Harry Potter and the Mirror's Gift. Chap...
This story is a Lupin romance, and came about after I first read the first three HP books in May 2000. Book 3 was the one I enjoyed most; I liked Lupin's character in particular, and it seemed a pity he didn't really get a happy ending, so I decided to give him one. It was written before books 4 to 7 came out, so some parts may lack accuracy. Hope you will enjoy reading it, anyway!
===================================== HARRY POTTER AND THE MIRROR'S GIFT =====================================
---------------------- CHAPTER ONE ----------------------
A new school year has begun. At the start of term feast, Harry is pleased to see that Professor Lupin is back as Defence Against the Dark Arts master. After the feast, he goes to see Lupin in his office, but they are interrupted halfway by Professor Dumbledore. There was a knock on the door, and Professor Dumbledore came in, looking rather preoccupied. "I've just received a letter from Professor Bubcek, Remus," he said, hardly seeming to notice that Harry was there. "There's trouble in Kamchatka. He's asked me to help, and asked if you could come too." Lupin looked surprised. "What sort of trouble?" Dumbledore looked bemused. "Someone from the dark side appears to be trying to collect followers again. Oleg thinks it's Voldemort, but I don't think" Dumbledore shook his head thoughtfully, then added, "it seems he's using a demon to help him." Lupin looked even more surprised. Dumbledore said, "There's more to it, but no time to explain. It sounds urgent I'd like to go at once. Will you come?" "Of course," Lupin said swiftly. He turned to Harry. "Harry, I have to gowe'll talk another time, shall we?" "All right," said Harry, rather taken aback, but curious. What could be happening? Was Voldemort back?
Dumbledore and Lupin had moved over to the centre of the room. "Portkeys don't work in Kamchatka," Lupin was saying, "because of the volcanoes." "Yes, and we can't Apparate the usual way from here," replied Dumbledore. "I'm going to open a Vortex." He lifted his wand. "It's a long distanceI'll have to concentrate a bit harder" There was a brilliant flash of light. It filled the whole room, then the room seemed to start to spin, faster and fasterHarry could feel himself being sucked into the vortex. He tried to grab at the door, but was pulled awayeverything rushed by in a blur, and he felt himself losing consciousness.
"Harry! Wake up!" Harry found himself lying on the ground. Professor Lupin was tapping him hard on the face. He slowly opened his eyes. "Are you all right?" Lupin asked. Dumbledore was standing behind Lupin, watching. Harry blinked. He felt as if he had been beaten thoroughly with a stick. His whole body ached. "Fine," he muttered, sitting up. He stared around. They weren't at Hogwarts any more. The morning sun shone down on him, but the air was cold. Harry shivered. Towering over him was a castle, smaller than the one at Hogwarts. Harry looked at it, fascinated. It was brightly coloured, but its most distinctive feature was that each tower was crowned with an onion-shaped dome. The surrounding countryside was a large expanse of bleak, wild-looking forest. In the distance, Harry could see what looked like a line of smoking volcanoes.
