Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Cage and Key

Frozen Luck and Ropes

by faromir 0 reviews

chapt 10

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Ron - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2015-05-11 - 8267 words

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe and all the characters belong to J.K. Rowling.
"Are you sure you will be going, Harry?" Hermione questioned again, unsure.
"Yeah, Harry. Just screw it if you don't want to go." Ron added.
"Yes, guys, I will. Slughorn won't let me run off anyway; he would soon have started invading my dreams if I had avoided him any longer." He said flatly, telling them for the third time as he rolled his eyes.
"I know harry, just wanted to make sure you don't start doing things you hate after being pressed into it by this Daphne. I would have expected that the partner you work so well with, would help you stay out of it, rather than into it." Hermione huffed.
"It's fine, might even have been good for me, I've been judging without actually having experienced it, the Christmas party will also be largely organized by her."
"I guess that's true Harry, and I'm glad that you're reconsidering your opinion of the Club." Hermione said.
"Besides, my words will become justified if it does turn out to be bad." He said, grinning a bit, coming back to his original assumption.
"But don't you find it strange, Harry? Her suddenly roping you in on those things? She might have some other reason besides your 'company'." Ron said, making a gesture of unbelief at his last words.
"Don't act like it was completely out of the blue, Ron. She and I have been on good terms for weeks now. She wanted some conversation at the Club… and was a bit forceful in the undertaking." Harry said, defending Daphne's reasons despite thinking along the same lines as Ron.
"I also could have used some conversation, Harry." Hermione snipped lightly at him.
"Hey, I also probably wouldn't have come if she had asked normally." Harry said, reasoning with her.
"At least I don't have to go alone anymore. " grumbled, Hermione. A bit sour from not managing to convince him herself.
Harry glanced at Ron; expecting insults about the Club to come out at this point, but was surprised to see him mostly unbothered. Being able to the Christmas Party with her had probably helped contain his jealousy.
He turned to Hermione again. "Yeah, it will likely be the moment to introduce you two to each other, Daphne will undoubtedly come to have some chats with me, as she wanted me in there for that reason after all."
"I guess.." Hermione said, not looking very enthusiastic about the prospect. "We haven't really talked yet, I've only spoken a few words with her through Arithmancy, and that was only to borrow something during the lesson."
Hard grass crunched beneath them as they walked out of the castle door, lagging behind the other Gryffindors to the greenhouse, chilly winds biting through their robes into their skin.
"So it's Daphne now, huh?" Said Ron, noticing Harry's words and looking conflicted. "You'll start attracting attention again at this rate Harry, people can accept it for a class assignment, but will look up differently if you start being friendly outside in the open."
"Which is exactly what the masses did here throughout my entire school career; it doesn't matter if they make a problem out of it. I'll blow over, just like how I was aspiring to be the new Dark Lord until becoming their blessed savior and 'Chosen one' until recently." Harry spoke with some degree of resentment sounding through his voice as they both dimmed a bit upon his words.
"Say, Harry..about this 'Chosen One-" Hermione began.
"-So you guys have managed to find some common ground? You're fighting a lot less lately, actually getting along very well these days." He interrupted, asking a question that would surely catch them off-guard.
"W-What? Ah, well, yes. I guess we are huh." Hermione said, flustered, stumbling on her words at bit at the beginning.
"We can spend the day without fighting every minute of it, thank you very much." Ron mumbled from his side.
"Hurry up inside, class will start!" Professor Sprout called out to them, herself and the Slytherins having already entered the greenhouse.
They picked up the pace for the last meters, glad that they wouldn't have to wait outside, and shot inside the greenhouse.
A blast of warmth hit them, the smell of fertile ground and wet plants assaulting their noses as they entered.
The first thing he noticed was the large square shaped object in the back of the greenhouse, only leaving them to guess what it could be as a large cloth covered it. From beneath the cloth however, traveled a steady stream of white smoke before dispersing.
He saw Malfoy standing of to the side, quietly conversing with Nott in hushed whispers, looking the same as other times; tired.
Nott was listening intently to him, a serious look on his face as he nodded every few seconds in response.
He had idly kept an eye on Malfoy during the weeks, watching for any signs, but he didn't see much despite his quiet behavior, which was only more suspicious looking to him. However, Malfoy didn't seem to have been doing anything at all this year.
But still...something was off. Different.
He saw Daphne between the other Slytherins listening halfheartedly as Davis talked to her in a volume that kept it private to them. She soon rolled her eyes and sighed as Davis snorted in laughter about something she herself said.
He saw that the Slytherins had been inside for some time, their heavy robes having been discarded from the warm temperatures of the greenhouse.
He and the other Gryffindors also started moving out of their winter robes as class was starting and the heat began to settle in on them.
"Now class." Their Professor said, clapping once in her hands to get their attention. "Today I can inform you that we will not be working with the Dragon's Bane as they are currently undergoing their first phase change; shedding their old flower and preparing new ones."
