Hogwarts and the Wolf in the Fold

Voldemort puts a spy into Hogwarts.
Set during the year of the Half-blood Prince.

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11. A Day in Paris

 A Day in Paris

David came back downstairs the next day after spending over an hour luxuriating in the huge marble bath. Its gold taps and feet showed off the opulence of much of the house.
He had lain there reading through the book on familiars. It didn’t really offer much information other than to indicate the forms of animals that they usually took on.
There was nothing to say where they came from, or what reason they had to make a connection to another magical being.
It did turn out, however, that they made very good guides for those who were lost or were trying to find a hidden room. They also were good for spying on people.
This was through possession of the corporeal body of the familiar, using the displaced soul of the wizard. An incantation and a strong will would allow the wizard to inhabit the body of the familiar for a short period. He could then fly, if it was a bird, close to the enemy and be completely ignored as he listened in.
The downside was that his body would be lying wherever he left it, with a vacant look and a dribbling mouth. There was also the chance that he could be captured or killed, as an inert wizard unable to use a wand would find defending himself a bit of a problem.
He was thinking about trying out the incantation when he walked into the front room to find a familiar tall figure waiting there silently.
“My Lord!” He said, and got down on one knee.
Voldemort leered over him and said.
“Get up, apprentice. We have an appointment with a tailor in Paris. It is time to purchase the things that you will need for your task.”
He pulled out a letter from his inner pocket and opened up the parchment inside. There was a large letter ‘H’ on the envelope imprinted into a large red seal.
“You will be spending the next year as a student at Hogwarts. This is a list of the items required for sixth-year studies.”
“Hogwarts?” Wondered David.
“Why should they let me study there? What is wrong with Beauxbatons?”
“Hogwarts is where I need you to be.” He replied.
“I have arranged that you will be studying there as part of an inter-school student exchange.”
David looked surprised, but the idea of going to a wizarding school in Britain sounded very appealing to him.
“We shall disguise ourselves and visit the places where we can buy your robes and potion-making equipment. I have already arranged for a wand-maker to create a new wand for you. Books will have to be bought here in England.”
“Thank you.” Said David and was really pleased about that.
Just then, Voldemort whirled around with his wand pointed directly at the black bird that was watching them from the top of the curtains.
“Does that bird belong to this house?” He asked, relaxing his arm.
“Erm, well actually.. It belongs to me, my lord.” Said David sheepishly.
Voldemort looked at him quizzically.
“I didn’t have you down as a birdwatcher. Where did you get it? Do you use it for mail? If so, with whom do you correspond?”
“Nobody, my lord. I didn’t buy it, it sort of appeared just yesterday. Pinky said it is not a bird, it’s a familiar.”
Voldemort looked at him in amazement.
“You have a familiar?”
His eyes lit up with delight, as an intriguing thought entered his mind.
“It seems that fate has dealt you a lucky hand. A familiar is a rare gift to own. I see now that my choice in you was well made. I think that a wand that incorporates the feather of your familiar in it will be a very powerful weapon for you to use.”
David grinned and looked up at the bird. He didn’t notice the flicker of annoyance that passed over Voldemort’s face as he observed it flying down and around David.
“Time for us to go.” Said Voldemort.
He turned David to face him and tapped him on the top of his head with his wand, as he muttered a complex spell. David felt a strange shivering all over his body and a tingling in his face.
He walked over to the large mirror on the wall over the fireplace and looked into it. His face was that of another boy. He looked vaguely familiar, but David couldn’t put his finger on where he had seen it before.
Voldemort then did the same to himself and David watched as the snake-like face melted and morphed into that of an old man with a long grey beard.
“Whoa, I just love magic!” Said David with glee.
Voldemort gave a weird coughing laugh and ordered David by his side. He grabbed his arm and waved his wand in front of them.
Again, David felt that dizzying crushing sensation of travelling very fast through non-air. This time he was determined to land on his feet, and he just about managed it though he staggered sideways.
They were standing at the end of what looked like a street from the olden days. It was cluttered and dusty and the buildings all seemed to lean out forwards at the top. There were dozens of people wandering up and down the street on either side, peering into shop windows or chatting merrily in the early sunshine.
There was a soft brush against David’s ear as his familiar swooped out from behind him and settled on a wooden trough at the roadside.
Voldemort gestured for David to go into a gaily-dressed shop on the left and cast a dark look at the bird as they entered. The window was full of bottles of various sizes, colours and shapes, each with labels indicating the maker’s name or the contents.
Inside the shop were shelves upon shelves of interesting objects. Cauldrons, stirrers, weighing scales and scoops. In short, everything for the budding potioneer.
Voldemort took a blue spotted handkerchief out of his pocket and held it up in front of his face. He then pretended to cough into it, as he spoke to the witch behind the counter in a whisper.
The witch threw up her hands and said.
“Ahh, oui monsieur! Ici, ici!”
She lifted a bronze-coloured cauldron from the shelf behind her and placed it on the counter. She then hurried into the back and David could hear her rummaging around noisily.
Voldemort turned his head and whispered in David’s ear.
“Translator-chief. The handkerchief that translates what you say into another language. This is English-to-French. An ingenious invention by a couple of blood-traitors with a shop in Diagon Alley called ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes’. Their usefulness outweighs their blood status.. For the time being.”
