So, it's been more than a year since I updated this fanfiction and I promised back then that I would start to revise it soon after I had stopped to take a break. Well. That didn't happen quite as planned.
The only real reason was that all inspiration had left me. Another major reason was school. I will be graduating in ca. two months (finals are next week) and I just have not had the time to do anything other than study. That along with the clubs I'm involved with... well, I haven't had time to write. At all. This is the first thing I have written this year. And we're almost at the end of April!
I have made a more sound plan for this story to go on and so I decided to write a small teaser for what is to come. This does not mean 100% that I am returning to the story - not at all - as I am currently applying to universities and will likely have a very busy life once I'm attending university. But I am finally giving this plot some more thought and planning more of it out, so keep an eye out... there might be a new chapter coming soon?!
(on a side note, I am revising the story - already on chapter 3! - and will post the new version (separately) when I am finished writing this one!)
The Ravenclaw common room was very dark and the only remaining light was that of the dying fire. It cast long shadows in the common room and made Harry feel slightly anxious about what they were about to do.
"Did you take your wand?" Justin whispered to him suddenly and without looking at him, Harry nodded.
"Yeah, I have it."
"But that begs the question… what do you need a wand for?"
Both boys swivelled around, only to let out a breath of relief when they saw Hermione's figure silhouetted against the moon. She was twirling her wand around, causing brief wisps of magic - resembling ribbons - to waft into the air.
"Are you going to answer me?" She demanded when both boys remained silent. They exchanged a 'fuck, we're in trouble' glance.
"We… ehm… we were… sort of…" Justin started very eloquently.
"We just want to see the portraits," Harry blurted out.
"You're going to the third floor corridor," She accused just as bluntly.
"Yes!" Both boys said at exactly the same time. Justin coughed uncomfortably, "Uh. I meant no."
"Right. Well then, I'm coming with you if only to make sure that you don't loose over a hundred points for the house."
"Technically I'm not in Ravenclaw," Justin said in his 'smart-arse voice'.
Hermione's eyes narrowed, only now realising that. "How did you get in, Justin?" She asked, suspicion clear in her tone of voice.
"Ehm. Solved the riddle. They're not that hard you know? After being friends with Harry for a few years, you tend to pick up some things. Now, shall we go? I think Neville is waiting for us near the statue of the three eyed wizard."
"Neville's coming too!?" Hermione exclaimed. "By morning, both Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw will be down by a hundred points!" She gasped, "Or worse - we'll be expelled!"
It turned out that Neville wasn't the only one to show up, standing in the trophy room were also Ronald Weasley and Harry's friend Draco Malfoy. They were all standing by the quidditch trophy case, holding their wands over different trophies, gasping and oohing and ahhing as they read each plaque.
"I take back my comment and rectify it," Hermione said with a groan, "By morning, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Gryffindor will all be down by a hundred points."
"Yeah, so technically that won't be a problem then," Justin said happily, "If everyone's down by an equal amount, then the ratio of house points between houses will be pretty much the same." Harry nodded along, fully agreeing with the logic behind the thought. Hermione let out an exasperated sigh, but even she couldn't refute the logic of the argument.
"Uhm… What exactly are we doing?" Neville asked as his finger tapped on the glass case covering a herbology trophy.
"Harry and I thought it'd be pretty awesome to check out the third floor corridor, see what Dumbledore is hiding up there." Justin replied and Ron exchanged a gleeful glance with Harry. Draco rolled his eyes, muttering something about 'simpletons' and having to accompany them so that they 'wouldn't get into any trouble' (Hermione scooted a little closer to the pureblood after hearing that. Apparently reasonable people liked to stick together.).
Neville stared at them with wide eyes, and he looked around nervously, evidently hesitant to do something so definitely against the rules. He was fidgeting with a few metal pieces and Harry winked at him. "You'll be alright Neville. If you continue doing that-" Harry gestured at the little pieces of metal that Neville seemed to be magically tampering with, "-Then you'll be our wizarding Q in no time."
Hermione rolled her eyes at the reference - as did Justin. Evidently, Harry's abundance of James Bond references were starting to annoy certain parties. Over Hermione's shoulder, Harry could see that Ron and Draco had started bickering while Neville stared between them, looking like a moose caught in headlights.
Their bickering, however, stopped very suddenly as both Draco and Ron froze and turned their heads to look down at the archway, eyes wide with horror. And over their shoulders, Harry caught a very frightening sight: Mrs Norris.
He'd heard some of the stories from the older students about Mrs Norris and her uncanny ability to hunt down students out of bed after curfew. Harry wet his lips and slowly put up two calming hands. "Ok, guys, just slowly walk to the other side of the room, I can see a door from here, come on… slowly," Harry stage whispered to his fellow students. Draco and Ron glanced at each other and seemed to agree to cooperate for the time being.