The class cheered up considerably upon hearing this news, a lesson without frenzied vines was a good one.
"Next week will the shedding be complete. But that's then and now we find ourselves with our hands empty." Sprout explained before moving towards the large cloth-covered square.
"So for this lesson we will busy ourselves with a flower that is both harmless and helpful, said plant is also hard to grow as it is very delicate, and difficult to seed. However, consider much of the hard work done once it is successfully seeded." Professor Sprout said to them as she whipped the cloth back.
Harry had already grown curious after hearing her introduction, for it sounded like this lesson actually contained something that wasn't set of choking the life out of them.
He saw multiple items; all of them in blue and white colours after she had pulled the cloth back. Blocks of ice stood upon each other along with pots that contained what seemed to be crystallized earth, making him realize that he had seen condense trailing down the cloth at the start of the lesson. On top of the blocks stood a small transparent sack with small powder blue dots inside it.
"We will be planting the Constringitur Fortuna, otherwise known as; Frozen Luck. It is similar to the Felix Felicis which grants luck for a period of time at the cost of giddiness, recklessness and dangerous overconfidence if taken in excess. Not to mention that it is very difficult to make, disastrous even." Sprout explained to them; refreshing their knowledge on the Liquid Luck potion.
"The Constringitur Fortuna will grant the same effects, however, in lessened effect as the plant, in comparison to the potion equivalent; is significantly easier to obtain. However, do not be fooled, underestimating the potting will surely make you fail here."
She picked up the small sack and held it up in front of the class. "These are the seeds." She said, holding up the small bag in front of them to see before gesturing to the blocks of ice behind her. "These are the ice blocks which contain pure glacial water, and lastly; the crystallized snow."
"We will begin by breaking through the outer layer of the ice blocks. You might think this to be easy; but rest assured that it won't be."
"The blocks will freeze anything they come on contact with; they are called Frostbite blocks for this very reason." Sprout said as she lightly touched one of the blocks with a red flower, which was frozen solid after a second of making contact.
"Be careful not to work too long with it; your hands will freeze after the cold has seeped into your tools and gloves, this is no pleasant experience, believe me. Don't go too fast, invent ways with your partner to bypass the nasty frost effects.
"You will have to rely on your partner to keep up the pressure on the blocks to prevent them from recovering themselves and freezing your hands."
"Yes, Miss Davis?"
"Uhm, Professor what do you mean by 'recovering'?" Asked Davis, having raised her hand at the end of Sprout's explanation.
"Oh, yes. Good that you ask, I had almost forgotten; the Frostbite blocks will start to regenerate to their original state after being damaged and left alone for a while."
"So we have unlimited tries then? We can just drop it when the cold becomes too much and start over again?" Davis asked again.
"Only in a sense as the regeneration will set in after a set amount of time following its first signs of damage. The glacial water will grow more contaminated with each effort and attempt you undertake, which decreases its quality and your chance of successfully growing the flower."
"Still following me?" They nodded and mumbled their understanding. "The water inside the blocks will need to be poured inside the Constringitur Fortuna seeds after you both manage to break open the ice cube. One of you two will quickly move to hold the seed open while the other pours the water inside before time runs out."
"Act too slow and your block will regenerate; decreasing the chance of growing the plant the next time you do manage to pour it in, act too hastily and you'll likely spill the small amounts of glacial water you have, vanishing your chances entirely."
"The hard part will be over after this, however, be sure to plant the seed inside the crystallized earth as soon as you can by holding the sand aside with your tools while your partner embeds the seed. Act in unison again as the crystallized sand will not work in your favor, and will instantly try to close the hole you made."
"Any questions left? Yes Miss Granger?" Sprout asked Hermione as her hand shot up.
"Suppose we succeed in planting it; what further care does the plant need? When will we be able to use it and how?" Hermione asked, firing off multiple important questions that spiked their curiosity as well.
"Constringitur Fortuna will require no further care after successfully being seeded; nourishment comes from within the crystallized sand and glacial water inside the seed. The time of its blooming always fluctuates, for some people it comes after a few weeks, others months. Rest assured however that the flower will not die after blooming. It will stay healthy until picked from the sand."
"Picking and wearing the flower will allow its affects to influence you, making it more of a woman's thing. Males however can easily hide it beneath their clothes of course. Said effects will last for a period of time, depending entirely on the quality of the seeding. You can expect a few hours averagely."
"Now!" She said, clapping her gloved hands once, a cloud of dried sand spewing out from them. "Leave the discussion on who will be getting the plant to a later stage; you should first manage to pot it, before speaking of the ownership. Enough talking, let's get started!"
"Good luck, guys." Harry said as he moved away from them to his partner, seeing Hermione formulate plans in her head as Ron also walked off to his partner, looking determined.
He focused his search to a blonde ponytail and quickly found her between the shifting students; standing ready at the same table they used every lesson.
