The vibe of the day got worse when memory served that today was the day of Buckbeak's execution. The four of us headed to Hagrid's to comfort him a bit before the fateful hour should appear. On our way we saw the executioner covered in deathly black with hood over face. He was occupying his time with the sharpening of his trade mark tool. It felt creepier to see that it was clean instead of dirty. Like the blade drinks the blood spilled on it and when it was done the blood left no stain.
No surprise we hurried past that man and ran into someone no one wanted to see. Ron put it best.
"It just got worse."
"Ah come to see the show?" he took special notice of me. "I heard the news you finally broke down Neville into dating you. Took a bit of force didn't it to get someone interested in you didn't it?" He said.
"Says the guy who had to force out a kiss from me."
"He what?!" Harry and Ron asked.
"You! You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!" Hermione had her wand pointed at his throat as he in fear shrunk back weeping a little.
"Hermione, no! He's not worth it." The internal debate of good versus evil won as Hermione lowered her wand. Malfoy lost his fear and was beginning to smile again. I turned away from his gaze that had returned to me. Hermione did a surprise attack and hit him right on the nose. Possibly breaking it. He and his two lackeys fled the scene saying that this was never to be said again.
"That felt good." Hermione said.
"Not good, brilliant." Ron said with admiration in his voice.
"Why didn't you tell anyone about what Malfoy did?"
"I told Neville."
"Neville? You told him and not your friends?"
"Neville found me crying about it and I just wanted to tell someone so I told him. He took me to Hogsmeade Village the next day to make me feel better. He's a real sweet guy."
"He is and he is very fond of you." Hermione told me.
"Fond? Try puppy dog in love." Ron said Harry nudged him and Hermione and I giggled a little. The little moment passed as we saw Buckbeak chained and waiting for his deathblow. We enter Hagrid's hut. Hagrid stood at the window looking out at Buckbeak.
"Look at him. Loves the smell of the trees when the wind blows through them."
"Why don't we just set him free?"
"If Buckbeak is set free they would know Hagrid did it and he would get in deep trouble for it." I said on the other side of Hagrid looking at the noble creature that deserved to be free so he could fly to his heart's content.
"They would. Dumbledore is coming down you know. Says he want to be with me when they…" I pat his arm. "When it happens. Great man, Dumbledore. Great man." He said turning away from the window to feed another creature of his.
"We'll stay with you too." Hermione said. And as much as I hated to witness animal executions I agreed to what Hermione said. Hagrid deserved moral support from me since he was taking good care of Bijou, who was kept away from Buckbeak's execution since she found Buckbeak as a friend. Poor girl she was going to lose her only hippogriff friend.
"You'll do no such thing! Think I want you seeing something like that? No. You just drink your tea and be off. Oh before you do, Ron…" He moved to one of the tin tea containers he kept and pulled something out. Something that relieved Ron a good deal. It was Scabbers the rat.
"Scabbers! You're alive." He said as he took hold of his Ireland rat. The creature's nose twitched about like a rat's normally does. He was as whole as he was before. No bite marks or scars. Just the missing toe that he had when Ron first showed me him.
"Keep a closer eye on your pets, Ron." Hagrid warned him. Next time a cat could get him.
"I think you owe someone an apology." He sure did.
'Right. Next time I see Crookshanks, I'll let him know." Should have seen that one coming.
"I meant me!" The vase on the table close to Hermione split in half. The contents poured on to the table. I look about wondering if something fell from above and hit it.
"Blimey, what was that?"
"Poltergeist?" I replied weakly. Hermione picked something up from the table. But I lost interest when Harry said ow. He was gripping his head.
"What happened Harry?" I said coming close to him. He turned his head to look outside and saw that Cornelius Fudge, Dumbledore and the executioner were on their way to the hut.
"Oh crickey." Hagrid said when he saw them. "It's late. It's nearly dark. You shouldn't be here. Someone sees you outside the castle at this time of night, you'll be in trouble. Big trouble. Particularly you, Harry." He covered his pet inside the hut and told the people outside that he would be with them in a moment as he shooed us out the other door. Carefully in the way of spies we moved about towards the stack of pumpkins we could hear Fudge say the Committee of the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures that the hippogriff known as Buckbeak hereinafter called "the condemned", shall be executed this day at sundown. Some other things were said but it sounded garbled to me.
(Crack) We turn towards the woods.