David was impressed and longed to have a go for himself, but decided not to ask.
After five minutes or so, the witch re-appeared with her arms full of assorted packages and bottles. She dumped them non-too-gently into the cauldron and then headed off into the shop and began accumulating more hardware.
When she was eventually satisfied that the cauldron had everything the old man had asked of her, she waved her wand at an old till standing on the counter. It rattled and dinged, as numbers jumped up and down in the little glass window on the top. It finally came to a stop and the drawer crashed open and a little loose change clattered onto the floor.
Voldemort handed her some coins and the witch counted them carefully, before throwing them into the drawer which slammed shut with a resounding ‘burp’.
David grabbed the cauldron and was ushered out of the shop by Voldemort, who led him further down the street and into a busy clothes shop.  The black bird fluttered happily after them, keeping a keen eye on David but not unduly excited. Inside the shop they browsed the racks and Voldemort chose a couple of sets of plain black robes in David’s size.
“You will be placed into one of the houses at Hogwarts and a plain robe will not be out of place in any of them. I will provide you with money to buy any other smaller items that you require. There is a small town close to the Hogwarts castle called Hogsmeade.”
Voldemort again paid for the items and they hurried outside. The sun was very bright now and the street had become hazy with the rising dust from a passing horse and cart.
“We do not need to linger here more than is necessary.” Said Voldemort.
“Here are two galleons for you to spend on something for yourself. I shall wait here for you. Be no longer than twenty minutes.”
Voldemort dropped two large gold coins into David’s hand and then moved into the shade against a wall.
With a happy heart David ran along the street, pursued by the ever-present familiar. It gave him a sense of security to think that it was now there watching out for him, though he couldn’t think what it might do if there was an emergency.
He checked out a few of the more interesting-looking shops, looking at wands and books and cages full of owls, but only went into two of them.
The first was a smelly shop full of animals and birds in pens and cages. He perused the shelves until he found a packet of pellets with a picture of some birds on it. Guessing that they were some kind of feed, he handed a galleon to the shopkeeper and received three coins of different sizes in return.
The last shop was full of an assortment of sweets, cakes and other sweetmeats. He gave the shopkeeper the remaining galleon and pointed at the assortment of chocolates and candies in front of him.
The shopkeeper took a large box and filled it with one or two of almost everything in the display. David left the shop with a huge grin on his face.
He found Voldemort still lurking in the shadows.
“Had enough fun?” Asked the old man.
“Fantastic.” Said David.
“Good. Now let us return.”
In another rush of air and space, they re-appeared in the front room of the house. Waiting there for them were two people. One was Rodolphus who bowed to Voldemort, even though he was still in the guise of an old man.
The other was a tiny wizened old man, who looked as if he had been recently beaten up. He was cowering and shivering.
David stared at the man, as Voldemort tapped him on the head again and he felt his face and body returning to its usual shape. When the quivering man saw the old man beside David transform himself back into Voldemort, he cried out aloud.
“Silence!” Ordered Voldemort and the man’s eyes opened wide in fear.
David’s familiar swept over the man and he raised an arm to protect himself. Voldemort laughed.
“This is the boy for whom you are required to make a wand.” He said.
“I will leave the choice of wood to your expertise, but the core must be of a feather from that bird.” He indicated the familiar.
“Do it now, Ollivander!”
Rodolphus threw a bag onto the floor at Ollivander’s feet and it rattled as it landed. Ollivander picked up the bag and scuttled to the table, where he opened it to reveal a set of tools and several boxes of wooden sticks.
He beckoned David over without saying a word and took out a tape measure. The measure then leapt onto David and started to run up and down all over his body, stretching open and zipping shut.
Ollivander watched it nervously and then put it away, muttering to himself. He pulled out a wooden stick and gave it to David, who looked at it in confusion.
“Wave it boy, wave it.” He mumbled.
David waved it around and Ollivander seemed satisfied. He then gave David several others of different lengths in turn and asked him to do the same.
Eventually, Ollivander sighed heavily and said.
“Ten inches, flexible, rosewood.”
“Good.” Said Voldemort.
“The feather will be sent to you shortly. But first..”
“Obliviate!”
Voldemort pointed his wand at Ollivander and it emitted a silver stream of light that hit him in the face. Ollivander slumped sideways.
“Take him back, Rodolphus.” Ordered Voldemort.
Rodolphus took hold of Ollivander’s arm and giving David a curt nod, the pair of them disappeared with a ‘crack’.
Voldemort looked at David and said.
“Give me a tail feather from the bird.”
David held out his hand towards the bird and without a sound, it hopped onto his palm. It felt really light.
“Can I have one of your feathers?” He asked it.
He glanced nervously at Voldemort, wondering what he would do if the bird refused. There was no need to worry though. The bird spread its tail wide and after a few tugs, it managed to pull out a handsome shiny black plume.
David took it and handed it to Voldemort, who took it and looked at it closely. As he held it up to the light, it began to fade and then disappeared altogether.
“Where did it go?” Asked David, in surprise.
“It is still here in my hand.” Said Voldemort.
“Very curious. It is invisible.”
Voldemort put the feather in a pocket and turned towards the door.
“Get the house-elf to arrange your things into a suitable travelling trunk and prepare yourself for your journey to Hogwarts next Sunday.”
“I will return then, with your wand and further instructions.”
“Goodbye, my lord.” Called David, as Voldemort disappeared out of the room.
He was alone once again.
“Pinky!” He shouted.
“Bring us both some juice. I’ve got us some chocolates!”

 

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