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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25. More Mysteries

More Mysteries

David enjoyed his Care of Magical Creatures lessons more than any others. It always niggled him that he wanted a pet of his own but had never been allowed by any of the foster parents he had lived with.
Dusty was not the kind of pet that he had imagined owning. He looked after himself and David hardly had to do anything for him. There was a small bowl of water that was left on the bedside cabinet, but Dusty rarely drank from it, much preferring the fresh water from puddles outside.
He was also a very clean and shiny bird, so David couldn’t even give him a brush. The nice thing about him was that he was always there and interested in what David was doing, whether it be practicing spells on the objects in his bedroom or just doing his homework.
Dusty would hop onto the table where David was working and peck playfully at the quill that David was using.
At times, David would sit and watch Dusty preening himself and wonder what was going through the mind of the strange creature. Why did it choose to attach itself to him? What did it get from this relationship? And did it really mind when David entered its body and risked its life by flying around willy-nilly?
David stroked Dusty’s dark grey beak. It felt warm.
The rest of the month passed quickly at Hogwarts and David continued with his apparition lessons and even began to get the hang of it. He still hadn’t managed his first leap into the practice hoop, even after four lessons. Susan had not managed to do it either.
She hadn’t been too traumatised by her earlier splinching, though she admitted to being very nervous at her next attempt. She knew that she wasn’t being determined enough to apparate successfully.
It was a sign of their friendship that she was able to tell David about her fears and that he encouraged her to focus on the task and ignore any of her past failures.
“At least you’re managing to keep all of your legs on nowadays.” Laughed David during one of their lessons.
Susan got her revenge by casting a quick ‘swapping’ hex on David’s shoes and he spent the rest of the lesson and most of the day wondering why his feet were hurting. His right and left shoes were each on the wrong foot.
Susan let David know during the evening meal and everyone on the Hufflepuff table was in stitches.
“Never tangle with a Hufflepuff witch.” Grinned Biggins and he ruffled David’s hair.
David banged his head on the table and laughed along with the others. The fat friar ghost shook his head and guffawed.
“I hope you are enjoying your time here at Hogwarts, young sir.” Said the portly ghost to David.
David looked at him in surprise. He had never had a conversation with a ghost before and was unsure what he could say that would not be offensive.
“Yes, thank you. How long have you been a ghost here?” He asked.
“Ohh too long, you know. Almost four hundred years now.”
“Four hundred years!” Exclaimed David.
He couldn’t imagine anyone being so old.
“I used to haunt an old priory on the West coast of Scotland, after my death. I choked to death on a bone from a particularly delicious roast chicken. It was a real shame because there was rhubarb crumble for afterwards.”
David goggled at the fat friar and listened to the story.
“Then I heard that a vacancy had come up here at the school and I applied for it. I had been a Hufflepuff student myself during my time here at Hogwarts.”
“What happened to the ghost whose job you took over?” Asked David.
“Well.” Said the fat friar and puffed himself up.
“The mad highlander who was ghost of Hufflepuff house before me got an offer to haunt one of the royal residences. He couldn’t turn it down, so I’ve been performing the duties here ever since.”
David smiled and said.
“Cool. You’re a really impressive ghost. The best I’ve ever met.”
The fat friar beamed appreciatively and then floated off to chat with some of the younger students at the far end of the table.
At that moment a large brown owl swooped down over David and dropped a small parcel into his lap. David jumped in shock and looked down to find that it was addressed to him.
Susan was busy talking now with Hannah Abbott and Ernie MacMillan, so David quietly got up and headed back to his room. Once there he leapt onto the bed and cut the strings to open up the parcel.
The brown wrapping paper came off to reveal another layer underneath. This was an old newspaper and David unfolded it carefully. Inside was a card with a picture of a quidditch team flying and passing a quaffle between themselves.
A memory told David that the team was from the French league and that they had been Davide’s favourite. They were ‘Les Invincibles de Lyon’.
Along with the card was a small wooden box. David opened the card up first and read the contents. Once again it was written in French.

Hey there Daffers.
Happy Birthday from your old friend.
I know it’s a little early, but I saw this gift and knew you would love it.
How are things going there? I’m still waiting for a good long letter from you.
