Stay a while and listen, and I will tell you a story. A story of Dungeons and Dragons, of Orcs and Goblins, of Ghouls and Ghosts, of Kings and Quests, but most importantly – of Wizards and Vamp – Well… A story of Wizards.
It begins in a castle housing a school for magic – not unlike our very own university...
“Are you sure we have enough time to visit the Room of Requirement before class?” asked Hermione.
“I just want to see if they managed to fix it,” Harry said as he paced in front of the portrait of Barnabas the Barmy.
“Yea,” agreed Ron, “we’ll have plenty of time to get to Defense.”
“I just don’t want to miss class the one year we can be normal students.”
“We know,” Ron assured her, “We’ll be fine. Don’t worry.”
A slightly charred door materialized across from the portrait.
“Just a look,” Harry assured Hermione, turning to face the door. He grasped the handle and pulled it open. A vast room stretched in all directions, completely empty, with the white walls, floor, and ceiling, only marred by the occasional scorch mark.
“What did you request?” Hermione asked.
“The Room of Hidden Things.”
“Maybe everything in it burned?”
“Maybe,” Harry replied slowly. His steps sounded unnaturally loud as he entered the room. Ron and Hermione followed, the door falling closed behind them. The slam echoed in the expanse of the room.
“This feels even emptier when you are standing in it,” Ron said.
“Ing in it, in it, it, t, t,” echoed back at them.
“It works, I guess?” Harry said walking forward to inspect a scorch mark on the floor.
“I guess, ess, ess, ess.”
“Let’s leave and try a new configuration,” suggested Ron.
“Guration, ation, ion, n, n, n.”
“Let’s,” Harry agreed turning back towards the door.
“Let’s, ets, ets, ts, ts, s.”
They had only taken a couple of steps when they heard a loud creaking noise and the floor collapsed beneath them. Harry barely had time to shout in surprise before they slammed into a floor the remains of the ceiling raining down around them.
“Are you al...” Hermione began when she was interrupted by a man in a brown robe shouting down the hole in the ceiling.
“ARE YOU ALRIGHT DOWN THERE? … You just try to find the way out of the dungeon, while we board this up! Remember the safe word is BANANA!”
“What?” Harry said looking up to see the hole in the ceiling being boarded up the muggle way.
“Safe word?” echoed Hermione.
“Why am I the only one still in our school robes?” asked Ron.
“What?” Harry repeated.
“Look, we have to find our way out of the dungeon,” Ron explained, “but I don’t understand why your robes turned purple,” he gestured to Harry, “and green,” he pointed at Hermione, “but I stayed in boring black.”
“Oh, Ron that’s not important. Your arm is bleeding,” Hermione gathered herself to fuss over Ron.
“It’s fine,” Ron said, “just a scratch.”
“It’s not fine,” Hermione insisted, “let me…”
She went to grab for her wand, but it wasn’t in her pocket. Frantically, she searched through her robes, “Do you two have wands?”
Harry and Ron followed her example patting down their robes looking for their wands.
“No…” Ron said slowly.
“Lumos,” said Harry. A bright light blinded all three of them.
“Whoa Harry! Don’t do that!” Ron shouted shielding his eyes. Hermione standing next to him nodded her head emphatically, eyes shut tight.
“Sorry, sorry!” Harry squinted his eyes looking around. In a stand against one of the walls were four of what could only be called staves: long wooden shaft with a blue crystal held in a crescent centered on the shaft. The light was being emitted by all four of the crystals. Shutting his eyes again he said, “Nox.”
“Thanks, Harry,” Ron sighed.
“Did you find your wand?” Hermione asked eyeing Ron’s wound.
“No,” Harry replied, “but those staves lit up so they can probably act as wands.”
Now that the light was back to the warm glow the torches provided, he could see that there were four swords on the stand next to the saves. He took one of the staves but left the swords. He didn’t think his encounters with the Sword of Gryffindor qualified him to wield one properly.
“Better than nothing,” Ron agreed and went to grab one.
“Fine,” Hermione conceded.
“LIFE” came a Voice from all sides at once. They looked around in confusion. When nothing happened, they relaxed and Hermione turned her attention back to Ron.
“Let me heal you,” she pointed her staff at Ron and cast a healing spell. Instead of the expected yellow it came out Avada Kedavra green. Hermione immediately stopped casting.
“What are you doing?” Harry almost shrieked.
“I don’t know! It’s not supposed to be green.”
