In the Stairs of Hogwarts

The members of One Direction living their lives in the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the Tri-Wizard tournament coming up, and a creepy new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, how much trouble will these sixth years get in to?

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8. Clues and Secret Meetings

 

A few weeks had gone by and Liam and Andie had loosened up a bit. Niall, Zayn and Harry had been working hard at setting up their DA schedule. Louis had been busy drilling the Slytherin quidditch team and working out for the tournament. After the tough loss to Louis’s team, Liam had also been working the Gryffindor team until they couldn’t move anymore. The next matches would be tough for sure. 

 

The friends walked to lunch after sleeping in on this cold and rainy Sunday.

 

“So tell everyone you trust or know shows an interest about the first meeting tonight in the room of requirement. It will start at 7 and should be over around 8. We have to swear everyone to secrecy, so Zayn put together a few spells that will make sure everyone keeps their mouths shut. We decided to focus on patronuses for the first lesson. That way everyone can help teach the newbies. Sound good?” Niall was talking at a mile a minute but everyone kept up. 

 

“Okay, I know we have about ten people alone from the Ravenclaw house that are interested. How many do you all have? I want to get a good idea of what we should expect.” Zayn was nervous and excited for his teaching debut.

 

“Well, Andie and I know of about.... 12 people in our house that hate Erikson and want to learn so they love the idea.” Liam was silently tallying all the people he had talked to. 

 

“Cindy and I are sure of about 8 people from Slytherin.” Harry counted up on his fingers.

 

“And Niall and I know of about 9 from Hufflepuff. So thats about 40 people. Wow. We really have a society starting up.” Jessie was so proud of her boyfriend.

 

“So tell everyone and we’ll all meet up again at seven.” Niall said the final words of the conversation and everyone went back to their own tables.

 

Andie and Liam had just taken their seats at the table when Dumbledore approached them.

 

“Sir, did we do something wrong?” Liam’s hands got all clammy and he got nervous.

 

“Not at all, Mr. Payne. I just came over to deliver your clue for the first task of the tournament. I wish you both the best of luck. I can’t imagine how hard this must be, the three of you being so close.” Dumbledore handed them each a fairly large bright blue box decorated with yellow and white stars and a large full moon on the top. 

 

“No! Don’t open it! We should each do it alone or with the groups we agreed on.” Andie stopped Liam before his curiosity got the best of him. Before they knew it, Louis had run up behind them.

 

“I think now would be a good time to meet up with our little groups. I’ll take my group to Ed’s hut to discuss the clue. Andie, you can go to the Library, and Liam you can stay here. It’s open all day for study. See you all later at DA!” Louis ran off to go get Harry and Eleanor and depart for Ed’s hut. 

 

“Good luck, Li.” Andie got up and pecked her boyfriend on the forehead. Cindy, Jessie and Perrie knew what was happening so they met her in the middle of the hall and they walked to the library together.

 

Zayn and Niall sat across from Liam at the Gryffindor table and they all sat silently staring at the starry box.

 

~

 

“I can’t take it anymore! Just open it!” Harry was so intrigued by the box. He wanted to see what was inside it so bad. 

 

Louis and Harry were sitting staring at the box while Eleanor was talking to Ed. 

 

“I love him, Ed and I support everything he does, but this is throwing me through a loop. I can’t sleep or eat.” Eleanor was sipping her tea, choking back tears. Ed patted her back and sat next to the fire with her.

 

“Well, I’m not allowed to help Louis, but they never said anything about helping his loved ones. I know there isn’t much I can say to help how you feel, but there are a few things I know for sure. I know he loves you, even though he isn’t paying too much attention to your relationship right now, but he has a lot on his plate. Men are stupid, so of course he isn’t going to show it, but he is scared. Trust me. I know all of you kids better than you know yourselves. Eleanor, the best advise I can give you is to help him all you can and trust that Dumbledore wouldn’t have allowed this if he didn’t think Louis, Liam, and Andie were 100 percent capable.” Ed was now standing to pour Eleanor another cup of tea.

 

“Wow, Ed. You really do know exactly what to say. I guess I should go help those two idiots now.” She walked over to the table where the boys were still arguing over whether or not to open the box.

 

~

 

"Andie, I really think we should just open it." Perrie really wanted Andie to win the tournament. She was all about girl empowerment. 

 

"Yeah, Andie I do think you're being a little too confident." Jessie was getting impatient. 

 

"I just think I have the best team to work with and that we should give the boys a head start. That's all. But I guess it has been a half an hour. I guess we could maybe take a peak inside..." Andie started to lift the top off of the nocturnal looking box. 

