- Game 10 re-cap -
Rachel wakes up and doesn’t remember anything but going to bed – the snit complains about her slippers being muddy. Her wand is missing.
We find the stream to follow out of the welcoming forest and follow it quietly for 20 minutes. After this time we begin to doubt that it is the correct stream. We conclude that we are most likely parallel to the stream we thought we were on. The stream is meandering through and we check our direction often while moving a quietly as possible.
Cordelia hears a twig snapping ahead of us. Rodney hears it again a few minutes later. Sneaking ahead we hear the water making more noise. This ends up being a 15 foot drop on into a larger stream going perpendicular to where we wish. Rachel has troubles remembering details of even what we have told her and continually asking where she is.
Seeing a light ahead we discover a glowing flower that Rodney remembers a bio-luminescence plant. It is potted in a terracotta pot sitting on a tree stump. There is a path of these that we decide to follow. As we follow the pots become more frequent and become a well worn / well tended path. As the path climbs a hill away from the stream we pass a pile of brush that had been cleared. When the path levels we come to a plateau with two red tents set up.
We take a back pack as the owners return and we overhear one say “I am not responsible for them getting away” and “I will not be the one to tell Arch-e-alder-ton” -(dumb name) We use the sound of them looking for the backpack to cover our escape – that and the sound of the rain. We decide to climb the hill instead of circling back to the river. At another plateau there is a wooden frame with a roof. It has flower pots, bags of fertilizer, and several casks. There is a strong smell for devil’s snare seed emanating from the casks. We scatter the seed across the plateau to be disruptive.
On continuing we find the “Circle of Inner Wood” there is a bridge leading to an island in the grotto. The streams led to this grotto instead of the lake – curses! In crossing the bridge we discover a strange little island with a ring of ancient Oak trees that are swarmed by devil’s snare. There is a smaller circle of potted plants. In this is a circular door with an iron ring. When Burke opens it – Rachel bravely goes in. In the barrow is a woman with rough skin who warns us we cannot go past her. She then passes out.
We hear a male voice from the tunnel – a red haired man appears and asks who we are. AT this point we all try and hit him with a spell – they all fail. He then uses a memory charm. Next thing we know all of us are contemplating the lady on the ground. Tale and Cordelia remember hearing a voice, so we explore the tunnel. The tunnel is a portal to a subway tunnel in London. We return and now assume that the grabbers are making it rain to let the Devil’s vine choke the lady protecting the portal. This gives them free access to the forest and the ability to kid nap students to steal their magic. After this discovery we tromp through the forest and arrive at the castle.
We come up with a brilliant plan to avoid blame/credit for solving the plot issues. We spill plot onto the pages of a found journal. Dimes flies out to meet us. While something is odd about him we cannot place it. He does not believe the “grabber” plot. In fact, he dismisses the whole idea as unbelievable.
We are escorted back and interrogated by Snape, Sinestro, and Dimes. Burke sticks to the story. We are chastised by them to not talk about grabbers. When they are pointed to the planted message – Snape’s eyes alight on Burke. The adults huddle and whisper amongst themselves. We are all given large detention as punishment for going in the forbidden forest. We are also each given 10 points for Slytherin. We are told this afternoon teachers and magical enforcers will go the circle of inner wood and investigate it. The teachers consider our offer of better detention for the spreading of certain “truths”. Rodney is assigned the sweeping and mopping of Snape’s lab and the dungeon. Tale organizes and labels Sinestro’s supplies. Carobelle is assigned to help Professor Quirel with organizing and understanding muggle studies. Alaster is assigned to serve as equipment organizer/manager/grounds keeper to all quiddich teams. Cordelia is assigned to maintain the astronomy equipment.
While cleaning the lab, Peeves arrives to help Rod with cleaning. Rodney uses the spell from his brother’s book and drives him off.
While Cordelia is cleaning the astronomy equipment, Professor Sinestro strikes up a conversation talking about her father. He was killed by muggles after they saw him performing magic. She said that she knew her father and that he would not want her to hate muggles because of it.
While on the quiddich pitch, Burke is cleaning up when approached by some older Slytherin students. Mika Akimbo approaches Alaster and talks to him about “the family business”. Alaster tells her he is going to inherent his seat.
While organizing herbs, Tale’s Uncle Martin visits Sinestro and meets with Tale too. Tale discusses her “project” and she says she got a “good haul”. While dropping eaves, Tale overhears them talking of weather magic.
While counting and organizing muggle studies “equipment”, Carobelle is left to it by herself. While pretending to work, Edwin (the butler) and Theodore (brother) find her there. Her brother is being given a tour and she is being collected early to be privately tutored for the private finals.
The exams are super easy – for those who take them…nothing compared to the forest.
December 02, 2012 00:00
- Game 10 re-cap -
May 13, 2012 18:36
It’s still Sunday and we are still downstairs on the other side of the door from Rick. Rodney jiggles that handle and looks for magical symbols, etc. He sees some decorative etching that looks like snakes. Cordelia is nervous about the door and advises that Rick cannot see a door. Carobelle came up with a genius idea to try to turn the door to glass so we could see through it. Rodney takes a stab at it and we watch the texture of the wood door turn smooth and the color drains a bit, though the glass is still tinted brown.
The other side of the door appears to be another room. It doesn’t appear to be water. We are confused. Rodney wants to open the door and tries, but it doesn’t work. Alastor tries. And still fails.
We decide to go check out the other tunnel and use transfiguration spells to “cut” our way through the vegetation growing throughout the tunnels. We approach a spiral staircase that goes both up & down. We can see that the up path was bricked off. We recall from our History of Magic class that Hogwarts has been remodeled several times, there was a time in history when all the founders left the school within a similar period of time, Salazar left first. At that time it was said that the school was renovated/remodeled/etc at that time and these bricks are reminiscent of that time.
We go down many stairs and encounter a bunch of debris outside a door. It looks like it could be a bunch of bones that are decomposing. There is a doorway with a similar handle. Rodney unlocks the door and Alastor opens the door. On the other side there is a tunnel that appears to continue on for some time. But there is something strange with the floor. It appears to be a rusted metal grate that has just enough metal to walk on. Tale drops a rock down the grate and hears the sound of breaking glass. We walk across the metal grate one at a time and there is a stone door with runes on it. Carobelle has this crazy notion that the blood of a true-blood would open the door, she barrows Rodney’s silver knife and cuts herself a little bit. She rubs it on the door and then the rune starts to glow a bit. Tale screams!
Carobelle decides to give herself a decent cut to try to open the door but only covers about 1/20th of the door. We decide after some time that we cannot get enough blood to get the whole door.
We go back to Rick’s door. Rodney tries again to unlock it and is able to. We open the door and enter the space… it does not immediately flood the tunnel. We walk in and find a pool of water that appears to be very deep.
We decide that it’s time to head back up to the main castle. We sneak back up through the hallways and find our way to a window where we realize it is quite dark outside. We were gone for a long time.
