Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Potters and Dumbledore's Secret

Midnight Marauding

by EmeraldStag 1 review

AU. Book 1 of the Stagverse series. Harry agreed to meet Draco Malfoy for a duel in the Hogwarts trophy room. Neither have plans to duel yet each hope their rival is punished. Throw in one mischiev...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor - Characters: Draco, Fred, George, Harry, Tonks - Warnings: [!] [?] - Published: 2007-01-07 - Updated: 2007-01-08 - 3308 words

Author's Note: Thanks once again to my beta Rayvynwood for her lovely assistance and thanks to everyone who reviewed. I always respond to them right before I upload the next chapter.

Chapter Ten - Midnight Marauding

It wasn't until later that evening at dinner that Harry was finally able to confide to his friends about his new development.

"You're pulling my leg, right?" asked Nym incredulously. When Harry just shook his head, the spoon she was using to eat pumpkin pie off Harry's plate fell back to the table. "Oh wow, our dads are going to be ecstatic when they hear the news! And your mum-oh ..." She trailed off at the thought of how the news was going to be taken at the Potter Estate.

"Well, I certainly don't envy you having to break the news to the family, Harry," added Daphne. "I'd say you dodged a curse there when you broke Madam Hooch's order. Only you would have such luck." She sighed and returned to picking at her plate.

"It was certainly daring of you to confront Malfoy, Harry," replied Hannah. "He already spends an inordinate amount of time trying to mess with you, and I doubt he'll be slowing down anytime soon once he hears about /this/."

"About /that/, please don't let anyone here know I made the team. We're trying to keep it a surprise for at least the first match," said Harry. "I'm going to make sure when I write to Mum and Dad that if they want to send a Howler, to at least wait until the day after the match."

Nym reached down and sneaked one more bit of Harry's pie. "Don't worry about it, flyboy. We'll keep quiet," she said quietly, giving him a kiss on the forehead, and ruffling his hair with her hand before she skipped back in the direction of her usual seat at the Hufflepuff table.

"The Blood-traitor giving you a goodbye kiss, Potter?" a voice drawled from behind Harry. "Having a last meal before leaving on the train? I bet Gringotts would be willing to hire you to guard their vaults."

Harry turned around to see Malfoy standing there arrogantly, his two bodyguards Crabbe and Goyle right behind him. "Unfortunately, Malfoy, I'm not going anywhere. You're not getting out of our duel that easily."

A flicker of fear seemed to pass over Malfoy's eyes before they returned to their usual spiteful gaze. "Don't worry, Potter. I'm not surprised you escaped punishment; Dumbledore will do anything for his precious savior. You'll get yours tonight."

Harry, lost in thought over what Malfoy said, didn't notice the glances his two friends gave each other.

"What's this about a duel, Harry?" asked Hannah, bringing Harry's attention back to the present.

"Oh, Malfoy challenged me to a duel this morning, and we agreed for it to happen tonight in the trophy room," answered Harry.

"You can't trust Malfoy to be honorable, Harry," warned Daphne. "He will do anything to get ahead. Most of the girls in my year can see it except for Pansy. She's nice and all, but I think she has a crush on Malfoy -- although Tracy was saying something the other day about a betrothal --"

"Don't worry about it, Daphne," Harry interrupted before she wandered any farther away from the point she was trying to make. "I wouldn't trust a Malfoy if my live depended on it. Fred and George are going to help me set up a little surprise for Malfoy after curfew. Even if he snitches on me, he has to lead the authority figure to the trophy room, which, in my book, is just another welcome victim."

"What if it's someone wonderful, Harry, like Professor Flitwick or Professor Sprout?" asked a concerned Hannah.

"That's not Malfoy's style, Hannah," said Harry. "There are only two people he'll go to in order for me to get the most punishment: Snape or Filch. Either one deserves what's coming to him."

"I can easily state that you're a glutton for punishment, Harry," added Daphne, "I respect that."


It was shortly after curfew when Harry was lying on his bed with the curtains drawn, waiting for the telltale sign that all his dorm mates were sleeping. After a few minutes of hearing nothing but gentle breathing and light snoring, Harry got up silently and put his cloak on over his pajamas; the castle was known to get very cold during the night.