Tell me, what are the girls like at Hogwarts? Have you got your eye on anyone cute yet?
Have a great time. We’ll soon get back together in the summer.
Best wishes from Jonkers.
Allez Les Invincibles!!!

David smiled and picked up the box. It rattled when he shook it. He undid the brass clasp and opened it up. Inside was a silver badge in the shape of a shield, with black and yellow enamel letters on it. They were the initials of the quidditch team, ‘LIL’.
‘Cool!’ Thought David and immediately he pinned it on the front of his school robes.
“What do you think, Dusty?” He called over to the raven.
Dusty ‘caw-ed’ back appreciatively. He liked shiny objects and the badge shone in the light from the lamps in the room.
David lay back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. He had forgotten that Davide’s birthday was on the first of March. He got up on one arm and looked at the newspaper on which he had dropped the wooden box.
With a thrill of horror, David saw a photograph of his foster-parents, the two Beaneys. It was accompanied with a headline that read.
‘British couple found dead – son missing’
The photograph had been taken by David during their visit to France, before the car accident. It was a muggle picture and the occupants were motionless.
The story under the headline told of hospital staff finding the bodies of the Beaneys along with a doctor and nurse. They showed no signs of injury, but they were all dead. The foster-son of the couple was missing from his bed and police were working on the assumption that he had been taken by someone.
There was an ongoing murder inquiry into the deaths and disappearance, but at the moment there were no clues or motive available.
David’s blood ran cold. Voldemort had killed William and Sarah, out in the corridor while he himself lay in the hospital bed. The flash of green light must have been made by a spell being cast. The ‘killing’ curse, avada kedavra.
There could be no denying now that the Dark Lord was a dangerous man and David was now scared that he might become angry if he did not receive more information about Dumbledore and Potter.
What he gotten himself into? He had taken the gifts from Voldemort without question and offered his services in return. Typical of him to jump in feet-first without thinking of the consequences.
These were the thoughts running through his head, but he was powerless to do anything about the situation at the moment.
‘The Dark Lord could have killed me at any time but he didn’t, so he must like me.’ He told himself.
It was easier to hang onto this thought rather than any other and so David fell asleep and had a rather restless night filled with dark dreams.
When he awoke in the morning, his first action was to place the newspaper in his water basin and cast a curse on it that caused it to burst into flames. He didn’t want any evidence left behind for anyone to see.
He brushed his teeth and washed away the ashes of the newspaper, then as he went down for breakfast he wondered to himself if the story had made the papers here in Britain. If a picture of the ‘missing’ David were published, then he would be found out as being an impostor straight away.
He ate his breakfast in silence and cast a few nervous glances up at the staff table where Dumbledore was tucking into a bowl of porridge.
Susan noticed the change in David’s mood and she snuggled up to him.
“You’re not mad at me are you, for the other night?” She asked.
“Course not. Just a little homesick, that’s all.” He lied.
She tickled the back of his head and he gave in to her charms and began to laugh.
“What do you fancy doing today?” She asked.
“Well, I was thinking about doing a little bit of self-defence practice. I haven’t done it for a while now.” Said David.
“Cool, we can find somewhere quiet to do it together and see if we can teach each other anything.” Said Susan and jumped up, pulling David after her.
They made their way back to the Hufflepuff common room and David went to collect his stinging snitch.
Susan couldn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t practice in the room of requirement, where Dumbledore’s Army had done so the previous year. So she led David up the staircases to the seventh floor corridor.
When they got there they found a young girl waiting near to the place where the hidden door would appear for users to enter the room. As they approached she dropped a set of scales that she was holding and bolted out of sight around the corner. The scales made a loud clanging noise that echoed from one end to the other.
Grinning at each other they set the scales upright on the floor and looked at the empty wall.
“This is where the hidden room is.” Explained Susan.
“We have to walk up and down and think about finding a place to practice in. The door should appear after a few goes.”
“Ahh.” Exclaimed David.
“That explains what he was doing.” He said and then added quickly.
“I mean, that’s what we’re doing.”
He had remembered seeing Malfoy pacing up and down here and the door had appeared before him.
They did as Susan had said, but after several tries nothing was happening.
“That’s funny.” She said.