Rodney & Alastor sneak off to the kitchens to see if they can get some food for all of us. It appears to be eerily quiet. Rodney talks to some of the house elves in the kitchen. They have apparently seen the house elf ghost and are very freaked out. They say that “House Elves are not becoming ghosts.” They find out that Sally’s ghost elf is named Midge.
Cordelia & Tale escort Carobelle to see Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing. Along the route we encounter Joshua Blitzen, a young Gryffindor, who has a cut on his neck. We carry him to the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey seems to believe Carobelle’s story of her potions knife falling out of her bag and promises to keep her secret, as poor Carobelle wouldn’t want it known that she had such a klutzy accident. Cordelia assists Madam Pomfrey in creating a healing potion paying special attention to each ingredient. Meanwhile Tale starts meandering around looking for items of interest. She pockets a handful of Mint Humbugs.
During breakfast the next morning a letter is delivered to Tale by owl from her Uncle Martin. She quickly grabs a roll from the breakfast tables and runs off to the Owlry to write him back immediately.
Carobelle continues to brainstorm ways to get her hands on a store of blood. Rodney thinks it’s better to ask Snape for information on Salazar Slytherin thinking this will help us get past the door. Snape sends Rodney to Professor Sinestra for a book.
Rodney gets a note from Joshua Blitzen asking for help later that night because he thinks he is being followed. All except Tale decide to meet him. Tale sneaks off to try to locate the hellebore herb for her uncle. She notices that the field that was formerly filled with it has been harvested. But with her keen eye for observation and knowledge of Herbology she is able to locate some more nearby. She harvests and bundles some and leaves a little note that says “I hope this helps” – un-signed.
Cordelia takes some time to brew a memory potion. Rodney suggests that Duncan Inglebee should take some to see if it helps him. He looks kinda odd, like he might be hallucinating, but he starts describing a scene where he was harvesting Mallowsweet and he noticed a man with brown hair wearing blue jeans. He remembers being taken to a cabin in the woods. He describes that he was chained down and that they put a candle on his chest. He remembers that Roy Jones was there with others.
Duncan then shakes his head and says “What are we doing?” as if he doesn’t remember just speaking with us.
We then decide to go give Joshua a bit of the memory potion as well to see what he would say. He re-counts the evening when he was discovered on the balcony. He was there and heard a fluttering noise and then three kids in purple sashes were there and someone said “He’s got em” and then he woke up exhausted and drained.
Cordelia goes to visit Rick and gives him some potion. Rick does seem aware of the Alchemist cell, that it is in castle, and that it’s a secret.
Carobelle is insistent that we need to try animal blood and tries to convince us to grab a live chicken from Hagrid’s Hut. And so we do… We stuff two chickens into Alastor’s briefcase. We decide to head back down the dumbwaiter. Cordelia, Carobelle, and Rodney head down first and encounter Midge.
Midge wants Alastor to pluck a chicken, meanwhile Carobelle and Rodney sneak off to rub the door with chicken blood. We decide to head back upstairs.
April 15, 2012 18:48
The holidays are over and Hogwarts is a buzz with the excitement of students returning from their trips home and abroad. They are eager to see their friends again and show off their new clothes, brooms, trinkets and other presents they received while on holiday.
The one thing no one missed during their time away was the incessant rain. Duncan Inglebee, the first year who was grabbed last term, is still fresh on the minds of everyone. He’s returned as well but there is still some question if he has any magic left, or if in fact he was taken and drained of his magic by the Grabbers.
The real worry for some are the “Purple Sashes” the Junior members of the Dark Arts Defense League who are rounding up people including Josh and Graham. If there is a connection between the people being rounded up, and what happens to those that are, nobody yet knows.
Rodney leads Carobelle, Alastor, Tale and Cordellia on a quest to find Duncan Inglebee, give him lessons and learn if he still is capable of performing magic.
The group is separated and Tale is forced to hide from the purple sashes as they try to find her. Alastor delivers the books to Marcus Flynt from Borges and Burkes as his uncle instructed.
A Hufflepuff girl, Agatha, tries befriending Cordellia while she is in the library doing research on making a synthetic bloodroot.
On the run from the Purple sashes Tale rides a dumbwaiter down into some broken tunnels under Hogwarts. Alastor, Rodney and Carobelle go in search of Tale, sneaking past teachers in the great hall and attempting to put a watch on the door to the teacher’s lounge.
Agatha teaches Cordellia how to “tickle the door” to take you to the Great Hall, one of the many Hufflepuff secrets.
Tale wakes up from falling asleep in the dumbwaiter and mends the chain of the dumbwaiter that had been breaking. At the bottom of the shaft she find a ghost of a house elf whose master was named Sally, apparently a powerful wizard.
Dumbledore is missing his glasses, lending to rumors that he is actually an imposter.
Alastor Burke is caught by the Purple Sashes and taken to Mr. Dimes where he is interrogated about Duncan Inglebee and the forbidden forest. Despite not selling out his friends, an 11 year old Burke is no match for Mr. Dimes who forces him to confess to being in the forest.
Now with leverage on the child, Dimes buys his loyalty by lending him a Nimbus 2000 while the others of the Slytherin group are rounded up and brought to the courtyard.
The Weasleys warn us before we go off into the night in search of Tale, and apparently there are Werewolves in the forest.
Carobelle and Cordellia go down the passage to find Tale, Alastor and Rodney soon follow and after many twists and turns and even a few spells everyone meets and is at a giant door which Cordellia says leads out under the lake.
Cordellia reveals she can talk to Rick, the giant squid in the lake.
March 18, 2012 18:12
No one was seriously harmed after the Halloween ruckus and the next couple of weeks go by without incident. The Fwoopers are put into the hall of keys and have been silenced. We are on the way to defense against the dark arts when a glowing figure is seen and is soon recognized a Peeves. Before Peeves can do what he intends the Weasleys confront us about using the tunnel. They claim they cannot stop Peeves from collapsing it on us. They make us late for class and we lose 5 points. After class Madaam Opiri gives Rodney a potions vial (maybe the one from the trip to the forest.)
Rodney talks Josh into asking Snape how to identify potions if the label has fallen off. Snape is not helpful when he says to drink some. We receive the ingredients list for a “screaming snake’s hair potion.” Through clever manipulation we convince Snape to identify the pep per up potion – but it also has unknown ingredients in it (BUMBUMBUM!) We suspect it may be blood.
We investigate the nature of blood magic with the book Alaster has not delivered and we found nothing there. We then went to the library to look into the pepper up potion and discovered it makes steam come out there ear – and Rodney did not remember steam coming out of the ears of his fellow students. Cordelia suggests poisoning Mrs. Norris with one of our potions. We mixed it with sardines and it appears to have no affect on the cat.
