Hi, all! ZenoNoKyuubi here with a fresh chapter straight out of my head! Please enjoy!
Journal, January 2nd, 1994,
On my way back to Hogwarts. As stated in earlier entries, I greatly enjoyed my stay with Sirius, although my initial meeting with Mrs. Walburga Black could have gone better. Ah well, there isn't much I can do about her, not until I figure out how to remove a permanent sticking charm. Yet another goal for me to work to achieve, I suppose.
Journal, January 23rd, 1994,
Finally managed to produce another cure, WC-3. The time is now... eleven minutes past eight in the evening. I have disposed of the Tear Drop altogether, and am instead using mandrake juice. Hopefully, its restorative effects will allow the subject to stay alive throughout the cleansing process, and will keep him alive for his entire life.
The time is now twelve minutes past eight in the evening. Injecting Romulus III with WC-3...
Initially, the subject appears to experience no discomfort from the injection. I shall continue to monitor his condition for the next few days. Hopefully, this one will work. Hopefully...
Journal, January 24th, 1994,
The time is ten minutes past eight in the morning. Almost exactly twelve hours have passed since I injected Romulus III with the WC-3, and so far, he has shown no discomfort or pain. I will draw a blood sample from him, and will take a closer look at his DNA...
Yes, WC-3 is still attacking the L-strain. I had anticipated that without the Tear Drop, the cure would take a bit longer to work, so this was not unexpected. I suppose I will have to monitor him a bit longer before I whoop with joy. I have a good feeling about this, though!
Journal, January 25th, 1994,
Romulus III is dead... Death happened at three minutes past midnight. It is now five minutes past midnight, and I am reporting what happened. Romulus III suffered cardiac arrest for reasons unknown. The cure continues to taunt me. It is so close, yet so far away! Why can't I get it?! This is so infuriating! If I cannot even cure a mouse, how can I cure a human?!
Enough for today... I have been awake for the last eighty-four hours. It is time for me to try to get some sleep, so long as I am not kept from it by this infuriating issue...
"You... You look terrible, Harry..."
Harry sat at the Gryffindor table at breakfast, not eating. He had dark bags under his eyes, his glasses were off, and he was pinching the bridge of his nose, and had been doing so throughout the whole breakfast.
"Do I?" Harry asked in response to Hermione's statement, and the girl nodded.
"You haven't been sleeping well, have you?"
"I've been much too busy to sleep," Harry said simply, taking out a notebook and jutting down some interesting things that had just popped into his head. "I still am."
"But you slept last night, right?" Hermione asked, looking anxiously at Harry, who shook his head.
"Just for a few hours. Something has been bothering me, so I couldn't sleep well."
"Is it that secret project you've been working on?" Hermione asked, and Harry shook his head again.
"It's everything. My work is too important for me to just look away for even a second. In fact, I feel like I shouldn't even be here. I should be in my lab right now, working on what's important."
"School is important, Harry," Hermione said, only for Harry to wave her off.
"I learned all this during out first year. I'm already up at NEWT level material," he said simply. "Besides, I can say that right back at you. You look incredibly stressed. You don't have the same brain that I do, Hermione. You can't handle studying so many subjects."
"Excuse me?" she asked, looking dangerously at Harry, who shrugged.
"All I'm saying is that you're not fit to study every subject at Hogwarts all at once. That time-turner has you more stressed than Sirius when he can't find his tail, only to remember that he's in human form."
Hermione's eyes widened.
"My... My what?" she asked, looking away from Harry, who could easily tell when she was lying.
"Your time-turner. Come on, Hermione, anyone who can see your schedule can tell what you have to do to be at two lessons at once. Attend one lesson, use the time-turner to go back in time, and attend the other lesson."
"I... I don't know what you're talking about," Hermione said shiftily, but Harry just stared at her. It didn't take long for her to break. "Alright, fine," she said, leaning closer to whisper to him. "I have a time-turner, but you cannot tell anyone about it."
