In The Silence Of The Castle
“Mate…that’s an invisibility cloak!” sputtered Ron in disbelief.
“Nice,” said Harry appreciatively, throwing the shimmering cloth around his shoulders and watching as everything from his neck down disappeared. “Works really well.”
Calvin nodded in agreement. “It could use some sleeves, though.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, a floating hand carrying something – a lantern, for instance – would be a dead giveaway.”
“It’s still pretty cool,” said Dean, shrugging.
Ron looked back and forth between them all, his disbelief evolving into something far greater. “It- what- you- it…”
“Spit it out, Ron.”
“IT’S A FLIPPING INVISIBILITY CLOAK, YOU IDIOTS!”
They all nodded, looking at the cloak.
“Yes, Ron,” said Seamus calmly, patting the redhead on the shoulder. “We know.”
“No, you don’t! Things like this are incredibly rare – it’s really powerful magic!”
“Uh, yeah, but it just turns you invisible.”
“And not even completely reliably,” added Calvin, gesturing to one of his arms with the other, referencing his earlier comment.
“Besides, one gust of wind and you’re done for.” Dean pulled out his wand and demonstrated, directing a strong breeze at the bottom of the cloak. It billowed about, momentarily exposing Harry’s stockinged feet.
“Still, it’s really comfortable,” said the black-haired boy, pulling it tight around himself. “Warmer than it looks.”
“I can’t believe you guys,” Ron said quietly. He flopped down onto his bed. “I’m going to sleep.”
Harry glanced at the clock on the wall between their beds. “It is pretty late. I’m going to clean up from my presents, then turn in too.”
The boys started to clear the floor of the boxes and wrapping paper that had housed their presents. Calvin didn’t move an inch, staring into the unseeable distance, his face beginning to show hints of epiphanaic enlightenment.
“Wait,” he said, almost to himself. “Wait, waitwaitwait!” He whirled around, grabbing the front of Seamus’ shirt as the boy passed with an armful of trash. “Wait, wait, WAIT!” he yelled, shaking the boy and sending paper everywhere.
“You’re cleaning that up,” said Seamus.
“Wait, wait, wait, waitwaitwaiwaitWAIT!” Calvin ran over to where Harry was smashing a ball of wrapping paper into a larger ball of wrapping paper, and grabbed a handful of the invisibility cloak. “Guys!” he said excitedly, jumping up and down.
“What is it?” asked Harry.
“Yes, Calvin?” responded Dean from across the room.
“GUYS! Guys guys guys gu-”
“Spit it out already!” groaned Ron, sitting up quickly and flinging his pillow.
Calvin caught the pillow against his chest and waved it in the air. “We can be invisible.”
“Yeah, I think we’ve established that, Calvin,” said Harry.
They stared at him. “Well what?”
He rolled his eyes and tossed the pillow back to Ron. “Well, what have we been trying to do that we found we were unable to do, due to us not being invisible?”
“Umm…be invisible?” provided Seamus.
“Need I remind you of a certain, ahem, three headed dog?” Calvin prodded, raising an eyebrow.
Seamus’ eyes widened in understanding. “Oh.”
“Oh,” said Harry.
“Oho!” said Dean.
Ron groaned and rolled over, slamming the pillow over his head. “Oh no.”
“Quit elbowing me in the stomach.”
“Quit stomaching me in the elbow!”
“Watch what you’re stepping on, that’s my foot!”
“No it isn’t, it’s mine!”
“You be quiet!”
“Both of you shut up or Filch is going to hear us!”
“Enough with the ‘shh’ already!”
“I’m just filling in for Hermione.”
“Ron, if she were here she wouldn’t be going along with this.”
“I think our feet are visible.”
“This cloak isn’t big enough for all five of us.”
“Quiet! I hear something.”
“Man, my heart almost dropped straight through to my feet.”
“How does that even work?”
“Well, first it burns down through the bottom of your rib-cage, then drops into-“
“Calvin, stop talking!”
“Oh, so Ron’s allowed to impersonate Hermione, but I can’t talk about how your heart would bring your stomach fluids to a boil and pop your intestines like an overfilled balloon hitting the pavement!?”
