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Katie Bell, Harry Potter and the Guild

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Katie Bell, Harry Potter and the Guild

 

Part I

 

"And as the moon rises high, and the night is long, so we shall see the glory of our—"

 

Zzznnnzznnniiinnn

 

Katheryn "Katie" Bell paused in the middle of her recitation of the vows. That dull humming, ringing in her ears…The defensive charms along the perimeter of their safe house had been breached. 

 

Not for the first time, Katie wondered at the practicality of having the Guild’s safe house in the middle of Little Whinging, but that was a conversation she knew better to bring up. The last time she had questioned the decisions of the superior, they had taken away her mouth for two nights. 

 

It was a most unpleasant sensation, not having a mouth. Not being able to eat or drink or speak. And it was surprisingly itchy. 

 

Katie crept quietly from the basement, to the front door. It was late in the evening, but the late summer sky still gave plenty of light to see by. It had only been a minute or two. The intruder could not be far. 

 

Given that it was the summer holidays, she was forbidden from using her wand magic, by order of the Ministry of Magic, as well as the decrees of the Guild’s elders. She'd have to rely on more mundane tactics. Katie slipped out of the safe house soundlessly. Or as soundlessly as she could—it had been very sunny the last few days and the lack of rain had started to brown up the grass. It cracked slightly beneath her bare soles. 

 

It was one of the rules of the Guild to not wear shoes. Katie actually liked this rule. She felt more connected to her magic. A hundred feet away, she saw the stranger.

 

The stranger was a boy, not quite a man but still older than a mere child. Katie crept closer--the stranger did not seem to notice. That would make things easier--Katie was not what one would call "strong," at least in the context of Muggle dueling. But if she struck fast, that would not be an issue.

 

Another step, one bare foot in front of another. The strange boy paused and Katie froze, willing with all her might that the boy not notice her presence. 

 

She hadn’t needed to worry. The boy continued on, aimlessly. There was great tension in his shoulders. She crept closer and closer. Only three feet away now. That was close enough.

 

Katie knew better than to shout when she attacked someone--that was a classic mistake that compromised more than one promising initiate. She did not intend to kill this boy, merely figure out how he had managed to cross the barricade. Capture, but not kill. 

 

Like a whirlwind, she struck. 

 

Luck was not on her side however. Katie was skilled, but the strange adolescent boy reacted with lightning fast reflexes. She attempted to punch between his shoulders, but he side-stepped her and grabbed her arm, twisting it back. Clearly, he was experienced in fighting for his life. He was taller than her, and Katie found herself standing uncomfortably on the tips of her bare toes. 

 

Yow! That was her Quaffle arm he was yanking! 

 

"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?"

 

"You're trespassing on the property of the Guild!" Katie declared. "Unhand me at once, and you'll escape with your life, boy!"

 

"What the hell is the Guild?"

 

"That is nothing of your concern, trespasser!" Katie squirmed helplessly but the strange boy pushed her to the ground. 

 

"Who's trespassing? I live here! You attacked me!” 

 

See! This is exactly the sort of thing Katie had tried to warn her superiors about! But no--the Guild’s rituals had to take place in the most boring town in all of Britain!

 

What she lacked in strength, Katie could make up for in remorsefulness and quick-thinking. She had to act quickly before this stranger took her to be his prisoner. Katie bucked her head backwards, grinning in satisfaction when she heard the *crack* of the boy's nose breaking. 

 

"Dammit! My glasses! My nose!"

 

The boy said several other words, but they were far too inappropriate to be spoken on hallowed ground. Katie rolled onto her back, only for the boy to pin her arms down. This was a position of great vulnerability, so she had to act now. 

 

"By the fire of the comet, by the shine of the stars--" Katie began, glaring at the boy's green eyes.

 

Wait a moment, green eyes? Like emeralds? 

 

"Harry?!"

 

"Katie?!"

 

Oh, bollocks.

 

Part II

 

 

Katie was more than a little frantic as she dragged Harry back inside the safe house and down the hall to the room she had been studying her vows in. She closed the door behind her and let go a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

 

"Katie, what in the blazes are you doing here?"

 

"Harry, please," Katie bit her lip. "This is kind of a big thing, but you can't tell anyone. This is even bigger than Voldemort!"

 

"You said his name?" Harry blinked in surprise. "I don't think I've ever heard you say his name."

