CHAPTER FIVE - THE
Everyone moved closer to Lily as she took a deep
breath and said, “Chapter Five – The… Oh my
“What?” asked Sirius.
“It’s called The Dementor.” Lily finished, and
everyone gasped in unison.
Remus looked uneasily around the circle. “You don’t
“I sure hope not!” Tilly said shivering visibly.
“Read, Lily, so we will know,” James said.
Lily nodded and began the fifth chapter.
Tom woke Harry the next morning with his usual
toothless grin and cup of tea. Harry got dressed and
was just persuading a disgruntled Hedwig to get back
into her cage when Ron banged his way into the room,
pulling a sweatshirt over his head and looking
Sirius – I’ve always hated the day that we get on
the train because it’s always so stressful.
James – That’s only because you always wake up late.
Sirius – The train leaves too *early*!
"The sooner we get on the train, the better," he said.
"At least I can get away from Percy at Hogwarts. Now
he's accusing me of dripping tea on his photo of
Peter – Who?
Lily – Let me read and you’ll know.
Peter – Oh, sorry.
You know," Ron grimaced, "his *girlfriend*.
Marauders – He actually *has* a girlfriend?
Girls – Apparently.
Sirius – Impossible!
She's hidden her face under the frame because her nose
has gone all blotchy . . . ."
"I've got something to tell you," Harry began, but
they were interrupted by Fred and George, who had
looked in to congratulate Ron on infuriating Percy
Marauders - ::snort::
They headed down to breakfast where Mr. Weasley was
reading the front page of the Daily Prophet with a
furrowed brow and Mrs. Weasley was telling Hermione
and Ginny about a love potion she made as a young
Girls - ::giggle::
All three of them were rather giggly.
James – Mention a love potion and every girl gets
Peter/Remus/Sirius – Ain’t that the truth?
"What were you saying?" Ron asked Harry as they sat
"Later," Harry muttered as Percy stormed in.
Harry had no chance to speak to Ron or Hermione in
the chaos of leaving;
Remus – I don’t think you can ever be chaos free
when leaving the morning for King’s Cross.
Lily – Me either.
they were too busy heaving all their trunks down the
Leaky Cauldron's narrow staircase and piling them up
near the door, with Hedwig and Hermes, Percy's screech
owl, perched in their cages. A small wickerwork basket
stood beside the heap of trunks, spitting loudly.
Peter – Baskets spit?
Remus – It’s most likely Crookshanks.
Peter – Oh.
"It's all right, Crookshanks," Hermione cooed through
the wickerwork. "I'll let you out on the train."
"You won't," snapped Ron. "What about poor
He pointed at his chest, where a large lump
indicated that Scabbers was curled up in his pocket.
Peter – Yeah! What about poor Scabbers?
Mr. Weasley, who had been outside waiting for the
Ministry cars, stuck his head inside.
"They're here," he said. "Harry, come on."
Mr. Weasley marched Harry across
James – That has got to be annoying, having someone
watch your every move.
the short stretch of pavement toward the first two
old-fashioned dark green cars, each of which was
driven by a furtive-looking wizard wearing a suit of
"In you get, Harry," said Mr. Weasley, glancing up
and down the crowded street.
Harry got into the back of the car and was shortly
joined by Hermione, Ron, and, to Ron's disgust, Percy.
All – As to all of ours as well.
The journey to King's Cross was very uneventful
compared with Harry's trip on the Knight Bus. The
Ministry of Magic cars seemed almost ordinary, though
Harry noticed that they could slide through gaps that
Uncle Vernon's new company car certainly couldn't have
Sirius – Why would he have been able to manage?
Remus – Because Muggle Cars can’t manage that?
Sirius – Why not?
Remus – Because they’re *Muggle* cars.
They reached King's Cross with twenty minutes to
spare; the Ministry drivers found them trolleys,
unloaded their trunks, touched their hats in salute to
Mr. Weasley, and drove away, somehow managing to jump
to the head of an unmoving line at the traffic lights.
Sirius – Why is that unusual?
Remus – We’ve already been through this… Muggles,
Sirius, they're Muggles!
Sirius – Oh! Right!
Mr. Weasley kept close to Harry's elbow all the way
into the station.
“Right then,” he said glancing around them. "Let's
do this in pairs, as there are so many of us. I'll go
through first with Harry."
James – This is even starting to annoy me!
Mr. Weasley strolled toward the barrier between
platforms nine and ten, pushing Harry's trolley and
apparently very interested in the Intercity 125 that
had just arrived at platform nine. With a meaningful
look at Harry, he leaned casually against the barrier.
Harry imitated him.
Sirius – I’ve always liked to take the barrier at a
James – Me too.
Remus – Me three.
Peter – Me four.
In a moment they had fallen sideways through the solid
metal onto platform nine and three-quarters and looked
up to see the Hogwarts Express, a scarlet steam
engine, puffing smoke over a platform packed with
witches and wizards seeing their children onto the
Tilly – It’s always so crowded when I go onto the
Morwen – That’s because you always get on the Platform
with only two seconds to spare.
Tilly – Hey! I live forty miles away! What do you
Morwen – I expect you to leave earlier.
Tilly - ::sigh::
Percy and Ginny suddenly appeared behind Harry. They
were panting and had apparently taken the barrier at a
"Ah, there's Penelope!" said Percy, smoothing his
hair and going pink again. Ginny caught Harry's eye,
Tilly/Kaya – Awwww!
and they both turned away to hide their laughter as
Percy strode over to a girl with long, curly hair,
walking with his chest thrown out so that she couldn't
miss his shiny badge.
All - ::roll eyes::
Once the remaining Weasleys and Hermione had joined
them, Harry and Ron led the way to the end of the
train, past packed compartments, to a carriage that
looked quite empty. They loaded the trunks onto it,
stowed Hedwig and Crookshanks in the luggage rack, and
then went back outside to say good-bye to Mr. and Mrs.
Kaya – Let me guess, it’s going to take forever
because Harry is going to be pulled aside?
Mrs. Weasley kissed all her children, then Hermione,
and finally Harry. He was embarrassed, but really
quite pleased, when she gave him an extra hug.
"Do take care, won't you, Harry?"
James - ::as Harry:: Of course I won’t. If I did
this would become the most boring book of all time.