Lupin was saying to Dumbledore, "The Vortex sucked him in as well. You have to send him back." "I can't, today, Remus," Dumbledore replied, with a swift glance at Harry. "The Vortex can only be opened once a day." Harry slowly stood up. He still felt a bit dizzy. "Where are we?" he blurted out. Lupin sighed. "We're in Kamchatka, Harry," he said. "Kam - what?" said Harry blankly, "where -" "Russia," said Lupin. "It's a long way -" He was interrupted by a shout. A wizard was walking briskly up from the castle entrance. He was short and stout, with a long brown beard, and there was a jolly twinkle in his eyes. His robes were a dark grey, and trimmed with fur. A fur cap was perched on his head. For some reason, he reminded Harry vaguely of Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. "Albus!" he hailed them. "Remus! And - " he looked at Harry. "This is Harry Potter, Oleg," said Dumbledore. "I'm afraid he was swept into our Vortex by mistake, as we were coming here. Harry, this is Professor Oleg Bubcek, an old friend of mine." "Harry Potter! But of course!" cried Professor Bubcek excitedly, peering at Harry's scar, and crushing Harry's hand in his. "What an honour! I've always wanted to meet you! How delightful that - " "We came at once, Oleg," interrupted Dumbledore. "I think you should brief us immediately." Professor Bubcek became serious at once. "Of course," he said gravely, "yes, please come to my office. I'm truly grateful for your help, Albus" he was leading them to the castle. "but this is beyond anything I can handle." He turned to Lupin. "Remusit's good to see you again" Harry found himself running to keep up with them, his hand still aching from Bubcek's handshake. His mind was in a whirl. What were they doing here? How had he ended up here? He kept thinking, Ron and Hermione won't believe this -----* * *------ The interior of the castle was less colourful than the exterior. They passed doors with what looked like name plates on them, but the words were in Russian so Harry couldn't read them. Professor Bubcek led them to his office, where a maidservant brought them drinks. Harry looked at the glass before him with interest; the liquid in it was fiery red. Lupin looked at Harry and frowned. "That could well be a bit strong for you, Harry," he observed. To Harry's chagrin, he said something to the maidservant, who presently returned with a glass of what looked like pink fruit juice. They sat down around the table, and Bubcek began. "As I mentioned, Albus, we've been hearing rumours for several years that someone from the dark side has been venturing abroad again, gathering power and trying to recruit people." He looked from Dumbledore to Lupin. "For a long time we dismissed them as rumours. You know what it's like herethe villages are all very isolated, and folk here are very superstitious." Harry looked at his pink drink. It looked extremely insipid compared to what the rest were drinking. "Some of the rumours were bizarre," continued Professor Bubcek, "in particular, that this Dark Lord had demons working for him, that the demons would slaughter and drink the blood of those who resisted him." Harry took a sip of his drink, and almost choked. He felt a burning sensation in his throat. He looked at the others, but they appeared to be listening intently to Bubcek. Lupin's eyes, however, were twinkling. "Then, a week ago, a messenger came from the village of Tigil," Bubcek went on. "He said that an envoy from the Dark Lord had approached the village elders and tried to seduce them to his side. When they resisted, he attacked them a day later. The messenger said he brought a monstrous beast with himhe said the entire village was slaughtered, and those who didn't flee all perished."
Professor Bubcek shook his head. "I didn't believe him at firstbut then I went up to Tigil to have a look.It was true, Albusthe whole village was smoking and in ruinsthere were charred bodies still thereand some others, disembowelled - ." He swallowed. "Then, two days ago, another messenger came, this time sent by the elders from a village near Sedankathey had just been approached by an envoy as well, perhaps the same one. They too had turned him away, but they were terrified because of what had happened at Tigil. They begged me and the others to come and help defend them, in case they were attacked." Bubcek looked pale. "Albus, you wouldn't believe itthat night, me and some of the others went up to Sedanka. We went through a nightmare that night!" He stopped, then continued, almost in a whisper. Harry strained to hear what he was saying. "Near midnight he camea man at least seven feet talland he had with him a fearsome beast - " he swallowed. "With one wave of his wand, the village burst into flamesthe people came running outand the beast - the beast -" He gulped down some of his drink to calm himself. "The beast ran berserk through the village, slaughtering people. It was hideouspeople died like flies. We - we tried to save some, but there was mayhemit was over in minutes, the village ruined, the Dark Lord vanished with his demon "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned again, Albus, I'm sure of it," whispered Bubcek. "We're powerless against him. That's why I called you - you're the only one who can help us."
