Harry Potter and the Headmaster of Witchworld
By Alexis Potter, aka DrellNCo

It was a lovely Saturday morning. The clouds were moving in thick clumps across the unblemished, blue sky, and a gentle breeze was blowing. Harry Potter, however, was unaware of the charming weather outside. He was still fast asleep in his four-poster bed in the Gryffindor dormitory.
"Wake up, Harry!" Someone threw a pillow at him. Harry groaned sleepily and pulled his scarlet covers over his head.
"Harry!"
Rolling over, Harry looked up into the face of Hermione Granger, usually pleasant, but right now looking grumpy.
"What is it?" Harry yawned, shoving his glasses on and stretching his arms up to the ceiling.
"Well, for one thing, it's 11:30," she replied sharply. "And for another, I thought you'd want to smarten yourself up for those-- those people that are coming today."
"Who cares what time it is?" said Harry, beginning to feel irritated. "And you're not even supposed to be in here."
Hermione gave an exasperated sigh and started down the stairs, back to the common room. Harry pulled on his black robes, smoothed his lumpy bedspread, and went after Hermione.
As soon as he entered the Common Room, he knew something was different. Then, it hit him. Instead of tons of students robed in black, scattered like ants across the ruby red carpet, there were many of his classmates dressed in dress robes of different colors. His mouth hung momentarily, but he somehow managed to trudge over to Ron and Hermione, who, by the looks on their faces, had just had an argument.
''What's with the..." Harry pointed to Ron's robes.
"He's just being stupid like everyone else," Hermione snapped, throwing down a fat book she was reading.
"It's only polite, Hermione, and if you had any sense on how to welcome guests, you'd put on dress robes too!" Ron, who was looking very smart in brand-new, orange dress robes, snapped back.
"Oh really?" Hermione shrieked, standing up so quickly she scattered some books on the floor. "Maybe I just don't feel like impressing some pretty girl and some stupid ruler with my dress robes that are for special occasions!" She stalked off back into the girl's dormitory.
Ron shook his head. "You'd think I'd threatened to curse Crookshanks."
"What is this all about-- a pretty girl? And what ruler?"
"You know, the 'guests' McGonagall has been talking about for the last ten years." Ron rolled his eyes. "I reckon she thinks she'll marry this king fellow or whatever he is." Ron winked.
Laughing, Harry said, "Come off it, McGonagall and a prince?"
Ron began to laugh too, but at that moment, Hermione marched past, her nose high in the air. Harry glanced at his watch. It read 12:00.
"Let's go," he whispered, and he and Ron started out the portrait hole to the Great Hall.
* * *
Apprehension was thick in the air as all the Hogwarts students congregated at their house tables. Ron and Hermione had finally started speaking to each other, and Hermione, Harry, and Ron were hissing to each other in whispers.
"What do you reckon this wizard fellow is like?"
"Who is this girl he's bring?"
"Hope she's pretty."
"Ron!"
"Come on, Hermione, he was only joking."
"Well, it's not funny, not funny at all... I reckon--"
But Professor Dumbledore held up his hands for silence before Hermione could finish. His eyes twinkled as he stared at his students, who looked as if they were sure he were about to spring a pop quiz on them.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he announced in a painfully slow fashion (painful for the students, that is) "I am pleased to welcome our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mr. Drell Trickman. Mr. Trickman is also the ruler of Witchworld. He has the title of headmaster, which does not refrain to school, of course," Dumbledore smiled at all of them, "but is the highest rank of government on Witchworld, a large, though uncharted planet that is only able to be found by members of Witchworld. By that I mean magic folk." He paused.
Ron was gaping at Dumbledore, as were many. However, most of the girls either had their hands over their face or were giggling insanely.
"So he'll be our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!" Hermione whispered. "It's about time! I wondered why he was coming here!"
It was about time, Harry thought to himself. No one wanted to take the job because they feared it was cursed, and the school year had started without a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
"Mr. Trickman, if you would stand please," Dumbledore directed.
Drell stood. He was tall and muscular, with long, curly hair, which was light brown with streaks hinted of blonde. His deep eyes were a friendly coffee brown, set perfectly beside his straight nose on his tan face. Smiling at them with glittering teeth, he waved. Harry was vaguely reminded of a previous professor, an outrageously stuck-up man by the name of Gilderoy Lockheart.
When Drell sat down, a black-haired girl at the Hufflepuff table was so overtaken with abashed giggles that she nearly fell off her chair. Ron rolled his eyes at Harry.
"Oh really," said Hermione haughtily, "He is handsome, but we'll see what kind of teacher he is."
Excited chatter began to fill the hall again, but Dumbledore held up his hands once more for quiet.
"Accompanying Professor Trickman is Miss Adelaide Demulcere, also of Witchworld--"
"Originally from the U.S.," said a tall, blonde girl who suddenly stood up next to Dumbledore.
Harry was sure that Hermione felt a very strong urge to slap Ron. He was staring at this girl, Adelaide, with glazed eyes. Looking around the hall, he saw most of the boys were sharing an appearance with Ron. Even Draco Malfoy, who usually scoffed at everything was watching Adelaide intently. His normally pale cheeks were flushed. As Harry turned his eyes back to Adelaide, he felt himself blush as well.
"Indeed... the Muggle United States, that is, correct? Miss Demulcere currently resides in Witchworld in the Palace. She holds the title of Princess of Witchworld." Dumbledore nodded at Adelaide. "She will be spending some time here and studying here at Hogwarts while Mr. Trickman fufills his teaching duties. Thank you, Professor Trickman, Miss Demulcere."
There was thunderous applause as all the guests and Dumbledore at the High Table sat.
"A princess!" exclaimed Ron in a hoarse voice. "Could you-- I can't-- a princess!"
Hermione tutted and poured herself some pumpkin juice.
"Do you reckon she's a veela?" Seamus Finnigan whispered, seeming still in awe.
"She doesn't really look like a veela... I mean, she seems normal." Harry helped himself to some potatoes, even though his eyes kept flicking back to the High Table.
"They don't even have veela in Witchworld," Parvati Patil snapped at Seamus. She's gotten over the giggle fit that had afflicted her when Drell was introduced, and was now looking quite put off at the boys' behavior towards Adelaide. "It's a totally different planet."
"Why do they live so far away, I wonder?" Ron said.
"They don't believe in Old Magic," Hermione explained, with a look of knowledge on her face-- a look all the school knew only too well. "They're very technologically advanced. They believe in a modern world with modern magic. Fascinating, really," she added as an afterthought.
"We believe in a modern world," grumbled Ron, looking disgruntled. "Look at the advances made in broomsticks--"
"Hey Potter!"
Harry glanced up to see his enemy, Draco Malfoy, with his two dull sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle at his side.
"Got a problem, Malfoy?" spat Ron.
"What, Weasley, d'you think you've got a chance with the princess? Heard she's loaded-- doubt she'd go for a beggar."
Ron was out of his chair in a flash. Thrusting his hand into his robes, he whipped out his wand and pointed it at Malfoy.
"Ron, no!" squealed Hermione.
Breathing heavily, Ron, after what seemed an eternity, straightened his robes and sat down just as quickly as he had rose. Suddenly, his just red face went very pale. He looked as if he were going to be sick.
"What is it?" Harry asked in a panicky voice. Had Malfoy cursed him somehow?
"Look-- Harry-- Look--" he choked, turning his eyes into his lap.
Adelaide, the princess, was watching Harry interestedly. Harry sputtered and spit out a mouthful of pumpkin juice. Malfoy froze beside him, and Ron still looked as if he were going to vomit. Hermione, however, tutted again and muttered, "Boys."
Seeing that Harry had caught her staring, Adelaide looked away. Only a few minutes later, though, she said something to Drell and rose from the High Table. The princess was hurrying past the other tables to the Gryffindor table. Ron made a strangled noise in the back of his throat.
"Are you Harry Potter?" asked Adelaide in a breathy voice.
"Er-- yeah, I'm Harry-- Harry Potter," Harry somehow managed to answer.
"Wow," Adelaide said softly. "I've read all about you." Her eyes wandered to his forehead.
"You've read about Harry?" Hermione asked suddenly, with an air of great surprise.
"Yes," Adelaide replied, beaming. "When I heard I was coming here, I read up about Old World magic. Do you have a-- a wand?"
"Yeah," Harry said, "why?"
Adelaide giggled. "I must say, I've never seen one of those." Reading the confused look on the Gryffindor's faces, she explained, "Finger magic. We don't use wands at all in Witchworld. A lot more convenient, really."
"Must be," said someone in a strangely high voice behind Harry.
Harry jumped and whirled around, only to realize Malfoy was still behind him.
"What's your name?" Adelaide asked Malfoy, smiling warmly and edging closer to him.
"Draco Malfoy," Malfoy said, seeming to regain some of his old swagger.
"Got any room at the Slytherin table for me?" she asked casually, a small smile on her face.
Hermione's jaw dropped open, as did Harry. Adelaide couldn't possibly-- did she-- she had taken to Malfoy? Harry's head spun with bewilderment and jealousy.
"I reckon so," Malfoy said, a grin forming on his face.
"Sounds good." Adelaide grinned also. "It was nice meeting you, Harry." And she walked off with Malfoy.
"It was nice meeting you!" cried Hermione, outraged, when Adelaide had left. "She certainly warmed up to him pretty quick!"
"Who really cares," Ron sneered. "Bet she thinks she's too good for us, being a princess and all."