“It used to appear almost straight away last year. I wonder if it was sealed by that Umbridge woman after she caught us all coming out of there?”
David didn’t know what she meant, but it was obvious that the door wasn’t going to appear in a hurry. He was almost going to mention that he had seen Malfoy using the door recently, but then remembered that he shouldn’t mention it to anyone.
“Let’s just find an empty classroom instead.” He suggested and Susan agreed.
They went down a couple of levels and tried a few doors until one opened for them. It was a small room, but there weren’t many desks in it. With a flick of her wand and a cry of ‘Motum!’’, Susan got the desks to arrange themselves around the edge of the classroom.
David explained the use of the stinging snitch to Susan and she stood to one side as he demonstrated for her. He was a little rusty at first and got a couple of hexes on the body before he began to settle down and move more fluidly.
Susan had laughed when David had yelped at being stung, but then began to ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahh’ as he spun and rolled to avoid being hit.
“Fantastic!” She cried, as David cart-wheeled through the air and hit the snitch with a stunning spell that sent it reeling against the wall.
David grinned and walked over to her, breathing heavily with the efforts he had made.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” She coo-ed at him.
“Is that what they teach you at Beauxbatons?”
“It takes a lot of practice.” He replied.
Susan had a go herself and got stung several times before David said.
“Let’s give the snitch a miss for the time being and just practice against each other.”
They stood facing each other at a distance of six or seven metres and began to hurl simple hexes at each other. David could avoid Susan’s spells quite easily using his quick movements, but Susan preferred to use shield charms to avoid being hit.
“Wow, you know how to use some pretty awesome shield charms.” He told her.
“Trying to hit you is like trying to hit a jumping jack.” She said.
They then spent the rest of the afternoon showing each other the spells and defensive movements that they had learned. The partnership was perfect. David showed Susan how to avoid oncoming jinxes – they seemed to move more slowly through the air than hexes and curses. Susan taught David three new charms to deflect or counteract most spells.
That evening they were both ravenous and ate third helpings of dinner, chatting about how the training had gone that day. They agreed to continue the training each weekend, as both an exercise and for them to have more time alone with each other.
The following day, the school was alive with the news that Harry Potter’s friend, Ron Weasley, had been taken to the hospital wing after being poisoned by Professor Slughorn in his room.
Everyone was talking about it, but no-one knew the real story. David thought about maybe paying a visit to the hospital room where Ron Weasley was staying, to see if he could find out anything for himself.
He was taking a risk by flying at night in Dusty, but he believed that he would be safe if he stayed close to the castle walls. So, he left Susan and the other Hufflepuffs in the common room and told them that he needed an early night. Susan humphed a little, but she gave him a peck on the cheek and said she’d see him in the morning.
Dusty stood at the end of the bed, as David lay down and chanted the incantation inside his head. Once he had made the transition into Dusty, he slipped outside through the open window.
It was just after eight and getting a little cold. There were plenty of windows throwing out fingers of yellow light and it was easy for David to find his way along the side of the building and to locate the hospital wing.
The lights were on, but the curtains were all closed. David flitted along from window ledge to window ledge until he found a crack through which he could see inside. There was only one occupied bed and it was across the room from where he was watching.
Ron Weasley was lying in the bed, seemingly asleep and gathered around the bedside were Potter, Grainger, Ginny Weasley and Hagrid. There was also a pair of almost identical looking young men with flaming red hair. There was no way to hear what was being said, but it was obvious that they were all distressed at seeing Ron.
He wasn’t dead. There was no way that Madam Pomfrey would allow people to come and look at a dead body, so David assumed that Ron was just asleep or unconscious.
David watched, intrigued by the friendship that there must have been between the three friends and then he wondered who might come and visit him if he were ever that ill himself.
Before too long, a group of other people arrived and since they were adults that David had never seen before, he guessed correctly that they were Ron’s parents.
Meanwhile, the others had left the room and headed out into the corridor, leaving the family alone with Ron.
David flew sideways and caught up with the group who had stopped and were still talking together. Up against the window David clearly heard Harry Potter shout ‘Hagrid, why is Dumbledore angry with Snape’.
