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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5. Sorcery and Secrets

 Sorcery and Secrets

Pinky was as good as her word and just after dawn the next morning David was woken by the sound of curtains being drawn. He had fallen asleep on top of the bed covers where he had been watching the comings and goings of the people in the paintings on the wall.
“Master must wash and change his clothes. Pinky has found some robes that will fit him.”
Pinky then draped some strange clothes over the edge of the bed and waited for David to say something.
“Thank you, Pinky. Do I have time for a quick bath?” He asked.
“Of course, Master. Pinky has run a bath next door and she will put out the breakfast when she hears him coming downstairs.”
She hurried out of the room and David laughed at the strange situation that he has found himself in. It was like being in an all-expenses paid hotel and he intended to make the most of it while it lasted, seeing that being brought to new homes had always turned out so badly in the past.
He took the robes through to the bathroom and after undressing jumped into the deep warm water in the bath. He relaxed for a short while then after remembering the waiting breakfast he washed and dried off as quickly as he could.
The robes felt very heavy and his first impression when he looked into a full-length looking glass was that he looked like someone going to a fancy-dress party.
But he shrugged his shoulders, winked at himself and went downstairs.
 Breakfast was as good as any he ever had before. Pinky had provided eggs, bacon, mushrooms, and fried tomatoes, along with a rack of hot toast and a steaming pot of freshly brewed tea. There was also a jug of squeezed orange juice with the orangey bits still floating around in it.
David ate as much as he could and it was hard to leave anything on his plate as it all tasted so delicious. But after he was full to bursting he finally stood up and went to take another look through the windows and at the forest.
Pinky cleaned up the breakfast things and then returned and stood behind him.
“Does Master need anything more at the moment?” She asked.
“No, thank you Pinky. I think I should make a start on reading through the books that the Dark Lord left for me.”
Pinky curtsied and left, telling David that lunch would be ready when the clock on the mantelpiece told him so.
David thought about what she had said and took a quick peek at the clock in question. It looked like a normal wooden clock with a white face and gold surround, but with a golden gong perched on the top.
“Dinner-gong, I suppose.” David thought to himself.
He took one of the books from the table and after testing each of the armchairs and the sofa in turn he found the most comfortable one and dragged it over by the window where he could see better to read.
“The Standard Book of Spells, eh?” He thought. And without further ado he opened the book and began to read and then try to remember the spells one-by-one.
It was an interesting task, to discover the sorts of feats that could be accomplished with just a few magic words. After an hour or so, though, it became a bit wearisome. He couldn’t actually perform the spells. He had tried saying them in varying degrees of accent and power, but without the wand to accompany the words it was obvious that nothing would happen.
“What I need is a wand.” He thought to himself.
“I wonder where Pinky is? I need someone to test me on the spells I’ve memorised.”
There was nothing for it at the moment but to carry on with the learning and to hope that the spells would actually work when he had the wand to work with.
It didn’t seem much longer when the clock on the mantelpiece gave an almighty ‘clang!’ to indicate that lunch might be about to be served. Pinky duly came in with the silver salver and laid it on the table.
As she removed the lid and began to set out the cutlery David came and stood by her to watch.
She took great care in setting out everything as neatly as she could and occasionally turned her head to look at David and then quickly flushed and carried on.
“Aren’t you having any lunch?” Asked David, as he noticed there was only one plate.
“Pinky is not allowed to eat with the Masters, sir.” She said.
“I is eating always downstairs in the scullery.”
“But what if I wanted you to eat with me, to keep me company? Is that allowed?”
Pinky opened her eyes wide and stared in disbelief at David. It was his turn to blush this time. He hadn’t meant to upset her.
She blinked and twisted her hands and seemed to think about the question for a moment.
“If Master orders Pinky to eat with him then she must do as he says, but Pinky has never eaten with wizards before. They does not think that Pinky should do such a thing. The Dark Lord would be very angry if he found Pinky eating with Master apprentice.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone if you do eat with me. It’s just a bit lonely sitting here on my own. Please, I want to ask you some more questions about wizards and stuff.”
Pinky seemed to be caught in two minds about it, but then said “Pinky will sit with Master while he eats his lunch and will answer his questions, but is too scared to eat with him.”
“Then I won’t order you to do it.” He said.
Pinky grinned widely and ran to get a footstool from by the fire, then came and sat at his side. She gazed up at him and smiled, her eyes gleaming.
“Can you tell me more about wizards and house-elves and the people whose house this is?”
Pinky took a great breath and then told him about wizards in seclusion around the world and how they keep their communities secret from the bigger muggle populations. How they are governed by laws of secrecy and system that rules the way that they can behave.