He silently stopped next to her, already thinking about how they were going to go about the various tasks as eager and pushy students at the back of the greenhouse collected their seeds, pots and blocks, running back to their table as the latter began to freeze their gloves and hands.
"So.." She began, not moving in to join the other students yet. "Want to do a Rock-Paper-Scissor now, or after we potted it?"
His lips tugged upwards a bit. There it was again; complete confidence in their yet to be achieved success. Questioning who would be getting it, instead of if they would be getting it.
"We still need to begin Daphne, but you can have it if the scenario happens. I don't fancy wearing a flower in my hair with a spring in my step."
"Don't give me stupid reasons, you just heard her say that you could just hide it underneath your clothes." She said, as they began to move towards the last remaining materials.
"I'll make sure to hide it between my butt-cheeks then." Harry dryly responded.
Daphne cracked a smile. "A very secure spot if I do say so myself, but really now. Are you fine with it?"
"Yes, I've had my fair share of luck already." Harry said, thinking about the near-death encounters throughout his life. "'Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect', I like to believe in that; lest my luck evaporate when I begin to lean on it."
"I see.." Was all she said, blue eyes glancing at him before picking up the last seed and pot as he grabbed the last remaining block.
"Don't mind me helping you by taking it off your hands then. "Daphne spoke, her greedy nature coming out as they began to walk back to their table.
"Say, how do you reckon we go about the breaking and potting? Should I give some sign? Or say-"
"- We will both hit the outer layer at timed intervals, afterwards you will pour it in while I hold the seed open." Daphne calmly cut through.
"I'll also hold the sand off while you plant it then?" Harry asked, absentmindedly trading his block for her pot and seed to allow his gloves to melt the ice off before it reached his hands underneath.
"Yeah, it will probably require some muscle effort." Daphne said, agreeing with him.
"Oh? Isn't that something that'll fit your-argh! Stop it, that's cold as fuck!" Harry cursed as she had briefly held the cube against his exposed elbow before he could finish, turning it ice cold within milliseconds.
"Language, Potter!" Professor Sprout called out to him after hearing him swear.
"Yes, Professor!" He called out back, glaring at Daphne, who begun to strut a bit.
"Gimme that." He said, grumbling, switching the weapon out of her hands, seeing that her gloves were mostly frozen by now.
"But seriously, after breaking it open should I tell where I would probably-"
"No, Harry, just roll with it." Daphne cut through again, acting as though it wasn't necessary at all to plan it through.
"Just..roll with it?" Harry asked perplexed as she waved it off. "Aren't you the Slytherin here? You're acting a bit Gryffindorish with this kind of setup beforehand."
"This is ambition leading, not an unthoughtful-charge-through plan. The finer details are unnecessary." Daphne huffed, setting down the materials she was carrying.
"Don't blame me if everything fails." He spoke, dropping the cube with a thud next to the seed and pot on their table. Relieving himself of the cold contact.
"You'll owe me one if I'm right." She said, challenging him.
"Sure, but you do realize I could botch it up on purpose right? It's not my flower." Harry questioned, raising one of his eyebrows as their classmates had begun to hack into the ice cube.
"You wouldn't do that to poor me, Harry, you would give it your all regardless." Daphne said, knowingly. Raising an eyebrow in return.
"Oh wow, you know me through and through." He said sarcastically before shifting to the work in front of them. "Anyway let's get started, everyone has already begun."
Daphne took a quick look around, replying in a noncommittal voice. "I guess we should, finishing early on will likely earn us some credits."
"If we finish early." Harry said, correcting her. as he grabbed two small hand shovels, giving one to her and keeping one for himself.
"No, no. When we finish early, Harry." Daphne said, holding true to her confidence, her eyes showing joy in the challenge.
"Right, right. Whatever you say." Harry said, not entirely convinced but relenting nonetheless.
He saw her standing in a position that told him she was ready to begin. He nodded once at her and pulled his arm back before bringing the blade of his shovel down on the cube. Creating a small cut on the frozen surface.
He quickly pulled his shovel back again, wanting the least amount of contact with it and giving Daphne more room as she brought down her own shovel after he had retracted.
They silently continued this rhythm until a decent cut ran across the exterior. Their shovels and gloves, however, were mostly frozen by now as the winter chill began to prickle onto their skin.
"I'll keep hitting it, you warm up meanwhile." Harry said to her, to which she quickly pulled out her wand and began heating up her shovel and glove as he kept pressuring the block with strikes.
"You still ok?" Daphne asked after half a minute had passed with her heating up and Harry repeatedly hitting the block.
"I'm fine." He said, no longer feeling his skin prickle and bite from the cold, meaning that frostbite was beginning to set in.
"Yeah right, your shovel and glove are frozen together; you need to ready yourself for the next part." Daphne said, moving in his place to start stabbing the cube herself.
