Chapter 13: Dangerous Detentions
Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape or form own the characters and settings of the Harry Potter universe. Everything belongs to JK Rowling.
'I can't believe they only got two weeks detention,' Daphne grumbled. 'And it's with Dumbledore! I bet he'll only have them do their homework or something equally ridiculous.'
Harry looked thoughtful. 'What I want to know is where and how the oaf got the dragon.' he said slowly. 'They're not easy creatures to find. The eggs especially.'
'That's a point,' Daphne agreed.
'Did Hagrid really expect to hide a fully-grown dragon?' Mandy wondered.
'It's Quirrell,' Harry said. 'It has to be. But why Hagrid?'
'We're missing part of the puzzle,' Mandy said seriously. 'We should go over it.'
'Quirrell's a Death Eater,' said Crabbe.
'We know, idiot,' said Goyle.
Harry shoved his chair back as he stood and started pacing. 'We know Quirrell is trying to steal the Stone for Voldemort,' he said. 'But there must be obstacles to get around first.'
'Obviously Dumbledore's done something,' said Daphne.
'It's no coincidence that strange mirror is here,' Harry added. 'That must have something to do with it'
'Like what?' asked Mandy.
Harry shrugged, making the two girls smile. It was a very casual gesture and Harry rarely, if ever, fid casual. 'I don't know,' he said.
'McGonagall will have done something,' Daphne said. 'She and Dumbledore are in each other's pockets.'
'True,' said Mandy. 'All major decisions are made by the pair of them.'
'What about your father?' Daphne asked. 'Maybe he could tell us.'
'I can ask,' Harry said. 'It's hard to tell with my dad, though.'
Mandy cooed. 'I think that's the first time you've referred to him as your dad.'
Harry would have blushed had he not, years ago, taught himself how to maintain an impassive mask.
'I do not know to what you are referring,' Harry said coolly.
Mandy opened her mouth to argue but Daphne laid a hand on her arm and shook her head. She was fast coming to recognise Harry's moods. Right now he was very frustrated for not knowing the missing link and did not appreciate being teased.
'Think on it some more, Harry,' Daphne urged. 'It may come to you overnight or something.'
'Yes,' Harry said shortly.
He sat back down again, looking pensive. His eyes lit up suddenly. 'Fluffy!' he exclaimed.
Daphne's eyes lit up in understanding. 'You clever thing!' she cried, launching herself at the boy.
'Fluffy doesn't sound very scary,' Mandy said with a pout.
Harry smirked. 'All I have to do is trick the Weasel into telling me what Fluffy is,' he said smugly, 'and I'll have my missing link.'
Mandy looked confused. 'I'm not following,' she said.
Daphne patted her on the arm comfortingly. 'I'm sure Harry will explain when he has his missing link,' she said.
Harry waited two weeks before finding the perfect opportunity to trick the Weasel into giving him his desired information. Crabbe escorted Harry into the boys' toilets where Weasley was washing his hands.
'As I was saying to my father,' Harry said. 'I don't understand why Fluffy is guarding the Stone.'
Weasley's head jerked up. 'Are you mental?' he gasped. 'Fluffy's a beast.'
Harry shrugged. 'Doesn't sound all that ferocious to me,' he said.
'It's a three-headed dog!' Weasley exclaimed. 'Hagrid lent it to Dumbledore.'
'Harry smirked. 'Thanks, Weasel,' he said. 'You just told me exactly what I needed to know.'
Weasley gaped as Harry and Crabbe speedily left the bathroom.
'A Cerberus!' Daphne whispered. 'They're really rare!'
Harry nodded as Mandy huffed in annoyance. 'Will someone please explain to me what is going on?' she asked crossly.
Harry looked around to make sure nobody was watching them, before steering the two girls into an empty classroom. Crabbe and Goyle lumbered in after them and Harry locked the door and cast a Privacy Ward.
'Fluffy is a Cerberus,' Harry said bluntly. 'He belongs to Hagrid who lent him to Dumbledore for the Stone's protection.'
'But what has that got to do with Quirrell?' Mandy asked, exasperated.
'The only way to calm a Cerberus,' Harry continued, 'is to play music or sing until the beast falls asleep.'
'Quirrell,' Mandy prompted.
'My guess is that Quirrell disguised himself and bribed the information from Hagrid with a dragon's egg.'
'Which makes him a rubbish Defence professor,' Daphne added. 'Imagine teaching Defence and not knowing how to calm a Cerberus!'
'Oh. Right,' said Mandy, finally understanding.
'So who does that leave?' Daphne asked.
'Well, Dumbledore and Hagrid,' said Harry. 'I'm guessing the four Heads of Houses: McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick and my dad.'
'Defence?' Mandy suggested. 'It would make sense.'
'That's true,' said Daphne.
Harry took down the ward and they left the classroom. Walking into the Great hall for lunch, they were confronted by Granger and Weasley.
'What is your problem?' Granger demanded shrilly.
Harry gave her a cold look. 'Right now,' he drawled, 'you are my problem.'
Granger bristled angrily. 'All Ronald was doing,' she stated angrily, ignoring Weasley's hissed "Ron!", 'was minding his own business when you hexed him!'
McGonagall turned to Severus. 'I knew leaving him in your care would cause damage,' she accused.
Severus ignored her, keeping his eyes on the children.
'Hexed him?' Daphne shrieked. 'My Harry did no such thing!'
