The Sugar Quill
Author: Jelsemium  Story: Harry Potter and the Book Wyrm  Chapter: Chapter Two
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Harry Potter and the Bookwyrm

Author: Jill D. Weber

AKA Jelsemium

Characters Owned by J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.

They are used without permission or intent to make a profit.

Rating: PG for threat of violence.

Author's Notes: This story is more or less set during the Christmas break of the third book -- Prisoner of Azkaban.

Now contains spoilers!

Chapt. 2 -- The Wyrm Turns

 

**** Behind the Bookcase ****

Fifty-two cards did not divide into five evenly. So it was just as well that Hermione chose to pace rather than to play Snap. George dealt out four hands of thirteen cards each. “Sure you don’t want to play, Hermione?” he asked.

“How can you sit around and play cards?” Hermione asked in exasperation. “We’ve been stuck in here for hours! I have homework to do!”

Ron, who was picking up the first card in his hand sputtered and squeezed it too hard, causing the first explosion of the game. “WHAT? Hermione! It’s CHRISTMAS EVE! You can’t be doing homework on CHRISTMAS EVE! That’s…” He blew up two more cards before he thought to set them down. “It’s got to be sacrilegious or something!”

“I have a lot of homework,” Hermione huffed.

“Well, drop a few classes!” Ron snorted. “Even you can’t learn everything in one year!”

“I’m not trying to learn everything!” Hermione said in exasperation. “I’m just trying to catch up to the people who’ve lived in the Wizarding world all their lives.” She frowned at the boys sitting on the floor. “Why don’t you make some cushions? That looks uncomfortable.”

“Good idea,” Fred said. “I’ll transfigure our handkerchiefs…”

“No, thanks,” Harry said firmly. “I’d rather sit on the floor”

“Good point, Harry,” George said.

Fred scowled. “Et, tu, George-us?” he asked.

George just raised an eyebrow. “Honestly, Fred, do you know how to conjure a cushion that doesn’t explode, make rude noises or put embarrassing stains on one’s posterior?”

Fred rubbed his chin and his scowl faded. “Erm, no, I’d have to look it up.”

“Unfortunately, all the books are on the other side of the bookcase,” Ron pointed out.

Hermione made a rude noise of her own. “If you would just apply yourself to your studies…”

“Then you’d never catch up to us,” Fred interposed quickly. “We would never be so rude as to leave you in the dust like that.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and started transfiguring handkerchiefs into cushions. “Don’t you have a handkerchief, Harry?” she asked.

“I just gave mine to the Bookwyrm,” Harry said.

“You can use mine,” Hermione said. “I’ll stand.”

“Maybe we could get out the way Bookwyrm got in?” Ron suggested.

“Getting anxious to get out of here?” Hermione teased.

“I’m getting hungry,” Ron said.

Hermione muttered to herself. “And I’m surprised. I’m definitely losing it.”

Without even consulting each other, Fred, George and Harry decided to steer the conversation away from this.

“So, maybe we should try to find the Bookwyrm’s egress,” George said. “He can’t attack, because he lost the riddle contest and I think the five of us can keep him honest.”

Fred grinned. “That almost rhymed.”

“I’m a poet,” George said modestly.

“You’re an idiot,” Ron grumbled at him.

“So I’ve been told,” George said. “But I’m not one of the three who fell behind the bookcase by accident!”

Ron responded with a gesture that caused Hermione to whack his hand with her wand. Ron yelped and glared. The other three made a point of searching for the Bookwyrm’s exit while Ron and Hermione glared it out.

 

**** With the Bookwyrm ****

The Bookwyrm cursed sibilantly as it wended its way towards the statue of Godric Gryffindor. It was Christmas Eve and he’d been cheated out of his dinner. Some holiday this was going to be. He wondered if he could pick up a drunk or two outside the Three Broomsticks. Then he decided against it. With the way his luck was running, he’d run into that damnable Hagrid.

It was bad enough that the vulgar gamekeeper was twice the size of a normal human; he was completely inedible! On top of that, Hagrid wanted to make a PET of him! “A bookwyrm’s not quite as good as a dragon, but it’s close,” the oaf had said when he’d tried to shut him up in a giant terrarium. Not quite as good as a dragon! Some oafs have a lot of nerve!