"I thought I just saw...Never mind." Hermione flicked her head to as if to shake what she thought she saw from her mind. As we went up the path we took one last look at Buckbeak who in turn gave a little sound in our direction. I was sorely tempted to go back and remove his chains, but Harry pushed me forward. We stop at the top where the stones stood tall. We see the executioner outside the hut with Hagrid by his door and Fudge standing on the earth. The executioner moves towards where Buckbeak is. At least where we saw him last. The view was obscured so we couldn't see him. It didn't make it any less hard to watch. I turn with my back facing the execution sight. I couldn't watch Buckbeak's last moments. I felt a hand over mine. It was Harry's. He looked at me with a look of understanding. I felt my hand clenched his at the sound of the axe making contact. The crows I heard squawking as they took to the sky. We huddled till Ron gasped. Scabbers had bit him and was now running away.
Not wanting to lose his pet again Ron went after him. We called out to him, but he didn't listen. We ran to catch up to him. Ron caught up to his rat, but he did so at the base of a rather unusual tree that I don't remember seeing before.
"Harry, you do realize what tree that is?" Hermione asked.
"That's not good. Ron! Run!" What is bad about this tree? Ron looked up and in fear he pointed behind us.
"Harry, Hermione, Lindsay, Run!" We turn sharply to see a large black dog baring his fangs at us. "It's the Grim!" It took off and lunged at what we thought was us. But he leapt over us and went for Ron. Using his teeth the Grim took hold of Ron's foot and started to drag him away.
"Ron! Ron, Wait!" We ran after him. I stopped and looked to the ground and picked up a rock. I took aim and it hit the Grim on the head. It stopped for a second and took the chance to growl at me before pulling harder on Ron's leg. They disappeared in a hole at among the roots of the tree. We called out to him and he called out to us.
We stood at the hole and then we were whipped to the ground by a branch. The tree it was a whomping willow! Even though we knew that we charged towards the tree ready for action. We split to avoid branches, ducked and dived, wove about the vine like branches that were close to us. It was like training with Yao and Kiku at the same time. A branch hit Harry to the ground and another came after Hermione but she jumped it but the second one got her.
"Hermione!" I shout but soon find a branch had wrapped itself onto me. It hoisted me into the air with a scream erupting from my throat as it let me go into a free fall. I reach out to grab something and managed to hold onto the very branch Hermione had been taken by. The branch brought us up and then pulled us into its thick leaves. Hermione took hold of Harry and dropped him into the hole with ease. The two of us followed suit. In pain but glad to be alive at least I hope we are alive.
"Where do you suppose this goes?" Hermione asked as we stood up. I pop a few joints as I stretched the sore muscles.
"I have a hunch. I just hope I'm wrong." Harry said as he led the way. I look at our surroundings. A mostly rock based interior large enough for an average sized person to stand up in. It could have been either man made or natural made tunnel. We find a ladder that went up to a square hole above. Harry climbed up first, Hermione was second and I brought up the rear. The floor that we were coming out of was covered with a fine layer of dust that had just recently been disturbed. We follow the dust voids up the stairs of what looks to be ye old haunted house.
"We're in the Shrieking Shack, aren't we?"
"Well this is what I imagined it would look like minus the ghosts."
"Come on." Harry said as he continued up the stairs we follow. And on the way up we hear someone. Our first thought is that it is Ron so we move faster up the stairs to get to him. We find him in a room sitting on a dirty old couch.
"The dog. Where is it?"
"Harry, it's a trap. He's the dog. He's an Animagus." Ron points behind us where we turn to find paw prints in the dust that lead to someone behind hidden behind the door. That someone was Sirius Black. He looked the image of what you imagine prison life to be like on a person. Long greasy hair, covered in sweat and filth. Worn black and white striped clothes. And his eyes they was something about them that spoke danger and something else. Pain.
"If you want to kill Harry, you have to kill us too!" Hermione declared as she stood in front of Harry.
"No. Only one will die tonight." He said rather calm with a hint of crazy.
"Then it'll be you!" harry shouted pushing Hermione to the side so that nothing could be between him and Sirius. His hands wrap around the man's throat and with strength not seen before he pushes him to the ground and whips out his wand. Pointing it at Sirius's forehead. Sirius like the madman in crisis began to chuckle.
"Are you going to kill me, Harry?"
