I know I said that me re-emerging in the fan fiction world will come in another one and a half years time. Hee… I had this sudden wave of inspiration when I was revising for my mid-years/common test hence here I am! I am attempting to refine my use of English in this fic which means typing takes 5 times longer as I keep checking and rechecking every sentence. Gosh, how long will I take to complete one chapter?
This fic is based on a merger of book 5 and 6. Some of the facts are distorted. E.g. Umibridge is still in charge of the school and Dumbledore is not yet XXXX (spoiler for those who have not read book 6) and a few others.
Disclaimer: CCS and HP do not belong to me
The burning embers in the fireplace produced a glow which bounced off the dusty stone walls that badly needed scrubbing. Light passing through the frost covered window illuminated the already dim lit room. Various Christmas decorations were put up; mini angels fluttering about, the ceiling magically enchanted to produce snowflakes that disappeared after a few seconds and the windows were draped with white velvet to further enhance the room. All seemed serene and calm, yet suddenly the cozy, pictorial setting was shattered by a curse muttered by someone slumping lazily in a red couch.
Three Gryffindor students wearing home knitted jumpers were gathered near the fireplace. One male student with red hair had a look of triumph on his face while his opponent hung an attempted defeated expression, which betrayed a look of utter boredom instead.
"Oh, that's the fourth time I lost already." Harry drawled, staring at the remains of his king.
"Let's play another round!" Ron said enthusiastically, secretly relishing the fact that there was still something that he was better at. With a wave of his wand, the chess pieces were back to their original places.
It was nearing the end of Christmas, a new school term was about to start. The trio in a bid to enjoy their remaining holidays decided to spend their day outside, only to be propelled back by the chilling winds and raging snowstorms. Thus their second option was to stay coped up in the Gryffindor common room, be couch potatoes and die of boredom. Hermoine resumed her daily habit of reading while Ron and Harry indulged in a game of wizard's chess.
And it was one of the driest board games ever invented.
At least for Harry, it was. Ron, on the other hand, was gloating over his fourth consecutive win and contemplating on the fifth.
"Pawn to C3." Harry started, stifling a yawn.
"Pawn to E9" Ron replied.
"You know the latest commotion over that sorcerer incident… Knight to D4." Harry spoke, attempting to divert Ron's attention to some interesting yet random topics.
"The Ministry has gone crazy over it. My father has been working overtime for this few weeks, having meetings everyday, discussing something stupid like the chances of sorcerers eradicating the wizarding population. Pawn to F9."
Hermoine looked up from her reading material and snarled, "It is all because of that Rita Seeker, blowing every small incident up." Obviously Hermoine still had not forgiven that nosy reporter.
"But… isn't sorcerers like non-existent? You know myths?" Harry asked, as he ordered his pawn to move.
Hermoine frowned as she replied, "I read this book before, like two years ago… The last sorcerer to roam this earth was Clow Reed… He was very powerful, capable of becoming a more difficult opponent than You-Know-Who. But I don't trust that book; it was hundreds of year's old, probably outdated long time ago."
"Hermoine doubting her own source of knowledge? That must be a first." Ron snorted as his queen smashed Harry's pawn to pieces.
Harry sighed as his best friends began a round of arguing, the chess match was the last thing on Ron's mind right now. Harry did not mind anyway. Ron's ego was swelling way too greatly.
Coming back to the topic at hand, Harry found that the entire situation was absurd, twisted. Just a few weeks ago, the wizarding world was still on high alert for Voldermort, bracing for new attacks by death eaters. The Daily Prophet came as a surprise to Harry the following day. For once, there were no reports on Harry's claim on dark lord's existence or deaths, injuries and missing civilians in courtesy of Death Eaters.
"Huh? Sorcerers, a dangerous breed?" Ron stared at the headings incredulously, "Seriously, I think that Seeker reporter has gone nuts."
Hermoine disagreed, "I think that women just ran out of mean reports. Subscription rate went down recently."