“Guys, don’t worry I’m fine. Look,” Ron showed them the partially healed gash on his arm, “And anyway, the color of LIFE is green. It makes sense for healing to be green.”
An Avada Kedavra green orb began circling him. He tilted his wand at Hermione and a green beam shot at her, healing her of all minor cuts and bruising she had sustained in the fall. Ron turned is staff on Harry.
“Ron, you can’t just test out spells like that!” Hermione shouted shocked.
“LIFE,” he repeated ignoring Hermione’s objections. The green beam hit Harry making all his cuts and bruises heal up within seconds.
“Ron!” Harry complained.
“You try it,” Ron encouraged Hermione. She gave him a glare.
“LIFE,” she whispered making a green ball orbit her. Hesitantly, she aimed her staff at Ron making the orb disappear and a green beam connect her staff to Ron. The gash on his arm closed before their eyes.
“That was faster than it should have been,” Hermione commented frowning.
“See,” Ron agreed, “it’s effective.”
“But you still shouldn’t have just tested out a strange spell like that,” Hermione insisted.
Ron rolled his eyes, “It was perfectly safe.”
“You couldn’t know that.”
Seeing that both Ron and Hermione seemed fine, Harry left them to their bickering and took a look around the room they were in. It looked a bit like an empty storage room in the dungeons of Hogwarts, with all manner of odds and ends along the shelves against the walls and a couple of crates and barrels in the corners. On one side of the room there was a roped off corridor. On the other side the neighboring room could be seen through barred off, stone arches. He walked over to the arches first and looked into the neighboring room. A red carpet led out of the bare room and up a flight of stairs. Well, like that man had said, they needed to get out of the dungeon.
“Diffindo,” he pointed is staff at the bars. Nothing happened. Harry frowned.
He walked over to the roped off corridor. From in front of the rope he could see the corridor opened to a room with a wall made of wooden boards. He tried to move the rope, but an invisible barrier stopped him from touching it. Determined to leave the dungeons he tried to climb over the rope without tangling himself in his purple robes. He was stopped once again by the barrier.
“Diffindo,” he tried again – because what could it hurt? Nothing happened. By now he had caught Ron and Hermione’s attention.
“Maybe a stronger spell?” Hermione suggested.
“‘Diffindo’ should be plenty strong for a rope,” Harry disagreed but tried a stronger spell anyway, “Sectumsempra.”
Again nothing happened.
“Hmm,” Hermione furrowed her brow in thought. She rapidly began shooting cutting spell after cutting spell at the rope, but it stayed persistently whole. Meanwhile, Harry looked over to the swords, maybe having one would be useful after all. He went over to take one.
“Let me try again,” he asked Hermione. She looked at the sword skeptically but stepped aside. Harry swung the sword cutting through the rope like butter.
“Cool!” Ron said, walking over to get his own sword and take one for Hermione.
“Why does a sword but not magic work?” Hermione complained eyeing the sword Ron was offering her skeptically.
“I don’t know but does it matter?” Harry asked.
“I guess not,” she sighed, taking the sword and walking into the corridor.
“Shouldn’t we try breaking through the bars into that other room first?” Ron asked.
“I already tired,” Harry replied.
“Okay,” Ron shrugged, following his friends down the corridor.
The room it opened into wasn’t much different from the one they had left. The same sort of assorted items were lying around and except for the wall straight ahead, the room was made of stone. Off too their left was a moat for some odd reason and a retracted wooden bridge that led to a stone platform.
“This is a weird place,” Harry said.
“I agree,” Hermione mumbled, distractedly trying to levitate some of the debris lying around across the moat. It got about half way across before hitting an invisible barrier and dropping into the moat. Seeing that Hermione had that approach covered he inspected the boarded wall. Something was behind it.
“EARTH,” the same Voice from before surrounded them. Ron got a glint in his eyes.
“Step aside Harry,” he said. Hastily, Harry did so. Ron was being a bit too trigger happy for his tastes today.
“EARTH,” a brown orb circled Ron. Eyeing him warily Harry stepped back a couple more steps. Hermione interrupted her attempts at levitating things across the moat to get a healthy distance between herself and Ron’s line of fire as well. Once Ron was sure his friends were out of the way, he tilted his staff towards the wooden boards. A large stone flew out of his staff at the boards, breaking them and revealing a tiny alcove with an unlit sconce.
“FIRE,” the weird Voice supplied.
“FIRE,” Ron echoed barely letting the orange orb form before he tilted his staff at the sconce. A spray of fire emitted from his staff towards the sconce but was too short to reach. Ron frowned.
“FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE,” Ron chanted. The first five times he said ‘FIRE’ an orange orb appeared, the sixth and seventh time nothing happened. Hermione and Harry both took another step back. Ron tilted his staff at the sconce and a significantly longer spray of fire appeared, igniting the sconce and scorching the wall behind it. A rumbling sound made Harry turn to the moat: the wooden bridge was moving forward connecting the room they were in with the platform on the other side. Hastily, they walked over to the next room only to find it was bisected by the moat with a retracted bridge again. Across the moat there was another unlit sconce and a weird thing that looked like a generator next to a barred door.
“That fire spell isn’t going to reach across the moat,” Hermione said she pointed her staff at the sconce, “incendio.”
The ‘incendio’ didn’t do anything but reproduce the fire spray of the single orb ‘FIRE’.
“Huh, what now?” she asked.
“Spell combinations,” Ron said, “EARTH, FIRE.”
One brown and one orange orb appeared. Ron concentrated for a moment aiming at the sconce, then he cast. A burning stone flew across the moat and crashed into the sconce, exploding and emitting fire in all directions. As a by-product it also lit the sconce which triggered the expansion of the bridge. They crossed the bridge to inspect the closed door on the other side. When they stepped onto the platform the Voice sounded again.
Harry looked at the generator thing and grinned.
“LIGHTNING,” he repeated. Once the purple orb had appeared he aimed his staff for the generator. Lightning arched between him and the generator hitting it and jumping on to strike Ron.
“Harry!” Hermione shrieked hurrying to heal Ron with a well-placed ‘LIFE’.
“Sorry,” he said grinning manically as he watched the generator whirl to life and the door move aside.
Trading uneasy glances, Ron and Hermione followed Harry into the next room. There the water level here was considerably higher than in the previous room as there was a shallow aqueduct bisecting the room, despite the water level in the moats in the previous room being about a meter lower.
‘It must be magic at work,’ Hermione consoled herself.
Harry and Ron mean while, hurried through the aqueduct to get to the two generators on either side of the exit.
“LIGHTNING,” Harry cast eagerly only to cry out in pain when it redirected to him instead of the generators.
“LIFE,” Hermione pointed her staff at Harry, “It seems like casting LIGHTNING while being wet is a bad plan.”
“But LIGHTNING won’t reach from where you are standing,” Harry complained.
“That’s ok,” Ron said pointing his staff at himself, “FIRE.”
“RON!” both Harry and Hermione shouted.
“Relax,” Ron said, “no harm done and I’m dry now. LIGHTING.”
This time the spell hit both generators simultaneously and only did not hit Harry because he cast a hasty FIRE on himself. Seeing that the door was open and self-casting FIRE while wet didn’t seem to cause any damage, Hermione crossed the aqueduct and dried herself so they could continue on to the next room. She almost despaired when she saw that the moat was back with a water level far below that of both the previous room and the one before that. To her it was only peripheral that there also was no bridge to reach the next generator that would presumably open the exit.
“ARCANE,” echoed the disembodied Voice.
“What is that supposed to be?” Harry asked.
“Let’s test it,” Ron suggested. He pointed his staff towards the generator, “ARCANE.”
A red beam left his wand but the generator stayed stubbornly silent. Harry recalling how Ron had lit the sconce two rooms back suddenly began to grin.
“Let me,” he said the glee in his voice making Hermione and Ron take a step away from him, “ARCANE, LIGHTING,” he intoned making a red ball and a purple ball orbit him. Then he pointed his staff towards the generator. Like for Ron a red beam left the staff but purple lighting cackled along it. When the beam hit the generator the machine whirled to life and the door to the next room rumbled open.
“Wait a second,” Ron stopped them before they left the room, “LIGHTNING,” a purple ball appeared, “EARTH,” instead of a second ball appearing the purple ball disappeared. Ron nodded to himself.
“Why did you do that?” Hermione asked.
“Just testing something,” Ron said. Hermione gave him a weird look but didn’t ask.
“COLD,” echoed around them when they entered the next room. There were a few steps leading down to an area flooded with a red substance and barrels almost as tall as them.
“Is that blood or wine?” Harry asked, morbid curiosity getting the better of him.
“Blood,” said Ron just as Hermione answered, “Wine.”
Harry rolled his eyes, “Either way, I’m not walking through it. COLD.”
