Harry Potter: 15 Hours
By Tamara Johnson, 2005/2009
PG-13 for torture, dark themes, character death
COMPLETE. Novel length.
"15 Hours" is inspired by the USA Scholastic editions of the Harry Potter series, copyrighted by JK Rowlings.
When Harry Potter goes missing during an outing to the wizard village of Hogsmeade, Professor Severus Snape come to his rescue. Snape does save Harry, only to find himself captured, and his very thoughts drained and exposed to the evil Lord Voldemort.
Harry comes to believe that Snape really does want him dead--while Voldemort learns that Snape is holding the key that could show Lord Voldemort how to regain the powers he inadvertently transferred to Harry that fateful day his curse failed!
The events of "15 Hours" are my personal sequel "Order of the Phoenix" and are Alternate Universe to anything after "Order of the Phoenix." Please note that "15 Hours" rests on the assumption that Voldemort knows Snape has joined Dumbledore and is looking for revenge. Therefore, Snape was not going to rejoin Voldemort after Albus asked him to do [what he must ask Snape to do] at the end of "Goblet of Fire."
Chapter 1: Saturday at Honeydukes
Professor Snape stared with parted lips at the prophesy orb resting on his finger tips. Inside, a woman's face faded into smoke.
"Hmm," Dumbledore said. "Firenze is going to be jealous. Though personally, I enjoy Trelawney's fake prophesies so much more. They're easier to ignore."
Snape looked up sharply. "Don't joke, Headmaster."
"No," Dumbledore agreed seriously. "I'm certain this is quite harrowing for you. But I can't tell you what it means."
Dumbledore stood to leave.
"You don't think the conclusions are obvious?" Snape asked quietly.
"No." Dumbledore put his hand on Snape's shoulder as he passed. "I still trust you, Severus," Dumbledore said. He left the room.
Harry sighed. For once he felt almost content.
No Dursleys. No dementors. Just a day spent with Ron and Hermione, in the highly unusual wizarding village of Hogsmeade.
As evening fell, the three friends passed Honeydukes tavern. Ron dragged them all to a halt. "Hey, we've been walking all day. Could do with a butterbeer." Ron veered toward the tavern door without waiting for an answer.
Next to Harry, Hermione hurmphed. "As if that's all he wants."
Ron swung around. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"You know exactly what I mean." Hermione glared pointedly into the brightly lit window. Inside a buxom barmaid leaned over a table and flirted with a patron.
"Oh. Sure." Ron wolfishly at Hermione, and turned to Harry. "I'm hungry, too. Let's stay for supper."
Hermione's eyes narrowed. "Really, Ron! Just because..."
Ron cut in, "Come off it, Hermione! You don't have to be jealous!"
She stomped her foot indignantly. "Jealous?" she scolded, but Ron cut in, "I was just thinking, you know you don't want the Hogwarts' house-elves to have to cook supper for us. Do you? After all, they made breakfast for us like ten or twelve hours ago!"
Hermione glared. "Fine, Ronald." She shook her bushy hair. "But you shouldn't make fun. If you cared about the house-elves at all, you'd see all the hard work they have to do! Coming, Harry?" She flounced right past Ron and into Honeydukes. The door slammed after her.
Ron rolled his eyes at Harry. "She's nuts," he mouthed, as he shoved the door open.
Harry laughed and followed Ron into the brightly lit tavern. Honeydukes was teaming with students. From the far end of the bar Professors McGonagall and Flitwick gave the boys a friendly wave.
They waved back and searched around. Hermione had managed to squeeze herself through the crowd and gotten a table near the frosty window. As the boys sat with her, Rosemerta the barmaid minced over, swinging three mugs by the handles.
She banged the heavy mugs on the table. "Hi, kids. Butterbeer?" she asked, pitching her voice over the noise.
"Absolutely!" they replied together. Any other day, their shouts would have been quite loud. Today, they were barely audible.
Rosemerta grinned. "Okay!" she shouted back and waved her wand. The glasses filled with foamy butterbeer. Menus appeared on the table a moment later. "You kids might try the new glowing spaghetti the elves came up with. I had it for lunch today. It's great! I recommend it."
Harry scratched his chin. "Er, I'll have to think about that for a second." He didn't pause half a second. "Yeah, I'll get that." He turned to Ron. "Don't reckon Aunt Petunia'll be making anything like that at Privet Drive anytime soon!"
Ron laughed and proclaimed he wanted self-enlarging pork chops.
Rosemerta turned Hermione, but Hermione slapped her menu on the tabletop. "Magic! Magic! I don't know why we have to use magic for everything." Hermione scowled. "Just plain ice-cream. Thank you."
Rosemerta raised a brow. "Um, okay. Whatever you want."
Ron interjected, glowering at Hermione, "Ignore her. She's on about the house-elves."
Rosemerta looked confused, but Hermione shouted, "RON!"
"Well, you are," he rejoined.
Rosemerta shook of her head. "Listen, if you kids want anything else, just ask, okay?" She tapped the menus and they vanished.
Ron watched Rosemerta slip back into the crowd. "Look what you did, Hermione! You scared her off!"
Hermione flashed a glare at him. "I did not! If anything, it was probably guilt over the house-elves!"
"GUILT?" Ron balled his fist on the table.
Hermione shot back, "Yes! She ought to be feeling some! Do you really think she does all the work around here?"
Harry shrank back. He could tell the two were about to really lay into each other. Fortunately, their food appeared on the table--steaming, glowing, and getting bigger all the time. Ron jumped on his pork chops with relish; the chops were already about half the size of his rather large plate, but Hermione pushed her ice-cream away. She was muttering under her breath at Ron, whose glare was practically daring her to say anything as he stuffed in the chops.