Harry took another sip of his drink. This time, the burning sensation wasn't so bad. Dumbledore frowned. "From what I know, Oleg, Voldemort is not in the vicinity of Kamchatka. I have spies" Bubcek winced at the mention of the name. "Did the envoy never tell the name of this Dark Lord?" asked Lupin. Bubcek shook his head. "No," he said. "They just call him "The Dark Lord". And we know - there is only one Dark Lord." He glanced at Dumbledore as he spoke. "There may be another attack tonight, at Kovran," he added. "That's why I sent for you. You have to help me stop this." Dumbledore was silent for a while, thinking. "Oleg, we'll do the best we can," he said at last. "But we need more information. We need to see this beast and find out what it is, we need to see your seven-foot wizard to determine if it is indeed Voldemort" Harry had finished his drink. His head was beginning to feel very light. Lupin looked at Dumbledore. "You have a plan in mind, I gather," he said. "The Abdovius charm," said Dumbledore. "I can conceal some of us on this Dark Lord's person.We can accompany him back to his castle as if we were sitting in his pocket or on his shoulder. I would like to determine the extent of his power, and see how many followers he has collected, before deciding on a strategy to combat him." "How is this charm performed?" asked Harry, intrigued. Dumbledore turned to him and smiled. "A complex charm. I can perform it for several people, no more than five." "But you are not coming with us, Harry," said Lupin firmly.
Harry opened his mouth to protest, but Bubcek was already speaking. "But - what about Kovran?" he said. "We can't let all these people die." "Evacuate them elsewhere," said Lupin decisively. "At worst, the village can go up in flames.They can rebuild it when they return." Dumbledore nodded. "We will not attack this Dark Lord tonight, Oleg," he said to Bubcek. "At the moment he does not know we are here. That will work to our advantage when we move on him later." Bubcek looked at him, then slowly nodded in assent. "Who will go tonight, then?" he asked, "Just the four of us?" "Three," said Lupin, "Harry's not coming." "But - it's Harry Potter!" pointed out Bubcek. "He has defeated He-Who- Must-Not-Be-Named before - he - " Dumbledore looked at Harry's hopeful face. "No, Oleg," he said gently, "Harry will not be coming. But you can ask one more wizard along. The Abdovius Charm works for five, but four is an easier number to handle." Bubcek looked disappointed. "I suppose I could ask Atlasov to come," he said. He rose from the table. "Tonight, then. I will show you to your rooms." -----* * *------ Harry felt gloomy as he and the others followed Professor Bubcek's maidservant to their rooms. What was the use of being in an adventure where you did nothing? He wished he had brought his Invisibility Cloak along. His room was a comfortable one, with large, old-fashioned furniture. Harry looked out of the window at the smoking volcanoes in the distance. "I'll be stuck here till tomorrow, I guess, when they send me back," he said to himself. There was a large wooden doll with big eyes and rosy cheeks on the table next to the window. It was smooth and rounded, and cylindrical in shape. Its face and arms and clothes had all been painted on. It seemed inanimate at first, then suddenly looked at Harry and spoke. "Why are you sad?" The doll's voice was high-pitched, like a little girl's. Harry, who had been looking out of the window, was startled. "I know why," chirped the doll. "You've got no company. You can open me; there are more of us inside." Harry peered closer at the doll, and saw a thin groove round her waist. Picking it up, he twisted the top half of the doll, and it came off. The doll was actually hollow, and nested inside was another smaller, identical doll. "You can open me, too," chirped the smaller doll. Harry opened the smaller doll. There was another even smaller one inside. He assumed that eventually the dolls would become so small that there wouldn't be any more inside, but after opening around thirty he realised they weren't actually getting any smaller. There was now a small sea of dolls surrounding him, and they were all talking to each other in high, twittering voices. At this moment, someone knocked on the door. The dolls all squeaked in fright, and to Harry's alarm they suddenly jumped into the air and flew toward him like a swarm of bees. Instinctively, he lifted the remaining doll he was holding up in front of him, to ward them off, before he realised they weren't attacking him. One by one, they flew straight toward the doll in his hand and disappeared inside it.
In a twinkling, the room was empty of dolls, and the doll in his hand was suddenly wooden and inanimate again. Harry put the doll back on the table and then went and opened the door. It was Professor Bubcek. "Just came to see if you're comfortable, Harry, and get acquainted a bit," he said cheerfully. "Oh - er - of course," said Harry, surprised, and let him in. He glanced at the doll, but it remained silent. "The - the room's very nice," he added, politely. Bubcek seemed a bit nervous. "May I sit down?" he inquired, and lowered his portly frame into a chair. Harry sat down on the bed.
