Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Through the Trapdoor

disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, just Arabella.

Enjoy! Hope you like it :) Took forever to get it right. Lost my first copy and had to redo it all over again :(

Through the Trapdoor

'That was far easier than I thought it would be,' said Hermione as they walked onto the grounds. 'I needn't have learnt about the 1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct or the uprising of Elfric the Eager.'

'Hermione, shut up,' moaned Arabella as she sat down on the grass. 'We all know that you passed. Let's just leave it at that.'

Hermione huffed.

'No more revision,' Ron signed happily, stretching out on the grass. 'You could look more cheerful, Harry, we've got a week before we find out how badly we've done, there's no need to worry yet.'

'It's not about the exams Ron,' said Arabella.

Harry was rubbing his head.

'I wish I knew what this means!' he burst out angrily. 'My scar keeps hurting – it's happened before, but never as often as this.'

'Go to Madam Pomfrey,' Hermione suggested.

'I'm not ill,' said Harry, 'I think it's a warning… it means danger's coming…'

'Go to Dumbledore,' mumbled Arabella.

'Harry, relax, the Stone's safe as long as Dumbledore's around. Anyway, we've never had any proof Snape found out how to get past Fluffy. He nearly had his leg ripped off once, he's not going to try it again in a hurry. And Neville will play Quidditch for England before Hagrid lets Dumbledore down.'

Harry nodded, but couldn't shake the feeling that he forgotten something, something important. Arabella saw distress in his face and came to sit beside him.

'Talk it out,' said Arabella.

'It all seems like some sort of coincidence or something. The dog, the dragon egg and…'

'And what?' said Arabella.

Harry jumped to his feet.

'Where're you going?' said Ron sleepily.

'I just thought of something,' said harry. 'We've got to go see Hagrid, now.'

'Why?' Hermione said as they all walked together towards Hagrid's hut.

'Don't you think it's a bit odd that what Hagrid wants more than anything else is a dragon, and a stranger turns up who just happens to have an egg in his pocket? How many people wander around with dragon eggs if it's against wizard law? Lucky they found Hagrid, don't you think? Why didn't I see it before?'

Harry started to sprint across the grounds towards the Forest. Hagrid was sitting in an armchair outside his house.

'Hullo,' he said, smiling. 'Finished yer exams? Got time fer a drink?'

'No, we're in a hurry. Hagrid, I've got to ask you something. You know the night you won Norbert? What did the stranger you were playing cards look like?'

'Dunno,' said Hagrid casually, 'he wouldn't take his cloak off.'

He saw the four of them look stunned and raised his eyebrows/

'It's not that unusual, yeh get a lot o' funny folk in the Hog's Head. Mighta bin a dragon dealer, mightn' he? I never saw his face, he kept his hood up.'

'Hagrid, did you talk to him about Hogwarts at all?' said Arabella.

'Yeah, told him I was gamekeeper her, he asked… He asked about the sorta creatures I look after… so I told him… an' I said what I'd really wanted was a dragon… an' then… yeah, then he said he had the dragon egg an' we could play cards fer it of I wanted… but he had ter be sure I could handle it, he didn't want it ter got ter any old home… So I told him, after Fluffy, a dragon would be easy…'

'And did he – did he seem interested in Fluffy?' Harry asked, trying to keep his voice calm.

'Well – yeah – how many three-headed dogs d'yeh meet, even around Hogwarts? So I told him, Fluffy's a piece o' cake if yeh know how to calm him down, jus' play him a bit o' music an' he'll go straight off ter sleep –'

Hagrid suddenly looked horrified.

'I shouldn'ta told yeh that!' he blurted out. 'Forget I said it! Hey – where're yeh goin'?'

Harry, Ron, Arabella and Hermione didn't speak to each other at all until they came to a halt in the Entrance Hall.

'We've got to go to Dumbledore,' said Harry. 'Hagrid told that stranger how to get past Fluffy and it was either Snape or Voldemort under the cloak – it must've been easy once he'd got Hagrid drunk. I just hope Dumbledore believes us. Firenze might back us up if Bane doesn't stop him. Where's Dumbledore's office?'

'What are the four of you doing inside?'

It was Professor McGonagall, carrying a large pile of books.

'We want to see Professor Dumbledore,' said Hermione.

'See Professor Dumbledore? Why?'

'It's sort of a secret,' said Harry.

