AN: Hi everyone! It's kind of late, but happy new year! Or perhaps, I should say, happy Chinese New Year! This chapter is FINALLY done! If you're still reading this, I thank you for your interest in my work, and apologise for making you all wait so long. This has taken so long because, unfortunately, real life has been hectic, and is definitely more important than fanfic, regardless of how much I love the fanfic world!
No time for individual review replies, but thank you to everyone who reviewed (and even those who don't, thank you for reading):
Daughter of Zorro, corinnetkn24, KMS Snape, Cynthia1850, PreciousLily, I-want-to-fly, NoAlias, phoebe666, kyla, Brenna8, Wytil, orlin, minty, FlameofShadows, SS2 Megami-sama, Cecilia Orechio, Desert Hacker, abbika-rose-writers, Helen Kiyonis, Samantha, Wren Truesong, sami1010220, Kim Kotchanski, rainbow fish, Kinky Usagi, Angel Horse, Pleione, Kateri1, LimaBean0501, crooskshanks87, Sasinak, Vyxagallanxchi, and Phoebs
I apologise if I missed your name. Thank you for those who answered my questions about Blaise's gender (male) and Harry's DOB (1980, although some of you weren't too sure if it was 1981). Answers to some comments and questions at the end. Now, on with the story!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and co. belong to JKR.
"I want you all to transfigure a rock into a worm, just as I did before. You may begin."
Hermione, as usual, got the transfiguration in the first few attempts, and then turned to help Ron and Harry with their attempts.
"This is supposed to be easy, boys. It's just a small object" Hermione was exclaiming.
"Did you guys notice anything different with Malfoy" Harry asked before Ron could start an argument.
Hermione demonstrated the wand movement again, then looked at Harry"well, he didn't insult Hagrid today in Care of Magical Creatures."
Ron snorted"the reality of the importance of passing OWLS finally made it through his thick skull, probably."
"You're not one to talk" Hermione said as Ron tried to unsuccessfully transfigure the rock"you haven't even looked at the new timetables I wrote up"
"Malfoy's been quiet lately, not all sneering and insulting as usual, I just wonder why. I mean, it's been a few weeks now since I've heard an insult from him" Harry said. Harry waved his wand and said the incantation, and he got a fat worm, not quite the right shape, but it was moving.
"You say that as though you like being insulted" Hermione sniffed"I think he's just becoming more mature, finally. It's about time he puts petty house rivalry aside."
McGonagall came up to the three of them and looked at Hermione's worm"well done Miss Granger, five points to Gryffindor" she then looked at Harry's moving blob, and Ron's stripy rock. "The pronunciation of the incantation must be accurate, and moreover, you must really want the rock to become a worm."
"Why would we really want that" Ron muttered as McGonagall went over to help Lavendar and Parvati.
"Tonight's homework is a three foot essay on the differences between
animated and non-animated transfiguration. You are to cover the different wand movements, incantations, and the difficulties associated with each type of transfiguration. Essays are due Thursday next week, and there will be a short test next Monday in the first half of the double. You are dismissed."
"I can't believe she's assigning homework and a test at the same time, and it's Halloween tomorrow" Ron complained.
"I don't think I can get it finished, what with Quidditch practice and the Duelling Club…" Harry moaned.
"And Prefect duties, I don't think I'll be getting any sleep" Ron whined, cramming his parchment and quill into his bag, and getting ink all over his fingers.
"Well, it's easy really. All you need to do is minus the wizard's chess time from your schedules, and you should be fine" Hermione said, packing her books neatly into her bag"or even better, we have a break now, so maybe we can begin work on it"
Harry considered protesting, but then thought that it was best to finish it off as soon as possible"fair enough" then he turned to Ron"and we can get it done during our History of Magic lessons too."
Ron nodded, not looking the least bit happy, and they made their way to the library to begin their essays.
Dear members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team,
9;To celebrate Halloween, Quidditch practice tonight is cancelled. We will do a make-up session another time that is still being decided. Happy Halloween!
Harry had pinned the notice on the board one week earlier, after confirming Quidditch pitch reservations with Madam Hooch.
"Happy Halloween, Captain" Fred and George cheered as Harry came down the stairs to the Common Room.
"Ah, see there brother? Our current captain does know how to enjoy himself after all" Fred grinned.
"We were afraid you might become another Wood, but we've nothing to worry about" George patted Harry on the back.
"I only did it as you promised something good during our meals" Harry grinned at them.