"Expelliarmus!" Professor Lupin had come to our rescue. Harry's wand went to the side and Harry returned to where we were standing.
"Well, well, Sirius. Looking rather ragged, aren't we? Finally the flesh reflects the madness within."
"Well, you'd know all about the madness within, wouldn't you Remus?" Lupin smiled and then reached down and helped Sirius to his feet. Who gladly hugged him and Lupin returned the hug. I am at a loss here.
"I found him." Sirius said in a giddy way.
"I know." Lupin said calmer than his friend.
"He's here." Sirius said close to weeping with joy.
"Let's kill him!"
"No! I trusted you! And all this time, you've been his friend. He's a werewolf! That's why he's been missing classes."
"An animagus and a werewolf in the same room. Where's the punch line?" I said more bitter than sarcastic.
"How long have you known, Hermione?" he asked pacing in a way that similar to the wolf side of him.
"Since Professor Snape set the essay."
"Well, well Hermione. You really are the brightest witch of your age I've ever met." I saw Sirius jerk about as if this was tedious to him.
"Enough talk, Remus! Come on, let's kill him!"
"Wait!" Lupin said putting his hand out in case he had to stop him.
"I did my waiting! Twelve years of it! In Azkaban!" The man was ready for revenge and Lupin was sensing he would have to recede to Sirius's demands to kill.
"Alright kill him." Lupin's head was down as he handed his wand to Sirius. His head perked back up when Sirius had taken the wand. "But wait one more minute. Harry has the right to know why."
"I know why." Harry spoke causing the two to look at him. "You betrayed my parents. You're the reason they're dead!"
"No, it wasn't him. Somebody did betray your parents but it was somebody who until quite recently, I believed to be dead!" Wait a minute, last night, the map, him!
"Who was it, then?"
"Peter Pettigrew!" I shouted without knowing I had. All the eyes turn to me. But Sirius was the one who was doing so with a smile.
"This girl is right. Peter Pettigrew did it! And he's in this room! Right now! Come out, come out, Peter! Come out, come out and play!" Now we are getting into dead man's territory. The ranting's have started and those lead to scattered body parts throughout England.
"Expelliarmus!" I never thought in my whole life I would be this happy to see Snape! "Vengeance is sweet. How I hoped I'd be the one to catch you." Did these guys know each other before? Oh god what if one of the muggles Sirius killed was a friend or relative of Professor Snape? Oh the poor man.
"I told Dumbledore you were helping a friend into the castle. Here's the proof." I knew Sirius had to have had an accomplice. I should have gotten that ten minutes ago.
"Brilliant, Snape. You put your keen mind to the task and as usual you come to the wrong conclusion. Now if you'll excuse us, Remus and I have some unfinished business to attend to." Sirius made the mistake of going up to face Snape since that gave Snape amble time to point his wand at Sirius's throat.
"Give me a reason. I beg you!" This is getting worse by the second. Now that Sirius and Lupin are quarreling. "Listen to you two, quarrelling like an old married couple."
"Why don't you run along and play with your chemistry set." Point for Sirius for a well thought dis.
"I could do it, you know. But why deny the dementors? They're so longing to see you." There was murder in Snape's eyes he was scaring me more than Sirius right now. "Do I detect a flicker of fear? Oh yes. A Dementor's Kiss. One can only imagine what that must be like to endure. It's said to be nearly unbearable to witness, but I'll do my best." Snape is mad and I know mad people some of them I'm related to. He was mad in a bad way in fear I took hold of Harry's shoulder. But let go when I feel Harry moving. Harry points Hermione's wand and then utters the spell expelliarmus at Snape. The force knocks him into the pole of a poster bed and down he goes.
"Harry! What did you just do?" Ron asked.
"You attacked a teacher!" Hermione declared already racking up how much trouble we were in now after that stunt.
"He's a pain in the ass, but why did you have to do that?" Harry didn't listen to us he was focused on getting his answers.
"Tell me about Peter."
"He was at school with us. We thought he was our Friend!" Lupin said.
"No. Pettigrew's dead. You killed him!" He pointed the wand at Sirius.
"No, he didn't. I thought so too, until the two of you mentioned Pettigrew on the map!"
"He would have to be alive to be on the map." I said.
"Unless the map was lying." Harry said looking back at me.
"The map never lies! Pettigrew's alive! And he's right there!" Sirius points to Ron. Ron! Ron can't even kill a spider! How could he have killed thirteen people as a baby!
