"Jinxed?" Harry asked hesitantly as the four friends walked back to the castle. "Are you sure?"
"I saw it myself," Hermione confirmed. "Professor Snape was jinxing your broom. He was staring at your broom without blinking and was murmuring something that resembled an incantation. That's how a jinx works."
"Just because of some childhood grudge?" Ginny asked. "Talk about petty."
"I don't think it was just because he hates me," Harry confessed.
"Harry!" came from behind. The four turned around and saw Sirius and the woman he was with. Harry dropped his broom, ran towards him, and gave him a hug. "Dear Merlin. I thought you were a goner when you fell off. What was going on?"
"Hermione reckons someone was Jinxing the broom."
Sirius let go of Harry. "Jinxing the broom?"
"We think it might be Snape," Ron added.
"Snape? Why do you think that?"
"Because Professor Snape showed all the signs of performing a Jinx. Direct eye contact, incantation, everything."
Sirius shook his head. "I don't believe it. I know he still has that grudge, but to kill the son o- I just can't see him going that low."
"I'm just telling you what i saw."
Sirius looked at the broom. "Do you think I can steal the broom from you for a week. I think I know a friend who can get to the bottom of this."
Harry looked at his broom which Ron picked up as if it was his own child. Even Ron was guarding it as if an injured animal. "You promise that he won't dissect it or set it on fire?"
Sirius couldn't help but laugh. "Harry, if that happens, I promise that i will buy you every new broom from now until you graduate from Hogwarts." Harry looked at the broom one last time and nodded to Ron. Ron gave the broom to Sirius. Sirius took out his wand, pointed it at the broom, and muttered, 'Reducio.' He put the shrunken broom in his pocket. "By the way, I wanted to introduce you four to an old friend of mine, Mary MacDonald."
"So now you acknowledge me," she said sarcastically. "I was starting to think that we were leaving without you introducing me."
"You know you could have intervened at any time."
"Because that would have gone over well. "We think Severus Snape is trying to kill Harry." "Hi, I'm Mary. I went to school with your parents and am dating Sirius. Nice to meet you.""
"Ok, I get the point."
"Wait, you two are dating?" Harry interupted.
Sirius grinned. "Yeah. We have been for about a month and a half now. So you're probably going to see a lot more of her."
"Dear Merlin," Mary said as she looked at Harry. "I still can't get over how much of a blend of your parents you are. Look just like your father, but with-"
"With my mothers eyes, I know. If I had a knut for every time I heard that, I'd-"
"You'd be richer than Sirius?"
"Uhh, yeah. Did Sirius tell you I say that?"
"Well he said it once. It's still true though. When I saw you on that pitch, I saw James; but talking to you now, I can't help but see so much of Lily in you."
"Umm, thanks I guess."
"We should probably get going," Sirius interrupted. "I doubt these four want to talk to old people like us all day."
Mary faked a scoff and playfully slapped Sirius on the arm. "I am not old thank you very much."
"You're also not 11." Sirius turned to the four. "It was good seeing you four again." And with that, Sirius and Mary walked away from the four friends along the path to Hogsmeade. The conversation went on such a tangent that Harry forgot all about Snape for the moment. Unfortunately for him, Ginny remembered. "So why else would Snape want to kill you?"
"Whuh?" Harry asked rather stupidly.
"Snape. What other motive would he have for trying to kill you?"
"Oh, yeah. Right. Well remember the troll incident on Halloween?"
Hermione shivered. "I rather not," she murmured.
"Well remember when the professors came in to see what was going on? Snape's robes and leg was all shredded."
"Oh yeah!" Ron exclaimed. "It was all bloody. I was hoping it was from him going into the forbidden forest and getting attacked, or a bunch of cauldrons toppling down on him from a high shelf."
"Falling cauldrons wouldn't do that, Ron," Hermione said matter-of-factly.
"I know. Still wished it happened."
"Well," Harry continued, "I think he got attacked by that three-headed-dog." Hagrid, who was close by, heard the mentioning of the dog. "I think Snape tried to get whatever into that trap door, and i think he knows I think that."
"Oi!" Hagrid shouted as he walked closer. "How d'you four know 'bout Fluffy?"
The four were gobsmacked "Fluffy?" Ron asked incredulously.
"That thing has a name?" Hermione asked with the same astonishment.
"Well, 'course he's got a name. He's mine. He's gotta have a name."
"Wait." Ginny said, trying to process the information. "That three-headed dog on the third floor of the castle is yours." Hagrid nodded. "Where did you get it?"
"Well, I bought him off of a greek bloke i met last year. Then Professor Dumbledore asked me if he could borrow him to protect the... I shouldn'ta said that. Forget I said anything. It's top secret, it is."
"But Hagrid," Harry begged. "Whatever that dog - fluffy - is protecting, Snape is trying to steal."
"Balderdash! Snape is a Hogwarts Teacher. He would never do anythin' o' the sort."
"Then why would he try to kill me?" Harry asked. Hagrid's eyes went wide when Harry said this while the four told him what happened at the Quidditch match.