"Ooh, perfect Potter likes our petty pranks" Fred grinned, while George pulled something out of his pocket, and looked around to make sure no-one was listening.
"As a token of our gratitude to you for your funding, we present you with a free sample of our Halloween Special Stink Bomb" George grabbed Harry's hand and placed a mini Jack-o-lantern in it.
"Uh, what's so special about it, apart from the fact that it's in the shape of a pumpkin head" Harry asked.
"Oh, perhaps you can test it out on some Slytherins if you want to see what's different about it" Fred said off-handedly. "We must be on our way, there is business to attend to" And the twins hurried off, leaving Harry standing there with the pumpkin head in his hand.
Harry grinned as he thought about who he should throw the bomb at, and made his way down the steps. There were bats flying around in the Entrance Hall, and pumpkin heads floating around. Even the armour down the corridors had been polished and had eerie music coming from them. Peeves was flying around as usual throwing unpleasant things such as bugs and water bombs at students, singing the Adamms Family song. He quickly made his way into the Great Hall and to the seat between Ron and Ginny, barely avoiding Peeves' large worm (hoping it wasn't a rock partway transfigured into a worm), and piled his plate with food.
"Attention, students" The students quietened and looked up to Dumbledore, who was standing and beaming at all of the students.
"To celebrate Halloween, I would like to announce that the Weird Sisters have agreed to perform for us tonight, so dinner will begin an hour earlier than usual…"
'Good thing I cancelled Quidditch practice' Harry thought.
"… so if you do not wish to miss out on the performance and dinner, please make sure you are here on time"
"Fred and George look very happy" Ginny commented, when everyone had calmed down a bit.
"They're always happy" Ron said around a mouth full of scrambled eggs.
"I think they've got a prank planned" Hermione frowned, placing the newspaper she was reading down on the table. She was about to stand up to lecture them about the school rules when the doors to the Great Hall opened and the bunch of bats swooped down upon the students. Students screamed everywhere as the bats landed in their food and on their heads. Harry had reacted quickly, along with half the other students, as they hid under the tables. Up at the staff table, James had quickly erected a shield around himself that stopped the bats getting to him, grinning at the mayhem around him. He saw half the other teachers had done the same. Hagrid had a look of pure happiness as he saw the beasts flying around the Great Hall, even petting one that had landed in his beard. Harry heard laughing and looked at Fred and George, who were pointing and laughing at something happening over at the Slytherin table; a bat had gotten into Pansy Parkinson's hair, and she was shrieking her head off trying to get it off.
"STUDENTS" Dumbledore's voice boomed. Harry noticed that the screaming stopped, and there were no more fluttering wings. "You may resume your breakfast." Harry could have sworn there was some amusement in that voice. Although the next voice that he heard held no amusement at all.
"Mr's Weasley and Weasley, come with me" McGonagall said sternly, and led them away from the table. They disappeared from the Great Hall. While all the students sighed in relief, the twins had equally satisfied grins plastered on their faces.
The students all crawled out from under the tables, and resumed breakfast.
"I think that was a bit mild for the twins" Harry remarked, repouring himself some pumpkin juice.
Ron scoffed"if you think that that's all, you don't know the twins as well as I thought you did."
Hermione just shook her head"when are they going to grow up"
The lessons that day were relatively easy; after the shock of the morning's ordeal, even the teachers seemed to enjoy all the decorations around the castle and the festive mood, except for Snape of course, who seemed glummer than usual among all the bright orange. Peeves had managed to paint the dungeons a bright orange, and Snape still hadn't managed to charm away the colour.
"Fifty points from anyone who comments on the change of décor" Snape had snarled the moment the class started.
Fred and George had both gotten a week's worth of detention, which was nothing to them after their years of detention experience. They hinted that there was more to come at dinner; Harry made a point to himself to sit near them so that whatever came, hopefully he wouldn't be too close to a victim.
And so it was with great excitement that all the students turned up early in the Great Hall. The Great Hall was decorated like every other Halloween; black and orange streamers, bats and Jack-o-Lanterns floating above them, and other Halloween decorations filled the walls from the ground to the enchanted ceiling. The Hogwarts ghosts and various others Harry had never seen before were floating around and chatting away to one another. Gone were the long House tables, replaced by dozens of round tables scattered around the hall. Each round table seated about ten. Early comers had already claimed half the tables. It looked like Slytherins were gathered near the back, so Harry, Ron, and Hermione decided to seat themselves near the front. Not too near the front though; Harry still liked to keep his distance from Snape.