He was still cursing to himself when a low growl ripped the frosty air. The Bookwyrm raised his head and puffed his hood out as he wheeled around to face the source of the sound. It was a Grim. Normally, dragon’s kin wouldn’t fear a dog. However, after the Bookwyrm sized up his bear-sized challenger, he decided to make an exception.

Anxiously, he attempted to sidle past the monsterous dog, but the Grim blocked his path. ‘I’m Grim chow,’ thought the BookWyrm. Then it looked into the dog’s pale blue eyes. “Wait, a Grim’s eyes should be fiery! At the very least, they should be red!” he spoke aloud, in English, to see if he’d get a reaction.

The dog sat back on its haunches and lolled out its tongue, which was red.

The Bookwyrm flicked his tongue out, tasting the air. “You’re no dog,” he accused. “You’re an animagus. On top of that, you’re an illegal animagus. I know, because I’ve read the roster of registered animagi many times.”

The animagus’ grin grew wider. Ersatz dog or not, that thing still had big teeth. The Bookwyrm felt a little braver now, though. Humans had standards. Humans didn’t go around eating people. “Show yourself, human,” he challenged. “Riddle me this, I soar without wings, I see without eyes. I've traveled the universe to and fro. I've conquered the world, yet I've never been anywhere but home. Who am I?”

The dog disappeared with a small pop, leaving behind a tall, painfully thin man with waist long, tangled hair and a skull-like face.

So much for humans having standards,’ thought the Bookwyrm with scorn.

“You are my imagination,” the Animagus said in a rusty voice.

The Bookwyrm was taken aback for a moment, until he realized the human had answered his riddle. Obviously, the Animagus wouldn’t need to be introduced to this game.

The Animagus spoke again. “The waters are wild, the walls are of stone, but the strongest bond is despair. Of all the prisoners, I alone, battled my way free from there.” He paused, then added. “Who am I?”

A prison that uses despair as a bond? Obviously Azkaban, and the only prisoner who ever escaped from Azkaban was…’ The Bookwyrm swallowed. “You are Sirius Black.”

The Animagus inclined his head slightly. “I am.”

The Bookwyrm flinched. ‘I was better off with the Grim!’

 

**** Behind the Bookcase ****

Revealo,” said George for the fifteenth or sixteenth time. He smacked his wand against the wall and said: “Dammitall! Show yourself, you…” he stopped mid-sentence as his wand went through what looked to be solid stone. After a minute, he added: “Found it.” He poked his wand through the illusion to show where.

Finite incantatem,” Hermione said, waving her wand.

Suddenly, there was a low tunnel where the wall had been.

“Okay, now we’ve found it, what do we do about it?” Ron asked, moving up next to George.

The other four crouched next to him and peered into the small tunnel. There was only enough room for one person at a time in it.

“I’m not sure I can fit,” Ron said. He moved back as if somebody was going to try to shove him in.

“Harry and Hermione can fit,” Fred said, uncertainly. He looked down the tunnel and shuddered. He didn’t even want to try to crawl down there.

“I don’t think Harry and Hermione want to fit,” Harry said. There was something vehemently repellent about the very idea of entering that tunnel.

George looked down the tunnel and felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He shook his head. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for us to separate,” he said. “We have no idea what could be lurking in there.”

The other four looked at him in shock.

Finite incantatem,” Fred muttered, waving his wand under George’s nose.

George glared at him and slapped the wand away. “This is me, I’m not Snape or somebody using the polyjuice potion!”

“Had to be sure,” Fred said, unruffled. “That just sounded so unlike you.”

“I think there’s a spell affecting him,” Hermione said uncertainly. “I think the tunnel is enchanted to keep people out.”

The boys looked from Hermione to the tunnel. “So, is it a spell that just makes you think you don’t want to go in there or is the not wanting to go in there the residual effect of a spell that will do something really nasty and fatal to you?” Ron asked.

“There’s only one way to find out,” George pointed out. “But it will take a volunteer from the audience.”

After a few minutes, it became clear that the collective decision was to not find out.

“Well, at least we know how the Bookwyrm got in,” Harry sighed as they went back to the bookcase. “It told me that the opening is near the statue of Godric Gryffindor. Once we get out of here, Filch can block off that entrance.”

“At least Sirius Black can’t use it to get in here, he’s human, too,” Ron said.

“But he wasn’t supposed to be able to get out of Azkaban,” Harry said.

They fell quiet at that thought.

