In addition to the world of Harry Potter, which was of course created by JKR and whose characters I use for this fanfiction, this story is also clearly inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen ". I was also heavily influenced by all the writers whose books I devoured as a child and which still touch me deeply as an adult. I would like to mention Michael Ende, Wolfgang Hohlbein, and Bernhard Hennen by name.

Also, many thanks to HonorverseFan for proofreading.

Right then! Time to start. And when we're at the end of the story, we will (hopefully) know more than we do now.

First story in which a very powerful magic is unleashed

With a throbbing pulse, the hero returned the Ice Queen's gaze, her eyes an unnatural blue, very different from the warm eyes of his memory. It was icy cold, symbol of the winter that had settled over the girl's heart.

But even the harshest winter was afraid of spring, and in the garden of love, there could be no cold. The hero stepped forward and ...

Wearily, Harry rubbed his eyes. He had been staring at the parchment in front of him for over an hour now, thinking, dipping his quill into the ink, only to discard his idea straight again. How? How could the hero defeat the malevolent Ice Queen and free the heart of his beloved?

But he couldn't think of a solution, cheesy words, or evidence of true love, which made sense. If he were capable of such things, he wouldn't be in the current dilemma in the first place.

The letters blurred before Harry's eyes. His roommates were snoring loudly around him, and the snow fluttered softly in front of the tower window. Only he was still sitting on his bed, a candle on the bedside table the only source of light. Maybe he should leave it at that for tonight; even his great-grandfather Hans Christian had probably not written his fairy tales in the course of a single day.

He was still struggling with his thoughts when suddenly a cold breeze, gentle like the touch of delicate fingertips, brushed his neck. The touch felt so real, so close and cold that he winced and almost knocked the candle off the bedside table with his elbow. The next moment, he felt a vibration next to him, emanating from a small, silver mirror he always carried with him. Picking it up, he looked into the tired face of his best friend.

"Hey, Daph," Harry greeted her.

"Hey. Why are you still awake?" Not only did Daphne's face look tired, but her voice also sounded exhausted, Harry noted. She seemed to be lying in her bed.

"I could ask you the same thing," he replied. "Are you all right?"

Daphne shrugged. "Don't know. I can't sleep somehow."


"Are you still working on your story? When can I finally read it?"

Harry's cheeks suddenly felt very warm. "When it's finished," he muttered.

"Well, if you think so," said Daphne, stifling a yawn. "The revelation of your grandfather must have affected you more than I previously thought."

"Great-grandfather," Harry replied. He wanted to change the subject. "And why can't you sleep?"

"I tried," said Daphne. "But I just toss and turn. Something seems to be with my body. It's been itching and pinching all evening." She pulled the covers up to her chin. "And somehow it's particularly cold today."

"Late November down there in your dungeon? No surprise," Harry said before giving her a worried look. "But that sounds like you're getting sick. You should go to Madam Pomfrey's first thing in the morning."

"Yes, yes, mum. I will."

"You know I just care about you, right?"

Daphne averted her eyes from him, and for a moment there was silence, broken only by the snoring of their roommates. "Yes, I know," she finally said in a low voice. "I'll try to get at least a little sleep now. Don't stay up too long either, will you?" He nodded. "Okay, see you tomorrow, Harry."

"See you tomorrow, Daph."

The mirror was empty again.

Daphne was right, Harry thought. He'd best try to get some sleep, too, otherwise McGonagall would knock the stuffing out of him tomorrow. The NEWTs were still months away and yet their teachers were already going completely bonkers. As if he didn't have more important problems…

Harry sighed, putting the mirror, parchment, quill, and ink bottle on the bedside table next to him. Then he blew out the candle, before closing his eyes to indulge in his dreams, which again would revolve around only one person, bright laughter and a foolish hope for a warm future. He did not yet suspect that he had unleashed an ancient and powerful magic that evening that would change everything forever.

An icy wind howled loudly outside.