"Why do you assume I would go blabbing about it to anyone?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Well, it's just-"
"Don't you trust me, Hermione? I am shocked that you would think that I would-"
"I was just letting you know it was a secret!" Hermione interrupted, and Harry clicked his tongue.
"Well, I obviously already knew that."
Hermione looked like she was about to blow a fuse. Instead of speaking, however, she rose from her seat and walked away, but Harry wouldn't let her get away so easily. He got up, and he followed her.
"See?" he said. "Any other day, you would have chewed me out nice and proper for that, but all these classes have you thinking so hard on everything, you can't even come up with anything scathing to say."
"Bite me, Harry..." Hermione muttered, only to yelp when Harry leaned down and clamped his jaws down on her shoulder. "Ow! Did you just...?"
"Well, you told me to, didn't you?"
Harry grinned when Hermione couldn't help but giggle at that.
"Harry, you're silly."
"Silly, but brilliant!" Harry said with a grin. "So, can I see it?"
"I'm not allowed to show it to anyone," Hermione said adamantly. "And knowing you, you'd probably steal it and study it, getting me into a lot of trouble because of it."
"Ah, Hermione, you know me too well," Harry said, slinging an arm around Hermione's shoulders.
February came and went, as did Romulus IV and Romulus V, both who died during Harry attempts at finding a cure. Harry was truly getting frustrated with the elusive cure. He barely ate and hardly ever slept, spending most of his time in his lab whenever he wasn't in class.
He still maintained his position as top of his classes, however, although he found it much harder to concentrate due to the prospect of the cure dangling in front of his face.
And so it was Hermione who found Harry on one March afternoon, sitting on a large rock by the Black Lake, wearing his lab coat and staring out at the water.
"How are you, Harry?" Hermione asked cautiously. Harry put on as wide a grin as he could, not that it was very convincing, and instead just looked slightly insane as he turned to look at Hermione.
"Oh, I'm just fine, Hermione, thanks for asking," he said in a false cheery voice.
"Can't you just tell me what you're working on?" Hermione asked, cautiously approaching Harry, who was still grinning unconvincingly at her. "Maybe I can help?"
"You're much too busy as it is. Tell you what, you lend me that time-turner, and I'll tell you what I'm working on."
"You know I can't do that, Harry..."
"So, you're not going to tell me?" Hermione asked, and Harry shook his head, still grinning. "Harry, you're not well. You need to rest."
"Not well?" Harry asked, his grin widening. "I'm perfectly fine, can't you tell?" he basically yelled out with false cheer.
"I can tell that you're starting to go mental," Hermione said, only for Harry to make a "Pfft!" noise, waving her off.
"Nonsense, Hermione, I'm as sane as I have always been."
"Not very, then."
"You're so funny, Hermione, you always crack me up..."
The two lapsed into silence, one sitting and the other standing. Then, Harry hummed as his gaze turned to the Forbidden Forest. He suddenly rose to his feet, a true grin on his face as he hopped off the rock and grasped Hermione's shoulders.
"Hermione, my dear, you just gave me an excellent idea!"
"I... I did?" Hermione asked, blinking, and Harry shook his head.
"Not really, but I did get an excellent idea! How would you like to go camping with me?"
"In the Forbidden Forest."
Hermione was silent for a moment. Then...
"Now I know you're mental."
"I'm not mental, I like to think of myself as someone who likes to think outside the triangle."
Hermione blinked. "You mean box?"
"No, not box. Although I think outside of it, I think so far outside of it that I am thinking outside a two-dimensional figure that contains your silly little three-dimensional box."
Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration.
"It's much too early for me to deal with this..."
"Come on, let's go see Dumbledore for permission!" Harry said, grabbing Hermione's hand and pulling her along.
They charged into and through the castle, through the crowds gathered outside the classroom, until they reached the gargoyle guarding the stairs to Dumbledore's office.