He held his breath and tried to keep as silent as possible and catch anything else that might be said. But, Hagrid had ‘shushed’ Harry and the group started to move on. They were still talking animatedly, but David couldn’t catch a word of it.
He was fluttering and almost banging against the corridor windows and he realised that he might be heard or seen himself.
Annoyed at his bad luck and cursing the thickness of the glass in the windows, David’s last view of the group was to see them bump into the school caretaker. Feeling that his luck might run out soon, he soared back down to his room and re-entered his own body.
‘So’, thought David. ‘Dumbledore is angry with Professor Snape, the Potions Master. I wonder what that could be about?’
These last few Days had been very interesting for David and things continued in much the same way during the week.
The Care of Magical Creatures lessons had been very boring for several weeks and Hagrid had set them the task of looking after a fire salamander. They had each been given a salamander egg that Hagrid had been keeping in the fireplace in his hut.
A large bonfire had then been lit at the edge of the forest and they had placed their eggs in it, but towards the outside where they could turn them over and over with long sticks.
The fire had been going for three whole weeks before the eggs had hatched and a group of little lizards had crawled out. These were now about six inches in length and were scurrying here and there in the bonfire. Nobody had a clue as to which was their own salamander because they all looked more or less the same, with bright yellow and orange camouflage.
David had noticed that Hagrid had begun each lesson with them, but then when everyone was busy with the task he had sneaked off into the forest. Each time he had returned looking very upset and had dismissed the class, so David was eager to find out where Hagrid was going and what he was up to.
His plan was to feign illness again and to take the day off and stay in his room. At least, his body would stay in his room while his mind took a flight inside Dusty again.
This he did and while his classmates took their Care of Magical Creatures lesson, David flew out of his room and into the bright sunlight of a Spring day.
Taking care to look out for potential flying dangers, he settled himself up in the treetops above the class and watched as the students grabbed their sticks and began poking around in the bonfire below.
The rising smoke and dust from the fire began to irritate his lungs and he was glad when he saw Hagrid stomping off into the forest.
Keeping an eye out as best he could, he flitted silently between the branches of the trees. He tried to keep as high as possible, but not to lose sight of Hagrid in the gloom of the dense foliage.
The trees seemed to grow higher and higher, the further they went into the forest, but he found it to be no problem. Hagrid was so intent on where he was going that he paid no attention to anything above him.
David didn’t find it strange that there seemed to be few other birds around, he was just glad that nothing was trying to attack him again. He couldn’t get the thought of the huge flying creature out of his mind.
After fifteen minutes or so, Hagrid stopped at the foot of a small mound and David perched in a position to watch what was happening.
To his utter amazement the mound moved and then stood up to reveal a giant-sized man twice as big as Hagrid, who was a very tall person himself. He could just about hear Hagrid talking to the thing and he watched as he handed over a package.
It turned out to be food and drink of some sort. The giant took the package, opened it and then began eating the contents. When he had finished he patted Hagrid on the head and they gave each other a hug, before Hagrid moved off further into the gloom.
David followed as best he could, but his way was becoming blocked here and there by large spider’s webs.
Eventually, Hagrid stopped at the entrance to a large cave at the centre of a basin in the ground. He called out and after a minute, a massive hairy black beast crawled slowly out of the entrance. It was a spider the size of a minibus.
David held back a cry of terror and disgust and stared in horror as Hagrid began to converse with the creature. He even went up to it and stroked one of its long legs.
The feathers on the back of David’s neck were raised in a thrill of fear at this strange scene. Then a sudden creaking noise behind him made him look around and he saw a fat spider dropping down onto the branch behind him.
Without a moment’s thought, David hurled himself backwards from the branch and then flew directly upwards towards the light of day. He had seen enough and just wanted to get back to the safety of his room.
What on earth did Hagrid think he was doing with a creature like that? David had a sudden horrible thought that this was going to be one of the next creatures to be studied in their lessons. With a shiver, he hurried back into his own body.
He thought that he seen just about everything at Hogwarts, apart from the centaur that he knew taught some lessons there, but this was something else.
Would the Dark Lord be interested in something like this though? David would tell him anyway, just in case it was something again that the Dark Lord could use to his advantage.
But first he had to dig up some more information about Dumbledore and Harry Potter.

 

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