Day number: 1, mid-morning
Location: Hogwarts, Great Hall
Character: Harry (99)
Reply: Trelawney and anyone else who is staying behind.
Harry looked up at the ceiling of the Great Hall. The usual enchanted canopy was gone and just the original architecture of stone arches and large timber beams were visible. He let his gaze drop and sweep across the room. The four large house tables were bare as was the table at the head of the hall where the professors would sit for meals. All of the chairs at the professor's table were missing, except for Dumbledore's high-backed, commanding seat.
It had gotten darker and rain pattered against the glass of the tall windows high up on the stone walls. The usual warmth of this central meeting place was gone and even with the large tapestries adorning the walls, the chill was creeping in.
Harry pulled out his wand. As he pointed it at each of the large torches that ran around the perimiter of the room he called out "Incendio." Flame erupted from each of the torches and warm light spilled into the room and danced along the floor and walls. However, the light failed to reach into the depths of the high ceiling and the shadows there appeared even darker than before. But at least it warmed the room a bit.
"That's a bit better." Harry sighed as he tucked his wand back into his robes.
Trelawney felt deeply hurt and even more frightened as she walked, eyes on the floor, to the table where Harriet lay. She shook her head. How foolish Ron Weasley was. He might be an auror, but he would never be a master auror like Alistair Moody. Trelawney actually felt safer away from Ron. She felt sorry for those who had gone with him. Her Third Eye showed the grave danger awaiting them because Ron lacked the imagination and flexiblity to deal with the unexpected. He proved unequivocally that he lacked the wisdom to understand that just because he didn't believe something did not mean it was not so nor that did it not exist. In addition, he had left an unconscious student with her ignoring that Trelawney could provide no protection. She was angry because he had left Harriet in serious danger. She almost began to cry again and then she remembered. While she was still very hurt by and angry with Ron, he had given her one thing she could use to protect Harriet -- the chair. She would get Harriet into the chair and take her to find Poppy. Her Third Eye showed the Great Hall would not be safe much longer. Her ghost friend had already gone to investigate something more interesting than the affirs of (to him) silly wizards and witches. She was glad the young Ravenclaw girl was small.
Sybill pulled Harriet toward one end of the table, grabbed one wrist and rolled her to her stomach, pulling both arms over her head and sliding Harriet toward her till her head was at the edge of the table. Trelawney backed up to the end of the table, squatted down and grasped Harriet's hands. With Harriet's arms pulled with her hands at Sybill's waist and her head on Sybill's shoulders, the Divinination Professor slowly stood, leaning forward to carry the majority of Harriet's weight along her back. ARGGH! Harriet was heavier than she looked. Sybill took one staggering step forward, then another, moving away from the table. But she was barely strong enough to hold the girl and began to lose her balance, staggering more and more and beginning to stagger backward. She was losing her balance and let go of Harriet's wrists. The unconscious girl began to slide down her back. Trelawney made one grab to try to keep the girl from falling but she had lost too much of her own balance. Sybill Trelawney splatted unceremoniously to the floor. Snorkaks! Now how was she going to get Harriet off the floor? Sybill rose to her knees only to be bumped by the chair and going down again. She roared in frustration and rolled to a sitting position, legs spread wide apart. There, in the hovering chair, was Harriet, the chair tipped back to preventing her from sliding out. How ? ....
Harry had noticed that Professor Trelawney was attempting to lift Harriett into the bewitched chair and quickly moved in to help. He was surprised that she hadn't asked for assistance. As he easily lifted the unconscious Ravenclaw off of the Professor's back and placed her safely in the hovering chair, Professor Trelawney sprawled to the floor.
Harry was bending down to help his old teacher, who was attempting to sit up when the chair bumped into him and he, in turn, collided with Trelawney sending her sprawling to the ground again. “Ah, bugger . . .” he muttered.
Trelawney had rolled over and was staring at the chair with a bewildered expression, still ignoring him. He sighed, which seemed to have become a common reaction to things lately, and stood at the side of his old Divination teacher. Harry stooped down and offered his hand, “Can I help you up, Professor?”