"Me?! He's Mental!" Ron said.
"Not you!" Sirius said as if Ron just wasted his time. "Your rat!"
"Scabbers has been in my family for…"
"Twelve years? Curiously long life for a common garden rat!"
"He's right that is four times the life rate of a rat." I said.
"He's also missing a toe isn't he?"
"So what?" Ron said.
"All they could find of Pettigrew was his…" Harry answered his mind whirring to fit the pieces together.
"Finger! Dirty coward cut it off so everyone would thin he was dead! And then he transformed into a rat!" Sirius was far too close to Ron to my liking.
"Show me." Sirius bent down to retrieve the rat, but I blocked his path. He stares at me deciding what he should do to get to his foe.
"Lindsay, get out of his way." I bend down to Ron and take the rat easily out of his hands. Careful to place my hands where Scabbers couldn't bite me.
"If anyone is going to handle this rat as a rat it's going to be me." Remus motions for me to put it on the piano while Ron protests that we should leave him alone. I felt bad for doing this a tiny bit, but we had to know the truth. Sirius and Lupin take several aims and missed a few. Till one hit the rat and his growth became human form. He looked like a cowardly, pathetic man. With thinned hair, large teeth and dark ling fingernails that would needed a weed whacker to fix. Together Sirius and Lupin hoist the portly man up. He tries to act as if he is the essence of innocence, but I even hold out my wand to point at him in case he should try something. He did try to flee and flatter both Harry and Ron. In the end it was decided that he wouldn't be killed. Instead he was to be taken to the dementors. This struck more fear into the yellow belly than death threats had and that's saying something. We are walking through the stone tunnel towards Hogwarts when Sirius apologizes to Ron about the bite he gave him. Ron was a bit angry with him, but it would pass. Sirius made sure to tell us he was going for the rat and that he was normally sweet as a dog.
"Um, Mr. Black?"
"Call me Sirius."
"Okay, Sirius. I'm sorry about throwing the stone at your head earlier."
"You thought I was harming your friend. You were pretty brave to take action like that. Though you used a little more force than I would have liked." He couldn't help but rub his head where the stone had hit him. Making me feel worse about it.
"Again Sorry." We make it to the outside and take a minute to breathe in the night air. It felt like a good night. Sirius was going to be free soon. No longer blackened (no pun intended) with false accusations. Sirius walks a small way from us and Harry follows the rest of us stay with Ron who was so sure he was going to have his leg chopped off.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Sirius said as he stood gazing at the towers of Hogwarts all lite up in the night. "I'll never forget the first time I walked through those doors. It'll be nice to do it again as a free man." He stopped for a moment before going on. "That was a noble thing you did back there. He doesn't deserve it."
"I don't think my dad would have wanted his two best friends to become killers. Besides, dead, the truth dies with him. Alive, you're free." Pettigrew was loudly begging not to be taken to the dementors. Cutting us off for a second.
"I don't know if anyone has told you this Harry, but James and Lily before they died. Made me your Godfather."
"Well I understand if you want to continue living with your aunt and uncle, but should you ever like a different home then you're welcome to come live with me. I also know it's a little late to act like a guardian and all, but your friend, the one with the two eye colors, she's…she's… I approve of you and her."
"What? Lindsay? No, no. She's…She's just a friend." I coughed a bit at the end from the surprise.
"Really? Pity. I thought with the way the two of you reacted to one another you were something more than friends." I didn't have time to tell him otherwise as Hermione cried out to us in warning. We look to the sky and see the full moon. Remus was fighting back the werewolf inside of him. Sirius did his best to help him. While this all went on the rat got away and we soon found more trouble as the Remus had now been fully transformed. Hermione tried to see if the Professor was still there, but a howl to the moon convinced us otherwise. To make matters even worse. Snape returned ready to strike out at us, but when he saw the werewolf he shielded us. Sirius in his dog form attacked Lupin and the too quarreled. I run towards them as the fight drew them further away from us. I could hear Snape calling me back, but I didn't heed and neither did Lindsay as I was to find out that she was by my side.
"What are you doing?"
"Not letting a friend down." Time to argue was not in play. The werewolf was going after us, but soon went off at the sound of another one calling to him. We follow the wounded Sirius to the edge of a lake. He was passed out when we reached him. I shake him to see if he would wake, he wouldn't.