"Ice Mice!" Harry said, and the gargoyle sprang to life, hopping to the side. He then got on the spiraling staircase, pulling Hermione onto it as well.
"Did Dumbledore tell you the password to his office?" Hermione asked in awe as they were slowly carried up the revolving staircase.
"No, I just guessed it the last time I was here," Harry said with a shrug, stepping off the staircase and knocking on the door. A gentle, "Come in," was heard, and Harry pushed open the door.
"Ah, Harry," Dumbledore said when he saw Harry, sitting behind his desk. "And Miss Granger as well. What can I do for you today? Captured any more rats, have you?" he asked with twinkling eyes.
"Professor Dumbledore, I am hereby requesting permission to spend at least a week in the Forbidden Forest without anyone coming to look for me, and I will be taking this young lady with me," Harry said, patting a furiously blushing Hermione on the shoulder. No doubt, she was thoroughly embarrassed, bless her.
"The Forbidden Forest, you say?" Dumbledore asked, blinking. "I hope you realize, Harry, that the Forbidden Forest is forbidden?"
"Only to those without permission," Harry said in a sing-song voice.
"Nevertheless, I cannot in good conscience allow two third year students to venture into the forest for a week, I hope you understand that."
"I figured you'd say that. So, how about sending a teacher with us? Like... Professor Lupin, perhaps?"
"Could this have something to do with this secret project you are working on, Harry?" Dumbledore asked with twinkling eyes, making Harry's eyes widen.
"How did you hear about that?"
"Oh, I do not know what it entails, but I have heard that you have been working on something, and no one knows what it is. I can see on you that you have been working hard."
"That I have, Professor."
"Well, thank you for your time, Professor Dumbledore," Hermione said hastily. "We'll just get out of your hair now. Come on, Harry," she said, grabbing Harry's arm and trying to pull him with her, only for Harry to stand his ground.
"I still insist on going into the Forbidden Forest. There are without a doubt ingredients in there that can help me with my work."
"I am truly sorry, Harry, but I cannot allow that."
"I see..." Harry said, humming as he looked down at the floor in disappointment. Then, however, he put on a grin and looked up at Dumbledore. "Well, thanks anyway, Professor! We'll be going now. Come along, Hermione, don't loiter."
"How did I let you talk me into this?"
Harry and Hermione were walking through the Forbidden Forest on the Easter Sunday, both carrying a bag with shrunken supplies and camping equipment in them. Harry was humming happily as he climbed over a fallen tree and ventured deeper into the forest, not answering Hermione, who looked as though she'd rather be anywhere else at that moment.
"Harry, can you at least talk to me?" Hermione asked, and Harry stopped his humming, looking back at her.
"What do you want to talk about, Hermione?"
"How about this secret project you're working on?"
Harry chuckled. "Nice try, Hermione, but as long as you keep the time-turner out of my reach, I'll keep my project out of yours."
"You're cruel, Harry... You know I want to know what you're working on, and you keep hinting at it all the time. At least I don't wave the fact that I have a time-turner in front of your face..." Hermione said with a pout.
"If you're just going to complain, you might as well go back to the castle," Harry said as he stopped, looking back at Hermione, who gave his chest a push.
"I would, but someone dragged me out here, and now I don't want to go back alone!"
"Now you're just being dramatic. I didn't drag you out here. You followed me voluntarily at the prospect of hearing about my secret project, which I said I might tell you about if you came along."
"Yet you won't!"
"I said, I might tell you about it. I decided against it."
Hermione gritted her teeth, and a muscle under her right eye twitched something fierce as she glared at Harry, who sighed.
"Besides, think of this as a lovely opportunity for you to unwind. You have been wearing yourself out in school."
"How did you even get permission to do this? What changed from a month ago when you asked?" Hermione wanted to know, and Harry shrugged.
"It's simple. I didn't get permission."
"You... You what?!"
"I didn't get permission. Didn't you know, Hermione, that it's much easier to ask for forgiveness than permission?"
