Hour 13: 7 AM
Previously in Harry Potter 24:
Harry reveals to Ron and Neville that he has obtained a horcrux when he went to 12 Grimmauld Place…
Albus Dumbledore catches up with Dolores Umbridge. He apprehends her and then he dismissed her new Inquisitorial Squad…
Harry, Ron and Neville head down to the Chamber of Secrets and destroy the horcrux…
Seamus finds Luna locked in the broom closet, and sets her free…
The Thirteenth Hour, 7 AM - 8 AM, Saturday, October 19, 1996
Great Hall, Breakfast
Hermione and Ginny were seated at the Gryffindor table for an early breakfast. Few other students were in the Great Hall as it was a Saturday and many had chosen to have a lie in, and some were just taking their time getting ready for spending the day at Hogsmeade. Ginny was slowly picking at the food on her plate when she noticed that Hermione was staring at her.
"You must be as tired as I feel," said Hermione.
Ginny nodded in response. "I can't believe that the toad is back, and all the trouble we nearly got into because of her."
Hermione also nodded in reply to her friend. "I don't think that we can get in any real trouble for last night," she added thoughtfully. "Umbridge isn't even a professor and shouldn't have been here in the first place, and Pansy Parkinson,while being a prefect, wasn't on duty and she and her little gang would have to answer even more questions about why they were out at night with a former ministry official who wasn't even supposed to be here."
The two continued to eat their breakfast slowly and quietly. After another minute Ginny spoke up again. "I wonder when the boys will eventually wake up. I bet they'll be late for heading down to Hogsmeade. I'm sure Ron will insist on having a lie in with how late we were in getting back."
As she said this the two girls were astounded to see Harry, Ron, and Neville walk into the Great Hall. They immediately went over to take a seat with the two girls.
"Surprise, surprise," said Hermione. "We didn't think we'd see the two of you for hours, not meaning you though, Neville," she explained.
"We've already had a busy morning," boasted Ron.
Ginny looked suspiciously at her brother. "What do you mean, Ronald?"
"You tell them Harry," said Ron.
But as Harry was about to speak several more students sat down at their table with them. Luna Lovegood had arrived as did Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown.
"Tell them what, Harry?" asked Lavender as she sat down next to Ron.
"How excited we are about going to Hogsmeade today?" asked Harry as he looked away and kicked Ron under the table.
Luna looked over at Harry and then said in her dreamy voice, "I think that Harry is trying to say he must have had bad dreams about snakes and toads, although I think that he has finally rid himself of the nargle infestation he had all of last year."
Harry sighed in relief as it seemed to distract everyone from the question he really did not want to answer in front of such a large crowd. He whispered a simple 'thank you' to the blonde who simply smiled in response.
A few minutes later Seamus sat down at the table with them. Luna looked up at him and waved as she greeted him, "Good morning Seamus, I hope you found what you were looking for, and don't forget to speak to Harry about the infestation problem, I think he might be able to help."
Everyone at the table seemed to shrug off Luna's quirkiness and they ventured on to different topics of conversation such as the upcoming quidditch games or what their plans were for this Hogsmeade weekend.
Narcissa was standing in her kitchen as she finished pouring a potion into a glass, She then handed it to one of her elves as she gently ordered her to bring the hang over potion up to her husband.
"He has important meetings with the Dark Lord, so he needs to be prepared for the day," Narcissa said to the elf. "Now hurry along," she added as she sent off the elf. As the house elf started was about to apparate away with the potion she held up a hand indicating for the elf to stop. "If you would please just walk up to the room, I wouldn't want any of the potion to spill and I wouldn't want the sound of your popping into the room to startle Lord Malfoy. The house elf was sure that she did not want to get in any trouble with her master upon arriving with the potion, so she did as she was told.
Narcissa then turned as she heard a tapping at the kitchen window. She noted that there was a simple tawny owl that had arrived with a message. Clearly this was not the Malfoy's house owl, a very majestic appearing eagle owl, but Narcissa dimly opened the window and took the message off of its leg. She didn't even take the time to read it and then she quickly slipped another message on its leg as she whispered instructions to it. After handing the owl a small treat, the owl hopped back out of the window and Narcissa turned and left the kitchen. She stopped in the doorway and turned and with a flick of her wand she closed the kitchen window.
Faculty Table, Great Hall
Albus Dumbledore had arrived at breakfast a little later than his usual punctual 7 o'clock in the morning. He smiled at the few professors who were present, including Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick and of course Severus Snape. Snape simply replied with a slight nod of his head. After a few minutes the headmaster leaned towards the potions professor turned Defence Against the Dark Arts professor.
"The visitor has been dealt with," he said almost cryptically.
Snape nodded in response. "I presume that she has joined her two companions at this time."
The two men then continued their breakfast in silence for several minutes. Finally Snape turned to the headmaster again. "I presume everything is in readiness for the rest of this morning."
"I do believe that the next several events should occur as we have anticipated," he answered without taking his eyes away from roaming over the gathering students who continued to arrive in the hall. "If for some reason he is not fully prepared for when you plan to meet up with him, I will be sure to let you know. Although it might be a good idea just to question him about the objects before taking action too quickly."
"If you insist, headmaster," replied Snape with a slight sneer. "I will defer to your judgment on this, and I do so look forward to the encounter later today. I have a feeling that it may be cathartic."
Entry way to the Great Hall
Harry had finished his breakfast and he had left the Great Hall and stopped in the main entry way where some students were beginning to gather before heading off on the early carriages to the nearby village. He was hoping that he could tell Hermione what they had already accomplished this morning. He was a happy to see her heading out of the Great Hall and that she was alone.
"So Harry," began his good friend, "what were you about to tell me a little earlier." She could see the excitement building in his eyes as he was about to answer her.
"Hey Harry," called out Seamus.
Harry cursed silently as he had not seen the other boy approaching.
"It seems Dean managed to get a detention and he won't be able to head down to Hogsmeade today," said the young Irish wizard. "I was hoping that maybe I could join you all so I'm not left wondering all alone."
"Sure Seamus," answered Harry, "that would be just great." Harry quietly wondered why Seamus even had to ask to join them as they often traveled as a group together to the village.
Several other people came up to talk to Harry and Hermione, and Ginny then stated that they needed to head back to the dorm to get ready for heading off to Hogsmeade.
As the two girls left the group that had gathered Harry quickly said to Hermione, "I'll finish telling you later, I promise."
"Okay," she answered, "and I will hold you to that."
Draco Malfoy had arrived at breakfast shortly after 7:30. He had been keeping to himself a lot lately, even Crabbe and Goyle had not yet come to breakfast and he was not surprised that Pansy was not here considering she had been attacking Harry Potter when he last saw her only a few hours ago. Obviously Potter had managed to stay out of trouble, based on his presence at breakfast and the generally good spirits he seemed to be in. Draco wondered just how it was that Potter seemed to avoid trouble so often, or at least he was able to avoid any consequences for the trouble he managed to find himself in.
He decided to stop watching people around the hall and he turned his attention back to the eggs and sausage on his plate. He was then interrupted by an unusual owl landing on the table in front of him. He did not recall ever seeing a tawny owl like this before. However, the bird seemed to be growing impatient waiting for him to remove the letter from off of its leg. Draco did not want to draw any unnecessary attention to himself today,so he quickly removed the message and he actually offered the owl a small piece of his bacon. Draco decided he was done trying to eat and he pocketed the letter without reading it as he began to make his way out of the hall. His destination was the Room of Requirement as he knew he needed to get the damned cabinet working, for he was running out of time.