Inspiring Ginny Weasley and Dan Brown.
plot bunnies have bitten. I need some repellent.
Ginevra Weasley loved Harry Potter.
Now, that wasn't an uncommon sentiment among magical girls and women
in Britain in March of 1992. Hundreds of them imagined what he would
be like when they grew up, and the news that he had somehow acquired
a harem by the age of eleven made him even more fascinating. Ginny
had seen Harry just once at Kings Cross, and had done her best to fix
the black-haired, green-eyed image in her mind. She wanted to get as
many pictures of Harry as she could, but found them hard to come by.
Enter Luna Lovegood.
Luna lived just on the other side of Stoatshead Hill from the
Weasleys, closer than any other magical family. The Lovegoods and
Weasleys were friends, albeit somewhat distant ones. Despite this,
the Weasleys didn't normally get the Quibbler; they could only
afford to subscribe to one newspaper, and the Daily Prophet came out
more frequently with more articles. Some of them seemed a little bit
odd from Arthur's and Molly's perspectives- why were they supporting
Fudge for next month's election after describing his faults in such
great detail two years ago?- but they needed to keep up with the
Luna stopped by each month with a Quibbler for the Weasleys. "I'm
sure we must have missed The Burrow," she said with each delivery.
Ginny had never considered her a better friend than she did now.
The Daily Prophet had run only a few small articles about the
formation of House Harem and the Quidditch games they had played, and
had said nothing at all of the life Harry had led or the internal
rumblings within Hogwarts. The Quibbler, despite running one edition
per month, had covered all of these events thoroughly, and had
printed more material about Harry than the Prophet over the same
period. And Ginny had each and every picture and article tacked up
on a wall, and read and watched them again just before falling asleep
"It's called having good sources." Xeno Lovegood had repeated this
like a mantra every time Luna asked about some of the... less
carefully verified articles the Quibbler had run over the years.
Now, Luna understood better than ever before. And Ginny was coming
to understand as well.
"Do you really think that the Harem will last?" she asked Luna.
"I certainly hope so. I intend to be in it, and Harry said he'll try
to help me. I'd like you to join me," Luna replied.
"I'd love nothing more," Ginny said, hugging Luna tightly to her.
On her way back to Stoatshead Hill, Luna was feeling happy about her
world. Six months from now, she and her best friend would be
together with the best young wizard in the world. The newspaper was
running more smoothly, selling better, and carrying fewer articles
about Stubby Boardman's dubious antics than ever before. This made
Xeno happy, and had pulled him out of the depression he and Luna had
been in since Selene had passed away.
Life had again returned to near-normal for House Harem. "If we
really are in this alone, if there are people scheming against us,"
Hermione said in her continuing efforts to get her fellow Haremites
to study, "it's up to us to be as well-prepared as possible." Even
if the only one of "us" obviously conspired against was Harry, "one
of us is the same as all of us," said Susan Bones.
Susan was in a tricky situation. She was probably as close to going
into a different house as any student; she swore she distinctly
heard the Sorting Hat say "Huffle..." before it corrected itself to
put her in House Harem. And her aunt Amelia was the main opponent to
Minister Fudge in the elections now three weeks away. Her response
to all of the events of the last few months had been to pull back
into a shell, to do nothing to harm her name or her family. But she
had decided that now it was time to make her name work for her.
She found that since she was related to someone who might have power,
she could ask "innocent" questions and actually get some answers.
And it was Rubeus Hagrid who would supply the next answer.
Hagrid was officially Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.
Unofficially, he was an assistant to Professor Grubbly-Plank in Care
of Magical Creatures, and a general minder of all the creatures with
wings, fins, tails, or more than two legs in the area. (Of course,
he'd figured out that the centaurs, the mermen, and the Giant Squid
didn't need or want a minder, so he let them be.) He'd escorted
Harry around Diagon Alley on his birthday, and had removed something
from a vault while at Gringott's.
When Susan asked Hagrid what had happened to the troll that had
invaded the school back on Halloween, Hagrid stuttered a bit and
ultimately said that the troll's fate had been up to him, the
teachers, and Nicolas Flamel.
He shouldn't have said that.
The Harem students had gotten used to being able to find any
historical references they needed from Hermione's search of the
library or from consulting someone's notes from History of Magic. As
sleep-inducing as Binns could be, how could twelve different students
all zonk out during the same part of a lecture?
But if Binns had ever said anything about Flamel, they'd all missed
it. And Flamel wasn't in any recent historical reference. As for
going further back, that job would take forever without at least a
little more information.
They would get that information from two sources within the next
week, one unusual... and one very unusual.
The former source was Xeno Lovegood, who was looking to set yet
another sales record in April and was always happy to hear from his
best sources. Xeno sent copies of all of the articles that had been
run over the last five years about Flamel. Unfortunately, they
mostly concerned his apparent fondness for the opera, his travels in
France early in the century, or his latest bowling scores. They
didn't really have a grasp on what major accomplishment he had
wrought to merit being Dumbledore's confidant.
The break they needed came from Drs. Emmitt and Danielle Granger.
More specifically, it came from a patient of theirs. When Hermione
was at wit's end trying to figure out how to discover who Nicolas
Flamel was, she asked her parents on a whim. They promptly put a
sign up by the registration window in their practice that read:
"If you know who Nicolas Flamel
is or was, please let us know.
(Our daughter needs to
find out for a school project.)
About a week after the paper was posted, Sam Johnson came in during
the mid-morning. He was a retired banker, round-faced and round-
bodied, with greying, receding hair and teeth that looked about like
you'd expect when you heard the words "British dentistry." But he
hadn't lost any during the last five years while the Grangers had
looked after them, and that was fine with him.
"Any problems since your checkup, Sam?"
"Oh, no. I don't need more holes in my head right now, thanks. But
I saw your sign when I was here on Monday, and it reminded me of
something. I knew I'd heard that name Flamel before, so I went
through my book collection last night. It took me a couple of hours
to find it..."
"Oh, we didn't mean to put you through any trouble-"
"No problem at all. It's been a while since I read any of those
books. I've been meaning to catch up on my reading now that I have
some free time. But I finally found what I was looking for in this
one." With that, he handed Emmitt a hardcover book.
"The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail?"
"Bestseller a few years back. Anyway, here's where I saw the name."
The book was dog-eared to a list of "Grand Masters of the Priory of
Sion." Eighth on the list was Nicolas Flamel, with the dates 1398-
1418 next to his name.
"What exactly is the Priory of Sion?" Danielle asked.
"I'm not sure exactly. Supposed to be a conspiracy within the
Catholic Church... or maybe against it. It wasn't clear right off.
Not my business, I've been C of E all my life. I just figured you
would want to see it."
When Hermione received this scanty information, she first asked
around about the Priory of Sion, which raised nothing but blank
stares. Fortunately, the dates gave the Harem students something to
work with. Investigating 15th-century magic made it clear who Flamel
was and why they should care.
"The Philosopher's Stone. It must be here."
Sinistra and Trelawney were as surprised as their students.
"Why on Earth would you want it here?" Sinistra asked.
"Somebody must have wanted to steal it," Harry said.
"Somebody tried, it looks like," said Megan Jones. She picked up one
of Xeno's articles; on the back side, there was a story about an
attempted break-in at Gringott's.
"And that somebody may be coming here."