Gwyn Swann and the Sorcerer's Stone
by Lady Dawson
Chapter Eighteen: Seen and Unseen
Waiting was the worst part, Gwyn decided as she gripped her wand tightly as she paced back and forth across the chamber that had Snape's test, fire crackling on either side of the walls, illuminating her blonde hair as it bounced off of her shoulders as she paced.
There was no way that she could tell what was happening on the other side of the wall, where she knew that Harry could be in a life or death struggle with Snape and/or Voldemort. By the time that Dumbledore got there, he could be dead.
And she could soon join him and that was if she was lucky. There were things that she'd heard about Voldemort's regime that frightened her more than her worst nightmares. And her worst nightmares usually involved seeing a figure that she knew was her mother and a man with the face of a skull, who she knew was Voldemort's follower.
Closing her eyes, Gwyn gripped her wand tightly, shaking her head as all possibly scenarios of what was happening in the next room swept through her mind. "I can't just stand here and do nothing," she whispered as she stared angrily at the black fire. "There's got to be a way through here. Aquae!" she shouted, shooting a jet of water towards the black flame.
"Should've known that wouldn't work," she grumbled as the water sizzled and turned to vapour when it hit the flames.
Gwyn shivered slightly as she heard sounds of what sounded like a battle going on in the next room, just inches away and yet so far away from her. "Harry," she whispered frantically as she once again tried to put out the fire in front of her to no avail. Water simply wasn't going to do the trick here; in fact, she was beginning to think that the fire was beyond the skill of a first year.
"You have to know where to look."
In her mind's eye, she saw the young woman that she had seen before, her brown eyes staring at the blonde witch with compassion that she didn't understand. Gwyn gasped as her mind was pulled in the direction of the dream and she saw what was happening just on the other side of the wall.
"Quirrell," she said, but her voice had no sound, just a tiny breath of wind in the room. She had been right from the beginning; it hadn't been Snape. Somehow, she'd known that, even when they had decided that it had been.
Harry was standing before the mirror and then gasped as the reflection moved when Harry himself did not. It reached into his pocket and pulled out the same blood-red Stone out of his pocket and revealed it to Harry and the unseen Gwyn.
With a gasp, Gwyn found herself standing in front of the flames, her hands gripping her bangs painfully as she looked up, panting at what had just happened.
What had just happened? she wondered as she stared into the flames, trying to get any sign of where her best friend was facing Quirrell. What was that, that had shown her the happenings down in the chamber? Gwyn could only assume that something was trying to show her that she needed to get down into the chamber to help Harry.
But how had he gotten the Stone? The mirror only showed . . . what a person desired most in the world. And at the moment, she knew that was probably what Harry wanted. To find the Stone before Voldemort did, to prevent a homicidal lunatic from rising again.
"He's the only one who can get the Stone," Gwyn breathed in horror as she felt alarm rising through her. She stared at the flames, then towards the solid stone wall that lay opposite her, the only way into the chamber that she could see. It was a lost cause, but what choice did she have? She had to get in there—even if that meant blasting through solid stone.
"Diffindo!" she yelled, but the spell only left a small mark on the wall. "Expelliarmus! Incendio!" She cast ever spell that she could think of to break through the wall, one of which was certainly not first-year level and she'd only tested it once to see if she could cast it, with disastrous effects.
However, the spells seemed to be weakening the wall, at least, because when Gwyn cast the Disarming spell once again, an explosion erupted in front of her, sending her backwards into the wall opposite. She winced as she landed on her injured hand and scrambled to her feet just as the purple flames vanished and she spun around.
"Professor Dumbledore!" she exclaimed, relieved. How had he gotten Ron and Hermione's owl so fast? she wondered as Dumbledore's eyes travelled towards where the explosion had come from.
"Very impressive magic, Miss Swann," he commented. She frowned and turned to look, her mouth opening slightly as she saw the hole that had been caused by the spells. "It sounds like the battle is still going on; we should go assist young Mr. Potter."
Gwyn nodded as she heard the sounds of struggling in the next room and followed Dumbledore through the hole into the next room and gasped at the sight that she saw. Dumbledore was pulling Quirrell off of Harry, who fell unconscious onto the ground. Quirrell's hands and face were burnt as he rolled over to one side.
