Falling Inside The Black by PseudonymousEntity
Summary: The Horcrux activating and slowly merging with him is the least of Harry Potter's worries as he begins his third year at Hogwarts. With sadistic werewolves and mass murderers running amok, it's a good thing Harry's got a sense of humour.
Characters: Harry Potter. The Horcrux. Ron Weasley. Remus Lupin. Severus Snape. Draco Malfoy. Draco's apples. Various minions.
AN: This has been a long time coming hasn't it? Most of this was written out last October, with an outline for he event sin the chapter. Unfortunately that was a topsy turvey time for our family. We had to move again and find a place to live. BUT the chapter is here now. I hope you enjoy it.
Ever Yours, Pseu [The clever, magnificent and ridiculously good looking]
"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? - Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality.
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see.
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy.
Because I'm easy come, easy go, a little high, a little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me."
Day of the Dead: The Finale
They made their way carefully after the unfortunate and unnamed Slytherin, into the potentially dangerous unknown.
It was only Harry's assertion that it was unlikely the masters of horror would have repeat scares that convinced the rest of them to follow suit. The hallway at the end of the steps stretched on longer than any of them remembered it doing. Nothing at all happened as they walked. And walked. And walked. Half an hour into it Dean stopped in the middle of the hall, causing the others to stop or walk around him.
"Hang on." Dean's eyes narrowed. "We're bloody well walking in circles."
Neville paused and look around, confused.
"But," Said Seamus slowly, "We've only ever been walking in a straight line. How could we walk in a circle?"
"Hell if I know." Dean groused. "But I have seen the crack in that wall six times now." He pointed at the offending bit of wall.
Seamus and Neville examined the wall.
"Lets experiment. Everyone get a good look and let's walk a bit and see what happens." Seamus suggested.
Sure enough in fives minutes there came that exact bit of wall with a wobbly crack.
"No, wait." Said Harry, head cocked to the side. A maze. Never-ending path. No...
Everyone exchanged glances when no follow-up sentences came their way.
"I know this" Harry exclaimed, startling the group. "This way." He proceeded to abruptly turn and walk into the wall. Like into as in should have smashed his face but sorta veered to the left and was gone. A moment later Harry's hand made a reappearance, twisted in mid-air and made a come hither gesture.
Draco gave a long-suffering sigh that clashed with the greatly amused expression on his face. He turned around and took a step backwards toward the wall with his hands in a facetious prayer position. Two steps closer and Draco's body yank to the side and the Slytherin too disappeared. One after the other they followed him. First Neville who chose to march toward the wall like a soldier off to war, turning about at the last second and saluting his friends.
Next went Seamus who moonwalked, which broke the tension wonderfully.
As they all reached the 'other side' they were greeted by a small room with a couch and some chairs as well as the cheers of the ones who went before them. Harry and Neville sat on the back of the couch and pretended to give scores.
Theodore Nott won in the end. He did absolutely nothing but walk forward until he could see how the bricks were placed in such a way to give the illusion of a solid wall. He then walked to the left into the room. Harry and Neville stood up and cheered ridiculously and whistled at him.
Nott's cheeks went a little red and he shrugged one shoulder. "Not my fault you're all damned fools."
Dean walked the perimeter of the small room. "Why do you think they have this here? No traps have been activated and quite frankly it's about as frightening in here as a slice of toast."
"Maybe it's for them?" Said Neville. "Maybe they have rooms like this all over and they're just secretly watching all the students run around screaming."
Harry shrugged then let his body fall back onto the couch. "I for one intend to take the gift offered to us and hide out here until we're discovered."
Draco nudged Harry's feet until there was space for him to sit. Because really, what else could he do? Go back out into the death trap maze? Draco thought not. He wasn't alone in this conclusion. The lot of them resolved to wait it out in the room for as long as fate would allow. Not one of them was stupid enough to bring up whether or not they had a duty to help 'others'. Their small leader was still sprawled on the couch and seemed entirely unconcerned if his friends not currently in the mysterious room were doing alright.
Then again, none of them particularly wanted to go on a rescue mission back the way they came, thanks.
Nothing at all happened for the space of a solid ten minutes. Minute three should probably have been their first warning, let alone minutes nine and ten. A high pitched note like someone rubbing tin foil on glass started them out of their wits. Nearly all of them immediately looked to the hole in the wall which served as their door to see what terrible thing was coming to get them...only to realize at some point in the last ten minutes the size of their room shrank several feet, and the hole that served as their door was shrinking along with it.
