Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Partially Kissed Hero

Partially Kissed Hero 17

by PerfectLionheart 0 reviews

During the train ride before third year Harry has a close encounter with a dementor that causes him to absorb the soul fragment within him, granting both knowledge and power. Features Harry with a ...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Luna - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2009-09-05 - Updated: 2009-09-05 - 5598 words

Partially Kissed Hero
Chapter Seventeen
by Lionheart


Luna gasped. Harry took a step back and reflexively reached for a wand that wasn't there, while Hermione's jaw dropped open.

Fairies fluttered everywhere, millions of them, as thick as fog, in all shades and varieties. They'd never seen so many of them crowded together. They perched on gazebos and fluttered along walks, a handful bravely gazing at their reflections in the pond a safe distance above its surface. But that was scarcely the beginning of the impacted nature of magical creatures shoved into a broad lawn too narrow by reason of the inhabitants.

Among those creatures packed in, practically shoulder to shoulder, were all varieties any of the trio had heard of and then some.

Exotic birds perched in trees above the pond, including a few golden owls with human faces. Satyrs romped on the boardwalk and in the gazebos, hooves clacking against wooden planks as they chased merry maidens who looked no older than high school seniors. Off to one side of the pond was a tidy encampment of short, stocky, bearded men and women in homespun clothing. On the other side several tall, graceful women stood conversing, dressed in flowing robes that reminded them of foliage. In a far corner of the field, right up against the hedge, they observed a pair of centaurs staring at them.

Luna whispered aside to her companions. "Centaurs are stronger, faster, and more intelligent than most humans - and they know it. Their focus as a race in on the pride of capability, whereas the fey are concentrated on pride in their appearance."

Harry was also glancing at their audience. "Well, for what it's worth, we have some form of as-yet-undefined protection. The Queen shared my mother's protection among the three of us while she was creating new bodies for us - whatever good that does us."

The girls turned to stare at him.

Meeting the two girls' questioning gazes, he said, "What? I went to sleep a fraction of a second after you two. She asked my permission and I gave it, because this way not only are you safer, but we can reinforce each other."

Luna smiled and shook her head. "No. That wasn't what I was thinking at all, although I do thank you for the gift. I don't feel we are in any danger, as the Queen promised to release us on the day we started our ritual. As you see from the sky it is dawn, so they haven't even found us yet. Our past selves haven't even begun to enter the forest. From what I see about the camps, many of these creatures have been here for days at least, possibly months or years. I don't think they came to gawk at us or threaten us. I believe they are here fleeing from danger."

"Oh!" Hermione's eyes widened. "So, just like animals will concentrate to flee from a forest fire, they are pressed in here..."

"... because this entire hedged area is a sanctuary," Luna concluded."They are fleeing other menaces. My guess would be the dark creatures Albus has introduced to the forest."

"Acromantulas have voracious appetites," Harry agreed, feeling relieved at spotting a small herd of unicorns clustered together on the grass. "They can grow almost as fast as they eat, and this forest has thousands of them now. Nothing living is safe out beyond this protected zone."

"Well, we can't stay here." Hermione declared. "Even if we wanted to, there is a mission we are charged with."

"So, we have to cross an unknown amount of forest, through acromantula haunted woods, passed werewolves and who knows what else." Harry sighed."It would be nice if we had our wands."

"Actually, this shrine is near the center of the woods," Luna offered.

"Didn't you say, back when this whole thing began, that part of what the ritual we went through was to do was grant us the ability to wandlessly cast fire spells?" Hermione eagerly inquired. "That's something the Queen mentioned, too!"

"And I very eagerly look forward to learning how to use those powers. But to do that we'd have to practice, and..." Harry waved a hand to indicate the area, packed with creatures. There wasn't an open space in sight. "Not exactly a place I'd want to use as a firing range."

Hermione blushed furiously. She'd hadn't counted on that. "Alright, I hadn't considered our need to practice. But you're right, we can't expect to get EVERY spell right the first time."

"We can practice them on our march, once we get out into the forest,"he soothed. "But to avoid forest fires, I'd really prefer we practice along a stream, or better yet, out over the edge of a lake."

"But how are we to get out of here if we can't defend ourselves!?" the girl threw her fists down to her sides.