Harry shared a table with most of his Gryffindor year-mates, and also invited the twins and Lee Jordan to share their table. Ginny was seated a few tables over from them with some Ravenclaws who Harry recognised as several members of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, including Cho Chang. Parvati and Lavender, who looked suspiciously like they were wearing make-up, and adorning dangly earrings and dangly necklaces around their necks, were with Padma and some other Ravenclaws. In fact, Harry then noticed that a lot of the girls had gotten a little more dressed up for the occasion, whereas the boys were still in the same clothes they were in that morning. He looked over to Hermione, and noticed that she had changed too, and had her hair pulled up into a neat ponytail. That was just strange.
There were flashes as Colin Creevey took photo after photo of decorations and people ("Smile, Harry") Harry tried not to look in Colin's direction as he took photos.
Lee had brought his tarantula, and let it crawl around on the table. Ron had escaped for the meantime, pretending to go to talk to his little sister. As a Prefect, Ron should have confiscated the animal, but his fear far outweighed his sense of authority. Harry didn't want to spoil the fun, but he did want Ron back at their table. Maybe he should tell Hermione, who was lecturing Neville about the Muggle Halloween celebrations, to see to the matter?
"So, what were you going to do tonight" Harry questioned the twins.
"Do you really think that we would spoil the surprise for you" George asked.
"You'll have to wait until the end of the night Captain" Fred said"we were going to carry out our plan before dinner, but decided we wanted to see the band perform a bit before we did anything."
Dinner began with soup as an entrée. Ron eventually made it back to their table after Hermione asked Lee non-too-nicely to get rid of the animal or face point deduction. The Weird Sisters played some ballads in the background as everyone ate their soup.
As they finished soup, the band played a more up-beat song while dinner was served. The dinner was comparable to any other Hogwarts special occasion feasts. Like all the other boys on his table, Harry piled his plate high and dug in.
Not for the first time that night, Harry felt as though someone was staring at his back, only to find no one was doing any such thing as soon as he turned around.
"Are you waiting for the twins' pranks" Ron asked.
"No, it just felt as though someone was staring at me" Harry said, scanning the Hall nervously.
"It's probably just your imagination. You might want to stop being so jumpy, you'll become a Moody one day! Can't have you hexing us when we least expect it" Ron laughed, while Harry forced a chuckle. He was sure someone had been staring at him from the back of the Hall; he had felt that tingling at the back of his neck as though a pair of eyes were boring into the back of his neck. He had no idea who it was, but of course, it could just be any other student staring at 'The Great' Harry Potter.
"I doubt it's his imagination. Tonight is such a fun night, and even Muggles know that some people can feel it when they are being stared at. Some people like to call it 'sixth sense', or 'instinct'" Hermione said, frowning at Harry.
"Although those 'instincts' could be wrong too. One time Dudley swore that a boy was staring at him and punched him, when the boy was doing no such thing." Harry said, then pondered"but then again, Dudley probably just didn't like the fact that the boy had gotten better results in our language class."
"Are you actually saying that Moody has some 'sixth sense' which enables him to hex random people when he is sufficiently surprised" Ron asked sceptically.
"Don't try to argue with the lady, Ronniekins" Fred said wisely, while Ron scowled at what he was called.
"We know from experience, you can never win in an argument with women" George agreed.
"Well, at least not when that woman's our mother…"
"Or our sister…"
"Or some hot-headed Gryffindor…"
"I am not hot-headed" Hermione shot at them. She noticed Neville cower back from her slightly, and tried her best to appear calm. Ron sniggered when he saw this, which earned him a glare.
Everyone enjoyed dinner and the entertainment immensely. Before the end of dinner, Harry felt someone staring at him again, but again didn't catch anyone staring at him when he turned around.
Assorted desserts appeared, and regardless of how full most of the students were, they all made an effort to fit that little bit more in. For the first time, Harry wondered what the House Elves did with the left over food.
As most people almost finished their desserts, Dumbledore stood up to make an announcement.
"Curfew tonight has been extended to midnight, for you to stay and enjoy the music and company. Happy Halloween everybody"
With a dramatic puff of smoke, the Weird Sisters began a rock song. As some people finished dessert, they got up and began dancing to the music. Fred and George went right up to the front of the stage and did some head-banging, although the song wasn't overly heavy.
