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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10. Sounds Familiar

Sounds Familiar

When David went back into the front room he found it empty. He wanted to call for Pinky in the way that Rodolphus did, but felt that it would be rather cheeky.
He decided to wait for her to return later with his dinner. He settled down in an armchair with one of his books and read again about the dark arts. Rodolphus hadn’t mentioned any spells or jinxes that were not used because they were considered to be ‘dark’ or uncontrollable.
He got as far as reading about the four unforgivable curses when Pinky finally made her appearance. The aroma of his dinner was delicious and he was in two minds about whether to talk to her or just tuck into the meal.
“Pinky, one of the gardeners said something to me earlier and he looked pretty worked up about it, but I have no idea what he was talking about.”
“Perhaps Pinky can helps Master?” She said.
“Well, he kept pointing at the house and saying there was something familiar about it.” David tried to explain.
Pinky creased her forehead and twitched her nose.
“What did he says?” She asked.
“He said something like ‘your familiar is wanting something’, and he kept pointing at the house.”
Pinky suddenly looked surprised, as if the penny had finally dropped.
“Was there anybody Master could see near the house?”
“No, nobody. I think Rodolphus had already left by then.”
“Was there any animals that Master could see?”
“No, just an old bird near the fountain. It must have thought I was going to give it some cake crumbs.”
Pinky gasped and blinked.
“Master apprentice has a familiar!”
“What? What is it with this ‘familiar’ thing? What do you mean?”
David was getting exasperated and even more confused.
Pinky looked at him earnestly and said.
“When a wizard or witch is getting their magical powers, they sometimes attracts a spirit to them which is called a ‘familiar’. It is very rare, but very useful too.”
“Is it dangerous?” Asked David?
“No, not at all dangerous.” Said Pinky.
“The familiar can understand the wizard and will do anything that he is asking it. It can sometimes be very magical too.”
David was completely thrown by this discovery. Of all the strange things that had happened to him recently, this seemed to be the oddest of all.
“Are you sure about this?” He asked.
“I think it was just an old bird, nothing special. It wasn’t doing anything in particular.”
“If Ralf and Igor says they could see it, then it must be true Master. You see, we elves sees the spirit, not the animal. So we knows that it is a real familiar.”
She sounded excited now and very credible in David’s opinion.
“We can go outside and take a look if Master would like.” She said.
“If Master invites it into the house, then it can come inside and stay with him.”
David was a bit dubious about that, but the thought of his own personal ‘familiar’ sounded quite interesting.
He left his dinner, for the time being, and they headed out of the door once again.
Out in the garden it was starting to get a little dark. There was a slight mist over the lawns and the sound of a pheasant crying somewhere in the woods.
Almost immediately, as he and Pinky stepped onto the paved area outside, a small dark shadow dropped from the roof and landed in front of them.
There, lit by the light streaming from one of the long windows, was the black bird. It chirruped and looked up at David.
Pinky clapped her hands and jumped up and down, hardly able to contain her excitement.
“It IS a familiar! Oh, Master! You is very lucky.”
David wasn’t sure what to do next? How can you make friends with a bird?
“Master must greet the familiar and invite it into his home.” She said.
He looked at her and then putting all doubts to one side, with an embarrassed cough he said.
“Hello, bird. Err I mean ‘familiar’. It’s very nice to meet you. My name is David, please come inside.”
The bird sprang straight through his legs and flew right inside the house and into the front room. David looked pleased with himself and he looked around at Pinky.
She, however, stared back at him in complete terror.
David’s heart leapt.
“What is it? What have I done!” he cried.
“M-mmm Master said his own name!” Wailed Pinky.
“What?” Said David, his heart slowing back down from a humming-bird rate to that of someone who’s just run a race.
“Blimey, Pinky! Can you stop trying to give me heart failure. I thought it was something to do with the familiar coming inside.”
Pinky blanched and looked at him fearfully.
“The Dark Lord told Pinky that she must not ask Master any questions about who he is or where he come from.”
“Don’t worry, Pinky.” He said.
“I think it’s okay to tell you that. You’re not a witch. I’m sorry if I upset you. I won’t tell anyone that you know. In fact, I’m glad that you know. After all, you ARE my friend.”
Pinky relaxed a little on hearing this, but David still felt guilty that he had forgotten to hold his tongue in all the excitement.
They hurried back inside and into the front room, where the bird was now flying around one of the chandeliers. As soon as it saw David, it banked down and landed on the back of the armchair nearest to the fire.
David went over to take a closer look at it. There didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary. It was just a common or garden rook or something.
“What form does Master’s familiar take?” Asked Pinky, who must have guessed what David was thinking.
“It’s a black bird.” He said.
Pinky watched the familiar hopping around. She was fascinated by it, even more so than David seemed to be.
“It will be a ‘raven’.” She said. That is a common type of familiar for young wizards.
“Cool.” Said David.
“All I need to do now is to work out what I can do with it.”
“Do I have to feed it and look after it? I’ve never had a pet before.”
Pinky gave her usual giggle and remarked.
“A familiar is not a pet, Master. It is a free spirit who will stay with you while it is in this world.”
“It will look after itself, but I think it will eat if you feeds it.”
David grinned and took another close look at it. It stood still and looked back at him nonchalantly.
“Pinky thinks that Master Rodolphus has a book on familiars in the library. She will get it for you, Master.”
She toddled off and David sat back down in the chair, then remembered that his dinner was still on the table and it was getting cold.
He took off the cover and the air was filled with the smell of roast beef. Without further ado, he began to tuck in. Only occasionally did he take a look behind him to check if the bird was still there.
It was certainly going to take some getting used to, having your own personal shadow in the form of a small bird. What on earth was he going to use it for?
Pinky was gone for quite a while. By the time she had returned, David had finished his dinner and was thinking about going up to bed.
The book that she brought was small, slim and looked quite new. David had a quick flick through it, then put it in his pocket and announced to Pinky that he was tired and needed to sleep. He could read it in the morning, now that there were no more lessons.
He looked over at the bird and asked it.
“Are you staying here? I won’t be sneaking off anywhere without you.”
The bird cawed loudly and flew to the top of the curtains. David took that as a sign that it was happy to stay downstairs.

 

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