 

~

 

"How are we suppose to read this?!" Zayn looked at the inside of the box. There was a feint lining of words that looked as though they glowed in the dark. 

 

"Maybe we just have to wait until it's dark out. In the mean time, let's try to figure out how to open this other box." Liam really wanted to win this challenge. 

 

When Liam initially opened the box, all they saw was a small brown chest with a charm holding the lock on. 

 

"The usual charms aren't working on it. I'm going to have to go get my charms book and look farther into it." Niall was trying every unlocking charm he knew, and he was the best out of the three of them at it. Nothing was working. 

 

"I wonder how the girls are doing." Liam said this with a hint of intimidation. Beneath the concern for her well-being, Liam was still considering Andie as a real competitor in this tournament. 

 

~

 

"Dammit! Ed, can't you just give us the correct charm to unlock this stupid thing?" Louis was about ready to start pounding the chest with a rock. 

 

"Louis, take a deep breath and just think. Maybe it's so simple that we are looking right past the answer. As for the writing, we will just have to wait until later." Eleanor patted Louis's back and got up to fix him a cup of tea. 

 

"The first challenge probably has to do with astronomy." Harry stated. 

 

"Really, Harry? You think so? You're so smart." Louis was filled with sarcasm and rolled his eyes. 

 

"Hey, I'm just trying to help."

 

"Well, you're doing a great job, Captain Obvious." Louis laughed and punched Harry's arm. Harry winced and rubbed the spot where a bruise was sure to come in later on. 

 

"Maybe you lot should take a break and head up to dinner. Your heads could use some clearing. Besides, after dinner you can take the box outside and see what it says on the inside." Ed instructed the puzzled group and they gathered their belongings and headed back up to the dining hall. Louis grabbed Eleanor but the hand and kissed her. 

 

"Thanks for all your help and support. I couldn't do this without you." Eleanor blushed as her boyfriend gave her the compliment. Harry spotted Cindy, Andie, Jessie, and Perrie coming out of the library and ran to meet his girlfriend after a long day apart. 

 

"It feels like I haven't seen you in forever!" Harry took Cindy's face in his hand and kissed her as though it had been weeks since they last saw each other. 

 

"Jeez, Harry. I only had her for a couple of hours. It's not like I had her locked in my secret dungeon for months." Andie played around with the affection couple and Harry stuck his tongue out at her as she made a mocking face. 

 

"Behave you two. I don't need to break up a fight today, do I?" Liam approached the group and stood beside Andie. As he scolded Harry and her, he put his hand on Andie's head and messed with her hair in a playful way. 

 

"Hey! Quit it! It will take me months to get these knots out!" Andie laughed and slapped Liam's hand off of her golden curls. 

 

"How did you lot make out with the clue?" Louis asked the question in the direction of the group of girls. It was obvious that Liam's group was also curious because all side conversations stopped and turned attention to Perrie who began to speak. 

 

"Well, I reckon we got farther than you boys did. Since Andie here is so good at charms, and Jessie is so good at potions, we got the chest unlocked before we even noticed there were words on the inside of the box." The girls all had proud looks on their faces and high-fived as to show superiority. 

 

"You needed Jessie's potions skills?! Well bloody hell." Louis shushed Harry before he could let everyone know how behind they were. 

 

"Luckily, we have Eleanor for potions. We were just about to unlock it before we came up for dinner." Louis lied. Eleanor shot Louis a disapproving look.

 

"Well, I'll be honest, we haven't gotten a budge out of the lock, but we aren't discouraged. We'll focus on the words tonight and work on the chest sometime this week." Liam wasn't about to lie to his friends about his groups efforts. But Zayn and Niall didn't seem disappointed by Liam's honesty either. 

 

"Yeah, and lets be honest, if the words are difficult to interpret, Liam has me to help. So we'll get that in no time." Zayn boasted and fist bumped Niall and Liam. 

 

The groups decided when after dinner they would reassemble and went to their tables for dinner. 

 

"So you guys really needed a potion to unlock the chest?" Harry was talking in a hushed voice so Louis didn't know he was showing their weakness. 

 

"Yeah we did. And Jessie thinks the words aren't glow in the dark. She is working on another potion to make them appear." Cindy told Harry in confidence because she knew he wouldn't use it against them. 

 

"I support Louis and everything, but it sounds like you girls know exactly what you're doing. I'm worried he won't be as prepared as Andie."

