Chapter 2:  It’s Alive!

As expected, not one of the Golden Trio slept well that night.  As a result, they were up earlier because of it. When asked, they only replied that they wanted to spend as much time together as possible during the week they had left before graduation. Everybody seemed to understand and left them to their last weekend together. They felt icy blue eyes following them out of the hall.

Harry cast a notice-me-not spell on them as they made their way to the Room of Requirement. After checking the room to make sure that everything was as they left it, they settled in to another day of research.

“We need to find out what other powerful wizards and witches went through when they gained their inheritance so I know what I’m facing.” said Harry.  So off they went, loosing themselves in the stacks.

After a few hours, there again came a frustrating growl, which rang through the library, followed by the echo of a heavy book being thrown.  “Nothing! These books have nothing in them. The only thing I’ve found is stuff on Dumbledore and he isn’t even half as powerful as you’re going to be Harry!” Harry sighed. Ron was right, these books were useless. There had not been anyone as powerful as him since the Founders and not even they were close to Harry’s future power. Harry looked across the table at Hermione who looked as though the books in front of her had betrayed them.

“I don’t know what to do Harry. Even if we could ask someone I wouldn’t know who to ask!”

Harry shook his head. “‘Mione we’ll fin…” His sentence was cut off by flashes of pictures all moving painfully fast in his minds eye. It was like someone was yelling in his head. His hands flew clapping over his ears. “Stop it! Stop it!!” His friends were at his side in an instant.

“Harry, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”

“Stop it! PLEASE it hurts!” Then just as suddenly as they began, they were gone, leaving Harry panting in relief and his friends still looking at him with concern. “Ouch, that hurt!!”

“What was going on mate? You scared us!”

“It wasn’t too pleasant from my end either.”

“Harry, what happened?  Tell us.” Hermione was rubbing his back.

“It was like someone was yelling in my head, but with pictures.” His friends had the same confused look on their faces that he did.

“What were the pictures Harry?

“Uh? They were moving so fast I couldn’t keep up.”

“Do you think it was something trying to communicate with you mate?”

“I don’t…” While he was still massaging his temples, a feeling of warmth wrapped around him. “Yeah…yeah I do. “ He turned to Hermione. “Are you sure that you cut this room off from the world?” The look she gave him was worse than Snape’s on a bad day. “I know, I know! I’m sorry but I had to ask!”

She sighed “Well why don’t you try communicating with it?”

“How?”

‘Mione sighed dramatically, “Honestly, with pictures of course.”

Harry nodded. “Like Occlumency?” She nodded. “Ok, what picture first?”

“Well, you said that the pictures were going too fast right?” Harry nodded again. “So how about a snail going extremely slow?”

“Ok hold on.” He closed his eyes and started to construct the picture of a cartoon snail he once saw making its way slowly across a road. “Ok got it.”

“Now project it out to this thing.” Harry nodded again and pushed as if he would try to give Snape a bland memory instead of something that he could use against him.  Then he felt the picture being grasped; like someone reaching over his shoulder to get a better look at something he was reading. Then the picture faded and was replaced by a picture of Hogwarts as he first saw it. Harry gasped. “It’s working!”

Hermione bounced. What do you see?” She grabbed her quill.

“Hogwarts at night, no wait it’s changing, the Great Hall, now library, and Hogwarts again. Now there’s nothing.  The pictures are gone but I think I can still feel the presence as if it’s waiting to see what we do with the information.

“Ok.” Hermione looked at her list. “What is the common link?”

“I don’t know. But what I do know is that there weren’t any people or creatures in them, it was just Hogwarts and its rooms.”

“Maybe it is Hogwarts.” Ron said absently.

“What!” Harry and Hermione were starting at him mouths agape. “Ron!” they both exclaimed in surprise.

“It was just an idea there’s no need to yell at me.” He grumbled.

Harry grabbed his arm and looked at him seriously. “You should express your ideas more often.” Ron blushed.

Harry cautiously closed his eyes, pictured the castle, and then with a questioning air pressed it to the forefront of his mind. He then felt the picture being taken from him. Suddenly to his surprise, the picture began to dance like it would if a child was playing with it. Harry laughed, eyes still closed. “Harry?”

“You’re right Ron, it is Hogwarts!”

His friends looked around as though they expected the castle to get up and do a jig but it was just like it had always been.

“So now what? Do you think it’s trying to offer us its help?” Ron asked still looking suspiciously at the walls.

“I…I don’t know. I don’t even know how to ask. But what I do know is I have a headache.” Harry rested his head on his hands, massaged his temples, and groaned.

He was startled when something popped right in front of him. His friends gasped. Harry looked and saw a tiny bottle before him. He picked it up,

uncorked it and sniffed. “A headache drought.” Harry chugged it with only a slight grimace and then sighed when his headache left.  Then Harry noticed the small precise handwriting. “Oh no, tell me you did not get this from Snape’s personal stores. PLEASE!” He whined. That’s all he needed was Snape coming after him for stealing from him again. 

