The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Planets, Brains and Curses  Chapter: Chapter One: Hermione
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: This is an Alternate Point of View story, inspired by J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This story contains many direct quotes from aforementioned book. It's all JKR's, I'm not making any money of it. I'm just having fun.

Author's Note: Many thanks to my beta reader Arianrhod!

Planets, Brains and Curses

Chapter One: Hermione


From the moment they entered the Department of Mysteries, Hermione felt that it wasn’t right. She was quite sure Sirius wasn’t there, and only became more sure every minute. She wasn’t afraid – they had done more dangerous things. Harry obviously thought they would meet some Death Eaters who would be standing guard over Sirius, but Hermione didn’t believe that at all. She hadn’t been able to stop him, so of course she had gone with him. But it just wasn’t right. A few minutes ago, she had thought that the worst thing that could happen was being found by a Ministry worker (although there didn’t seem to be any Ministry workers around – they hadn’t met anyone on their way in – which was even more unsettling in some way). And now, while Harry was looking at the glass ball with his name on it, she started to feel less and less comfortable. She really should have felt more at ease in this room. This room had structure. Every shelf, every row was the same. Every glass ball was labelled, every row had a number. This was much better organized than the rooms they had been in before. But the feeling was now very strong: something was horribly wrong.

Hermione saw Harry stretch out his hand to the dusty glass ball. She saw him touch the ball, close his fingers around it and lift it from the shelf. Nothing happened. Hermione slowly started to relax, when suddenly someone spoke.

“Very good, Potter,” a man’s voice said. “Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me.”

Hermione turned around and saw half a dozen black-robed figures standing before her, wands pointed right at her and her friends. Death Eaters. She quickly turned the other way, but several more of them appeared where she turned.

Hermione was paralysed with terror. She didn’t seem to be able to move, or to hear properly. Harry seemed to be talking to the Death Eaters, but only bits of the conversation found their way into Hermione’s head. She had never been so terrified in her life. It was a miracle that Harry was able to speak and hold the Death Eaters off. This was exactly was he was such a good teacher for the DA. He just knew what to do.

Hermione tried to listen to the conversation, but her ears still didn’t work properly.

“... give me the prophecy ...”

“... difference between life and dreams ...”

Suddenly, Hermione’s head became a little bit clearer. The difference between life and dreams? Was the vision Harry had had not true after all? But now they were trapped. Hermione couldn’t see a way out. Her mind became cloudy once again. She watched Harry duel shortly with one of the Death Eaters. Harry just managed to keep the glass ball in his hand. This seemed to annoy another Death Eater, who began to shout. Hermione wished he wouldn’t. It didn’t sound right, here in this room with thousands of dusty balls. But on the other hand, it was probably a good sign if the Death Eaters disagreed with each other.

Then she heard something that made her heart stand still.

“... take the smallest one ...”

She moved towards Ginny, and felt that the others also closed in. She tried again to listen what was said. It was very important she knew exactly what was happening.

“So,” said Harry, “what kind of prophecy are we talking about, anyway?”

Prophecy? Was it possible the glass ball was a prophecy? A real one, then, not like Professor Trelawney made in her classes. That was interesting. Then this whole room would be full of prophecies.

“How come Voldemort wants it?” asked Harry.

A few Death Eaters seemed disturbed that he had used their master’s name.

“You dare speak his name?” whispered one of them.

“Yeah,” said Harry. “Yeah, I’ve got no problem with saying Vol–”

“Shut your mouth!” shrieked the Death Eater, who was, Hermione realised now, female. “You dare speak his name with you unworthy lips, you dare besmirch it with your half-blood’s tongue, you dare–”

“Did you know he’s a half-blood too?” said Harry.

Hermione moaned. Why did he have to say that? It was not a good idea to make the Death Eaters even angrier.

Harry carried on. “Voldemort? Yeah, his mother was a witch but his dad a Muggle – or has he been telling you lot he’s pure-blood?”

The female Death Eater lost control. “STUPEF–”

“NO!” That was another Death Eater, who deflected the Stunner. It hit a shelf instead. Several glass balls shattered. Two figures who looked like ghosts, had come out of the balls and began to speak. Hermione guessed the figures were Seers, and were repeating their prophecies. She tried to listen what they were saying, but the two Death Eaters were again fighting with each other. Only after the ghosts of the Seers had vanished, they stopped shouting.

“You haven’t told me,” Harry said, “what’s so special about this prophecy I’m supposed to be handing over.”

“Do not play games with us, Potter.” Something clicked in Hermione’s brain. That voice was Lucius Malfoy’s!

“I’m not playing games,” said Harry.

Hermione was wondering if he was really interested in the prophecy, or that he was just playing for time. Suddenly, someone stepped on her foot. She realised in time it was Harry, and managed not to shout.

“What?” she whispered in Harry’s ear.

Malfoy talked to Harry, but Hermione wasn’t listening any more. She concentrated on Harry. He definitely had a plan. But he was distracted by Malfoy.

“What?” Hermione whispered again. And while the Death Eaters laughed, Harry spoke very, very softly.

“Smash shelves when I say now.

Hermione understood. Her brain was working again. She now had a goal. She nudged Ginny in the ribs.

“Smash the shelves when Harry says now, she whispered in Ginny’s ear. “Use Reducto. Tell Ron.”

Ginny nodded and turned towards Ron. Then Hermione told the same to Neville, who passed it on to Luna. They all gripped their wands tightly, ready to act. They didn’t have to wait long. After about half a minute, Harry yelled “NOW!”