"Harry." Lindsay whispers harshly to me and I see why as the air becomes older and fowler. The water's top forming ice so quickly. The dementors were here. Sirius woke screaming at the sight the ones that were circling above our heads. One came down to strike at Sirius.
"Expecto Patronum!" The light from my wand expels them for a short while, but it soon fades and they come towards us. The feeling of such sorrow would have taken us. If not for two things, a white stag controlled by my father and a white tiger. That is all I remember as I my eyes close.
I wake in the hospital wing.
"I saw my Dad."
"What?" Hermione asked me.
"He sent the dementors away. He and a tiger. I saw him across the lake."
"It's not a tiger." I look to the bed next time. Sitting on top of it was Lindsay and taking up more than half of the bed was the large cat from before. It was being content with the stroking motions on its forehead and chin that Lindsay was doing.
"Harry, meet Bijou. My pet Japanese Three tailed Demon cat. Little known fact about them. They are perhaps one of the only known creatures to be a threat to dementors. Mostly because they could eat them." Well that is useful.
"Listen. They have captured Sirius. Any minute the dementors are gonna perform the Kiss."
"You mean they are going to kill him?" I jump out of bed and to my feet.
"No, it's worse. Much worse. They're going to suck out his soul." The doors open just then to reveal Professor Dumbledore. Three of us rush to him. "Headmaster, you have got to stop them. They've got the wrong man."
"It's true. Sirius is innocent."
"It's Scabbers you did it." We turn to see Ron on one of the beds his foot has been looked at now.
"Scabbers?" Professor Dumbledore asked
"He's my rat, sir. Well he's not really a rat. He was a rat. He was my Brother Percy's rat. But then they gave him an owl…"
"Ron now is not the time for a detailed history of Scabbers." Lindsay tells him.
"The point is, we know the truth. Please believe us."
"I do, Miss Granger. But I am sorry to say that the word of three thirteen year old wizards will convince a few others. A child's voice, however honest and true is meaningless to those you have forgotten how to listen." The headmaster said as he patted Ron's injured foot causing him to reach for it in pain. He stops and looks out towards something that we cannot see and moves in a mystified state as he speaks again. "Mysterious thing, time. Powerful and when meddled with, dangerous. Sirius Black is in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower."
He turns sharply looking directly at Hermione. "You know the laws, Miss Granger. You must not be seen. And you would do well, I feel, to return before this last chime. If not the consequences are too ghastly to discuss. If you succeed tonight then more than one innocent life may be spared." A chime from the clock goes off. "Three turns should do it, I think." He makes a motion like he was screwing in a tiny light bulb before leaving us in the hospital wing. "Oh and by the way. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin. Good luck." He said smiling as he shut the doors.
"What the bloody hell was that all about?" Ron asked.
"How should I know?" Lindsay told him.
"Sorry, Ron, but seeing as you can't walk." Hermione said. She reached for something that she had pulled out from the collar of her shirt and wrapped the chain around the three of us. I tried to touch it only to have Hermione slap my hand away. No idea what the strange metal object is that was at the end of that chain but Lindsay I had a feeling knew what it was. Her eyes had grown in recognition and she said to Ron to watch Bijou for a while.
"What am I supposed to watch it do attack me?"
"Bijou wouldn't do that. Just pet her head."
"You want me to pet her head?" That was the end of the conversation as a strange occurrence happened to us. Things and objects flew passed us as we remained still. People came in and moved about on warp speed in reverse. Till we came to the end of whatever it was we had just gone through. It was lighter out than it had been earlier, daylight actually.
"What just happened? Where's Ron?"
"7:30." Hermione answered me. "Where were we at 7:30?"
"I don't know. Going to Hagrid's?"
"Come on. And we can't be seen." Hermione said as she gripped my arm and we dashed off out of the hospital wing and towards Hagrid's.
"Hermione, will you please tell me what it is we're doing?" I ask when we stop. I look down to see us?
"Does that answer your question Harry?" Lindsay asked. Then Hermione explains what a time turner does, turns back time and helps Hermione get to her classes on time. Then the warnings came and we had to make sure we weren't seen or caught by anybody or disaster would befall us. We watch as Hermione punches Draco and his crew comes towards us. We hid and then Lindsay goes off in another direction prompting both of us to ask her where she was going. Her answer was to get keep time in check and she would be back soon.