Lily - ::as Molly:: I know that, but I just have to
say that for good measure. Be sure to get into loads
of trouble and to run into Sirius Black at least three
times during the course of the book.
James - ::as Harry:: Yes, ma’am.
Sirius – Hey!
she said as she straightened up, her eyes oddly
bright. Then she opened her enormous handbag and said,
"I've made you all sandwiches... Here you are, Ron...
no, they're not corned beef...
Tilly – Na-a-a-a-sty!
Fred? Where's Fred? Here you are dear..."
"Harry," said Mr. Weasley quietly, "come over here
He jerked his head toward a pillar, and Harry
followed him behind it, leaving the others crowded
around Mrs. Weasley.
James – And no one noticed the two of them slip
away; I highly doubt that.
"There's something I've got to tell you before you
leave-" said Mr. Weasley, in a tense voice.
"It's all right, Mr. Weasley," said Harry. "I
"You know? How could you know?"
"I-er-I heard you and Mrs. Weasley talking last
night. I couldn't help hearing," Harry added quickly.
"That's not the way I'd have chosen for you to
Sirius – Hey! Look at it this way. You haven’t
broken your word to that no-good Minister of Magic and
Harry knows what’s going on.
said Mr. Weasley, looking anxious.
"No-honestly, it's okay. This way, you haven't
broken your work to Fudge and I know what's going on."
Sirius – See, he agrees with me!
"Harry, you must be very scared-"
"I'm not," Harry said sincerely. "*Really*," he
added because Mr. Weasley was looking disbelieving.
"I'm not trying to be a hero, but seriously, Sirius
Black can't be worse than Voldemort, can he?"
Mr. Weasley flinched at the sound of the name but
Kaya – Them flinching is getting on my nerves… and
that includes you, Pete!
Peter – I can’t help it!
"Harry, I knew you were, well, made of stronger stuff
than Fudge seems to think, and I'm obviously pleased
that you're not scared, but-"
"Arthur!" called Mrs. Weasley, who was now
shepherding the rest onto the train. "Arthur, what are
you doing? It's about to go!"
Morwen – That is about the time that Tilly gets to
the train station.
Tilly – Not quite, wait a minute.
"He's coming, Molly!" said Mr. Weasley, but he turned
back to Harry and kept a lower and more hurried voice.
"Listen, I want you to give me your word-"
"-that I'll be a good boy and stay in the castle?"
said Harry gloomily.
James – Poor, poor, Harry. No exploring Hogsmeade.
Sirius – No detentions in the Forest.
Remus – No Quidditch Practice unsupervised.
James/Sirius/Remus – This year is going to be hell for
"Not entirely," said Mr. Weasley, who looked more
serious than Harry had ever seen him. "Harry, swear to
me you won't go *looking* for Black."
All – What?
Harry stared. "What?"
There was a loud whistle. Guards were walking
along the train, slamming all the doors shut.
Morwen – Now?
Tilly – No, not yet…
"Promise me, Harry," said Mrs. Weasley, talking more
quickly still, "that whatever happens-"
"Why would I go looking for someone I know wants
to kill me?" said Harry blankly.
"Swear to me that whatever you might hear-"
Sirius – He isn’t telling him something…
"Arthur, quickly!" cried Mrs. Weasley.
Steam was billowing from the train; it had started
Tilly – That’s when I usually come in and I usually
have to throw my trunk on board and jump onto the
train. That’s why I *always* have my luggage with me
on the train.
Lily/Morwen/Kaya - *Oh*.
Harry ran to the compartment door and Ron threw it
open and stood back to let him on. They leaped out of
the window and waved at Mr. and Mrs. Weasley until the
train turned a corner and blocked them from view.
"I need to talk to you in private." Harry muttered
to Ron and Hermione as the train picked up speed.
"Go away, Ginny," said Ron.
Tilly – Ru-u-u-u-de.
"Oh, that's nice,” said Ginny huffily, and she stalked
Harry, Ron, and Hermione set off down the
corridor, looking for an empty compartment, but all
were full except one at the very end of the train.
This had only one occupant, a man sitting fast
asleep next to the window.
James – But I’ve never seen an adult on the train
before besides the witch with the snacks!
Others – Me either.
James – Read on, Lil, and we may find out that guy
Harry, Ron, and Hermione checked on the threshold. The
Hogwarts Express was usually reserved for students and
they had never seen an adult there before, except for
the witch who pushed the food cart.
James – Exactly what I was thinking.
The stranger was wearing an extremely shabby set of
wizard's robes that had been darned in several places.
He looked ill and exhausted. Though quite young, his
light brown hair was flecked with gray.
Tilly – Hmmm…. I think I may know who he is.
"Who d'you reckon he is?" Ron hissed as they sat down
and slid the door shut, taking the seats farthest away
from the window.
James - ::as Hermione:: Sirius Black. Oh My God! We
have a murderer on board!
Sirius – Try ::as Hermione:: James Potter. Oh My God!
We have a dead man on board!
Remus – Try ::as Hermione:: Lily Evans-Potter. Oh My
God! We have dead woman on board!
Peter – Try ::as Hermione:: Kaya Sasaki. Oh My God!
You finally entered the series!
Kaya – Try ::as Hermione:: Peter Pettigrew. Oh My God!
Where the hell have you been?
Tilly – Try ::as Hermione:: Remus Lupin. Oh My God!
Who the hell are you?
Remus – Hey!
Lily – One of you is right- er… not with what you said
but with the person you said it to.
Others – Who?
Lily – Tilly was right.
Remus – What?
Lily – Listen.
R. J. Lupin," whispered Hermione at once.
"How d'you know that?"
"It's on his case," she replied, pointing at the
luggage rack over the man's head, where there was a
small battered case held together with a large
quantity of nearly knotted string. The name
Professor R. J. Lupin was stamped across one
corner in pealing letters.
Lily – See?
Marauders excluding Remus – Remus is a teacher! Remus
is a teacher!
Remus – But how?
James – Well, it’s Dumbledore, isn’t it?
Remus – I guess…
James – Just read, Lily.
"Wonder what he teaches?" said Ron, frowning at
Professor Lupin's pallid profile.
Remus – Hey!
"That's obvious," whispered Hermione. "There's only
one vacancy, isn't there? Defense Against the Dark
Harry, Ron, and Hermione had already two Defense
Against the Dark Arts teachers, both of whom had
lasted only one year. There were rumors that the job
Sirius – If there’s one person who can keep that
tradition going; it’s Remus!