Hermione nodded fervently, but Harry simply stared dully after Adelaide. He couldn't help but feel disappointed...
* * *
It was late that night and Harry was beginning to think about turning in for the night when someone stumbled through the portrait hole. Harry glanced up as he could hear the Fat Lady complaining about late night visitors. Ron and Hermione, who had been discussing the differences between Witchworld and Earth, looked up also.
"Well, I've just been sorted."
Adelaide Demulcere was standing at the portrait hole. Her golden hair was disheveled and all over her face. She looked breathless and rather excited.
"Sorted?" said Ron incredeously, forgetting his bashfulness for a moment.
"Yep!" Adelaide flopped on the couch near Harry. "They dug out the Sorting Hat for me. I'm in Gryffindor! Wanted to put me in Slytherin, but I thought that was a little too nasty."
"It did?" Harry spoke suddenly.
"Yeah," Adelaide said, staring at Harry.
Harry shrugged. Only a few people knew how the Sorting Hat had tried to put him in Slytherin. He wasn't about to disclose his whole story with Adelaide, however. He merely yawned and nodded.
"Wouldn't you want to be in Slytherin with Malfoy?" asked Ron, a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
"Oh... him," Adelaide said, smiling as if recalling a fond memory. "I like him all right, but I would shudder if I was in Slytherin."
"I can't believe you like Malfoy," snapped Hermione, breaking the silence that had settled over them.
Adelaide turned her stare to Hermione. Ron was looking at Hermioine as if she were scandalous. Harry simply kept quiet while glancing between Hermione and Adelaide.
"Why?" asked Adelaide, looking affronted. "I think he's wonderful!"
"Wonderful, if you like slimy gits," Harry said, unable to restrain himself.
To his surprise, Adelaide giggled. "I get it, you don't like Draco. But I do, so don't make fun of him in front of me."
When no one spoke, Adelaide said, "I suppose I should go to bed." She stood up and strode to the girl's dormitory.
"Adelaide, wait!" Harry called without thinking.
"Yes, Harry?" Adelaide turned her sweet blue eyes on him.
"Would you-- well, I've got-- Quidditch Match," stuttered Harry.
"Oh, I'd love to come!" cried Adelaide. "I can't wait! Well, goodnight."
Ron turned to Harry and said, "Slytherin against Gryffindor. This should be interesting!"
Grinning, Harry said, "It certainly will be..."
* * *
Harry was in a pleasant dream in which thousand of golden Snitches were buzzing at his ears when he awoke with a start.
Adelaide Demulcere was staring at him while he slept.
"What in the world d'you think you're doing?" hollered Harry, flattening himself on his bed. His chest heaved as he put on his glasses.
"Quidditch," whispered Adelaide. "You've got to teach me. Teach me, won't you Harry?"
Harry was about to complain loudly about not getting proper sleep, but thought better of it. Adelaide's soft, grayish-blue eyes were soft and pleading; he could hardly resist. Her face was, yes, bright and cheery, but her eyes were full of want, of longing...
Harry reached up and put his hand on her face, stroking it gently. He was surprised at his sudden impulse, but didn't pull away. Adelaide, however, didn't care for his affection. Almost as soon as his hand rested on her cheek, she jerked her head away.
"Quit that," she said, not angrily, but firmly.
"Sorry," Harry mumbled.
Adelaide didn't reply; she pulled him up out of bed. As she was flicking her finger at him, he watched as a shot of glittery-- something was released. Looking down, he was magically dressed in Gryffindor Quidditch robes.
"How-- how--" gasped Harry.
"Finger magic." Adelaide grinned and dragged him out of the boy's dormitory.
They passed Professor Snape as they walked (Adelaide clutching Harry's arm) out to the Quidditch field. His sallow skin seemed to brighten as he laid eyes on Adelaide.
"Miss Demulcere!" he cried, greeting her like an old friend. "How lovely to see you this morning."
"Likewise," Adelaide replied, curtsying.
"Have you seen Master Malfoy this morning?"
"No, sir. Not yet."
"Perhaps you'd better run along and wait for him in Slytherin. I'm sure he'll be eager to see you."
"I'm not in Slytherin, though."
Snape's head jerked towards Harry, as if noticing him for the first time. He stared at him with deepest loathing. Harry glared defiantly back. For a moment, Harry thought Snape would make a snide remark about Gryffindor, but he simply bowed to Adelaide courteously and hurried off.
"Nice fellow, isn't he?" Adelaide smiled as he left.
"Nice?" snorted Harry. "You've got a lot to learn, Adelaide..."
Harry took two Shooting Stars from the broom shed (as he had forgotten his Firebolt, and Adelaide didn't have a broomstick). They were horribly slow and didn't fly right, but they were something.
Adelaide watched in fascination as Harry explained the goals, Bludgers, Quaffle and positions of Quidditch players. Finally, he pulled out the Snitch.
"This is the Golden Snitch," Harry explained, "And a Quidditch match ends only when it's caught. It's the seeker's job to catch it."
Adelaide smiled. Their brooms bumped against one another, and Adelaide nearly fell off her Shooting Star. Laughing, Harry helped her climb back on it. Their heads tilted inwards, and Harry could hear the blood pounding in his ears. Their lips weren't far apart... only a little closer and...
"Adelaide?"
Adelaide snapped back into an upright position, looking abashed. She glanced at Harry, who was now pretending to be very interested in his broomstick. Adelaide then flew gracefully back to the ground, where Draco Malfoy was standing. Harry felt his mouth go dry in a mixture of anger and jealousy.
"Hey Draco," said Adelaide, brushing some gold hair out of her face, "What's up?"
"Snape told me you were coming out here with Potter," Malfoy said, his voice hinted with jealousy. "What're you doing with him?"
"Learning Quidditch!" Adelaide said brightly.
"I'd watch out for Potter, he can be really--"
"I know, Draco, and I'm grateful for you caring," Adelaide said softly.
Harry was behind Malfoy, looking at Adelaide with a confused and hurt expression. Her eyes locked with his, and her ruby red lips began to mouth something. Malfoy started to turn his head, but suddenly Adelaide grabbed his face and kissed him hastily.
Harry backed away, horrified. Dropping his broom, he sprinted back to the castle as Malfoy and Adelaide became lost in each other's arms.
Harry's head was a wild slur of thoughts. Does she like him? Or does she like me? Why did she lean so close to me? Was that kiss just a way to distract Malfoy from me, or real?
Harry was so lost in thoughts he didn't bother to say hello to Hermione and Ron as he passed them on the way to the Gryffindor dorm.
* * *
"Good luck, Draco," called Adelaide as he walked out onto the Quidditch field, robed in green.
Draco Malfoy was currently feeling on top of the world. He had snagged the prettiest, and most famous girl in school. For once, he didn't only get dislike from the Gryffindors, but he got terribly envy as well. He loved it.
Frowning as he rolled his broomstick in his hands, he thought of Harry Potter. He had loved the was Adelaide had kissed him in front of Potter that morning, but he couldn't help but feel Harry was a source of competition. He was after all, famous, and quite rich... and Draco could see Adelaide falling for Harry.
I'll just have to prevent that then! thought Malfoy, determined. He had to beat Potter... he had to! What if he didn't? What would Adelaide say?
He could just see it happening... Harry would catch the Snitch, and with a yell, jump off his broomstick, waving his arms in triumph... Draco would walk to his teammates, feeling delated... and Adelaide, his prized Adelaide, would bound to Harry with shining eyes, congratulate him, and then, holding his hands, close her eyes and...
No. It couldn't be that way. He had to win, no matter what!
Harry Potter, who was still in the Gryffindor robes Adelaide had magicked on him, looked up into the crowds. There she was-- the princess. She wasn't in robes of black like the rest of the school; she wore lovely sapphire silk robes on her body.
Seeing that Harry was looking in her direction, she jumped up and began waving wildly. He gave her a small smile and a short wave. Her teeth seemed to glitter like stars as she beamed at him. He felt slightly better about the kissing incident that had occurred that morning.
"Mount your brooms," Madam Hooch's voice came, shattering his thoughts.
The whistle sounded, and they were off. Lee Jordan was commentaring.
"And they're off... ladies and gentlemen, this will be my last commentary for a Slytherin-Gryffindor game, so if you would all rise for a moment of silence..."
"Jordan!" burst out Professor McGonagall irritably.
"Er-- perhaps not... and look at Angelina Johnson go! This will be her last Quidditch season as well... a pity... uh oh, Slytherin in possession... C'mon, c'mon, save it! Oh no, Slytherins score..."
Harry looked into the stands at Adelaide. She looked terribly torn. Harry actually laughed to see she had both a Gryffindor and Slytherin flag in her hands.
"Harry! Behind you!" bellowed Fred Weasley, swinging his bat at a Bludger.
The Golden Snitch, its wings beating furious, was zooming towards the ground. Harry took off in pursuit of the Snitch.
Malfoy turned when he heard a fellow teammate yell something about the Snitch. There was Potter, streaking to the ground, the Snitch dancing a few inches away from his hands. Malfoy felt sick. He went off after the Snitch, but knew it was too late...
The crowd erupted as Harry's hands closed over the tiny Snitch. Malfoy fought the urge to take a dive off his broomstick as he watched his princess rush out onto the field.
"Good job, Harry!" squealed Adelaide, nearly knocking him over as she dove on Harry with a tight hug.
"Well-- thanks, Adelaide," Harry choked, blushing like mad.
