Day number: 1, mid-morning
Location: Hogwarts entry hall
Reply: Luna, Hermione, any others that're left that feel like joining.
"Of course Miss Granger," the professor replied and watched with satisfaction as Luna joined as well.
It was a decent sized party, not too small, not too big that it would make exploration difficult. She'd certainly dealt with larger groups of students before.
"Step lively now and keep an eye out. We'll hurry on up to Dumbledore's office and see if we can't sort this whole mess out."
As they made their way out of the hall and down the corridor, Hermione felt her wand under her robes with the fingers on her right hand. She recited to herself all of the defensive spells she could remember, and she tried to imagine scenarios in which she might have to protect herself and her colleagues. It wasn't difficult. Her years at Hogwarts had given her many chances to practice defense against the dark arts, and she'd come face to face with more than one dangerous magical creature.
She gave Luna a nervous smile. "A strange mess, this."
Ginny felt it was almost a waste of time, going off to Dumbledore's office, but she held her tounge, and let Professor McGonagall lead her and the others out of the great hall. Gripping her wand tightly she cast a non-verbal "Lumos" and watched as a soft glow bounced off the ceilings and walls. Ginny gave a smile as she looked over to her left to find Hermione in deep thought. "She must begoing through all of her defensive spells." It was scary how well she knew Hermione. Ginny couldn't help but give a small chuckle.
Suddenly Ginny stopped in her tracks. listening, straining her ears.
"Stop!" she whispered. "I hear something."
Grabbing Luna's robes she stopped her from making another move.
Luna nodded in response to Hermione as their little group made its way to Professor Dumbledore's office. It was an odd feeling having the castle so still and quiet. The air felt heavy and cold. Hermione was right. This was a strange mess.
Luna stopped short as the older Ginny whispered and grabbed hold of her robes. She tilted her head to the side and listened.
Yes. She heard it too. A strange shuffling sound and muffled clunks coming from around the corner ahead in the dark passage.
Walking down the main street of Hogsmeade Alastor pulled out the mysterious letter again. It's words where now barely legible after applying every spell, potion, and charm to reveal it's authenticity. Unfortunately all his efforts revealed nothing. The other day the owl had delivered a letter requesting him to teach defense against the dark arts temporarily for the school year since the school was hosting the Triwizard tournament. Later that same day while walking out of his back door there lying in the dirt was another fairly worn letter bearing a request to see Dumbledore immediately. Every time he tried to contact Dumbledore as to what this was about there was no response. To make matters worse his revealing glass was unusually dark which made Alastor all the more suspicious, but rather then waiting any longer he decided on a course of action. To go to the school early rather then wait for the official school year for, if nothing else, to improve upon the already considerable security of Hogwarts. Especially after hearing how Sirius Black was able to slip in and out of the school with relative ease.
A sudden noise alarmed him and within a blink his wand was at the ready with a spell on his lips before he realized it was a cat in the pile of rubbish outside the Three Broomsticks.
“Damn. I'm letting my guard down again.”
His magical eye swiveled wildly as it made a complete search of his surroundings. Everywhere, except the pile with the cat, had no signs of life. Quickening his pace he cursed under his breath his inability to use a broom. Not that he could trust those damn things considering they where jinxed all the time, but it would be convenient about now with the wooden leg slowing him down.
As he reached the open gates of Hogwarts he paused for a thorough look. Not that it did much good with the cloaking spells around the school grounds. There was a thick fog about the grounds, but his eye revealed nothing, or at least no-one, on the grounds. As much as he hated to enter anywhere from the front he had little choice in the matter. Besides if this was as urgent as Dumbledore indicated that would mean he should not keep the man waiting.
Making a wide circle to the rear of the building Mad Eye entered through the rear entrance near Hagrids house. There was no sign of the giant anywhere let alone his usual assortment of 'pets' he usually had about. As unnerving as it was it was nothing compared to entering the building and noticing immediately that the halls where silent. Hogwarts was never silent.
Again his wand was at the ready with a spell or two on his lips. His eye rolled wildly looking for anything. Nothing moved, glimmered, shifted, or breathed.
"Damn. This is more serious then I thought."
With is senses completely alert he made his way to Dumbledores office as fast as his good leg would carry him. All the while unnerved by the paintings lack of movement, or the typical acknowledgment the armors offered.
Suddenly there were sounds and light coming from the hallway ahead. The eye revealed three wizards, female, with one carrying a wand. He then spotted McGonagalls characteristic big hat. This should be interesting.
Rounding the corner, "Expelliarmus" .
Ginny's wand went flying out of her hand.
“The school is suppose to be closed to students...” Suddenly his attention was on Minerva. Something wasn't right since last meeting her a few weeks ago.