"May I have some hairs? Three will do." Luna ignored this conversation to approach one of the fairies that had been listening to them. On receiving the tiny threads of fairy hair, the blonde looked back toward the couple."What? We are in no danger of overloading on fairy magic now, and one power we've already used is that of a metamorph." She waved to indicate their current bodies. "The Queen instructed us to take polyjuice and that would teach us how to automatically assume a form, our original human bodies we wear now, which we can then maintain using our own powers. One dose and we'd learned how to resume our former selves. Another and we can be little fairies again. We know it works, and it would seem best if we fly out of this place."

Harry let out a huff of air and chuckled. "Once again Luna leaps ahead of my thinking by about three steps or so. Yes, let's do that. And if we fly above the treetops we can practice our fire spells as much as we like. Nothing to burn in the air. So nothing to catch fire and spread."

"Exactly," Luna concluded serenely.

"At this point I'm starting to run low on polyjuice," Harry admitted."I have enough for this purpose, and one more for each of us after it, but that's it."

Silently, the group charged three more vials, leaving only three left unused, and then, after looking at each other for one long second, suited actions to words and drank the bubbly vials down, shrinking once again to much smaller versions of themselves, although this time it was in fairy colors as the trio became tiny winged versions of their true forms, which were no longer human (although, at least they'd learned how to fake it convincingly).

"I wonder if we'll be able to use our wands, when we find them," Hermione declared as they all rose up over the level of the hedge, then the trees. As an experiment, the girl shot off and small jet of flame once they got clear.

"Why should there be any doubt?" Luna inquired, blinking.

Pleased at last to know something her companions didn't, the girl explained,"Because the magical core is located in the body. It's a living function, that's why ghosts don't cast spells. When you die, you leave your body behind, and lose the capacity to cast magic - unless you're a poltergeist, they retain their magic because they have a core associated with their spirit. Since we now have fairy bodies, we ought to have fairy cores of magic in our bodies, and wouldn't be able to cast spells by human methods- unless the Queen moved our cores out of our bodies and into our spirits before she gave us our new bodies. I guess that would make us poltergeists when we die."

Thinking about it, Luna nodded. "We'll know when we find our wands, I suppose."

Harry smiled, shooting out his own tiny flamethrower-like stream. "I, for one, do not fear death. So I don't expect I'll remain around as a ghost of any sort, poltergeist or not. Frankly, I'm rather looking forward to seeing my parents."

That was a statement neither girl had a response to, so they remained quiet the rest of their short trip, flying over the tops of the forest back toward the Clearing of Solstices and Equinoxes, vigorously practicing their fire spells the entire trip, to have something to do that avoided talking.

"This reminds me of Great Grandmother Wendy," Luna at last broke the silence, having lost patience with her slowly developing fire spells. "She told stories about how she used to fly free, much like this."

Hermione, who had been having much greater luck with hers, looked back on her friends and companions in confusion. "But I thought wizards had to have some sort of device to fly on?"

Harry grinned, coming out of his funk at last. "Second star to the right and straight on til morning."

Luna smiled. "Yes, Harry knows. I have interesting relatives on the Lovegood side. One was born Wendy Moira Angela Darling."

"Of Peter Pan legends?" Hermione was shocked, then frowned. "How come so many of your relatives ended up in muggle books?"

The yellow haired fairy smiled mysteriously, and teased, "The Quibbler was my father's dream, but we have owned a printing press for generations. A few copies got out, would be my guess as to how we first entered the muggle market. But it was a great deal more profitable. Few wizarding folk read for pleasure, but the Ministry of Magic did not care so long as they were sold as fables; and magical educations are expensive and had to be paid for."

Chuckling, they arrived back at the clearing, to find it just as they'd left it in the aftermath of their ritual. In their rush to reclaim their wands, clothing and other magical artifacts, they thought nothing of this for the moment.

Entering the clearing, they found the fairies had not only consumed all of the broth they'd once simmered in, but the stores of stockpiled materials were now gone, used up by the fairies to make themselves outfits of each kind - they could see them flitting around dressed in acromantula silk and dragon hide. There was, however, one outfit per student of each type of material: one of dragonhide (blending pearl, scarlet and silvery blue colors in brilliantly devised patterns), and one acromantula silk, both impregnated with demiguise hair. All were done at jaw-dropping levels of workmanship and had several innate spells (Luna proclaimed them to be auto-sizing and self repair charms without normal limits, and self vanishing and reappearing on the dragonhide armor) but also done in fairy styles. Gorgeous but not normal, all very exotic and old-fashioned, even by wizarding standards. Undeniably lovely, however.

