Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Desert Warrior

Cracking Eggs

by ShadeDancer 1 review

Chapter 20

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover - Characters: Harry, Other - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2007-07-13 - Updated: 2007-07-14 - 2041 words

This story is set back in the timeline of The Mummy Returns, so here's a basic rundown of the Harry Potter timeline in relation to this chapter.

1922: Harry Potter is born to Lily and James Potter.
1923: Harry is a year old and his parents are murdered by Voldemort.
1927: Harry is five and goes to Egypt with his distasteful relatives and becomes Kedar.
1933: Harry turns eleven and starts Hogwarts.
1936: Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts, current year.


Disclaimer: Not even in my dreams do I own Harry Potter...believe me, I've tried, but the thought of lawsuits deters all such dreams. I also don't own anything recognizable from either the Mummy or the Mummy Returns.

Chapter 20: Cracking Eggs

Gryffindor was a riot of parties due to Kedar's success against the dragon, somehow Sirius and Remus managed to sneak into one, but Kedar himself was rarely found to participate in the festivities after the initial celebration. It was on one such occasion where Kedar has slipped away to sit meditatively with the dragon egg that Ron found him and gave a stuttering apology before disappearing. Things would never be the same as before between them now that Ron had shown he had the ability to backstab, minor and petty though his actions had been, but one day Kedar's prediction could come true and it could be a more severe betrayal.

After that classes resumed as normal, Kedar spending more of his free time in the library with Cedric and Viktor as they each tried to crack the riddle of the screeching eggs. Thus far they had managed to conclude that each of their eggs made the same sounds and that it seemed to be some form of message instead of a single clue given the varying tones. They just had to figure out what language it was and how they could translate it. Already they had ruled out a few of the more obvious speeches such as that of the Banshee or the screeching of an enraged Veela. Despite it being a 'dragon' egg, the speech was no known version of Draconian either.

It was Cedric who finally presented them with the answer a little over two weeks later, after overhearing a conversation between two of the Professors-or more precisely Professor Moody and Durmstrang's Headmaster, Karkaroff.

"Moody was advancing on him right there in the hall," Cedric told them in an undertone as they sat around a table in the back of the library where they wouldn't be disturbed, "he was accusing Headmaster Karkaroff of probably telling Viktor the secret of the egg, that the voices were that of mermaids. He accused him of giving his student an unfair advantage in the tasks and said that he was watching him. I was lucky they didn't see me."

Kedar exchanged a long glance with Viktor, suspicion in his eyes though it wasn't the Durmstrang boy he doubted.

"So we jump in the lake with our eggs and listen to them underwater?" Viktor turned to ask Cedric before their silence made the other boy think there was something wrong.

Cedric shrugged, "I guess that's one way to do it."

"No thank you," Kedar shuddered dramatically, "there is a perfectly fine bath in my dorm, with hot water. If you wish to freeze, be my guests, but I won't be jumping in that lake while winter's here."

Viktor gave a slight grin, "do you not know how to swim Kedar? I could teach you."

"Drown me is more like," Kedar retorted, "It's too cold."

"Kedar does have a point," Cedric agreed, "it is cold out. I know a place we could use though. There's a big pool in the Prefects bathroom. It'll be empty soon; we can all grab swimming trunks and meet there in an hour. We've worked together this far, we might as well listen to the message together. It would be interesting to see if we were right about the tones, and therefore the messages, being the same."

Kedar nodded, Viktor agreeing a moment later, "it couldn't hurt."

"Great," Cedric grinned comradely at the two of them, "fifth floor, fourth door to the left of Boris the Bewildered. Password is 'pine fresh.' I'll see you there in an hour."

Kedar and Viktor watched as Cedric headed back to his dorm, making sure the Hufflepuff wasn't about to double back before either of them spoke.

"It seems too convenient," Viktor said, "that one of us three would happen to overhear."

"And to not be caught," Kedar agreed, "especially since Professor Moody's eye can see through solid objects."

~~ ~~ ~*~

Kedar jogged easily through Hogwart's halls after slipping from Gryffindor Tower with a pair of swimming shorts on under his robes and the egg wrapped in a towel tucked under one arm. He had spent the time since he had left Viktor trying to figure out why Moody had allowed Cedric to overhear his confrontation with Headmaster Karkaroff, but didn't know enough about the Defense Professor beyond rumors to guess at his motives; it could be something as simple as wanting to give the Hogwart's Champions an early lead or something deeper, but why involve Karkaroff when it was plain they both harbored great dislike for each other. The one thing Kedar did know from all of this was that it wouldn't hurt to be even more cautious than usual.