"Just say so if it becomes too cold." Harry said, moving away to separate the shovel from his glove as he tried to wrench them apart by using his knees. Warming it up with his wand in the other hand
"No need, we're nearly through the layer." She said, as a final crack from the block sounded, signaling that they had broken through as crystal clear water shone inside.
Daphne quickly moved to the small seed, throwing both of her gloves off as he wrenched the shovel free from his half frozen glove.
She used her fingers to peel open the shell like seed while he grabbed the cube, holding it up in a position to pour it in.
"I'm ready, Harry!" She said, holding the small seed open for him.
He hesitates, the shape of the block made it difficult to tell where the water would land and his gloved hands were rapidly freezing up through the prolonged contact.
He spilled a small stream down, missing her opened seed. He soon lowered the rest of the stream down as he was losing control of his frozen arms, Daphne's however, had shifted the seed to where he had spilled his initial drops and caught most of the glacial water that now fell down, letting it flow down into the seed.
"The sand, Harry." Daphne said, letting the seed snap shut as she grabbed the pot and put it down in front of them.
Harry, despite his hands being slow and weak, grabbed both of their shovels, and stabbed them into the crystallized sand, hearing it crunch and resist him when he pushed it aside.
Daphne quickly pushed the seed onto the bottom of the pot and retracted her hands, allowing him to release the pressure he kept on the sand by pulling the shovels out. Instantly letting it slide back to its original state, not showing any signs of being disturbed.
"Well." Harry said, his breathing audible from the effort as he flopped his frozen gloves off his hands and onto the table with a crunch. "I guess I owe you one.."
"The first of many to come, no doubt about that." She responded, grinning while flipping her hair at him, basking in the glow of victory.
He briefly smelled flowers other than those in the greenhouse as her hair whipped past him. "You have no limits do you?"
"My limits know me well enough to stay out of my way." Daphne said, ego inflated and eyes alight again; waiting for him to respond.
"Excellent work you two, twenty points for Gryffindor and Slytherin!" Professor Sprout said, vanishing his reply and coming up to their table. "I must compliment you two on a job well done, your team work was natural and flowed right from the moment you collected your materials to the embedding of the seed."
"I'm sure your efforts will be rewarded with a healthy flower, there were hardly any mistakes made, very commendable for a first try. Your classmates however, are still in the middle of their lesson, I must ask you to wait until lesson ends." Their Professor said before moving back to help others in the class.
Harry said nothing, knowing that it would soon come.
"You said something about not finishing early, did you not? Forgive me, my memory is a bit hazy." Daphne said, feigning ignorance.
He sat down on the bench behind them, watching their other classmates struggle. "Don't know for sure either. Must be my drawbacks for being a Gryffindor showing up."
"Don't worry, I forgive you, I'm just that kind of a person." She said, sitting down next to him, luckily not overly so like their detention, but still closer than two people normally would, more like Ron and Hermione had been last week.
"Lucky me." Harry said, emotionlessly as he watched everyone mess up with handling the Frostbite block. Hermione and Bulstrode mostly failed to read each other's movements and clumsily hit the block at random intervals, Hermione mostly trying to do things herself. The rhythm causing the block to regenerate and their hands to freeze, forcing them to stop and begin at the beginning.
He was surprised, however, to see Ron and Davis booking the most progress on breaking the block aside from him and Daphne.
Ron was hacking in like a madman and Davis was warming his hands in the brief moments he passed her wand at the cube.
"Not saying I don't feel happy for them, but I never expected Ron and Davis to be making the most progress here." Harry said, voicing his thoughts.
"They did manage to brew something during our last Potion lessons." Daphne spoke, indicating that there had been progress in the making.
"Maybe Ron is slowly having second thoughts about people from Slytherin." He said just as he saw Ron and Davis break through the outer layer, scrambling to get the seed ready before the cube regenerated.
"You don't really have a choice with Tracey." Daphne said, experience sounding in her voice.
"Really? How so?" He asked, curious to knowing a bit about Daphne's friend and Ron's partner.
"She's just weird, her jokes are bad, and acts nothing like a Slytherin should, but she's a good person from start to end." She said, insulting and complimenting her friend at the same time.
"She must be a good and easy going person indeed, Ron must have been a pain to deal with; especially in the beginning. He's biased against Slytherins and very hardheaded, bad combinations to work with." Harry said, watching Ron spill most of the cube's contents next to the seed, managing to get a little inside before it snapped shut. Davis looking happy nonetheless.
"He made plenty of mistakes but has his heart in the right place." Harry said, thinking about his ups and down with Ron through the years.
"Hm, and Granger? She's a bit of an all knower during classes. You like that?" Daphne asked, looking at Hermione's struggle with Bulstrode to time their actions accordingly.
"Hermione is simply very passionate about magic and the lessons about it, often wanting to help others and ending up coming across as snobbish and pedantic, but above all she's been an iron pillar throughout my life. She's very important to me." Harry spoke, truthfully.
