandless, had no illumination, and did not know where he was. Harry scanned the room, for any source of light that would lead him out.
Then he saw it. Right above an especially large statue with six arm, positioned almost like a perfect ladder for Harry to climb up and out with, was a hole leading out of the room. He walked up to the horrifying statue. It displayed the six armed man, with one leg on top of a skull and the other on top of a screaming head. The man was grinning, with an eyeball dripping from his mouth. Harry shivered and climbed up his arms, wishing that he could have just had a normal night like everyone else. But no! He had to have a conversation with Voldemort.
Harry peered his head through the hole in the ceiling, to see where he was. It was a fairly normal looking hallway, though one Harry had never been in this one before. Instead of being the usual vibrant colors, it was rather old and looked in bad shape. How much of this school had he never been in before?
Harry climbed out of the hole and stood up to look around. The hall looked exactly like a normal one, only much older and decrepit. Harry brushed himself off and began walking down it, hoping he would arrive at familiar territory soon, before Voldemort, or any version of him for that matter, came back.
“AAAHHH!” yelled Harry. Apparently, this hall was older than he thought it was. His leg went right through the floor, creating an awfully loud noise and making Harry stuck between two stories. He was all alone, trapped in the middle of somewhere he‘d never seen before, and Voldemort could appear at any time and kill him. This situation could not get much worse.
“Meow…” came a soft cat voice. Harry stopped trying to pull his leg out of the hole for a moment and looked straight ahead. Before him was Miss. Norris, Filch’s cat. Wherever she was, Filch would soon be, reprimanding severely whoever happened to be there at the time, which would be Harry in this case. He had to get out of there… now!
“Did you find someone?” Harry heard Filch say from not from too far away. Any minute now, he could see Harry… and what would his excuse be? That Voldemort summoned him down here? Filch was going to see him any moment….
“That’s it!” said Harry to himself. “If he can’t see me, than I won’t get in trouble! Thank you Sirius!” Harry remembered that he had the Animagus Invisibility Ring on and quickly transformed into his gryffin form, becoming completely invisible just as Filch appeared at the end of the hallway with his lit lantern in hand.
“Do you see someone?” asked Filch to his cat again. “Not very likely that any student would be down here….”
He kept walking closer to Harry, moving quite slowly, as if checking every inch before he took a step. The ring may make Harry invisible, but it didn’t make it possible for people to walk through him! Unless he got out of the hole quick, Filch was going to bump into him and find out he was there.
Harry flapped his gryffin wings as hard as he could, though not hard enough to make any noise, to try and pull himself out. It was even harder in his Gryffin form, since the wings were not the strong part of the body, the arms were; those were what gave the initial push off of the ground. It was like trying to lift a barbell with your pinky.
“I don’t see anyone…” whispered Filch, still getting closer. He was only a few feet away from Harry. He had to get out of the hole now!
Harry put all the energy he had into one final, massive flap of his wings. That brought him right out of the hole and onto the ground nearby. He tried to be as quiet as he could about it, but a few noises were inescapable. Filch must have heard those, for it seemed that he began to walk faster, and looking even more furious.
“I know there’s someone here,” he mumbled. “He’s probably got one of those blasted invisibility cloaks on… I’ll get those banned next year.”
Harry kept backing up, to try and get out of the way of the rampaging Filch. Miss. Norris was quickly pacing back in forth in front of him, so he couldn’t risk trying to run past. He just had to hope that he didn’t run out of hallway to back up in soon.
“Blast it!” yelled Filch, stopping where he was. “We must have lost him by now. Come on Norris, if we hurry we can still get him before he gets back to the Main Hallway!”
With that, Filch and Miss. Norris sprinted down the hallway in the opposite direction of Harry, and out of view very quickly. Harry breathed a huge sigh of relief and transformed out of his gryffin form. He spun around, to keep going, and then took a step forward… and fell into a hole.
“Woah!” yelled Harry, then covering his mouth up quickly so that Filch wouldn’t hear him. The hole took up the entire width of the end of the hall and was fairly deep. Harry fell for several seconds before he hit the damp ground, getting wet all over.