As he had hoped a spray left his staff freezing the liquid all the way to the other side where steps led out of the liquid and onto higher ground. Carefully, he stepped onto the ice and walked/slid to the other side. Ron, behind him, took a running start sliding across the ice in one go, passing Harry on the way. Seeing that the ice had supported both of them Hermione tentatively stepped onto it. When she was about half way across, the ice melted duping her into the red liquid. She caught herself with one hand on the ground, just barely avoiding taking an unwilling mouthful.
“Definitely wine,” she said as she straightened herself and waded out to join Harry and Ron.
“FIRE,” Ron cast at her getting rid of the wine.
“Thanks,” she smiled at him.
Meanwhile Harry was investigating the next section. There were several large furnaces to his right and a pile of rubble blocking the way forward. He pointed is staff at the rubble, “Bombarda.”
An EARTH projectile shot from the crystal of the staff and impacted the rubble. It dissolved leaving a sizable dent in the rubble but no way to pass.
“‘Bombarda’ is supposed to blow things up not shoot chunks of rock that makes it look like something was blown up,” Hermione observed.
“I know. I mean other spells are just fine… lumos,” he cast. Immediately not only his staff but Ron and Hermione’s lit up as well.
“Harry!” Hermione complained squinting against the blinding glare.
“Sorry. Nox,” Harry said hastily.
“Mate,” Ron sighed in relief. He walked forward to inspect the pile of rubble.
“WATER,” instructions echoed at them.
Hermione, being closest the nearest furnace, pointed her staff at it, “WATER.”
Water sprayed from her staff dousing the furnace quickly. With the fire out they could see that the next furnace was connected to the first.
“WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER, WATER;” Hermione chanted making five blue balls orbit her, then she stepped into the doused furnace and aimed her staff at the next furnace. A much larger spray exploded from the crystal dousing not only the furnace in front of her but the one behind it as well.
“Excellent,” Ron said leading the way through the dead furnaces and around the pile of rubble.
“Really,” Harry complained seeing the long corridor with a piston, the height of the ceiling, operating along the entire length of it. It was repeatedly opening a gap so he could see the end of the corridor and then slamming against the opposite wall at a rate so fast they had no hope of crossing the corridor without being squished to death. The drains located in the corridor floor were not encouraging.
“Look, a book,” Hermione said excitedly pointing at the shelf next to them. Before Harry or Ron could react she had already grabbed it.
“The most obscure of magicks are spells. They are not elemental in nature but…” she read out to them.
Ron peered over her shoulder. In quick succession he conjured up LIGHTING, ARCANE, and FIRE, then instead of pointing his staff he shouted, “HASTE!” Without hesitation he ran along the corridor at speeds he never would have managed without magical aid, avoiding the piston with ease.
“Huh, ‘not elemental in nature’,” Harry quoted. Hermione frowned.
“How does LIGHTING, ARCANE, and FIRE make speed?” she asked making a purple, red and orange orb appear, the book forgotten as she considered the impossibility before her. Gently she tipped her staff forward making a red beam rimmed in lightning and fire shoot out of the crystal and hit Ron at the other end of the corridor, setting him on fire and making his hair stand on end.
“Sorry, Ron!” she shouted him while he used a hastily cast “WATER” to douse the fire.
“Don’t kill me!” he shouted back nursing various scorch marks as well as a bunch of other wounds.
“Sorry!” she shouted again and, “LIFE,” she directed the green beam to heal Ron.
Not wanting to waste more time, Harry followed Ron’s example in using HASTE to avoid the pistons and encouraging Hermione to do the same. She promptly wasn’t fast enough and was squished to death by the pistons, leaving only a red blood stain, her staff and sword behind.
“Oh my god Hermione!” Ron cried stepping back out to the pistons.
“Ron,” Harry dragged him back away a few steps onto the packed earth of what appeared to be a room under construction or even a mine. A blue light appeared conjuring Hermione, a new staff and sword included. Harry could still see the old ones lying where she had died.
“Hermione,” Ron exclaimed hugging her tightly.
“I’m OK Ron,” she said shakily.
“Thank goodness,” Harry sighed stepping up to Ron and Hermione to join the group hug. After a few minutes of reassuring themselves that Hermione was in fact fine, Harry untangled himself and took a step back.
“Everyone good to continue?” he asked very much ready to get out of here.
“I’m fine,” Ron said then saw the little, yellow workers in the room, “look house-elves!”
Hermione, who had nodded along with Ron spun to look at the workers.
“Those aren’t house-elves,” she said, “Those are goblins.”