Malfoy didn't run towards her and scold her. He had lost her, and there was no one to blame but himself. He had lost, lost again to the good, great Harry Potter.
"Draco!" a familiar voice called.
"Ade- Adelaide," Malfoy stammered. "W-What're you--"
"Nice try, ole boy!" Adelaide grinned, slapping him on the back. "I'm sure you'll catch it next time. C'mon now, dinner in the Hall--" She dragged him across the field back to the castle.
"Adelaide," he said seriously, "Can you-- could you-- meet me tonight? Outside... on the Quidditch field... midnight."
Adelaide looked quite taken aback. "But-- why--" Reading the look on Draco's face, she said, "Yes, fine, of course. But how will you sneak out?"
Malfoy shrugged. He hadn't thought of it yet.
"Here," said Adelaide. She twirled her finger and it emitted a puff of smoke. Out of the smoke came two red, sparkling shoes. Draco wrinkled his nose. They were very feminine. "Invisibility. Put them on, and only people you want to see you can see you."
"What about you?" he asked.
"I'll think of something." She played with a lock of his silvery blonde hair.
"Adelaide! Party in Gryffindor!" hollered Ron Weasley, jogging past with Hermione panting at his side.
"Gotta go," whispered Adelaide, her face flushing. "See you tonight."
And in a flash, his princess was gone.
* * *
Drell Trickman sat alone in his office. Everything was silent. He had been going over student essays ("Explain the only way Kappas can be destroyed") but he found it hard to concentrate.
He picked up a picture of Adelaide that was resting on his desk. She was so terribly beautiful. Drell knew he loved her beyond words. To him, she was his daughter, his sister, and his wife all in one. He protected and guarded her like a father, confided in her like a sister, and was as loyal to her as a husband.
Sighing to himself, he wondered why he wasn't happier. He had a wonderful job at a place he loved, and he had never seen Adelaide more joyful. She was thriving in Hogwarts, among more people her own age, and she was finally with the crowd. She's not alone anymore, thought Drell, a faint smile curving on his lips. But what about me?
He opened his desk drawer, pulling out a faded photograph. A lovely woman was smiling at him.
"Madeline," he said softly.
She was gone, he knew. Dean had seen to that. But that didn't stop him from loving her.
Sighing again, he opened up a copy of a magazine called Witchworld Today. Even if he was away from home, that didn't mean he shouldn't keep up with the news.
* * *
The party in Gryffindor was still going strong at 11:45, the time at which Adelaide began to become nervous. There had been an urgency in Draco's voice that pained her, and she simply couldn't miss their meeting tonight. Perhaps if she just... yes, no one would notice. With a small pop she disappeared. Invisible, she moved along the wall and snuck out through the portrait.
She was so preoccupied with thoughts about what Draco needed to talk about she walked right into Drell as they passed in the corriders.
"Who's there?" said Drell hotly, pointing his finger blindly around like a gun.
"It's only me," Adelaide breathed, relieved to see it was only Drell. With another small pop she reappeared.
"Hey, Ade," Drell greeted her, smiling. "What are you up to this hour of the night?"
"A little midnight stroll," replied Adelaide dreamily.
Drell laughed. "You're lucky you didn't run into any of the other professors." Then, thinking for a moment, he said, "Should I oversee this midnight walk? I don't want--"
"Anything to happen to me." Adelaide rolled her eyes. "What, do you reckon Draco's a murderer?"
"Of course not. I was only asking."
Adelaide impulsively wrapped her arms around Drell. He was so tall, so strong... and he was her rock, her stronghold. Without him, she would be nowhere.
"I love you," she murmured, resting her head against his chest.
Drell's heart raced. Of course he loved her too, but how to explain exactly how he felt? He was so afraid to lose her. She was the only thing he had left in the world. The only time he felt she was safe was when she was right in front of his eyes.
"Oh no!" cried Adelaide. "I'm going to be late! Goodbye, and good night, Drell." She hurried off.
Drell watched her go, wishing life and love were much less complicated...
* * *
Draco was pacing the corner of the Quidditch field. She was late. Had she forgotten? Or had she disregarded her promise to meet him that night?
Looking up from his pacing, he saw a tall figure moving through the shadows. She had come.
"Draco..."
"Sit, Ade, we need to talk."
Adelaide sat on a bit of grass and turned her eyes toward him, full of fear.
"I just want you to know that if you love stinking Potter you should go off with him and stop playing me for a fool."
"Draco-- no! I love you, Draco," Adelaide sputtered, tears pouring down her cheeks.
Draco stared at her. He hadn't expected such an outburst of emotion, and the last words she said rung in his head. I love you, Draco.
Adelaide sat with her eyes staring down at her lap, tears silently pouring down her cheeks. Draco tilted her chin upwards and pressed his lips on hers. Adelaide sobbed and kissed him harder, entwining her arms around his neck.
"Wish Potter could see us now," sneered Draco as Adelaide pulled her face away from his.
"What am I, a toy to make Harry jealous?" demanded Adelaide, her cheeks turning pink.
"No, but I love to see him suffer."
With a harsh cry, Adelaide shoved Malfoy to the grass. He watched in horror as Adelaide ran back to the castle, gasping for breath while sobbing.
"No!" he yelled, jumping up and waving his arms. "I didn't mean it that way..."
But his princess-- he beloved princess-- was gone.
* * *
The rumors about Draco Malfoy and Adelaide Demulcere were spreading like a wildfire. Adelaide hadn't told anyone they'd broken up after their two-day fling except Hermione. She had spilled everything to Hermione that night when she returned, still crying hysterically over what Draco had said to her. She was crushed... even though it wasn't the first time.
"I went away from Witchworld to escape all that... everyone out for my money, my fame, my power... and look what happened! It's exactly the same!" Adelaide had sobbed to Hermione the night before.
Hermione hugged Adelaide and comforted her. She had finally given into Adelaide's charm, and decided to give her a fair chance at a friendship. After what had happened, Adelaide seemed more human and not as perfect as she appeared. Hermione was actually quite excited, after all, she finally had a girl friend. She was usually surrounded by boys as her friends, and for once she had a girl to be her friend, to confide in, and have girly pillow fights and other such things.
Even though Hermione hadn't breathed a word to anyone about what happened (not even Ron and Harry) the whole school seemed to know by lunchtime. Adelaide suspected Draco had told the whole Slytherin common room that morning in anger, and now the Slytherins were hissing like the snakes they were to every ear that was open.
"Why won't they let me alone?" whimpered Adelaide as a giggling group of Slytherins passed, glaring at her while they walked by. "I didn't do anything to them."
"I suspect Malfoy isn't pleased about what happened. And you know what happens when you get involved with Malfoy," Hermione said in a cold voice. "I told you to stay away from him."
"You did not!" cried Adelaide indignantly. "You just said you couldn't believe how I liked him. I can't believe I liked him either," she added angrily. Adelaide suddenly went into a fresh onslaught of tears. "What am I saying? Of course I liked him. I loved him! But he was the one playing me for a fool."
Hermione sighed. True, she loved having Adelaide as her new friend, but she wished she'd move on with her life. The brief romance was only a few days, after all.
"We heard, Adelaide," Ron said solemnly at lunch.
Adelaide shot him a look of pure venom. Ron crumpled in his chair, and then became interested in what was on his plate.
"Hasn't everyone heard?" she said loudly.
"C'mon now, Ade," Hermione said softly.
"I've got studying to do." Adelaide ran out of the Great Hall to take refuge in the library.
* * *
"Do watch where you're going, headmaster!"
Drell's head snapped up. He had accidentally plowed into Minerva McGonagall. As was usual, he had been lost in thought. There had been "evil sightings" as he called them outside the Palace in Wtichworld, and Drell was wondering if he should return to Witchworld for a short time.
"My apologies, Minerva," he mumbled.
"It-- It's nothing," she muttered.
Drell was shocked to see Minerva blushing. He guessed she was just another woman that was taken with him. GOD knew there were plenty of them.
"Minerva, would you like to have a cup of tea in my office?" Drell asked.
"Well... I-- I've got quite a bit of work to do--"
"Take a break, Minerva."
To his surprise, Minerva McGonagall smiled quite prettily and nodded.
"I suppose I could take a break."
"A well deserved one." Drell beamed and motioned for her to follow him.
Minerva sat down at the chipped wooden table and waited. Drell wiggled his finger and two large mugs of steaming tea were on the table. Drell sat across from Minerva and sipped his nonchalantly.
"I swear, Mr. Trickman-- I have never met someone so magically gifted!" gasped Professor McGonagall. "I suppose that's how you became Headmaster of Witchworld."
"Naw, I was born into that, really. I exhibited high magical powers at birth and was proclaimed 'chosen'. Same thing with my older brother, except he's an angel. He's the Headmaster of Angels."
"Was your father the headmaster as well?" Minerva questioned politely, sipping her tea as well.
For some reason, a dark look fell across Drell's face. "Yes, but the headmaster wasn't as powerful those days. The most powerful person was the king, who was my grandfather. My mother was the princess."
"Interesting!" Minerva said brightly. "I wasn't aware of Witchworld's history. Now headmaster is the highest ranking?"
"Yes... after what happened with my father." Seeing the confused expression on her face, he said, "My father was-- no other word for it-- evil. Power-hungry. And he brought my twin brother down with him."
"You've a twin!" breathed Minerva.
Drell nodded. "My father considered my angelic brother, Droll, and myself failures. Dean, however, was his prized son--"
"Dean? As in the student?"