“Oh no,” sighed Harry, looking up at the very far away hole that he fell through. He was far too tired to transform again, much less fly all the way back up and expect to keep walking the rest of the way back to the common room. He hoped that wherever he landed had an exit. “Now where am I?
Harry looked around, and was surprised at what he saw. It was a fairly small area that looked like a Muggle security room. All over the four walls were small television-like screens, depicting every single room in Hogwarts. Each was in perfect color and had a small label below, telling what each room was. Hanging from the ceiling of the room in the center was a sign that read “The Headmaster’s Room”.
“So it’s true,” said Harry, in awe of what he was seeing. “Dumbledore really does know everything that goes on in this place! He can see any room in the entire castle whenever he wants!”
Harry gazed at the walls of screens, in awe of what he was seeing. With this, he could spy on anyone at anytime, no one would ever have any privacy anymore as long as someone was in this room. He saw Ron and Ak asleep in their beds, Hermione reading by wand-light in her dark dorm, the house elves busy preparing tomorrow’s breakfast…. The possibilities of a room like this were endless….
“But,” Harry though, suddenly realizing that all these screens applied to him as well, “Dumbledore can see whatever I’m doing. That means he may know that we have the Items! Or worse, he knows whenever we sneak out at night, and what we do. We’ve got to be more careful in what we do around here… we could be expelled! Though, I suppose, if Dumbledore was going to expel us, he would have done it long ago.”
Trying to stop worrying, Harry once again looked at all the screen. Most of them were showing students asleep in their dormitories, teachers asleep in their offices, and the rest depicted dark and empty rooms… except for one. Only one of the screens was not almost totally dark, and Harry moved in closer to it, to see what was on it.
It was showing two people talking in an office that looked very familiar, though so little of it was shown, Harry couldn’t quite make out which one it was. He looked below the screen and saw the label. It read, ‘Headmaster’s Office’. Harry turned his attention back to the screen, and suddenly saw who the two people were! Dumbledore and Quirrell!
“-he is very close,” whispered Quirrell, so softly Harry had to really lean into the screen to head. “You-Know-Who already has one, and I think he could even have two by now. If he gets the others, then we’re all doomed!”
“Oh no,” whispered. So it was true! Voldemort did have one of the Items already, and Quirrell believed that he could even have more. Harry tried to figure out how that all
worked out: he had the Glove and the Ring, Hermione had the Bracelet, and Professor McGonagall gave the Stone to Dumbledore, so Voldemort must have… the Watch! He stole it from Dumbledore somehow! But, what other one did he have?
“I know,” sighed Dumbledore. “I know. He is very close to the others as well, we must begin to use more forceful and blatant tactics. It is the only way.”
“Of course,” said Quirrell. “Let us call a meeting tomorrow, we shall figure out everything then.”
“Alright,” said Dumbledore, yawning a little. “We shall. Tomorrow then, Jerry.”
“Yes,” he said, opening the door and leaving. “See you later.”
With that, he stepped out of the office and shut the door, walking down the steps. Harry saw Dumbledore give one last sigh and then open the door to his bedroom, disappearing from the view on the screen.
“Dumbledore must know about my little nighttime meetings with Voldemort,” said Harry to himself. “He knows that he is close to getting the other Items, and I know it too. If things get any worse, I’ll have to give him the rest; just to ensure the world’s safety. But, first, I need to go to sleep.”
Harry quickly turned his head around, trying to find a door out, and saw none on the walls. But, in the middle of the room below the sign, there was another hole with a ladder going down. Harry jumped into it and began climbing.
It was a fairly short trip down, and the ground Harry landed on felt like damp dirt. It was extremely dark as well, so much Harry had to use up what little energy he had left to transform his eyes, just so he would be able to see here he was going. If only he had his wand instead…
But, just like the ladder, the hallway was not very long. Harry quickly reached the end and found himself at a three-way fork in the road, with each path having a sign above the entrance, telling where it went.
