Author's Note: No profit is being made with this story
- I was trying to avoid doing lots of one-shots and incorporate most of my ideas into the Temporal Beacon story, but here's one anyways.
The Next Morning
Hermione approached the door on the third floor corridor. "Alohamora." The unlocking spell didn't work.
"Are you sure you pronounced it right, Hermione? It's not a-lo-HAM-or-a or something like that, right?" Ron suggested. Hermione just glared at him. "Right. You're the expert."
"Do you know any other unlocking charms?" Harry asked.
"No... that's the only one I could cast. I haven't looked into the fourth-year books yet," Hermione sighed dejectedly.
"Well, we could always do it the old fashioned way. Make some room," Harry told his friends as he took a few steps back. Running towards the door as quickly as he could, he rammed it with his shoulder. With a sickening crunch, Harry collapsed to the floor.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find out that Hermione, Ron, and Harry had attempted to do something as dangerous as seek out the philosopher's stone by themselves when there were traps designed to keep a dark lord at bay. Each of them lost Gryffindor house a hundred points, although Neville managed to earn back twenty for having the courage to do what was right.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron stared at the giant sleeping Cerberus in front of them. An enchanted harp was playing a constant tune in front of it, evidently used to lull the beast asleep by Voldemort before them.
"Alright, everyone. Let's go through the trap door before Fluffy here wakes up!" The trio gingerly tiptoed towards the door just in front of the middle head. As soon as Harry lifted it up, an ear-splitting siren that could have woken the dead pierced the air. Fluffy woke up immediately. With three children in front of his three heads, he didn't even have to fight over the meal in front of him.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find that the Boy-Who-Lived could survive a killing curse from Voldemort, but not a deadly beast inside a school. The only thing that remained of him were his glasses and one of his shoes.
As they fell through the trap door, something soft cushioned their fall. It was also moving. Harry and Ron quickly found themselves trapped and unable to reach their wands. Hermione, who was the last through the trapdoor, landed on top of them. "Sorry, guys!"
"Hermione! We're trapped! It's some kind of plant! Get us free!"
"It's Devil's Snare... devil's snare... uh, right, sunlight! Or fire! On no, I haven't got any matches on me!"
"Hermione, are you a witch or aren't you?" Harry screamed at her.
"Right! Inflamarae!" Hermione shot a fireball at the plant, which began to recede. Unfortunately, they didn't notice the scattering of carnivorous Dawn Pines around the room, which complemented the Devil's Snare trap perfectly. It hunted animals early in the day at the first break of sunlight. Flames activated its poisonous spines just as easily.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find that the brightest witch Hogwarts had ever seen was dead, poisoned to death by the dawn pines around the room. Her two best friends were nowhere to be found, but the devil's snare seemed to be well-fed and already recovering from a slight burn to its tentacles.
"I've got this," Harry said, smiling. He grabbed the broom that was lying by the door. Just as he mounted the broom, all the keys above them stopped fluttering around and suddenly shot towards him, faster than any snitch. Harry managed to dodge the first attack, but the keys rounded on him and soon he was completely surrounded. With nowhere to dodge, Harry was quickly impaled by dozens of winged keys in the air and fell to the floor, coughing up blood.
"Harry!" Hermione and Ron both shouted. The assault didn't stop even as he landed, unmoving. Several more keys dove straight down and impaled themselves into his legs, arms, chest, and stomach.
"Get the broom away from him!" Hermione cried. Ron grabbed the broom and yanked out away, but in those two seconds he was struck in the arm by two keys himself. He managed to throw the broom aside before they could hurt him any more.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find Harry Potter's battered body and his two best friends completely covered in his blood. Both of them had sat with his battered body for hours as his blood drained out of the several dozen puncture wounds. Neither of them knew any first aid spells and were forced to watch him die in agony.
"This is a chess puzzle. Alright, it'll be a piece of cake!" Ron said as he studied the board. "I guess we have to take the white pieces and defeat black, and then we're through."
"Wait," Hermione said. She asked one of the pieces, "Do we have to take all the black pieces?" The pawn shook its head. "So we just have to make it to the other side?" It nodded.
"That makes it even easier," grinned Ron. After a few more minutes of study, he came to a conclusion. "This... isn't as easy as it looks. Every white piece is in danger of being taken within two moves, so no matter which pieces we choose... at least one of us isn't going to make it to the other side. Harry... you be the rook. Hermione, you can be the bishop. I'll be the knight."
Ron explained the strategy just in case each of them was going to be eliminated. When all three of them had the basics memorized, they stepped onto the board beside their pieces. Ron climbed up onto the knight piece... which immediately bucked him off and slashed down at him with its sword. All the other pieces just as quickly turned on them.
Black and white, apparently, didn't matter. It was actually a game of giant chess pieces versus little humans. Every piece of the board began to slash, stab, and stomp on the three first-years as they tried to scramble away to safety. Harry made it through, thanks to his seeker reflexes and the year of hard training from Oliver Wood. The other two were not so lucky.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find Harry Potter, bruised and broken, sitting beside the deadly chess set, where he had lost the only friends he'd ever made during his whole life. The Wizarding World as a whole was more shocked to find Harry would abandon his heritage and shun magic for the rest of his life.
"What? Another troll?" Harry shouted in disbelief as the big, smelly humanoid lumbered towards them.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" Ron shouted. The spell had no effect whatsoever.
"What are you trying to levitate, Ron?" Hermione shouted as they ran around the room.
"Um... nothing?" Ron answered weakly. This troll in particular wasn't holding a big wooden club. Instead, it was gripping big, spiky metal knuckles in each hand. And it was gripping them hard as it punched, sending bricks flying everywhere. The three of them were getting tired. The door had locked itself shut. The troll was just getting warmed up.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find the skeletons of three children strewn about a very well-fed troll. They had been picked bare of the meat and marrow to the point that nobody could tell which bone had belonged to whom. The troll itself was picking its teeth with a broken arm bone. Upon seeing the adults, it burped with a smile, knowing it had done its job well.
"It's a logic puzzle!" Hermione said. Upon re-reading the clues, she quickly figured it out and held up the correct bottle in triumph.
"I'll take it," Harry said. "You go back and get help. I'll... I'll face Voldemort myself."
"No buts, Hermione. There isn't enough in here for both of us." Harry took the bottle from Hermione and drank it down. He immediately began to gag and sputter. Hermione watched in shock as he fell to the ground, convulsing and foaming at the mouth until he died.
"I... I can't... I had to be right..." Hermione read the poem again and again throughout the night and came to the same conclusion.
The next morning, the professors were shocked to find Hermione Granger obsessively rearranging the potions over and over, trying to get a different answer as Harry lay on the ground beside her. Professor Snape was shocked to find that the poem he made up even had a right answer in the first place. Like most wizards, he didn't have an ounce of logic and had written it up to sound like a puzzle and keep wizards guessing for ages. Every potion in the lineup had actually been filled with a different poison. At least that Potter brat had been stupid enough to drink one.