 

"Wow, curly. Tell me how you really feel. Showing weakness in your alliance already?! How scandalous!" Cindy laughed as they approached the Slytherin table. 

 

"Oh be quiet. Besides, I hate working on a different team than you. I didn't get to see you all day. And this is just the first task. It's going to get worse." Harry sat so close to Cindy at the table that he was practically on top of her. "But, at least we have the DA meeting to look forward to later."

 

"Oh yeah! I almost forgot about that! I'm excited to see my boyfriend command the room and teach." Cindy have Harry a cheeky smile and kissed him. He blushed and then puffed out his chest. 

 

"Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal." Harry and Cindy laughed and Cindy laid her head on his shoulder as he took a sip of pumpkin juice. 

 

~

 

"So, are you nervous about teaching tonight?" Jessie was almost as excited as Niall for the first DA meeting. She loved how intense he got whenever he talked about it. 

 

"Not really. Tonight, we are teaching how to create a patronus, so we are all already comfortable with them. All of our friends can help teach today's lesson. I'm more nervous for when we get into spells and charms to use in defensive battles." Although Niall was talking with a mouth half full of food, Jessie caught every word. 

 

"Oh okay. I can help with that. Also, is your group really struggling with the chest?" Jessie showed concern for Liam's group because, to her knowledge, the were the farthest behind. 

 

"Yeah. We spent a good hour trying to figure it out but it just wouldn't budge. Liam remained surprisingly calm. Zayn, on the other hand, was getting extremely frustrated. He was surprised he couldn't open it. Being Mr. Perfect and all." Niall laughed at the recollection of the situation. 

 

"Well, I'm sure Andie wouldn't mind me helping you out considering its Liam. So if you want, I can give you the potion that dissolves the lock." 

 

"Really!? Wow! You're the best girlfriend a guy could ask for." Niall kissed Jessie passionately and gave her a bear hug then turned back to his meal. Jessie laughed lovingly at her boyfriend's adorable appetite. 

 

~

 

After dinner, there was no point in the group meeting up because they would all see each other at 7 in the room of requirement. They all went to their common rooms to collect the people who would join them in the secret DA meetings and traveled in small groups, as to go unnoticed. Once everyone was accounted for, Harry, who was guarding the door, entered the room and called for silence.

 

"Alright, you lot. Listen up because there are a couple of things we need to go over before we start learning. Zayn, go ahead." Harry barked authoritatively. 

 

"First, you all know each other so there is really no need for introduction, but for clarification, these lessons will be taught by Harry, Niall, and myself. We will have occasional help from these people," he pointed to Liam, Louis, Andie, Cindy, Jessie, and Perrie standing to the side, "but for the most part you will be answering to us. Any questions on that? No? Great. Next, obviously these meetings are completely against the rules. However, we are taking every precaution to make sure we aren't caught. This means we will be asking you to sign these pieces of parchment that Niall is handing out in order to bind you to secrecy about these meetings if anyone were to question you about them. Questions?" A few hands shot up, but Zayn, Harry, and Niall already knew what they were going to ask.

 

"Wait, before you ask your questions, the contract is binding you to secrecy using a few spells. The first of which causing your mouth to be sealed shut if any key words are mentioned in an interrogation if it were to happen. The second is that if you are to rat us out or tell anyone who can't be trusted about these meetings, we will know who said it because it will literally be branded on your forehead by a tattoo-like ink. Now, that being said, anyone still have a question?" Niall looked around the room to be sure no one questioned his last statement. He watched as everyone silently signed their parchment and handed them to Harry. He gave Zayn and Harry a nod. "Then lets start."

 

Harry started the meeting by explaining exactly what they were going to teach, when to use it, and how it will help. He then gave the floor to Niall who clearly demonstrated exactly how to conjure a clear patronus. Everyone in the room was in awe at Niall's flawless duck who was gliding through the air. Zayn then told everyone to stand up and start trying "expecto patronum" themselves. The entire group walked around and helped whoever needed it because Ed had spent a weekend working on this with them all last year. Each couple had a patronus they could both conjure up at anytime that was the same animal. Andie went over to help her fellow Gryffindor, Colleen, and her beautiful turtle burst out of the end of her wand. When Perrie went to help a Ravenclaw friend, her and Zayn's magical snake appeared and she guided her friend until a snowy white owl came out of the end of her wand. The look of joy and triumph on everyone's faces as they got their patronus to appear was so satisfying to all of the friends. After an hour of conjuring animals, the room slowly cleared and left the friends to split up into their groups to work and figure more out the clues.    
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