Alaster and Carobelle watch Hufflepuff practice at quidditch while Cordellia and Rodney go to the library. Neither is productive. It is suggested that the pictures are spies for Dumbledore. Rodney’s brother Nathan attempts to get Rodney to drink the potion claiming that it is protective magic against dark creatures. He refuses to tell Rodney what kind of potion it is. Much discussion is had after Nathan gives Rodney another half dose of the potion.
We then decide to travel into the forbidden forest – yet again – to determine if the herbs are still in the forest. Carobelle recognizes a short cut and we discover that there is more weather herb hanging in the trees, but they have been raised higher to avoid our taking more. The snow is beginning to collect but we decide to continue on to the hut.
The Weasleys and two friends finds us and joins us as we approach the cabin. Nathan is found inside and insists that we all drink a potion. We refuse and a fight occurs. A combination of sleep charms and wild screams wins the day. The screams brought some monster in the forest and Nathan covers our escape. Nathan also no longer needs to sleep because of the potions he has been taking. Curious…
Once we make it back to the grounds we join a snow ball fight and use this to cover the injury that Carobelle received in the escape down the path from the cabin. Snape questions us about going into the forest and we deny it of course. We get treatment and return to our common room and discuss our options. We have nothing but questions and no answers.
The next day we go to breakfast and Nathan does not appear to remember our encounter while the Weasleys do. The Weasleys appear to be plotting against us. Tale and Carobelle pretend to say things about them and giggle to bother them – poking the bear. We then say good bye for the winter break.
All of our heroes meet at the train and recount their tales of what happened over the break. A frizzy haired woman and a mustached man are on the train with us. Upon arriving at Hogwarts man sized crates are unloaded by the teachers. They are so heavy that Hagrid is having trouble moving them. When he almost falls down Professor McGonagall saves him from becoming a large stain and helping him. On our way to the castle Peeves appears out of nowhere and steals Rodney’s “conk” which is apparently his nose. With an illusion of his nose missing and blood pouring down his face. Rodney continues to mope. Everyone else seems to be in good cheer. There is discussion of how to cheer Rodney up but nothing seems to come to mind other than a surprise party or standing on house elves for a while. They decide to give him a present of a Slytherin sweater that they all are wearing and this works. Rodney puts away the Gryffindor themed gifts he was given by his family.
Classes begin again and Carobelle asks if Flitwick is a substitute – apparently not realizing that Flitwick has taught the class the whole time. She decides to pay attention in class more. This resolve lasts five minutes. The Mustachioed gentleman from the train attends charms class and may be from the board of governors. Classes go well until Wednesday when we seem resolved to determine if Duncan has been squibified. Through clever deception (not really) it is determined that Duncan likely has little magic. After class we ask him directly and he seems to confirm his problem casting spells. Rodney agrees to help him attempt to relearn spells. He may have just lost his memory. Mrs. Crane and Mr. Dimes are the two that were on the train and are members of the magical law enforcement squad assigned here to investigate the kidnapping of Duncan Inglebee.
October 01, 2011 19:02
Tale’s Recollection of the Events in Game 2
The first few weeks pass easily as the teachers give us a bit of time to ease into the swing of life at Hogwarts. After Transfiguration we are very brain fried. When we return to the common room, there is a silver platter with 10 letters on them with our names on them. I grab mine run to the corner and open mine. We are invited to a special dinner with Professor Sinistra before our first Astronomy lesson.
History of Magic is LONG and BORING. When the bell finally rings we run back to our room to prepare for our special dinner. We get ready to head to the Astronomy Tower except we don’t know which one is the Astronomy Tower.
We go around the table and introduce ourselves to the Professor. Everyone seems to be mentioning their parents and family connections, so I, of course, mention my parents as well, although do not necessarily understand why. The Professor also gives an introduction and mentions who her parents are.
Professor Snape comes to the common room to let us know that Astronomy class is cancelled tonight because the weather isn’t cooperating. He mentions that he has to go to the Forbidden Forest
The next day, we go to flying class after Herbology. We learn “Up” and then we try to fly.
August 28, 2011 16:08
Carobelle arrived at the station with her butler who loaded her three large trunks into the first available cabin. She sat down, and then raced back out to the track to hug the butler who had been kinder to her than her father for as long as she could remember. She returned to the train and stared out the window jealously at the children arriving with large, warm families.
Others came in to the cabin where she was sitting. A tall handsome boy came in and introduced himself as Alastor Burke. She smiled encouragingly. She recognized the Burke name. He was from a purebred family, too.
A slender red haired boy stuck out his hand and introduced himself to her as Rodney Prewett. He seemed nice. He thinks I’m pretty, Carobelle decided, giving her red curls a good “look at me” shake, and that always made her happy.
The train whistle squealed. A shy African American girl ducked into the cabin, and curled up into her seat. Her name was Tale Atwell.
And then Cordelia Pomme came in, at last a familiar face and old friend. Carobelle knew Cordelia’s father was a French dignitary, and her mother was one of the Yaxley’s – a pure blooded British family with a manor in Preston. They had seen each other frequently over the last decade at their father’s parties. Carobelle had thought Cordelia might go to Beaux-Batons, but here she was, going to Hogwarts, too!
The train lurched forward. It had started to rain, and they had to raise their voices to hear each other over the sound of the gathering storm.
They began to chat about Hogwarts, and what they were expecting. Carobelle reminded them all that Slytherin was the best house for the best people.
Two boys stuck their heads in and asked if any of them had lost a pouch of money. No, they hadn’t.
A woman arrived with a trolley of sweets. Carobelle could tell how delicious everything looked and smelled, but didn’t take any. She had to watch her figure. Rodney didn’t take any either. Tale got a chocolate frog.
They heard a commotion and the boys and Cordelia stepped out to investigate.
That gave Carobelle and the shy girl, Tale, a few minutes to talk. Carobelle asked her if she was nervous about going to Hogwarts, and admitted that she was pretty nervous about it. Tale said she was nervous in part because she didn’t know what to expect, having not gotten a lot of guidance from her parents about what to expect. Carobelle admitted to Tale that she had a lot of gaps in her preparation also, having attended a muggle boarding school. Tale didn’t look at her in horror and run out of the cabin. That made Carobelle feel better.
The boys and Cordelia returned with the update. Supposedly there was an extra car at the end of the train with a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. The car was guarded by a man –a manservant of the new teacher? The new teacher’s name was Madame Oferi.
The manservant talked to them about Hogwarts, and mentioned that there were classes on subjects like Muggle Studies. Carobelle thought that sounded pretty interesting, and like a class that she might be able to do pretty well, having spent most of her life at a muggle boarding school, but didn’t dare say anything like that, since the others were pretty dismissive about how dirty and useless muggles were. Cordelia actually backed out of the car as if the very topic was terrifying.
[Outside of Carobelle’s point of view: Cordelia picks up a wand on the floor of the car.]
They headed back to their own cabin, and all of a sudden Cordelia started to look really sick. Her whole face broke out in disgusting sores. It was hideous. What a terrible thing to happen to anyone, especially on the first day of school!