“Mate, I think I just lost my appetite for the rest of the year.”
“Hah, yeah right. I’m sure you’ll be back to making ridiculously large sandwiches of everything available at the table and a few things that aren’t by this time next week.”
“Be quiet, Seamus!”
“Do you want to get us caught?”
“We’d have to do detention, maybe with Snape!”
“And then Harry’ll miss Quidditch practice or maybe a game and Wood will be mad and irritable and run practice late and Groge and Freed will be worn out and tired and won’t have time for pranks and I’ll feel lonely and do something stupid and get myself expelled and you’ll all feel so bad your grades will drop and you’ll stop magic practice at night and you won’t be prepared when the Dark Lord Moldywart comes back from the dead and attacks and everything will go horribly wrong and you won’t know what to do without me and you’ll all morn the loss of my presence and wish I was there but I’m not because Seamus talked to much and got us detention that time so you’ll all just die and I’ll be at home reading comics and I’ll be terribly distraught when I hear what happened but eventually I’ll get over it and later when I’m dictator of the world I’ll erect a monument in your memory but that will be all that’s left of you guys and won’t that be a shame, Seamus, and it will have been all your fault.”
“Seamus, did you not hear everything I just said!?”
“No, not really, but guys, we’re here!”
“So we’ve been standing here arguing in front of the door for how long, now?”
“I’d say about a good five minutes.”
“Sounds about right.”
“After you, Dean.”
“It’s massive!” whispered Ron, staring up at the black-furred beast. “Can’t believe Hagrid named this dog Fluffy.”
The three heads lay across the creature’s equally giant paws, which were crossed in front of it. Its fur shone like the night sky without any stars, its long claws as passively threatening as an unused guillotine; certain to cause death to all who felt its blow, but not currently in killing mode. Behind eyelids large as curtains, the beast’s eyes flicked from side to side, experiencing whatever dream such a beast would dream.
“Calling that a dog is like calling a manticore a kitten,” said Seamus.
It snorted suddenly, and the head closest to them opened its eyes.
Harry stiffened. “I think it knows we’re here.”
“Of course it does, it’s a dog – great sense of smell and all,” said Calvin.
“I thought we said we’re not calling it a dog.”
“That was just you, Seamus,” replied Dean. “It’s definitely a dog.”
“With three heads,” added Ron.
“And it’s ridiculously bigger than a regular dog,” said Seamus.
“And it’s guarding a magical stone that may or may not be able to bring Moldywart back from the dead,” said Calvin.
“Wait what?!” said Seamus.
“Aaaand it’s looking straight at us,” said Harry, taking a step back.
The head they were looking at lifted itself, and its companions followed, blinking open another four eyes. Drops of slobber the size of water-balloons fell from its lips, hitting the floor and spreading out into puddles. A growl started in the back of one of its three thoats.
“This was great, and we should totally do this agaion some time,” said Harry, backpedalling and dragging the rest of them along. “But right now we should totally run for it.”
“I’m inclined to agree,” said Seamus, gulping.
They backed up against the door, and Ron reached behind to twist the handle.
“Oh, come on, we just got here!” Calvin complained.
“Mate, if we stay here any longer, the only way we’ll be leaving is out the other end of Fluffy.”
Fluffy shifted his paws and began pushing himself to a standing position.
“Calvin, come, on,” Dean said, tugging at his friend’s arm.
“But I didn’t even get to pet it! No!” he grunted as all three of them dragged him out of the room by his feet. “I’ll be back for you, Fluffy! I promise I won’t forget youuuuuu- Hey, is that trap-door? Ahhh, guys, watch where you’re dragging me!”
The door shut behind them with a muffled thump.
“Well you guys are just a pair of party-poopers, you know that?” said Calvin, tugging his shoes back on.
“He was going to eat us,” Ron hissed, arranging the cloak to give them all as much cover as possible.
“Just a couple of killjoys, that’s what you are.”
Harry took a rattling breath. “Let’s never do that again until at least next week.”
“Just a bunch of buzzkills.”
“My life span was just shortened by a decade,” wheezed Seamus.
“A duo of downers.”
