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

Trolling Around

by EmeraldStag 7 reviews

AU. Book 1 of the Stagverse series. Everyone dislikes party crashers but no one told this troll that! The Halloween feast has been interrupted and everyone is in their common rooms, or are they?...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Dumbledore,Harry,Hermione,Ron - Warnings: [!] [V] [?] - Published: 2007-11-15 - Updated: 2007-11-15 - 4123 words

Author's Note: I've been working on this chapter for the last two weeks and I'm hoping to bring a much steadier publishing rate in the future.

Chapter Twelve - Trolling Around

Harry smirked while he led Ron down the dark corridor. Their departure from the crowd of students was easier then expected and their journey towards the girls' bathroom was mostly quiet. The amusement quickly disappeared off Harry's face when they nearly ran right into the path of the Hogwarts Potions Master, Severus Snape.

Snape crossed the corridor just a few feet in front of where Harry and Ron had stopped and proceeded up the nearby staircase. They waited a few moments, listening carefully for Snape's fading footsteps before continuing toward their destination.

“That was close,” commented Harry.

“I’ll say,” replied Ron. “Shouldn't Snape be heading towards the dungeons instead? As horrible as he is, that is his territory and you’d think he’d want to protect it.”

Harry felt a slight twinge of worry for Daphne –- the Slytherin common rooms were near the dungeons — but he pushed it down to focus on where they were going. “Must be something important,” was all Harry said before turning the next corner.

“Ugh,” Harry grunted before coming to a halt, causing Ron to run into his back.

“What is that smell?” asked Ron. He quickly followed Harry's example and brought a hand up to his nose to try and shut out the awkward stench that lingered in the corridor.

Harry’s reply was drowned out by a burst of loud grunting that besieged their ears. Their attention was immediately drawn to the far end of the hallway, where a giant shadowy figure lumbered its way in their direction.

As the figure emerged from the shadows, Harry and Ron immediately recognized the lurking creature as a troll -- the troll Professor Quirrell had said was in the dungeons. Fear growing on their faces, the boys exchanged quizzical looks. They were nowhere near the dungeons and with a castle the size of Hogwarts there was no way the troll could've moved areas that quickly.

The troll was a large beast –- it filled nearly the entire corridor at roughly twelve feet tall –- its large arms dragged a huge wooden club along the floor as it moved down the hall. The boys shrank back as much as they physically could into the shadows along the wall as the troll neared. The once awkward stench was quickly becoming a down-right foul one.

The troll seemed to hesitate at the open doorway halfway down the corridor. It tilted its head from side to side as if trying to judge its worth. After a few tense moments, the troll made its decision and stepped noisily through the doorway.

“Bloody hell! Let’s get out of here, Harry,” said Ron, turning around to go back the way they had come. “That was too close for comfort.”

“No,” replied Harry, stopping Ron in his tracks.

“What do you mean no?” asked Ron, a hint of impatience on his face.

“Let’s close that door first,” Harry answered quietly, creeping towards the open doorway. “I don’t know how that troll got inside Hogwarts in the first place, but nobody knows that it's not in the dungeons. A closed door will certainly give us more time to find help and keep anyone from running into that thing.”

Ron smiled shakily. “You sure don't do things in halves, do you?”

Harry just shrugged and waited for Ron to make his decision. The redhead took a deep breath and marched right up to Harry’s side, and began to help pull on the door. It creaked slightly and its rusty hinges fought against the movement, but the boys’ persistence paid off as it soon closed with a large slam that echoed throughout the hall.

Harry and Ron both jumped back from the door and quickly scurried down the hall, intent on putting as much distance as they could between themselves and the troll. The urgency of the situation made itself known to the young wizards when a frantic, high-pitched scream reached their ears, bringing both boys to a stumbling halt.

“That couldn't be …” Harry trailed off as he turned to meet Ron’s gaze. There was only one logical choice and the danger was too much to be denied.

“Hermione,” Ron confirmed quietly.

“There’s no time to run back for help,” Harry said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out two multi-colored packages from inside his robes.

“What are those?” asked Ron.