We don't argue with her or grab her because we had other things to do and she was already too far gone for us to grab her. Saving Buckbeak was the first priority of ours; going after Lindsay would have to be the second. Together Hermione and I look from the stack of pumpkins. We look at ourselves within Hagrid's hut and at the sounds of crows we see Professor Dumbledore, Fudge and the executioner coming just as they had done so earlier in the day. We turn our heads back to the scene inside where Scabbers a.k.a Peter Pettigrew was being presented to Ron.
Fury cannot define the way I feel towards that shameless coward. I felt myself ready to charge into action, but am subdued by Hermione.
"Harry you can't go in there."
"That man is the reason my parents are dead."
"I know, but you are in Hagrid's hut right now. If you go bursting in, you'll think you've gone mad. Awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry. We can't be seen." We turn to the sounds of chatter drawing closer and see the three man group has gotten closer.
"Fudge is coming. And we aren't leaving?" It's true we were still in the hut. "Why aren't we leaving?" Hermione then threw a rock through the open window and it breaks the vase. She threw another stone and this one hit me in the head. I mean previous me. I mean the past me. I mean at the time earlier…oh forget. Point is Hermione threw a rock that had hit me in the head in the past.
"That hurt." I said while rubbing the back of my head since the pain was now fresh on my mind.
"Sorry." Then like before we see ourselves exit the hut through the back careful to avoid Fudge. We in turn had to be careful to avoid ourselves. Hidden behind some trees we look at ourselves.
"Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?" Hermione asked triggering herself to look behind. Almost but not caught entirely. I make my move and grab Buckbeak's chain no thanks to some annoying crows. I urge him to come with us but he begins to protest vocally. Hermione got him to move quietly with the aid of some dead ferrets. We were almost caught by the Headmaster and others. Dumbledore distracted them away from us enabling our get away. The execution was no more. What we had seen as the executioner killing Buckbeak was in truth him slicing a pumpkin in two out of losing a job.
We move Buckbeak further into the forest and towards the whomping willow where we had followed Scabbers and Ron. Still Lindsay had not caught up to us yet. We watch us and Professor Snape go in and then we wait.
"Do you think she is coming?" Hermione asked after a few minutes.
"I don't doubt that she isn't. I just can't say when." I said stroking Buckbeak's feathered head.
"Where did she say she was going?" I shrug before answering.
"I can't recall."
"What did I miss?" Blimey the woman can sneak up on you if you're not careful. But her appearance didn't scare us as much as the thing she was standing beside.
"What are you guys freaking out about its only Bijou you met her in the hospital wing."
"You went to get a cat?"
"Not just any cat Hermione. A Japanese three tailed demon cat. Great for keeping dementors at bay, even as a juvenile."
"That thing is the size of a Siberian Tiger and it's still a juvenile?" I admit I felt she was pulling my leg.
"Yes, in a few years she will be an adult and about four to five feet to the shoulder."
"Are you sure that thing is safe to be around?"
"One stop calling her that thing, she is Bijou. Second yes she is safe to be around. Demon cat's dietary habits are mostly things that are already dead or dying. Minus Dementors, trolls and graphorns oh and if seen they will be very aggressive towards manticores. But humans not really, unless provoked extensively to attack. Other than that they make good pets." Bijou rubbed against Lindsay's leg as if to emphasize a point.
"What about hippogriffs?" I ask, seeing Buckbeak walk over. The creatures look at each other as if in a stalemate. Each takes a move and then they circle. Buckbeak comes closer and the two lay down on the ground.
"Buckbeak and Bijou have met already. Bijou had to be moved to a shack like building way over there during the execution because she would stall the execution."
"So that's where you went." She nodded and we went back to waiting. The two creatures were having fun as the bats came out and each was chasing them about. It was at this time I decided to share something with the two girls about what had happened at the lake.
"Before, down by the lake, when I was with Sirius…I did see someone, that someone made the dementors go away."
"With a patronus. I heard Snap telling Dumbledore. According to him only a really powerful wizard could have conjured it." Hermione added.
"Did you get a good look at who it was?" Lindsay asked sitting by my side.
"It was my Dad. It was my Dad who conjured the Patronus."
"Harry, but your dad's…"
"Dead, I know."
"So it was his spirit you saw? Can spirits do magic in the afterlife?" Lindsay asked. I could see Hermione shaking her head at the question asked.
