The Dark Seed: Part 2 - The Plot Thickens
a/n, disclaimer: Read my first disclaimer, and please review to tell me if you want my story to continue.
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Hermione checked her watch for what felt like the ten-millionth time.
"Where could Harry be?" She wondered aloud. "He's usually here way before me."
"Who's usually here way before you?" Ron asked, sauntering up to Hermione, his brothers and sister not far behind.
"Harry," Hermione responded "He's always one of the first students to get here, since he doesn't want to wait and see if the Dursleys change their mind about driving him."
"Oh." Ron replied. "If you don't mind, I think I'll wait with you."
"Me too!" Ginny piped up. Percy, Fred, and George decided to go through the barrier, planning to warn them when the train came. Many minutes passed, and there was still no sign of Harry.
"Maybe he ran into some trouble with those Muggles he lives with," Ron mused. "What's the matter, Ginny?" She had gone rigid, her eyes focused on some point in the crowd. "Ginny?"
"It's HIM," she shuddered.
"Whaddya mean, 'it's him?'"
Ron tensed at the name, but relaxed. "Ginny, you shouldn't kid about these things."
"I'm not kidding. I feel him." As if on cue, the crowd thinned, and all three could see a figure dressed in a long, hooded robe staring off into the distance. Slowly, it turned to face them. Within the dark interior of the hood, red slits appeared, widening into large, slanted red eyes, with no pupil to be seen. Ginny screamed. And screamed. And screamed. The thing seemed taken aback by the noise, and vanished into the crowd. At about the same time, Percy, Fred, and George came bursting through the barrier.
"Ginny, what's wrong?"
"Did you scream?"
"It was Him! Oh, he was so awful, with red eyes and a big, blood-red cloak! Oh, it was so terrible!" Ginny sobbed, collapsing into Fred and George's arms. A few Muggles turned to stare.
"Shhhhh, Ginny, shhhhhhh. It's okay. Let's get you through the barrier. We're attracting too muck attention here," Fred comforted her, and they slowly moved through the wall onto Platform 9¾ just as the train arrived. The ride to Hogwarts was tense and worried, and when they finally made it to the school, through the Sorting Ceremony, and the accompanying dinner, Ginny had relaxed very little. Harry had still not shown up. As the students streamed out the doors and to the dormitories, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron separated from the crowd and made their way over to the twin gargoyles in front of Dumbledore's office. A soft voice spoke suddenly from behind them.
"Salamander Skillets." They all jumped. Dumbledore stepped into view, apologizing for the scare, and escorted them up the moving staircase into his office.
"Now, what can I do for you?" he asked, settling into the chair behind his desk. Hermione noted that he seemed a little frazzled himself, and the room seemed a little messier than usual, with one of his numerous gizmos laying on the floor and a few pictures askew on the walls, but decided not to comment on it.
"Sir," Ginny spoke up, her voice weak. "I'm sorry I haven't told you, but since the Chamber of Secrets, I've been sort of able to...sense Lord Voldemort." She faltered.
"Like some sort of strange connection?" Dumbledore prodded gently.
"Yes! That exactly!" She looked relieved, then her statement sobered once more. "Anyway, at King's Cross today, on the Muggle side, Hermione, Ron, and I were waiting for Harry, who hadn't shown up yet." Dumbledore nodded. "Suddenly, I could sense Him, very nearby. It scared me. I told Hermione and Ron about it, and suddenly, the crowd thinned, and we could see Him. He turned and looked me straight in the eye
with the most horrid red eyes I have ever seen. I'm afraid I lost control a little, and started screaming. That seemed to surprise, then he just...disappeared."
Dumbledore leaned forward in his chair, eyes glittering oddly.
"What did he look like, Ginny? Please tell me."
"Well, he had big, glowing red, slanted eyes, and was wearing a long, blood-red cloak."
Dumbledore's eyes widened, and he sank back into his chair.
"I thought so" he mumbled, more to himself than his visitors "I thought so."
"What do you mean, sir?" Hermione asked, puzzled, then: "Does this have anything to do with the mess and your haunted look? I noticed it at the banquet, but never found the appropriate time to ask."
"Yes, you're right, Miss Granger. You see, about a week ago, I was attacked by an unknown assailant, who somehow managed to Disapparate away after knocking me out. Snape, surprisingly enough, came to my rescue, or I very well might have been dead. The thing, which fits Ginny's description of Lord Voldemort perfectly, performed a purposefully diluted version of the Avada Kedavra curse—without a wand.
Let me remind you, this is strictly impossible, as is Apparating and Disapparating on Hogwarts grounds. Yet, he somehow managed to do so.
"This whole conversation never happened. Understand?" All of the students nodded. "Therefore, I say goodbye, and goodnight."