"I don' believe this. I won' believe this. Snape is a Hogwarts teacher. He woul' never harm a student, I don' care how much he hates a kid." It was becoming increasingly obvious that they were getting nowhere with Hagrid. "Now listen, all four of yeh. Forget about Snape, forget about Fluffy and forget about whatever it is it's hiding. Thas between Dumbledore and Nicolas Flamel so..."
"Nicolas Flamel?" Hermione asked curiously.
Hagrid looked like he wanted to hit himself. "I shouldn'ta told ya that." he said as he walked away. "I should not had told ya that."
Hermione was surrounded by a fortress of books. She was on a mission. A lot of weird things have been happening at Hogwarts that Hermione was almost positive were not normal. Nowhere in Hogwarts: A History did it say that there were trolls trying to kill children, nor three headed dogs guarding something that teachers are trying to steal. Something was rotten in the state of Hogwarts, and Hermione reckoned that Nicolas Flamel was the center of it all. but that begs the question... who is Nicolas Flamel? No matter where she looked - Important Warlocks of the last century, Modern Magical Findings, even A Study on Recent Magical Developments - she found nothing!
Hermione was going mad! All this work to find one little name? It couldn't be done! It was finding a single needle in a haystack containing all the hay in the world! Who was this man? Why couldn't she find him? Why the hell isn't there an encyclopedia for famous names in magical history? They deemed toadstools worthy of an encyclopedia, but not famous wizards? Hermione slammed the book she was reading, which was Notable Magical Names Of Our Time, shut, and threw it at the tower of books she has yet to read, causing them to collapse like a bunch of broccoli. Hermione panted and stared at the handiwork of her rage. "That kinda felt good."
"Find anything yet?" Ron asked Ginny as he shuffled through his collection of chocolate frog cards. It was the perfect plan. Anyone who was anyone in the Wizarding World had a chocolate frog card of him or her. Ron was only missing two other cards, both of whom he knows who he needs. Nicolas Flamel had to have a chocolate frog card, right?
"Nothing yet, brother dear," Ginny said disgruntled. They have been at this for over an hour and a half, and Ron had a lot of repeats, especially Dumbledore. They would just see Dumbledore's face and know it wasn't Flamel, thus not even reading the description.
"What do you have there?"
"Another Andros. You?"
"Circe. Keep looking. He has to be here!"
"Ron, I'm starting to doubt it. Do you really think there are any cards you don't know?"
"There has to be. There are thousands! I must have forgotten one or two."
"Aaargh! Another Dumbledore! I swear if I find another Dumbledore card, I'll freak! I'll have to write to Dumbledore warning him the next time i see him, I'll have an urge to punch him in his crooked nose!"
Ron pulled up another card and grimaced. "Uh, Gin."
He turns the card and showed Albus Dumbledore's twinkling gaze directed at Ginny. What followed after that could be described as a human hurricane destroying much of the furniture. 'Good thing Hermione knows the repairing charm,' Ron thought to himself.
Harry wasn't focused on finding Nicolas Flamel though. He simply laid in his bed letting the events of the day sink in. He nearly died today. That would make it two time in a year. If George hadn't caught him, he would have been a stain on the pitch, and why?
The ill feelings that the man held against his father has now been the reason of his abuse on him, but that wouldn't drive a man to murder, would it? Now unwanted knowledge, on the other hand, would make a man do crazy things, murder being one of them. Whatever Snape is trying to get from the trap door underneath Fluffy must be important.
Was it just that it was something really valuable, or was it a powerful object that could give the user the ability to dominate the world? Either way, Snape wanted it and he is willing to kill for it. He had to tell someone.
But who would listen? All he had was Hermione's word, and it was her word against his. The only real proof he had was his broom, and Sirius was examining it at the moment. Maybe it is for the best. If Sirius found proof in the broom, it would be best if he accused Snape than an 11-year old boy.
Sirius entered the Department of Mysteries where his contact, Broderick Bode was waiting, and he was wearing sunglasses. "Ah! Sirius! Welcome!"
Sirius couldn't help but stare at his sunglasses. "What are with those?" He asked.
"Ah! We have been experimenting with a new charm that will give the caster the ability to see in the dark. Unfortunately, the spell is still far too potent, and has made me super-sensitive to light. So, what do you have for me?
He pulled the shrunken broom out of his robe, and murmured, 'Engorgio,' The broom returned to its normal size, and Sirius handed it to Broderick. "What do you make of this?"
"Why, it's a Nimbus 2000! I never held one of these before. Is this some late birthday present or something?"
"Afraid not, Broderick. This is my Godson's broom, and it was jinxed during his first Quidditch match. I want you to take a look at it and see who did it? My Godson seems to think it to be Severus Snape, but I don't think even Snape is that evil."
"Hmm... yes. It shouldn't be a problem. I do have to ask why you didn't just do this yourself. I mean, you are an Auror. Aren't you supposed to be trained in all this?"
"I can't afford the margin of error."
"Very well. It may take a couple of days, but it will be done."
Sirius extended his hand to shake his, which Broderick gladly accepted. "Thank you Broderick! I knew I could count on you." Broderick simply answered with a smile.
As the elevator carried Sirius out of the Department of Mysteries, Broderick's smile turned into a smirk. He took off his sunglasses. His eyes were glazed over. "No. Thank you."