“Headmaster,” read Harry off of the sign above the one he had just exited from. He turned to the other three. “Death and Main Corridor…. Hey! I’ve been here before! This is that secret passage I found when the staircases changed.”
Happy that at least he was now back in somewhat familiar territory, Harry grinned to himself and went down the Main Corridor path, not wanting to go down the Death path, the one he just got out of, or the one that led him to this fork last time, unless the staircases were acting up again.
Harry ran down the corridor, wanting to get back to his nice, warm bed and let everything that had happened in the past hour or so sink in and stop buzzing around in his mind. He quickly appeared back in the Main Hallway, stepping through the invisible one-way door in the wall like last time.
“There you are!” yelled Filch suddenly, seeing Harry pop out from the wall. “I knew it was someone with an Invisibility Cloak! Probably the one you got from your father, eh Potter?”
“Filch?” gasped Harry, amazed that after all he had done, Filch had actually gotten him. Both he and Miss. Norris were wearing the same expression, a smile that only a prize catch could bring.
“You’re lucky the headmaster’s asleep,” grinned Filch, grabbing Harry by the ear. “He’s usually the one to deal out my punishments, but since I don’t want to disturb him
while he’s asleep, I think I’ll just- WHAT?”
Harry, not wanting to hear what horrible task Filch had cooked up for him, used every last ounce of energy in his body to transform fully, turning into the gryffin and becoming invisible. Harry collapsed right onto the ground.
“What the hell!?” yelled Filch, looking up and down the hallway. “I could have sworn I saw Potter here a second ago! But, he just… disappeared. He didn’t have his Invisibility Cloak with him anywhere I could see… eh, Miss Norris?”
“Meow,” she hissed, staring at Harry who was breathing hard and laying down on the ground. She and she alone knew that he was still there.
“It’s late,” said Filch, shaking his head. “My eyes must be playing tricks on me. I’ll continue the search tomorrow. Come on!”
Miss. Norris hissed at Harry one last time, knowing he was getting away with something when he shouldn’t be, and then ran off to her master, glancing back at Harry every few seconds, still smelling him. When they were well out of hearing range, Harry collapsed back into his human form, feeling more tired than he had ever in his life.
“Need… to get… to bed….” Harry managed to gasp out, an instant before he fell asleep right there in front of the Great Hall.
“Harry! Get up!” came a shrill voice belonging to Hermione. She poked him with her wand a few times, making Harry grumble, groan, and turn over. “You’ve been out here all night!”
“I know…” sighed Harry, rubbing his eyes. All around him, sunlight was flooding in through the windows and Harry had to cover his eyes from being blinded. His body ached all over from sleeping on the hard ground and he felt as though there was still glue all over his eyelids.
“I heard that you were down here from a few early comers to breakfast,” explained Hermione, helping Harry back up onto his feet. “You’re lucky no one’s stepped on you or told one of the professors.”
“I would have been luckier if I had made it back to my bed,” sighed Harry.
“Come on then!” said Hermione, helping him up. “Let’s go to breakfast.”
“That sounds like a good idea!” said Harry, suddenly feeling much more hungry than tired. He jumped up, right next to Hermione.
“Why were you out here anyway?” she asked him as they sat down at the Gryffindor table, with most of the rest of the school already there. “Did you and Cho have an exhausting date or something?”
“No,” said Harry, letting all the memories of what happened last night flow back into his mind. “You see, it was-”
“Attentions students!” said Dumbledore just then, interrupting Harry and Hermione. “As I said last night, I have a few more announcements about the trip.”
“Oh no, he’s going to announce that Malfoy died,” cringed Harry.
“I am extremely sorry to say,” said Dumbledore, shaking his head, “that while most of the school was able to evacuate the pyramid in time, not every was so lucky. I am afraid to say that one of our students did not make it back alive. This morning, I want us all to lift our glasses to-”
There was a massive, explosive noise just then: the sound of the Great Hall doors
being thrown open. Everyone in the room swung their heads over and Harry head to keep himself from screaming out loud.
It was Malfoy.