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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30. More Conversations Overheard

 More Conversations Overheard

David and Susan agreed to have Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays to themselves and for the other days to be used for library and homework. Sunday would be a leisure day, where they would do something nice together.
David knew that he was disobeying the Dark Lord again, but he convinced himself that keeping to his room and avoiding other Hufflepuffs would look suspicious. He just wouldn’t mention Susan to the Dark Lord again.
The gloom following Hufflepuff’s bad luck in losing the quidditch cup to Gryffindor soon passed. David reflected that at least he had played in a real match, more than he could realistically have expected. Now, he was beginning to get excited at the thought of having more free time to follow Harry Potter.
One Wednesday afternoon in June, David and Susan had a most interesting lesson, in which Professor McGonagall had begun to explain the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration.
“These are the basic laws that prevent a witch or wizard from obtaining essential elements for living, from thin air. It’s the thing that stops us from doing whatever we please.” Explained the Professor.
“Can you imagine a world where you never needed to make, build or grow anything? With unlimited power to make gold, food, water, air or life materialize whenever we wanted it, we would be gods.”
The class sighed with disappointment.
“You only need to know that there are five exceptions. We’ll cover them in greater detail next year.”
“Will we be examined on them?” Asked Hermione Grainger.
David looked over at her and saw that her two friends were looking at something together under the desk and not paying attention.
“No, Miss Grainger. Next year, as I told you. We have now covered the full syllabus for this term and from now on, we will be revising topics covered already and going through past exam papers.”
David sighed with relief. They had covered a lot of ground this year and he was glad that there was nothing else new to learn before the exams.
He watched Grainger and Potter, as Professor McGonagall burbled on in the background. Potter was telling the others that he was planning to meet up with Ginny Weasley during lunch, just before his Potions class.
At the mention of ‘Potions’, Hermione Grainger gave Harry a withering glance and muttered something under her breath.
There was a Charms lesson after the morning break and although David didn’t get a chance to overhear Potter and his friends, he decided to take a cheeky trip into Dusty and to spy on Potter and Weasley during lunch.
He told Susan that he wasn’t hungry and then he hurried off to his room. Susan said she’d see him later in the Care of Magical Creatures lesson.
David was annoyed to find that Dusty was missing and didn’t get back for half an hour.
“Where have YOU been? He snapped and the bird cocked his head at him.
“I don’t know what it is that you get out of staying here with me. You don’t do a lot at all do you? And you never seem to want anything from me.”
Dusty chirruped back and flapped his wings, but David could make no sense of it. He lay down on the bed and made the incantation.
Outside, the air was hot and dry. The June sun was high in the sky and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen. David flew high in the air and flipped over and over, so that he could feel the breeze cooling down his feathers.
Without further ado he flew down to the lake, where several students were lolling on the grass or dipping their feet into the cold water. Harry and Ginny were sat under a large willow tree holding hands and looking out over the water.
“…When I’ve finished my Potions homework.” David caught Harry telling her, as he landed in the tree and made his way along the branch above them.
“Yeah, I’ve still got to finish my essay on the Bedazzlement Potion. I just have to get together with Hermione this evening and go over a few points. She’s much better at explaining than Professor Slughorn.” She said.
“She’s going to end up working here as a Professor.” Laughed Harry.
“Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I bet Dumbledore would say ‘yes’ if she asked him. She’s knows more spells than a lot of the Professors here and she was so good at the D.A. meetings.”
“Those were the days, eh?” Harry said.
“Yeah, I really miss us all getting together to fight against Umbridge.” Said Ginny, with a hard look on her face.
Harry nodded and replied.
“I wonder what happened to the old hag?”
“Luna told me that she wants us to start up the meetings again, just as a get-together now and again. Can’t we do it?” She implored.
“I just don’t have the time nowadays.” Harry said.
“What with Snape’s detentions every Saturday and Dumbledore…”
“What IS it you have been doing with him?” She asked.
“You know can’t tell you that.” He smiled.
“It’s something to do with Voldemort isn’t it? Working against him?” She prodded.
“We could get Dumbledore’s Army to fight HIM.” She suggested.
“No way!” Harry choked.
“You don’t understand how dangerous he is.”
Ginny gave him an incredulous look.
“Sorry, I forgot about the Chamber of Secrets.” He grinned sheepishly.
“You know what I mean, though. The whole of Dumbledore’s army stood together side-by-side couldn’t hope to fight against him. He’s that powerful.”
David listened to the conversation with interest and felt a thrill of horror at the easy way in which they spoke the Dark Lord’s name, with complete disregard for him. David wouldn’t dare to do that.
Their talk eventually meandered back to schoolwork and then the summer holidays. David didn’t learn anything new, but had enjoyed this little excursion. He went back to his room and into his own body, while Harry began kissing Ginny gently.