'Professor Dumbledore left ten minutes ago,' she said coldly. 'He received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic and flew off for London at once.'

'He's gone?' said Harry. 'Now?'

'Professor Dumbledore is a very great wizard, Potter, he has many demands on his time –'

'But this is important.'

'Something you have to say is more impor –'

'It's about the Philosopher's Stone!' exclaimed Arabella.

The books Professor McGonagall was carrying tumbled out of her arms. She was looking at Arabella in a flabbergasted.

'Miss Black, how do you know – ' she spluttered.

'Professor, we know that someone is going to try and steal the Stone. We have to talk to Professor McGonagall,' said Harry.

She eyed them with a mixture of shock and suspicion.

'Professor Dumbledore will be back tomorrow,' she said finally. 'I don't know how the four of you found out about the Stone, but rest assured no one can possibly steal it, it's too well protected.'

'But Professor –'

'Potter, I know what I'm talking about,' she said shortly. She bent down and gathered up the fallen books. 'I suggest you all go back outside and enjoy the sunshine.'

'But they didn't.

'It's tonight,' said Harry at once when he was sure Professor McGonagall was out of earshot. 'Snape's going through the trapdoor tonight. He's found out everything he needs and now he's got Dumbledore out of the way. He sent the note, I bet the Ministry of Magic will get a real shock when Dumbledore turns up.'

'But what can we –'

Hermione gasped. Harry, Ron and Arabella turned around.

Snape was standing there.

'Good afternoon,' he said.

They stared at him.

'You shouldn't be inside on a day like this,' he said, with an odd, twisted smile.

'There's no rule against students being inside the school. Professor,' said Arabella, sarcastically saying the last word.

Snape turned to Arabella and glared at her.

'I'm going to let that one slide Black. Gryffindor really can't afford to lose any more points, can they?'

Arabella flushed. They turned to go back outside, but Snape called them back.

'Be warned, Potter – any more night-time wandering and I will personally make sure you are expelled. Good day to you.'

He strode off in the direction of the staff room.

Out on the stone steps, Harry turned to the others.

'Right, here's what we've got to do,' he whispered urgently. 'Arabella and Hermione will keep an eye out on Snape – wait outside the staff room and follow him if he leaves it.'

'Why us?' asked Hermione.

'Arabella can annoy him some more,' said Ron. 'You can pretend to be waiting for Professor Flitwick, you know.' He put in a high voice, 'Oh Professor Flitwick, I'm so worried, I think I got question fourteen b wrong…'

'Oh, shut up,' snapped Hermione.

'That does sound like you 'Mione,' teased Arabella. They both agreed to go and watch out for Snape.

'Ron and I will stay outside the third-floor corridor,' said Harry. 'Let's go.'

They were about to reach the door on the third floor when Professor McGonagall turned up and lost her temper.

'I suppose you think you're harder to get past than a pack of enchantments! Enough of this nonsense! If I hear you've come anywhere near here again, I'll take fifty points from Gryffindor! Yes, Weasley, from my own house!'

Harry and Ron went back to the common room. Harry had just said, 'At least Arabella and Hermione are on Snape's tail,' when the portrait of the Fat Lady swung open. Arabella and Hermione came in.

'I'm sorry, Harry!' Hermione wailed. 'Snape came out and asked us what we were doing, so I said that we were waiting for Flitwick, and Snape went to get him, and we've only just got away. We don't know where he went.'

'Well, that's it the, isn't it?' Harry said.

The other three stared at him.

'I'm going out there tonight and I'm going to try and get to the Stone first.'

'You mad!' said Ron

'You can't! After what Professor McGonagall and Snape have said? You'll be expelled!' said Hermione.

'SO WHAT?' Harry shouted. 'Don't you understand? If Snape gets hold of the Stone, Voldemort's coming back! Haven't you heard what it was like when he was trying to take over? There won't be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He'll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts! Losing points doesn't matter anymore, can't you see? D'you think he'll leave you and your families alone if Gryffindor win the House Cup? If I get caught before I can get to the Stone, well, I'll have to go back to the Dursleys and wait for Voldemort to find me there. It's only dying a bit later than I would have done, because I'm never going over to the Dark Side! I'm going through that trapdoor tonight and nothing you two say is going to stop me! Voldemort killed my parents, remember?'

He glared at them.

'Well I think it's a good idea,' said Arabella.

Harry stared at her.