Remus – Not funny.
Sirius – I thought it was.
"Well, I hope he's up to it," said Ron doubtfully. "He
looks like one good hex would finish him off, doesn't
Sirius – He always looks like that after…
Marauders - ::warning look::
Sirius – ...he’s been ill.
Anyway..." He turned to Harry, "What were you going to
Harry explained all about Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's
argument and the warning Mr. Weasley had just given
him. When he finished, Ron looked thunderstruck, and
Hermione had her hands over her mouth. She finally
lowered them to say, "Sirius Black escaped to come
after *you*? Oh, Harry... you'll have to really,
really careful. Don't go looking for trouble, Harry-"
James – Why do people keep saying that?
"I don't go looking for trouble,” said Harry, nettled.
“Trouble usually finds *me*.”
Marauders – Ain’t that the truth?
"How thick would Harry have to be, to go looking for a
nutter who wants to kill him?" said Ron shakily.
They were taking the news worse than Harry had
expected. Both Ron and Hermione seemed to be more
frightened of Black than he was.
Tilly – It’s only because he’s a Potter.
James – Hey! I resent that.
Kaya – No, you resemble that.
"No one knows how he got out of Azkaban," said Ron
uncomfortably. "No one's ever done it before. And he
was a top-security prisoner too."
"But they'll catch him, won't they?" said Hermione
earnestly. "I mean, they've got all the Muggles
looking out for him too..."
Remus – Like they’ll catch him.
"What's that noise?" said Ron suddenly.
A faint, tiny sort of whistle was coming from
somewhere. They looked all around the compartment.
"It's coming from your trunk, Harry," said Ron
standing up and reaching into the luggage rack. A
moment later he had pulled the Pocket Sneakoscope out
from between Harry's robes.
It was spinning very fast in the palm of Ron's
hand and glowing brilliantly.
All - ::look at Remus::
Kaya – Are you untrustworthy, Remus?
Remus – Not that I know of.
James – Maybe a certain dog is in the corridor of the
Marauders - ::grin::
Girls - ::blank looks:: Huh?
"Is that a *Sneakoscope*?" said Hermione interestedly,
standing up for a better look.
"Yeah... mind you, it's a very cheap one," Ron
said. "It went haywire just as I was tying it to
Errol's leg to send it to Harry."
"Were you doing anything untrustworthy at the
time?" said Hermione shrewdly.
"No! Well . . . I wasn't suppose to be using
Errol. You knew he's not really up to long journeys .
. . but how else was I supposed to get Harry's present
Peter – So, it’s a good Sneakoscope?
Tilly – Apparently so.
Peter – Then who or what is untrustworthy in the
All - ::shrug::
"Stick it back in the trunk," Harry advised as the
Sneakoscope whistled piercingly, "or it'll wake him
He nodded toward Professor Lupin.
Sirius – No it won’t. Remus can sleep through
anything. A Knight Bus ride, a train ride…. But he
always wakes up right when something bad is going to
happen… like get a visit from Snape.
Ron stuffed the Sneakoscope into a particularly
horrible pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks, which
deadened the sound, then closed the lid of the trunk
"We could get it checked in Hogsmeade," said Ron
sitting down. "They sell that sort of thing in Dervish
and Banges, magical instruments and stuff. Fred and
George told me."
Remus – That’s my favorite shop… next to Honeyducks
and Zonko’s of course.
Others – Of course.
"Do you know much about Hogsmeade?" asked Hermione
keenly. "I've read it's the only entirely non-Muggle
settlement in Britain-"
Lily – That’s true.
"Yeah, I think it is," said Ron in an offhand sort of
way, "but that's not why I want to go. I just want to
get inside Honeyducks!"
Marauders – Go Ron!
"What's that?" said Hermione.
"It's a sweetshop," said Ron, a dreamy look coming
over his face, "where they've got *everything*....
Pepper Imps- they make you smoke at the mouth-and
great fat Chocolate full of strawberry mousse and
clotted cream, and really excellent sugar quills,
which you can suck in class and just look like you're
thinking what to write next-"
Sirius – Those are very useful.
Others - ::nod in agreement::
"But Hogsmeade's a very interesting place, isn't it?
In Sites of Historical Sorcery it says the inn
was the headquarters for the 1612 goblin rebellion,
Lily – That’s true.
and the Shrieking Shack's supposed to be the most
severely haunted building in Britain-"
Marauders - ::gap::
Remus – I knew people thought it was haunted, but I
never thought it would become *that* popular!
Morwen – I don’t see why you’re surprised. That place
gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Remus – Heh.
"-and massive sherbet balls that make you levitate a
few inches off the ground while you're sucking on
them," said Ron who was plainly not listening to a
word Hermione was saying.
Hermione looked around at Harry.
"Won't it be nice to get out of school for a bit
and explore Hogsmeade?"
Marauders/Lily – Poor Harry.
Tilly – Why poor Harry?
Lily – He can’t go.
Kaya – Why not?
Lily – His aunt and uncle didn’t sign the permission
form and Fudge wouldn’t.
Morwen/Tilly/Kaya - ::gap::
"'Spect it will," said Harry heavily. "You'll have to
tell me when you've found out."
All – Poor, poor, Harry.
“What d’you mean?” said Ron.
"I can't go. The Dursleys didn't sign my
permission form, and Fudge wouldn't either."
Ron looked horrified.
"*You’re not allowed to come*? But-no
way-McGonagall or some will give you permission-"
All – Yeah, right.
Harry gave a hollow laugh. Professor McGonagall, head
of Gryffindor House, was very strict.
"-or we can ask Fred and George, they know every
secret passage out of the castle-"
Marauders - ::looking interested:: Really?
Lily – Reading…
"Ron!" said Hermione sharply. "I don't think Harry
should be sneaking out of school with Black on the
Marauders – Shush, Hermione!
"Yeah, I expect that's what McGonagall will say when I
ask for permission," said Harry bitterly.
"But if *we're* with him," Ron said spiritedly to
Hermione, "Black wouldn't dare-"
"Oh, Ron, don't talk rubbish," snapped Hermione.
"Black's already murdered a whole bunch of people in
the middle of a crowded street.
Sirius – No I haven’t!
Kaya – Hey, we believe you!
