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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12. Ready for Hogwarts

 Ready for Hogwarts

The days seemed to drag slowly for David, waiting hopefully for Sunday when he would finally get a wand of his own.
The thought of going to a new place to live and meeting new kids didn’t bother him one bit. He was used to big homes filled with kids of all ages. It was just a case of settling in and avoiding the troublemakers. There were always plenty of those. This time, though, he had no reason to be scared. He could duel anyone, anytime.
He spent the days exercising and practicing his moves and stances. He wasn’t getting so tired after all the efforts now. Pinky kept him in tip-top condition, with a healthy diet of freshly prepared food and fruit shakes. The elf-chef never failed to please David’s tastebuds.
On Saturday afternoon, he was sat watching his familiar, as it preened itself in the warm light coming in through the window. The thought suddenly struck him that it didn’t have a name.
Pinky was busy dusting around the top of the picture rail. She had a large pink feathery duster and was coughing squeakily as clouds of dust billowed around her.
She was also balanced on top a set of rickety ladders that swayed from side to side as she reached out with the duster. David’s heart was in his mouth as he saw her almost topple completely over, but at the last second shifted her weight and righted the ladders.
“What do you think, Pinky?” He asked.
“Do you know any good names for a familiar?”
Pinky stopped her work and put the end of the duster in her mouth and sucked it, deep in thought.
“Hmm. Pinky does not know any names of familiars. Perhaps Master knows a good name for a black bird?” She suggested.
“Apart from Blackie or Sooty, I can’t think of anything.” He said blankly.
“Do you think it’s a boy or a girl bird?” He asked.
She looked at him with a grin.
“Does Master care if it is a boy or girl? Does he think that a girl bird will not be as good as a boy bird?”
“Don’t be silly, Pinky.” He said.
“I think girls are every bit as good as boys. You’re a girl aren’t you? And you’re okay.”
Pinky giggled and fluffed her duster in front of her, pretending to use it as a fan.
“Pinky is certainly a girl, but Pinky is a girl ELF.”
“Really?” Said David laughing.
“I would never have guessed.”
She coughed and spluttered as she inhaled a cloud of dust shaken loose by her heaving chest.
David laughed heartily and managed to splutter.
“You’re all dusty, hehe.”
“Yes, dusty.” Pinky agreed.
Then David had it, the name for his familiar.
“Of course! I’ll call him Dusty.” He said happily.
“Or HER.” Pinky chimed in.
“Yeah, I think Dusty will do for either.” Said David.
So, Dusty it was.
David tried to wind Pinky up by asking her to come and observe as he officially named the familiar.
He took the borrowed wand of Rodolphus and pretended to use it as a sword to ‘knight’ the familiar as it stood and looked at him in what passed for disbelief in a bird’s face.
“I dub thee Sir Dusty.” He said jokingly.
“From now on, you will answer to the name of Dusty.”
Pinky gave him a look that plainly said ‘I think you are crazy’. Dusty gave a solemn ‘caw’ in return.
“I think this calls for a celebration.” Said David.
“Pinky agrees.” She said with a sudden leap of excitement.
“It is Master’s last night here and Pinky thinks that she will not see him again when he leaves tomorrow.”
“Ohh.” Said David.
“I never thought about that. We can still keep in touch can’t we?
“Pinky would like that.” She said, with a huge smile on her face.
“Tonight, I will ask chef to make food for a party. We can even open a bottle of elf champagne.”
“Why don’t you ask all the other house-elves to come too?” He asked.
“Then it really will be a party.”
“Master wants to have a party with we elves?” She asked in amazement.
“Of course. You weren’t thinking that I was going to have a party all on my own? Now that WOULD be crazy.”
Pinky clapped her hands with glee.
“We can come to Master’s party, but we must have it downstairs in the kitchens. It would be an insult to the family for a house-elf to have a party in the main house while the family is away?”
“That’s a pity.” Said David.
“’Cause that is usually the best time to have a party, hehe.”
She ‘tutted’ at him and waved her duster as if she was a teacher scolding a naughty schoolboy.
“Master apprentice is a very naughty boy to joke with Pinky like that.” She said, but grinned anyway and shot off to make preparations.
David pottered about in the front room until Pinky came to take him downstairs. She was wearing her usual sack-like shirt, but had pinned a huge sunflower to the front. It made her chin glow with a strange yellow tinge.
She put her arm through the crook of his and led him through the side door and to the end of a short corridor. Another door there opened onto the top of a flight of stairs. Dusty shadowed them along the way.
They descended together and at the bottom Pinky asked David to close his eyes. She then led him carefully onwards and through an opening into a bright room that smelled of newly baked cakes.