Suddenly a disembodied hand appeared in front of Trelawney and a voice said, “Can I help you up, Professor?” Sybill Trelawney screamed like she had never screamed in her life. Then she realized she knew the voice and looked up. "Harry Potter?" She grasped his hand with both of hers, grateful for his assistance as she was pulled to standing. "Where did you come from?" Then she chuckled. That was a silly question. He had come in from the other room. "Oh, dear boy," she said in her tremuluous voice with which she had always predicted his doom. "That should be 'may' I help. Grammar was never your strong suit. If you could speak as well as you ride broom, you could be a great orator. But with politicians, I suppose, we have enough speakers -- though few of substance." She smiled at him. "Thank you so very much for your assistance. I suppose it was your skill which got Harriet into the chair. Lovely chair Mr. Weasley conjured, isn't it?"
Other Trelawney oddities had revealed themselves. Compliments? Joking? Gratitude? And no prediction of death. Was this really the Divination Professor they all knew but few loved? Maybe something happened to her when she was gone to Snape's classroom. What she saw may have been real. It may have been in her mind. But whichever it was, it certainly was related to whatever was going on in the castle.
"Harry, are you hungry? I'm starving. I haven't eaten today and I think I need something. Shall we go to the kitchen and see if the House Elves have anything in preparation? Besides, even though I feel much, much better with you here to help Harriet and me, my Third Eye says this room will not be safe for much longer so we do need to leave."
Trelawney headed for the stairway to the kitchens and then stopped. "Harry, are you game for a little test? Things are not normal here, as you well know. Do you want to try to apparate to the kitchen? Normally we can't in the castle ... no. Never mind. We'd better not try that. My Third Eye says the attempt could result in death for all of us." She walked on for a bit more and, as she got to the head of the stairs, she turned her head and said over her shoulder, "By the way, why didn't your wife come with us?"
Harry’s stomach grumbled when Trelawney mentioned food. He had run out the door and hopped onto his broom with just a piece of dry toast in his mouth when he had gotten Dumbledore’s letter. “Yeah, food would be a good thing, Professor. Maybe we should get some extra to bring back for when the others return.” He followed Trelawney and the chair holding the unconscious Ravenclaw out of the Great Hall and to the stairs that would lead them towards the kitchens.
He fished around in his robes and pulled out his wand. It was probably a good idea to be ready for any kind of strange or dangerous confrontation. Especially when he was stuck with a batty professor who didn’t know any useful magic and an incapacitated student.
He almost bumped into her again as she stopped and pondered something about attempting Apparation. He groaned inwardly. He really did not want to try and apparate with a teacher, unconscious student and a bewitched chair. Luckily for him, her “Third-Eye” was against it.
They had gone a little further when Trelawney looked back at him. "By the way, why didn't your wife come with us?"
Harry stopped short. Wife?! He stammered, “Erm . . . Y – You must be mistaken, Professor. I’m not married. I haven’t ever been.” His mind tried to wrap itself around her question. From the sound of it, his “wife” was among the group of people now exploring the castle. Could she have meant . . . ?
No. No. Harry shook his head. That wasn’t a possibility. There was NO WAY they had gotten married. Not after how much he had hurt her. This was the first time he had even seen her in years. Harry thought back. She had looked at him strangely in the main hall when they had first come in. It hadn’t been anger or sadness in her face. It had been . . .
Trelawney snickered at the confused look on Harry's face. "Gotcha!" she cried and then started laughing. "You should see your face! I just wanted to see if you really had taken an aging potion. I am sorry, but I will not be able to come to your wedding when it happens next year. You'll still be a young groom, for sure. And your wife a mere slip of a girl. You will be happy for a while, but then pain and sorrow will come and plague you all your life. Such an unhappy life."
Trelawney wiped a tear away from her cheek and looked at Harry with a pitying gaze. She had come to the stairs and went down carefully. The castle' enchantments to keep back stairways safely lit seemed to be working well. As the Professor descended further torches came to flame, lighting the stairs. At last she came into the kitchens area only. All was quiet an there was not a House Elf in sight.
Still there were a great number of steaming dishes with a wide variety of food for any palate. Pitchers of pumpkin juice sat at one end of the serving table. And one small glass of sherry beside them. Obviously a feast was planned by someone, probably whomever had somehow called them all together.
"Harry, lets eat a little and be sure we don't eat too much. I think we will be safe here for a little while. You are right we should take food for others since the House Elves don't seem to be around. I wonder where they have gone. They were here earlier. You'll need to figure out how to take the food with us. Meantime, shall we eat?"