He made his way down the dorm corridor and its steps, entering the common room. Having expected a dark and empty room, Harry was surprised to see a few candles still lit at one of the tables in a corner of the room. They kept the surrounding area lit for a witch with long brown wavy hair, who was currently turned from her work and stared straight at the intruding Harry.

"Harry, are you feeling ok?" asked a concerned Penelope. "Having trouble sleeping?"

"Uh-um - no," stammered Harry, allowing himself to be drawn towards the table and into the candle light.

Penelope gave him a thorough look-over, feeling his forehead for a fever when she noticed he had on his cloak over his pajamas. "And why did you feel the need to put your cloak on, Harry? Going somewhere?" Penelope asked, becoming increasingly interested the more she looked at him.

Harry tried to think up an excuse, when he realized he didn't want to lie to Penelope, she didn't deserve that. "I - um," Harry started, bowing his head, "I'm setting up a prank on Malfoy. He challenged me to a duel and I was planning on teaching him a lesson."

Penelope held in a gasp when she heard his reason, but refrained from frowning since he had been upfront once confronted. "I don't like it, Harry. I know you know that, and if we weren't close I'd keep you from going, but you'll keep safe, right?"

Harry looked up at Penelope and was grateful for her lenience. "Of course, Penelope," answered Harry cheerfully. "I'm not actually going to duel Malfoy, just a little prank with the help of the Weasley twins, who, now that I think about it, are probably waiting for me."

Penelope just rolled her eyes at the mention of those troublesome twins and motioned for Harry to go. "Don't stay out too late, Harry."

Harry leaped forward and kissed Penelope's cheek in gratitude before quickly exiting the common room, leaving the Prefect to let out a sigh before returning to her unfinished Ancient Runes homework.

Luckily, Harry had thought ahead and had handed the twins a list of items he wanted for the prank before he had gone for the flying lesson that afternoon. After Fred and George teased him a bit once they found out why he was late, they quickly set off for the trophy room, with Fred every now and then glancing at a slip of parchment as they moved through the halls.

Upon reaching the trophy room, Harry took the time to look around the place. Since they were early for the arranged duel time, only Harry and the twins were in the room. The trophy cases gleamed in the moonlight; someone must've recently had detention. Both Harry and the twins were familiar with having to polish these awards. Goblets, shields, plaques, plates and statues were littered throughout the room, their freshly scrubbed surfaces twinkling in the reflected light.

In his quiet inspection of the room, Harry noticed something he'd ignored during his detentions. There were two entrances to the room, one significantly smaller in size than the regular doorway.

"Why is that door so small, guys?" asked Harry as he rummaged around through one of the sacks Fred and George brought.

"Well that's used mainly by the house-elves, Harry," answered George. "All the staff and students normally use the regular door."

"Which means that we can use that door to hide behind while we watch the prank in action," added Fred.

"Perfect," replied Harry, as he removed his wand from his pocket and began to tap the floor right in front of the closed doorway, mumbling words that neither twin could hear.

"Erm," started Fred, "what are you trying to do mate?"

Harry looked up from the floor at the twins. "Well, I've seen my godfather use this misdirection charm several times before, but I think I keep just mispronouncing it."

George listened closely to Harry's incantation. "I think you're thinking of a Confundus Charm, mate."

"Twirl your wand a bit more, Harry," added Fred.

Harry listened to their advice and after a few attempts, successfully performed the charm. Fred decided to try it out, and struggled a bit when he crossed the doorway.

"Well it's a bit on the weak side, Harry. But it's definitely a Confundus Charm," Fred replied. "It should work enough on a first year like Malfoy, and definitely on Filch, but I doubt it'd be successful on someone like Snape."

"Well we'll just have to hope Snape's busy tonight. I want you guys to levitate that bucket I asked for above the doorway while I stick this rope across the floor to the walls. At that angle when Malfoy gets hit with the Confundus Charm, he'll trigger the trap when he trips on the rope and down the bucket will fall," said Harry, having finished with the sticking charm and now watching the twins levitate the large bucket.

"So mate, what's this red liquid you had us pour in here?" asked George as he and his brother finished securing the bucket to the rope.

"Blood?" joked Fred.