"Oh, come on, Hermione!" Ron finally shoved the ice cream bowl back at her. "Eat it! It's not like we've ever seen a house-elf here."
"Well, why would we?" she exclaimed. "We don't see them at Hogwarts either! Just because they don't go around showing off how hard they have to work!" She leaned forward. "Who do you think made all this appear?" She waved her hand at the table. "They're probably below us right now, working like the slaves they are! How can we expect them to help us against Volde..." A nearby head twisted her direction. Hermione pursed her lips and dropped her voice, "You-Know-Who, when you consider the way they've been treated? Do you think it's even remotely possible that Honeydukes treats their elves fairly?"
Ron muttered, "Who knows? They're sure not treated bad at Hogwarts." Ron went back to his food.
Hermione jumped on it. "That's because Dumbledore is kind to them. He's perfectly willing to give wages to house-elves." She sat back. "I don't understand why they won't take it!"
Ron rolled his eyes and jammed another bite into his mouth. His cheeks puffed out as the meat swelled. He kept talking. "So they don't want money! Why force it on them? Look how Dobby turned out with his pay!"
Harry choked. He didn't think Dobby, with his mis-matched socks and one day a month off, might be the best example of a freed house-elf.
"Harry!" Hermione turned to him.
He shoved a meatball in his mouth and looked away as fast as he could. "Not a part of this conversation today," he mumbled. Hermione's eyes narrowed, but she turned her blazing glare back to Ron.
"Why won't you just agree with me on this?" she demanded.
Ron fired right back. "I just don't feel like listening to you spew all night!"
"I know what you mean, Ron Weasley; and it's not spew!" She shouted. "It's S-P-E-W!"
Harry kept eating, doing his best not to listen to his two best friends squabble. He hoped it wouldn't take them the rest of dinner to find something else to fight about. But it probably would.
Harry's gaze wondered to the window. There were wizards out there, in the street. Perhaps someday he would be among them, showing off fancy evening robes or milling about. Many hurried by on business of their own. Some talked to friends, or waved without stopping. Walking quickly, walking slowly.
Harry thought, What will I be like when I'm grown up? Graduated from Hogwarts and moved away from the Dursleys?
When he became a wizard in his own right, a famous Auror, if he managed to get good enough grades. If Snape didn't flunk him out of potions, or right out of existence first. Was that really what he wanted to be, when he grew up, after all? It was a dangerous job...
Harry felt a certain sadness come over him. If only his godfather had lived to share these decisions with him, it would have made life so much easier. Harry was sure he would have been happier if he could have had a real family with Sirius. Not like the life he had with people who hated him, like the Dursleys or Snape.
A lone man on the far side of the street kept to the shadows and wrapped a battered cloak tight.
Harry dropped his fork with a clatter. Ron and Hermione looked at him with surprise.
Harry was staring out the window. He couldn't believe his eyes!
Sirius! It had to be!
That half-starved figure, that walk, the long dark hair slipping from under the hood as the man paused and half-turned toward Honeyduke's window...Harry knew he would remember his godfather forever, and that was him! Sure, Dumbledore had assured him that Sirius had died last year, but Harry still held a kernel of hope that his godfather had not left him forever when he fell into the veil in the Department of Mysteries. That he had not died, and that he would be back to talk to Harry again.
Harry stared. A ghost? No, the figure was far too substantial and not at all silvery. Maybe it wasn't Sirius after all.
The cloaked figure moved away, and Harry made up his mind. He had to know for certain. He shoved his chair back and bolted out of Honeydukes.
Ron watched in surprise as Harry shoved his way through the crowd. "Hey, Harry! Hey! Wher're'ya going?" Ron called.
The tavern door slammed shut in answer.
Ron turned to Hermione. "Where's he going?"
"I don't know." Hermione jumped up and shoved her way to the door. "Harry!" she called, but he didn't look back. He was across the street, then out of sight.
Ron leaned out next to her, pork chop in hand, and looked up and down the street. "Er, back in a minute?"
Hermione shrugged worriedly. "Maybe he saw someone? I think we better follow him." They took out after Harry.
A few minutes later they came running back, tripping over each other, without Harry.
"Professor McGonagall!" Hermione shrilled, as she shoved the front door open. "Professor McGonagall! Help! Help!"
"Miss Granger! What's the matter?" McGonagall hurried toward the two huffing, hysterical students. They both began talking and gesturing at once. "Stop! Stop!" she finally demanded. "I can't understand either one of you! Miss Granger, what's going on?"
They both stopped at the same time. By now Flitwick and the other adults were grouped around them; students stared from their tables, and others were whispering.
Ron, wide-eyed, nodded at Hermione, who gulped. She stammered out, "Professor! We-we were having supper with Harry, but, but he just--took off! And when we followed him, there was somebody else there. The person put a... a..." She stopped and looked to Ron, who shook his head. "I don't know what it was! He gave something to Harry. Harry took it and--vanished! WE DON'T KNOW WHERE HARRY IS!"
Ron was chewing his lip, looking back and forth between Hermione and McGonagall, nodding in vigorous agreement.
Hermione stopped and took a breath. "But the thing is, the man, he looked like Sirius Black!"
McGonagall gasped, reaching out a hand to steady herself. "Professor Flitwick! Dumbledore is at the school. Contact him immediately. Tell him Harry Potter is missing! Ron... Hermione! Quickly! Show me the place where you last saw him! Hurry. We have to find Mr. Potter!"