"Huhh.. really.." Daphne said, drawing out her words.
"Okay class, time's up! Gather around." Sprout called out to them, ending their conversation as they stood up from the bench and walked towards the Professor.
"Those who succeeded can bring their Frozen Luck with them, I wish to commend Mr. Potter and Miss Greengrass on their excellent display of planting it. Mr. Weasley and Miss Davis too, you have shown new efforts and made more progress, your plant will not be the best but will surely grow. For the others; good luck next time." Professor Sprout said, complimenting and encouraging them.
"Are there any other questions before the lesson ends?" Sprout asked of them, looking around the class. "Miss Granger?"
"Yes, Professor. I was wondering when the Dragon's Bane enters the stage of exhaling its fumes? It is not mentioned in the books."
"This is because circumstances such as heat, sunlight, water, nutrition, and care affect the time it needs to grow. The flower that is going to bloom soon will signal the fume stage, I estimate this to be in a few weeks." Professor Sprout said, making the class quietly talk among themselves again.
"Anything else, no? Until next week then, dismissed."
"Last chance for a Rock-Paper-scissors, Harry." Daphne said, nudging the pot in her arms.
"Thank you for being thoughtful but you can keep it." Harry said, declining her offer again.
"Hmpf, I merely wanted to take it from you anyway by winning three out of three." She said, playfully taunting him.
"How do you even know about Rock paper scissors in the first place? Doesn't seem very Pureblood to me." Harry asked, wondering.
"Tracey is a Half-blood, she told me about it. anyway I'll see you around, Harry." Daphne said, walking off to find Davis.
Harry could only shake his head as he also turned to find his friends, finding a disappointed Hermione and conflicted Ron.
"So you managing to win the flower, Ron? Did some quick Rock-Paper-scissors with Davis?" Harry asked, seeing him holding the pot.
"Huh? Uhm, no. She gave it to me.. 'a gesture of goodwill'." Ron said, quoting her words. Looking confused.
"That's really kind of her, maybe not all Slytherins have bad intentions, hmm?. She couldn't have done anything to it as you've been there the whole time, plus it's a plant that brings luck, not much harm it could do on its own right?" Harry said in a completely unveiled tone, trying to make Ron see the logic.
"Yeah, I guess." Ron muttered distracted, looking at the spot where the seed likely lay; hidden underneath the crystallized sand.
Harry left him to his thoughts and turned to Hermione, seeing her look up to Ron, hoping that he would see the light.
"Sorry that you didn't have your chance at getting one of the flowers, Hermione." He said, catching her attention.
"Don't be, Harry. it's simply frustrating not being able to perform these partner based assignments well, but Bulstrode and I might find some balance someday. Hopefully." Hermione said, expressing her thoughts on their lessons.
"I can understand that, maybe you should try some things out with Bulstrode, see what she can and cannot do and adjust to those rules. You're currently trying to do nearly everything yourself, let her do things she might be good in and trust her on that." He said, offering advice.
"You're right, I'll see what I can do about it." Hermione said, finding new goals for their next lesson.
How long had it been since she had last been here, two weeks? Yeah probably, for two long weeks she had pondered, for two long weeks had she waited, stopping her legs from walking off to this particular door, rather opting to watch Harry and the people around him for any signs that indicated whether or not they were aware, his teachers nor his friends seemed to be.
He showed no signs of sharing his experiences either, he didn't talk to his friends anymore in hushed whispers, huddling together to keep their business private like she had seen him do in their previous years from time to time.
Harry didn't shoot looks of suspicion to them as Malfoy passed, looking only distracted for a moment by his thoughts before returning to whatever they had been doing.
Likewise did his friends not seem concerned about his use of Dark spells. No, more like they didn't know.
She peeked through the hole again to observe Harry Potter, seeing red flashes as his spells impacted into the pillars, crumbling it to small pieces.
He wasn't using the Bone-Breaking, but something close to it in power and effect. It had a similar red colour but was a tint darker and pulverized the stone of the pillars, rather than breaking blocks off like last time.
He had begun moving through the room as he fired the spell off, intend on breaking every pillar that stood in the room.
She felt strangely uncomfortable when he had turned around for the first time during his practice, allowing her to see his face.
His face looked to be strained from his efforts most of the time, but gained the ghost of a smirk whenever one of his spells impacted particularly hard against a pillar. The silencing from his Charms adding a detached atmosphere to it.
She found herself not very fond of it, it was different from the one during their detention and lessons. Consisting of grim satisfaction and mild interest in the damage he was causing, instead of amusement and humor.
She began to back away from the door, not wanting to have a repeat of last time where she had been too late in leaving.
She nearly jumped out of her skin however, as the loud sound of glass breaking reverberated through the hallway two times.
She whipped her head around to see that a bludger had crashed through one of the windows and left the corridor again through another.