Hermione stopped suddenly, her eyes wide.
"We... We're out in the Forbidden Forest... without permission?! We'll be expelled!"
"Of course we won't," Harry said, waving her off. "We'll just get detention, is all."
"All? All?! I've never gotten a single detention in my entire life!" Hermione wailed. "Oh, my perfect record will be broken!"
"Don't be such a baby. It's just a detention," Harry said as he started walking again.
They walked for a good hour or so, until they had gotten so deep inside the forest that they could hardly see past the trees closest to them. Harry stopped and looked around.
"Yes, this seems like a good place to set up camp," he said, nodding to himself.
Journal, April 4th, 1994,
The first official day in the Forbidden Forest. This place is filled with different wildlife and plants. It's a treasure trove of ingredients for my alchemy. It's dark, it's quiet... It's perfect. Hermione seems to think otherwise. Keeps looking over her shoulder at every little noise. I don't think she likes it in here. Unshrunk my trunk in my tent and proceeded with my experiments.
Goals for this trip:
-Find a unicorn.
-Find my way back to the acromantula nest.
-Hopefully draw a blood sample from a centaur.
-Gather various important ingredients.
Harry nodded to himself as he closed his journal and stepped out of his tent, finding Hermione huddled close to the fire in front of her own tent.
"Hermione, I'm going to gather some ingredients, maybe going to find an acromantula. Would you like to come?"
"No thanks, I'll stay here," Hermione said, quickly looking over her shoulder when she heard a twig snap in the trees. "Hurry back, will you?"
"You can't rush science," Harry said simply as he walked off into the woods, humming to himself. The last time he had been to see Aragog, he had been carried there by an acromantula, so he didn't know the exact location of Aragog's nest. He knew, however, where he had been picked up by the spider and which direction he had been carried off to. So, on he went in that direction.
For about fifteen minutes, he walked, and then stopped when he heard a furious clicking. He took out his wand and lit it with a whispered "Lumos," and pointed it upward, to see a massive spider hanging in the trees, looking right at him. A wide grin appeared on his face.
"There you are. And alone, too, how fortunate..."
The spider dropped, and Harry rolled out of the way, rolling to his feet and pointing his wand at it.
A white jet of light issued from Harry's wand, blasting straight into the acromantula and sending it flying into a tree with a furious clicking. It hopped to its feet quickly, however, and turned to Harry once more, now a bit more cautious. Harry idly wondered if the spider remembered him from last year, when he had fought his way out of Aragog's nest.
"Avada Kedavra!" Harry cast, and a jet of green light shot from his wand, hitting the spider, which was flipped onto its back, its legs curling up. Harry perked up in interest. "Hey, it worked! Better not to tell anyone I can do that..." he muttered to himself as he grabbed two of the spider's legs and started pulling it slowly through the forest, back to the camp.
"Harry? Is that you?" Harry heard through the darkness as he approached the tiny speck of light that was the campfire. "Lumos!"
Another speck of light lit up and was aimed at Harry as he moved closer, and Hermione shrieked when she saw what Harry was dragging.
"H-Harry... is that an acromantula?"
"Yup," Harry said simply. "We're not too far away from their nest, so I found this one easily. Should another one show up while I'm busy with this one, please just Stun it. I'd like a live specimen as well."
"What are you going to do with that one?" Hermione asked in a trembling voice. She was scared stiff, poor thing.
"I'm going to dissect it, of course," Harry said, dumping the spider by the fire and going into his tent, coming out dragging his trunk. He opened it to his lab and looked from the trunk to the spider.
"It's a bit big..." he said, humming. "Hopefully, nothing will be disrupted in the spider if I shrink it."
Harry waved his wand, and the spider shrunk down to the size of a tarantula. Nodding, he grabbed it and climbed into his lab.
"Harry, can I come with you?" Hermione asked, and Harry poked his head out of the trunk to see that Hermione looked extremely scared. He sighed.