 

"When have we ever talked about anything other than Quidditch?" Katie asked. “Harry, you don’t really talk to anyone other than Ron and Hermione.”

 

"Fair point...but I didn't know you lived in Little Whinging!" Harry sounded excited. "It's brilliant, really, having someone from the team here. I've gotten awfully bored. It’s not the same being away from school.”

 

"Oh, Harry," Katie shook her head. She could see his point, she really could. But friendship had to take a back seat for the Guild. Once you knew about it, you either had to join the Guild or take an Unbreakable Vow never to speak of the Guild--most of those who found out about their operations opted for the latter, once the Guild had started using Memory Charms. 

 

"Mind telling me what's going on?" Harry asked. "What's with the green cloak, it's summer. You must be roasting. And who else lives here? Wood? Alicia? And why did you attack me? Oh, I'm sorry if I hurt your arm--that's your Quaffle arm! Oh, and can you get your mum to fix my glasses?" 

 

For the Good of the Guild, Katie had forgotten that Harry never shut up once he started asking questions. The answers, not that she was sure she’d given them, were that the green cloak was the traditional color for initial graduates for the Guild. Nobody else on the Quidditch team, or anyone else at Hogwarts, was part of the Guild, as far as Katie knew. She attacked him for trespassing. Oh, and her mother was rubbish at household charms, so she wouldn’t be able to fix Harry’s glasses. 

 

"Harry!"

 

"And do you have your hair done up like that? And why aren't you wearing shoes?"

 

Harry asked way too many questions. 

 

"Quiet!" Katie covered Harry's mouth with her hand. "Harry, if you're discovered, then I'm going to be in so much trouble!"

 

"Like how?" Harry asked, this time much more quietly. "If you're in danger, then we should both get out of here."

 

"I can't abandon the Guild!" Katie protested. “I’m supposed to be attending the meeting in ten minutes, and I’d get in huge trouble.” 

 

"What would they do to you?" 

 

Now there was a good question--there were various punishments for various infractions, and they tended to be thematically similar. For example, after committing the crime of insubordination, speaking out of turn and questioning her superiors, Katie's mouth had been charmed off for two days. For an infraction like this, letting a stranger into the chambers and thereby revealing secret information, Katie would most likely be subjected to interrogation to determine how much information she had allowed to be compromised. 

 

Katie felt her knees knock together. Being at the mercy of Interrogators was one of the worst fates she could think of. No matter how one begged, no matter how one pleaded, they knew how to break down every defense and they showed no compassion or yielding. 

 

"Harry, we need to get you out of here. Do you have your Invisibility Cloak?"

 

"You know about the Cloak?" Harry blinked in surprise. Or maybe because without his glasses he was blind as a bat. 

 

"Well, how else would you be able to sneak out all the time?" Katie groaned. “Harry, everyone in Gryffindor knows about the Cloak.”

 

"I don't have it with me," Harry said. "But Katie, I can't leave you to get hurt."

 

"You always did have a Saving People Thing, didn't you?" Katie couldn't keep the fondness from her voice. Harry had long proven himself to be courageous and possessing great fortitude. ”Okay...I have another idea."

 

She darted to the wardrobe and produced her old cloak, Apprentice Brown, compared to her Graduate Green. 

 

"It's gonna be a little small on you, but I think we can make this work!"

 

"Make what work?" Harry asked, though he put the cloak over his t-shirt and jeans without complaint.

 

"Trust me," Katie whispered. "They'll be calling me in soon. Don't make a sound. You'll be my Initiate.”

 

“Initiate?”

 

“You’re gonna be in the Guild,” Katie lowered her voice to a whisper. “For an hour, at least. You can do that right?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“Brilliant,” Katie said. “Alright, just do as I say. Now take off your shoes.”

 

“What?! Why?!”

 

Oh, double bollocks. 

 

Part III

 

Getting Harry to wear her old Apprentice Robe had been easy. Getting him to take his shoes off was hard. Katie hadn't expected that.

 

"None of the Guild wears shoes during rituals!" Katie hissed. "Bare feet allow us to contact further with the Ley lines."

 

"The *what*?!" 

 

"Just shut up and do what I say!" Katie begged. "Pretend I'm Hermione! She bosses you around!" 

 

"You're bossier than Hermione!" 