David had the rest of the day off, so he spent it with Susan in the library doing their homework together.
The two of them had done very well over the course of the year. They had both averaged an ‘E’ for their essays and homework. In his muggle schools, David had never done very well at all. He had never had time to settle in one place, before he was moved from one family to another and so to a new school.
Having a friend like Susan had helped him to knuckle down and do the necessary reading and to put in the time writing up his work. Of course, it had seemed strange at first to be using a feather quill, ink and parchment.
When they were done, it was late and dinner was ready in the Great Hall. They hurried back to the Hufflepuff common room and dumped their bags and books on a sofa, then doubled back to the hall to get something to eat.
Susan was keeping her promise to let David have some time to himself at night during the week, so she went over to sit by Hannah Abbot and a few other girls. David sat beside Ernie MacMillan and they talked about quidditch. Ernie told David about his favourite team and how they had been doing that season.
David kept an eye on Harry Potter, waiting for him to leave, because he intended to go out again before it went dark and to spy on the Gryffindors.
Harry was talking to Colin Creavey, while Hermione Grainger was showing something in a book to his brother Dennis. Ron Weasley was laughing and joking with his sister Ginny.
David watched them for a while and something about the scene, the happy smiling faces and the camaraderie made him feel a little warmth inside. They actually looked like quite a friendly bunch.
He knew Colin and Dennis and liked them a lot. They had been good friends to him and they had a few laughs together when they went down to Hogsmeade. Maybe he could have got on okay with Harry Potter and his friends, if things had been different.
He’d spoken to him a few times and he was pleasant enough. More than that, he was polite and almost caring towards David who a newcomer in the school.
What had this boy done that made the Dark Lord so interested in him? He must be special in some way for Dumbledore to need him to fight against Voldemort. Maybe he was just like David himself? Maybe Dumbledore was using Potter to spy on Malfoy, in the same way that the Dark Lord was using him to spy on Potter?
Potter eventually got up and left, along with Ron and Hermione. David mirrored his movement and strolled back to his room. He locked the door and looked over at Dusty, who was sleeping on the back of the chair.
David tickled the bird on his head and he opened one yellow eye and looked back.
“Sorry I was so sharp earlier on, boy.” He said softly.
Dusty blinked and stood up straight, stretching his back and opening out his wings. He then fluffed out his feathers and shook himself. David grinned.
“Fancy one last blast around the castle before bed?” He asked.
Dusty didn’t reply, but looked back at David.
Once more, he was inside Dusty and creeping through the open window. Midges were zipping around in clouds over the lawn and for some reason, David flew into them with an open mouth and swallowed dozens in one gulp.
He realised that although he was in the ‘driving seat’, Dusty was still in there with him and that there was some bird-like desire to feed on the swarm of insects.
With a feeling of nausea, David steered himself upwards and away from the temptation of juicy flies. He wanted to get up to the Gryffindor tower and peer in through the window again.
As he reached his goal, he had sudden rush of adrenaline. Luck was with him. Harry Potter was there, right up against a window and it was open.
The window ledge extended further than the width of the frame, so it was possible for David to perch on it and to be out of sight of anyone inside and looking out. He was more worried about being recognised than anything else he could think of.
What excuse would he have for listening in on the Gryffindors? The quidditch season was over, so that excuse for spying was right out for a start. Luckily for him, nobody inside was looking outside.
The sun was starting to go down and it was beginning to get chilly. The sound of voices coming from within the Gryffindor common room came out loud and clear.
“I want to talk to you, Harry.” Came the voice of Hermione Grainger.
“What about?” Replied Harry Potter, with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
“The so-called Half-Blood Prince.” She continued.
David’s heart beat faster. ‘What on earth is this?’ He asked himself.
Hermione continued to pursue the subject of the Half-Blood Prince with Harry. She mentioned that the Prince had invented ‘Dark’ spells and it sounded to David that Harry Potter had used some of these spells.
There was mention of a book and that Harry had hidden it. Grainger was trying to find out who the author of the book was and Potter wouldn’t tell her. At least, that’s what it sounded like to David.
Grainger left in a huff and Potter stayed, chatting with Ron Weasley.
“She’s just never got over you outperforming her in Potions.” Weasley was saying.
“You don’t think I’m mad, wanting that book back, do you?” Asked Harry.
“Course not…” Ron assured him and told Harry that he owed his life to the Prince.
Then, to David’s utter astonishment, Ron said.
“I’m not saying that spell you used on Malfoy was great…”
David did a double-take and then actually peered in through the corner of the window. Potter was learning Dark magic from Dumbledore, using an illegal book he had hidden somewhere.