He was dead.
Gwyn fought the urge to scream as something inhumane appeared from Quirrell's body and gave a roar of fury as it swarmed from the room, out past her, Dumbledore, and Harry and away from sight. Dumbledore's eyes were focused on the thing that had vanished as Gwyn raced over to Harry, squatting down beside her best friend.
"Harry?" she whispered, grasping his hand tightly. She let out a sigh of relief when she felt his pulse rhythmically pounding against her touch. Raising her head, she looked at the headmaster. "I think he's okay. I can feel his pulse."
"Well, the nurse will know better than either of us, I think, but he should be all right, if he's got a pulse," Dumbledore agreed, waving his arm towards Harry, raising him into the air. "And I daresay that you could use some tending to as well, Miss Swann." He indicated her injured hand and she winced slightly, glancing down at it.
"My hand got in the way of my fire spell back at the Devil's Snare," she admitted, giving Dumbledore a weak smile. Dumbledore, however, chuckled as they left the chamber.
"You're a true and loyal friend, Miss Swann, to continue on and remain, despite the gravity of the situation and with an injury," he told her. "Your mother would be proud of you today."
Gwyn nodded as she thought about what she had seen while in the potions chamber. "Professor," she began, "when I was back there, trying to blast my way through . . . I saw something." Dumbledore nodded encouragingly as they walked. "I don't know . . . it was like my mind was pulled into the chamber and I could see what was going on, the battle with Harry and Quirrell and Voldemort . . . it was like I was there, but I wasn't." She sighed. "It's hard to explain, but it was like I could see them but they couldn't see me and it was only in my mind.
Dumbledore was smiling as she finished, an understanding look crossing his face. "That would explain why you were so desperate to enter the chamber. Only an extremely powerful emotion could have conjured up that powerful of magic, Miss Swann."
"But what was it?" Gwyn asked desperately. She needed to know what it was that she was seeing. "This isn't the first time that it's happened. I've had dreams before . . . dreams that didn't seem real. I saw a woman telling me that I had to know where to look and shadow figure in that chamber back there. Quirrell, I suppose that was, after the Stone . . . it's like I was receiving a warning of what was going to happen, Professor."
"Yes, I suppose it was," Dumbledore agreed, beaming. "Miss Swann, do you often see things that others don't? Or have strange intuitions about things that turn out to be accurate?" Gwyn frowned, wondering how he knew, and nodded. "I thought so. It's not surprising, that you would have inherited it. Although I didn't expect it to be so soon."
"The Sight," Dumbledore explained. "The ability to see things that other people can't, about the future, the past, the present, about things that cannot be seen with the naked eye. How a person can use the Sight depends on their own strengths and weaknesses, but a seer's power usually peaks at sixteen. Very few have begun at age eleven."
"So Ron was right!" Gwyn said breathlessly. "I am a seer! And . . ." She blinked, realising what this meant. "And my mother . . . she was a seer, too?"
"Yes, many of dreams were often warnings that saved lives. I doubt that she ever had dreams that were normal. Aurora was a fine young woman," Dumbledore told her. "She would have gone to any lengths to save her friends and family, despite they turned their backs on her in the end." He smiled as they finally reached the third floor corridor, with a spell on the harp Quirrell had left to keep Fluffy asleep. "Now, let's get you both to the infirmary, shall we?"
Madam Pomfrey, the school nurse, insisted on Gwyn staying the night due the severity of her hand injury and being thrown into the wall by the explosion she'd caused. Also, she apparently had a small case of magical exhaustion as well, because she slept throughout the entire night and most of the next day. By the time that she woke up, Gwyn was surprised to discover that it was night and Harry was already awake by the time, much to her relief.
It took much persuasion for them to convince the nurse to let Ron and Hermione in and when they came in, Harry told them the entire story about what happened. Voldemort had been possessing Quirrell the entire year and probably for a long time before that, his face on the back of Quirrell's head, unseen by the turban. Gwyn had been right; Harry was the only one who could get the Stone because he wanted to find it but not use it. And Dumbledore, Flamel, and Flamel's wife had agreed that it was best if the Stone was destroyed, which meant that the Flamels were going to die. Ron declared that Dumbledore was off of his rocket.