Suddenly, the cutlery on the table seemed to come to life as they floated into the air and moved around, just out of reach of the students' hands. The flower decorations on the table began to cackle, while wisps of orange smoke came out of their petals. Students sitting leaning into the table got a whiff of the smoke, and began to laugh uncontrollably. Harry saw this and quickly made his way under the table, narrowly escaping the smoke. 'I should've gone to the dance floor with the twins' he thought to himself, while using a napkin to fan away any smoke, and hoping that he made the right decision by going under the table, his instincts telling him there was more to come.
At that moment, the doors to the Great Hall opened, and in floated a dozen large Jack-o-Lanterns, laughter coming out of the cut-out mouths. As the Jack-o-Lanterns hovered above the students, mini Jack-o-lanterns began spewing out of their mouths. Harry recognised them as the Special edition Stink Bombs.
There were screams, both of horror and laughter, as the bombs exploded. One exploded on the Hufflepuff table, and students choked on the smell, and their laughter made their choking worse. As the smoke cleared, Harry saw Justin with bright orange hair and mini pumpkin heads printed on his robes.
The Hall was then attacked by the mob of bats, making Harry felt like he had a sense of déjà vu. The staff were all trying to get rid of the bats and the pumpkins, and to uncharm the flowers and the cutlery, but Fred and George must have put some charm on them to avoid having them being vanished. Harry looked to them, and saw McGonagall dragging them out of the hall ("if you are interested in any of the items demonstrated tonight, please contact us…" Fred or George yelled as they were leaving). Harry then looked at the staff table to see if anyone was more orange than before. Most of the teachers had performed a shield charm, and out of the corner, Harry saw James aim his wand at Snape, creating a hole in the shield, allowing him to slip a mini pumpkin into Snape's shield. Harry tugged on Ron's sleeve and pointed up at Snape, and they both burst out laughing at Snape's surprise and expression of horror as he coughed from the stink and realised his beautiful black hair was now a bright orange. It looked like Snape made a good effort to keep his cool, while performing what looked like a complex spell to cleanse the orange from his hair. Not really cleansed, as Hermione pointed out that Snape must have done a spell to return the prank to whoever pulled it, and James ended up with the orange hair.
And to finish the night off, a bat the size of a helicopter swooped in with a banner that said:
After five minutes of chaos, the teachers were able to get rid of all the pranks, the smokes and fumes vanished, a lot of 'priori incantatem's performed on the students countered the laughing, and the cutlery back in usable condition.
"I'm sorry about that" Dumbledore addressed the band, bowing his head.
"No problems, it is nice to see that your students have a good sense of humour" the lead singer of the Weird Sisters said. Luckily, that was all the pranks in store for them that night, although Harry heard some expressions of interest in the pranks.
Some students remained to get more autographs, while others returned to their seats to continue chatting while picking away at the remaining dessert (which had safely survived the stink bombs and bat attacks).
Harry returned to his seat with Ron and Hermione. Lee Jordan seemed to be leading Zacharius Smith outside, probably into a Weasley Twin prank in return for his rudeness during the Quidditch trials. Dean was sitting with some Hufflepuff's, discussing soccer with some other Muggleborns. Seamus was talking Quidditch with some Ravenclaws, and Harry blushed and looked away when his eyes met Cho's. Neville was still lined up for an autograph.
Harry and Hermione waited patiently while Ron stood in line behind Neville. Harry would have gone and kept Ron company, if he had not been afraid of being asked an autograph in return by the Weird Sisters.
Students started trickling out of the Hall as the night went on. Professor Plum came and chatted about defence with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Ten minutes before curfew, the trio made their way out of the Hall, talking about the days' events, and were at the door when they were interrupted by a loud scream. The Hall silenced, staff and students staring at each other in horror. Dumbledore stood up, a grim look on his face, and the remaining students suddenly moved as one towards the doors before the teachers could stop them.
The three Gryffindors had been closest to the door, and with a quick glance at each other, moved towards the sound of the terrified scream. Then there were cries as someone shrieked desperately for help.
Harry recognised the voice as he approached the source; it was Dennis Creevey, leaning over a body and screaming a single word.
Harry stopped and stared at the scene; Colin was lying with his back on the floor, his right leg at an odd angle and eyes closed. There was what looked like a smashed pumpkin on his torso and covering his camera, pumpkin skin surrounding the area. But it was not the sight of a student on the floor with a twisted leg that stopped Harry in his tracks, it was what was floating above him.
"The Dark Mark" Hermione gasped, hand moving to her mouth.
"Oh no, there are Death Eaters here" Ron whimpered, just as everyone else arrived at the scene.