Surprising everyone, Granger reached out and slapped Daphne across the face. There was silence for a moment, then Daphne snarled and lunged at the big-haired Gryffindor.
There was a squeal and another snarl as the two started rolling around on the floor. The two girls clawed at one another and yanked on chunks of hair. Harry was impassive throughout, knowing Daphne had the upper hand.
Finally sighing, Harry stepped forward to separate the two when out of nowhere a fist came flying at Harry's nose. Harry dodged it easily and was about to reciprocate when there was a loud bang.
'Enough!' Dumbledore roared.
The two girls parted and looked up at the headmaster.
'Detention. All four of you. Tonight,' Dumbledore said angrily. 'Mr Filch will meet you in the Entrance Hall at 10!'
Harry gritted his teeth and nodded once before turning on his heel and leaving.
'You will remain here until we return,' Harry instructed Crabbe and Goyle. 'Make periodic checks on Malfoy and Parkinson. They aren't allowed to leave their rooms.'
'Yes, boss,' Crabbe and Goyle grunted.
Harry took Daphne by the elbow and led her out of the common room,
'If we're separated,' Harry murmured, 'ignore everyone and everything but me.'
'Yes, Harry,' Daphne whispered back.
Arriving at the Entrance Hall they found Filch, Weasley and Granger already waiting for them.
'You lot are wiv 'Agrid ternight,' Filch told them, grinning happily. 'Inter the Ferbiddin Forest yer goin'.'
'Students aren't allowed in there,' Granger preached bossily as they were all led down to the ruins of Hagrid's cabin.
'I don' care, Missy,' Filch snarled. 'The 'Eadmaster says yer've done wrong an' 'Agrid needs an 'and ternight.'
'Hagrid will probably split us up,' Harry murmured. 'He tries to promote inter-House unity. Just like Dumbledore.'
'Dumbledore's man through and through,' Daphne murmured back.
''Urry up, Filch!' Hagrid shouted. 'I gotta get started.'
Filch grinned evilly at the four students, showing a set of rotten yellow teeth. 'Good luck,' he said, before walking away, cackling to himself.
'Righ',' Hagrid said. 'There's a unicorn been hurt in there. We need ter find it an' get it out. We're splitting in two. 'Ermione, Snape an' Fang an' me, Ron an' Greengrass.'
'And where are we going?' Harry drawled.
Hagrid looked like he didn't want to answer him but did so reluctantly. 'Yer goin' down tha' path there,' he said gruffly, pointing own the neater one.
Harry glanced at it before looking directly into Daphne's icy blue eyes. 'Stay behind these two idiot oafs at all times,' he told her. 'Shoot red sparks if you get into trouble and green if you find the unicorn.'
Hagrid looked embarrassed for not having thought of a signal. 'Jus' wha' I were about ter say,' he said.
Harry's face was impassive. 'Come along, Granger,' he said.
'You make me sound like a dog,' Granger complained. She whistled to Hagrid's boarhound, Fang, and followed Harry into the forest.
Their feet made no sound on the mossy path and Granger shivered slightly at the creepiness and eeriness of the silent forest.
'Lumos!' Harry muttered, lighting the tip of his wand as they journeyed deeper into the set of trees.
Granger almost shot Harry a grateful look but caught herself in time, lighting her own wand instead.
'This way,' Harry said when they came to a fork. He was pointing to the left, which was narrower and darker than the right path.
'Oh please,' Granger scoffed. 'Like a unicorn would go down there. you're probably trying to lead me to a nest of Dark Creatures.'
Harry raised his eyebrows. 'Actually,' he drawled. 'I'm following the blood.'
He shone his wand on the forest floor to show a wet, silvery trail.
'That's blood?' Granger said doubtfully.
'Unicorn blood,' Harry said.
They started down the dark path. A little way in they began to hear whispered voices, urging them closer. Panicked, Granger shot up some red sparks, earning her an annoyed look from Harry. Hearing no approaching footsteps, they continued on.
A few minutes later, they recognised the slithering sound of a cloak dragging along the floor.
'Who's there?' Harry called out sharply.
There was a mutter and the path was suddenly brightly lit. a cloaked and hooded figure stood before the two of them, silver blood dripping down its front. Granger screamed and bolted back the way they'd come as the menacing figure descended on Harry.
'Depulso!' the boy cried, banishing the figure back a few feet, knocking it over in the process.
Climbing back to its feet, the figure snarled and launched itself at Harry. Despite being very tall and remarkably strong for his age, Harry was no match for the adult. He squirmed and writhed beneath the figure; kicking out and flailing his arms, trying to use any means possible to get the weight off his chest.
Harry gasped for breath and finally managed to catch the figure in the groin. Wincing in sympathy as the figure groaned and rolled off him, Harry scrambled to his feet.
'I know who you are,' Harry panted, 'and I know what you're trying to do. Hear me now and report back to your Master: I will win and I will use any means possible to do so! Leave now!'
The figure hissed at Harry, rising to its feet and sweeping away. Sending up a multitude of red sparks, Harry was not surprised to hear running footsteps soon after.
'Harry!' Daphne cried, flinging herself into her betrothed's arms.
'What was that?' asked Granger.
'Voldemort,' Harry said coolly.
A/N: So what did you think? Personally, I love this chapter. I had a lot of fun writing it and wanted to post it right away but I was being cruel and keeping you all in suspense, lol.
Thanks to iGymnast for betaing this for me