Sirius – Thanks… and they’ll know the truth soon
Do you really think he's going to worry about
attacking Harry just because *we're* there?"
She was fumbling with straps of Crookshanks'
basket as she spoke.
All excluding Lily – Oh no.
"Don't let that thing out!" Ron said, but too late;
Crookshanks leapt lightly from the basket, stretched
yawned, and sprang onto Ron's knees; the lump in Ron's
pocket trembled and he shoved Crookshanks angrily
"Get out of here!"
"Ron, don't!" said Hermione angrily.
Ron was about to answer back when Professor Lupin
Tilly – He isn’t going to wake up, so you ought to
just answer back.
They watched him apprehensively, but he simply turned
his head the other way, mouth slightly open, and slept
Girls - ::teasingly:: Drool!
Sirius – Nope. Remus sleeps with his mouth open all
the time and all our time at Hogwarts, he has never
James – It’s because he’s always dehydrated.
Girls - ::blank looks::
Remus – Just read, Lil.
The Hogwarts Express moved steadily north scenery
outside the window became wilder and darker while the
clouds thickened. People were chasing backwards and
forward past the door of their compartment.
Crookshanks had now settled in an empty seat, his
squashed face turned toward Ron, his yellow eyes on
Ron's top pocket.
All excluding Lily – Evil cat.
At one o'clock; the plump witch with the food cart
arrived at the compartment door.
"D'you think we should wake him up?" Ron asked
awkwardly, nodding toward Professor Lupin. "He looks
like he could do with some food."
Remus – I would like some food, thank you very
Hermione approached Professor Lupin cautiously.
"Er-Professor?" she said. "Excuse me-Professor?"
He didn't move.
James – He wouldn’t.
"Don't worry, dear," said the witch as she handed
Harry a large stack of Cauldron Cakes. "If he's hungry
when he wakes, I'll be up front with the driver."
"I suppose he *is* asleep?" said Ron quietly as
the witch slid the compartment door closed. "I mean-
he hasn't died, has he?"
All - ::snort::
Sirius – Great first impression, Rem.
Remus – Yours wasn’t much better.
"No, no, he's breathing," whispered Hermione, taking
the Cauldron Cake Harry passed her.
He might not be very good company, but Professor
Lupin's presence in their compartment had its uses.
James – Let me guess… because he’s a teacher?
Remus – Most likely.
Midafternoon, just as it had started to rain, blurring
the rolling hills outside the window, they heard
footsteps in the corridor again, and their three least
favorite people appeared at the door: Draco Malfoy,
flanked by his cronies, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory
All – Slytherins.
Draco Malfoy and Harry had been enemies ever since
they had met on their first train journey to Hogwarts.
James – Like Snape and me, naturally.
Malfoy, who had a pale, pointed, sneering face, was in
Slytherin House; he played Seeker on the Slytherin
Quidditch team, the same position that Harry played on
the Gryffindor team.
James – WHAT!? He’s supposed to be Chaser!
Lily – James, calm down, so he’s not Chaser, who
James – I care! He’s supposed to take after me!
Lily – Think of it this way, he could have been like
James - ::pause:: Good point, please continue.
Lily – Thank you.
Crabbe and Goyle seemed to exist to do Malfoy's
bidding. They were both wide and muscularly; Crabbe
was taller, with a pudding-bowl haircut and a very
thick neck; Goyle had short, bristly hair and long,
Sirius – Sounds a bit like Avery and Nott.
"Well, look who it is," said Malfoy in his usual lazy
drawl, pulling open the compartment door. "Potty and
Crabbe and Goyle chuckled trollishly.
Tilly – Is trollishly even a word?
Lily – It is now.
"I heard your father finally got his hands on some
gold this summer, Weasley," said Malfoy. "Did your
mother die of shock?"
All - ::glare::
Ron stood up so quickly he knocked Crookshanks' basket
to the floor. Professor Lupin gave a snort.
All excluding Remus - ::laugh::
Remus - ::blush::
"Who's that?" said Malfoy, taking an automatic step
backwards as he spotted Lupin.
"New teacher," said Harry, who got to his feet,
too, in case he needed to hold Ron back. "What were
you saying, Malfoy?"
Malfoy's eyes narrowed; he wasn't fool enough to
pick a fight right under a teacher's nose.
Sirius – Even if he is asleep.
"C'mon,” he muttered resentfully to Crabbe and Goyle,
and they disappeared.
Harry and Ron sat down again, Ron massaging his
"I'm not going to take any crap from Malfoy this
year," he said angrily. "I mean it. If he makes one
more crack about my family, I'm going to get hold of
his head and-"
Sirius – Do this? ::makes a violent gesture in
Ron made a violent gesture in midair.
Sirius – Thought so.
"Ron," hissed Hermione, pointing at Professor Lupin,
"be *careful* . . ."
Remus – Like I’d care, I make the same gesture
about Snape every year.
James/Sirius – It’s true.
But Professor Lupin was still fast asleep.
Peter – Not to mention the fact that he’s still
The rain thickened as the train sped yet farther
north; the windows were now a sold, shimmering gray,
which gradually darkened until lanterns flickered into
life all along the corridors and over the luggage
racks. The train rattled, the rain hammered, the wind
roared, but still, Professor Lupin slept.
All - ::snicker::
"We must be nearly there," said Ron, leaning forward
to look past Professor Lupin at the now completely
The words had hardly left him when the train
started to slow down.
Remus – I have a strange feeling that they aren’t
supposed to be stopping yet…
"Great," said Ron getting up and walking past
Professor Lupin to try and see outside. "I'm starving.
I want to get to the feast..."
"We can't be there yet," said Hermione checking
Sirius – So why are they stopping?
Others - ::shrug::
"So, why're we stopping?"
Sirius – My question exactly.
The train was getting slower and slower. As the noise
of the pistons fell away, the wind and rain sounded
louder than ever against the windows.
Harry who was nearest the door got up to look into
the corridor. All along the carriage, heads were
sticking curiously out of their compartments.
Morwen – I wonder what’s going on?
Peter – Maybe they’ve broken down?
Lily – Impossible! They have charms and enchantments
covering the train to *stop* it from breaking down.
Sirius – Then what’s happening?
Lily - ::shrugs:: Who knows?
The train came to a stop with a jolt, and distant
thuds and bangs told them that luggage gad fallen out
of the racks. Then, without warning, all the lamps
went out and were plunged into total darkness.