Then the pictures were back, showing him the infirmary and when Madam Pomphrey had her back turned, a bottle disappeared from her potions cabinet. Harry sagged in relief, and laughed. “It got it from Pomphrey.” He looked up. “Thank You.” He felt warmth surround him like a hug.

“Well looks like you can communicate with it without the bother of pictures, mate. I wonder if we can do it too.” Ron looked up. “I’m hungry; can I have a sandwich?”

Harry got a flash of the picture at the entrance to the kitchens and laughed. “It says get it yourself.” Hermione laughed then something occurred to her.

“I wonder if Hogwarts is male or female. It’s impolite to keep calling it, it.” Harry had to agree. However, how could he ask? Then he thought of the signs he saw on the bathroom doors in a muggle restroom.  He pictured those signs and then, as before, one was taken. It was the one of the girl and to his astonishment, she curtsied.  Harry chuckled at her antics.  “A pleasure milady.” The picture turned red then faded away. Harry shook his head. “She blushed.”

“Milady can you help us, me? We don’t know what to do.” Harry tried hard not to whine but he was so lost.  He felt that warmth again. Then the pictures started again. One was of the Great Hall, and then came pictures of the Gryffindor dorms, a clock, and then the hallway outside the Room of Requirement.

“Harry what did she say?” Harry smiled wanly at his friends.

“She said that she would help us but we should go to lunch, go to the tower and relax a bit and have fun, but to be back here by 6. She gave me the feeling of…I don’t know, the feeling that everything will be all right, I guess. So why don’t we do as she asks?  I don’t know why, but I trust her completely to take care of us.”

Hermione smiled. “Of course you do. We have only known her for seven years.” She patted his shoulder and got up to pack her things.

The Golden Trio walked to the Great Hall with a lightness that they had not felt in years. Finally, something has gone right for them.

They did what the castle told them. They had lunch, picked on Seamus and Dean then got glared at by Malfoy. Then they played exploding snap while Hermione watched and read, until it got close to six. They made their excuses to their friends, and then made their way back to the Room of Requirement laughing.

Harry spoke. “Milady, we are here now; what do you wish of us?” Harry asked formally. He got a flash of the door handle. Hesitantly he opened the door.

To their surprise, the room was decked out like Hermione’s head girls room; except this one, instead of a desk had a round table, which was covered in food.

“Now this I can live with.” Ron said with appreciation.

Harry got a flash of the table with one chair being pulled out. “Um, I think she says that we should have dinner.” Ron of course was sitting at the table before he even finished the statement.

So they ate and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. The food was better then they had ever had and to their amazement they had butterbeer not pumpkin juice in their refilling glasses. It was the first time that the three of them had ever had a dinner just to themselves without the worry of someone disturbing them. For Harry it would be one of his best memories.

After they’d had their fill and let the immense dinner settle Harry addressed the castle. “Milady, thank you for that tremendous dinner. Now what do you wish of us?”

Ron spoke up. “I hope it will be as good as the dinner.” Hermione elbowed him. “What!” Ron rubbed his side.

Harry received a picture of the bed that was in the back of the room. Harry quirked an eyebrow. “The bed?” The image changed, this time to include the three of them; Ron and Hermione were flanking him, both kneeling on the bed, while he laid flat on his back between them. “Ok if that is what you want.”

“What did she ask mate?” Harry got up and his friends followed him.

“She said that she wants us on the bed with me in the middle laying down and you two on either side of me kneeling and holding my hands.” The two nodded and climbed on the bed.

For some reason Harry had a knot in his stomach that made him feel like that wonderful dinner was going to come up and visit again. However, he gathered his courage and crawled between his friends.

“You know Ron if I wasn’t here you could finally say that you got Hermione into bed.” He joked, causing Hermione to smack them both.

“What! He said it not me!” Ron said indignantly.

“I hit you because it’s true. If you did ‘get me into bed’ you would tell the entire school. That is why you won’t until we’re out of school.” She said with a huff.

Harry laughed. “Yeah but that is only a week away.” For that he got another smack. “Ok, ok let’s settle down. Um, in the picture she showed me we were holding hands.” His best friends clasped his hands tightly.

“Ok Milady we are ready.  What next?”

Then before he knew what was happening he felt like he was being portkeyed but a thousand times worse. He felt as though he was being hurtled and falling all at the same time. He couldn’t catch his breath; it was being sucked out of him. Falling, flying, hurtling, he didn’t know which but he needed it to stop. Everywhere around him was a bright light.  He couldn’t feel his friends beside him. He really began to panic. What had he done? What had happened to them? Suddenly Harry’s world went black and he thought no more.