"It's some paint that I brought from home," answered Harry. "I asked Nym to perform some conjuring spells and soon enough I had a whole trunk full of paint jars. The best thing about this paint is that you can't wash it off; you have to wait for your skin to shed, so you're stuck that way for a long while. I'm sure this is putting them to good use."

After double-checking all of their work, Harry noticed it was close to midnight so he turned away from the trap and headed to the door where Fred and George were already waiting.

"Alright, this should be fun to watch," Harry said, closing the door just enough to leave a gap for them to watch through. It was when he turned back to see why the twins hadn't replied that he saw that they weren't alone. Standing next to Fred and George were Nym and Daphne.

"What are you two doing here?" hissed Harry, causing both Nym and Daphne to reach out and slap his arm. "Ow!"

"Well, Harry, you're being extremely rude, you know," replied Daphne, causing Harry to narrow his eyes.

"Once Daphne here informed me of your little duel and your 'surprise' plan," Nym said, cutting in to prevent any arguing from continuing. "I decided I just had to see it for myself so I picked up Daphne on the way. I had wondered why you wanted so much red paint."

"See it for herself she says," remarked George.

"A girl after our own hearts," added Fred.

Nym knocked the twins' heads together and was getting ready to deal out more pain when they all heard approaching voices. As the voices got louder it became clear that Malfoy had indeed snitched on Harry, to Mr. Filch.

"This way," Draco ordered obnoxiously, "I heard Potter say he'd be in here, messing with the trophy room."

"You better be right about this, boy," threatened Filch, "or I'll be getting you in detention." The jingling of bells informed the listening pranksters that Mrs. Norris had accompanied the caretaker on this mission.

"Look, it's midnight, he should be right there--" Before Malfoy could finish his statement he walked into the trophy room leading Filch, where he was hit with the effect of the Confundus Charm. Draco stumbled as he became disoriented and roughly grabbed hold of Filch right before he tripped on the line of rope, dragging Filch to the ground with him as the bucket overturned itself and poured gallons of neon red paint on the unfortunate duo. The grunts and yelps were soon joined by the howls of Mrs. Norris as she entered the room and slid across the floor right into a cabinet.

"Stop struggling, boy," snapped Filch, "I'm trying to get off you."

"Well, get your hands off me!" shrieked Malfoy, "What is this vile substance?"

Filch wiped his eyes to get a look around and gasped in despair. The resulting splatter from the paint had spread itself throughout the room, littering the previously clean awards with large amounts of red paint. "They've desecrated this room!" exclaimed Filch. "I'll get those Weasleys."

"Weasleys?! This was clearly Potter's doing! And this isn't coming off!" shouted Malfoy, as he scrubbed furiously at his robes and arms. "Wait until Father hears about this."

The group of onlookers giggled silently as two of the bigger annoyances in Hogwarts were covered from head to toe in red paint. Once this got out to the whole school, it would take a long time for either male to not be sniggered at. In the group's abundance of joy, they hadn't noticed the approaching cat, until she let out a hideous hiss right at the door. The whole group jumped in fright and quickly high-tailed it down the corridor, weaving left and right until they landed in a dimly lit area of the castle.

Fred was chosen to look if the coast was clear, and although he came back to inform them that Filch and Malfoy were on their way, he was also giggling over the fact that he saw Filch marching down the hall with Malfoy scowling right behind him, both leaving trails of red behind them.

As the group started debating on where to go and if they should split up, something shot through the corridor at a high velocity, interrupting their conversation. It was Peeves the Poltergeist. He was known to wreak havoc throughout Hogwarts on a daily basis. Harry remembered Fred and George telling him that the only two people that Peeves listened to were Dumbledore out of respect and the Slytherin ghost, the Bloody Baron, out of fear.

Peeves stopped his movement when he saw the group of students and cackled with delight.

"Peeves, quiet down," ordered Fred, waving his hands in a placating manner.

"Weasleys and firsties wandering around at midnight," said Peeves. "Naughty, naughty, should have invited old Peevsie."

"Well, Peeves," George said warily, "it must have slipped our mind. You know how it is, trying to prank Filch and all."