“Just some explosive pranks I had been hoping to use on Malfoy soon,” Harry shrugged, handing the packages over so Ron could read the label. “Now these will help us distract that troll and get to Hermione.”

“Fireworks.” Realization hit Ron and he began to look at the packs in his hands with a gaze of adoration and awe.

Harry shrugged and grabbed one of the packs from Ron’s hands. “I can always get more.” Using his wand, Harry ran it along the marked areas of the pack, igniting it. A slight hum began to emanate from the package and it grew louder with every passing second as the pack expanded in size. Harry took aim and threw the package down the corridor as hard as he could back towards the main part of the castle. The two boys watched as the package of fireworks skidded along the floor before disappearing from their line of sight.

Moments later the fireworks escaped their containment and explosions followed, alerting the rest of the castle. Harry and Ron took a moment to appreciate the small flashes from the fireworks explosions that would pop into their view.

“Fred and George are going to be so jealous when they hear about this,” Ron said, sharing a grin with Harry.

The mood was quickly broken by the loud thrashing that was taking place inside the room where Hermione and the troll were.

“Let’s hope you still feel that way at the end of the night, Ron.”

The two boys made their way to the closed door and began frantically pulling on the handle. As tough as the door was to shut, it seemed even more impossible to open it. Harry's hands were beginning to hurt and Ron's face was bright red from intensity when the door finally gave way and sprang open.

Harry and Ron barely had a chance to catch their breath before the sounds coming from inside forced them to rush in. Crossing into the girls' bathroom, they were greeted with a terrifying image. Hermione Granger, smart and stubborn Gryffindor, was shrinking against the back wall in fright. She didn’t look much bigger than a house-elf at that point, but she hadn't been able to escape the view of the steadily approaching troll.

The bathroom itself looked no better. It was almost as if the Hogwarts Express had gone right through it, several times over. Entire stalls were collapsed, sinks were torn off the walls and water was flooding the entire room from the broken pipes littered throughout. It was clear that Hermione had not always been hiding against the wall. Her hair and face seemed to be caked with debris and some blood while her normally pristine uniform was torn and disheveled.

Harry quickly realized Hermione's attention wouldn't be drawn away from the terror in front of her and knew they'd have to split up. “Get to Hermione!”

Pulling out their wands, Ron nodded while Harry moved to cut off the troll’s path, launching a Confundus Charm at it. The results were unimpressive as it was either Harry’s lack of power, or the troll’s size, that caused the spell to do nothing more than make the troll hesitate briefly. A second later it merely shook its head in an attempt to clear it.

Ron used the moment of distraction to run over to the corner of the bathroom where Hermione was cowering and try to coax her out. Getting no response from the witch, Ron quickly moved past the coercing stage and grabbed the shivering girl's arm, pulling her up. Knowing their time was limited, Ron began to drag her across the room as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately Harry’s tactic only bought them a moment of time as the troll quickly recovered, roaring as he swung his club down at Harry. Harry dove to the side –- knocking into Ron –- falling hard to the stone floor. Ron threw a fallen piece of metal pipe at the troll, but it bounced off harmlessly. The troll didn’t react to the impact other than turning around to face the three students.

“Just lovely,” replied Harry. Seeing no other alternative, Harry rose from his spot on the floor and rushed at the troll. Sliding through the legs of the troll, he lit his final pack of fireworks, intending to leave the pack right beneath the creature. “Move!” he implored to Ron and Hermione.

Hermione was still in a frozen state of shock and didn’t seem to know what was happening anymore let alone hear the demand from Harry. Ron grabbed her firmly and began dragging her once again, but her resistance slowed them enough that they reacquired the attention of the troll.

Harry frowned but didn't want to leave his position behind the troll until the fireworks were ready to explode. Unfortunately it seems there were a few duds in this package as it expanded at a much lesser rate than the earlier one. Seeing the troll ready to take a swing aimed at Ron and Hermione, Harry could only shut his eyes and cringe at the thought of what was about to happen.