"Dumbledore got there at just the right time, from what it looked like," Gwyn said when Harry finished his tale. "I had just blasted through the wall when he got there, but I don't know if I couldn't done a whole lot."
"WHAT?!" Harry, Ron, and Hermione all exclaimed and she grinned secretively.
"You blasted through a wall?" Ron demanded, looking impressed.
"How?" Harry demanded.
Gwyn shrugged. "I don't know, I just had the feeling that something was wrong and so I started casting every charm and spell that would cause some damage onto the wall and I guess I finally did enough damage to cause an explosion," she explained.
"Too bad that they've roped it all off," Ron sighed. "I would've liked to see that." Gwyn chuckled; apparently, they were still doing damage control down in the chambers, because they had roped off the third floor, preventing students from going down to see what had happened. "Listen, you two have got to be up for the end-of-year feast tomorrow. The points are all in and Slytherin won, of course—you missed the last Quidditch match, we were steamrollered by Ravenclaw without you—but the food'll be good."
Ron and Hermione were forced to leave by the nurse, who ushered them out the door before ordering Gwyn to return to her own bed. If the nurse had her way, they weren't going to be allowed to leave for a month.
Fortunately, Dumbledore interceded on their behalf, convincing the nurse to let them go and they made their way down together, entering the Great Hall and making their way to Ron and Hermione, who had saved them seats. The entire hall was standing up to look at the hero of the quartet as they sat down, joining in the talk with their friends when Dumbledore arrived.
"Another year gone!" Dumbledore said cheerfully. "And now I must trouble with an old man's wheezing waffle before we sink our teeth into our delicious feast. What a year it has been! Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were . . . you have a whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next year starts . . ." Gwyn chuckled as she listened. "Now, as I understand it, the house cup here needs awarding, an the points stand thus: In fourth place, Gryffindor, with three hundred and two points; in third, Hufflepuff, with three hundred and fifty two points; in third, Ravenclaw with four hundred and twenty-six points. And in first place, Slytherin with four hundred and seventy-two points."
The Slytherin table exploded with cheers as the rest of the houses only clapped politely as Dumbledore called for quiet again. Gwyn couldn't even look up at the Slytherins.
"Yes, yes, well done, Slytherin," Dumbledore told them. "However, recent events must be taken into accounts and I have a few last minute points to award." Gwyn frowned as she stared up at the headmaster; last minute points? "First, to Mr. Ronald Weasley, for the best played game of chess Hogwarts has seen these many years, forty points."
Ron turned purple as he grinned at the applause the rest of the school—excluding Slytherin—gave him.
"Second, to Miss Hermione Granger, for the use of cool logic in the face of fire, I award Gryffindor house forty points," Dumbledore continued, causing Hermione to burst into tears and bury her face into her hands. Gwyn patted her on the back, grinning towards Harry. "Third, to Miss Guinevere Swann, for risking her own safety for the safety of her friends, forty points."
Gwyn blushed, fighting a smile as she received her own applause, unnerved by all of the attention, but couldn't stop the smile from spreading as she counted up the points. They were a hundred and twenty points up.
"Fourth, to Mr. Harry Potter," Dumbledore added. A pin could have been heard throughout the quiet hall as everyone listened, casting glances towards the eleven-year-old who'd stopped Voldemort from rising. "For pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house fifty points."
Cheers exploded from the room and Gwyn quickly added up the points in her head. "We're tied with Slytherin!" she whispered happily to her friends, who were grinning. If Dumbledore had only given one of them just one more point, then . . .
"And finally," Dumbledore added after calling for silence. Everyone waited. "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom."
Gwyn shrieked, but her shout was only one in the midst of shouts and screams of delight that echoed throughout the Great Hall. Neville was shocked and stunned at what had happened as he slowly joined in the cheering. Gwyn couldn't help laughing as she saw Malfoy's expression. She would've loved to have a camera to capture the moment; it was priceless.