Hermione immediately rushed over to the trunk and climbed in after him.
"But don't touch anything," Harry said as he reached the bottom of the ladder, walking over to the operating table he had transfigured from an old table he had found in a broom closet in the school. He dumped the spider on the table, then tapped the spider with his wand, watching as it returned to its normal size.
"Did you close the lid?" Harry asked, and Hermione blinked. They both looked up to see that the lid was still open, and Harry sighed again. "Close it, please."
Journal, April 5th, 1994
Initial dissection of the acromantula I found in the forest has given me an untold amount of information on the anatomy of the acromantula, information that the wizards no doubt have no idea about, as they are too ignorant to perform dissections. I have also drained the acromantula of its poison. It is very rare and could be useful in my research. If I could implement the corrosive properties of the acromantula poison to the cure, and get it to target the L-strain, I should be able to manufacture a proper cure, provided that it targets only the L-strain. That will be difficult, but things need to be difficult, or they wouldn't be worth doing.
Journal, April 6th, 1994,
Found a dead unicorn in the forest. The death had happened recently, as luck would have it. I obtained a blood sample, used my trusty bone saw to saw off the horn, and stripped the tail of its hair. The unicorn shall always be remembered for its contribution to my scientific research. Oh, what luck! I still can't believe that it happened! I thought I was going to have to wrestle a unicorn to get a hold of so much as a scraping from its horn! I never would have believed I'd ever get so much in one day, not to mention all the various plants and bugs I collected, all of which will serve me well in my research.
Hermione continues to pester me about my work, constantly asking what I am working on. Considering telling her. Should I? Hermione has been known to run to the teachers if she smells trouble, and my work is unethical, according to the wizarding world... But Hermione is a Muggle-born. She should know that science is a constant path of trial and error!
Journal, April 7th, 1994,
Collected some more bugs and plants today. Nothing more to report, as I have put my work on hold during this little trip. The acromantula has nothing more to tell me, so I shall dispose of it, as soon as I have drained it of its remaining blood, taken a few hairs and harvested a few organs. I also went back to the unicorn and collected its corpse. I intend to harvest all of its organs as well. They may be useful for something.
Journal, April 8th, 1994,
I have gotten all I could possibly want here in the Forbidden Forest, save for the centaur blood sample, but I had never expected to get that. Hermione and I will set off as soon as the sun rises. I think I need to get some sleep, so I shall go to bed as soon as we get back. Hermione tells me that I look horrible. I am inclined to believe her, even though I haven't looked in a mirror. I feel horrible...
Harry stretched happily as he rose from his bed, rested and ready to tackle another day! He yawned and got dressed, once more wearing his lab coat rather than his Hogwarts robes. He refused to tie his tie today, and instead just let it hang loosely around his neck.
He made his way to Professor Lupin's office and knocked on the door, which opened to show Lupin, who sighed and immediately rolled up his sleeve as Harry took out his blood sampling kit.
Today was April tenth, so Harry didn't have to worry about school today, as it was a Sunday, so he made his way back to the Gryffindor Tower, headed up the stairs to the dormitory, and climbed into his trunk. He'd received a very special package, which was waiting to be opened in his lab.
"Journal, April Tenth, Nineteen ninety-four," Harry spoke to his journal, walking up to the wooden box on his desk with several air holes in it. "Received my package. The package contains..." He opened the box, to show a large cage with a chimp inside it. "...my new test subject for primate testing, designation Zeus. I do not think that it would be very safe to make the large leap from rodent testing to human testing without something in between, so I have smuggled this package into the school using the secret path through the Shrieking Shack."
The monkey gave a shriek as Harry lifted the cage out of the box and swept the box down on the ground, before placing the cage on the table.
"I shall attempt to bond the L-strain to designation Zeus later today, as soon as I have bonded it to Romulus VI."
As Harry grinned at Zeus, the monkey seemed to know that it was in danger, as it cowered in its cage...