"I'm just telling you what I saw." No one said anything for a while, no one could think of what else there was to say on the matter. Till Hermione spotted our past selves coming out of the hidden doorway under the whomping willow. We saw from the sidelines Sirius and me talking about his inviting me to live with him.
"When we free him, I'll never have to go back to the Dursleys, It'll just be me and him. We could live in the country…someplace you can see the sky. I think he will like that after all those years in Azkaban."
"Sounds like heaven to me." Lindsay said looking out into the sky as if she could see it all right there. The scene turns toward the moon's effects on Professor Lupin and how Sirius protects us from his changed state of mind and form. We run to the other side where I see the stones being thrown at the werewolf. Hermione thinking quickly howls at the moon tricking Lupin into traveling towards it. She didn't think far enough as the werewolf was coming after us forcing us to run. We rush through the trees dodging fallen branches and low hanging limbs. Avoiding the roots that could easily trip one of us. I fall at one point and Lindsay and Hermione bring me back up again. We run faster than before and hide behind a tree. We catch our breath as we listen for the wolf. I can see him. He stops running and sniffs the air. We move around the tree to avoid him catching sight of us. I notice something at this time, Lindsay and I are holding hands.
Inside I scold myself for thinking about something like that at a time where I could be mauled by my werewolf professor. We back up from the tree and turn around to face the light of the moon where the shape of the half man and beast stares at us with piercing hungry eyes. I shield the girls from what would have been the immediate attack.
A roar bounces off the trees along with the sound of flapping wings. Two heroes one of feathers the other of fur come to our aid and drive back the werewolf with talons and claws. In victory the two growl out at the retreating form as if daring him to try coming at them again. They turn to us in order to see if we were alright.
"That was so scary." Hermione said as she buried her head in my chest. Lindsay beckoned to Bijou and the cat came to her in order to receive a hug of thanks. Comfort and relief ended with the wind. For on it were dementors. I knew where they were going, I just hope we make it in time. I would like to see my father again.
Arrival at the lake revealed that my father hadn't come yet, but already we could see the dementors attacking Sirius, Lindsay and me. I shift feeling impatient at the arrival of my father. The dementor's attacks still go on. No sign of my father can be seen and I realize the truth. It wasn't my father who had used the patronus charm against the dementors to save Sirius, Lindsay and me. It was me. I use all that I am to cast the charm and like before it drove them away with the help of the "tiger" Bijou. Who at the end was happily eating one she had caught.
Three of us ride on the back of Buckbeak to free Sirius from his tower prison. Oh the way we learn that Hermione does not like flying as she screamed the whole way. Somehow we manage to get all four of us on to Buckbeak's back and to the ground.
"I'll be forever grateful for this to the three of you." Sirius said. He was amazed at the fact that he was now free.
"I want to go with you."
"One day, perhaps. For some time, my life will be too unpredictable. And besides…" He puts his hands on my shoulders like a father would when telling his son something important. "You're meant to be here."
"But you're innocent."
"And you know it. And for now, that will do. I expect that you're tired of hearing this…but you look so like your father. Except your eyes. You have..":
"My mother's eyes." I finish for him.
"It's cruel that I spent so much time with James and Lily, and you so little. But know this: The ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them…" he places a hand over my heart to show his point.
"In here." He leaves to hoist himself on Buckbeak's back ready to ride both of them to freedom. Buckbeak rears and then dashes off gaining speed to fly off Hogwarts grounds into the sky.
The clock tower bells go off and Hermione reminds us that at this time we must be somewhere else.
Dumbledore is leaving the hospital wing as we come to its doors.
"He's free. We did it."
"Did what? Good night." Dumbledore feigns knowing the truth as he leaves us. We enter the room surprising Ron and Bijou who had a crutch in her mouth.
"How did the three of you get there? I was talking to you there. And now you're there." He pointed to our previous spot and then back to us.
"What's he talking about, Harry?" Hermione asks.
"I don't know. Do you Lindsay?" She shakes her head and shrugs before answering.
"Not a clue. Bijou! That is not a toy!" She goes to get the crutch away from Bijou who bounds off with it around the room.
"Honestly Ron. How can somebody be in two places at once?" he stops to think his face reacting to each thought that goes through his head of scenarios.
"Can someone lend me a hand?" Lindsay asked as Bijou avoided another near grab of her new toy. Icing on the cake for a night like this.
The next day Lindsay was the first to greet me when I came down into Gryffindor Common room.