"Assuming that my calculations are correct, I believe a change of decoration is in order," Dumbledore called over the applause. Even Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff had joined in. He clapped his hands and turned the green hangings to scarlet, the silver to gold and the Slytherin serpent became a Gryffindor lion.
And as she laughed and cheered with her friends, Gwyn knew that this was only a beginning in what was bound to be a series of battles against Voldemort and his followers.
But as long as she had her friends, as long as they had Harry by their side, she knew that they would survive. Because they all had something that was worth fighting for.
Remarkable as it was, Gwyn had passed her exams with surprisingly good marks, considering that she'd been worried about Voldemort rising again during them. She'd even managed to scrape through in History of Magic and Herbology, though her Charms exam well than made up for it. Hermione was disappointed when she saw Gwyn's Charms grade, but was thrilled for her.
"You might have a career in the Charms field, Gwyn," she said, to which Gwyn laughed.
"Why don't we get through the next year, Hermione?" she said, grinning. "Because I have the feeling that it's going to be just as terrifying and nerve-racking as this year."
"Well, that's school for you," Ron said wisely as they climbed aboard the train, watching the castle as it disappeared into the distance and grass became greener and tidier as they headed back to their homes.
Gwyn was looking forward to seeing Mrs. Harris again—she'd received a letter from her a few days ago that was both scolding her for being so reckless and congratulating her on a job well done. Although, a small part of her was hoping, even as they climbed off of the train, that her father was going to be there to meet her. Even as small as that hope was, she still wanted him to admit that maybe he'd made a mistake and still wanted her.
"You three have to come stay this summer," Ron told them as they waited in line to head into King's Cross. The guard was only letting them go in two's and three's so not to cause panic. "I'll send you an owl."
"Thanks," Harry said gratefully, "I'll need something to look forward to." Gwyn smiled as a few students yelled goodbye to him as they vanished through the portal.
"Listen to them," she said cheerfully, "you would think that you were famous or something." Harry laughed as they walked through the gateway, followed by Ron and Hermione.
Mrs. Harris was there when she passed through. "Have a good school year?" she said with a smile as Gwyn hurried up and hugged her tightly.
"Not bad," Gwyn said, grinning and Mrs. Harris smiled down at her as Gwyn's eyes travelled around the station.
"He's not here, dear," she said kindly and Gwyn nodded, disappointed, but glanced back at her friends. Harry was talking to Ron and his mother with Hermione standing nearby. "Go say goodbye to your friends."
"Thanks," Gwyn said gratefully as she went to give one last goodbye to her friends. It was strange after being with them for nine months, she wasn't going to see them for three more.
"So I guess this is it, then, huh?" she asked as the quartet stood together, looking at each other. "We're not going to say goodbye, all right? Just . . . see you soon," she said as she hugged each of them. "Don't forget to write, okay? It's gonna be weird not talking to you day after day."
"Yeah, thank goodness summer's here," Ron said, grinning at Harry. "I'm getting sick of these girls." Harry chuckled as Gwyn punched Ron, making him wince as he rubbed his arm. "Jeez!"
"Ready, are you?" Gwyn glanced at the huge man that was scowling at Harry, with a petite blonde woman and a vast son behind him. This, she supposed, was Harry's aunt, uncle, and cousin. "Hurry up, boy, we haven't got all day."
Harry said nothing as he hung back while his uncle walked away with his aunt and cousin. "See you over the summer, then," he told them.
Hermione looked towards his uncle uncertainly. "Hope you have—er—a good holiday," she said hesitantly.
"Oh, I will," Harry assured them. Gwyn frowned. "They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home. I'm going to have lots of fun with Dudley this summer. . . ."
Gwyn laughed as he waved goodbye to them as he trailed after his aunt and uncle, giving him one last goodbye as she walked back to her guardian. Mrs. Harris wrapped an arm around her as Gwyn held Tabby in her arms, stroking her gently as she waved goodbye to Ron and Hermione.
"Come along, dearest," Mrs. Harris said as they walked towards the car in the parking lot, "let's go home."
AN: Okay, this is the last chapter in Gwyn's first year. But as soon as I get enough reviews, say, oh, three or four, I'll post the first chapter of the Chamber of Secrets. Thanks for being so good about reviews on the last few chapters!