"Name coincidence," Drell said airily. "Dean was dark and he was instantly in on the plan to overthrow the king-- my grandfather-- and to destroy the royal family. Except themselves, of course." Drell's face twisted into a bitter grin.
"Then didn't... succeed, did they?" whispered Minerva.
"Nearly... but there were glitches in the plan. They succeeded in destroying the king, yes... Droll fled once he caught word of their plan. He fled to Heaven with his angelic wife. He begged me to come, but I couldn't leave my mother unprotected. She refused to believe the rumors..." Minerva fancied she saw tears in Drell's eyes.
"They burst into our house one day, with their terrible band of creatures... indeed, they killed my mother. The princess. But they forgot that as soon as a witch or wizard dies in Witchworld, their magical power is transferred to the first person to touch them. If their power is not absorbed soon, though, it leaks out into the ground and air. I ran to aid my mother when they attacked her. I absorbed her magic.
"I was already powerful as it was, and absorbing my mother's power made me almost unbeatable. I-- I had to kill my father--" choked Drell, "Something I still regret, thought I was obligated to since he was too powerful, and too mad... but when the time came, I could not kill my brother. He was my other half. I felt like I was murdering myself. So I cursed him to imprisonment in a dark place beneath the soil.
"After this... this mass murder... I was granted the position of Headmaster, as had been promised to me in my early life. It was made the most powerful position... though the Magical Council reckoned it was a position they could control. The rules were if I married, I would have a Headmistress to help me rule. I could grant royalty to my trusted ones. But I never did until I met Adelaide."
"Drell," whimpered Minerva. "I never knew of this-- this hardship-- you seem like the perfect man. I thought your life was-- was perfect."
"No one's life is perfect," whispered Drell. "Least of which mine."
"I'm sorry," Minerva said shortly.
There was a moment of thick silence. The two professors simply stared at one another.
"I--" started Professor McGonagall, but she didn't finish.
"May I be rude and ask how old you are?" Minerva said, seeming to find her voice.
"Certainly. I am 998 years old."
"Don't joke, professor, and simply say you don't want to share," grumbled Minerva.
"I'm not joking. I'm 998 years old."
"But... You're such a young man!" cried Minerva.
"Age is rather disregarded in Witchworld," explained Drell, "Since we live so very long. It wouldn't be unusual, let's say, for a man my age to fancy a woman your age."
Professor McGonagall's face turned a deep shade of red. Drell leaned across the table, shaking a few loose hairs out of his eyes. He leaned his head closer to Minerva. Their lips were almost touching--
Professor McGonagall leaped out of her chair. Her face was extremely red.
"It's late," she said in a voice unlike her own. "I should be going."
"Er-- of course," Drell agreed, standing up also.
"It was lovely talking to you."
Minerva McGonagall swept up her books and papers and exited Drell's office, leaving Drell more confused than ever.
* * *
The rumors about Adelaide and Draco died down through the months, though Adelaide still remained a figure of interest in the school. The Yule Ball, which was a new tradition to the school since the last Triwizard Tournament, was approaching quickly. In fact, it was approaching quicker than many of the boys would have liked it to.
Harry dearly wanted to ask Adelaide to go with him, but the memory of Cho Chang's refusal lingered in his mind. He knew that he had to act soon, though, or she would be taken. Many people had already asked her, but she turned them all down. Harry wondered who she was waiting for.
"That's the third one this day!" cried Adelaide, outraged during Charms. She's just been asked by a huge, tough-looking seventh year.
"Who do you feel like asking, Harry?" Hermione asked him quietly one evening.
Harry looked over to where Adelaide was. Ron and Adelaide were in another corner of the room. Ron was trying to teach Adelaide how to play chess, but she kept getting frustrated and shooting the little chess pieces with fire out of the tip of her finger. Both were looking very harassed.
Hermione followed Harry's stare. "Why don't you just ask her, Harry? I know she likes you."
"Did she tell you that?" Harry asked sharply.
"Well, no, but--"
"See, she didn't tell you anything. She's probably going with a prince or something anyway."
Hermione gave him a cold look, but the look faded as she saw Harry's glum expression.
"How 'bout you, Herm?"
Hermione's face flushed. "It's not like I like him or anything, but it'd be a whole lot less embarrassing for the both of us, really-- then we wouldn't have to find real dates..." Hermione bit her lip thoughtfully.
"Ron?" Harry guessed.
Hermione didn't say anything.
* * *
It was a day before the Yule Ball and Harry thought he was going to burst with nerves. He had no date.
"Ask her or I'll curse you!" bellowed Ron when Harry told him of his woes. "I'm sick of hearing about it! Go on!"
Ron pointed his wand at Harry. He had no choice. So, he strode to where Hermione and Adelaide were sitting, quizzing each other on Charms. It turned out Adelaide was just as smart as Hermione, and loved reading just as much.
Harry stumbled the last few feet to reach them and mumbled, "Want to go to the Yule Ball with me?" He looked at Hermione, begging for a shred of courage in her eyes.
"Well, if you-- if you want to, Harry," Hermione said in a shocked voice.
Harry looked bewildered. "No-- Hermione-- but-- I--"
"Don't worry, I don't mind," she said. "I'm... er... glad you asked me, I suppose."
Harry trudged back to Ron while Adelaide began hissing at Hermione.
"What'd he ask you for?"
"I don't know!"
"I-- I guess he doesn't... I shouldn't have thought anything. That was dumb of me." Tears filled Adelaide's eyes.
"He does like you, Ade!"
"Why didn't he ask me, then?"
"He's too shy!"
"Not too shy to ask you though?" Adelaide cried. She buried her head in her arms and kept muttering, "Dumb. So dumb."
"Oh, Ade..." was all Hermione could say.
"You did WHAT?" yelled Ron when Harry returned.
"It was an accident!" exclaimed Harry. "Hermione thought I was talking to her, and I didn't have the heart to--"
"Who am I going to go with?! She's the only one I had a chance with!" Ron was looking severely disgruntled.
Harry suddenly grabbed Ron's sleeve. "I know! Ask Adelaide!"
"Are you crazy?" moaned Ron. "It'll be a Fleur incident all over again."
"But we'll switch dates at the ball!"
"I haven't got a chance, Harry, this is nuts!" Ron's ears began to redden.
"Just go!" hissed Harry.
Ron did a strange sort of limp-walk to the two girls.
"Adelaide--" choked Ron.
"Yes, Ron?" Adelaide prompted him politely.
"Want to-- er-- how shall I say this..."
Harry slapped his hand to his forehead as he watched Ron make a fool of himself.
"Want to go to the ball with me?" Adelaide asked him.
"Oh--yes--well then--I mean, yes, I would," Ron replied, flustered.
"Cool. See you there." Adelaide's face lit up with a smile that said "Well, at least I've got someone."
"She has more guts than you do," Harry said, rolling his eyes.
* * *
No girl could be seen the day of the Yule Ball. All of them were holing up in their dormitories preparing themselves. All the boys did was exchange nervous glances and discuss their inability to dance.
Twenty minutes before the momentous event, Harry and Ron changed into their dress robes and tried to make their hair look nice (which was a real waste of time for Harry.) Some Gryffindor girls had already started congregating downstairs. Everyone was looking very fancy.
Hermione came down first. Her hair was long and sleek, freely hanging at her shoulders. She had large, silver hoop earrings on that were cheerfully jangling at her ears. All in all, she looked stunning.
"You look great, Hermione," Harry complimented her, a sense of relief in his voice. Even though he was disappointed to be not going to the ball with Adelaide, he had to admit he was a lot less nervous with Hermione.
"Thanks, Harry," Hermione said, smiling.
They chatted comfortably for a few minutes until Adelaide came down.
Adelaide seemed to float down the staircase. She was wearing satin robes of baby pink that were laying on her body perfectly. Her hair was curled slightly and shining like the moon, in a half-up, half-down position. The princess' lips were like roses, and her ocean-colored eyes shone as she spotted Ron.
"Let's go!" she cried excitedly, grabbing Ron's arm. "Can you dance, Ron?"
"No," he replied in a strangled voice.
Harry wondered if Ron was thinking what he was-- that Adelaide looked like an angel.
"I'll just have to teach you then," Adelaide giggled. She seemed quite giddy.
Both girls were keen on dancing the night away, but Ron and Harry were able to escape outside when Hermione and Adelaide went for drinks. Outside, hiding in the rosebushes, were many couples. Harry and Ron didn't greet any of them, however-- they all looked too busy to talk.
"--I want to dance, Draco! You said you'd dance with me!"
"Adelaide would never had made me dance."
"Always Adelaide! Quit comparing me to her!"
Harry and Ron paused as they saw Blaise Zabini and Draco Malfoy arguing in their own private rosebush.
"Move along there, Potter," snapped Malfoy when he spotted them.
They kept watching, but glanced behind their shoulders to see Draco Malfoy stalk away from Blaise back into the Great Hall.
* * *
"Dance with me," Draco ordered, staring at Adelaide.
"But-- Draco--" sputtered Adelaide.
"Please," he whispered.
Hermione watched with a burning face as Adelaide and Draco waltzed onto the dance floor. She knew he was up to something, because he always was. Fingering her wand, she decided to keep it handy, just in case.
Draco carefully put his hand on Adelaide's waist and began dancing, careful not to step on her feet. He caught Pansy Parkinson's evil grin as he looked over Adelaide's shoulder. Thirty seconds... twenty seconds... ten seconds... Now. He smiled warmly at Adelaide, whose eyes were half-open, half-closed as she melted into his arms.
