The Ever Locked Room
"Level Nine – this is the Department of Mysteries…" Alcaraz told them, "behind this door are many hidden and wonderful things… now technically you are not allowed in but for one time only we're bending the rules – this is your reward shall we say?" His eyes bubbled with excitement. "Please follow me."
The Gryffindors followed behind the minister as he made his way into the department. There was silent awe in the air as they made their way down the dark, plain corridor that lead to a black door. His hand held the door knob before he led them in, "This department is responsible for carrying out our most confidential research. Most of what is done here is done in complete secrecy. Few wizards – even those working for the Ministry – know what is located within this department. I can't tell you everything, only that here the great mysteries of our existence are studied; love, space, thought, time, death… the list is endless." Seconds later the group were stood in a circular room with a highly polished floor that resembled standing water. James and the others looked around the room to see twelve handless doors. Harry recognised the room automatically as the entrance chamber to the department of mysteries. Before they knew it the room was spinning. When it stopped, Alcaraz told them excitably; "You will each choose a door… One at a time…"
There was an excited murmuring around the entrance chamber. "Who's first?" Joshua asked the teenagers.
None of them could decide so Sirius pushed James forward but James didn't want to go first so he pushed Alice towards the minister. Alice stepped forward nervously and went towards the first door, the one directly opposite her. She looked back at the minister nervously. He tilted his head expectantly so she stepped forward and led them into the room.
"Ah…" the minister smiled, "be careful… don't get to close to the brains… In this chamber the Unspeakables study the concept of thought. They study how we think, why we think, when we think, in what way do we think… every question you could ever ask about your brain has already been asked in this room." The room was long and rectangular, lit by low-hanging lamps. There was a great big tank of brains swimming in a green solution. The students were a bit grossed out by the hideous brains. "Should we go through the next door?"
They quickly returned to the entrance chamber and this time Peter stepped forward nervously. The room had spun round once more so that they didn't know which door led to the rest of the ministry or the brain room. They entered the next room and found themselves floating. It was a dark room full of planets. "The Space Chamber – this is where space is studied… don't really know what to tell you about this one but it sure is fun right?"
The Gryffindors certainly thought so as they floated into each other doing their best to wrestle in the air. They quickly left the room and were back in the spinning entrance chamber. Frank opened the next door but they merely found themselves back in the brain room, "ah shame," Joshua tapped his back, "bad luck mate."
Next Kate tried a door. She led them into another long, rectangular room. It was full of beautiful, dancing light that sparkled like gems. They were millions of clocks and time-turners. There was a large crystal bell jar. "This room really is spectacular – the time room. Have you ever wondered about time? I know I have… how is it that it always passes… that we can get it back with a time-turner, that it always goes forward but doesn't go back – except with a time-turner, what is it that makes time work, how is it possible?"
Mary found herself back in the space room much to her disappointment and Remus ended up back in the brain room yet again. Sirius led them into the Death Chamber, a large, square room. It was dimly lit with stone tiers leading to a bit in the centre of the room. In the pit was a dais, upon which stood a very old stone archway. "The Death Chamber – don't get too close to the arch… you might not be able to walk away from it."
James was next to try a door. He led them into the Hall of Prophecy. "Every prophecy ever told lies recorded in this room. Yes James – your prophecy is here." The minister noticed James look of sudden excitement. "That's why I suggested we visit the department of mysteries. I was hoping we'd visit this room. Follow me."
The Minister led the Gryffindors down the aisle through the hall passed thousands of prophecies. He stopped when he reached the right prophecy. "Only you can lift it James…" Alcaraz encouraged him.
James took it shakily from its place on the shelf. There was a strange whisper as they hear the prophecy; YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE… TONIGHT THEY WILL ATTACK. INSTEAD OF ATTACKING THE NAMELESS MANY, THEY WILL ATTACK THE LEADER! INSTEAD OF ATTACKING THE NAMELESS MUGGLES THEY WILL ATTACK THE GOVERNMENT, PARLIMANT, THE LEADER OF THE MUGGLE PEOPLE… BUT THEY WILL ALSO ATTACK THE SCHOOL… THE BOUNDARIES WILL BE BROKEN AND THE STUDENTS WILL BE THREATENED… YOU HAVE A CHOICE TO MAKE… WILL YOU SAVE ONE OR WILL YOU SAVE MANY… TONIGHT THEY WILL ATTACK… WHO WILL YOU SAVE?
James remembered the first time he had heard the prophecy, "it doesn't get any less eerie then?"
Alcaraz laughed gently as James returned the prophecy orb back to its place. "Sadly no… anyway onto the next room…"
Lily was the last of her friends to choose a door. The door did not open when she tried it. She tried it again but it stayed close. She turned expectantly to the minister, her eyes questioning him. "Ah… the Ever-Locked Room… This door is never opened. It must be kept locked at all times. It contains something that is more terrifying and yet more wonderful than any other form of magic. It is more powerful than death, greater than human intelligence, stronger than the forces of nature. It is also the one thing we question most. The Ever-Locked Room is also known as the Love Chamber…"
"Love?" Sirius scoffed.
"Indeed Mr Black – there really is nothing greater."
"So we – we can't go in?" Lily asked.
"Sadly no… but I will tell you that it is a superb room. When I was new to the ministry, I had the privilege of working in this department. The room is brighter than the sun… it's the most magical thing I have ever seen. There are people who can't bear to be in the room. It is as if love hurts them somehow… Why don't we return to the auror office… have something to eat and I have something I want to talk to you about."