Realizing he was on his own, Ron yelled “Wingardium Leviosa” and waved his wand as the troll swung down with its club, only to bring down an empty hand. It looked questioningly at its hand before looking up in the air to see the club hovering slightly above its head. The troll stared at it in fascination for mere moments before it came crashing down on its head. The blow didn’t knock out the troll but did cause it to clumsily stumble away from the Gryffindors.

Fearful for the two Gryffindors, Harry had recklessly shut his eyes, only to open them moments later to see the huge troll staggering backwards towards him. Unknowingly in his effort to stay behind the troll, Harry had blocked himself in and he quickly realized that he was in a tough spot and the popping sounds and sparks that were emanating from the now hot package of fireworks in his hand reminded him of this. Harry quickly dropped the pack on the floor before his hand could get burned and moved to climb the last standing sink in an effort to get out of the area.

In an effort to steady itself, the troll reached blindly for the last remaining stall only to have it crumble on contact. With no support the troll finally lost its balance and fell wildly backwards, swinging its arms blindly -- knocking Harry down from the sink -- before landing on top of the package of fireworks.


The fireworks exploded on impact launching the troll into the air and right back down on to the debris-filled floor. The room was quickly flooded with a giant cloud of dust that mingled with the various pops and flashes of blinding light from the fireworks.

“Harry!” yelled Ron. He moved towards the rubble but Hermione suddenly squeezed his hand tightly caused him to hesitate. Before he could register the significance of Hermione's response, the door to the girls’ bathroom burst open. A group of people entered the room in a flurry. Leading the way was Professor Flitwick, followed quickly by fellow professors: McGonagall, Snape, and Quirrell. Trailing behind them all but looking more worried than all of them was Ravenclaw Prefect Penelope Clearwater.

Professor Flitwick quickly pulled out his wand and cleared the air of the effects of the fireworks with a wave of the wand. Professor McGonagall quickly crossed the room and cornered the two Gryffindors ready to reprimand them when Ron interrupted her.

“Please, Professor,” pleaded Ron. “Harry got trapped between the troll and the wall. He was right there when the fireworks went off. He’s under all that.” Hermione's haunted eyes did not move from the pile of debris in the back of the room where the troll was.

A look of horror grew on the Transfiguration teacher’s face as she turned to face the rest of the room. Professor Flitwick quickly scurried over to the debris pile and levitated the troll to a free part of the room, where Snape bent over to check its condition. Penelope aided Flitwick in moving the rest of the debris, until finally they unearthed Harry.

“Oh, Harry! Can you hear me?” asked Penelope as she knelt down to the boy and searched for his pulse. Flitwick turned away for a moment and sent off a messenger spell out of the room.

“Is Potter alright?” asked McGonagall from her spot, where she stood consoling a distraught Hermione while a ghostly-white Ron looked on.

“He has a low pulse, and he’s breathing,” replied Penelope as she ran her hands through Harry's hair trying to calm her own nerves. “He definitely has a lot of bruising, and possibly some broken bones. A concussion is a large possibility but I'm just guessing.”

“Your guesses are better than most, Miss Clearwater,” replied Flitwick as he looked on at the two of his own house. “I'm sure Poppy will be here shortly to confirm your theory and we'll get young Mr. Potter on the road of recovery before you know it.”

The tension had left the room after Penelope’s amateur diagnosis. Most of the adults let out a sigh of relief. Quirrell seemed to have no idea what was going on as he just stared silently at the troll, while Snape’s sneer seemed to grow at an intensity that only a Potter could bring out.

Very shortly the school nurse, Madam Pomfrey, arrived and confirmed that Harry had not sustained any injuries that were fatal or permanent. With that confirmation everyone seemed to jolt back into reality and begin to move. Snape and Quirrell decided to wait in the bathroom for Dumbledore’s arrival, while Flitwick and a tearful Penelope followed Madam Pomfrey and a levitated Harry down the halls toward the Hospital Wing. That left Ron and Hermione –- after receiving satisfactory bills of health from Madam Pomfrey –- to be escorted by McGonagall back to the Gryffindor common room.