“They look like house-elves,” Ron insisted.
“No they do not. And it’s goblins that work mines,” Hermione disagreed.
“Goblins are more aggressive. They have to be house-elves.”
“No. They are goblins.”
As if fed up with their argument the Voice interrupted them, “Imps.”
“No way are those imps!” Ron and Hermione agreed instantly.
Harry however was spared the continuation of their argument by an imp/goblin/house-elf/whatever rushing at him with its pickax raised. Quickly he brought up his sword blocking the attack on him with a loud clang. In parallel he hastily conjured a ball of ARCANE and two balls of LIGHTING and shot the resulting red and purple beam at his attacker. The worker exploded in a splatter of gore covering Harry from head to toe and attracted the other workers attention.
“Oh my god, Harry are you OK?” Hermione asked a shell shocked Harry.
Harry just blinked staring at the pickax where it lay on top of a large bloodstain on the ground.
“Mate?” Ron asked gently, slowly stepping closer.
“I think I’m fine,” Harry said slowly, barely noticing the workers shouts as they ran at them weapons raised. Ron was not so distracted. Five balls of LIGHTING formed around him and were immediately released at the enemy in a cackling arc of lighting. The lighting jumped from worker to worker and then to Harry killing all the workers and Harry, leaving only their weapons behind.
“Harry!” Hermione shrieked, “Oh my god!”
“You came back, you think Harry can?” Ron asked much more collected than Hermione.
“Maybe?” Hermione said, “I heard ‘REVIVE’ before I came back. Did either of you cast a spell?”
“No… but it sounds like a spell.”
“Maybe it was the Voice that taught us the elements? It sounded similar?”
“Maybe,” Ron agreed, “As soon as we learn the spell we can get Harry back.”
Hermione nodded resolutely, “Maybe we can even help these goblins.”
“Harry first, house-elves second,” Ron said firmly, “but first we need to get out of here so we can ask that other wizard to teach us REVIVE.”
Paying careful attention to their surroundings in case they were attacked again, they walked through the now empty mine. The next room looked like the dungeons from before, except that someone had put in a wooden floor in this room and this room only. Straight ahead there was a lever and to their left was a door made of iron bars leading to the next room. Hermione walked up to the door to look into the room beyond.
“There is a red carpet leading up a flight of stairs,” she told Ron, “looks like we’re almost out of here.”
“Good,” he said, “this lever should open the door.”
He pulled at the lever, successfully making the door open. Much more confident than just moments before he walked into the next room, Hermione following close behind.
“SHIELD,” the Voice said.
“SHIELD,” Ron cast promptly generating a glowing yellow half-dome and not a second too late. A weird floating being had appeared, gray with one eye, six arms and a large mouth full of pointed teeth. Each hand shot a ball of ARCANE at them which bounced off Ron’s shield into the room leaving scorch marks on the walls, floor and ceiling. Noticing the shield had weakened form the onslaught Ron rapidly recast SHIELD only to have more ARCANE balls reflect off it.
“Do something!” Ron demanded.
“EARTH” Hermione shouted pointing her staff at the being. A rock shot from her staff and hit the shield making it rebound back towards them. Ron and Hermione dove off to the sides narrowly avoiding being hit by the projectile.
“SHIELD” they both cast simultaneously to avoid being hit by the red arcane balls the being was still shooting at them. Behind the shields Hermione ran over to Ron so he could protect both of them freeing her up to cast more spells.
“Maybe something that won’t hurt us?” Ron demanded.
“I know,” Hermione cried, “Lumos!”
Ron’s staff, Hermione’s staff and the remaining staff in the barred off neighboring room from when they landed in this mess, all lit up blindingly. Ron’s shout of “Hermione!” was drowned out by the six-armed thing’s shriek of pain. Encouraged, Ron dropped the shield and they both attacked.
“EARTH, EARTH, EARTH, EARTH, EARTH,” they chanted in unison, aimed at their attacker squinting through the light the staves were generating, and sent a large ball of rock each at the six-armed thing. With a last shriek and a large splat it died.
“Nox,” Ron said making all three staves go dark again.
“Thank goodness,” Hermione sighed, “Let’s see where those stairs take us.”
Carefully, checking for attackers every step of the way, Ron and Hermione climbed the stairs towards the sound of music. They entered a large room with a bunch of men in brown robes having a party with live music and food. Over to the left a couple of wooden boards were nailed to the checkered floor and covered with one of the red carpets scattered across the room. The man that had shouted down at them when they crash landed immediately accosted them.