“Master can open his eyes now.” She said.
David did so and was amazed to see all four elves standing side by side underneath a banner made out of a bed sheet. In large red letters the banner read ‘Good Luck at Hogwarts’.
The elves were a motley crew, but David couldn’t have been happier. They all stared at him expectantly.
“Thank you, Pinky. Thanks Igor, Ralf. Thank you so much Scooter.” Said David, as he took in the whole scene and saw the massive piles of sandwiches, pies and cakes on the table.
“Music!” Squeaked Pinky and she went over to an old radio set on the mantelpiece and gave it a whack with her hand.
A jaunty little tune rattled out of the radio set and it filled the room with foot-tapping music.
David took hold of Pinky’s hands and started to dance around the room with her. Ralf and Igor clapped and cheered them on, as Scooter picked up a huge green bottle and shook it until the cork popped out and flew across the room.
With a loud ‘clang’, it bounced off a frying pan and nearly decapitated Dusty who had settled on top of the radio.
Scooter filled five wineglasses and they all ‘clinked’ them together in a toast to David. After downing them in one go and re-filling them, the elves began to relax and enjoy themselves.
The other elves were all eager to talk to David and to hear about his training sessions with their Master. They were interested in Dusty and what David planned to do with it.
David was equally interested in talking to the elves and finding out about each of them and who their families were and what sorts of things they liked to do.
They talked and laughed together until late, enjoying the food and finishing the bottle of champagne. This in particular seemed to have a highly stimulating effect on the elves. Pinky was soon dancing upon the tabletop and kicking cakes here, there and everywhere.
David laughed until he cried and the evening ended up with the elves teaching David a little song that seemed to amuse them more than anything. It was in a language he had never heard before, but he guessed that it was Transylvanian rather than Elf.
When he got into his bed later on, he reflected that maybe being a house-elf wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
 David woke the next morning with a few butterflies in his stomach. He was going to Hogwarts. He usually wasn’t too bothered about moving to a new home, he’d done it so many times before. But this was something different. This time he actually WANTED to go.
He had never really been to a wizarding school before, but the memories he had of Beauxbatons were so strong that he truly believed that he had spent five years there.
And yet at the same time he knew that he had never been there and he had spent those five years at other schools, non-magical schools where the lessons were dull and boring.
He lay there thinking about the situation and trying to resolve the conflict in his mind, but it was impossible. He would just have to put the real memories to one side and immerse himself fully in this new world of magic.
After all, there was nothing of any worth in his past life that he wanted to hang on to. He didn’t have any real friends there. There were boys who he had liked and been sad to leave behind, but when this had happened several times it became less painful.
With a strangely heavy heart he got up and took a quick bath. Pinky had laid out his freshly laundered clothes on the bed and they were his usual jeans and sweatshirt, not the new wizard’s robes.
He had been wearing robes ever since he arrived at the mansion. Pinky had told him that he needed to get used to wearing them, so he had spent all his time in them. He had almost forgotten what it was like to wear normal muggle clothes.
He looked at the travelling trunk that Pinky had provided for him. It had belonged to Rodolphus and was the same one that the young Lestrange had used as a student at Hogwarts. Inside it were David’s robes, the potion-making equipment and the books taken from the table downstairs.
Everything he owned was packed away and there was very little of it. When he thought about it, he realised that in all the past years he hadn’t actually acquired many possessions at all.
His old clothes were still at the home of the Pryce’s. His bicycle, the few books he had kept, that were given to him when he was first learning to read.
Then for the first time in weeks he wondered what had happened when the Pryce’s hadn’t returned home from their holiday and what had the hospital done when they had found David’s bed empty?
Did they think that David had run away again and was now lost somewhere in France? That thought amused him a little and he imagined the doctors searching high and low for him.
He went down and had a delicious breakfast, courtesy of Scooter. All his favourites were there, fat golden fried eggs and thick crispy bacon, along with a couple of juicy pork sausages.
He felt much better after that and as he was sipping the last of his glass of fruit juice, he heard a familiar ‘crack’ from just outside the room.
Voldemort entered and without a word of welcome he swept over to David and held out his hand. David took it and quickly kneeling he touched it with his forehead, then stood up.
Voldemort looked carefully into David’s eyes and said.
“You are now ready to go to Hogwarts. You will be accepted as a visiting student for at least one year there, possibly two if it is needed.”
He then paused for a second and David nodded.