“Most of those words mean two people, Calvin,” Dean pointed out. “Pair, couple, duo. All two.”
Calvin huffed. “You try thinking up words for ‘group’ to use with impromptu alliterative phrases.” Then he bounced to his feet, suddenly smiling. “Anyway, since our adventure was cut short, how about we go exploring the castle with the invisibility cloak? I’ve never been anywhere but the owlry and the kitchen after lights-out.” His eyes glazed over and his mouth slackened. “Mmm, midnight truffles…I bet there’s all sorts of things around the castle happening at night that we never see during the day! Whaddya say?” He grinned toothily and stuck two thumbs up on either side of his face, elbows out, eyebrows raised expectantly.
“I am going back to the dormitory and going to sleep,” replied Ron. “I am not going on any more life-threatening adventures tonight, and I am going to be rested when my brothers announce the start of the game tomorrow morning.”
Seamus grinned. “Oh right, I forgot that was coming up tomorrow.”
“IT IS COMING UP TOMORROW,” chanted Calvin and Dean hauntingly.
“Night, weirdos,” said Ron, rolling his eyes as he stepped out from under the cloak and headed towards the secret passageway.
“What about you guys?” asked Calvin, eyes lit with the golden gleam of hope. And maybe a smidgen of maniacal insanity.
“I’m gonna go up, too,” said Seamus. “I doubt you’ll find anything exciting happening this late.”
He disappeared after Ron, heading back to Gryffindor tower.
Calvin leaned in close to Dean and Harry, expression serious. “And then there were two.”
Dean shrugged. “Eh, why not.”
“I guess I’m up for it,” said Harry. “The adrenaline’s still in me from facing down Fluffy, so I won’t be able to get to sleep for a couple hours anyway.”
“Fantastifries,” chuckled Calvin, hunching his shoulders and rubbing his hands together.
“French fries, freedom fries, chips – you know, fried strips of potato in all their golden glory? The snack of gods.” He looked at them brightly. “So, any ideas for adventures?”
“We could sneak down to the kitchens again,” offered Dean, leaning against the wall.
Harry blinked at him, then turned to Calvin. “Again?”
“Long story,” Calvin said, waving the subject away.
“We are literally doing absolutely nothing,” Harry deadpanned, staring at him. “We’ve got time for a long story.”
Calvin held up a finger. “Actually, if we were literally doing absolutely nothing, we’d be dead. Wait, no, then all our blood would be rushing down to our back – at least, if we were laid out face up on a horizontal surface. Then we’d be entering rigor mortis and all our muscles would lock up. Then our skin would start receding from around our finger nails making it look like-”
“Calvin,” Dean interrupted. “Story.”
“But it’s so long!”
“It’s not that long.”
Calvin shrugged, saying, “I don’t think I can remember all of it. It’s pretty long.”
“Come one, let me hear it. We’ve got nothing better to do,” said Harry.
“Fiiiiiiiine. You tell it, Dean.”
Dean turned to Harry. “A few times we’ve gone down to the kitchens in the middle of the night. The end.” He turned back to Calvin and crossed his arms.
“That was a long story?” Harry laughed.
Calvin sighed. “Well, if I’d told it there would have been gorilla ninjas and an exploration to the Bermuda Dodecahedron in the middle there, but yeah, if you just want the essential facts, that was it.” He looked around. “Now that we’ve exhausted that goldmine of entertainment, what do you guys want to do?”
“You’re the one who always comes up with the adventures,” said Dean, raising an arm to cover up his yawn.
“Let’s just camp out here in front of Fluffy’s door and brainstorm,” said Harry. He motioned to them, and they all settled down on the floor, shifting the invisibility cloak so it didn’t get caught beneath them.
They sat, thinking. And thinking. And maybe, in Calvin’s case, wondering if a mountain troll with a flaming mace could defeat an extra-cranky woolly mammoth in mideval armour.
“Booby-trap the floor outside of Snape’s office?” said Dean.
“Ooooohhhh yes,” replied Calvin. “We should have done that this morning, along with the snow.”