“What on Earth were you thinking?” asked Professor McGonagall. “Why were you not waiting in your dormitories with your fellow Gryffindors? Facing down a troll is dangerous business for any wizard, especially for inexperienced students. If Miss Clearwater hadn’t been so observant--”

“Professor,” squeaked Hermione Granger. Evidence of the girl's terrifying ordeal was plainly seen on her wet cheeks. “It’s completely my fault. They were only looking for me.”

In the many years that Professor McGonagall had been a teacher at Hogwarts not many students could claim in their time there that they had seen a shocked McGonagall. But on this deadly Halloween night, the two Gryffindor first years had been witness to two such moments; once when the professor had entered the girls' bathroom, and just now at Hermione’s response.

“Miss Granger!” exclaimed McGonagall; her unbelieving eyes rapidly searched the young girl's face for any sign of deceit.

“I-I-I went looking for the troll …” Hermione stated as clearly as she could. “I’ve read about them … and I thought I could handle it on my own.”

Ron stumbled a bit at Hermione’s claim, but was able to catch himself before he hit the floor. As he steadied himself he gave Hermione a very bewildered look, unable to comprehend why she was lying to their Head of House.

Hermione didn’t notice Ron’s misstep and neither did Professor McGonagall, both enthralled with Hermione’s revelation. The young witch continued to talk, revealing the heroics Harry and Ron had accomplished in the bathroom against the troll.

“Miss Granger, that was very reckless of you,” said McGonagall after a few moments of silence. “I’m very disappointed in your actions tonight. You not only put yourself in harm but also the well-being of your fellow classmates. That will be fifteen points from Gryffindor, and a future detention that will be scheduled at my discretion. I suggest you both return to the common room and get cleaned up, the students are finishing the feast in their houses.”

Professor McGonagall gently patted Hermione’s shoulder before turning her attention towards Ron. “Mr. Weasley,” she said. “You may very well be the luckiest first year I’ve ever met. It was foolhardy to have taken on a mountain troll, yet you did and came out unscathed, ten points to Gryffindor. I will now go check on Mr. Potter and award him points as well. I think he could use some good news.” In a rare moment of expression, McGonagall gave Ron a shaky smile before moving past him.

It was a long silent walk to the Gryffindor common room with only the chatter of the gossiping portraits echoing throughout the corridors they passed. Once inside, Ron and Hermione quickly moved to fill their plates. Hermione sat down at the end of one table to eat her meal alone as she usually did, while Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan, two of Ron's roommates, were waving at Ron to come sit with them while they played a game of Exploding Snap.

To their surprise, Ron just smiled and shook his head at them before sitting down right across from Hermione. She looked up with a surprised face, causing Ron's ears to turn red before he muttered nonsense about the room being warmer in that spot and that he had been cold.


The terrifying fact that a troll gained access to Hogwarts brought a level of danger and excitement to Hogwarts that the portraits residing inside had not witnessed in many years, not since an incident involving the infamous Marauders and a Slytherin student. While the rest of the school was secure in their dorms or dealing with the troll, the portraits found themselves amidst the madness and did their best to catch it all. From the sudden exclamation by the nervous Defense Professor and the fireworks going off in the stairwell, to the group of professors dashing madly in that direction, it was a night that would surely never end.

The aftermath of troll incident made it clear to the portraits that the place to be was near the Hospital Wing. Having the Boy-Who-Lived injured guaranteed that the Hospital Wing would be inundated with visitors for the rest of the boy's stay. And this proved to be true. Minutes following Madam Pomfrey's arrival with an unconscious Harry Potter and a teary Penelope Clearwater came a flustered Professor Flitwick leading the boy's parents, James and Lily Potter. The chatter among the portraits only increased when Flitwick exited shortly after and scurried away, only to return this time with Nymphadora Black who had her arms around a pale Daphne Greengrass.

It was only when Albus Dumbledore made his way towards the Hospital Wing that the portraits became silent. It was such a drastic change that it even made the aged Headmaster stop in his trot and look around curiously at the portraits. A raised eyebrow brought blushing portraits abashed at being caught in their element. Their curiosity quickly won over their embarrassment.