"It's a trap." Whispered Dean.
Before anyone could agree the torchlight began to flicker and a low buzzing noise filled their ears until they could hear nothing else.
Neville clapped his hands over his ears trying to shut out the sound which seemed to rattle his bones. The lights went out completely. Neville stood still where he was. It was hard to think with that noise in his ears. He had no idea what the others were doing or if they were okay. He couldn't hear anything else. Just as quickly the lights started to flash on every few seconds and then immediately shut off into darkness again, only on enough to reveal a large insect in the air right in front of his face or some other creepy creature.
The spaces between the flashes were the worst. Neville couldn't see or hear anything but he swore he could feel tiny legs skittering across his arms, squirming in his hair, or slithering around his legs. Nothing lasted long enough for him to focus on anything at all. Things like, what is even happening? Or Where are the others?
Lights on. Giant rat with sharp broken teeth tinted yellow snapping at his face.
Lights off. Prickly something skittering up his spine.
A point came where Neville's skin was covered in gooseflesh, every hair on his body stood on end, and he sucked in air in sharp shallow breaths that barely sustained him.
Three feet away from Neville Dean was suffering a similar fate, unable to think through his fear and disorientation. He eventually stumbled his way to the nearest way he collides into and falls to the floor against it, covering his head with his arms and slamming his eyes shut, willing it all away. Draco and Seamus on the other side of the room had very different responses. They swore and batted their hands as things briefly came into view, pacing in uneven directionless steps, never getting far before the lights flashed off once more as if trying to defend themselves against it.
Nott stood stock still, fists clenched, eyes shut. Refusing to jump or react to what happened around, carefully control his body's responses. His arms shook slightly and he swallowed often, to keep from being or from screaming even he didn't know. If even one of them had been able to look around it was Harry's reaction they may have found most concerning.
The Gryffindor knelt on the stone floor on his knees, body completely relaxed, hands folded in his lap, eyes staring straight ahead. He didn't react to a single thing, as if he was seeing through the things popping in front of his face or had retreated so far into his mind he only dully registered what was happening to his body.
A touch. A cool hand squeezing his shoulder. Harry's eyes popped open. The buzzing was gone, he realized. And the flashing had stopped. He turned to look up into the concerned eyes of Draco Malfoy.
Harry's felt his breath catch in his throat. How long had it been stopped? How long had he stood there pulled into himself? Had everyone noticed? He couldn't bring himself to look around. To see if the others noticed his weakness. In its place, he continued to gaze into Draco's eyes, take comfort in his presence. The blonde didn't seem to mind. In fact, he didn't acknowledge any such weaknesses.
"I think we should leave-" Footsteps and a shout from outside their hiding place cut off whatever Draco was about to say.
Everyone in the room spun to regard the entrance to their hideout warily. Blaise Zabini stepped forward and aimed his wand at the entrance, eyes narrowed. A transparent wall raised up from the floor, sealing whatever was happening out. And. sealing them in. Not a moment later a sixth or seventh year Hufflepuff wizard stumbled his way toward them. He ran right into the barrier, eyes widening in surprise. The boy pounded his fists against the invisible wall.
"Let us in! Please!"
They each exchanged glances. Nott stepped forward to stand beside Blaise, his face grim. "No."
The Hufflepuff looked past the two Slytherins to the rest of them in the room, searching for someone to object. No one said a word. No one disagreed. No one dared. The Hufflepuff swore at them before running back the way he had come. Listening to his footsteps fade a bit as he got farther away, none of them looked at any of the others. Harry for his part wasn't the least bit conflicted.
If it came down to him and his, or others...well he and his would always be his first priority.
Blaise gave his wand a swish decisively. Spirals of smoke flowed out of the tip, swaying and whirling in a nonexistent breeze. The smoky wisps gathered at the base of the invisible wall. Quite suddenly the cloudy collective jerked forward and the smoke began to seep throughout the barrier. Filling in the space with the mostly opaque substance until it was as difficult to see anything at all through it. Whether Blaise had done this to comfort his own guilt or whether he simply wanted to make certain none of his comrades had a change of heart Harry couldn't say.
He did, however, approve.
"We're all agreed never to speak of the night, yeah?" Dean asked, after a moment.
Everyone looked to him, then to each other.
"Yeah," Said Seamus. "I think I'll do my best to forget."
Neville nodded in agreement.
Harry shrugged. "It's morning anyway. After midnight, remember?"