Harry, however, shook his head. “Too risky. Since Dumbledore had the cloak, Snape could know about it – and if Ron’s right about it being really rare, then I doubt many other people have one. We’d be at the top of the list of students who could sneak around at night and not get caught.”
“Well, maybe right under the twins,” said Dean.
“How do they even do that?” asked Calvin in wonder. “It’s like they’ve got…magic powers or something.” They all laughed, then fell back into a thoughtful silence.
The silence stretched over the minute mark. Then again. And again. Then it crossed the five minute mark. It approached ten. Dean was beginning to nod off. Harry was looking calmly pensive. Calvin was biting his bottom lip and studying the ceiling.
On the other side of the door, a faint snoring could be heard. The silence passed ten minutes and hurried on towards fifteen.
“I think we should just call it a night,” said Harry finally, trying to stretch without lifting up the invisibility cloak.
“Mmm,” agreed Dean.
“No, we can’t give up yet!” pleaded Calvin. “It’s barely late enough for my over-tired-senses to start tingling!”
“We haven’t come up with anything to do besides sit on the floor, and it’s honestly pretty uncomfortable.”
“Give me sixty more seconds,” said Calvin slowly, staring into Harry’s eyes, “and I will make this night as epic as the time we tried sneaking into the Slytherin common room.”
“First of all that did not end well, and secondly we al-”
Harry sighed in resignation. “Fine. If you can’t come up with anything, we go up, okay?” He looked down at his watch. “Your sixty seconds start…now.”
Calvin settled into lotus position and cupped one fist inside the other, bowing his head slightly. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Darkness greeted him. Also the backs of his eyelids.
Alright, Calvin, you’ve got this. All you have to do is think of something exciting. It has to have some sense of mystery to it, or it won’t be enough to get them interested. But it can’t be a wild goose chase or they’ll tear you apart afterwards… Something with the Hospital Wing flyers? No, those are over done. The Forbidden Forest? Hmm, I’d rather save that for later in the year. Why can’t I think of anything! This was so much easier at home with just me and Hobbes. Lazy feline’s just sleeping off all that fish now. Come on, think! THINK!
No perfect adventure presented itself to him, and his attempt at a brainstorm only ended up producing a pathetic drizzle of half-baked ideas. He pressed his fist into his other hand, gritting his teeth, willing himself to come up with a good adventure.
The silence of the castle in the middle of the night permeated his thoughts, stilling the tumultuous waters of his mind. His thoughts slowed. His mind cleared. His breathing evened out, and his enitre body relaxed.
The thoughts flowed like meandering tributaries into the river of his consciousness, sometimes wandering off to the sides. Ideas streamed in and out, but the waters remained calm and clear.
“…fifty eight, fifty nine, sixty,” spoke a voice from outside the black expanse of his mind.
Calvin’s eyes snapped opened, and in the silence of the castle in the middle of the night, he saw. He saw the answer. And it was beautiful.
“Times up, Calvin. If you couldn’t think of anything, I’m going up to bed, and I’m taking the cloak with me.”
“Harry,” said Calvin evenly. “Dean.”
“Mmwhat?” mumbled Dean blearily, blinking awake.
“Prepare yourselves for a night of epic.” Calvin grinned wickedly and unfolded himself from the meditation position, pushing himself to his feet. The slick material of the invisibility cloak slipped off of him as he rose. He looked down at his friends, and his grin settled into the delighted smile of a child receiving a present.
“Should I just go to bed, or what?,” prodded Dean, rubbing at his eyes with the heal of his hand.
Calvin cracked his knuckles, then stretched his jaw until it clicked. “I bet you guys I can slam a revolving door.”
“You what?” said Harry, both eyebrows rising into obscurity beneath his messy black hair.
“I bet you that I can slam a revolving door,” said Calvin matter-of-factly.
“Does Hogwarts even have a revolving door?” asked Dean. “I’ve never seen one here.”
Calvin laughed. “You’ve probably never seen a bottomless pit, a ladder in the shape of a mobius strip, or a terrifying jungle in Hogwarts either. I’m sure we can find one if we look hard enough.”
“This is ignoring the fact that you cannot, by definition, slam a revolving door,” interjected Harry, standing and throwing part of the cloak back over Calvin.