 

**** With the Bookwyrm ****

Sirius Black stared at the Bookwyrm with those disconcerting pale blue eyes of his. He didn’t speak and the Bookwyrm found himself longing for the Boy Who Lived and Chattered a Lot. ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ he thought. Then inspiration struck. Maybe he could set his enemies on each other.

“Tender morsel, scar on face. Trapped behind the snake’s bookcase. Through the path no man can walk. The Grim may find his prey and stalk.” ‘There, that should distract him,’ the Bookwyrm thought smugly.

Black frowned as he thought this over. The Bookwyrm wondered what he’d take as a forfeit if he defeated Black. He’d just about decided that to go with Potter’s option (of not getting killed) when Black rasped out his answer.

“Harry Potter is trapped in the library and the secret passage there can only be used by animals.”

“Yes,” the Bookwyrm hesitated. Black was still watching him. “Well, go on, you know you’d rather eat him than me.”

Black’s eyes flickered once, in amusement. The Bookwyrm decided that was a bad sign. “Flies without wings, breathes without lung, takes without hands, sings without tongue.”

Damn, he’s determined to keep up the contest,’ thought the snake. Aloud, he said: “The wind. I really wouldn’t object if you wanted to call this contest a draw.”

Black merely stared at him.

I really should have stayed in bed this morning,’ thought the BookWyrm. He gave a hissing sigh and said: “A man goes out drinking every night, returning to his home in the wee hours of every morning. No matter how much he drinks, he never gets a hangover. This drink is very well known, but is rarely consumed, served warm and taken straight from its source. The man is a sucker for a free drink, especially since he can't live without it. What is his favorite drink?”

Black’s face held no expression as he thought this over. “Since he’s a vampire, the drink must be blood,” he said. The Animagus was silent for many minutes and the Bookwyrm began to hope that he’d go for the stalemate.

Finally, Black spoke. “A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But that evening, they go out and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?”

The Bookwyrm rolled his eyes. “Please, I am a Bookwyrm. I read a lot of books with photographs in them. I’ve also read a lot of books about photography. She shot him with a camera and developed the picture. You sure you don’t want to call a draw? We’re obviously too evenly matched at this.”

Black smiled slightly. The Bookwyrm really wished that he’d stayed at home.

 

**** Behind the Bookcase ****

“Snap!” barked Harry, and he gathered up George’s pile. Carefully, so as not to explode anything, he placed the pile with his own. That was the last card to be played and it looked as if he’d won this hand. He looked around and sighed. “Anybody remember how many times we’ve played?” he asked.

“No,” Fred said. He looked down and registered some surprise when he realized that the game was over.

“I don’t think anybody is paying attention,” said Ron, shivering.

Hermione plucked the tissue paper from the box Fred had stored the cards in and transfigured them into blankets. “We’re in big trouble,” she said, handing them around.

“Why? Because you’re getting farther behind in your homework with every passing second?” Ron asked snidely.

Hermione glared at him. “Just because I’m not lazy and leave things to the last minute…”

“I’m not lazy,” Ron interrupted. “I’m… I’m ergonomically efficient.” He was very proud of that term, he’d learned it from Dean Thomas.

“Efficient?” Hermione’s voice went up a notch. “Do you call rushing about like a headless chicken at the last minute ‘efficient’? She wondered where Ron had learned the word ‘ergonomically’, but wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of asking.

“Yes.” Ron waited for Hermione to ask about the term, but George, Fred and Harry interrupted the quarrel with loud sighs.

“Do they always argue like this, Harry?” Fred asked.

“Oh, no,” Harry said, dealing another hand of Snap. “They have many different ways of arguing.”

Hermione glared at him and Ron smacked him on the back of his head. “Don’t be smart,” Ron said. “Or Father Christmas will put coal in your stocking.”

“That’d be better than anything the Dursleys have given me,” Harry said dryly.

“What’s taking Dumbledore so long?” Hermione wondered.

“Maybe he stepped out to do a bit of last minute shopping?” Fred suggested.

Ron laughed. “There, see?” he said to Hermione. “If Dumbledore does things at the last minute, then it must be all right!”

Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. “Just because Dumbledore is inefficient once in a while, doesn’t mean it’s all right. Besides, that was just Fred’s theory. It’s not proven. There are lots of other reasons why Dumbledore hasn’t let us out yet.”

“Like, maybe he can’t get us out,” Harry stated flatly.

Ron frowned. “You’re nutters. Dumbledore’s the greatest wizard of our age! There’s nothing he can’t do… is there?”