Oddly this only served to re-stress out the other members of his little group. You would think things like this would stop having an effect on them after a while. None of them seemed to terribly concerned about the pair of Puffs they saw out on the grounds early. None but for the unnamed Slytherin, and where did he end up? Broken in a pile on the ground after being smooshed by a giant rock. Harry wasn't saying Fate had taken a swing at that ridiculous squishy hearted Slytherin...but well...surely even Fate could only do with so much lack of self-survival?
Strongest of the fittest, yeah?
Nott turned to glance back at the wall of mist. Or more specifically, at whatever they couldn't see outside of it.
Several footsteps joined into the rumbling noise. Someone screamed.
"We're ignoring that, right?" Asked Nott.
Blaise Zabini narrowed his eyes and took a step forward. His wand held ready in his hands. He peered at the mists, watching. Harry turned away. It wasn't any problem of theirs what was happening outside the room. Frankly, more than enough was capable -apparently- of happening inside the room for them to worry about. They didn't need to add anything more to the list.
"Not too concerned?" Draco asked. The blonde was perched on the arm of the couch, watching Blaise and Nott from afar.
"It's not as if I know any Hufflepuffs personally." Said Harry.
"It's getting louder." Said Draco.
Harry turned to look at the door.
Boom. Patter-patter. Boom. Patter-patter. Boom. Patter-patter-patter-patter...
"Is that thunder?" Asked Neville. "Is it raining inside? That sounds like thunder."
"Sounds more like Bohemian Rhapsody." Said Seamus.
Harry tilted his head and concentrated. Actually...it kinda sort of did. "Huh."
"What is a bohemian rhapsody?" Asked Draco.
Seamus shrugged awkwardly. "You know... I see a little silhouette of a man. Scaramouch! Scaramouch! Will you do the fandango?"
"Thunderbolt and lightning!" Harry continued. "Very, very frightening me."
"Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo. Figaro."
Not and Zabini looked to Dean for clarification, who raised his hands helplessly. "I have no idea what's happening." All three of them then turned to Neville. "Don't look at me." All four them looked to Draco, who sighed.
"Look I said he was fit, never said he wasn't bonkers. Just because someone is good looking doesn't mean they aren't totally crazy."
Nott smirked. "Not a deal breaker though, is it?"
"Not even close." Said Draco.
The sounds of approaching footsteps drew their attention away from Harry and Seamus, back toward the barrier. Someone was coming. BOOM-BOOM-BOOM. They hit against the barrier.
"Let me in! Please, they're coming. Let me in."
Draco could faintly make out the darker bits of mist that was the stranger's shadow. Quite suddenly the shadow slid down toward the ground with a shriek. Something was growling. Several somethings. Draco could hear claws scratching against the stone, if he listened carefully.
"Hair on my neck's standing up." Dean murmured.
Filled with a growing morbid curiosity, the group edges closer to the barrier, peering through the mists to the barely visible shadows behind. About half the size of a man with great square shadow heads and four legs that ended in hand-like paws with like claws. The shadows jumped over one another, lunging forward, claws screeching down the barrier and clattering to the stone tiles on the floor. Slowly the shadows stopped growling and started sort of piling one on top of the other, sinking down to the floor.
"Think they ate each other?" Neville asked. Greenfaced but curious all the same.
Nott shook his head. "No way we're that lucky. Even with Potter."
As if in answer to this a dark shining black liquid began to seep along the floor from beneath the barrier. Draco backed away, watching it warily. He doubted it was just water.
"Well, that's boring." Harry declared. He and Seamus were seated on the back of the couch. "I hope we don't all drown. After all of that, I think it'd be a really anticlimactic way to perish."
"Drown?" Neville gasped out.
The remaining wizards clambered onto the couch with Harry and Seamus. Not one of them too proud to take the necessary precautions. Or more aptly, the Gryffindors weren't too proud. It would never occur to Slytherins to stand there and let themselves drown just to prove they weren't afraid too. Only Gryffindors dealt in such nonsense. It was a wonder any of them made it to graduation, let alone far enough to produce the next generation of Gryffs.
Dean leaned forward after a moment, squinting.
"What is it?" Asked Nott, in the voice of someone very much resigned to the flights of Fate's fancy.
Dean shook his head, frowning. "I'm not sure. There's something weird about the texture of that...whatever it is. Almost like a bunch of rocks is mixed in it. Like obsidian or something. Smooth and shiny."
Neville moved carefully toward Dean's spot in the front, one hand on Nott's shoulder to keep from tumbling to the floor. He too squinted at the approaching liquid of possible doom. "He's right. Actually...it almost...looks like..."