It seemed to have something to do with a wand that Cordelia had picked up.
They decided to track down the mean boys that had played the prank, and insist that they fix Cordelia. Carobelle was sure these were the worst brought up boys she had ever met. Thank goodness they weren’t in Slytherin. That was the problem with bad breeding. It always proved out.
The twin boys were in another cabin, along with some other red headed children. An older, more serious looking boy had a prefect badge, so Carobelle appealed to him to do something. He suggested that they go find the candy trolley witch. Cordelia hid her face under a cloak, while they walked up to the front of the train to find the candy trolley witch, who proved to have nothing useful to offer. Typical Hufflepuff.
They talked about trying to see if the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher could help, but then everyone was yelling that it was time to get dressed. They were almost at Hogwarts!
This was it. They’d soon be facing the sorting hat. Carobelle prayed her new friends would all be Slytherins and that her judgment in liking them so far had not been misplaced. They seemed like the right sort of people. The hat would let her know for sure.
Carobelle wasn’t sure how she’d manage all her trunks, and Alastor offered to help, but then they found out that the bags would be delivered for them. She had a moment of concern that she really ought to have taken her wand out of the trunk in case she needed it before she was re-united with her bags, but then decided that if there was trouble, it wasn’t like the wand would do her any good.
They shuffled off the train, dressed in their robes. Carobelle’s robes were from Madame Malkin, and subtly darted to better show off her figure. She was sure that the beautiful robes would not benefit from getting soaked wet, but there seemed little help for it.
Happily, Alastor had an umbrella, and they all crowded under it. He really was a gentleman.
Cordelia still looked terrible with that awful skin curse. They crowded around her, so others would not see and make fun of her later.
There was a lot of confusion standing in the pouring rain, and then a giant – no seriously, A GIANT! – came traipsing up to them and called for First Years to follow him. Was this how the monsters of the forest lured innocent new students to their deaths? But others seemed to be following him, so they did, thinking wherever he was going it was probably at least dry. Only he led them to a lake with rickety looking little boats that would only hold four people in each boat.
They looked at each other, and Carobelle realized, at the prospect of being separated, how grateful she was to have made at least a few friends on the way to Hogwarts.
Alastor bravely offered to ride in another boat, and the remaining four huddled into a boat, terrified that it would sink.
The boats bumped up against each other in the choppy waters. Carobelle was so frightened she clasped hands with Cordelia and Rodney, sure they were all going to die together.
At last, they made it across the lake, and didn’t drown. They could now see Hogwarts rising above them – like a castle.
The giant led them up the stone stairs to the entryway, where they were greeted by a very severe looking older woman with her hair in a bun. She looked like a ballet instructor, and that made Carobelle feel like this was probably a woman who had something useful to teach. Rodney asked the woman, who introduced herself as Professor McGonagall, to help Cordelia. She took her aside and gave her a piece of candy — a mint humbug, which she indicated would cure the affliction.
There was a fire towards the front of the room where they were waiting, and the children crowded around it to try to dry off.
They stayed towards the back and continued to block Cordelia from view, though her condition appeared to be gradually improving. Hopefully it would be fixed before the sorting hat!
Suddenly Rodney leapt to his feet and gave Tale a hard shove. A bucket of water came sloshing down from the ceiling and soaked Rodney. It would have hit Tale if he hadn’t pushed her out of the way.
Carobelle thought that was very gentlemanly of him, but also felt oddly off balance that this place of learning would tolerate buckets of water being thrown on incoming students. It was like the whole place was run by people as childish and mean-spirited as those two red-headed twins from the train. She’d known it would be awful being in witch school rather than the ballet academy, but she had never thought to imagine that it would be so … petty and childish. The Slytherins undoubtedly did what they could to keep the tone somber, but it was a lost battle. The muggles that she had known weren’t this childish. Maybe the muggle blood became bad only after it got mixed in with wizarding blood.
They were ushered into a large room. This was it. The sorting hat. The older students were already lined up at tables for each house. The Slytherins sat quietly, models of appropriate decorum, while the others seemed a bit rowdier and ill bred. Right. These were the kind of folks who thought pranks were hilarious.
Please please please let me be Slytherin. Carobelle had never seriously considered that she wouldn’t be a Slytherin. What would she do? She had only one job here and that was to marry well, and she wouldn’t meet a boy from a good purebred family in any house other than Slytherin.
Tale was picked for Slytherin. That was good.
Alastor was picked for Slytherin. Good for him! She watched enviously as he took his rightful place, as a Burke, at the Slytherin table.
Another boy, a Graham Montague, was also picked for Slytherin.
Then it was Carobelle’s turn. The hat seemed to hesitate. She was diligent in practicing her ballet – wasn’t that like a Hufflepuff? She had a decent mind a bit like a Ravenclaw. No, it had to be Slytherin. She would do what it took to be the best. Slytherin! She joined the others at the table, more relieved than she let on.
Cordelia and then Rodney were also sorted into Slytherin.
Carobelle was so happy! She hugged them in congratulations, and the other Slytherins looked down at them and nodded ever so slightly – a quiet gesture that meant the world to Carobelle. Slytherin always behaved impeccably.
Once all the children were sorted, food began to appear on the table in massive quantities and the feast began. Carobelle stared at the lavish display of food with considerable hunger, but carefully took on her plate only a modest serving a salad and a raw carrot. She took a long time chopping the carrot into little bites so she’d have something to do with her hands while the others helped themselves to the feast. She noted that many of the older Slytherin girls also ate daintily. The ruckus from the other tables suggested that the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs had abandoned all use of silverware and manners. Typical.
At the head of the table, she caught her first glimpse of the handsomely hawk-nosed Professor Snape. He was the head of Slytherin House. Quite an honor. She knew he also taught potions.
A Professor Dumbledore – an old man with a long white beard – struggled visibly with what she had to assume was an advanced case of alzheimer’s and managed to get through a rather convoluted and rambling welcome speech. In short, they were to avoid the forest and other incredibly inappropriate behaviors which apparently some reckless (Gryffindor) and dim-witted (Hufflepuffs) students needed to have regularly reinforced.
Professor Snape handed them each directions for how to reach the Slytherin common rooms and dormitory. It was harder to find than she expected. It was down a twisty series of hallways and then there was what looked like a blank wall, but you touched it in just the right place, and a secret door opened up, with a sloping corridor leading down into the underground. It was like a very exclusive underground club. Professor Snape’s directions were meticulous and assured that none of them got lost or tripped up along the way. He was really very thoughtful.
They made their way to the Slytherin common room. The older children were talking to each other. She saw Marcus Flint – a well known qidditch player – who stood a foot taller than most of the other children. He looked like a man, and appeared used to holding court in the common rooms.
They were shown the passageways leading up to the girl’s dormitory and down to the boy’s.