Pansy came up behind Adelaide, quietly, quietly, whispered something quickly, and suddenly, Adelaide's robes were on fire.
It took a few moments for her to notice it. In fact, if it weren't for Seamus Finnigan squirting a large amount of water on her with his wand, she might have not noticed for a while. When she realized she was on fire, she gave a yelp and ran out of the room.
Hermione was yelling and struggling to get through to Adelaide, but Millicent Bulstrode was holding her arms behind her back. Though she feared getting in trouble, Hermione went to desperate measures and cursed Millicent. After cursing her, she dashed off after Adelaide.
Adelaide knocked into someone small and skinny as she was fleeing from the Great Hall. Sobbing, she didn't bother to excuse herself and started to take off again, but someone grabbed her arm.
"Adelaide, what's wrong?" Harry cried, alarmed.
"Nothing," she replied, trying to compose herself.
"Don't lie to me, Ade. What is it?"
Harry's eyes were so innocent and so caring that Adelaide burst into fresh tears at the sight of his face.
"Malfoy," she mumbled.
Harry's mouth hung momentarily. Adelaide took this oppertunity to run past him, blasting bushes out of her path.
"That git!" said Ron through clenched teeth. "I'll take his head and do this--" Ron made a violent gesture in the air-- "and this--"
Harry thought that last year's Yule Ball would be the worst one he'd ever gone to... after all, how could a terrible night get worse? Well, Harry thought to himself, this night's Yule Ball has been even worse than the first one...
* * *
Professor McGonagall looked into her mirror as she took down her hair for the night. Professor Trickman hadn't asked her to dance... Not that it mattered, of course. What was she thinking? He was the Headmaster of Witchworld. He could never lover someone like her...
* * *
The school year went on at Hogwarts without much more unusual happenings. No one really mentioned what happened at the Yule Ball. Draco Malfoy even apologized for planning the fire incident, but Adelaide was sure that a teacher had made him do so. Finals were approaching steadily, and during spring vacation everyone was poring over books.
"Adelaide, shouldn't you be studying?" Hermione said to Adelaide, who was stretching out on a scarlet couch and reading a fat book named The Secrets and Inside Thoughts of Drell Trickman.
"I don't need to study. I studied already, and plus, I know everything," she replied, closing the book, but not before marking her place.
It was true, Adelaide was competing with Hermione to be at the top of their class. It wasn't that Adelaide was so much smarter than Hermione that finals were easy for her, but she knew most of everything they had learned that year, except for some of the History of Magic. She was, also, practically as gifted as Drell Trickman himself in the art of magic.
Hermione pursed her lips and didn't reply to Adelaide. Harry had the feeling that Hermione was intensely jealous at Adelaide for being so smart, and so good at magic. Hermione didn't really have any other competitors before Adelaide came, and now she wasn't sure if she was going to be number one in the grade. Now, while Hermione was beating her brain with the year's studies, Adelaide was relaxing with an interesting book.
No one talked or looked up for a while (they were too busy studying) until Drell Trickman entered through the portrait hole. He was looking ruffled and his usually perfectly curled hair was disheveled.
"Could I speak to you, Adelaide?" he said in a hoarse voice.
"Er-- of course, Drell," Adelaide replied, looking puzzled. She followed him through the portrait hole.
"What was that about?" Ron said once they had left.
"I could find out..." Harry said softly, as if not daring to say it.
Hermione shot him a sharp look. "If you mean with that horrid cloak of yours--"
"Excellent!" exclaimed Ron in glee, "Go get your cloak, Harry!"
"They went away for privacy!" burst out Hermione angrily. "Not to be followed by--"
"Go on, get your cloak, Harry," Ron said excitedly.
Harry dashed upstairs and threw his long, silvery invisibility cloak over his shoulders. He felt around in the pockets and found one of his most powerful weapons, his Maurader's Map. He knew he'd need it to find out where Adelaide and Drell were. Glancing down at the map, Harry saw they were in the trophy room.
Harry edged along the wall so not to bump into anyone. He laughed when he saw that Hermione and Ron were still bickering about Harry's expedition. Grinning to himself, he climbed through the portrait hole and went on his way to the trophy room.
"I have to go back, Adelaide, you've read it in the news, you can't deny it's not happening--"
"It could be all hearsay, Drell!"
Harry heard someone bang their fist on the table as he peeked into the dark trophy room. He could just make out two figures, one of which was pacing and the other stationary. He slid easily into the room, trying not to touch the door as he entered.
"It's not hearsay. It's the truth. They know it... he's been waiting for something like this to happen."
"Like what to happen?" Adelaide said in confusion.
"For me to leave, darnit!" he cried in frustration. "I've got to go back, Adelaide, I'm so sorry, but I must."
"I'm not letting you leave me here!" Adelaide cried, sounding near hysterics.
"I don't want to pull you away from here!" he exclaimed. "You love it here, don't deny it."
"I won't deny it, but I have to come with you, Drell, I can't stay here on my own..." she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Then you will come. But it's your decision, Adelaide, and I will leave it up to you."
Adelaide let out a small whimper and looked at her hands, which were trembling in her lap. Drell walked slowly over to her and kissed her on both cheeks. Then, he put his arms around her and hugged her like a father hugs a daughter. Harry felt himself choke up as Adelaide sobbed silently in Drell's arms. Perhaps he'd better leave, yes... he didn't understand what was going on, but he still thought that he knew enough... He didn't really want to hear anymore.
He slipped past them easily, but hit the door as he was exiting. It swung open as if possessed by a sort of ghost. Harry froze, waiting for the reaction of Drell and Adelaide.
"Who's there?" Drell demanded, holding out his finger before him like a wand.
Adelaide conjured a candle and lit it with some fire from the end of her finger. Swinging it around the room, she said, "I don't see anyone. Was it the wind?"
"No, someone is here. I could sense their presence beforehand, but didn't want to alarm you in any way." Closing his eyes, Drell said in an eerie tone, "Invisibility, reveal yourself to me."
Suddenly, Harry felt as if an irresistible force was tugging his invisibility cloak off him. Unseen hands tore at the cloak and brought it swishing down. He stood in shock, staring at Adelaide and Drell with the cloak around his ankles. Blinking, he picked up his cloak and slung it over his arm, ready for reprimands from Drell.
"What are you doing here?" Drell asked him calmly, pulling Harry into the room and closing the door behind him.
"I was-- I just--" sputtered Harry, not quite sure how to answer.
"Spying?" Adelaide sneered.
Harry didn't reply. He didn't want to admit what was true, because he didn't want Adelaide to think lowly of him.
"How much do you know?" Drell tossed back his magnificent mane of curls and continued watching Harry very intently.
"Not much-- I only just came in," he replied nervously.
"Just tell him, won't you?" Adelaide said pleadingly to Drell.
Drell didn't reply.
"I won't tell anyone, sir," Harry said bravely.
"I don't want to trouble your head with it," Drell said shortly. "You have enough to worry about, with your Voldemort and all."
Harry raised his eyebrows. He wondered how Drell knew about him and Voldemort-- though he supposed a teacher or someone had told him. Or maybe Drell had even read about it in a book. Still, he didn't understand why Voldemort was relevant when it came to what they had just been talking about.
"Please sir, I don't understand--"
"Nor do I wish you to understand. It's becoming late, Adelaide, do escort Mr. Potter back to his common room. You'll give me your decision tomorrow, then?"
"I have made up my mind already, Drell." Adelaide had a determined look on her face.
"Fine. I would suggest you begin packing tonight, for we will be leaving at once." Glancing at Harry's puzzled face, he added in a soft voice, "And tell no one of what you know. Including your friends."
Adelaide nodded as Harry became more confused than ever.
"Let's go," Adelaide said in a wavering voice, as if she were about to cry again. She grabbed his arm and practically dragged him down the hall back to the Gryffindor common room.
"Adelaide, what was--"
"Nothing!" she whispered fiercely, eyeing Hermione and Ron who were both looking very sleepy. "Don't say anything about what you heard. Nothing!" She gave him a poke with her magic finger to emphasize this.
"I won't, Adelaide..." Harry mumbled, looking up at her beautiful face, which was so terribly mournful it could make one's heart break.
Adelaide let out a sob and fled from the room, leaving Harry not only dazed but feeling as if his world was crashing down upon him.
* * *
"Have you seen Adelaide?" Hermione asked Harry the next morning, holding a large stack of books in her arms. "She forgot her book--"
"You haven't seen her?" Harry exclaimed, jumping to his feet so suddenly that Hermione backed away from him, as if scared he would burst.
"No, I haven't. Have you?" Hermione watched him curiously.
"She must be gone," Harry moaned. "And I didn't get to say goodbye."
"Gone?" cried Hermione. "What are you talking about?!"
"When I spied on Adelaide and Drell, Drell was talking about going back to Witchworld. Something about 'he's been waiting for something like this to happen. For me to leave'. Adelaide was crying and said that she couldn't stay behind and had to go back to Witchworld with him."
"Back to Witchworld!" gasped Hermione, dropping a load of books. "B-but... she can't-- she can't possibly!"
"She's probably gone already," Harry said glumly. "You'd think she'd of said goodbye."
"It probably would have been hard for her," Hermione said softly, brushing a tear from her eye. "It's hard to say goodbye."
Harry didn't reply. Finally, after a long period of silence, he said heavily, "We might as well go to the Great Hall and get something to eat."