All – That isn’t right…
"What's going on?" said Ron's voice from behind Harry.
"Ouch!" gasped Hermione. "Ron, that was my foot!"
Harry felt his way back to his seat.
"D'you think we've broken down?"
Lily – Impossible!
"Dunno . . ."
There was a squeaking sound, and Harry saw the dim
black outline of Ron, wiping a patch of clean window
and peering out.
"There's something moving out there," Ron said. "I
think people are coming aboard..."
Tilly – That isn’t supposed to happen…
Remus – I’m getting a real bad feeling about
The compartment door suddenly opened and someone fell
painfully over Harry's legs.
"Sorry-d’you know what's going on? -Ouch-sorry-"
"Hullo, Neville," said Harry, feeling around in
the dark and pulling Neville up by his cloak.
Peter – Poor kid.
"Harry? Is that you? What's happening?"
"No idea-sit down-"
There was a loud hissing and a yelp of pain;
Neville had tried to sit on Crookshanks.
All excluding Lily – So?
"I'm going to go and ask the driver what's going on,"
came Hermione's voice. Harry felt her pass him, heard
the door slide open again, and then thud and two loud
squeals of pain.
Girls - ::giggle::
Marauders – What’s so funny?
Girls – N-n-nothing! ::giggle::
Marauders - ::roll eyes:: Girls!
"What are you doing?"
"I was looking for Ron-"
"Come in and sit down-"
"Not here!" said Harry hurriedly. "*I'm* here!"
All - ::giggle::
"Ouch!" said Neville.
"Quiet!" said a hoarse voice suddenly.
Professor Lupin appeared to have woken up at last.
Sirius – It’s a miracle!
Remus – Hey! I ain’t that bad.
Harry could hear movements in the corner. None of them
There was a soft, crackling noise, and a shivering
light filled the compartment. Professor Lupin appeared
to be holding a handful of flames. They illuminated
his tired, gray face, but his eyes were alert and
James – You tend to do that a lot, Remus. You look
one thing, but your eyes tell a totally different
story. It’s rather creepy.
Remus – Heh. That’s me.
"Stay where you are," he said in the same hoarse
voice, and he got slowly to his feet with his handful
of fire held out in front of him.
But the door slid slowly open before Lupin could
Sirius – DEATH EATERS! EVERYBODY DUCK!
Remus – I doubt it’s Death Eaters, Sirius, Voldemort
is dead, remember?
Sirius – Oh yeah, I forgot, heh.
Standing in the doorway, illuminated by the shivering
flames in Lupin's hand, was a cloaked figure that
towered to the ceiling. Its face was completely hidden
beneath its hood.
Sirius – ::pale:: Oh Merlin… I know what that is.
All – A Dementor. ::shudder::
Harry's eyes darted downward, and what he saw made his
stomach contract. There was a hand protruding from the
cloak and it was glistening, grayish, slimy-looking,
and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in
James – I’ve never seen a hand of one, but now I’m
glad that I haven’t.
All - ::agree::
But it was visible only for a split second. As though
the creature beneath the clock sensed Harry's gaze,
the hand was suddenly withdrawn into the folds of its
And then the thing beneath the hood, whatever it
was, drew a long slow, rattling breath, as though it
were trying something more than air from its
All – Oh *no*!
An intense cold swept them all. Harry felt his own
breath catch in his chest. The cold went deeper than
his skin. It was inside his chest, it was inside his
All - ::shiver::
Harry's eyes rolled up into his head. He couldn't see.
He was drowning in cold. There was a rushing in his
ears as though of water. He was being dragged
downward, the roaring growing louder...
Sirius – What’s happening?
Tilly – I’ve never been affected *that* badly by a
Remus – I have, once, but that was the first time I
came into contact with it.
Tilly – But why?
Remus – I think *I* will explain it later in the
And then, from far away, he heard screaming, terrible,
terrified, pleading screams. He wanted to help whoever
it was, he tried to move his arms, but couldn't... a
thick white fog was swirling around him, inside him-
"Harry! Harry! Are you all right?"
Someone was slapping his face.
Sirius - ::as Harry:: No! You’re slapping my face
for goodness sake!
Harry opened his eyes; there were lanterns above
him, and the floor was shaking-the Hogwarts Express
was moving again and the lights had come back on. He
seemed to have slid out of his seat onto the floor.
Lily - ::worried:: Is he alright?
Ron and Hermione were kneeling next to him, and above
then he could see Neville and Professor Lupin
watching. Harry felt very sick; when he put his hand
to push his glasses back on, he felt cold sweat on his
Lily – Poor Harry!
Ron and Hermione heaved him back onto his seat.
"Are you okay?" Ron asked nervously.
"Yeah," said Harry, looking quickly toward the
door. The hooded creature had vanished. "What
happened? Where's that-that thing? Who screamed?"
Kaya – Yeah, who was it?
Remus – No one screamed.
"No one screamed," said Ron, more nervously still.
Remus – See?
Kaya – But then-
Remus – It will be explained later in the book.
Harry looked around the bright compartment. Ginny and
Neville looked back at him, both very pale.
"But I heard screaming-"
A loud snap made them all jump. Professor Lupin
was breaking an enormous slab of chocolate into
"Here," he said to Harry, handing him a
particularly large piece. "Eat it. It'll help."
All - ::nod::
Tilly – If anyone knows their stuff, it’s ol’ Remus
Remus - ::blush:: Heh. It’s the only cure for
after-effect of Dementors.
Harry took the chocolate bar but didn't eat it.
"What was that thing?" he asked Lupin.
All - ::shiver::
said Lupin, who was now giving chocolate to everyone
else. "One of the dementors of Azkaban."
Everyone stared at him. Professor Lupin crumpled
up the empty chocolate wrapper and put it in his
"Eat," he repeated. "It'll help. I need to speak
to the driver, excuse me . . ."
He strolled past Harry and disappeared into the
Sirius – You’re going to go tattle on Harry now,
aren’t you, Lupin?
Remus – Since when did you call me Lupin?
Sirius – Since this book started to call you Lupin.
It’s rather catchy I hope you know.
Remus - ::roll eyes::
"Are you sure you're okay, Harry?" said Hermione
watching Harry anxiously.
"I don't get it.... What happened?" said Harry,
wiping more sweat off his face.