Tale, Cordelia, and Carobelle climbed up to their room, and were reassured to see their trunks had been safely delivered. They were grateful for the opportunity to change into clean dry clothes and freshen up. In pulling out her things, Carobelle set out her ballet clothes and shoes, and looked around the room for something the height of the practice bar that she could use for her nightly exercises. She had an hour of exercises to do every night and every morning to keep her muscles trained, should she ever have the chance to dance again.
In their rooms, there were additional pages of instructions (in Professor Snape’s now recognizable spidery handwriting) explaining the class schedule and location of their classes.
Tale excused herself to explore the castle a bit. Carobelle wasn’t sure that was permitted, but she was glad to see Tale coming out of her shell, so she didn’t say anything to discourage her.
[Outside of Carobelle’s point of view: Tale exploration scene. If I remember correctly, she saw a ghost creating a racket banging something against the suits of armor in the hallway, and then framing another student for it. A hapless Hufflepuff. Tale backs away slowly and avoids getting caught in the embarrassment.]
[Outside of Carobelle’s point of view: Graham Montague approaches Alastor about the Burkes and whether he’s shopped at the snakescale apothecary. Alastor isn’t entirely sure what Montague is asking about, but pretends that he knows and indicates “oh yeah, all the time”.]
Eventually, they all got some sleep. The next day, classes would start…
Carobelle wakes up early and does an hour of ballet exercises, causing her to run late to breakfast.
Alastor asked the others at breakfast if they knew anything about the apothecary. Most of them didn’t. Tale is able to recall that snakescale apothecary is known to trade in questionable items. They all conclude that it is probably something to do with darker wizardry.
Their first class was Defense Against the Dark Arts. Carobelle was particularly nervous about keeping up in class, knowing she wasn’t the best student. Happily, the teacher asks them to read out loud from their book! She asks Carobelle to read first. Here is something that Carobelle can do. She knows she has a pretty voice. She is delighted that class is going to be easier than she thought. The others seem more disappointed that they aren’t learning anything useful.
They have some free time before going to Herbalism.
Carobelle and Cordelia walk over to the lake and feed the ducks, chatting about their impressions of the others.
[Outside of Carobelle’s POV: Alastor and Graham decide to visit the giant’s cottage. Graham dares Alastor to run up and touch the side of the cottage, which he does. They learn that the groundskeeper giant has a really scary dog.]
[Outside of Carobelle’s POV: Rodney and Tale head over to the Herbalism area early. They see another student, impacted by the wand prank with sores all over his face. Rodney explains that the proper cure is mint humbugs, which the others appreciate learning.]
It’s time for Herbalism. They all arrive in time for the class. The herbalism teacher, Professor Sprout (head of Hufflepuff House), expects them to “learn by doing” by working with creepy dirty dangerous plants.
Alastor gets picked to show the class how to pull a red strangler. He is a strong guy, but he really has to pull on it, and it ends up wrapping itself around his neck and trying to strangle him.
Alastor gets sent to the Nurse Pomfrey, though he doesn’t know where that is, and wanders a bit before finding it. Nurse Pomfrey eventually gives him the cure for the red strangler, and he sees several students come in seeking mint humbugs to cure the wand skin curse.
The others arrive after class to check in on Alastor.
They all make it to lunch, but Alastor is not yet able to talk clearly. An owl arrives and lifts Alastor’s spirits. He’s been given a gift from his family – a mysterious briefcase with a locking mechanism. He experiments with it a little and finds that it opens to different contents, depending on the code used on the exterior lock. It seems to have some odd things left in it, like bird bones.
After lunch, they have double potions with the Gryffindors.
Professor Snape is clearly the most organized teacher, and the one with the most useful information to convey so far. He is encouraging to the Slytherin students, and does not tolerate any of the Gryffindors’ foolishness. Carobelle assumes he must come from a pureblood family since he is the head of Slytherin house, and manages to stay focused during the class and pay attention to the lecture since Snape is such a fascinating teacher.
Maybe Hogwarts won’t be so bad after all…
March 15, 1991 18:50
Slytherin game #8 (from Carobelle’s perspective)
It was raining. Again.
I was glad I’d had my hair treated over the break so that it was frizz-resistant. Some of the girls from the other houses had hair that looked like they’d stuck a fork in an electrical socket, except for the fact that Hogwarts didn’t have electrical sockets. Hogwarts did have forks. Of course, it was hard to picture some of the Hufflepuff girls without a fork in their hand. Hufflepuff girls apparently have to eat constantly to maintain their badger-ish figures.
I wondered why Rodney had been pursued by the vampires, and I had not. I was thin enough to be a vampire, wasn’t I? He reasoned that Madam Opeiri must be the jealous type and not want competition from a pretty girl vampire.
Rodney is so smart.
Having just left bossy Midge (the ghost house-elf that we think belonged to Salazar Slytherin) down in the lower area, demanding food, we hung out in the abandoned classroom above the dumb waiter, and thought about all that had happened recently. We needed more memory potion to jog Rick the Squid’s memory, but figured it would cost about 20 galleons, and that was a lot of money, even for me and Alastor.
Roy was still home with “narolepsy”, which sounded a whole lot like post vampire bite fainting spells, and also prevented us from figuring out why Duncan remembered seeing him in the grabber’s hut. Was he working with the grabbers? We needed more blood to open the Slytherin door down in the secret area. Lots more blood. Who knew chickens had so little blood in them? Midge the house-elf wanted food, but she couldn’t cook it, and we didn’t want to have to cook it for her.
Rodney suggested that Midge might track us down, and embarrass us in our classes if we don’t get her food. That would be terrible. She needs her own house elf, but they are super scared of her because, apparently, house elves can’t become ghosts.
Tale wondered what time it was.
We went to another classroom with windows to see what time it was. It looked like late afternoon, though it was hard to tell because rainy and grey looks the same any time of day.
Rodney suggested that we use Alastor’s briefcase to carry the food. We could put it in a different compartment than the dead chicken.
As we walked to the kitchens, we determined that none of us knew anything about ghosts. Would one of the castle ghosts tell us something? We agreed to not ask Peeves. I suggested if we could figure out how to banish ghosts we could deal with Peeves and Midge.
I wondered if they should try to get the cards back from Marcus, since that was a good way to get blood. That didn’t have anything to do with getting food for Midge or preventing her from bothering us, but I really wanted to figure out the door. Can you imagine how cool it would be to find Slytherin’s secrets, and maybe even that lab where you could make fame potions all day long, never have to go to class with that mean Professor Snape, and be the most popular girl ever.
We got to the kitchens through the pear-tickling method; thank goodness Cordelia figured that out from her Hufflepuff friend. We’ve talked about it and decided that having friends in other houses isn’t social suicide if it’s clear that you use them as your minions and spies.
When we got into the kitchen, things seemed to have settled down. When we walk in, things go quiet. The house elves look uncertain, unsure what trouble we might bring this time. Rodney goes in to get food. The house elves move out of our way. We put the food in the briefcase.