She also told him about the role of house-elves in their society and how they prefer to be in service to wizards. How they can perform their own kinds of magic, but without the need for wands.
She also told him about the way that wizards are usually brought up at home until they are eleven years old, and then are sent off to school and be trained in the magical arts.
She was a practical mine of information about the hidden world that David had never knew existed.
He was shocked to find that there other breeds of magical creatures that also lived and were found here and there, including giants and dragons. It seemed that a lot of the so-called mythological creatures he had read about in books were real and as dangerous as the stories told.
They talked long into the afternoon and Pinky was as excited to talk about the world of magic as David was to hear of it.
He was disappointed to find that he needed to visit a wand-maker to find a wand that would work best for him. He was also worried about how he could possibly catch up with the five years’ worth of magical education that he had missed.
“Pinky is sure that Master apprentice will learn quickly.” She re-assured him. David was eager to practice what he had learned so far.
The following days were taken up in much the same way, with David having his meals at the table with Pinky and she telling him more and more stories.
He continued to read and memorise the contents, and Pinky helped him by testing him on what he could remember from the previous day.
After five days, David had read the whole of the first spellbook and was pretty good at reciting the incantations and miming the wand movements. Pinky helped out by pretending that the spell had been cast correctly, and she took great delight in fainting, throwing herself backwards, or puffing out her cheeks and going cross-eyed at David’s use of the stinging hex.
“If Master chooses to learn from the potion book next, then Pinky can provide ingredients and a cauldron for him to use.” She said.
David was surprised and happy to hear this. At last there was something practical that he could do. He asked Pinky to get him what she thought he would need and meanwhile he thumbed through the potion-making book to find something suitably noisy or smelly to brew.
He was keen to get started on something, but not so stupid as to think about making any kind of poison or anything so dangerous.
He settled on a potion to cause laughter in the drinker. This didn’t look to be too difficult or dangerous. Only four ingredients, and just thirty minutes to brew.
Pinky brought in a small copper cauldron and a burner to set it upon. Inside the cauldron were a set of scales and an assortment of packets and bottles. She unpacked the contents and assembled them on a small card-table.
“Has Master used a cauldron before?” She asked.
“I’ve never so much as boiled an egg before, Pinky.” He laughed.
“But I’ll give it a go anyway.”
“Master must be careful not to set fire to the curtains” she grinned.
David laughed again and then looked around at the curtains. He decided to shift the table nearer to the fireplace, just in case.
He carefully measured out the exact amounts of each ingredient. Two flat silver teaspoons of essence of whortleberry, one puffskein brain. The brain looked more like a peanut than anything else, and David wondered what on earth a puffskein was.
Six drops of tincture of myrrh and one leaf of a whomping willow tree. Each was added in order, to a gill of boiling water and after a couple of minutes the brain was heard to pop. This turned the concoction into a bright red colour.
The whole cauldron was left to simmer for the allotted time and at this point the liquid turned instantly dark red. David took the cauldron off the heat and left it on the fire hearth to cool.
 Throughout the whole process Pinky had watched David, fascinated by his eagerness and what looked like a pretty good ability.
“Shall Pinky test the potion for Master now?” She asked.
“Oh no, I think I’d better be the first one to try it.” He replied.
“I don’t want anything horrible to happen to you.”
“But we doesn’t know if it is safe to drink yet. I is only a house-elf, it does not matter if Pinky gets poisoned by Master.” She said, quite unashamedly.
“What? No way, Pinky. You’re my friend, I’ll try it first.”
Pinky flushed with pride and filled a small glass with the red liquid.
David  took the glass and raised it to his lips.
“Here goes nothing.” He said and downed the potion in one gulp.
He creased his forehead at first, but then smacked his lips. After a few seconds his mouth twitched, then his shoulders shuddered, and the next thing he was laughing uncontrollably.
Pinky stared with round eyes at David as he held onto her arm and tried to speak. Tears were streaming from his eyes as he hiccuped and filled the glass again.
“Try some.” He managed to gasp.
“It tastes okay.” He chuckled and gave it to her.
Pinky sipped at the glass, and after a moment took a bigger gulp. Within seconds her ears began to jiggle up and down. This made David point and roar with laughter.
Pinky too began to laugh with a high-pitched squeaking noise. She appeared at first to be surprised by the sound she was making and the more she tried to stop herself, the louder she became.
Soon the pair of them were holding on to each other, helpless in gales of laughter and with tears flowing.
David had never enjoyed himself so much in his whole life. This magic stuff was getting better and better.
Suddenly without warning David saw Pinky’s crinkled up face turn to a mask of horror as she looked at something she had suddenly seen behind him. She pulled away and ran out of the room still giggling, but with a terrible shrieking sound added.
David turned around to find the figure of Lord Voldemort standing behind him.

 

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