"Well-that thing-the dementor-stood there and
looked around (I mean, I think it did, I couldn't see
its face)-and you-you-"
Remus – Passed out. It’s quite simple actually.
Nothing to be ashamed of.
"I thought you were having a fit or something," said
Ron, who still looked scared. "You went sort of rigid
and fell out of your seat and started twitching-"
"And Professor Lupin stepped over you, and walked
toward the dementor, and pulled out his wand," said
Hermione, "and he said, 'None of us is hiding Sirius
Black under our cloaks. Go.'
Sirius – Thank goodness for that.
Remus – But, wait, that means that the older me thinks
that the older you is *actually* guilty!
Sirius – Hey, you’re right. What would make you think
Remus - ::shrug:: I don’t know.
But the dementor didn't move, so Lupin muttered
something and a silvery thing shot out of his wand at
it, and it turned around and sort of glided away...."
All – Patronus.
"It was horrible," said Neville, in a higher voice
than usual. "Did you feel how cold it got when it came
"I felt weird," said Ron shifting his shoulder
uncomfortably. "Like I'd never be cheerful again..."
Remus – That’s their specialty, little buggers.
Ginny, who was huddled in her corner looking nearly as
bad as Harry felt, gave a small sob; Hermione went
over and put a comforting arm around her.
Girls – Poor girl.
"But didn't any of you-fall out of your seats?" said
"No," said Ron, looking anxiously at Harry again.
"Ginny was shaking like mad, though..."
Remus – I really wish we had the previous books so
it would tell us a bit of *her* past. I think it would
be quite interesting.
Others – Why!?
Remus – You’ll see!
Harry didn't understand. He felt weak and shivery, as
though he were recovering from a bad bout of flu; he
also felt the beginnings of shame. Why had he gone to
pieces like that, when no one else had?
Professor Lupin came back. He paused as he
entered, looked around, and said, with a small smile,
"I haven't poisoned that chocolate, you know...."
Sirius – Way to lighten the mood, Remus.
Remus - ::innocent grin:: I try.
Harry took a bite and to his great surprise felt
warmth spread suddenly to the tips of his fingers and
Remus – Of course.
"We'll be at Hogwarts in ten minutes," said Professor
Lupin. "Are you all right, Harry?"
Harry didn't ask how Professor Lupin knew his
Sirius – Probably thought you only knew it because
he was famous…
Remus – When the truth was that I was friends with his
dad and probably knew him before…
Peter – The horrible incident that none of us must
Sirius/Remus/Peter - ::wipe a fake tear from eye::
"Fine," he muttered, embarrassed.
They didn't talk much during the remainder of the
journey. At long last, the train stopped at Hogsmeade
station, and there was a great scramble to get
outside; owls hooted, cats meowed, and Neville's pet
toad croaked loudly from under his hat.
Tilly – U-u-u-u-gly!
It was freezing on the tiny platform; rain was driving
down in icy sheets.
"Firs' years this way!"
Sirius – So Hagrid’s still there.
Others – Apparently.
Sirius – How many years has he been doing that?
Peter – Twenty-eight years.
Sirius – Oh, that’s right.
called a familiar voice. Harry, Ron, and Hermione
turned and saw the gigantic outline of Hagrid at the
other end of the platform, beckoning the
terrified-looking new students forward for their
traditional journey across the lake.
"All righ', you three?" Hagrid yelled over their
heads of the crowd. They waved at him, but had no
chance to speak to him because the mass of people
around them was shunting them away along the platform.
James – It’s always like that.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed the rest of the
school along the platform and out onto a rough mud
track, where at least a hundred stage coaches awaited
the remaining students, each pulled, Harry could only
assume, by an invisible horse, because they climbed
inside and shut the door, and coach set off all by
itself, bumping the swaying in procession.
Kaya – What does pull the carriages?
Remus – Thestrals.
Kaya – What is that?
Remus - ::sigh:: It is an unlucky winged horse that
possesses the power of invisibility. Only those who
have seen someone die can see them.
The coach smelled faintly of mold and straw. Harry
felt better since the chocolate, but still weak. Ron
and Hermione kept looking at him sideways, as though
frightened he might collapse again.
James – He ain’t going to just collapse,
As the carriage trundled toward a pair of magnificent
wrought iron gates, flanked with stone columns topped
with winged boars, Harry saw two more towering, hooded
dementors, standing guard on either side.
Sirius - ::shiver:: I *hate* those things.
Morwen – Don’t we all.
Others - ::nod::
A wave of cold sickness threatened to engulf him
again; he leaned back into the lumpy seat and closed
his eyes until they had passed the gates. The carriage
picked up speed on the long, sloping dive drive up to
the castle; Hermione was leaning out the tiny window,
watching the many turrets and towers draw nearer. At
last, the carriage swayed to a halt, and Hermione and
Ron got out.
Peter – And Harry, right?
Lily – I’m pretty sure.
As Harry stepped down, a drawling delighted voice
sounded in his ear.
"You *fainted*, Potter? Is Longbottom telling the
truth? You actually *fainted*?"
James - ::growling:: Screw you, Malfoy!
Sirius – Watch the temper, James, we have a Professor
in the room.
Remus - ::glare::
Malfoy elbowed past Hermione to block Harry's way up
the stone steps to the castle, his face gleeful and
his pale eyes glinting maliciously.
"Shove off, Malfoy," said Ron, whose jaw was
"Did you faint as well, Weasley?" said Malfoy
loudly. "Did the scary old dementor frighten you too,
"Is there a problem?" said a mild voice. Professor
Lupin had just gotten out of the next carriage.
Sirius – Dun du-du dun! Lupin to the rescue!
Remus – Will you stop calling me Lupin?
Sirius – But it’s catchy!
Remus – I *don’t* care!
Malfoy gave Professor Lupin an insolent stare, which
took in the patches on his robes and the dilapidated
suitcase. With a tiny hint of sarcasm in his voice, he
said, "Oh, no-er-*Professor*," then he smirked at
Crabbe and Goyle and led them up the steps into the
All - ::glare::
Tilly – Hey! I just thought of something! If you are a
Professor then you can give or take points! Meaning,
you could give Gryffindor back all of those points
that you lost for us over the years!
Remus – Hey, you’re right!
Tilly – Of course I am.