As Alastor opens up the briefcase, he finds some blue stones and old matches. He tries again. He finds year 6 transfiguration notes. Finds an old wooden yo-yo. It works like a real yo-yo. So cool. Alastor puts it in his coat pocket.
We return to the classroom with the dumb waiter.
Cordelia and Alastor go down. Tale, Rodney, and me wait upstairs.
Alastor gives us the yo-yo to play with. I show Tale and Rodney how it works. Rodney questions whether it’s kind of a muggle thing. Rodney teases me about knowing how to use a muggle thing until I feel like a super dork and put it away.
Rodney and me congratulate ourselves on not going down, assuming the others are now the ones at risk to do household chores for Midge.
Alastor and Cordelia get to the bottom. Midge is nowhere to be seen. Alastor finds the food and lays it out on the counter. They climb back into the dumb waiter. On the way, they notice there is maybe a millimeter of standing water like someone had mopped recently, or like something strange was happening. Cordelia plans to explore. Cordelia follows the water. It’s all over the kitchen floor. It’s not moving. Is it out in the hallway also, yes? They keep following. There is standing water everywhere. It’s about the same amount as in the kitchen.
Water may be leaking from around the closed squid door (the door to the room with the pool that’s closest to that squid she can talk to). Can they see through it? Is there a water level line? They determine that the modified door is no longer air tight. Some water is leaking through. They can’t make out how much water is on the other side of the door.
Cordelia attempts to re-transfigure the door, but isn’t able to change it.
Alastor and Cordelia head back up.
We ask if they got stuck doing chores.
Cordelia explains about the water leaking out from under the door.
Tale asks if Cordelia’s friend Rick the squid had any information that might help us know why the water was sloshing around up and out of the pool on the other side.
I figured something big had come up out of the pool to slosh all that water out. Creepy, right?
Tale wondered if ghosts care about water.
We wondered if Midge would feel compelled to clean the mess? Would that make her mad?
Cordelia noted that the door was still locked. She’d tried to re-transfigure it. They left the food on the counter, so maybe that will make Midge happy at least, and keep her from bothering us.
Rodney thought we ought to move on and get back to our rooms so we could do our homework. Nerd. Who wouldn’t rather investigate a weird door (squid door or blood door) rather than do homework? If he wasn’t so smart and cute, he would be hopeless.
Cordelia agreed that we could go back, but it was clear that she wanted to come back and look into this more.
Rodney suggested that I find some way to get my homework done with blood magic since I’m so good at it, and always looking for shortcuts. I glared at him, but then decided that even though he was teasing, maybe it wasn’t a bad idea. I asked Alastor if they still had the blood magic book. They did. Maybe reading one book wouldn’t kill me.
As we walked back, we thought about other stuff that had been going on lately.
Should we tell on Duncan for being squib-ified? Rodney thought we ought to tell the truth, and maybe tell Professor Flitwick since he’s the head of Duncan’s house. We could explain that Duncan’s in trouble and we’re trying to mentor him, but he needs more help than we can give him, and maybe the teachers could help him?
Alastor and I looked at each other, and rolled our eyes. You never talk to teachers. Doesn’t everyone get that, yet? The teachers are jerks. Tale must have been thinking the same thing.
So that left Cordelia and Rodney, who decided to talk to Flitwick before charms class.
Charms was our first class Monday after breakfast.
Rodney told Flitwick that Duncan’s having a lot of trouble with magic. He could barely get sparks out of his wand. We’re trying to help him (meaning he and Cordelia since they were the only ones there), catch him up. He needs help.
Flitwick thought Duncan just had some kind of confidence problem.
Rodney explained that it was serious. A “squib” thing! He asked Flitwick not to tell anyone, but wondered if maybe Flitwick could help him find some place where he can “go” so he’s not embarrassed.
Flitwick kicked them out of his office after that.
I explained to Cordelia that charms are hard because you have to use your wand. I asked her how it went with Flitwick?
Cordelia explained that Flitwick doesn’t care.
Big surprise, there. I tried to explain to her that none of the professors cared about anything, except to make fun of students.
Today, in charms, we learned a flame freezing charm. It causes a flame to stop producing heat, but still want it to produce light. It’s good if you drop something in a fire and don’t want it to burn.
I fail spectacularly at practicing the stupid charm, and cause fire to shoot everywhere. I covers my hair protectively with my hands. Alastor casts shield on us. Cordelia and Rodney succeed in freezing the flames so they aren’t hot.
Flora Carrow fails to dodge and her hair does catch fire. It smells horrible.
She has the nerve to turns around try to make fun of me like it’s my fault her hideous hair is even more hideous now. I respond with a withering stare (practiced facial expression #19), and equally snide comment: “Strong words from a girl whose hair is on fire”.
Everyone laughs at Flora’s pathetic attempt to try to make fun of me. She clearly doesn’t understand that you can’t make fun of someone more popular than you.
I decide to keep an eye out on what matters to Flora, with the hope of making sure she’s unhappy at some point in the future when she least expects it.
Though the days drag on, nothing seems to happen with Duncan. Rodney admits to Duncan that he told Flitwick. Duncan is worried other Ravenclaws will find out.
By Easter holiday, the attempts by the magic police to interview kids about Duncan’s disappearance have fallen off. Tale completely escapes being interviewed.
Mr. Dimes and his partner have both decreased the frequency of their appearance.
Alastor keeps Mr. Dimes’ bribe broom, but does not ride it outside.
Other than having to go to classes, it’s a great year to be a Slytherin. We have a ridiculous number of house points. For the sixth year in a row, it’s clear we’re going to get the cup.
Cordelia goes back to investigate the squid door.
She realizes that she doesn’t know the unlocking charm, and goes back for Rodney. Rodney and Cordelia go together. I wish him luck with potential housework from Midge.
Rodney unlocks the door!
They open the door. There is more water on the ground on the other side.
The pool was calm before, but now has some motion to it, rippling, etc. The floor is cut-stone.
Cordelia goes swimming in the pool. She had a swimsuit on under her robes! Rodney waits for her to be back. She’s gone a surprisingly long time without coming back up for air.
Rodney studies the pool. It looks like water is spilling out over the edges. He thinks maybe sand bags would help.
Cordelia follows the dark passage.
She comes back after about a minute of investigation.
Cordelia is clearly a good swimmer.
They go to the other side of the door. To try to transfigure it from the other side, to seal it better. They see a faint glow coming. Uh oh. Midge is back.
“Hi, Midge. We’re here to swim.”
Midge looks confused.
Rodney asks Midge how she’s doing.
Rodney is able to re-transfigure the door, and also re-locks it.
Midge is still confused. “You should not be swimming.”
Rodney asks why not.
Midge walks away through the wall.
Rodney and Cordelia head back.
We talk about our plans for the long Easter weekend, and for the upcoming two-week spring break.
Alastor invites Rodney to spend the holidays with him.
I decide to write my dad and see if we can have a party over at our house (the Nott estate) one night during spring break for all of us that are in town. I figure he’ll go for it because he wants Theodore (my little brother) to meet boys from Hogwarts that are a year older, and can help Theodore get settled next year.