'What? I do! We may be young for our age, but we've handled a troll and a dragon! Not many fully grown wizards can say that. And I don't want Voldemort to come back. If he comes back, so does his followers. They're almost as worse as him,' said Arabella, staring off into space.

'You're right,' said Hermione in a small voice. 'We have to stop this.'

'I'll use the Invisibility Cloak,' said Harry. 'It's just luck I got it back.'

'But will it cover all four of us?' said Ron.

'Oh, come off it, you don't think we'd let you go alone?'

'Of course not,' said Hermione. 'How do you think you'd get the Stone without us?'

'Face it, Harry,' said Arabella with a smirk. 'You're stuck with us.'

'But if we get caught, the three of you will be expelled, too.'

'Not if I can help it,' said Hermione grumpily. 'Flitwick told me in secret that I got a hundred and twelve percent on his exam. They can't throw me out after that.'

'Why do you look so grumpy? It's a hundred and twelve per cent!' said Ron.

'Because she,' said Hermione, pointing her finger at Arabella, who was smiling, 'got a ninety nine per cent!'

'So…,' said Ron, expecting more of an explanation.

'So! She barely studied!' exclaimed Hermione.

'Hey! I studied! Just not as much as you,' said Arabella. 'Hermione, relax. You got the top mark in our whole year!'

'Yeah…' trailed off Hermione with a bright smile.

'Anyway, we should be worrying about the Stone right now. 'Mione, how about me and you go through some of our books? It'll be helpful if we're facing against Snape,' said Arabella.

Hermione took Arabella's arm and marched towards their dormitory. Ron was staring after them.

'Weird!'

'What are you doing?' said a voice from the corner of the room.

Neville appeared from behind an armchair, clutching Trevor.

'Nothing Neville, nothing,' said Harry.

'You're going out again,' he said.

'Neville, we're not. Why don't you go to bed? We just want to stay up and chat some more, that's all,' said Arabella, giving Neville a smile.

'You're lying. I know you are Arabella. You can' go out, you'll get Gryffindor in even more trouble.'

'You don't understand, this is important,' said Harry.

'I won't let you do it,' said Neville, hurrying to stand in front of the portrait hole. 'I'll fight you!'

'You really want to do that Neville? It's four against one!' said Arabella. 'Please, just get away from the portrait hole. We won't get Gryffindor into trouble.'

'Neville, don't be an idiot –' said Ron.

'Don't call me an idiot!' said Neville. 'I don't think you should be breaking any more rules! And you were the one who told me to stand up to people!'

'Not us!' said Ron in exasperation. 'Neville, you don't know what you're doing.'

'Go on then, try and hit me!' said Neville, raising his fists. 'I'm ready!'

Harry turned to Hermione.

'Do something' he said desperately.

Hermione stepped forward.

'Neville,' she said, 'I'm really, really sorry about this.'

She raised her wand.

'Petrificus Totalaus!' she cried, pointing it at Neville.

Neville's arms snapped to his sides. His legs sprang together. His whole body rigid, he sway where he stood and then fell flat on his face, stiff as a board.

Hermione ran to turn his over. Neville's jaws were jammed together so he couldn't speak. Only his eyes were moving, looking at them in horror.

'Nicely executed,' said Arabella.

'What have you done to him?' Harry whispered.

'It's the full Body-Bind,' said miserably. 'Oh, Neville, I'm so sorry.'

'We had to Neville, no time to explain,' said Harry.

'You'll understand later,' said Ron, as they stepped over his body and pulled the Invisibility Cloak over their bodies.

They were outside the third-floor corridor – and the door was already ajar.

'Well, there you are,' said Harry quietly. 'Snape's already got past Fluffy.'

Underneath the Cloak, Harry turned to the other three.

'If you want to go back, I won't blame you,' he said. 'You can take to Cloak, I won't need it now.'

'Don't be stupid,' said Ron.

'We're coming,' said Hermione.

'You're stuck with us,' said Arabella, 'for life.'

Harry pushed to door open.

As the door creaked, low, rumbling growls met their ears. All three of the dog's noses sniffed madly in their direction, even though it couldn't see them.

'What's that at its feet?' Hermione whispered.

'Looks like a harp,' said Ron. 'Snape must have left it there.'

'Harry, start playing the flute,' whispered Arabella.

Harry put Hagrid's flute to his lips and blew. It wasn't really a tune, but from the first note the beast's eyes began to droop. Harry hardly drew breath. Slowly, the dog's growls ceased – it tottered in its paws and fell to its knees, then it slumped to the ground, fast asleep.