Hermione prodded Ron in the back to make him hurry,
and the three of them joined the crowd swarming up the
steps, through the giant oak front doors, into the
cavernous entrance hall, which was lit with flaming
torches, and housed a magnificent marble staircase
that led to the upper floors.
The door into the Great Hall stood open at the
right; Harry followed the crowd toward it, but barely
glimpsed the enchanted ceiling, which was black and
cloudy tonight, when a voice called, "Potter!
James – Oh, the familiar call of my last name at
the beginning of term.
Lily – All that’s missing is the name Black following
Granger! I want to see you both!"
Harry and Hermione turned around, surprised.
All – Ooh! They’re in trouble!
Transfiguration teacher and head of Gryffindor House,
was calling over the heads of the crowd. She was a
stern-looking witch who wore her hair in a tight bun;
her sharp eyes were framed with square spectacles.
Harry fought his way over to her with a feeling of
foreboding: Professor McGonagall had a way of making
him feel he must have done something wrong.
Sirius – I get that feeling all the time.
Remus – That’s because you’ve always done something
"There's no need to look so worried-I just want a word
in my office," she told them. "Move along there,
Ron stared as Professor McGonagall ushered Harry
and Hermione away from the chattering crowd; they
accompanied her across the entrance hall, up the
marble staircase, and along a corridor.
Sirius – They’re heading to her office.
Kaya – How would *you* know?
Sirius – I’ve been there enough times that I could
walk there in my sleep.
Once they were in her office, a small room with a
welcoming fire, Professor McGonagall motioned Harry
and Hermione to sit down. She settled herself behind
her desk and said abruptly, "Professor Lupin sent an
owl ahead to say that you were taken ill on the train,
James – You tattled, Remus!
Remus – Hey, I’m a teacher, I was just looking out for
him! And doing my job!
James – Whatever… ::muttering:: tattletale.
Remus - ::glare::
Before Harry could reply, there was a soft knock on
the door and Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, came bustling
Harry felt himself going red in the face. It was
bad enough he'd passed out, or whatever he had done,
without everyone making all this fuss.
"I'm fine," he said, "I don't need anything-"
"Oh, it's you, is it?" said Madam Pomfrey,
ignoring this and bending down to stare slowly at him.
"I suppose you've been doing something dangerous
Remus – That’s what she says to me *every* time I
go to the hospital wing.
Sirius - ::mocking:: That’s because you’ve always done
"It was a dementor, Poppy," said Professor McGonagall.
They exchanged a dark look, and Madam Pomfrey
"Setting dementors around a school," she muttered,
pushing back Harry's hair and feeling his forehead.
"He won't be the last one who collapses. Yes, he's all
clammy. Terrible things, they are, and the effects
they have on people are already delicate-"
James/Lily – He’s not delicate!
"I'm not delicate!" said Harry crossly.
James/Lily – See?
"Of course you're not," said Madam Pomfrey
absentmindedly now taking his pulse.
"What does he need?" said Professor McGonagall
crisply. "Bed rest? Should he perhaps spend tonight in
the hospital wing?"
"I'm *fine*!" said Harry, jumping up. The thought
of what Draco Malfoy would say if he had to go to
hospital wing was torture.
Remus – I know how you feel, Harry, I know exactly
how you feel.
"Well, he should have some chocolate at the very
least," said Madam Pomfrey, who was now trying to peer
into Harry's eyes.
"I've already had some," said Harry. "Professor
Lupin gave me some. He gave it to all of us."
"Did he, now?" said Madam Pomfrey approvingly. "So
we've finally got a Defense Against the Dark Arts
teacher who knows his remedies?"
James/Sirius – ::singing:: Go Remus, it’s your
birthday, not really, but go anyway!
Remus - ::roll eyes::
"Are you sure you feel all right, Potter?" Professor
McGonagall said sharply.
"*Yes*," said Harry.
"Very well. Kindly wait outside while I have a
quick word with Miss Granger about her course
schedule, then we can go down to the feast together."
Lily - ::curiously:: Wonder what’s wrong with her
Remus – She did say that she was taking a lot of
classes while they were at Diagon Alley…
James – Maybe she’s being told to drop a few.
Lily – I have a feeling she won’t be too pleased about
Harry went back into the corridor with Madam Pomfrey,
who left for the hospital wing, muttering to herself.
He had to wait only a few minutes; then Hermione
emerged looking very happy about something,
James – Never mind, that crushes my theory.
followed by Professor McGonagall, and the three of
them made their way back down the marble staircase to
the Great Hall.
Lily – I wonder what that was about.
It was a sea of pointed black hats; each of the long
House tables was lined with students, their faces
glimmering by the light of thousands of candles, which
were floating over the tables in mid-air. Professor
Flitwick, who was a tiny little wizard with a shock of
white hair, was carrying an ancient hat and a
three-legged stool out of the hall.
"Oh," said Hermione softly, "we've missed the
James – Somehow, we always miss the sorting.
New students at Hogwarts were sorted into Houses by
trying on the Sorting Hat, which shouted out the House
they were best suited to (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw,
Hufflepuff, or Slytherin). Professor McGonagall strode
off toward her empty seat at the staff table, and
Harry and Hermione set off in the other direction, as
quietly as possible, toward the Gryffindor table.
People looked at them as they passed along the back of
the hall, and a few of them pointed at Harry. Had the
story of his collapsing in front of the dementor
traveled that fast?
All – Yup.
He and Hermione sat down on either side of Ron, who
had saved them seats.
"What was all that about?" he muttered to Harry.
Harry started to explain in a whisper, but at that
moment the headmaster stood up to speak, and he broke
Kaya – You *always* brake off your conversation
when Dumbledore is about to speak.
Professor Dumbledore, though very old, always gave an
impression of great energy. He had several feet of
long silver hair and beard, half-moon spectacles, and
an extremely crooked nose. He was often described as
the greatest wizard of the age,
Morwen – Which he is.
but that wasn't why Harry respected him. You couldn't
help trusting Albus Dumbledore,
Remus – You can’t help it!
and as Harry watched him beaming around at the
students, he felt really calm for the first time since
the dementor had entered the compartment.
"Welcome!" said Dumbledore, the candlelight
shimmering on his beard. "Welcome to another year at
Hogwarts! I have a few things to say to you all and as
one of them is very serious, I think it best to get
out of the way before you become by out excellent
Sirius/James – Bring out the food!