The fairies had outfitted themselves similarly. But not all got to partake in the ceremony, nor did all get outfits, so a few not so privileged spoke to the party of students and made it known they'd like very much if those former humans ran through the process again - and this time they'd be happy to add in their own supplies of gathered fairy silk, unicorn hair, and cotton-like materials gathered strand by strand out of magical plants and flowers.

Harry agreed, mostly as he'd wanted a wider range of outfits for himself and the girls, but also he had more suits of silver armor and outfitting his girls in some would make them both safer from the regular threats. A weapon or two would not be out of place either.

Luna, however, had busied herself with inspecting the workmanship and magic of the human-sized outfits laid out for them.

"How do we change back?" Hermione asked, as eager as a schoolgirl wanting to try on her first formal dress for a prom, flitting about her new clothes.

"Beats me, this body didn't come with an instruction booklet, and we didn't ask many questions when we had the chance. I don't even know what race we are, to be honest. Just a general category, one almost as wide as 'mammal'."

Harry shrugged, having found his wand and discovered it was longer than him.

"We ran out of time." Hermione insisted. "We'd kept up a steady stream of questions, and learned a great deal about loads of important subjects, but there wasn't time for everything. We were decomposing before our eyes!"

"I have to grant you that point," Harry conceded.

"We still have polyjuice charged with our human forms!" Hermione suggested."We prepared three uses for each of us, and only used up one. Let's use that to return to ourselves again!"

"Excellent idea!" Luna chirped up. "I'll take one of Harry!"

The other two stopped to stare at her.

"It's a test," she teased demurely. "If I can assume my own human look after drinking a vial of Harry-polyjuice, then I will be that much closer to being in full control of those powers. And, if not, I'll still have a potion to resume my former looks. There are still two left."

Seeing the logic, if grudgingly, Harry surrendered one of the potions charged with his hair back from when he was human. Luna downed it quickly, and in moments had become him.

Moments later, after intense concentration, she had resumed her own human appearance.

Harry and Hermione looked at each other. "I'd like one of you as well,"the currently blue-haired fairy admitted.

Harry surrendered it, and while she was struggling to go from his human form to her native one, Harry slugged down a vial of Hermione polyjuice.

"Save one of those for me," Luna giggled, watching as the boy-turned-girl struggled with this newfound power, attempting to rejoin the human race in the body he'd once used naturally. "I'd like to be able to take Hermione's appearance as well."

"Huh?" Both others stopped struggling to understand and command these new powers in order to look at her in confusion.

By way of answer, Luna shifted from her own human form to Harry's, then back to her full-size fairy form, then once again resumed her own human look, hair of daffodil-yellow fading to blonde, as well as other shifts. Touching a lip, she pondered aloud. "I suppose it will take more work to be able to reduce myself to a tiny winged form at will, but I will make it."

Staring at each other again before resuming their efforts, the other teens had soon struggled their own ways back into their mortal appearances, in the process learning how to do so more easily in the future.

But not as easily as Luna, however. That would take more work. Hermione consoled herself that she was still better at wandless fire spells than the younger witch.

"The Queen did sort of recommend we learn how to counterfeit each other's appearances," the once-more bushy haired bookworm offered by way of apology to Harry, once she'd changed her features to his and back again.

He smirked wryly. "Yes, but now the two of you will go exploring what my body looks like in the mirror tonight, and I don't even get to be there!"

Hermione blushed furiously, having been caught. But Luna grinned unashamed and answered back boldly, "Of course! But it's not like you won't have the same privilege."

Harry thought about his remaining vials of Luna polyjuice guiltily. Wordlessly, he handed a Hermione vial to Luna, and one of his two Luna vials to Hermione.

The other he would keep. Turnabout was fair play, after all.

Luna downed the Hermione vial immediately, and the other two followed her example. Returning to their own forms this second time proved easier, and by then they had a stronger handle on those shapeshifting powers. But for the older pair, shifting was still no piece of cake.

Luna offered no comment until they went to pick up their clothes. They all donned their silk garments before layering on the dragonhide over those. But it was when Luna darted over to snatch up Harry's father's cloak to hand it to him that she paused, stopping in her tracks as she examined it, amazed.

"This is ancient magic, Harry," Luna revealed, then gasped in awe, looking up at her friends. "I know this cloak! My father has been seeking it for years!"