"Like what Longbottom?"
The Gryffindor was pale, eyes wide. Draco rolled his own and looked back toward the liquid. He immediately paled. Or paled as much as Malfoys with their porcelain skin are capable. Honestly, nothing at all changed in his complexion. He just sort of froze up and stared.
"Do you hear that?" Blaise whispered. His fists were tight on the cushion, braced as if to flee. But to where?
A chittering sort of noise was emitting. Odd movements, shapes in the black mass.
Blaise and Nott shot to their feet, nearly displacing Neville and Draco in the process. Thousands and thousands of tiny spiders were pouring into their room. Their room with no other exit. Harry reached out and pulled Draco back so the Slytherin could grab the back of the catch where he sat, to steady himself. Slowly Harry traded places with the tall blonde, green eyes surveying the coming danger.
Because there was no way those bastards weren't venomous or equipped with stingers or exploded or something. Their resident Werewolf and poison enthusiast wouldn't settle on something so simple. So easy to evade. Wait. Exploding...
"I need something flammable. Y'know, other than our clothes or wands." Said Harry.
"Dean smokes. He's got a muggle fire lighter thing." Neville blurted.
Dean's mouth dropped open. "Neville you promised!"
"You can feel betrayed later." Nott snapped. "Hand Potter the thingamajig."
Dean reached into his pocket and pulled out the lighter which he passed to Nott to who gave it to Harry. Luckily it was a cheap plastic one. Harry put it on the arm of the couch and pressed down with his shoe until felt a slight give. He picked it up and held it up to the light. Yup, a crack. Harry pressed on it until he broke off a small piece, enough to allow the liquid to pour out. Harry lifted it to his lips and sucked in the lot. Without thinking about it his left hand came up in front of his face flipped palm up and emitted a contained ball of fire. Convenient. He had no idea where that came from, and he couldn't hide it from everyone in the room. Something to worry about when he wasn't under attack.
Harry spat out the liquid through the flames, sending fire streaking at the spiders closest to them.
The spiders stopped in their tracks, curling into themselves. They let out an awful shriek which had the boys covering their ears with their hand. It almost sounded like voices. It almost sounded...
"They sound like little kids." Said Neville off to Harry's left. He looked completely unnerved.
Unfortunately, this didn't stop the spiders, and they were fresh out of muggle lighters. The arachnids in the back began climbing up and over the still burning corpses of their fallen brothers, paying them little mind. Not knowing what else to do Harry's hand flung themselves out and a wide shield bloomed into existence. Nott stood a little straighter, balanced, and flicked out his wand. "Protego!"
The two of them aimed their shields close to one another, creating one large shield against which the spiders began to pile up.
The spiders began to flood back toward the door. Just as Neville opened his mouth to cheer he felt his centre of gravity shift. To his horror, he realized the ground was tilting and they were sliding forward as well. He twisted around and grasped at the back of the couch. Everyone smooshed together, holding as tightly as they could. Blaise and Seamus had an arm each around Not to keep him from falling as he held up his shield. Draco did the same for Harry.
Neville turned his head at a flash of light out of the corner of his eye. There on the walls behind him, which was quickly becoming the ceiling, were three doors. He knew they hadn't been there before. The floor decided to tilt the other way and they found the couch flying back toward the wall -and the mysterious new doors- at an alarming pace.
Neville points his wand at the couch. "Aresto Momentum!" The couch jerks to a halt. Dean nearly goes flying. Nevile and Draco reach out and grab hold before he can. Draco is twisted rather impressively, half of him holding tight to Harry to keep him steady and the other turned and holding to Dean while he scrambled back on.
"Hey, Longbottom." Called Draco, after Dean was safely back on the couch. "Come take my place."
Neville crawled around Dean and held tight to Harry. Draco jumped down to the tilting wall, right beside one of the door. I had a basic handle, nothing fancy. He reached forward and pulled. It felt like it wanted to open but couldn't. Maybe it was just really heavy? He pulled harder and managed to bring it back a couple of inches before it slammed shut. With gravity working against him more and more it was difficult.
A spider smacked into the wall near him, followed by another. He glanced up to see just a living mass of spider squirming along the shields Nott and Harry were holding up. What was by far more alarming were the bits of spider clumping together into larger masses, and the grunt and growls starting to come from them. That whatever they weres...monster dogs were trying to reform.
"Oi Blaise, don't take down your barrier yeah?"
"No shite!" Blaise called down.