Hermione nodded and followed Harry through the portrait hole. There was a heaviness in the air that could only be described by the gloomy expressions on the trio's faces as Hermione and Harry explained what had happened to Adelaide to Ron. When the daily mail arrived, Harry didn't even look up to see if Hedwig had brought him anything, which was really rather stupid. Because Hegwig happened to have a letter for him today, one that was very important, and when Harry didn't look up as she tapped him with her beak, she became very annoyed. Hedwig didn't like to be ignored, so she gave him a nasty scratch with her talon, which got Harry's attention right away.
"Ouch-- What is your problem, Hedwig-- Oh!" Harry quickly untied the letter from her leg and tore it open, ignoring Hedwig further (which made her even more annoyed, so she decided to help herself to Harry's breakfast.)
"It's from Adelaide!" he exclaimed.
Hermione and Ron jumped in their seats and leaned over to read what the letter had to say. It was written hastily and in messy handwriting, but it had very important information.
Harry, Hermione, Ron, or whoever else cares:
I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye to you all, but I had to go to Witchworld early this morning and I didn't want to wake any of you. I thought I'd write you this letter, though I wasn't very sure how to send it. Drell says he'll take care of it in some way or another, so I hope you get it.
I know you all have your magical devices in your world, like Harry's Marauder's Map-- and us in Witchworld have some of our own as well. Consider this a gift from me. It's called a Locater, and it will help you find me wherever I am. That is, unless I make myself Unchartable, which I rarely do because it's very silly to make yourself Unchartable because then you can't get any help if you need it. Anyway, just look at the map and say aloud, "Find ------" or whoever you want to find. Like if you wanted to find me, say, "Find Adelaide." And it will show you a map of the country, city or whatever I'm in. It only works in Witchworld, so don't try to use it on your friends. Or enemies.
Just be careful with it, though. If it falls into enemy's hands... well, there could be some trouble. These things are pretty rare, you know, and they're manufactured right in the palace. Also, don't do anything stupid, like try to come to Witchworld. It's possible to go to the place the Locater is showing you, but I never want you to do that unless it's an emergency. If it is an emergency, well, stare hard into the exact place you're trying to go, lean forward, and eventually, if you concentrate hard enough, you'll suddenly be tipped forward into the map and you'll find yourself right next to me. But remember, ONLY IN EMERGENCIES!
I'll miss you all a whole ton. Maybe we'll meet again, though the chances are slim.
Love always,
Miss Adelaide Demulcere
"Let's go see her!" Ron declared, looking extremely excited.
"It's only for emergencies, Ron, you read it!" snapped Hermione. "A great show we would make, all three of us showing up in Witchworld for no reason."
Harry was feeling very strange and said nothing as he unfolded the second piece of paper. It was completely blank except for a small arrow that read "N". Any second, any second... he could see Adelaide. But she had said for emergencies could he use it to see her. Folding the Locater in half again, he slipped it into his pocket.
* * *
Minerva McGonagall hurried past swarms of students as she strode to the staff room for a meeting. She was mentally scolding herself for making herself so terribly late that she had to fight the traffic of the students. Professor McGonagall was not one to be late, but she had taken an unusually long amount of time in her room getting ready for the meeting. Though they didn't just disappear, she tried to cover up the wrinkles that had come with her age with magical powder (WrinkleBgone! You won't be able to keep a straight face at these results!) and combed her hair for an atypically long time.
Smiling slightly, she couldn't help but feel cheered to think she'd be seeing Professor Trickman in only a matter of thirty seconds. When she arrived at the staff room, she straightened her back, smiled pleasantly, and pushed the door open, trying to keep a positive air of confidence. Her act immediately fell when she saw that Professor Trickman's chair was empty. Late, she thought, slightly annoyed.
However, all through the meeting, Drell didn't show up. No one said anything about his absence, though she noticed Dumbledore glancing at the empty chair every few minutes. Her curiosity was struck, but she was also feeling very irritated that she had done herself up for nothing. I swear, I must be the most idiotic woman in all of Britain, she told herself bitterly, To think such a man has nothing better to do but look at me.
As she spotted Severus Snape stalking away from the staff room at the closure of the meeting, she had a sudden idea.
"Severus! I do say, Severus!"
"Yes, Minerva?" Snape turned around and curled his lips into what was supposed to be a smile.
"Have you seen Professor Trickman? I mean, do you know where he is?"
"He left, didn't he?" Snape snapped cruelly.
"Left?" cried Minerva, her heart sinking horribly.
"Went back to Witchworld. Pressing matters," explained Snape coldly. "Some evil going around or something."
"Evil!" Minerva almost shouted. "You don't mean-- you don't mean-- not Dean?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Never mind, Severus. Thank you," she said hastily, scurrying off to her room, forgetting that she had classes to teach.
* * *
"You never know, it could be an emergency--"
"Oh come on, Ron, you just want an excuse to check out Witchworld!"
"I do not! I just think that--"
"Weasley, Granger, Potter! What is going on?" Professor McGonagall snapped, peering over her spectacles at them.
"Nothing, Professor," Harry muttered.
"Well, be quiet then while I'm teaching," she said irritably. "Now, as you see, the techniques in which the book is transfigured into a shape similar to its original shape are--"
"C'mon, Herm, we've got to. She might be in trouble! She needs our help!"
"Ron, she's right, I doubt Adelaide is in any mortal danger--"
"I say!" Professor McGonagall stopped in the middle of her lecture for the second time. "Potter, by that window. Weasley, come up to this desk in front of me. And Granger, you stay there."
Hermione's cheeks burned. She hated to get in trouble in front of the whole class like that. Ron was looking very furious with both Harry, Hermione and Professor McGonagall. Harry simply stared out the window, not daring to look back at the Locater. Most of the class was watching him very curiously.
As he stared out the window, he noticed two dark, menacing figures making their way across the grounds. He propped himself up on his chair and squinted hard at the two figures, trying to make out who they were. One was a tall, skinny figure and the other was also a tall figure, but less bony and of impressive stature.
"Remember that when flicking your wand, you want to carefully grip your wand not too hard but not too loose either. Make sure you--"
"Professor?"
"What is it now, Potter?" Professor McGonagall said in exasperation.
"May I visit the facilities?"
"Oh go on! But do hurry back!" She launched back into her lecture about complicated transfiguration.
Harry sprinted down the corrider into the entrance hall. He wasn't sure what he was about to do, but he knew he had to do something-- something about those dark figures that were walking across the grounds. They were intruders, he could tell, and something about them made him uneasy. Harry whipped out his wand and got ready for anything that he might encounter.
As he was cautiously wandering around the grounds, looking for the trail of the intruders (which he had lost). The hair on the back of his neck was standing straight up. Suddenly, a terrible pain shot through his forehead and sent him down on his knees. Rubbing his head as the pain dulled, he saw Drell walking in front of him with a long, black robe on. He smiled at him. He was dragging something behind him-- no, wait, it was someone.
He let out a cry as he realized that Drell was dragging Draco Malfoy, apparently unconcious-- or perhaps, well, dead-- behind him. His blonde hair was all over his face and he looked even paler than usual.
Harry made a movement towards Drell-- to save Draco, to do something-- but someone bashed him over the head with something hard and heavy. He swayed for a moment, but then fell and knew no more.

* * *
Harry blinked. Something very strange had happened to him, though he wasn't quite sure what. Last thing he knew, he had been in Transfiguration, and then he had left after seeing two dark figures on the grounds. Groaning, he tried to get up, but found that he was bound in rope. His arms were pressed tightly to his side.
Looking around him, he saw three people. One was Draco Malfoy, awake at last, and looking very terrified. As if forgetting their enmity towards each other, Draco began mouthing wordlessly at Harry, asking for some sort of assurance. Harry nodded at him bravely to tell him things would work out, that he would see to it. Draco gave a short whimper and rolled over on his side (for he also was bound in rope).
The second figure was undoubtedly Drell-- or was it? Drell had said he was going back to Witchworld, but yet here he was, his face shadowed by a hood over his head. The robe he had on looked a few sizes too big, and his hands were scratched and dirty. Harry stared at him in wonder. What could he be doing here? There was something dangerous in his eyes that chilled Harry. Something that spoke of death, of revenge...
Finally, the third figure Harry turned his eyes on was the last person he wanted to see. It was no one else but Lord Voldemort, in his regained body. His skin was paler than any ghost's, and his eyes were meerly slits-- red, evil, and threatening. When Voldemort caught Harry looking at him, he snorted and reached for his wand.
"No!" shouted Drell. "You mustn't. They'll both be useful for bargaining later on. After I get the Princess, we will be able to take Drell. Then, with these two, we'll be able to take Dumbledore."
Harry's mouth continually opened and closed. Finally, after mustering up his strength, he said in a small voice: "Professor Trickman, what do you mean you're 'taking' Drell? You're taking yourself?"
"Silence!" roared Voldemort, his fingers twitching as if dearly wanting his wand in his hands.
Drell put up his hand to calm Voldemort. "The boy is mad, obviously. How hard did you hit him?"
"Not too hard," Voldemort snickered, smiling evilly.
"I'm not crazy," Harry sneered. "You must be, turning on Adelaide like this. And turning on me! I thought you were my friend!"
"Undoubtedly mad," Drell said, laughing loudly and bending down to examine Harry's forehead. "My Lord... here, here is the mark, the mark they all speak of..." He ran his finger down Harry's scar.