But, in the meantime, I receive an invitation to go on a 2-week shopping expedition on the continent with some popular 2nd year Slytherin girls! So cool. Rachel Ethem herself invites me.
So, I have to explain to the others that we’ll do the party in the summer.
Rodney is really mad at me. He won’t even help me with my homework for awhile after that, so I have to ask Alastor who does help me, until Rodney must have told him not to, but Cordelia helps me after that.
It feels terrible knowing that Rodney is mad at me. He’s like one of my best friends.
But still, shopping with older and more popular girls? He has to understand that it’s for all of our good if I make sure I’m super popular. And, won’t that make him like me more anyway? The whole point of being popular is that people will like you.
Even Rodney. Especially Rodney.
After Easter weekend, the rain is still constant, but it’s nicer because it’s kind of a warm spring rain, rather than a cold winter rain. That’s what I’ve been reduced to. Comparing the quality of rain like daddy talks about the quality of various wines. I’m becoming a regular rain connoisseur. At least the humidity is good for my complexion.
Everyone’s talking about spring break plans. The Slytherins are clearly are more likely than the other classes to use the breaks for networking events, like the popular girls shopping trip.
Spring break is finally here!
It’s super fun. I’m the only first year included. It’s me and a bunch of only slightly older girls pretending to be adults while our governess’ take us around Europe. There’s a rumor that my father has been dating. I emphasize that Josephine Yaxley is pure blood, and that daddy needs a new social hostess.
Most of the talk is about what older girls are doing, i.e the third years and older. There’s always someone cooler and older to want to emulate.
I make sure to buy presents for my friends, so they won’t be so mad that I got to go on the super cool trip. I find a ceramic squid for Cordelia, a Croatian qidditch team souvenir for Alastor, a firefly ring for Tale who wanted something magic, and a book about being good at magic for Rodney.
I buy clothes for myself.
Then, it’s all over and we are back on the train returning to school.
I wave to second year girls, and they nod in recognition. Mission accomplished.
Rumor is there are new students. This almost never happens mid-year.
Is this to replace the ones that squibbed out? We keep an eye out for Duncan. Is he gone?
Josh (the dorky little Gryffindor that follows Rodney around sometimes like a puppy) turns out to have a twin brother Jeremiah, who’s new. I say “twin” lightly because they could not be less alike. Jeremiah is really good-looking and charming. There was some fear that he might be a squib, but now he’s on his way to Hogwarts. That must have been really scary, but he doesn’t show any lack of confidence over it.
Roy comes back to school, cured of naro-lepsy.
We wonder if new students arriving mid-year could be the benefactors of the grabbers. The second new student is Edna Partridge.
Neither Edna nor Jeremiah have been sorted yet.
Cordelia looks for her Hufflepuff friend Agatha to see if she’s made any progress with that synthetic blood root, that might somehow help with the awful endless rain. At least I think that’s what it’s for.
She finds Agatha on the train; she’s already changed into robe. She offers to show Cordelia her “cuttings”.
Rodney and me go looking for the other new student Edna, but get kind of lost. Rodney said something really funny, like he does, and we were laughing about it, and forgot that we were looking for Edna.
Alastor figured that the new girl was probably sitting at the back since she didn’t know anyone yet. He and Cordelia decide to look there, and find her.
They introduce themselves, and confirm that she is the new girl.
Apparently, she was being homeschooled, but her mother doesn’t want to do it anymore, so decided to send her to a real school mid-year.
Cordelia and Alastor explain to her about the houses, and how Slytherin is the best, but each house has something good about it, so she shouldn’t worry.
Edna wants to be in a house with lots of friends, and Cordelia mentions that Hufflepuffs are generally particularly friendly.
Cordelia tries to remember if she’s ever heard the name Partridge before. Is this a magical bloodline? She’s never heard of a wizarding family by that name.
Edna claims that her mother is a witch and her father is a wizard, but only her mother went to Hogwarts and she doesn’t talk about it much, so her mother hasn’t even told her what house she was in.
The train is approaching the station. Alastor and Cordelia come back.
They explain what they learned, and we wonder if maybe Edna’s parents worked with grabbers to get her magicked up in time to join mid-year.
We look for Graham and Roy. We find them. Roy acts like he doesn’t even recognize us. Can you imagine a boy forgetting me? Jerk. He explains that narolepsy causes memory loss.
We wonder how he’ll manage classes if he’s forgotten a bunch of stuff, and offer to help him.
The new password for the Slytherin common room is “Celebrity”.
There is no sorting ceremony, in front of us, but as expected Roy returns to Slytherin, Edna is a Hufflepuff, and Jeremiah is a Gryffindor.
And Duncan does come back to the Ravenclaws. We thought maybe he would not come back.
There is a welcome back feast. We are all excited to be able to cast magic again, except probably Duncan who can’t.
Tale walks by the Professor’s table, and gives a card to Professor Snape. Weird, right?
She says she got him a card over break to tell him how excited she is about class. She really is amazingly good at potions.
We notice that in double-charms with Ravenclaw, Duncan appears to be getting extra help from Flitwick.
Rodney tells Roy that Cordelia is good with memory potions and could help him get his memory back. He does not seem to want to take a memory potion, which is odd.
The memory potion brings out memories. It doesn’t, as we understand it, actually counter magically-induced memory loss which takes arithmomancy.
We decide that it’s time to jog Roy’s memory, whether he wants it or not.
As we organize “Plan Poison Roy”, I realize something incredible. We have actually learned something from the Professors at Hogwarts. Thanks Professor Sinestra! We’ve learned how to slip someone a potion without their knowledge.
Alastor and I chip in 2 galleons towards making more memory potion.
We discuss the need to make potions like restoration (healing) and anti-toxin ahead of time, so we have it on hand in case of emergencies.
Right after I give the 2 galleons towards potion making, Rachel approaches me about the unofficial pretty girls potions club, which is trying to make fame potion, and she asks me to contribute, which is great because clearly she recognizes that I’m pretty, but I’m running through my galleons pretty fast this week. I give Rachel another galleon.
Rodney and Alastor invite Roy to study with them. Cordelia and me bring in the butter beer, and everyone takes some and drinks it.
Roy goes into the memory potion trance.
When we ask him about grabbers, he gives this odd answer. Like almost out of a textbook, but a really warped textbook. “Grabbers are an underground society dedicated to helping those who should have magic.” Whoever taught him about grabbers, was sympathetic to them.
He confirms that his parents taught him about grabbers.
We ask him how to get in touch with grabbers if we knew people who deserved magic that we wanted to help out.
He explained that if you fit the profile, like the guy who come to his house said, that they’d help you.
The guy that came to his house took some of his hair, and his parents paid him a lot of money.
This happened when he was ten, so before the year started.
Roy – this Roy – doesn’t remember ever doing any magic.