Both her friends looked at her, puzzled.

"What do you mean, Luna?" Harry asked.

"Where did you get this cloak?" she ignored his question to ask hers.

In response, the boy shrugged. "It was my father's. I got the impression that it had been in my family as long as anyone could remember. I could look it up in our family journals, but I think that it's been an heirloom from before the founding of Hogwarts. My dad unwisely loaned it to Dumbledore, which cost him any chance he had of escaping Voldemort that Halloween night. If they'd kept it, they could've snuck away while their attacker searched the house."

Luna sighed and closed her eyes, relaxing. "An heirloom, of course. It would have to be something like that. Harry, this invisibility cloak is one of the magical world's legendary treasures. It has long been considered a myth. The short form of it is that a set of three objects are rumored to be able to defeat death - which explains why everyone has been looking for them for so long. Countless families have lost loved ones they'd like to have back, but only a complete set of three near-mythical items could restore them. This cloak is one of those three. The entire story would have been dismissed as fanciful talk long ago if one of those items hadn't cropped up with disturbing regularity - a wand that was rumored to be unbeatable, and has been held in the hands of countless murderers and thieves who've stolen it."

"Wait!" Harry held up a hand, grinning slightly. "Why do I suddenly suspect Dumbledore has it?"

Luna shrugged, getting in on the spirit. "Should be easy to tell, that wand is made out of elder - the ONLY wand ever known to be made out of elder. Next time he casts a spell in our presence we should all look and see what wood his wand is made out of. But, just so you know, the Elder Wand only accepts a new master after he has defeated its old one."

"What is the third treasure?" Hermione leaned forward to ask.

"A stone. A small, unremarkable pebble, according to accounts. That, too, has been lost as long as anyone remembers," Luna supplied. "And if it isn't lost or buried or drowned in an ocean somewhere, or decorating someone's rock garden, then it, too, would've been kept like this cloak, a treasure of some family that most probably didn't even know they had it."

"Why wouldn't they know?" Hermione blinked in confusion.

Luna smiled in answer. "Because the stone, while useful, is part of a set. And if they knew what they had then someone, out of all those generations, would have tried to find and acquire the others to complete it, drawing attention to the fact that they had one part of that set already."

"How would it draw attention?"

Luna chuckled. "Hermione, to research an object this obscure your only chance for success is to go out and join those who are already searching, hoping to get them to share leads and clues. The Elder Wand has been easily found over most of its history, all you had to do was kill or defeat its bearer. But those searching for the set as a whole have never given up seeking for the other two. They need them if they are to achieve their ambitions to defeat death. So consider for a moment, if someone had the stone and went out seeking the others. Say he found the wand, it would have been easy enough. Say he even defeated the one then holding it. Thousands have used tricks, sneak attacks, ambush and treachery to do likewise -the only ways to defeat someone with an unbeatable wand. So, your theoretical person is holding two of these prized artifacts. What happens the next time someone uses a dirty trick to defeat him? Say your next seeker is standing over the poisoned body of the last one to claim the Elder Wand- then he notices a small, round stone in that person's possession! Having been seeking for the entire set, as anyone after the wand would do, he recognizes the possibility that he has found two of the artifacts, so he takes that stone to test it, and lo and behold, he has two of the priceless treasures! Such a thing would've eventually become known. Since it hasn't ever been recorded as happening, it likely never has. Neither cloak nor stone have been sighted since the original tale long ago, so the most likely explanation is, if they aren't lost altogether, whoever had them did not know it."

"I feel so ignorant," Hermione drooped in sorrow.

Harry laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder, smiling. "Hermione, don't. You are a brilliant witch, the finest of your age. All this stuff should have been covered in Magical History class, and wasn't. That's not your fault."

"Well, this is obscure enough, perhaps not," Luna demurred. "The tale is well known, but not exactly considered history because two of its objects have been lost for so long. The wand, however, is well documented. That, at least, should have been covered, as it has played a considerable part in our history, bouncing from dark lord to dark lord, with the occasional hero thrown in."

Harry grimaced. "I'll lay a galleon on Albus having it, and dropping that part of the curriculum so people would forget about it and stop searching."

"No bet," Luna smiled serenely.

"Where can I read up on this?" the bookworm recovered neatly, deciding to put an end to her ignorance as quickly as possible.