"Hey." She spoke first.
"Hey." I repeated back.
"How you feeling today?"
"Better than last night, but still sore all over. What about you?"
"Same, but more from trying to get Ron's crutches away from Bijou than the whomping willow incident."
"That was a tough job. " I said leaning against the stone wall. We didn't say much for a short time. Till Lindsay stood up from her chair moving closer to me.
"Harry, sorry that you couldn't go to live with Sirius. I know he was a link to something better than what you have right now, but I want you to know something…" She looked down and began to fidget with her hands.
"What is it?"
"If you ever find that life at home is too tough for you. Just give me a call and I'll come."
"You will get on an airplane if I just call you?"
"The first one to England." She said it with her eyes sincere.
"Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. Well we better start heading towards the Great Hall."
"Let's go then. My stomach is doing salsa dancing from hunger."
"How long were you waiting in the common room? You didn't sleep in there again did you?"
"I haven't done that since I had detention with Professor Snape last year."
"That was a grueling time."
"You said it." We converse like this till we remember someone who we needed to visit. A quick detour to check on Professor Lupin. We climb up the stairs to his office and inside we see that he is packing.
"Hello Harry and Lindsay. I saw the two of you coming." He flicks his wand to close a box. "I've looked worse believe me." He moved back towards more of his books and belongings to organize.
"You've been sacked."
"No. No. I resigned, actually."
"Resigned why?" I ask.
"Do you have to leave?" Lindsay asked.
"Well, it seems that somebody let slip the nature of my condition."
"I bet it was Spoil Sport Snape." Lindsay muttered and Professor Lupin went on.
"This time tomorrow, the owls will start arriving and parents will not want a ah…well, someone like me to teaching their children."
"It's not like you're a danger in class. Just at night during a full moon, which only happens seven days out of a month." Lindsay points out.
"He has already risked enough on my behalf. Besides, people like me are… Well, let's just say that I'm used to it by now." He flicks his wand to pack a trunk and looks back to us.
"Why do the two of you look so miserable?"
"None of it made a difference. Pettigrew escaped." I told him.
"You have leave." Lindsay added.
"Didn't make any difference?"
"Harry, it made all the difference in the world. You uncovered the truth. You saved an innocent man from a terrible fate. It made a great deal of difference." He looks to Lindsay. "And I am trying to wrap my head about how you are upset at my leaving."
"Despite the incident with the boggart, you have been one of the best teachers I have ever had here for Defense against the Dark Arts. You know what you're doing. You make learning engaging. You're tough, but fair when it comes to grading and the fact that you are a werewolf just makes it all the better."
"Because if you can get over a side of you that seems dark, then there's hope for us when you lead the way." Professor Lupin smiles at Lindsay's honesty with affection.
"If I am proud of anything it is how much the two of you have learned this year. Now, since I am no longer your teacher I feel no guilt whatsoever about giving this back to you, Harry." He points to the table and on the table is the Maurader's Map. "So now I'll say goodbye. I'm sure we'll meet again sometime. Until then…mischief managed." The map disappears showing the blank parchment again. Professor Lupin leaves the room and inside both of us we feel a sense of melancholy at his departure.
"There goes a great man." Lindsay said.
"You said it." I agreed.
The two of us continue on our old course towards the Great Hall. The ghosts are out and about chasing in the hunt. We come into the Great Hall where a small group has surrounded a table. It was probably an article on Sirius Black escaping from Hogwarts or something along those lines.
"Stand back, I said! Or I'll take it upstairs if you don't settle." We heard Ron tell the others. Then Seamus and Neville come towards us.
"Harry, where ever did you get it?" Neville asks. He loses interest for a second to take Lindsay's hand. Officially showing everyone their new status. If Sirius knew about them he wouldn't have thought we were dating, unless he thought…
"Can I have a go, Harry? After you, of course." I ask them what they are talking about moving closer to the table with everyone's attention. On the table was a package already open except for the one sheet on top of it. I move it off the object and saw it was a broom. Not just any broom it was a Firebolt. The fastest broom in the world.
"But who sent it?" I ask looking towards everyone.
"No one knows." Ron replies.
"This came with it." Hermione said holding up a grey blue feather. Sirius. He had sent me a new broom, not just any broom but the fastest broom in the world. Quickly we race on out to the courtyard and I take flight into the sky with wind blowing through my hair into my blood.