"The hell was that, Peakes?! You trying to get a Professor angry and have us end practice? Aim a bit more! That was completely out of the pitch!" A voice she recognized as the youngest female Weasley shouted.
She didn't linger and bolted into action, knowing that he would be coming to have a look.
Harry had just broken another pillar with his Bone-Splintering Curse before hearing the crashes of two large windows breaking from the hallway close to his classroom. His suspicion reached new heights however, when he heard a voice followed by a pair of rapid footsteps from the corridor.
Was someone there? Why would anyone be here?
He quickly moved towards to door and swung it open, his wand out and ready.
He saw out of the corner of his eyes a figure sprinting down the corridor, not too far away from him he acted instantly and send his spells flying, intend on stopping him.
His feet freezing charm hit first, halting the escape of the perpetrator before being hit by his body bind, which he had cast afterwards immediately.
The figure promptly fell on the ground, struggling in vain for a few seconds before relenting.
He advanced on the person, realizing that it had been a female after hearing her squeak from falling down and seeing the shape of the body.
Said body shape was very familiar and he was soon staring down at the face of Daphne Greengrass after she was done twisting her body around.
"Uh, hey there, Harry. Mind releasing me?" She asked, trying to sound casual through her heavy breathing as she lay on the ground.
He looked down upon her tied down position. "Don't know, maybe I like my girls tied up. Those ropes look pretty good on you."
"Of course, anything looks good on me." She said, managing to flaunt even from her bound position.
"But seriously now..Why are you here?" He asked, not moving in to release her, nor lowering his wand.
"It's a shortcut I use to get to the library, Harry. I don't like the crowded hallways." She said, sounding truthful.
The word sounding through his head was confident and cautioning, surprising him and making him almost look around to check where the voice had come from before realizing what it had been.
He looked back to her neutral expression and decided to ask a few more questions. Having second thoughts about her explanation.
"There are other ways to the library which are less crowded. Why take this one, the longer and more unknown way?" He asked.
"This one is completely deserted, plus I only know of a few ways to get to the library. This was one of them." Daphne answered.
"Why did you suddenly run, Daphne? Looking to be in quite the panic to me while you were at it." He questioned, moving on from the previous questions.
"You scared the shit out of me, suddenly bursting out of the classroom like that!" Daphne said, indignant.
"You jump when you get scared Daphne, you don't start running like the wind, not you.. no, you knew full well that I was here." Harry spoke.
"Don't be absurd, Harry. I was merely passing through here to get to the library, like I told you earlier. Besides I simply jumped into action when I saw a figure burst out of the classroom with a wand at the ready." Daphne said, acting as though this was all unnecessary.
He lowered his guard a bit, starting to believe her, maybe it really had been a weird chance of meeting.
"The floor is quite cold and hard, Harry. May I stand up again?" She asked, sounding as uncomfortable as it probably was.
"Yeah, sorry." Was all he said, undoing the body bind, helping Daphne up to her feet by taking her offered hand.
'Deception, trickery, treachery!'
His guard went up again as the accusing words rang through his head, every word sounding hard and punctuated.
He gripped her hand, not releasing her and narrowing his eyes as hers widened in surprise.
"No, the chances are too small, the detour is too long, and your reaction was too different from what it normally would have been." He said, not letting go of her hand.
"Besides, you began running after the glass shattered, not after I came out of the classroom." Harry said, poking holes in her story as he moved closer to her.
"Where is Tracey, Daphne? Surely you two would go to the library together." He said, sounding casual, his face close to Daphne's as her back hit the wall behind her.
"I had forgotten my quill and parchment, and was heading back to retrieve them from my common room, Harry. Come on no need to be this suspicious." She said, the slightest anxiety in her voice.
"No, I think I should be, for you can easily ask for some quill and parchment in the library from Madam Pince." Harry said, boring his eyes into hers.
"I rather didn't ask her, she's a bit creepy you know?" Daphne said with a nervous laugh, her blue eyes avoiding his.
Harry didn't laugh. "Don't lie to me, Daphne."
Her lips thinned and she looked to be relenting. "Fine, Harry. I'll tell, don't treat me like a criminal."
"Depends on how you go about explaining yourself." Harry said, releasing her hand and moving away from her face, making her relax a bit.
"Now tell me, truthfully. What were you doing here in this particular hallway?"
She sighed and drooped her shoulders a bit. "I came to observe you Harry."
"You mean to spy on me." He said, correcting her before a thought ran through him. "How did you find me?"
"I simply followed you Harry, I saw you pass by at the intersection some way back." Daphne said simply.
"Really now?" He said, feigning surprise before deadpanning the next words. "Please elaborate on how you've been able to follow someone who wasn't visible from the start to begin with."
"Your disillusionment wasn't perfect, Harry. I could still see where you were going when you moved." Daphne quickly added to her explanation.