This must be the real Roy, and the other Roy was a fake so they could sneak this Roy in once he was grab-ified. He’s got Duncan’s magic inside him.
He says the guy had a wide brimmed hat. Not a pointy one. He looked older.
Roy got his wand a week ago, before coming up to Hogwarts. When he first made sparks.
I figure that now that we’ve learned that he’s an abomination, we’ve solved both the mystery of Duncan’s magic and how to open the blood door, because this guy isn’t even a person. He’s a monster. A squib who worked with grabbers. We could feed him to the door.
Rodney works it out that the hair must have been for a polyjuice potion to create fake Roy. 1st and 2nd term Roy was the doppleganger. 3rd term Roy is the real (squib abomination) Roy.
We process the fact that all of our interactions with evil doppleganger Roy were therefore with someone in league with the grabbers, and maybe a powerful wizard. So, the grabbers already know that we’ve been investigating this. Scary.
We try to figure out what happened. Roy ran off on that 2nd trip into the forest, before the monsters showed up.
We only found the hut by accident. Roy never showed it to us.
I realize – hey, maybe that broken doll that we found outside the hut was the vessel required to move the magic from Duncan to Roy.
Alastor thinks he has the doll in his briefcase, and opens it up and pulls out the doll.
I think: wait a second, how do we know that any of us aren’t now the evil wizard doppleganger, who does know us well, come to finish us off? Alastor has a grabber-transfer doll. Maybe he’s about to attack us?
I cast Tarantallegra on Alastor.
He starts dancing.
Rodney casts shield on me. His first instinct was to protect me!
Alastor sets the doll down, and casts expelliarmus on me, causing me to drop my wand.
I admit that I over-reacted and apologize.
We decide that we need a special password / code phrase, so we can be sure that we’re us, and not the evil wizard doppleganger having replaced one of us.
After thinking about it, we decide it’s something unpredictable that a person couldn’t guess, even knowing a lot about us.
The question will be: What’s your favorite spell? The answer will be: Butter Beer.
This has all been pretty upsetting. Nothing is safe at Hogwarts. You don’t know if another kid is a kid, or somebody terrible.
We agree that Roy’s parents are to be blamed
They must have been ashamed to have a son whose a squib.
At Defense Against the Darker Arts on Friday, Roy sits near us. Graham is concerned about friend’s memory loss.
Later, at double potions with Gryffindor, Josh makes sure Jeremiah has met us all, particularly Rodney who is his hero.
Jeremiah is nice, and pretty charming, though we worry that maybe he’s a grab-ified squib.
He tells us what happened with his magic. It’s kind of embarrassing. Everyone thought he was a squib, but there he was on a rafting trip, and inner tube thing, and he went over into rapids, heading to rocks, thought he’d die, but just bounced up and floated, suddenly having found his “inner magic”.
Rodney asks if anyone ever visited him and took some of his hair.
Jeremiah can tell this is an odd question, and looks at us suspiciously.
Professor Snape comes in. He is his usual self, defending us against the jerky Gryffindors, and picking on them to keep them in their place.
Rodney advises Josh & Jeremiah to lay low in this class. Jeremiah does well.
When we think about it, the Blitzen family is an older wizarding family. They are almost always Gryffindors, and haven’t had much money for years.
I note that we should probably assume anyone without money can’t be trusted, because it could be a sign that their parents used up their money paying off grabbers.
As we’re talking later, we wonder how did Roy trick the sorting hat when he was a fake first year. We know that the sorting hat is in Dumbledore’s office.
We finally get around to reading the Slytherin house history book that we got from Professor Sinestra last term. We’re looking for references to Midge, his house elves, his section of the castle, etc.
Cordelia does some research at the library about ghosts, and how ghosts are made. We consider asking the Bloody Baron about ghosts.
As we’re leaving potions class, we run into Duncan Inglebee.
He mentions something interesting. He was packaging up his wand to send it to be repaired (because Rodney snapped it in half before, to give him an excuse as to why his magic wasn’t working).
And, anyway, when he was packing up the wand, he noticed that it didn’t have a core in it at all.
The core must have been involved in the grabber process when they took most of his magic.
Did they take his real wand, and give him a fake core-less wand when he was grabbed?
Is Roy now using Duncan’s old wand?
Duncan explains that his wand was an old wand, inherited from great-uncle, and not on record with Olivander. It was a 10 inch black walnut wand with a neezle-whiskers core.
Is Roy using the same wand?
Duncan is still at squib level.
Cordelia suggests that we mend the broken fake wand, and then we could substitute it with Duncan’s real wand, if Roy has it.
Alastor successfully repairs it.
That afternoon, in History of Magic, we ask Professor Bins about house elves becoming ghosts. He says a ghost fears death and has some unfinished business, but that ghosts aren’t covered in detail in this class until 5th year.
At dinner, we find out that a couple of students who potentially needed help “catching up” are now in remedial classes in the evenings and weekends, including Roy, Enda, Jeremiah, and Duncan.
It’s going to be hard to catch Roy alone now to figure out about the wand.
We look at Roy’s wand, just a glimpse, in classes.
It’s a dark wood. 10 inches, but that’s the most common length of wand, and one of the most common colors.
We decide to try to switch the wands during potion class, and will have to wait for the next week.
Over the weekend, I practice switching wands, like picking the wrong one off the table “by accident”. Rodney keeps reading the Slytherin book.
Every time we would normally see Roy, Duncan, Edna, and Jeremiah, over the weekend, we are told they are in squib class.
We finally see Jeremiah on Sunday evening at dinner.
Jeremiah approaches. “Hey, Rodney, right? I want to thank you for being nice to my brother. I know he can be a little eager. Our parents thought I would be the magical one. “
Jeremiah tells us that he’s trying to convince the Gryffindors that we’re nice, and not jerks like most Gryffindors assume. At the remedial classes, he noticed that Edna, Duncan, and Roy all commented on how we’d tried to help them, and he knew we’d helped Josh, and they are all from different houses.
Jeremiah seems destined to be a popular kid. He’s nice, and confident.
We have double-potions on Tuesday, and decide to try the wand swap.
Professor Dumbledore is teaching. Snape is on a week holiday.
We decide to try for it.
Roy’s made friends with an older Slytherin, and he and Graham have been hanging out with them.
I approach Graham with a question about finding blood.
I can get a better look at Roy’s wand. It looks old. The wood is dry with a tiny bit of cracking. It could be Duncan’s wand.
Roy sees me pick up the wrong wand.
I try to play it off. Oops. Picked up the wrong one. Once I have it in my hand, I can see that the two wands are different enough looking that they are not identical. There’s nothing to do but give Roy back “his” wand.
September 02, 1990 02:15
Year Zero is the 1990-1991 school year. It is one year before Harry Potter resurfaces in wizard society and comes to Hogwarts. A shadow looms over the castle. Dark rain clouds pour down torrents day and night. Strange sounds are heard in the Forbidden Forest, and a new, muggle-born threat is on the rise.