Dumbledore had cleared his throat and continued, "As
you will all be aware after their search of the
Hogwarts Express, our school is presently playing host
to some of the dementors of Azkaban, who are here on
Ministry of Magic business."
All – Hate them!
He paused, and Harry remembered what Mr. Weasley had
said about Dumbledore not being happy with the
dementors guarding the school.
"They are stationed at every entrance on the
grounds," Dumbledore continued, "and while they are
with us, I must make it plain that nobody is to leave
school without permission. Dementors are not to be
fooled by tricks or disguises- or even Invisibility
Cloaks," he added blandly, and Harry and Ron glanced
at each other.
Marauders – Dang it!
"It is not in the nature of the dementor to understand
pleading or excuses. I therefore warn each and every
one of you to give them no reason to harm you. I look
to the prefects, and our new Head Boy and Girl, to
make sure that no student runs afoul of the
dementors," he said.
Percy, who was sitting a few down from Harry,
puffed out his chest again and stared around
Marauders - ::cough:: Show off ::cough::
Dumbledore paused again; he looked very seriously
around the hall, and nobody moved or made a sound.
"On a happier note," he continued, "I am pleased
to welcome two new teachers to our ranks this year.
"First, Professor Lupin, who has kindly consented
to fill the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts."
::clap::whistle::whoop::holler::anything you can do
while cheering someone on::
Remus – James, Sirius, that’s enough.
James/Sirius - ::pout::
There was some scattered, rather unenthusiastic
applause. Only those who had been in the compartment
on the train with Professor Lupin clapped hard, Harry
James – Hey, at least Harry likes you! That’s a
Professor Lupin looked particularly shabby next to all
the other teachers in their best robes.
"Look at Snape!"
Marauders - ::glare::
Ron hissed in Harry's ear.
Professor Snape, the Potions master, was staring
along the staff table at Professor Lupin. It was
common knowledge that Snape wanted the Defense Against
the Dark Arts job, but even Harry, who hated Snape,
was startled at the expression twisting his thins
sallow face. It was beyond anger: it was loathing.
Remus – Didn’t expect anything else.
Harry knew that expression only too well; it was the
look Snape wore every time he set eyes on Harry.
"As to our second new appointment," Dumbledore
continued as the lukewarm applause for Professor Lupin
died away. "Well, I am sorry to tell you that
Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures
teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to
enjoy more time with his remaining limbs.
Kaya – How many does he have left at the moment?
Tilly – Lets see… Head, torso, left arm, right leg…
However, I am delighted to say that this place will be
filled by none other than Rubeus Hagrid, who has
agreed to take on this teaching job in addition to his
game keeping duties."
All - ::gap::
Harry, Ron, and Hermione stared at one another,
stunned. Then they joined in with the applause, which
was tumultuous at the Gryffindor table in particular.
Harry leaned forward to see Hagrid, who was ruby-red
in the face and staring down at his enormous hands,
his wide grin hidden in the tangle of black beard.
Sirius – We should’ve known! Who else would have
assigned them a biting book?
"We should've known!" Ron roared pounding the table.
"Who else would have assigned us a biting book?"
Tilly – Frea-ea-ea-ea-ky.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were the last to stop
clapping, and as Professor Dumbledore started speaking
again, they saw that Hagrid was wiping his eyes with
"Well, I think that's everything of importance,"
said Dumbledore. "Let the feast begin!"
Boys – Yay!
The golden plates and goblets before them filled
suddenly with food and drink. Harry, suddenly
ravenous, helped himself to everything he could reach
and began to eat.
Tilly – Hu-u-u-u-ngry!
It was a delicious feast; the hall echoed with talk,
laughter, and the clatter of knives and forks. Harry,
Ron, and Hermione, however, were eager for it to
finish so that they could talk to Hagrid. They knew
how much being made a teacher would mean to him.
Hagrid wasn't a fully qualified wizard; he had been
expelled from Hogwarts in his third year for a crime
he had not committed. It had been Harry, Ron, and
Hermione who had cleared Hagrid's name last year.
James – I wonder how.
Remus - ::thoughtfully:: Wonder if it has to do with
Lily – Why?
Remus – If she’s a second year now, then she was a
first year last year and something apparently happened
to her, and since Hagrid was *cleared* last year, then
maybe the two events tie in with each other.
Lily – Ah, I see.
At long last, when the last morsels of pumpkin tart
had melted from the golden platters, Dumbledore gave
word that it was time for them all to go to bed, and
they got their chance.
"Congratulations, Hagrid!" Hermione squealed as
they reached the teacher's table.
"All down ter you three," said Hagrid, wiping his
shining face on his napkin as he looked at them,
"Can't believe it... great man, Dumbledore...
All – Amen to that!
came straight down to me hut after Professor
Kettleburn said he'd had enough... It's what I always
Morwen – When we get back to Hogwarts, can we tell
Hagrid that his dreams are going to come true?
James – No. Because we don’t know if this is fiction
Overcome with emotion, he buried his face in his
napkin, and Professor McGonagall shooed them away.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione joined the Gryffindors
streaming up the marble staircase and, very tired now,
along more corridors, up more and more stairs, to the
hidden entrance to Gryffindor Tower. A large portrait
of a fat lady in a pink dress asked them, "Password?"
James – Phoenix!
Sirius – Lethifold!
Remus – Spider!
Peter – Toad!
Tilly – Do you know what I’ve noticed; Gryffindor
always has the most common passwords.
Kaya – You’re right. What’s it this year? Feast?
"Coming through, coming through!" Percy yelled form
behind the crowd. "The new password's 'Fortuna
All - ::gasp:: A change!
"Oh no," said Neville Longbottom sadly. He always had
trouble remembering the passwords.
Peter – Me too.
Through the portrait hole and across the common room,
the girls and boys divided toward their separate
staircases. Harry climbed the spiral staircase with no
thoughts in his head except how glad he was to be
back. They reached their familiar, circular dormitory
with its five four-poster beds, and Harry, looking
around, felt he was home at last.
Tilly – Aw! Sweet!
Sirius – I’m hungry… lets get a snack or something.
Others – Okay.
The group got up and sat the little book down on the
dresser. As they left the room, no one noticed the
book glow scarlet, nor did they notice the boy that
suddenly appeared sitting on James’ bed. A boy with
messy black hair, green eyes, glasses, and a
lightening shaped scar.