"Stop trying, Daphne. I know that you're lying." He said accusingly, knowing she could not have seen him at all, for he had started moving under his cloak after his run in with Snape. Meaning that she had found him using some other method or followed him before he had started using his cloak to get to the practice classroom.
"Okay, fine!" Daphne said, frustrated, throwing her hands up.
"I followed you two weeks ago, after we had our lesson about the Love potion antidote. I saw you at the intersection to the library, talking to your friends before separating." Daphne said, beginning her explanation.
"I soon lost track of where you went but managed to narrow my choices down and searched most of the classrooms. I saw you casting spells at the pillars, destroying them. It's also the reason for earning my detention, it became quite late and I was found." Daphne said, giving an explanation that seemed to be the truth."
"Where was Davis in this? Was she with you this time?" He asked.
"No, Tracey found her own interest and wasn't particularly keen on following you in the first place. We met up much later again." She clarified.
"Why did you follow me in the first place, that something you do to all of your friends?" He questioned, wanting to know why she had done so.
She smiled a bit. "I'm friends with the great Harry Potter then?"
"Answer the question." He said, resolutely to which her smile dropped a bit.
"I had grown curious after hearing bits of your conversation with your friends back then in the hallway, but most of the reasons must have come from the Hogsmeade trip." Daphne said, looking to be confessing as she began fiddling her thumbs.
"Hogsmeade?" He said before thinking about his run in with Mundungus. "You heard?"
"I uh, yeah, we were right around the corner, pretty much heard everything of it… same can be said for everything else inside the Three Broomsticks." Daphne said a little red, at least having the decency to be ashamed of her actions afterwards.
Harry fell silent, thinking about everything she had heard during their trip, wondering whether or not it would be enough to identify Sirius. But soon moved his thoughts away as it didn't matter much anyway, Sirius was dead, and no longer in hiding, he thought bitterly.
"No matter, it's not the most important right now." He said dismissing it. "Back to the topic at hand; you have seen me practice, didn't you?"
"I have; two weeks ago and just now, I also told Tracey the first time. So she also knows." Daphne said, tensing a bit.
"I can assume that you recognized the spells?" Harry asked.
"Yes they're from the Dark arts. I identified the Bone-Breaking Curse. The spell you were using this time not however." She said, quietly.
"So what now, Daphne? No one was meant to find out, at least not until much later where it couldn't be avoided anymore. But here we are, right at the beginning of things with you and Davis knowing. The teachers and the masses finding out will focus attention back to having another 'Dark Lord' in the making. Or whatever they will make out of it." Harry said, seriously. "How am I to trust you on this after your spying and lying?"
"I-I'll keep it secret, Harry. I won't tell anyone, never planned to either. The three of us can give you an Unbreakable Vow!" She said quickly, looking especially worried after his last words to her.
"What's an Unbreakable Vow?" He said, faltered a bit, wondering what an Unbreakable Vow was. It seemed very serious to her.
"It is as the name implies; an unbreakable promise between witches and wizards, it required two people to make the vows to each other, and one other to serve as Bonder." Daphne explained after a moment of realizing that he didn't know.
"Bonder?" He inquired, asking more details.
"The Bonder will be Tracey if you and I were to go first. The Bonder serves to magically bind the promises to the participants." Daphne elaborated.
"What is the penalty for breaking it?" Harry asked, despite having a faint idea as to what these kind of magical things mostly saw as a fitting punishment.
"Death." Daphne deadpanned, looking him straight in the eye.
"And you would take it? With Davis doing the same?" He asked.
"I would, Tracey isn't going to like it but I'll be able to convince her, besides; there is no danger if we keep silent about it, just as the promise would ask of us." Daphne reassured him.
"I see. Then none will be required." Harry spoke.
"Yes, I'll make sur-huh?" She began before interrupting herself with an unintelligent sound of surprise.
"I said that no Unbreakable Vow will be required since you are so willing to take it. I will trust you with this… Don't make me regret my decision; make sure Davis keeps her silence for you in turn." Harry concluded to her perplexed face.
She stood for a moment before smiling widely, white teeth showing and blue eyes alight, sparkling like water in summer sunlight.
"Consider it set in stone." She replied, repeating her words from their detention with Slughorn.
He smiled a bit and took a look around, seeing that it had become dark again outside and sighed as he knew what he had to do.
"Wait here for a moment." He said, moving back to the classroom and gathered his things, pulling the cloak out of his bag.
He entered the corridor again, seeing her waiting for him expectantly, curious as to what he was doing.
"This," he said holding up the silvery cloak up to her. "is my Invisibility Cloak, it provides perfect cover to anyone underneath it."
"Amazing, perfect invisibility indeed." Daphne muttered as she fingered the material, seeing half of her fingers disappear underneath it.
"It's become late due to our little conversation, you'll likely get caught again so I'll bring you to your common room." Harry said, holding the cloak up.
She took a step closer, allowing him to swing the cloak of them, a thin veil falling over them, giving everything outside a flimsy look.