'Keep playing,' Ron warned Harry ash they slipped out of the Cloak and slowly crept towards the trapdoor.

'I think we'll be able to pull the door open,' said Ron. 'Want to go first, Hermione?'

'No I do not!'

'Arabella?'

'Yeah, fine. Stay here,' said Arabella as she stepped carefully over the dog's legs. She bent down slowly and pulled the ring of the trapdoor open.

'What can you see?' Hermione said anxiously.

'Nothing. There's no ladder or anything. We'll just have to drop down.'

She continued to stare inside the trapdoor, trying to find anything.

'Well, here goes nothing,' said Arabella and without any warning, she jumped into the door.

They waited for a minute before they heard her voice.

'It's OK!' she called at them. 'You can jump!'

Ron and Hermione soon followed her. Harry was still playing when he was making his way to the trapdoor. He quickly dropped the flute and jumped.

'What's this stuff?' it felt as though he was sitting on some sort of plant.

'We must be miles under the school,' said Hermione.

'Lucky this plant thing's here, really,' said Ron.

'Lucky!' shrieked Hermione. 'Look at you!'

She struggled towards a damp wall. She had to struggle, the plant had started to twist around her ankles. As for Harry, Ron and Arabella, their legs had already been bound tightly without their notice.

'Stop moving!' Hermione ordered them. 'I know what this is – it's Devil's Snare!'

'Oh, I'm so glad we know what it's called, that's a great help,' snarled Ron, trying to stop the plant from curling around his neck.

'Shut up, I'm trying to remember how to kill it!' said Hermione.

'Hurry up! I can't breathe!' Harry gasped, wrestling with it as it curled around his chest.

'Hermione! Light a fire!' said Arabella, trying to stop it from curling around her stomach.

'Yes but there's no wood!' Hermione cried.

'HAVE YOU GONE MAD?' Ron bellowed. 'ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT?'

'Oh, right!' said Hermione and she whipped her wand, muttered something and sent a jet of the blue flames towards the plant. Within a matter of seconds, they felt its grip loosening and they removed their bodies away from the plant.

Harry, Ron and Arabella joined Hermione next to the wall, trying to catch their breaths.

'Let's go, this way,' said Harry, pointing down a stone passageway.

'Can you hear something?' Ron whispered as they walked towards their only way forward.

Harry listened. A soft rustling and clinking seemed to be coming from up ahead.

'Do you think it's a ghost?'

'Better not be a dragon,' whispered Arabella.

'There's some light ahead – I can see something moving,' said Harry.

They reached the end of the passageway and saw before them a brilliantly lit chamber, its ceiling arching high above them. It was full of small, jewel-bright bird, fluttering and tumbling all around the room. On the opposite side of the chamber was a heaving wooden door.

They walked across the room and Harry pulled on the handle of the door but it was locked. They did everything they could to open the door, but it wouldn't budge. Not even when Hermione tried the Alohomora Charm.

'Guys! Look!' said Arabella, pointing up to above them. 'What are they?'

'They're not birds!' said Harry suddenly as he realized that they were glittering, 'they're keys! Winged keys – look carefully. So that must mean…' he looked around the chamber while the other three continued to squint at the flock of keys. '…Yes – look! Broomsticks! We've got to catch the key to the door!'

'But there are hundreds of them!'

Ron examined the lock on the door.

'We're looking for a big, old-fashioned one – probably silver, like a handle.'

They each seized a broomstick and kicked off into the air. After a couple of minutes of flying through the keys, he spotted a large sliver key that had a bent wing, as if it had already been caught and stuffed roughly into the keyhole.

'That one!' he called out to the other. 'That big one – there – no, there – with bright blue wings – the feather are all crumpled on one side.'

Ron went speeding in the direction that Harry was pointing, crashed into the ceiling and nearly fell of his broom.

'We've got to close in on it!' Harry called out, not taking his eyes off the key. 'Ron, you come at it from above – Arabella, Hermione, stay below and stop it going down – and I'll try and catch it. Right, NOW!'

Ron dived, Arabella and Hermione rocketed upwards, the key dodged them and Harry streaked after it. It sped towards the wall, Harry leant forward and with a nasty crunching noise, pinned it against the stone with one hand. Ron, Arabella and Hermione's cheers echoed around the high chamber.