Journal, April 11th, 1994,
Successfully bonded the L-strain to both Romulus VI and Zeus. Zeus seems to be coping well with the change in him, which leads me to believe that the patient doesn't actually feel any changes save during the actual transformation. I am in the process of developing WC-6. I just need a little more time. The acromantula venom needs to simmer for at least twenty-four hours before I can use it, to remove most of its corrosive properties. I also need to scrape some off the unicorn horn and mix up the serum using some of the other ingredients I found in the Forbidden Forest. This is a whole new formula, and I have high hopes for it.
Journal, April 15th, 1994,
The time is... seven minutes past six o'clock in the evening. I have successfully mixed WC-6, and the initial testing on the L-strain has shown great success. The acromantula venom and the unicorn horn, despite what the books would have you believe, do not counteract each other on such a level that they completely nullify the effect of the respective ingredients. They do counteract each other, but not right away. Hopefully, the L-strain will be defeated before the counteraction begins. The time is now eight minutes past six o'clock. Injecting Romulus VI with WC-6 now...
Romulus VI appears to feel no discomfort, other than the obvious discomfort of being injected with acromantula venom. Hopefully, I will see great results. I shall wait and see...
Journal, April 18th, 1994,
Success! The serum has started counteracting itself, and has evaporated. A blood sample shows that there is no trace of the L-strain left in Romulus VI's body! Of course, I shall have to wait a little longer to see if it returns before I move on to primate testing, but I have a good feeling about this!
I believe I shall wait a total of four days before I start primate testing.
Journal, April 22nd, 1994,
A week has passed since I injected Romulus VI with WC-6, which from now on will be dubbed 'Wolf Killer.' He has shown no sign of pain or irritation, and his blood shows that the L-strain is completely gone. The time is now twenty-four minutes to two, midday. Injecting Zeus with Wolf Killer now... Hopefully, this will work. No, it will work. It must!
Take note, Zeus, like Romulus VI, shows no sign of pain or discomfort other than the expected discomfort of the acromantula venom. Like with Romulus VI, I shall wait a week and see what happens before I move on to human testing. Professor Lupin should hopefully, volunteer as the first test subject...
Harry woke up on April the twenty-ninth, stretching, and immediately made his way into his trunk. It was four o'clock in the morning, so none of his Housemates had woken up yet. Therefore, he didn't have to worry about being disturbed. He slowly headed down the ladder after closing the trunk, and walked over to Zeus's cage. The monkey wasn't moving in his cage. Immediately fearing the worst, Harry rushed over and opened the cage, putting a hand on Zeus, only to breathe a sigh of relief when he felt that the monkey was breathing. Romulus VI was also healthy and awake.
Harry waved his wand, and the quill on his journal stood up.
"Journal, April Twenty-ninth, Nineteen ninety-four," he spoke as the quill started writing. "Another success! The Wolf Killer has so far been seen to not kill the subject for a change! I will now draw a blood sample from Zeus and see if it has worked as well for him as it did for Romulus VI..."
Harry grabbed a syringe from his box of syringes and moved over to Zeus's cage, opening it and sticking the needle into the monkey's skin, waking him up with a shriek. He must have learned not to struggle by now, however, as he didn't move as Harry drew a sample of his blood.
He moved over to his microscope and tapped it with his wand, before pouring a drop of blood on a small piece of glass, pressing it together with another piece of glass, laying it on the stage of the microscope, before staring into the lens, the microscope magically magnifying the blood thousands of times.
"Zeus's blood show that the L-strain is completely wiped out!" Harry spoke joyfully, turning a dial on the microscope, zooming out. "The cells are also stable. I think I've done it! I found the cure!"
Harry whooped and started running around his lab, leaping with joy. It seemed contagious, as Zeus started jumping around in his cage, crying out with happiness.
Well, there you have it, the fourth chapter! Please leave a review and tell me what you think!