Professor Bubcek seemed to have something on his mind, but didn't quite know how to start saying it. "Harry," he began at last, "please do not think me forward, but - such a coincidence - it seems a godsend - I hope you won't mind if I speak my mind." Harry felt rather apprehensive. "Not at all," he said politely. "Well, the fact is," said Bubcek, his beard twitching a bit, "it seems providential to me that you came along - as a matter of fact, I believe it was fated." He stopped, and looked meaningfully at Harry. Harry stared blankly back. Bubcek continued, "You are the only one who has ever defeated He-Who- Must-Not-Be-Named! You are exactly the person we need to aid us in our quest now! No, it was no accident you came here - destiny has sent you here to help us, in our moment of need." "Professor Bubcek - " began Harry. "I tell you, it is so." Bubcek looked furtively around, as if he might be overheard, then leaned forward and said in a whisper, "Tonight, you must come with us." "But Professor Lupin - " "Remus, as your teacher, is understandably anxious about your safety," said Bubcek, waving a hand impatiently. "But his concern for you blinds him to the bigger picture - " There was a knock at the door. "Harry?" It was Lupin's voice. "Are you there?" Bubcek panicked. "Quick!" he hissed at Harry, thrusting something in his hand. "Take this. If you wear it, it will make you invisible." Harry found himself clutching a small amulet on a chain. "Think about it," whispered Bubcek urgently. "Remember, Harry, the lives of all those villagers depend on you."
Lupin knocked on the door again. "He's coming, Remus, I was just having a chat with him," called out Bubcek, opening the door. Harry hastily stuffed the amulet into his robes. Lupin looked from Bubcek to Harry. "I hope I'm not interrupting -" he began. "Oh no, no, no, indeed," said Bubcek, "just popped by, just getting acquainted with Mr Potter here, so exciting, you know, to have a chance to meet him." His face had gone rather pink. "Well, I must be off," he puffed. "I did enjoy our chat," he said to Harry."Think about what I said, won't you? " - to Lupin - "I'll see you, Remus," and he disappeared out the door. Lupin looked slightly suspiciously after him, then closed the door and turned to Harry. "He just came to ask if I liked my room," said Harry, trying not to look guilty. "Oh?" said Lupin, raising an eyebrow. Then, seeing Harry's face, he smiled. "I know this is all a bit confusing to you, Harry," he said kindly, "but it doesn't really concern you, you know. Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, Professor Dumbledore will send you back to Hogwarts." "But -" said Harry. "I'd like to help. I mean - maybe it wasn't a coincidence I came along; maybe there's something I could do." He looked hopefully at Lupin.
Lupin shook his head slightly. His expression was stern. "Tonight, I want you to promise me you'll stay in this castle," he said, looking intently at Harry. "Don't even think of trying to follow us -" "I wasn't -" protested Harry. "The magic in this part of the world is slightly different from that at Hogwarts," continued Lupin. "True, the majority of the people here are simple folk, with only rudimentary knowledge of magic. But there are also some wizards who are well versed in the magical arts, and they can be very dangerous indeed." He looked at Harry seriously. "Some of them don't even need wands to do advanced magic, Harry. It would be foolish to provoke them or cross their path. Promise me you'll stay in this castle, if possible, this room, tonight." Harry looked at him. "You've been here before," he said. It was a statement, not a question. Lupin looked surprised. "I have, a while ago," he answered. "I did some research here after I left Hogwarts. That's why I know Professor Bubcek. He's the Director of this Institute." "Do you know any of the local magic? The type that doesn't need wands?" asked Harry, intrigued. Lupin looked stern again. "I know a little," he said shortly. "But not much. In fact, from what Professor Bubcek says about this new Dark Lord, the magic we might require here could well be beyond anything I could contribute. I believe Professor Dumbledore only asked me to come because I'm familiar with this place, and because I know Professor Bubcek." He got up to go. "This magic is dangerous, Harry," he repeated. "Don't think of trying to learn any of it. It can be fatal to play with it, especially while you are still not yet a fully qualified wizard."