'Youngest Seeker in a Century!' exclaimed Arabella as Harry rammed the key into the door and turned – it worked. The moment the lock had clicked open, the key took flight again, looking very battered now that it had been caught twice.

'Ready?' Harry asked the other three. They nodded. He pulled the door open.

As they stepped into the next chamber, lights suddenly came alive in the room to reveal an astonishing sight.

They were standing on the edge of a huge chessboard, behind the black chessmen, which were all taller than they were and carved from what looked like black stone. Facing them, way across the chamber, were the white pieces. They shivered slightly – the towering white chessmen had no face.

'Now what do we do?' Harry whispered.

'It's obvious, isn't it?' said Ron. 'We've got to play our way across the room.'

Behind the white pieces they could see another door.

'How?' said Hermione nervously.

'I think we're going to have to be chessmen,' said Ron.

He walked up to a black knight and put his hand out to touch the knight's horse. At once, the stone sprang to life. The horse pawed the ground and the knight turned his helmeted head to look down at Ron.

'Do we have to join you to get across?'

The black knight nodded. Ron turned back towards them.

'Now, don't be offended or anything, but none of you are that good at chess – '

'We're not offended,' said Harry quickly. 'Just tell us what to do.'

'Harry, you take the place of that bishop. Hermione, Arabella, you both go there instead of that castle. We've got to stay close, just in case. I'll be a knight'

The chess pieces seemed to have listened to Ron because a knight, a bishop and a castle turned their backs in the white pieces and walked off the board leaving three empty squares, which they took.

'White always plays first in chess,' said Ron, peering across the board. 'Yes ... look ...'

A white pawn had moved forward two squares.

Ron started to direct the black pieces. They moved silently wherever he sent them. Harry's knees were trembling. What if they lost?

'Harry – move diagonally four squares to the right.'

Their first real shock came when their other knight was taken. The white queen smashed him to the floor and dragged him off the board, where he lay quite still, face down.

'Had to let that happen,' said Ron, looking shaken. 'Leaves you free to take that bishop, Hermione, Arabella, go on.'

Every time one of their men was lost, the white pieces showed no mercy. Soon there was a huddle of limp black players slumped along the wall. Twice, Ron only just noticed in time that Harry, Arabella and Hermione were in danger. He himself darted around the board taking almost as many white pieces as they had lost black ones.

'We're nearly there,' he muttered suddenly. 'Let me think – let me think ...'

The white queen turned her blank face towards him.

'Yes ...' said Ron softly, 'it's the only way ... I've got to be taken.'

'NO!' Harry, Arabella and Hermione shouted.

'That's chess!' snapped Ron. 'You've got to make some sacrifices! I'll make my move and she'll take me – that leaves you free to checkmate the king, Harry!'

'But –'

'Do you want to stop Snape or not?'

'Ron –'

'Look, if you don't hurry up, he'll already have the Stone!'

There was nothing else for it.

'Ready?' Ron called, his face pale but determined. 'Here I go – now, don't hang around once you've won.'

He stepped forward and the white queen pounced. She struck Ron hard around the head with her stone arm and he crashed to the floor – Hermione screamed and Arabella was about to make her way to him before Hermione pulled her back. The white queen dragged Ron over to one side. He looked as if he'd been knocked out.

Shaking, Harry moved three spaces to the left.

The white king took off his crown and threw it at Harry's feet. They had won. They chessmen parted and bowed, leaving the door ahead clear. With one desperate look back at Ron, Harry, Arabella and Hermione charged through the door and up the next passageway.

'What it he's - ?'

'He'll be alright,' said Harry, trying to convince himself. 'What do you reckon's next?'

'Either Snape or Quirrell,' said Arabella.

They had reached another door.

'All right?' Harry whispered. Arabella and Hermione nodded their heads.

'Go on.'

Harry pushed it open.

A disgusting smell filled their nostrils, making them pull their robes over their noses. They saw flat on the floor in front of them, a troll even larger than the one they had tackled, out cold with a bloody lump on its head.

'I'm glad we didn't have to fight that one,' whispered Harry, as they stepped carefully over on if its legs. 'Come on, I can't breathe.'

He pulled open the next door. There was nothing very frightening in there, just a table with seven differently shaped bottles standing on it in a line.

'Snape,' said Harry. 'What do we have to do?'