“I want you to find out everything you can about the headmaster and other Professors at the school. I want to know what their personal feelings are towards muggles and muggle-rule. Do not ask them directly because this would arouse their suspicions. Remember, you will be amongst enemies and you can trust nobody, not even the other children with whom you will be living. Many of them have parents who are working towards our destruction.”
David nodded again to show his understanding.
“You have a whole year to obtain the information, so do not rush into the task and ruin it before you have gained anything of value. Even the most trivial of remarks by one of them may provide me with something useful.”
Voldemort then hardened his look and continued.
“There is also another student there who is of great interest to me and I wish you to find out all you can about him. His name is Harry Potter.”
David raised his eyebrows. Had he heard that name before?
Voldemort continued.
“Find out about his likes and dislikes, who his friends are and what they also like to do. Do not speak to them directly unless it is unavoidable, but use their other friends and Gryffindor housemates to find out more.”
“What is Gryffindor?” Asked David.
“It is one of the four school houses at Hogwarts. There are four.” Replied Voldemort.
“You must be careful not to ask too many questions as people will already be suspicious of you, coming from the rival school of Beauxbatons.”
“I understand.” Said David.
“I will listen rather than ask.”
“Good.” Said Voldemort with a malicious smile.
“You have intelligence. I think that this task suits you very well.”
“My contact at Beauxbatons arranged the student exchange months ago. Hogwarts have been told that your name is Davide Bertillon. That is the only name that you need to remember.”
Voldemort reached into his robes and took out two packages. One was long and thin, the other a cube about six inches across each edge. He handed them both to David who took them with interest.
He opened the first package to find inside a brand new wand. It was a dark reddish-brown colour and tapered from the handle end, which was carved into the shape of a bird’s head and beak. It shone even in the low light of the room.
David held it and flicked it towards the fireplace. The fire lit up immediately and roared with huge flames climbing the chimney. He turned to Voldemort and grinned.
“Your wand is powerful. Keep it safe and use it well.” Said Voldemort.
David put the wand onto the table, meaning to open the second package.
“Never leave your wand where another can take it. Keep it with you at all times.” Voldemort added and handed it back to David.
David tucked the wand into his jeans underneath his sweatshirt and Voldemort nodded approvingly.
“This is a crystal ball that has been modified by myself.” Said Voldemort as David opened the wrapping on the second package.
“It is the method by which we will communicate throughout the year. Simply tap it with your wand and I will know that you wish to talk. It has been charmed to only react to your own wand.”
David looked at the crystal orb and it twinkled merrily in the light from the flames of the fire. He held it up and the face of Lord Voldemort appeared within it, reflected upside-down from where he stood.
“Do not use it in front of any other person and do not contact me unless you have something of real importance to convey to me. Otherwise it can still be used to practice divination, if you study that subject. I will not need to contact you.”
David put the packaging to one side, but as he did so he noticed that the orb had been cushioned inside the wrapping using a square of white cloth. Stitched on one corner of it were the initials “WWW”.
It was the handkerchief that Voldemort had used to translate his speech into French when they had visited Paris. He pulled it out of the wrapping and held it up. Voldemort recognised it and noted the fact.
“Keep that, you may find it useful. It is unlikely that anyone in Hogwarts will want to talk to you in French. Insist on speaking English unless there is no alternative.”
“Now, it is time for you to be on your way. You will be taking the school train to Hogwarts. Here is the ticket.”
Voldemort reached into his robes again and pulled out the envelope from Hogwarts that David had seen before. He took out a ticket and handed it to David. It read ‘LONDON to HOGWARTS, for ONE WAY travel.’ And in large letters ‘Platform 9 3/4’.
“I have arranged for a portkey, that is a way of travelling over long distances, to transport you directly to the station. The train leaves at 11:00am and it is already 10:30am in London.”
“London?” Said David.
Voldemort pointed his wand and an empty soda can appeared on the small table near the door.
“When this glows you must grab hold of it and keep hold of your trunk at the same time.”
Voldemort waved his wand again and David heard something bumping around upstairs above him. In a few seconds his trunk glided through the door, floating through the air and landed by the can.
Voldemort then held out, as if from nowhere a large bag of coins.
“Take this money and buy yourself the books and other things you will need for the coming year.”
David took the heavy bag and put it into the trunk, along with the crystal ball. He looked at Voldemort and with an intense thrill of expectation he waited by the can.
It began to glow with an eerie green colour and as he raised his hand to take hold of it, he took one last look around the room. He just had time to notice Pinky peering at him from around the corner of the fireplace. She looked a little sad, but also terrified.
The last thing David saw, as he grabbed hold of the can was a flurry of wings and Dusty landing on his shoulder. Voldemort’s face was inscrutable.

 

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