"But there haven't been any sorcerer sightings for centuries! And this photo is definitely a fake." Ron exclaimed as he jab an accusing finger at the picture. Harry had to admit, the photo showed nothing that portrayed sorcerers as dangerous. It was underexposed and all Harry saw was a glow of purple and a flurry of movement.
"Well, that reporter said that this intruder apparated in Hogwarts ground. Man, that is some concrete evidence," Ron snorted as he gulped down his pudding.
"But you can't just appar-"
"Yes, yes we know. Cannot apparate in Hogwart's ground. That must be the hundredth time you have been saying this." Ron retorted.
Harry ignored the squabbling pair as he read the contents, which was mainly on the origin of sorcerers and the widespread destruction one can cause
End of flashback
Since then, the Ministry declared a high alert for sorcerersThe Daily Prophet began to publish daily sightings of sorcerers in which Harry doubted the credibility of it. Sorcerer detecting devices began to flood Hogsmate. Fred and George were in it as well; they have invested a huge sum of galleons in anti-sorcerer devices and goods were literally flying off their shelves. Harry fished out and fingered the Weasley twin's latest product – The Sorcerer Detection Ring. The higher the intensity and frequency the ring flashes, the closer the sorcerer is to the ring holder.
Pretty interesting yet a useless invention. Harry mused. After all, sorcerers have disappeared from the face of this earth centuries ago.
However, Umibridge did not seem to share a similar opinion with Harry. She began re-enforcing Hogwart's defense with numerous spells; sorcerer detection charms, repelling charms, binding charms etc, in a bid to deter any attacks from sorcerers. Together with Flich, they prowled along the corridors searching for any hint of sorcerer invasion. This in Harry's opinion was a total waste of time. Umibridge was seen carrying numerous sorcerer detecting kits and charms, as if the sorcerers were targeting her.
"Dumbledore wasn't too pleased though. Did you see the look on his face when Umibridge announced that she was going to tamper with Hogwart's security system?" Ron asked.
"Dumbledore knows that the wizarding world will be vulnerable to Death eater attacks if we are distracted with other matters." Hermoine replied.
The discussion ended abruptly with Ron emitting a loud cheer, indicating that he had smashed Harry's king into many pieces and Harry was left to wallow in defeat once more.
The new school term started with Umibridge washing down everyone's short lunch with a long and draggy speech which included the latest enhancement of the castle's detection spells. It was only after Professor Mcgonald reminder did she release the school, but not before she threw Professor Mcgonald a dirty look.
"I think Umibridge is paranoid," Ron muttered as he strode past an anti-sorcerer poster. "I bet she wants to single-handedly catch a sorcerer in order to impress the ministry."
Snape greeted them with an unpleasant smile as the trio stepped into the dimly lilted room.
"10 points off Gryffindor for being late." Snape said.
"It's not our fault! Umibridge was babbling non-stop and ate into our lessons!" Ron argued even before Harry could stop him.
"20 points off Gryffindor for talking back. I suggest you hurry to your seat Mr. Weasley, before I give you a weeks worth of detention." Snape replied in a dangerously soft voice.
Harry and Hermoine dragged the scowling Ron to their seats as Snape started his lesson.
"Due to the incident that occurred before Christmas, Professor Umibridge has requested that all Defense against Dark Arts students to study an additional topic for this term; Sorcerers. As this additional topic is not covered in your textbooks, you should start copying down notes on your parchment for this entire chapter." Snape rambled.
Groans can be heard as everyone pulled out their parchments and feathers.
"Professor Umibridge would like the students to understand the nature of sorcerers and the threat that they possess towards the wizarding community."
"Propaganda, you mean." Ron muttered.
"Detention for Mr. Weasley for the whole of next week for speaking in class without permission." Snape snapped. Ron cursed inwardly as he threw Snape a death glare, which Snape ignored.