 

"We both know that's not humanly possible!"

 

"Alright, alright fine!" Harry toed off his old trainers and stepped awkwardly. "I still expect a full explanation!"

 

"I'll let you ask me as many questions as you like, about whatever you want, even questions that have nothing to do with the Guild if you just be quiet for a little while!"

 

It wasn't a perfect disguise by any means. Harry's borrowed robe just went past his knees, while Katie's robe, properly fitted for her, reached her ankles. And of course there was the scar to worry about, but the robe's hood covered that up well enough. 

 

Katie linked her arm with Harry and she marched him in tandem down the stairs to a hidden chamber in the hidden cellar of the safe house. A dozen other hooded figures were there already--Katie's relatives, all of them older than she. 

 

The cellar floor was earthen, and pleasantly cool compared to the dry, crinkly grass outside. Katie dug her toes into the earth. Its texture was the perfect softness. When she was little, she loved tracing pictures with her fingers and toes. She still liked the habit, actually. 

 

"My friends, my family," Chief Superior said. "Today we are gathered to rid the world of a great evil!"

 

“Hail, in the name of justice!"

 

Two hooded figures dragged a snarling man forward. The man swore in a language Katie was pretty sure was Russian. 

 

"You have committed seventeen murders, of this we know! And you have obtained the most dastardly of knowledge to further your crimes!" The Chief Superior declared. "You have stained this world completely."

 

"Raaah!"

 

"Swift as a river, force of a tempest, blazing fire and pale moonlight, we seek to know which fate is best!"

 

Green glowing light emerged from the Chief Superior's hand. The two hooded figures holding the prisoner began to glow pale blue.

 

"So it is said, so it is done! We banish you to the Outer Gates!"

 

The criminal screamed a terrible scream and then vanished. There wasn't even the tiniest trace of him left. Beside her, Katie could feel Harry stiffen. It was a hard thing, seeing a villain be banished to the Outer Gates. He’d never be able to return to this reality. 

 

"Peace my companions, for I see we have a newcomer. Katheryn, step forward."

 

Katie stepped forward and knelt before the Chief Superior. Harry took hasty steps forward and sat beside her. Ugh, sitting instead of kneeling? Harry…

 

"Katheryn, you have brought a newcomer?"

 

"I have, Honorable Chief Superior!" Katie declared. Please work, please work, please work. "I bring forth, Harry Potter!"

 

As she expected, there were excited murmurs from the other cloaked figures. Even in the Guild, the child who had survived the Killing Curse was the stuff of legends.

 

"You speak of his valor?"

 

"I know none braver! I tried to dissuade him, but he insisted on participation."

 

"He gained knowledge of us?"

 

Katie's stomach jumped into her throat. She would most certainly be sent to the Interrogators now. Her toes curled into fists in dread. She would be subjected to their most diabolical methods. 

 

"It wasn't Katie's fault!" Harry protested. "Please, don't hurt her. She's a very good friend!"

 

"You speak of her honor?"

 

"Yes! Anyone who knows her would do the same!" 

 

"And you, Katheryn, speak well of him?"

 

"I do!" Katie declared. She was doomed to the Interrogators anyway, but she would plead for Harry all the same. “He has survived the Killing Curse when he was just a baby. At eleven, he stared down a mountain troll to save the life of a classmate and defied Voldemort. At the age of twelve, he slew the mightiest of Serpents, a Queen Basilisk!" 

 

More murmurs from the various members of the Guild. This time, they seemed even more disbelieving. Katie could understand that. Harry’s adventures at school were like what you’d read in storybooks. 

 

"Is this true?"

 

"Wait, the Basilisk was a girl?” Harry asked. “Bloody hell."

 

"Such a coarse tongue you have brought to us, Katheryn!"

 

Katie hung her head. Subjection to the worst torture from the Interrogators would be mere child's play to what she was in for now. 

 

"That said," the Chief Superior said thoughtfully, "It has been long since we've had someone new join our ranks, much less someone so accomplished at such a young age. Rise, Initiate Potter."

 

They had accepted him?! This was wonderful!

 

"Katheryn, you shall be in charge of him. You shall instruct him in our ways. Any infraction that Initiate Potter commits, the punishment shall be inflicted on you ten-fold."

 

Oh, triple bollocks.

 

****