Unfortunately for the group, this seemed to have been the wrong name to mention. Peeves had a strange look on his face at the mention of Filch, which let way to a greedy leer. "STUDENTS OUT OF BED!" shouted Peeves. "OUT OF BED AND WAITING FOR TROUBLE IN THE CHARMS CORRIDOR!"

Everyone got a panicked look on their face from Peeves' outburst and quickly looked left and right for an escape route. Ducking under Peeves, they made a run to the end of the corridor. Harry tried to open the door, but it was locked.

Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at the door. "/Alohomora/!" he said, but the door still refused to budge.

Fred, George and Nym quickly exchanged looks at each other and bent their heads together, brainstorming how to get through the door. Daphne and Harry kept shooting looks at the bouncing Peeves, who looked way too happy about the trouble he caused. Soon the three older students faced the door and began murmuring different kind of spells that they knew at the door, trying to loosen it.

Luckily enough, a spell Fred finally used had unlocked the door with a loud squelch. He shrugged. "What do you figure? A Cheering Charm unlocked it?" he joked.

"Did it really?" laughed George. "That must be one sad door."

Harry just shook his head and led them through the door, closing it behind them. As the others silently exchanged looks, Harry took notice of what was in the locked room with them, a gigantic three-headed dog that was currently sleeping the night away.

"HOLY--" shrieked a startled Harry before Nym could clamp her hand over his mouth.

"Well I guess we know why that door was so hard to open," said Fred.

"I wonder why we didn't notice this beastie before," pondered George.

"While you two decide the meaning of life," whispered Daphne, "I suggest we do it elsewhere. I don't need a three-headed dog to tell me I shouldn't be here."

Everyone nodded at the girl's sound advice and leant towards the door trying to hear if anyone was coming. Through the heavy oak door, they could hear the muffled shouts of Filch and Malfoy towards Peeves, along with the banging of metal as the Poltergeist threw objects at his targets. After a few minutes, the noise quieted down to non-existent levels and the students looked at each other, trying to decide if it was safe to take a chance to escape.

Their choice was quickly made as Harry noticed that he didn't hear the gentle snoring anymore. Turning around, he saw that the large three-headed dog was awake, blinking its eyes and sniffing the room. Its drowsiness was slowly leaving, so the group quickly bolted through the door, slamming it behind them before the dog could do nothing more than growl at the intruders.

After a few twists and turns through corridors and stairways, they all agreed to split up and head to their respective common rooms. Nym dragged Harry away, quietly informing him that she'd be dropping him off at Ravenclaw Tower so she'd be sure that he wasn't roaming around again that night.

"Why did we have to run into Peeves of all things tonight?" muttered Nym.

"He didn't seem too bad," remarked Harry.

"Not too bad?" asked Nym incredulously. "He has no regard for keeping us out of trouble. It's all one big game to him. We're just lucky that Peeves found the idea of messing with Filch more appealing than making sure we got caught."

"Well," said Harry, "I'd have to say it was worth it to see Malfoy's and Filch's faces during that prank."

"While that was fun, Harry," replied Nym, "I think the more interesting thing tonight was that dog."

"That too," chimed in Harry, "I mean, no wonder the third floor corridor is off limits. I wouldn't want to cross paths with that thing when it's hungry." Harry shuddered at the thought.

"Yeah," Nym answered halfheartedly, seemingly deep in thought. "There's never been a corridor off limits since I've been here at Hogwarts, so it has to be something more than just the dog. Did you see that trap door it was guarding? I wonder where it leads."

"There was a trap door?" asked Harry. "I think I was too busy freaking out at the three heads."

"How brave of you, Harry," said Nym, pretending to swoon into Harry's arms.

Harry shrugged her off, and stomped past her. "That thing had three heads, Nym," added Harry, breaking his short silent protest off. "That's three things more than I need to try to eat me."

Nym rolled her eyes and shoved Harry gently in front of his common room entrance. "Don't worry about it, Harry. Just chalk it up to another wacky adventure inside Hogwarts. Goodnight."

Nym turned and walked away, narrowly missing a nearby suit of armor when she threw her hand up to wave behind her at Harry. It had been a long night, but as Harry crossed the Ravenclaw entrance, he began to wonder just what all the fuss about guards was lately, and what was so special that it needed to be guarded.
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