Harry sighed. “He couldn’t open the Chamber of Secrets,” he reminded Ron.

The Weasleys winced as one, making Harry sorry that he’d brought up that particular memory. It must still give the whole family nightmares to think of how close Ginny came to dying down there.

“That was an entirely different situation,” Fred said, once he collected himself.

Ron, Harry and Hermione exchanged looks.

“I hate it when people start giving each other the old ‘Do you want to break it to the poor chump or shall I?’ look,” complained Fred. “Especially when those three start it.”

“You think the conditions are the same? Why?” George asked the three.

Ron sighed and slumped to the floor. Then he stood up, grabbed a cushion, and sat back on the floor with his back to the bookcase. “Do you think that the door will only open when the Bookwyrm is here?” he asked Harry, while completely ignoring George.

“I think only the reason the door was here at all is because the Bookwyrm was here,” Harry said. “I’ve been in the library lots of times and I’ve never seen it before.”

“We came through after the Bookwyrm had left,” George pointed out.

“Maybe we came through just as the Bookwyrm was leaving,” Fred contradicted.

“Small sigh,” said George. “I hate it when you get all logical.”

Hermione frowned. “There’s nothing wrong with logic,” she said.

“Fine,” George retorted. “Then logic us a way out of here.”

Hermione began to pace and pull at her lower lip. “Well, let’s start with the premise that the Bookwyrm used magic to create the door. He obviously didn’t shut it after himself, because then you two wouldn’t have been able to come inside. So leaving the room must be what shuts it off.” She paced some more. “No, leaving the castle entirely must be what shuts it off.”

“That’s not going to get us anywhere,” Fred complained.

“Shut up, she’s thinking this through logically,” Ron said. Ron had a lot of faith in Hermione. He knew that she could think her way out of a dragon’s stomach. He also knew he wasn’t going to say that aloud any time in the next century.

“I wouldn’t think that the Bookwyrm’s mere presence would trigger the door into appearing,” Harry said.

“Why not?” Fred challenged.

Harry shrugged.

“It doesn’t matter,” Hermione said. “If that’s the trigger, there’s nothing we can do about it. We have to propose a course of action that we can actually follow.” She continued pacing. “So, what do we know about the Bookwyrm?”

“It’s a snake,” Ron said. “A really big snake!”

“Which tells us what?” Hermione pressed.

Ron frowned, but he could tell that she wasn’t being sarcastic, so he mulled the question over before answering again. “Well, it doesn’t have any hands, so it can’t use a wand.”

“No, it can manipulate things without hands,” Harry said. “It handed me my glasses.” He paused. “Erm, so to speak. They fell off and it gave them back to me.” Another pause. “But I never saw him use a wand.”

“Nonhumans don’t generally use wands,” George pointed out. “I think there’s a law against it, even.”

“I’m fairly sure there are laws against killing and eating people, too,” Harry said mildly. “I don’t expect the Bookwyrm to care worry much about breaking human laws.”

“Good thing it follows some sort of law, or we’d be somewhere in its digestive tract,” muttered Ron.

“Will you hush? You’re not helping!” Hermione was rubbing her forehead as if attempting to massage thoughts into their proper places. “Harry didn’t see a wand. It’s not likely the Bookwyrm used a wand. So any magic it cast on the bookcase was probably a spoken charm.”

“We tried all the spoken charms we know to open things,” Fred said.

“But only in English,” Hermione said. “What if the Bookwyrm was speaking in Parseltongue?”

“Brilliant!” George said in delight. “Then all Harry has to do is say the spell in Parseltongue and we’re out of here!”

“There’s one problem,” Harry said. “I can’t do it.”

 

**** With the Bookwyrm ****

“Your turn,” Black said politely.

The Bookwyrm flicked his tongue a few times. “Horse never summoned, she comes unbidden. Cannot be tamed or harnessed or ridden.”

After a few moments, the corner of Black’s mouth curled slightly. “That would be my old cellmate, Nightmare,” he said softly. He studied the Bookwyrm for a few minutes before speaking. “Flies without wings, takes without hands, has no power on Earth, but destroys many lands.”

The Bookwyrm sniffed haughtily. “That would be time,” he replied without even a token pause to think. He’d heard many variations on that one over the years. He stuck his tongue out at Black.

Black smiled slightly.