Luna nodded. "It's a common wizarding bedtime story. You can find it in many books of such, though fewer print it of late, which would hold with Harry's theory that someone in power wants it forgotten. It's called The Tale of Three Brothers. My father believes those brothers to be Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus Peverell, and that they lived in Godric's Hollow."

Harry suddenly frowned.

"Harry?" both girls asked curiously.

Hermione suddenly had a thought, and looked ashamed. "Oh! I'm sorry to bring such a subject up! I know your parents lived there. We can talk about other things."

"No, it's not that," Harry waved her concerns away.

"Oh?" Luna grew curious.

Harry nodded. He'd been recalling something from Voldemort's memories, and decided to share. "I know of a ring with the Peverell coat of arms. That ring has a stone set in it, and was an heirloom of another family for a long time before that line died out."

"Do you know where to find it?" Luna perked up noticeably. "We ought to at least test it, to see if it is genuine or not."

Harry nodded resolutely. "I might have to do just that."

Hermione moved to pick up the cloak, to hand to Harry, but the material she picked up still left a pile on the ground. Scared to have damaged it, she then hurriedly opened what she had in her hand to see where it had ripped, only to discover to her shock that she was holding an intact cloak in her hands.

She turned a confused gaze to the others. Harry reached over to the pile of fabric still on the ground and lifted up another section, still leaving a small mound, and what he opened in his hands turned out to be another intact cloak identical to the one in Hermione's grasp, both were identical to the cloak he had originally gotten that Christmas so long ago.

"Which one is it?" Hermione asked while Luna lifted the third and last cloak of invisibility from off the ground.

"They're all identical, down to the last stitch and detail in their magical aura," Luna stated authoritatively, brow furrowed in growing confusion.

Harry started to laugh.

"What is it?" the girls pivoted from facing each other to question him.

Hermione got it before Luna, and turned a sly gaze on her sister fey."Luna, I believe the answer Harry is laughing over lies in something you said earlier - that fairies routinely do the impossible by rules of magic as we know them. Didn't the Fairy Queen just admit to having played a part in the fairies finding our botched little ritual? And wasn't this cloak there with us? That could be an explanation for there being three of it now, instead of one. Due to those wings, there was enough fairy magic involved she might've done anything."

Luna looked a trifle too scared to be relieved, but nodded. "If anyone had the power to duplicate this cloak into three, it would have been her."

Hermione's face went from happy to scrunched up in thought. "Luna, if the wand part of this set is unbeatable, what about the cloak? Is it undefeatable also?"

The blonde began nodding. "Each article of the set was supposedly supreme, yet equal with the others. The wand, boosted by a user's power, could have cast spells to discover a person under this cloak, and if our Headmaster does have that, then we can count on him having cast such spells on his glasses."

"Count on it," Harry sobered. "He'd borrowed this cloak from my father, and probably only gave it back to see if myself, a bloodline heir, could discover powers in it he could not. But since he is obsessed about secrets, I wouldn't doubt he had methods to track whatever I did despite wearing this. Frankly, I'd count on him having spares around, just in case he'd needed to arm his followers with ways to find me if I ever got out of hand."

Far away, in a heavily warded house, Alaster Moody sneezed, then spent the better part of half an hour dosing himself with disease prevention potions, and casting spells to determine who'd spoken of him.

Harry swirled the cloak he was holding around his shoulders, inadvertently causing Moody's detection spells to fail in their efforts to find him and vastly increasing the old auror's paranoia. "You know what?" he told the girls. "In my first year I did something stupid and dropped this cloak on the floor when I was finished with something and needed my hands free. Then I didn't have it later when I needed it, lost House points and got a nasty detention that put me in this forest, face to ugly face with Voldemort. To avoid stupid mistakes in the future, why don't we get cloak clasps to secure them around our necks, and charm our shirt collars to be like our expanding bookbags, so that when we don't want to be invisible we can retract our cloaks into storage under our collars?"

"Brilliant!" Hermione declared.

"Lets do the wand-work now." Harry picked up his wand, shooting off sparks when he did so and getting a grin out of the boy, who then suited action to words and began casting spells to accomplish just what he had said, so they could wear those cloaks always, but only be invisible when they wanted to.

Luna had been inspecting hers closely. She sniffed it carefully, then touched a corner to the tip of her tongue, before spitting vigorously. She scowled, and declared, "Harry, I don't think wearing these all the time is going to be a good idea. Whoever had this cloak before you dipped it in malaclaw venom. Have you had any unlucky accidents while using it?"