Hermione raised her wand, and shouted “REDUCTO!” while she heard the others around her do the same. The shelves exploded. Everywhere glass shattered and ghosts appeared. For a moment, Hermione just stood, having accomplished her task. Then Harry grabbed her robes and pulled her forwards. Just in time, because behind her some shelves had collapsed.

Ron, Ginny and Luna sprinted to the end of the row and disappeared from sight. A Death Eater came out of nowhere and grabbed Harry’s shoulder, forcing him to stop running. Hermione pointed her wand at the man and yelled, “Stupefy!”. The Death Eater promptly disappeared from sight and Harry started to run again, Hermione sprinting after him. At the end of the row, Harry turned right and Hermione followed. She saw Neville trip just behind her. She quickly grabbed him, and he just managed to stay on his feet.

“Come on, now, Neville!” Hermione yelled. “Come on! Run!”

Harry, Neville and Hermione went through the door they had come through earlier. Harry shut the door, and Hermione did the only thing that made sense. “Colloportus!” she gasped and the door sealed itself magically.

“Where – where are the others?” Harry asked. Hermione looked around and saw that Ron, Luna and Ginny weren’t there.

“They must have gone the wrong way!” she whispered. What if they had hit a dead end, and the Death Eaters had captured them?

“Listen!” Neville whispered suddenly. Harry put his ear close to the door, and Hermione heard footsteps outside. Lucius Malfoy was saying something. He seemed to be giving orders to the other Death Eaters. No doubt they were looking for them.

“What do we do?” Hermione asked Harry. Harry always knew what to do, she assured herself. She tried to come up with a plan herself, but her mind was strangely blank.

“Well, we don’t stand here waiting for them to find us, for a start,” Harry answered. He was already in motion. “Let’s get away from this door.”

They ran to the door, but before they had reached it, something – or someone – collided with the door behind.

“Stand aside!” said someone. “Alohomora!

Hermione followed her instinct and dove under a desk just in time. Two Death Eaters walked into the room.

“They might’ve run straight through to the hall,” one of them said.

“Check under the desks,” said the other one. The Death Eaters were now at the desk Harry was lying under. Harry aimed his wand, and shouted “STUPEFY!

One of the Death Eaters fell at the ground. Hermione tried to get out from under her desk to Stun the other one, but that was a mistake. The remaining Death Eater was already pointing his own wand at her.

Avada–”

Hermione was paralysed with terror. But Harry grabbed the knees of the Death Eater and he lost his balance. There was a crash to Hermione’s right, as Neville overturned a desk and aimed his wand.

EXPELLIARMUS!

Neville had disarmed both the Death Eater and Harry. They both stood up and ran to their wands. Hermione used the distraction to get to her feet. She aimed her wand, just as Neville jumped in her path.
“Get out of the way, Harry!” he yelled. Harry flung himself sideways, and Neville shouted “STUPEFY!

But he missed. The Death Eater reached to his wand and picked it up. He turned, but his mask had slipped and covered his eyes. Harry dove under a desk again. The Death Eater ripped the mask off.

STUP–” he shouted, but Hermione was quicker.

STUPEFY!” she bellowed and hit the Death Eater, who fell into a jar with his head. For an instant, she wondered about that, as heads usually didn’t sink through solid glass, but she decided she didn’t care.

Accio wand!” she yelled, pointing at Harry’s wand, which promptly flew towards her. She caught it and threw it back to Harry.

“Thanks,” Harry said. “Right, let’s get out of –”

“Look out!” shouted Neville.

Hermione raised her wand, but then she saw what Neville was staring at. The Death Eater’s head was shrinking until it was a baby’s head. Then it was swelling again. Suddenly, Hermione understood what this room was about.

“It’s Time,” she said. “Time...”

There was a shout from another room, a crash and a scream.

“RON?” Harry yelled. “GINNY? LUNA?”

Hermione was still looking at the Death Eater with his head in the jar. It shrank to a baby’s head again, and then the Death Eater pulled it out.

“Harry!” Hermione screamed, for the Death Eater was walking towards him. Harry turned and ducked as the Death Eater swung his arm out. Hermione suddenly realised that he now had a baby’s brain, and therefore didn’t have a clue what he was doing.

When Harry raised his wand, she seized his arm.

“You can’t hurt a baby!”

Harry looked at her for a moment, and seemed to decide that the footsteps coming nearer, in the Hall of Prophecy, were more dangerous than the baby Death Eater.

“Come on!” he said. They ran to the door which led to the circular hallway, but two more Death Eaters burst through it. Harry turned left, and Hermione grabbed Neville and followed. They entered a small office.

Collo–” Hermione started, but she was cut off when the Death Eaters smashed the door open and stepped through it.

IMPEDIMENTA!” both of the masked men yelled. Hermione was knocked backwards and smashed into a bookcase. She felt one book after another fall over her. Beside her, she heard two other crashes, which meant that Harry and Neville were hit by the curse too. Hermione tried to move a few books so she could see what was happening.

“WE’VE GOT HIM!” yelled one of the Death Eaters. “IN AN OFFICE OFF–”

Silencio!” cried Hermione. The Death Eater was cut off abruptly. The other Death Eater moved towards Harry. Hermione raised her wand, but Harry was already shouting “Petrificus Totalus!

The Death Eater fell on the ground face down. Hermione lowered her wand.
“Well done, Ha–” she started to say, when suddenly she saw the Death Eater which she had hit with her Silencing Charm, make a movement with his wand. A purple jet of light flew through the air. Hermione uttered an “Oh!” of surprise when she realised that there were hexes you didn’t need to say an incantation for. Then she felt excruciating pain at her chest and everything went black.


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