Seamus jumped to other the other side of the door. Together the braced their feet against the wall and tugged at the door, farther and farther. Finally, Seamus held tight to the edge of the openish door and flung himself back against the wall with an OOF. But the door was open.
Draco could hear a few thus and guess the others were starting to do the same on the other side. "Harry jump down. Can you keep the shield going?"
"Yeah," Harry grunted. He released the couch and jumped down beside Draco. The blonde pulled him to the side and held tight to him. Harry crouched down beside the opening, Draco following. Quickly, Harry swung around to the other side, one hand bracing him on the door's opening. Draco jumped down after him, replacing Harry's hold so he could focus on the shield.
The room jolted. Everyone yelled. Draco pulled Harry to the side just as the door slammed shut and the floor righted its self. They stood there a moment, trying to get their breaths back, watching the door like it would attack them at any moment. It didn't. They straightened and turned around.
Torches flared up revealing a wide space. To the right twenty feet up was a platform with Nott, Blaise and Seamus. To the left, ten feet up, a platform with Neville and Dean. Harry and Draco were down at the bottom as far as platforms went. Below them was an open crevasse of unknown depths. So that was pleasant. Coming from each platform was a mish-mash collection of rope bridges and vertical pillars.
"Why is this even in a school!?" Neville demanded.
"At least there's no three-headed dog." Said Harry. "Or a basilisk."
"Bas...did he say Basilisk?" Demanded Blaise, faintly.
Nott fanned him, amused. "If there is it's too far down to do us any harm. Just don't fall."
"Don't fall he says."
Draco looked around the room. "Right. So it looks a little similar to what Professor Lupin had us doing in defence. Remember? We can do this. Probably."
Harry stepped closer to the edge and studied the pillar in front of them. "I guess we use them like stepping stones?" He opened the flap to his bookbag and glanced in. It didn't look like anything fell out. "Together on three?"
Draco stood near the edge. "I don't see why not. One. Two. Three!"
They both stepped forward and on to the pillar. "That was...anticlimactic." Said Harry.
Draco shrugged. "Better that than anything exitiIIIING-"
The pillar plunged down several feet without warning. Draco felt his heart in his throat when it stopped it's decent.
"I may have spoken too soon," Harry muttered.
They both looked up at a shout in time to see Neville and Dean shooting up into the air. "Watch your step!" Harry called, belatedly. Dean Thomas must have felt less than thankful for he sent a few creative curses their way.
"Think he's upset?" Harry mused.
"Can't imagine why." Said Draco, dryly.
Harry studied the pillar in front of them. Its top was much higher now. But it was the closest thing to them. He could see little grooves carves into the stone. He couldn't say for certain this was a good idea, but well, he didn't have any other. Harry took a half step back and then leapt forward. His fingers grasped for purchase, shoes finding a lone rock jutting out to stabilize themselves against.
"Are you waiting for an invitation?" He called over his shoulder.
Whatever Draco was going to say was cut off as the pillar began to rise.
"Son of a wench." Muttered Draco. He leapt forward, arms wrapping around the pillar. Stone was a horrid thing to throw yourself against, Draco decided. His fingers scrambled and fell, arms scraping. Something solid smacked into his feet. Draco held tightly before he could tumble off, eyes shutting tight against falling dirt and dust. The pillar stopped.
Draco shook his head to get the rocks and dirt out of his hair and eyelashes.
"I'm going to try climbing," Harry announced.
Draco looked up. "I'll just hang on while you experiment with our lives shall I?"
"Don't be a scaredy snake."
"A proper snake wouldn't be in this mess," Draco said.
Harry laughed. "I'll owe you one then."
"...I suppose that suffices. Carry on with your insanity."
Above him Harry started climbing upward, searching for handholds and footholds as he did. When it seemed as if nothing would change Draco began to climb as well and soon caught up to Harry. The Gryffindor turned to him startled.
"How did you get up here so quickly?" Harry demanded, frowning. "I had a good ten feet on you before I even started climbing."
Draco hung beside him grinning. "My arms are longer. My legs. Everything really. I've got a greater reach than you."
Harry's frown deepened. "That isn't fair."
"Firstly, it isn't really a race. Second, I can't help being taller than you any more than you can help being small. You've always been small Harry."
"I am not small! The rest of you are enormous." Harry pouted.
Draco hung with one arm, reaching into a pocket and holding out an apple. He waved it back and forth until Harry gave in, snatching it away.
"I'm still upset with you." He warned. Harry took a bite and stuffed the apple into his bag. With a grin, he started climbing quickly. "Race you!"