Now it was Harry's turn to scowl. "Plenty! Practically every time Iused it. The one time, I told you, I forgot it on the floor. Another Itriggered an alarm and nearly got caught by my breathing. I've been chased and hounded under it, even caught by Dumbledore once or twice."

"Soaked instead of dipped then," Luna concluded sourly, spitting once more to try and get the foulness out of her mouth. "Whoever did that wanted the person wearing this cloak to be easily found. They couldn't dim the powers of the cloak directly, so they made it unlucky to increase the chance for anyone under it to stumble into mischances that would reveal themselves."

"Dumbledore," Harry spoke the name as if it was a curse. "He didn't want me using it too often, so counted on unhappy accidents building up until I had a natural aversion to using it. Plus, he couldn't get the cloak back from me unless he could find me first, and if I had bad luck that made his job easier when he decided to end his experiment of letting me have my own property."

The girl began sadly nodding. "If you have been found by Dumbledore wearing it, and he had it before giving it back to you, then not only did he likely treat it with the unluckiest substance known to magic, but we can more strongly suspect that he has the Elder Wand, as according to the Fairy Queen he seeks to destroy you, and would not let you have this unless he could track you despite it - which only spells from the Elder Wand could do."

"So the cloaks are unlucky."

"Only when used," Luna quickly offered. "Malaclaw venom is harmless when carried in a vial or some sort of container. Contact with living material activates the bad luck. I'd guess you'd had no problems with the cloak when it was in your trunk?"

Nodding, Harry sighed and removed his cloak, shrinking it to stuff deep in a pocket (a bit amazed that this outfit even had pockets, as they were a comparatively modern invention out of keeping with the era this style dated back to). The others quickly followed suit.

Hermione perked. "What about that stone? Could it detect the cloak or meet the wand on equal terms?"

Luna considered that question thoughtfully. "It is a source of unfathomable power, so it's bearer could likely do such a thing. But we have so few records of it I couldn't say for certain what it does or does not do, save for calling up the spirits of the dead when turned three times in the hands. That much we have in the original legend."

Finished with her recitation, Luna picked up her wand. Having collected their attire and picked up the last of the tools and implements they'd left around the clearing, as well as used their wands, the scenery around them morphed like fading mist back to the clearing as it had been the morning before they'd arrived to put that ritual into motion.

"What happened?" Harry stared around.

"Time moves strangely around the fey." Luna considered, "The Fairy Queen promised to send us back to the morning we began our ritual, she just never said when she would do it. Since we have just been picking over the site as we left it after that ritual concluded, and retrieved all our belongings we care to carry with us, we were dealing with the aftermath of that ritual. Now we are standing where it is going to happen before it begins."

"She kept her promise, she just let us collect our things first," Hermione concluded. "That saves us a great deal of awkwardness."

"And arms us with our wands," Harry grinned. "I'd say let's go nab our dear old Divination teacher right now! The longer we delay before doing this, the more likely our nemesis is to learn of our plans from his pet oracle and find some way to thwart them. Now is the best chance we'll ever have, I think."

"I can't go," Luna cringed. "I'm sorry, but having tasted that malaclaw venom while identifying it, I shouldn't be involved in anything risky, as it's sure to go against me. A normal dose would wear out in two weeks, and this was far less, a few hours at most, but just to be careful I really shouldn't do anything chancy for several days, just to be safe."

Hermione nodded briskly. "Then Harry and I will go. He's right. The sooner we get this done, the better chance we'll have. No need to go surrendering any advantages. We'll never be able to keep a secret until his oracle is gone."


Author's Notes:

Has no one else noticed that EVERY time Harry uses that cloak something goes wrong?

So they've got multiple copies of a priceless cloak, it's just sometimes better not to use it than to use it.

And Hermione started out behind the curve on these few obscure subjects the others were far more knowledgeable on. But Hermione does not stay ignorant for long. Already she's recalling what they'd said earlier and applying that to their current situation.

She asked questions when she didn't know, but now that she knows more she is resuming a more dominant role - not that she'll ever eclipse the other two on their areas of expertise, but she won't be trailing behind much either. She's not like that. Anything she doesn't know, she studies until she does.

So expect her to have the odd surprise for the other two every so often.
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