Daphne smiled in gratitude as she moved a bit closer to him than necessary underneath the cloak, flowers soon making themselves known to him again.
The journey was mostly nonverbal, with him creating a little distance and her closing it every few steps they took, sometimes having to grab her waist to prevent them from being discovered as she purposely moved in the opposite way he was when prefects and teachers came across them, grinning devilishly as she did so.
They soon arrived in the Dungeon Corridor, Harry having let her guide the way for him, not seeing the need to reveal his knowledge of her common room to her.
"Say, are you planning to practice more, to learn more?" Daphne asked softly as they stood in the hallway.
He regarded her searching eyes for a moment. "Yes, Daphne, I am."
"I see..Then I wish inform you on some things about it during the coming Slug Club." She said, moving out from underneath the cloak, looking back at the spot where he stood; invisible to her. "Until then, Harry."
"See you." He softly called out.
Harry lay in his bed, staring at the ceiling of the dorms, his curtains were drawn around him, they always were; he liked the privacy. Everyone was already sleeping as it had become late again, research hadn't really made any progress again.
Maybe because his thoughts had been distracted, thinking about the conversation he had with Daphne, how he had almost believed her, until the voice had spoken up again. Speaking confident words of doubt at her answers. How did it know that she had been lying?
He still hadn't dreamt about the being again, his nights rather being filled with nightmares than the offsetting entity.
Tonight however would be different for he wanted to go back, he had questions and wanted answers only the entity could provide.
He slowly closed his eyes, seeing white enter his vision instead of black.
"You asked for me?" A mixture of a hollow and childish voice sounded as the endless abyss surrounded them again.
"I did. Let's cut to the chase." Harry said, skipping pleasantries. "How did you know that Daphne was lying?"
"Know she was lying? No, Harry. I never knew for sure that she was lying." The entity said, casually.
"Yes you did, you called it out to me, saying words of treachery and deceit." Harry said confused, sure that he had heard the words from him during his conversation with Daphne.
"I merely had strong suspicions, Harry. Her story had holes in it and I responded in kind. I know that the truth is important to you, so I helped." He spoke, embers trailing up in new patterns as he moved during his explanation.
"You acted upon hearing my words, you reconsidered her story, it was you who, if only partially; believed me and acted accordingly. I knew nothing for sure Harry. You only believed it to be so."
Harry kept silent, knowing it to be true, he wouldn't have looked any further into her story had it not been for the words that had rang through his head at the time.
"But I'm glad to see you put value into my words, Harry. They often require much effort during the day." The entity said, sounding glad.
"Oh, what about the first time I casted the Bone-breaking Curse? You made me hallucinate and hear whole syllables." Harry inquired, finding inconsistencies.
"You had been very frustrated and angry at the time, Harry. making it more accessible for me to do so, the hallucination ran on your emotions while the syllables were from a memory I used; Voldemort at the Atrium to be precise." The entity explained to him.
"..You seem to have a pretty good scope of things you can do inside my head, I'm going to have to ask you to refrain from doing things similar to the practice in the future." Harry told rather than asked him.
"Anything to support you, Harry. My help comes in many forms." The entity merely said, not giving a clear answer.
"Besides, if you can do those kind of things, why not help me by stopping the nightmares? That would actually make a difference." Harry proposed.
"I'm sorry, Harry, I am unable to control your fleeting thoughts, just like you are now thinking on your own, will dreams-or nightmares run through your head uncontrolled. I cannot change anything on my own." The entity said, shaking its head.
"Great." Harry said, disappointed.
"You could however, learn Occlumency to control said thoughts and dreams; gag, chain and lock them away. Into the dark recesses of your mind from whence they came." The entity said, offering another method.
"If I can use it to do those things to my thoughts, to choose what I want inside my head. I could also prevent you from causing more hallucinations by locking the thoughts off you are using. Am I right, Maybe block you off completely too?" Harry, inquired, wondering why the entity would have Harry learn something that can be used against himself.
"It is true that you could also use it for that purpose, but I will most likely not induce another hallucination after your request not to do so." The entity said before continuing. "And I'll have to inform you that blocking me off will not be possible nor will it have much effect for I am not a memory, I am not a thought, I am part of you. A piece of the puzzle that needs to be placed."
"Really now. Well in any case, I'll have to think it over." Harry said, thinking about his previous experiences with Snape. He didn't want another repeat of the disastrous lessons, maybe he could ask Dumbledore for somebody else to teach him, maybe even Dumbledore himself now that he thought about it.
But Harry needed to think it over; he still didn't like the thought of having just about anyone teach him, since they would be able to see his memories, many of which were secrets that needed to be kept. Even Dumbledore wasn't the best choice in that regard, Harry had secrets he needed to keep from the gifted Legilimence.
"That would be all." Harry said, signaling his leave.
"Until next time." The entity said as Harry allowed darkness to envelop him again, beckoning his return to the real world.
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