“Then you shouldn’t have to worry about losing the bet, hm?”
Dean joined them in the vertical orientation known as standing, stretching his back. “What do we get when you can’t do it?”
“You pick the terms for your win, I pick the terms for mine,” said Calvin.
“As long as its reasonable,” said Harry. He glanced at Dean. “What are we betting for?”
The leaned their heads in and began whispering, flicking their eyes to Calvin every few seconds.
This is perfect! You’ve got them interested, long-term. There’s a sort of mystery to it as well, because they want to see if we can find a revolving door, as well as find out how I plan on trying to slam it. I don’t even think it it’s possible, but that’s not the point – the adventure is the point; the journey. There’s totally a proverb in there somewhere. Anyways, as long as I don’t have to anything too terrible upon losing, this will be fine. Epic, even.
Dean cleared his throat. “We’ve decided on our terms.”
“Oh? Lemme hear it.”
Harry poked Calvin in the chest. “If you lose-”
“When,” corrected Dean, grinning slyly.
“When you lose, you…” Harry smiled, letting the suspense build. “…have to show up to History of Magic for the rest of your time at Hogwarts.”
Calvin blanched. “The rest of my time at Hogwarts? That’s seven years!”
“Fancy that,” said Harry, whole face smiling.
“But that’s the time I hang out with Hobbes – he’ll start pouncing again!”
“This adventure is epic already,” said Dean brightly. “Shall we get started looking for the revolving door?”
“I’ll have to be in class while Professor Binns is talking!”
Harry gave a tug on the cloak, and they started down the hall. “What a tragedy, having to attend class like everyone else.”
This is bad, I can’t start going to History of Magic – it’ll ruin my street cred! And my bill of health, courtesy of Hobbes. Wait! Maybe I can make them back out of it with my own terms…
“Alright, alright,” Calvin agreed, walking behind them. “It doesn’t actually matter, as I’ll be the one winning the bet. You guys don’t think I would’ve proposed such a specific task if I didn’t have a way to complete it, did you?”
They glanced at each other, but didn’t say anything.
“So, my terms, now. How about, when you guys lose…” It’s gotta be really out there, Calvin, or they’ll still think the bet’s worth it. “When you guys lose, you have to be my Crabbe and Goyle for the rest of the year.”
“Hah! Like that’s going to happen,” snorted Dean.
“Not in a million years,” said Harry, shaking his head in amusement.
“Are you saying you’re backing out of the bet?”
Dean looked over his shoulder at Calvin. “Nope, we’re saying there’s no chance we’re going to lose. Revolving door, here we come!”
Gulp. Time to grovel.
“Heyyy, Dean, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal – the mean, Dean, fightin’ machine, any chance you want to just drop the bet? It was silly anyway, eh? I mean, a revolving door in Hogwarts, seriously?” They turned around and gave him toothy, psychopathic grins, eyes glassy. “Heh. Heheh.”
“We’re off to discover a door,” sang Dean.
“A wonderful, revolving door!” finished Harry.
“Come on, guys, let’s just go to bed, yeah?”
They began to skip.
Curse you, brilliant ideas in the silence of the castle in the middle of the night!
“We’ll split up here,” said Calvin, slipping out from under the invisibility cloak. “Filch doesn’t come up to the higher floors very often, so Dean and I should be safe. Harry can go search the third and fourth floors with his cloak.” He looked at Dean and Harry, who nodded. “Alright, break on three.” He put his hand out in front of him. “One, two- hey, you’re supposed to stay for the ‘break’ cheer!”
Moments later he stood alone in the hallway.
Well, at least they’re participating in the adventure, if only so they can win the bet and force you to go to History of Magic. Shudder.
Calvin jogged down the hallway, keeping an eye out for his objective. He poked his head into deserted classrooms, lifted dusty drapes, almost knocked over suits of armor, and on one occasion almost tripped over what looked to be just a featureless boulder in the middle of the hall.
“Now if I were a revolving door, where would I be?” he mused, walking around a corner and colliding with a sudden dead end. “Ouch. Not there, apparently.”