“What happened, Headmaster?”

“Was it really a troll?”

“Is the poor boy alright?”

Dumbledore raised his hand to quiet the inquiries. “There was a scare tonight, my friends, but you will be happy to hear that Hogwarts is safe once again. Harry is in good hands, and it was his bravery and intuitiveness that helped save his friends' lives.”

The portraits absorbed the information eagerly and were off to other portraits to share the information the moment Dumbledore stopped speaking. Seeing the empty portraits, the Headmaster smiled with a little twinkle in his eyes, confidence growing that the whole castle would soon know that Harry Potter still lived and was a hero yet again.


It proved to be a long night for the occupants of the Hospital Wing. The sun rose across the skies above Hogwarts and a nervous tension had built in the room before Madam Pomfrey finally deemed it safe to rouse Harry from his unconscious state. Lily Potter had gravitated to her son the second she entered the room and that was the reason Harry found himself in her arms as he awoke. He leaned back into her embrace, letting his mother smother him with kisses and cry while the events of the previous night took their effect on him.

Seeing his son yawn, James spoke up. “We've been waiting all night for you, son. No more beauty sleep for you.”

Harry's eyes cast about the room looking at the group surrounding his bed. He was slightly surprised to find Professors Flitwick and Dumbledore in the room as well, hovering just behind everyone else. Harry also noticed his bed was the only one occupied.

“Ron and Hermione?” asked Harry groggily.

“They're both doing fine, Harry,” answered Dumbledore. Despite his distance, Dumbledore's gentle voice reached Harry easily. “Both were sent on their way last night. Outside of that experience they only had a few bruises and scrapes, nothing too serious. You weren't as lucky.”

“Hannah?” prompted Harry.

“She's worried sick in our common room,” answered Nym. She gave a slight frown and glanced at the two Professors before turning back to Harry. “Some felt your visitors should be limited to our household.”

“I think there are more than enough visitors in here already, Miss Black,” interjected Madam Pomfrey as she continued to monitor Harry.

Nym stuck out her tongue at the nurse. “How are you feeling, flyboy?” she asked from her spot at the foot of Harry's bed. Nym hugged her knees close to her body while keeping her gaze squarely on Harry.

“I'm fine, outside of the fact my body feels like the Knight Bus hit me when I wasn't looking,” joked Harry.

Daphne shifted from her position next to Nym, lifting her head slightly from where it was resting on the older girl's shoulder. “I’m glad you’re up. It was scary just seeing you lie there.”

Nym pulled the younger girl closer to her while Harry reached out and squeezed Daphne’s hand. “I’m not going anywhere, Daphne.”

“We were so scared when Filius called over the Floo,” Lily said, tightening her hold on Harry. “Just what were you thinking charging about against a troll, young man?”

“I was just trying to do the right thing, Mum,” said Harry. “There was no reason to think that we’d run into the troll. Professor Quirrell said it was in the dungeons, and we were no where near there.”

“That’s no excuse for not informing someone on what you and Ron were planning on doing,” James interjected as he ruffled his son’s hair. “It was lucky your Prefect friend here noticed that you were missing and quickly passed the news to your Head of House and the rest of the teaching staff.”

Harry turned his head to see Penelope Clearwater sitting on the bed next to his. Her eyes were red from crying and her mussed up hair showed that she hadn't left his side all night. A small smile and shrug let him know that she was just glad he was okay and that they would talk later.

“Honestly, Dad, the last thing we had in mind was confronting the troll. When we heard Hermione scream, we knew we had to do something,” Harry answered, imploring his parents to understand his plight.

His son’s steadfast attitude made James chuckle. “It’s a good thing you’re a Potter, Harry. Only one of us would be lucky enough to only get a knock on the head and a few bruises after facing impossible odds. And you won’t miss your first Quidditch match either!” Father and son couldn’t help but share a grin at that last bit of news.

Lily let out a frustrated groan. “Our son just confronted a troll, got injured, and you’re already talking about Quidditch?!”

Nym and Daphne shared a fond look and started giggling at the sight of the Potters.
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