And then Mrs Norris meowed.
Almost as though summoned by magic, they heard Filch murmuring sweet nothings to his little cat. "Mrs Norris, my dear!" His crooning voice was not a comfort, and Harry's eyes widened in alarm as he looked over to Justin who was similarly frozen on his spot. "Mrs Norris?" This time, his voice sounded closer.
Suddenly realising that Filch would probably catch them either way, Harry quickly gesticulated to his friends to run and pointed at the door he'd spotted earlier. Instantly everyone sprung into action - even shy little Neville.
"Well. Bollocks," Malfoy whispered quietly. For one moment, everyone just stared at him. Then Hermione put a finger to her lips.
"Language, Malfoy," she whispered right back.
"Are we all going to ignore the fact that Hermione just said 'language'?" Justin exclaimed loudly, mouth propped open in visible shock and amusement, evidently disregarding the fact that they were currently hiding from the school's caretaker.
"Who's there!" Came Filch's sharp voice as his head shot up in their direction. All of them scrambled back as the squib raised a lantern, lighting up their general area. Realising that whatever cover that they'd had, was now gone, Harry shouted at the top of his lungs:
This time, they all ran together: two Ravenclaws; Harry and Hermione, two Hufflepuffs; Neville and Justin, a Gryffindor; Ron Weasley, and a Slytherin; Draco Malfoy. There was nothing like bonding under extreme fear and desperation.
Harry ran ahead of the group, feeling for once like the leader John always told him he was. And then he spotted the dead-end ahead. Luckily he spotted another hallway to the right and took a sharp turn. He heard gasps and pants behind him and knew that they had to find a more permanent place to hide from Filch.
"A door!" Ron shouted suddenly and Harry turned his head in time to see Ron pointing at a large wooden door with an iron handle and iron reinforcements.
"That's the third floor corridor that Dumbledore warned us about!" Hermione called back. Harry pursed his lips for a moment, noticing that the group had turned to him to make a decision. He could already see something in the corridor behind them starting to glow brighter and brighter and he realised that Filch's lantern was getting closer and closer.
"D'you want to get expelled?" Ron whispered back to Hermione who bit her lip indecisively.
"Oh, for God's sake!" Justin exclaimed, pulling out his wand and aiming it at the door. "Alohomora," he intoned. There was a loud click and Malfoy and Neville quickly pulled it open. The entire group filtered through and collapsed on a heap on the other side. The door behind them slammed shut.
They lay there for a moment, catching their breath and straining for the sound of Filch's footsteps, which eventually faded and then disappeared altogether. Then they burst into giggles and conversation.
"Did you see-"
"That was bloody-"
"Awesome, I know-"
"See, Harry, I finally mastered that spell-"
"Uh… guys?" Everyone ignored Neville, whose quiet voice wasn't enough to be heard over the excited chatter of the first year group.
"Guys!" He tried again, shouting this time. Hermione finally turned away from the small collection of boys to see what Neville wanted her attention for. Neville, however, wasn't looking at her. He was staring directly above him. Almost instantly a scream rung out throughout the large hall and everyone's chatter abruptly stopped to turn and see what the commotion was about.
"Well, at least we know why Dumbledore was talking about an almost 'certain death' when warning us about the third floor corridor," Harry said in a somewhat matter-of-fact voice.
"No shit, Sherlock," Hermione said, desperation lacing the tone. Harry frowned when Hermione used the familiar expression; he had heard it being used in the press and on the street fairly often by now.
"Hermione actually cursed!" Ron exclaimed, glancing at Neville with wide eyes, "So much for 'language, Malfoy', eh, Neville?" He continued in a lower tone, jabbing the Longbottom heir into the ribs.
"My name is Harry-" He started in answer to Hermione (completely ignoring the red-headed Gryffindor), but was loudly interrupted by Malfoy who had whipped out his wand.
"Is no one going to talk about the SPHINX STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF US?!" He cried out. This seemed to jolt the rest of the group in to action and with a mighty kick, Ron threw the door wide open. Now screaming, the group rushed through. They slammed the door shut: all twelve hands pressing against against the door. They heard cackling from within and Harry was fairly certain he heard a whisper 'till we meet again'.
Before a shitload of anonymous reviewers come at me for not putting in fluffy - yes, fluffy still exists and yes, I intentionally changed the cerberus to a sphinx. Worry not, there is an idea behind it all.
I hope you enjoyed the small teaser, and again I'm very sorry for the A/N that I posted a year ago. I hope that I didn't chase too many of you away.
ALSO MANY MANY THANKS TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED ME MORALLY BY SENDING ME WONDERFUL MESSAGES AND REVIEWS TELLING ME THAT THIS STORY WASN'T COMPLETE SHITE. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YOU GUYS HELPED SO MUCH!