Snape continued lazily as though nothing had disrupted him, "Of course, I don't think we should jump straight into the negative sides of sorcerers yet. For today's lesson, we will be studying on the nature of sorcerers."
With a flick of his wand, a projection appeared on the wall.
"It is common knowledge that Sorcerers are many times more powerful than wizards. What makes them so distinct from wizards are four characteristics. Mr. Potter, what are these four main characteristics?" Snape asked, ignoring Hermione's raised hand.
"Um…" Harry mused, "They are… dangerous?"
"10 points off Gryffindor for answering wrongly. Obviously Mr. Potter, you have not been reading widely enough. If you want to pass your N.E.W.T.S, you better work a lot harder.(Harry glared at Snape)These four characteristics are the extend of their power, their power source, the way their cast their sorcery and the population number. Sorcerers are extremely few in number, probably about twenty to thirty ever existed. We wizards draw our magic from the magical object within our wands, to which the magical abilities of the user varies with the type, nature and power the magical object holds. On the other hand, sorcerers draw their power from nature like planets and elements. Thus it is obvious that sorcerer's magical abilities far out weigh wizards due to the power source they draw from. The last distinct characteristic is that sorcerers do not use wands like we do. Most of them use different types of mediums like staffs or jewels when performing serious sorcery while the more powerful ones can cast sorcery without any medium."Snape explained.
"Now Miss Granger, why do most sorcerers have to rely on mediums to perform serious sorcery?"
Hermione's eyes widen as she furiously worked out the answer. This topic was not covered in her textbook thus she did not have any in depth knowledge of sorcerers. Plus, the library had only a pathetic number of books on sorcerers where many were not useful at all.
"I… don't know Professor." Hermoine stuttered as she realized that many people were throwing surprised looks in her direction.
"10 points off Gryffindor. Miss Granger, your sudden drop in your constant pace tells me a lot of your study habits." Snape grinned sinisterly as Hermoine lowered her head in shame.
"True, sorcerers do not need to use mediums when performing wizard's magic as the magic used is almost negligible. However, when performing sorcery, large amount of power is needed to be channeled in order to create an astounding effect. Therefore, the greatest amount of sorcery is concentrated in the medium. In other words, their mediums act as an amplifier to their normal attacks. Be forewarned that their normal attacks alone is many times more powerful than 10 Aurors combined. "
Snape ignored the stunned silence that spreaded around the class and continued, "Now, this person on the wall happens to be the most powerful sorcerer ever recorded in history. Who is he?"
"Clow Reed, sir." Hermoine said frantically in a bid to salvage her bruised ego.
"I did not ask you for the answer Ms Granger. If you would like to show off, please do it in other classes." Snape growled as Hermoine blushed several shades deeper.
"Clow Reed was the most powerful sorcerer that walked on this earth. He existed for several hundreds of years. Oh yes, he was definitely powerful alright. Many said that he alone could rival Voldermort's reign." Snape said, "And… Yes, Mr. Walkner?"
A brave Hufflepuff boy asked hesistantly, "If sorcerers are so powerful… is there any way… any spell that we wizards can use in defense against them?"
Snape unpleasant look took over again as he spoke, "I afraid not Mr. Walkner. A sorcerer can cripple the wizarding world if they tried hard enough but an extremely powerful sorcerer like Clow Reed can cause serious devastation easily. If they really release their full power Mr. Walkner, the entire world will be at stake. You and I will cease to exist."
Reality set in as the entire class was dumbstruck. "And what do you mean by serious devastation Professor?" The same boy squeaked..
"What do you think?" Snape asked lazily.
"I… don't know Professor."
Snape surveyed the class boredly as he spoke once more, "This aspect was supposed to be covered in the later parts of the topic though. It could be an exaggeration for no one has really seen the full extend of Clow Reed's power. Predictions from textbooks may not necessarily be correct."
With a flick of his wand again, the projection disappeared.
"I expect a ten foot long essay about the nature of sorcerers and Clow Reed's legacy by next Monday."