Harry looked around, eyes searching the corridors and the stairs, looking for a tall figure in black robes and a white mask. He didn't see any such figure, except…
He saw a blond-haired figure retreating from sight three floors up, eyes wide with fright.
AN: That's a good place to stop this chapter. Again, sorry about the wait. To be honest, I finished this chapter a while ago, but then I rewrote it because I didn't like it, although I still don't like it. sigh
Also, when I went on my holiday, I left my plot line at home, so that slowed me down as well.
I've written three pages of the next chapter, but I'm not going to make any promises about when the next chapter is going to be up. Just know this: I have NOT abandoned this fic! As long as people are still reading, I am still writing!
Someone said that scene changes were confusing, and it seemed as though some of my were disappearing, because I always put them between scenes, so I'm trying xxx instead for now.
Kim Kotchanski, you reviewed twice! But I laughed so much when I read your first review: 'I think I'm the Simon Cowell of the literary world, little/no talent myself but feels free to judge everyone else.' Thanks for that!
Now, to answer some questions and comments:Pairings? Well, I think I mentioned before that romance isn't central to this fic. If I do do some pairings, it'd be Hermione/Ron, and probably Harry/Ginny.
I bet Draco is pretty upset about his mum, right? I would be too. Did Remus and Sirius take Lucius' wand away from him? Yes, he has been acting somewhat strangely because of his mother. This Malfoy is perhaps quieter and more thoughtful than before, and this period could be the turning point for Malfoy: good or evil? And better safe than sorry, so yes, they took Lucius' wand away from him, and Snape keeps it, in case Voldemort sees the fake Malfoy using a different wand (in other stories, people seem to recognise wands, and I'm assuming Voldemort has a good memory for things that relate to other people's magic). The prison really just denies people using wandless magic.What was up with Harry's mirror? I forgot what it's supposed to do. I guess that will be featured more prominently later, maybe? I realise that most of you would have forgotten what happened a lot of chapters ago! Harry's mirror was a foe glass, a birthday gift from Sirius and Lupin. It heats up when enemies are in a 1km radius, and you can see the whites of their eyes if they are in a 10m radius. And yes, it will be featured at least once more in this story! Now, other presents he got that will be featured are:
Hagrid's amulet, which protects the wearer. It obviously won't be able to protect you from the Killing Curse, but it can protect you from minor curses.
James and Lily's communicating stone, which he uses to communicate regularly with the other world.
Could you continue to go light on Severus? I don't see him as evil at all. I think he's just a product of his childhood. He seems lonely and bitter. Don't worry, I had intended to write more pranks, but as I've been spending less time on this fic than I used to, and pranks isn't really necessary to advance the plot, the Marauders won't be too mean to Snape. And I agree that Snape is just a bitter man. And Vyxagallanxchi, you didn't sound pushy at all:)
Out of curiosity, are you planing anything for Luna in this story? Not particularly, but she's such a quirky character I might have to make something up for her!
you should write other things.. i don't doubt you'd be published.. good luck on exams and stuff..! Thank you for your encouragement. I passed all of my exams! Woohoo! But now it's only three months until my next lot of exams:( . About writing other things, I have an idea in my head for an original fantasy, and I've written out most of the plot, so that should be in the works one day in the future (after I finish this darned degree!), and I'd like to write several biographies, not about myself of course, my own biography would be about five pages max! I'd LOVE to get published, but if I don't, I did what I love, and that's what counts.
You must remember 'YOU' are the Omnipotent Author and if you want to step out of 'CANON' just go right ahead afterall it is YOUR story. Lol, true! But seeing as I'm basing it on JKR's creations, I thought I'd keep some things the same.
Duelling club's great. But, with Snape again. They never get away from him do they? No, they don't! Firstly, I intended oSnape to use up one of his favours (a lot of chapters back, oSnape only agreed to help in this world if James, Sirius, and Remus agree to a favour each) in the duelling club, but I've changed my mind about that. I know EXACTLY what favours oSnape is going to ask. But oSnape just stayed in the duelling club because I thought it'd be amusing.
I make no promises as to when the next chappie will be up, but HOPEFULLY it won't take as long as before. MARK YOUR DIARIES EVERYONE! BOOK 6 IS COMING JULY 16TH OR SOMETIME THEREABOUTS! WOOHOO!
As always, if you have any criticisms, comments, or suggestions, please leave a review or write to tonderumushi at yahoo dot com dot au.Seeya!