They made their way upward in such a fashion until the reached the top of their pillar. Draco climbed on first and then pulled Harry on after him. The others were in various places across the room, trying to make it to the lone wide platform on the opposite wall. Hoping it was the exit out of this mess. It didn't look like anyone else was having an easier time of it. Neville and Dean made it to a short stone walkway between two rope bridges only for random fire to shoot out of it.
Harry studied the next pillar over. Shrugged and leapt across. His front foot made it. The rest of him didn't. He started to slide off. Draco's arm shot out and pulled him up. He very graciously said nothing about his long arms or legs or how Harry's shortness nearly got him killed. But he was totally thinking it. This pillar didn't move which was both good and bad. Good because they didn't have to fear tumbling off into the unknown. Bad because now they didn't know if there was any rhyme or reason to the room. Did only some of the pillars move?
Was it just the first one?
There was a rope bridge a few feet away of they made a jump for it. But the wall beside them had a bit of border along its middle that stuck out just far enough for them to walk along if they were careful, and it went along most of the room. If they went that way they may be able to skip over some of the obstacles. Providing they didn't succumb to the most likely of assassins here...gravity.
Draco went first, long legs getting him there easily. He then turned, one hand clutching the wall, and held out the other to help Harry across. There wasn't a lot of room. They needed to be as close to the wall as possible, but it wasn't an impossible task. Together they began to edge their way along the rock and across the room.
Blaise, Nott and Seamus were having the easiest time of it so far. When they saw what happened to the other two groups, they collectively agreed to skip the first pillar altogether. They went across the nearest rope bridge instead and made it to the other side without any excitement. To Blaise's immense relief there were no signs of Basilisks. After that, they shimmied up the wall on thin iron rungs that seemed like they really wanted to give out but didn't. At the top of the next ledge they made their way around, looking for pillars to leap across now it seemed they were finished taking people for a ride. It was as they reached the middle of the ledge that their journey took a sharp turn.
With a hiss hot steam shot out of three small vents in the stone. Nott, who had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, let out a shout and clutched his arm. Red irritated skin puffed up in a straight line along the path of the steam. Another hiss and more steam shot out of a different set of vents.
Seamus thought for a moment, put his hands down where his feet were on the ledge and let himself hang. Carefully, hand over hand, he began making his way along the ledge, lower than where the steam was shooting out. Nott and Blaise followed his example. By the time they made it to the other side and could leap across their remaining pillars to the ending platform all three of their arms were burning with the strain. Of course, Notts also burned with actual burning.
When all of them were together Draco and Seamus pushed open the door. They stepped out onto a...balcony? Harry walked to the edge. They were outside. He could see the beginning of light coming up over the horizon.
"Dawn." Said Dean.
Neville grinned. "We made it."
"Now, the question is...how the Hell do we get out of here?" Asked Seamus.
Harry turned around. "We could go back the way...Oh. Or not."
The rest turned around to see the obstacle course behind them vanished, replaced with a perfectly ordinary hallway. With great trepidation, they set out down it. But there were no odd noises this time. No poisoned darts flying out of nowhere. No sand pits or walls of flame. They made it to the main staircase and down to the floor level without incident. Only spotting other survivors making their way back to the great hall in relatively one piece. The haunted looks on their faces could be fixed with a little therapy no doubt. Upon reaching the great hall they found the rows of purple sleeping bags waiting for them, all in order as if nothing had ever happened.
"I don't know about you," Said Harry, taking off his bag and dropping it beside a random sleeping bag. "But I quit. I'm going to sleep." With that declaration, he kicked off his shoes and collapsed on his chosen squishy sleeping bag.
Draco knelt down and removed Harry's glasses, setting them inside one of his shoes where they wouldn't be trampled on or broken.
"Thanks." Harry murmured, without opening his eyes.
They all chose a bag nearby and settled down, quite happy to have the night behind them. In half an hour the room was full and silent, all the victims...er...students of Halloween fast asleep. Recovering from their trauma. The doors open and two figures peaked in.
"All seems well in here." Announced Dumbledore. "I'll leave it to you then."
Percy Weasley let the door shut behind the headmaster, glasses glinting ominously in the sunrise. He surveyed the room. "That went well." He said to himself. "Best extra credit assignment ever."
As always, Thoughts, Comments, Theories, and Limericks are welcomed.
AN: So that happened. Can you guess all the references in this chapter? What was your favourite part? What are you looking forward to next? See you all again soon. I hope, as always, that there are some of you out there who still enjoy my scribblings.
Ever Yours, Pseu