Voldemort glanced over at Drell and Harry.
"They call that boy my downfall," he chuckled. "But we will see who's downfall it is." Looking around the woods (the two evils had dragged Harry and Draco into the Forbidden Forest) he suddenly demanded in a high-pitched voice, "Dean! My wand!"
Dean? Harry thought. They're right, I've turned mad. I didn' t just hear him call Drell Dean, unless it's some sort of nickname or something...
"Drell, why'd you do this to us?" Harry blurted out, unable to hold himself in. "I thought you were a good wizard. I didn't think you were evil."
"Why do you keep calling me Drell?" the man said, fingering Voldemort's wand. "It isn't possible-- you couldn't think--"
"Dean! My wand!"
"Of course, my Lord." He bowed down and presented Voldemort his wand as if it were a sword from battle.
"Now, it's time, my boy," Voldemort breathed. "It's time."
"Drell, please, save me, don't let him kill me!"
"I'm not Drell!" screamed the man Voldemort was calling Dean. "I am Dean, the most powerful wizard of all Witchworld! Oh, so many years I have layed, banished, in my hole of death, but no more! I say, no more, for I will soon rule over all of Witchworld! And I will have Drell's head on a plate!"
Harry's eyes widened as the madman named Dean panted from his passionate speech. All of a sudden, he pulled himself together and smiled pleasantly at Harry as if he was a businessman trying to sell something to his costumer.
"Well, if you'll excuse me, I have some business to attend to." His eyes sparkled maliciously. "I need to go take care of a royal pain!"
"Adelaide?" Harry whispered.
"I don't think you'll be seeing Adelaide much anymore. After I capture her," Dean rolled up his sleeves in satisfaction, "and get Drell to give himself up for her, she'll die. As will Drell die in his time." Dean stopped for a moment. "Unless I decided to keep Adelaide as a pet."
Harry thrashed in the ropes that was binding him in rage. How dare he talk about Adelaide like that! Dean laughed at Harry's anger, a cold, cruel laugh, but Voldemort seemed to be getting annoyed.
"Go on, Dean, get it over with," he sneered.
"Goodbye, my Lord," Dean whispered.
In a flash of light and a puff of smoke, Dean had disappeared and left Harry and Draco with Lord Voldemort.
"Ready for some fun, Harry?" Voldemort said softly.
Harry's scar burned horribly. He turned his head back and forth, as if trying to shake the pain away. Voldemort seemed to enjoy this very much, but not as much as he enjoyed what followed after he uttered a simple but devastating word:
"Crucio!"
* * *
Adelaide put a pen to her lips, pausing in the letter she was writing. Her head was a mixture of thoughts, but most of them were about the same. She couldn't stop thinking about Ron, or Hermione-- but she especially couldn't stop thinking about Harry.
She sighed and pushed her pen and paper away from her. The look on Harry's face when she had ran up to the girl's dormitory was one she'd never forget. Not only was it horribly sad, but it was devastation-- simply devastation scrawled across the beautiful face of the boy that she... Adelaide shut her eyes. She hated to admit it to herself, but it was true. He was the boy she loved.
"Are you almost done with that letter to the Prince of Aquandi?" Drell peeked in on her as she thought of Harry.
"What?" Adelaide asked in a high voice, still lost in a daydream.
"Are you almost done with that letter to the Prince of Aquandi? It has to go out today, so won't you hurry up?" Drell said impatiently.
"Oh, yes, of course Drell," she sighed, pulling her paper and pen back towards her and beginning to write again.
Drell exited after looking his beloved Princess over for one more time. She looked worried, anxious, and tired; there were bags under her eyes and, speaking of her eyes, there was no sparkle. Her lips were dry and rarely curled into a smile. He was disturbed, all right, by Adelaide's sudden change in appearance. Usually she was like a star in the sky, but currently she was looking a few years older and very burdened.
She bent her head over her work and sighed for what seemed the thousandth time. What she needed was a good, long rest...
Someone sneaked up behind Adelaide while she was in this moment and laughed to themselves. Adelaide's eyes widened as she heard a sudden snicker behind her. Before she could turn around, however, someone had bashed her over the head with something heavy and hard and she blacked out, her beautiful hair laying on the ground like a carefully woven rug.
* * *
"More, Harry?" Voldemort said lazily.
Harry was still bound in rope, but incredibly less comfortable than he had been a short while ago. His head was about to burst with pain, and his bones were feeling like they were all shattered. Voldemort had refused to stop the Cructaious curse for about twenty minutes straight, and Harry was sure that one more dose of pain would kill him off for good. He wanted to die, and was almost willing to do whatever Voldemort wanted him to as long as he died sooner.
"We'll take a break, okay?" Voldemort said kindly, taking out a knife. "We'll play a different game so you don't get tuckered out."
Voldemort took the knife and slashed the ropes around Harry so that he was free.
"Now... where was I? Oh, yes... Imperio!"
Harry got the wonderful floating sensation that he knew only too well. It was a delightful feeling, but it usually spelled trouble.
Worship me... go on, bow down, worship me... Worship me...
No, I won't, I won't do it, I won't worship you, you're evil, you're foul--
Bow down! Bow! Get on your knees, bow!
NO! I WON'T DO IT!
Harry felt the Imperio curse lifted from him. He fell to his knees, doubled over and gasped for air. He looked over at Draco Malfoy only to see that he had once again fainted, from fear no doubt. Harry rubbed his forehead and got to his feet shakily when he had a sudden idea.
"You're brave, indeed," Voldemort was saying. "Brave, but not wise... Wisdom should always become before bravery, because if you were wiser you wouldn't be about to die--"
Harry pulled out the Locater in his pocket and whispered, "Find Adelaide." As he stared down at the map, he saw that Adelaide was in a place called Dean's Lair-- and Harry deduced that this was not a good place to be. Even the map knew so, all over the area which was labled Dean's Lair there were the words stamped: FORBIDDEN! KEEP OUT! FORBIDDEN! KEEP OUT! Adelaide had to be in grave danger, and so did Drell. Harry knew it was the only way to escape, and the only way he could save Adelaide--
"-- and if you're dead, how do you expect to save your friends? I'm afraid that you're too late to mend your ways, which is a shame, after I just told you how to stay on Lord Voldemort's good side-- I say, what is that?" Voldemort stopped speaking abruptly, staring at the Locater in Harry's hand.
"N-nothing," Harry stuttered.
"I know it's something, boy! Give it to me!"
Harry dashed towards Draco and grabbed his arm. He couldn't leave Malfoy here, even if he was his worst enemy. Harry stared into the Locater hard and deep, concentrating, wishing to be next to Adelaide--
"Stop! Stop!" he could hear Voldemort shreiking, but before Harry could even control it, he and Draco toppled forward into the map and landed on hard soil.
* * *
Harry felt himself on cold dirt after being thrown into the Locater. Malfoy was still unconscious, and Harry figured it would be better to leave him lying there than drag him along. So, taking his wand out, he left Malfoy behind and started down the tunnel to the main part of Dean's Lair. As he stumbled out into a large room that seemed to stretch on forever, a magnificent spectacle met his eyes.
Dean and Adelaide were dueling, but it was unlike any duel he had ever seen before. They were holding their hands straight out in front of them and large beams of light were shooting out from underneath their fingers. Both of their faces were contorted in concentration as they sent shots of magic towards each other. At one point, their magic came to a standstill-- it had met in midair and had nowhere to go. Dean's magic, which was colored a very ugly green, was pressing against Adelaide's magic, which was a bright red.
Harry stood there, not quite sure what to do. He wanted to help Adelaide, but it seemed she was doing pretty well on her own. Her stream of magic was pressing hard against Dean's, and Dean had backed against a stone wall from the force. It looked like he was ready to give up. That is, until some other factors came into play.
Harry never really thought about what had happened to the Locater. He was too busy thinking about escaping Voldemort and getting to Adelaide to care, truthfully. However, it is a very foolish thing to leave a Locater behind when someone especially mad and dangerous can use it. In fact, it's better to use a Locater when you're in a private area and no one can pick it up when you're finished with it. Unfortunately, at the time Harry used his Locater, Voldemort was standing right there and, being smart, he quickly picked up the idea on how to use the Locater. Before long, he appeared next to an unconscious Draco Malfoy and went to help his partner in crime, Dean Trickman.
Breathing heavily and sweating in the struggle, Dean knew that he would soon have to give up. That is, until he spotted his Lord coming up behind Adelaide. Then he knew he was saved. Harry Potter, however, had also spotted Voldemort coming up behind Adelaide, and knew he had to do something, even though he wasn't sure what.
"Stupefy!" Harry yelled, waving his wand.
Voldemort caught the spell in his shoulder. He staggered for a moment, and then fell over. He was stunned. Adelaide turned around in shock to see that Harry had stunned the great Lord Voldemort, but this was a big mistake. Dean took this oppertunity to shoot her with an especially hard and dangerous curse, one which few lived through. After this last bit of magic, Dean, covered in perspiration, fainted and fell with a loud thud on the floor.
Adelaide was watching Harry with a buzzing head. His face went in and out of focus. For a moment, she swayed back and forth, then fell sharply on her back.
"Adelaide!" Harry cried, running to her. He put his hand on her face and picked up her head. She couldn't-- not now, she couldn't die--
"Harry," choked Adelaide. "Tell Drell-- tell him-- Tell him I love him--"
"C'mon Adelaide, you're going to live, you're going to live--"
"And Harry," she said in a faint voice, "I've always-- I've-- I've always loved you."