The two Gryffindors then talked about Harry’s detention with Professor Snape. It sounded like a horribly boring way to spend your Saturday afternoons.
Suddenly, a young boy came over and handed a small scroll of parchment to Harry. He waited for the boy to disappear, before turning to Ron and exclaiming.
“…Its’ from Dumbledore! He wants me to go to his office as quick as I can!”
“Blimey.” Whispered Ron.
“You don’t reckon… He hasn’t found...?”
“Better go and see, hadn’t I?” Said Harry and jumped up and away.
David got the fright of his life, as Ron Weasley turned and looked out through the window, with his nose pressed right up to the glass. He didn’t look down and see David, though. He was looking out over the lawns towards the dark forest.
When Ron turned away, David slipped down and towards the front entrance. He wanted to wait and see if Dumbledore and Potter would come out.
From somewhere up above, he heard a crash like the breaking of glass and the shriek of a woman. He could also hear raised voices echoing down the staircase inside. ‘What on earth is going on, now?’
It was the voice of Potter and he was shouting at someone. ‘You stay here!’ Or something like that.
There was then a long silence and in the meantime, the sun disappeared and the light of the moon filled the doorway.
Next thing, there was the raised voice of Harry Potter again. This time it was coming from somewhere up above. ‘Potter must be in the Headmaster’s office.’ David thought. ‘He’s shouting about Voldemort now’.
Things went quiet again and David was just about to fly back to his room, when he heard the sound of footsteps approaching from inside. There was the soft swish of a cloak and Albert Dumbledore stepped out of the doorway and onto the front step.
David held his breath, as the Headmaster stood there waiting. Dumbledore looked back into the castle, then turned towards the castle grounds. He held up his hands to the light of the moon and seemed to be examining them.
David noticed, with a creeping horror, that one of them looked dark and shrivelled compared to the other. This was what the Headmaster was obviously contemplating.
Suddenly, there was a sound from out in the darkness and a pair of broomsticks glided down and landed at the foot of the school steps. Two people wrapped up against the cold, stepped off the brooms and hurried up to Dumbledore.
“Ahh, Remus, Bill. So glad you were able to get here so quickly.” Said Dumbledore and shook their hands.
“Nymphadora is already here. Go to the staff room and get yourselves a hot drink. Hot chocolate is the best pick-me-up after a chilly flight. I hope to be back in a couple of hours, with any luck.”
The two strangers thanked him and they made their way inside the castle.
Minutes later, at the sound of someone rushing along the corridor inside, Dumbledore turned as Harry Potter skidded through the doorway.
“I would like you to wear your cloak, please.” He told him.
With that, Harry pulled the invisibility cloak over him and Dumbledore strode down the steps.
David heard Harry asking Dumbledore what people would think about him leaving the school and the Headmaster replying.
“That I am off into Hogsmeade for a drink.” He replied and the sound of conversation between the two disappeared into the gloom.
Full of glee, David went straight back to his room and back into his body. He grabbed the crystal ball from his trunk and jumped onto the bed. He had one thought in mind. To conjure up the Dark Lord and tell him the news.
To David’s astonishment, the Dark Lord appeared almost instantaneously and he had a gleam in his yellow eyes.
“Yes, apprentice? What is your news?”
“It’s Dumbledore, my Lord. He just left the castle with Harry Potter.”
“Excellent!” Said Voldemort, with a look of triumph.
“He’s been teaching Dark magic to Potter. I heard him telling someone else.” David continued.
“There is a secret book that Potter keeps hidden. He used one of the spells on Draco Malfoy and nearly killed him.”
“Malfoy?” Said Voldemort, in surprise.
“I wonder if he suspects? But surely Dumbledore would never allow the Potter boy to…?”
“ Potter’s friend asked him if Dumbledore had found someone. I think they know where you are and they have set out to find you tonight.” Said David, worriedly.
Voldemort’s eyes flashed, but then he laughed grimly.
“Let him find me. I am ready to do battle.”
David flushed with pride at the Dark Lord’s lack of fear.
“All of my enemies will be dealt with, in due course.” Voldemort said.
“Some others turned up just before Dumbledore left.” David remembered.
“I think they were called Remus and Bill… and there is someone else in the castle called Nymphadora, or something.”
“Yes, the half-breed werewolf and other members of the Order of the Phoenix. They will pose no problems for my Death-Eaters.”
“No problems? What do you mean?” Asked David.
“Stay in your room and you will be safe.” Said Voldemort.
“Safe! What’s going to happen?” David exclaimed.
“You have done well, apprentice. You have the thanks of your Master. Ask no more questions. Consider your task fulfilled for now and I will contact you with further instructions in the near future.”
With that, the crystal ball went clear.
“Wait! Wait!” Called David, but there was no more response.

 

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