“Wow, you made it!” he exclaimed, “We sent Behold down to look for you. You know, our pet watcher.”
“Think he meant that six-armed thing?” Hermione muttered at Ron.
“Yea,” he whispered back, “Maybe we should have used the password.”
“I guess you must have missed him,” the man continued, “Anyway… Considering Propp’s miscast, it’s probably for the best if you had this Magick.”
“REVIVE, METEOR-SHOWER, CRASH TO DESKTOP,” echoed the Voice seemingly transmitting the appropriate elemental combinations directly into Ron and Hermione’s brains. The man had apparently not heard.
“Maybe it’s best you leave before we have any more ‘accidents’,” he finished as if the Voice hadn’t spoken.
Ignoring the man Hermione conjured LIFE and LIGHTING and firmly said, “REVIVE!”
In a beam of blue light Harry appeared before them in all his purple robed glory.
“Thank goodness, you are back,” Hermione sobbed, hugging him hard.
“Yea, mate,” Ron agreed joining the hug.
“I’m fine now,” Harry reassured them. Ron took a step back while Hermione continued to cling to him. Harry gently patted her back reassuring her that he was fine.
In the meantime Ron was conjuring FIRE, EARTH, STEAM from FIRE and WATER, EARTH again, and FIRE again. Then he intoned solemnly, “METEOR-SHOWER.”
“Ron,” Hermione exclaimed disengaging from the hug, “you can’t just cast random spells!”
“It’s an environmental spell and we are in the building. Nothing happened, as expected,” Ron defended himself.
“But what if something had happened? METEOR-SHOWER doesn’t sound safe,” Hermione argued back.
“Look, its fine,” Ron said and Harry quit paying attention to the argument. Instead he figured he could practice REVIVE to help keep each other alive. Plus it was cast with LIGHTNING, always a bonus.
A green and a purple ball began to orbit him then, “REVIVE.”
A man in a black robe appeared in a beam of blue light looking very disoriented. Harry blinked and prepared to cast again.
A woman in a green robe appeared in a blue beam of light.
Blue beam of light – a man in a purple robe, like Harry’s.
Nothing happened. By now Harry had drawn the attention of everyone but Ron and Hermione, who were still arguing.
“Why are there two of each of you?” one of the brown robed men asked.
Whatever Harry was going to reply to that was abruptly drowned out by Ron and Hermione’s argument.
“YOU CAN’T JUST CAST RANDOM SPELLS AND HOPE THINGS TURN OUT OK!” Hermione shouted.
“WATCH ME!” Ron screamed back two LIGHTING, one FIRE, and one LIFE ball orbiting him, “CRASH TO DESKTOP!”
“Good luck!” Harry shouted at the people he had revived as he, Ron and Hermione fell into the black hole that appeared beneath them. With a painful slam, the three landed on a very large desk in the middle of the otherwise still bare and scorched Room of Requirement. Under pained groans the three of them clambered off the desk.
“Let me heal that,” Hermione said pointing her wand at a bruise Harry was sporting on his cheek, “LIFE.” Nothing happened. She tried a regular healing spell, a blue beam emerged from her wand, and the bruise healed right up.
“Good,” she sighed inspecting her wand, “it seems things are back to normal.”
“Yea,” Ron agreed grinning, “You two are back in uniform again. I’m not the only one anymore.”
“That is what you focus on?” Hermione asked exasperated.
“Well, you’ve got us covered for everything else,” Ron said.
Glancing at his watch Harry interrupted them, “Let’s go to Defense.”
“We’re still on time? Excellent,” Hermione agreed promptly leading the way out of the Room of Requirement and out into the familiar Hogwarts halls. Behind her back Ron and Harry exchanged a grin and followed. Hermione’s good mood lasted right until they entered the Defense classroom.
“Why is there a moose?” she asked rooted on the spot. Harry and Ron peered past her to see a dead moose, its throat a bloody mess, lying innocently next to the teaches desk.
“I don’t know,” Harry said gently herding his friends to some desks in the middle row near the door, “I’m sure the teacher will tell us.”
A pale man in a red dress shirt, black pants and a long black open robe chose that moment to enter from the attached teacher’s office. He opened his mouth to speak and the Voice came out, “Good Morning, I am the senior tutor of the university – Vlad – and I am not a vampire. This semester I have been asked to take a break teaching at the university and teach you fresh bloo– em pupils Defense.”