Grumblings started to occur once more.
"And one more thing, Professor Umibridge will be marking several chosen scripts personally."
It was several days after that particular class and the trio were slaving away in the Gryffindor common room, struggling to complete their ten-foot long essay. Hermoine was writing furiously away on her parchment, oblivious anything and everything around her. Ron was not very pleased as he stared at the pathetic length of his essay.
"I am still five-foot short! Harry, this is getting nowhere!" Ron exclaimed, "Other than what Snape had said in class, the rest of my essay is total bullshit!"
Harry replied exasperatedly, "There are very few reference materials in the library Ron! We can't write an essay without any reference materials!"
"Well, Hermoine can." Ron pointed out.
"I am still short of five-foot!" Hermoine wailed as she scribbled even faster.
"It is already ten-foot long Hermoine!" Ron snorted, "You are just sore over that incident during Defense Against Dark Arts."
A loud thwack could be heard as the book Herimone flung collided with Ron's hard head.
"Shut up Ron!" Hermoine yelled as her face burned with embarrassment.
Harry groaned inwardly once more as he watched the argument blow up once more. Ron and Hermoine kept arguing these days and Harry was getting really tired of enduring those childish arguments. Hermoine was getting really touchy these days and Ron made no attempt to be more tactful.
Majority of the Gryffindor students gave up on meeting the ten-foot long requirement. There were simply too few reading materials for reference. Harry, himself, managed to reach seven-foot long before he decided to throw in the towel.
It was not failing that essay that bothered Harry. It was, however, the impact that Snape's lesson had caused throughout the school.
It was like they are brainwashed or something.
Ever since Snape started his new topic, Almost every student in Hogwarts perceived Sorcerers as dangerous, and they are starting to feel extremely wary. Rumors started to mix with facts and the truth of sorcerers no longer seemed clear. Many now pay close attention to sightings reported in the newspapers, a trend which was definitely missing before the holidays. Many students now stereotype sorcerers as cold-blooded. Even the trio now looked at sorcerers in a different light, like they were afraid of the widespread destruction one sorcerer can cause. No doubt, even Harry was affected by rumors.
Is this what the Ministry hoped for? Hatred towards sorcerers?
Umibridge must be extremely smug about it.
A deafening noise interrupted Harry's train of thought. Startled, Harry looked around wildly. The rest of the Gryffindor had a look of confusion in their face.
"What on earth is that racket?" Ron yelled, using his hands to cover his ears.
"I don't…" Harry started.
"It is the new security system!" Hermoine shouted.
It was then that Harry remembers part of Umibridge's long and draggy speech a few days ago.
If there is an extremely loud screeching sound, it means that a sorcerer has intruded into Hogwart's grounds. All students are to remain in the castle. Prefects and teachers are to assist me in capturing the intruder.
A sorcerer has intruded into Hogwart's grounds…
The anti-sorcerer ring in Harry's pocket began to flash brightly.
"It is really an ancient relic alright!" A teenage girl held up her video camera as she started filming enthusiastically. "This will be a great addition to my video collection!" She squealed.
Starry eyed, she approached the castle a little closer in order to take a better shot.
It was a while later before her pretty face gave way to a frown. Was there something wrong with her video camera or were tiny specks of dots forming on her display screen? Say, these dots seemed to be approaching her at high speed.
She lowered her camera as stared hard in that direction. There was a group of people which consist of teenagers and adults running in her direction. The leader of the pack had a look of… triumph on her face, for some reason, the long haired girl could not figure out why. Say, that toad like woman had an awful fashion sense and she could do well with a change of hairstyle.
"Hai, minna…" She started, only to be interrupted by that toad like woman sudden movement of flicking a… stick. To her amusement, a red light seemed to erupt from that stick and it traveled quickly at the speed of light.
All she felt next was intense numbness spreading throughout her body before sinking into deep oblivion.
Please review! It makes me a lot more motivated to start the next chapter.