The Bookwyrm hurried on to his next riddle. “Destroys wood fast, destroys iron slow. Without it, your life would swiftly go.”

Black’s smile took on a cruel edge and he answered almost as swiftly as the Bookwyrm had. “That would be the oxidation process. It destroys wood fast by burning. It destroys iron slowly by rust. And without oxygen in my lungs, I would soon be dust.” He grinned.

The Bookwyrm did not like the looks of that grin. It reminded him of himself, just before he threw out the winning riddle.

“A man and his son are in an accident,” Black said, speaking softly and with considerable malicious pleasure. “The man is killed instantly, the son is rushed to the hospital. The doctor takes one look and says: ‘I cannot treat this child. I’m too emotionally involved, for he is my son.’ The Animagus eyed the Bookwyrm narrowly. “How is that possible?”

The Bookwyrm stared. “I take it this is not a case of mistaken identity?” he asked, going against the usual rules of the riddle game.

The Animagus just shook his head. “No. The doctor wasn’t mistaken or lying.”

The Bookwyrm searched his mind for everything he knew about human relationships. “Then, the man who was killed wasn’t the boy’s father. He was one of those human spiritual advisors that are called ‘Father’ and the boy was only his son in the spiritual sense.”

Black shook his head. “The doctor was the boy’s mother,” he replied. “You lose.”

 

*** Behind the Bookcase ***

“What do you mean you can’t do it!” cried Fred. “You can speak Parseltongue, can’t you? I mean, that whole scandal last year revolved around your ability!”

“I can speak Parseltongue, but not on demand,” Harry said. “I can’t tell the difference between it and English. I need to see a snake if I want to speak Parseltongue!”

The other four exchanged looks, then George began to laugh. “Well, if that’s the only problem, I know just how to fix that!”

Fred looked alarmed, which didn’t make the younger three students feel any better. “You’re not going to try that hex that Snape taught Draco in the short lived dueling club, are you?” he asked.

“No, that’s too dangerous. I have a better idea, I’m going to use the old ‘turn my wand into a snake trick’,” George boasted.

“But that trick never works!” complained Fred.

“Not to worry,” George said. “I never let a little detail like reality stop me!” He pulled his wand and waved his fingers over it. “Nothing up my sleeve! Moses Serpentinus Presto!”

The wand fairly leapt out of George’s hand, landed on the floor and turned into a large, wriggling rubber snake.

Hermione jumped back with a small shriek. Ron swore and raised his wand. Harry stepped back with a small hiss of surprise.

“Ron! Language!” scolded Hermione.

“Was that Parseltongue?” Ron asked Harry with hope in his voice.

“Erm, I guess so,” Harry said. He looked at his two best friends. “Must have been,” he amended. “Otherwise Hermione would be scolding me for using bad language, too.”

“It works!” George said in poorly disguised surprise.

“I’d say you’re brilliant, except that I got all the brains,” Fred commented.

“Guess I just got stuck with the devilishly good looks,” George said with mock resignation.

Hermione decided to ignore them. “Try ‘alohamora,’ Harry,” she urged.

‘How do you say ‘alohamora’ in snake?’ Harry wondered. He tried, but he kept getting a regular human ‘alohamora’.

Finally, George got impatient and grabbed up the snake and stuck it in Harry’s face.

Harry leaped back, hissing.

Everybody looked at the bookcase, but nothing happened.

“Maybe it’s not the right spell,” Ron said.

“Well if you have a better idea for a spell, then I’m all ears,” Harry replied.

“Maybe it’s not a spell at all,” Ron said slowly. “The Bookwyrm is balmy about riddles, maybe what we want is a riddle?”

“A riddle about what?” Hermione wondered. She finally stopped pacing and stood there pulling on her lip. “Try the old: ‘When is a door not a door?’ riddle.”

“When is a door not a door?” Harry said, in English.

George stuck the snake in his face again.

Harry looked at it and tried to make himself believe that he was facing the Bookwyrm again. He let out a nasty hiss.

The bookcase didn’t move.

“Try it with the answer,” Hermione suggested. “When it’s ajar.”

Harry rolled his eyes at her. “I’m familiar with the riddle, thank you, Miss Granger.”

Hermione heaved a very deep sigh.

Harry tried it once more. “When is a door not a door? When it is ajar.” He could hear himself hissing and wondered if the joke was as bad in Parseltongue as it was in English.