After tonight he would work alone on his strategy for the next task and wouldn't accept hints or help from anyone he didn't ask for information personally-something that wasn't likely to happen unless the person was a professor and he really found himself backed into a corner. Kedar wasn't a fool; he knew all too well that the other Champions had three more years of schooling than he did. He also knew that his Medjai training could only take him so far and that there was a good possibility that the last two tasks could very well turn out to be purely magical in nature, but he was also determined and in a Medjai determination and hard work combined with the proper knowledge and tools could go a long way. He just had to know what he needed to look for, hence the reason why he was suddenly throwing himself off a sixth floor landing when the staircase he was aiming for suddenly decided to shift as he approached it.

Kedar landed solidly, gaining his balance and grabbing onto the side rail with his right hand so he didn't lose the egg; the stairs shifted slowly, but they had a tendency to lurch sometimes and he didn't care to find himself falling down to the fifth floor or beyond. He had seen a Ravenclaw fall like that once, stepping for the top stair to find it had shifted from beneath his foot; the boy had fallen to the third floor before another shifting staircase had caught him. Madam Pomfrey had fixed him up as well as she could, but even with magic some of the damage had taken time to fully heal. Still keeping in touch with the railing Kedar moved down to the middle of the staircase and paused there until the stone gave the grinding groan that signaled it had locked into place before he continued the rest of the way to the fifth floor.

"There you are Kedar," Cedric hailed him from beyond the statue of Boris the Bewildered, Viktor was already there as well, "are you ready?"

"Let's get this over with," Kedar said as he caught up to them, following Cedric and Viktor into the Prefect's bathroom after Cedric gave the password.

The room was pleasantly warm as they stepped in and Kedar had to admit that it would be worth it to become a Prefect for the bathroom privileges alone. The light of the candles floating in a chandelier overhead twinkled softly off the dark-flecked white marble, set off by the long white curtains hanging across the windows to let in the sunlight during the day, but the best part was the deep-sunken pool in the middle of the floor surrounded by golden taps.

"There's about a hundred taps around the pool," Cedric told them, "start turning on a few and we'll get the pool filled back up again. Don't worry about which ones you're tapping, we haven't managed to find a combination that stinks yet and believe me some of the Slytherins have tried."

Kedar looked at Viktor and shrugged; both of them were surprisingly good at deciphering the other's looks for only having known each other a short time and Kedar was skeptical too, but they would have to trust Cedric on this one. Following the Hufflepuff's lead both boys shed their robes and hung them on the handily provided racks and began to turn on random taps. Each tap had a tiny symbol on it to indicate its difference from every other and soon the swimming pool was being filled with water and bubble of every sort and color. Surprisingly despite its size, the pool filled quickly, but none of them made the move to jump in with their eggs.

"Let's just swim for a bit," Kedar finally suggested, "its late enough that we won't be disturbed and it would be a shame to have filled the pool only to listen to the egg and then leave. Let's relax a bit first."

"Good idea," Viktor concurred, set his egg down, and dove in through the layers of bubbles to cleave the water underneath.

With a smirk, Kedar followed behind him and proved that even desert dwellers could learn to swim-indeed Ardeth had taught him to swim early, making the long trip across the desert to a watering hole that was for swimming and watering camels, after learning of the phobia of standing water that his uncle had instilled in him by constantly holding his head underwater as punishment during his baths. Of course Kedar would be the first to admit that he was no fish in the water, but he swam well enough for his needs and could make the occasionally needed swim across the gentler parts of the Nile without floundering. Cedric joined them without hesitation and it wasn't until about half an hour later that Kedar swam to where he had left his egg and picked it up, signaling a halt to the fun-they had come for a reason after all.

'Here goes nothing,' Kedar thought as all three of them took a deep breath and dove underwater; this time when Kedar opened the egg his ears weren't assaulted by high-pitched wailing.

Instead the water was permeated by the eerie sound of multiple voices as they sang:

"Come seek us where our voices sound,
We cannot sing above the ground,
And while you're searching, ponder this:
We've taken what you'll sorely miss.
An hour long you'll have to look,
And to recover what we took,
But past an hour-the prospect's black,
Too late, it's gone, it won't come back."

"Well that's pretty straightforward," Kedar commented after he had broken the surface, "except for what they'll take. Grab your eggs and we'll make sure they're the same before we discuss more."

Easily enough the other two eggs revealed the same message and Viktor, Cedric, and Kedar floated in the pool to discuss what they had heard.

"It'll involve the Lake," Cedric offered up the first fact, "that we have to listen to the egg underwater to understand the message proves that along with the fact that the singers can't sing above ground. The Lake is also the only big enough body of water on Hogwarts' grounds."

"They'll take something special to us," Viktor added, "and we'll only have a time limit of an hour to find it within the lake. We don't know what they'll take though."

"The singers are Mer-folk," it was Kedar's turn to voice his thoughts, his eyes fixed upon the single picture of a mermaid that hung in the Prefect's bathroom, "they're the only water-dwellers in Hogwarts' Lake with remotely human voices and they screech above the surface. They make their homes deep within the Lake; we'll have to find some way to breathe underwater for an hour."

"But what will they take?"
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