Prologue: Liberi Fatali
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
Wake up from your sleep, my children
Your childhood years are gone
Wake from your sleep, Fated Children
Your slumber is over
Come to the Garden of Truth
The Spring of the Garden of Truth
With the Fiery Truth
Burn away the Evils of the World
With the Fiery Truth
Light the Darkness of the World
Be strong, Children
These fateful days
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
The halls of Hogwarts were silent; one could almost hear a pin drop. Harry, Ron, and Hermione crept along the corridors, trying to avoid being seen or heard as it was past curfew. ‘I know it was here,’ Ron muttered, leading them down a corridor to a dead end. Only a solid wall stared back at them. ‘It was here,’ Ron said in bewilderment, touching the cold stone.
‘Well, it’s not here now,’ Harry answered, wondering if Ron imagined the whole thing.
‘Doorways don’t just disappear,’ Ron answered, pushing at the stones to see if there was a hidden switch.
Hermione rolled her eyes. ‘Ron, are you sure you weren’t dreaming?’
Ron shook his head. ‘No, I didn’t imagine it! It was here earlier!’ he barked, sounding harsher than he intended.
Hermione frowned at his attitude but shook any comebacks from her mind. She wasn’t about to get into an argument with him. Instead, Hermione pulled her wand out. ‘I’ll try a revealing charm,’ she said, pointing her wand at the wall. She spoke the incantation, and the hallway lit up with a blue light.
‘Well, if there were anything here, the Revealing Charm would have showed us where it is,’ Hermione told them, putting her wand away.
Ron shook his head. ‘Maybe the magic used to conceal it is more powerful than your spell,’ he said to her, receiving a shrug in response.
‘Maybe it’s a timed doorway?’ Harry said thoughtfully, touching his hand to the stone.
‘Timed?’ Ron asked him.
‘It only appears once a day at a certain time or something,’ Harry mused, but he was not entirely convinced of this himself. Why would there be a timed doorway? If it was so secret, why allow it to be discoverable at all?
‘Maybe,’ Ron muttered, lowering his eyes to the floor. He felt embarrassed because he dragged them all the way up here for nothing.
‘Well, look what we have here,’ came an unwelcome voice from the end of the hallway. The trio turned to see Draco Malfoy leaning against the wall, twirling his wand casually.
‘What do you want, ferret?’ Ron growled, gripping his wand tightly.
Hermione closed her eyes and bit her tongue. She wondered why Ron rose to everything Malfoy said. He got pissed off if the Slytherin so much as breathed in his direction. She placed a hand on Ron’s shoulder and gave him a look which made him back down.
Malfoy laughed. ‘You have him well trained, Granger,’ he said, giving her a smirk.
Hermione’s grip on Ron’s shoulder tightened when she felt him tense in anger. ‘Go away, Malfoy. No one wants you here,’ Hermione stated, glaring at the blonde.
Malfoy glared at her. ‘No one wants you at all, Mudblood,’ he snarled at her. Hermione glared at him, her cheeks flushing red in anger and Malfoy knew he’d hit a sore spot.
A loud scraping noise caused them to look at the blank wall. The stones were shifting, revealing an archway. Forgetting who was in the hallway, the trio looked into the tunnel cautiously.
Malfoy’s eyes widened fearfully at the archway. Not caring about who he was in the company of, Malfoy followed the trio into the hallway curiously.
Murals decorated the walls showing creatures they had never seen before. Hermione studied them and looked at the writing beneath them. The words were in a language she couldn’t understand. ‘What are these?’ She muttered in awe.
‘No idea,’ Harry answered, looking around. He noticed Malfoy had followed them in, but he opted not to say anything while he was just curious. Harry couldn’t blame him; the murals were fascinating. He stopped at one depicting a large green and gold bird with its wings stretched out. Electricity surrounded it, and a thunderstorm raged in the clouds behind it. The title of the mural was “Quezacotl”, but he couldn’t read what it said about it.
Malfoy stopped at one which looked like a cactus, but it had arms, legs, and a face. A smile tugged at his lips when he noticed the curly moustache given to the plant, and he imagined the artist must have had a brilliant sense of humour. He moved to the mural next to it and shuddered at the depiction before him. The head was an oval shape, with what appeared to be closed angel wings. The body holding it up was long and resembled a woman.
‘Who disturbs this ancient place!’ came a deep, resounding voice.
The trio and Malfoy jumped at the noise, turning to see a door at the end of the hallway. It glowed brightly, and they shielded their eyes from being blinded. Hermione felt the sudden urge to run and never step foot in this place again. Her curiosity got the better of her, and she edged towards the door. Hermione glanced to her side to see Malfoy walking next to her, and she frowned. She forgot he was with them.
They entered the room cautiously, and the door slammed shut behind them. Harry, Ron, and Malfoy ran to the door and pulled at the handles, but it was sealed shut. Hermione tried the unlocking charm, but this didn’t work. In a panic, the trio and Malfoy moved about the room looking for another way out.
Hermione stopped and took in the room while the guys looked for another exit. The room was a circular chamber with a high ceiling. Along the walls were more murals of the same creatures they saw in the hallway, but they were drawn differently and showed them using unbelievable power. It shook her to the core, and she felt a shiver run down her spine. Her eyes moved to the ceiling where another mural depicted a castle floating on an island held in place by massive chains.
‘Why are you here?’ came the voice again.
The group looked around to where it seemed to be coming from, but there was no one there. What they did notice was a golden pedestal, and on top was a green cushion. Slowly, they made their way over towards it, not wanting to anger whatever lived in this chamber.
‘Stop!’ the voice shouted, and they froze in place. A force gripped them, and they found themselves falling to their knees.
Hermione cried out, collapsing to the ground. ‘What is this magic!’ she yelled, and then it lifted. Hermione didn’t move from the floor for fear of the same force appearing.
‘What happened?’ Harry asked, looking around the room for any signs of life, but the torches didn’t do much to light up the room.
They gasped when the torches died, and complete darkness enshrouded them. ‘Guys?’ Hermione called out, but she received no response from them. ‘What’s going on?’ Hermione whispered, her voice shaking.
‘They were not worthy, so I expelled them from this sacred chamber,’ came the deep voice.
‘Expelled?’ Hermione asked fearfully.
The torches flared to life, and in the flickering light, Hermione could now see a towering monster. It looked like a giant red lion with great white wings spanning the chamber. Hermione screamed, moving towards the only exit in the room. She pounded on the door, but it was no use. A force took hold of her, and Hermione floated towards the creature, becoming level with its face. Hermione stopped struggling upon noticing the creature’s eyes held such sorrow. His eyes were beautiful, like two sapphires, but what shocked her was how human they appeared.
‘What do you want?’ she asked the creature.
‘I am Griever. For years I slumbered in my Ring waiting for your arrival,’ he told her.
‘Why me?’ She asked, hoping the creature hadn’t harmed Harry or Ron. Hell, she even hoped Malfoy was okay.
‘You hold the key to the future, and breaking my curse,’ he answered, and his eyes softened. ‘You will learn all in time,’ he whispered, and Hermione frowned. He sounded so defeated like a terrible burden lay on his shoulders.
‘Key?’ She asked, not knowing what else to say to the creature. Without more information, she would struggle to help him.
‘It is not yet time. Sleep now,’ the creature answered, and Hermione felt herself drifting off into a peaceful slumber. Griever sighed, taking in her peaceful form, ‘Forgive me, my love,’ he whispered, and a single tear escaped from his eye.