“Ah, that’s done it,” said Professor Dumbledore’s blessedly familiar voice. “Is everyone all right in there?”

The bookcase swung open to reveal Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, along with Filch and Madam Pince.

Five sighs of relief was the answer that Dumbledore received.

“We’re unhurt,” Harry said, gesturing for the others to proceed him. If the door shut when the Parselmouth left, Harry wanted to be the last to leave.

As soon as he was safely in the library, the bookcase shut behind them. Harry looked back, but there was no sign of the door.

“I think some explanations are in order,” Professor McGonagall said. She was trying to sound stern, but she looked rather too shaken to pull it off properly.

Harry took a deep breath and began.

 

*** With the Bookwyrm ***

“You lose,” Black repeated. “And now I want my forfeit.”

“NOOOOOOO!” wailed the Bookwyrm. “I can’t get Potter for you! He won! I can’t touch him, if I do, then I’ll violate my terms of sorcery and… and…”

“You’ll die?” Black guessed. “Or turn into a regular snake?”

“I’ll become illiterate!” sobbed the Bookwyrm as he pounded his head on the ground. “All those beautiful books…”

Black eyed him in astonishment. Then something close to a genuine smile crossed his face. “Very well, then,” he said. “I won’t force that on you, but now you owe me another forfeit!”

“Two?” asked the Bookwyrm as he calmed down. “But…”

“It’s two for me or get caught in conflicting forfeits,” Black said calmly.

The Bookwyrm snorted. “Very well, then, what do you want?”

“First, no more eating people, that’s disgusting,” Black said.

“What? That’s no fair, I…”

“I could demand that you bring Potter to me,” Black pointed out. “Your choice, meat or books?”

The Bookwyrm moaned deep in its throat. After several minutes of whining, he finally answered. “Books, of course, but you need to define people.”

“Any being with the capacity to think or speak or read,” Black said.

“Bugger,” sighed the Bookwyrm. “What’s the second one, then?”

“There’s another unregistered Animagus around here,” Black said. “A rat. I want you to bring him to me alive.”

“I may not be able to stay around here very long,” the Bookwyrm pointed out. “Unless you mean for me to have to tackle Dumbledore.”

“Very well, if you see the Animagus on your way out, capture him and bring him to the Shrieking Shack.”

The Bookwyrm gave Black a very, very dirty look, which phased the Animagus not at all. He sighed and started to slither off.

“Oh, one more thing,” Black said.

“WHAT!” demanded the Bookwyrm.

“Happy Christmas.”

The Bookwyrm thought of a lot of responses to that, and kept them all to himself.

 

*** In The Library ***

After the explanations (with embellishments) were finished, and a few stray riddles were thrown out and solved, Dumbledore said: “Excellent work on all your parts, ten points to Gryffindor, apiece.”

“What?” Filch demanded angrily. “No detention?”

“Really, Argus, do you think that’s appropriate on Christmas Eve?”

Filch held up some manacles and shook them. “What could be more appropriate to Christmas than hanging some decorations on the wall?” he asked, grinning hopefully.

Dumbledore just raised an eyebrow. Filch sighed. “Come along, then,” Dumbledore said. “I think we could all use a mug of hot chocolate after this.”

They headed out of the library, with Filch muttering. “Bah, humbug.”

 

*** Behind the Bookcase ***

The large, black dog padded into the room. There was nobody there, but the scent of the students lingered in the abandoned cushions and blankets. The dog sniffed around, then made a nest, keeping the blankets and cushion that smelled of Harry Potter close to his face. Then he settled down with a sigh, went to sleep and dreamed of Christmas the way it should have been.

***

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to my Beta-reader, Seldes Katne, who may be wondering where this story disappeared to, as she Beta read it back in May. I’ve been feeling lazy lately and only just managed to get in gear when I realized that Sugar Quill won’t be posting new stories for a while.

The Riddles I created:

Harry’s riddle about his scar.

The riddle that Sirius used to introduce himself.

The riddle the Bookwyrm made up about Harry being trapped behind the bookcase.

Both “Flies without wings” riddles

“Horse never summoned,”

“Destroys wood fast,”

I learned the “A man and his son are in an accident” riddle way back when I was in high school. It had us stumped, and I used that to stump a lot of my co-workers when I was stocking shelves.

Many thanks to all the fine writers at Sugar Quill for hours of entertainment. I’m behind in my comments, but I’ll try to do some catch up comments soon.

 

//
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