They stepped over the threshold and immediately a fire sprang up behind them in the doorway. It wasn't ordinary fire either; it was purple. At the same instant, black flames shot up in the doorway leading onwards. They were trapped.

'Not bad. Even for Snape,' said Arabella, looking at their surroundings.

'What do you mean?' said Harry.

'He made a challenge, or whatever you would like to call it, and if you were to fail at it, you would be trapped here forever. You can't just go through the fire, you need some sort of potion or antidote that will make you invincible to the flames,' said Arabella sounding impressed.

'Look!' Hermione seized a roll of paper lying next to the bottles. Harry and Arabella looked over her shoulder to read it:

Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,

Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,

One among us seven will let you move ahead,

Another will transport the drinker back instead,

Two among our number hold only nettle wine,

Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.

Choose, unless you wish to stay here for evermore,

To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four:

First, however slyly the poison tries to hide

You will always find some on nettle wine's left side;

Second, different are those who stand at either end,

But if you would move onwards, neither is your friend;

Third, as you see clearly, all are different size,

Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides;

Fourth, the second left and the second on the right

Are twins once you taste them, though different at first sight.

Hermione let out a great sigh and saw that she was smiling.

'Brilliant' said Hermione. 'This isn't magic – it's logic – a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven't got an ounce of logic, they'd be stuck in here for ever.'

'But so will we, won't we?'

'Of course not,' said Hermione. 'Everything we need is here on this paper. Seven bottles: three are poison; two are wine; one will get us safely through the black fire and one will get is back through the purple.'

'How do we know which one to drink?'

'Give me a minute.'

Hermione read the paper several times. Then she walked up and down the line of bottles, muttering to herself and pointing at them. At last, she clapped her hands.

'Got it,' she said. 'The smallest bottle will get us through the black fire – towards the Stone.'

Harry and Arabella looked at the tiny bottle.

'There's only enough there for two of us,' said Harry. 'Probably two swallows.'

Harry looked at Hermione.

'Which one will get you back through the purple flames?'

Hermione pointed at the right end of the line.

'Hermione, drink that. Get back and get Ron. Grab brooms from the flying-key room, they'll get you out of the trapdoor and past Fluffy – go straight to the owlery and send Hedwig to Dumbledore, we need him. Me and Arabella might be able to hold Snape off for a while.'

'But what if You-Know-Who's with him?'

'Got lucky once, didn't I? said Harry, pointing at his scar. 'Might get lucky again.'

Hermione's lip trembled and she suddenly dashed at Harry and threw his arms around him.

'Hermione!'

She let go of him and grabbed on to Arabella, squeezing her. Arabella winced from Hermione's strength and patted her back awkwardly.

'Harry, Arabella – you both are great wizards, you know.'

'Not as good as you,' said Harry, as Hermione let go of Arabella.

'Me!' said Hermione. 'Books! And Cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh – be careful!'

She hugged Arabella again. This time Arabella returned it properly.

'You were right you know. First Quidditch lesson you said that there were more important things than rules,' said Hermione as she let go of Arabella, giving her a smile.

'Really?' said Arabella, raising one eyebrow. 'I think we've become a bad influence on you Hermione.'

Hermione gave her a shaky laugh and drank the round bottle.

'It's not poison?' said Harry anxiously.

'No – but it's like ice.'

'Quick, go, before it wears off.'

'Good luck – take care –'

'GO!'

Hermione turned and walked straight through the purple fire.

Harry took a deep breath and picked up the smallest bottle.

'Wait – Harry I need to ask you something,' said Arabella.

'Now?'

'Why did you pick me? Why not Hermione?'

Harry took a long look at her. He could see that through her dark long sleeve shirt that it was soaked, despite not coming into contact with water at all.

'I want you to come with me because you're my friend. And because I know that you're hiding something big. If not you would have told me at Christmas, when I asked you. I know it has something to do with Voldemort.'

'How – '

'I'm not stupid, you know,' he said with a smile before becoming serious again. 'Arabella, I need you with me in this. Are you ready?'

Arabella nodded before she gave Harry a hug.

'Let's do this,' she said as she let go of him.

Harry took the bottle and drank half of it before giving the rest to Arabella. They turned to face the black flames.

They walked forward with Arabella clutching Harry's left arm. Black flames were all around them, but they couldn't feel them. Then they were on the other side, the last chamber.

There was somebody already there – but it wasn't Snape. It wasn't even Voldemort.

Thank you for reading! Hope you liked it :)

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