"Me?" Harry gasped. "But I didn't think-- I wasn't sure--"
"Yeah," Adelaide said, grinning and falling back, "I love you a whole lot, Harry, I really do..."
"Oh Adelaide, you know I--"
But at that moment, Princess Adelaide Demulcere's eyes closed and she went slack in Harry's arms. Harry immediately pressed his hand to the side of her neck, trying to find a pulse. He couldn't find any-- but perhaps he was just arrogant in the ways in which you find a pulse. It seemed that Adelaide was-- but no, she couldn't be, she just couldn't be...
"Move aside." For a moment, Harry thought it was Dean again, but Dean was still laying against the wall, unconscious. It had to be Drell, though Harry didn't understand how Drell knew that they were all down here.
Drell ran a caressing finger along Adelaide's jaw. Closing his eyes, he laid his hands on her shoulders and muttered a few words.
"She'll be fine," he said in an unusually high voice. "Simple spell-- Wonderful for those who are still hanging onto life by a last thread-- If you'll excuse me..." Drell exited quickly through a trapdoor on the ceiling that Harry had never noticed, and a long, silvery ladder extended from the ceiling to the floor. Harry was very sure that Drell was on the verge of tears.
It seemed like forever, but in only a matter of minutes, color came back into Adelaide's cheeks and she drew in a sharp, shuddering breath. She blinked a couple of times, but when she saw it was Harry, she closed her eyes shut very hard.
"Oh no, not you," she muttered.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked, slightly hurt.
"I don't want to wake up, I'll stay unconscious, thank you."
"Have you gone mad, Adelaide? Do wake up!" Harry shook her shoulders.
Adelaide opened one eye and peered up at him. "I don't think I want to wake up. I made my deathbed confession, and here Drell comes along and wakes me up again."
"What deathbed confession?" Harry asked, puzzled.
Adelaide laughed. The sound was beautiful, and it rang through the dark hole they were in.
"I love you, Harry," she gasped between laughs.
Harry grinned suddenly. He felt as if a burden that had been layed on his shoulders in the beginning of the year when Adelaide had first come to Hogwarts was lifted.
"You know I love you too, don't you?" Harry said, helping her to her feet.
"Me?" Adelaide said incredulously. "But I'm so-- so--"
"Perfect?" Harry whispered.
"Maybe," she whispered back.
For once, Harry didn't feel embarassed or abashed as he put his arms around her waist and drew Adelaide close. As Adelaide put her arms around his neck and shoulders, she felt as if this was something she'd been meaning to do for a very long time. Their heads bent inwards, and as their lips came closer and closer, and their breaths taken more sharply, they held each other tighter and tighter. At the last moment, as if she couldn't wait any longer, Adelaide pushed her lips onto his quickly but oh, so gently. That kiss was full of so much urgency and wanting, because it was something that they'd both wanted since they'd first met.
As they broke apart, both were red and quite giggly, but also very happy for what had passed. They held hands as they began climbing back up the ladder until Harry suddenly yelled,
"Draco!"
"Oh no!" Adelaide moaned, scurrying back into the dark hole. A few minutes later she appeared, dragging Malfoy and panting with the labor.
"Here, let me help," Harry said, helping her pull Malfoy through the trapdoor.
"Close the door, it will seal automatically, and I doubt we will see much of Dean or Voldemort," Drell said. He was looking very odd as he sat on a green-colored bed. "I commend both of you for your bravery, though I think you're both mad." He gave them a lopsided grin.
"It wasn't my fault, I didn't go after Dean, he came to me," Adelaide said.
Both Drell and Adelaide looked at Harry accusingly. He began to laugh and said, "So, I went after Voldemort and Dean, I'll admit it. But I knew something was going on, because you wouldn't just leave Hogwarts like that, Mr. Trickman, and you, Adelaide."
"What was Draco doing down there?" Adelaide said, looking scornfully down at his pale face.
"Warring," Malfoy mumbled, stirring.
"What?" Adelaide and Harry said together.
"Warning," Malfoy said clearer, though still sounding weak. "My father told me about the plan, in a letter. He's going to kill me when I get home, but I couldn't let you be killed, Adelaide, I couldn't." Malfoy smiled weakly up at her. "You're the only Gryffindor who showed any decency towards me. And anyway, you're the Princess."
"Well, thank you, Malfoy!" Adelaide said, sounding very gratified and also very surprised. "You risked your life for me! Though I don't quite know what this plan was." She leaned over and planted a kiss on his pale cheek.
"From what it sounded, they wanted you in order to get Drell and kill him, and they wanted some Hogwarts students in order to use us as hostages to persuade Dumbledore," Harry explained, brushing some dirt off his robes.
"Regular scheming of Dean Trickman," Drell said, shaking his head.
"Professor Trickman-- there's a few things I don't understand," Harry said slowly. "First of all, I haven't an idea who Dean is, really-- and why does he look just like you? And--"
"You'll tell him, won't you?" Adelaide turned her blue eyes on Drell.
"Yes, I believe it is time." He cleared his throat. "It started out with my father, who was, well let's just say--"
"Before we start this story, could someone please untie me?" snapped Malfoy.
Adelaide and Harry burst into laughter as Drell leaned down to cut Malfoy free. After that, they had discussions late into the night about the history of Witchworld and Dean's rise to power, though Malfoy was more keen on falling asleep in Drell's bed.
* * *
Early the next day, Drell, Adelaide, Harry and Draco set off back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore had apparently recieved word of this, because as they entered the school gates in a carriage, what looked like the whole school was spread across the grounds, awaiting their arrival. Adelaide and Harry grinned at each other nervously, wondering what the school would say as they arrived.
When they stepped out of the carriage, what event transpired next surprised all the students at Hogwarts even more than hearing that Harry, Adelaide and Draco had been attacked by two dangerous wizards. Drell was skimming the crowd as if looking for a certain someone, but his face fell when he didn't see her. He didn't have long to wait, though.
Minerva McGonagall was shooting through the crowd like a bullet, apologizing to the students she was trampling as she went through the crowd, desperate to get to Drell. The students finally realized it was better just to leave a thin path for her to go through. Minerva took this oppertunity to run as fast as she could in her age, and unable to stop, she dove on Drell Trickman and caught him in a hug.
"Oh Drell, everyone was saying that you were attacked, I thought you were going to die, and I--"
Drell's eyes sparkled. He grabbed Minerva around the waist and swooped in for a long, passionate kiss in which Minerva melted into.
She was shaking as they broke apart, and seemed to regain some of her old self back. "That was highly inappropriate, Professor, in front of the students, I can hardly think of a time when I have been more humiliated--"
"And you think I care?" Drell laughed softly.
Minerva could only smile as Drell held her closer and kissed her deeper and with more passion than any man she had known. One could say it was the perfect moment-- even though Adelaide and Harry were doubled over and pretending to be violently ill at the prospect of their two professors being in love.
* * *
Exams came and went, and before long it was time to pack up all their belonging's and get ready to go back to their homes. Adelaide and Hermione were better friends than ever, especially because they had tied for the top of their class. Ron and Hermione admitted no feelings towards each other, but remained friends-- though Adelaide and Harry did get the feeling that the private conversations they had were more than just discussions of how their exams had gone. Adelaide and Harry, of course, were closer than they had ever been-- for not only were they best friends, they were also very much in love and cared about each other very much. Even if Hermione and Ron scoffed at them when Adelaide and Harry shared a beautiful moment together, both Adelaide and Harry knew that Ron and Hermione were relieved to see that the two had finally gotten together.
As for Drell Trickman and Minerva McGongall-- well, the truth is... well, as Ronald Weasley of Gryffindor put it, "Sickening. Do you see the way they look at each other when they're in the corriders? Like they're both puppies or something. And did you hear that McGonagall is going to Witchworld to stay with Drell? It's just gross." Adelaide found it very amusing that Drell had finally found his match, though she would never had imagined it would be her extremely strict Transfiguration teacher.
Draco Malfoy and Adelaide Demulcere never confessed feelings towards each other again, though Draco continued to fancy Adelaide quite a bit. They, instead of being lovers, became very good friends (much to Harry and Ron's dismay) and could often be seen together.
Dean and Voldemort were both banished to Dean's Lair, which was probably the most unpleasant place in all Witchworld. One could say that Dean definitely got his communpance when Voldemort awoke and realized he was going to have to find his way out of the dark, damp hole Drell had banished them both to.
"You've got to come stay in Witchworld with me, Harry," Adelaide said to Harry as they stepped off the train at Platform 9 and 3/4. "You too, Ron, Hermione."
"I'd love to!" Ron exclaimed. "I heard Witchworld is loaded with money--"
"Oh, but it must have its very own interesting history! I'd love to read more about Drell's involvment with Witchworld's development--"
"I'd just like to see you," Harry said softly, putting his hand under Adelaide's chin.
"Oh, please," muttered Ron, turning back to Hermione for a last word.
"You can come any time you want, Harry," Adelaide said, smiling. "I'm still allowed to use magic... special allowances by Hogwarts since I have to 'fulfill my royal duties.'"
Harry smiled back at her and lifted her face towards his. They were in their own private world (so private they didn't hear the argument Hermione and Ron were having about whether they should hug each other goodbye in public) and nothing else mattered. Nothing...
As the couple became lost in a kiss that described all the love they held for each other, Ron and Hermione finally hugged each other goodbye.
THE END