What felt like a week later but was probably closer to half an hour, Calvin was exploring the crowded back of a dark room when he heard footsteps out in the hall.
Plot twist alert! It’s Flich and for some reason he decided to check up on the higher floors and he’s going to catch me and I’ll be expelled and the exact scenario that I thought up before will actually-
The footstep got closer. “Psst! Calvin!” whispered a voice from the hall.
“Calvin, you there?”
“In here!” he said, louder, making his way to the door.
Harry opened the door and Calvin stepped out. The black-haired boy was out of breath, his cheeks flushed red from excitement. “Calvin,” he huffed, throwing the cloak over the other boy. “You need to see this.”
“Holy. Frequent. Flyer miles.” Calvin gaped at the scene in front of him. “It’s…it’s…”
“Do you see them?” asked Harry, peering over his shoulder at the large mirror.
“Yeah…” said Calvin in wonder.
“Isn’t it amazing?”
“They’re all…they’re all bowing to me,” whispered Calvin, amazed.
Harry turned to him, forhead scrunched in confusion and surprise. “My parents are what?”
“What about your parents?” asked Calvin, leaning closer to the mirror. Within the intricate frame, an awe-inspiring scene was unfolding. Entire planets of aliens were proclaiming him their fearless, devilishly handsome, incredibly competent leader, vowing to serve him. Statues and monuments and billboards and firework shows were done in his honor, and three-quarters of the calendar was dedicated to celebrating his greatness.
Harry leaned in front of him. “Wait, what are you seeing?”
The Intergalactic Council of Extraordinary Explorers was resigning in favor of him taking over, and they’d written a song about it as well. His mom and dad were there, and so was his old class, and all the kids were apologizing and begging him to forgive them their terrible deads, and Mo was being forced to dance in a tutuu for everyone’s entertainment. There was an playground filled only with swings, and on each swing their was a sign that said RESERVED FOR CALVIN, BOY OF DESTINY AND OVERLORD OF ALL OF EVERYTHING EVER.
Calvin brought himself out of the reverie and turned to Harry. He smiled lightly, and said, “Me beating Hobbes at checkers ten games in a row.”
“So, you don’t see my parents?”
Calvin pointed to the bottom of the mirror, where a single sentence was inscribed in flowing script. “It just shows everyone what they desire.”
Harry squinted at the words. “You can read that? What language is it?”
“It just written backwards,” Calvin laughed. “It says, ‘I show not your face but your heart’s desire.’ Hobbes and I sent each other secret notes that way before we discovered how to make actual cyphers. Of course, mom and dad never really seemed interested in the notes anyway, so I’m not sure if there was much of a point. We sometimes spent all afternoon making up complicated codes – so I guess it kept us out of trouble.” He paused, then snorted. “Well, more trouble. Hey, we should show this to Dean! See what his ‘heart’s desire’ is.”
“Oh. Yeah, okay,” said Harry, gazing at the mirror whistfully. “You go get him, I’ll stay here.”
“Alright, I’ll be back before you can say the second-to-last stanza of ‘Once in a Windmill’. Because I just made it up.”
Once in windmill, once on a tree, he sang in his head. Twice by the mountains, alone with the breeze. He skipped up a flight of stairs. Thrice over waters colliding with rock – but never again by the bay on the dock. For the bay, with its boats, and its ships setting sail, was barraged by weather of rain, sleet, and hail. Arriving at the next floor, he started checking classrooms for his friend. And the notes I composed with my parchment and pen, were sodden and ruined – so never again!
He was partway through the second refrain when he found Dean napping on a bench on the sixth floor, drooling onto the cushions.
“Captain Dean! Why are you sleeping on the job!” he barked.
The sleeping boy jerked awake and shot to his feet, snapping a salute. “My apologies Commander Destiny! It won’t happen again Commander Destiny! Have you found the revolving door Commander Destiny!”
“Actually, Harry found this magic mirror – cliche, I know, but come give it a look.” They headed down, Calvin continuing making up lyrics for his song. He turned to Dean as they entered the storeroom where the mirror was. “What rhymes with ‘sophisticated corpse’?
“Oo, nevermind, I got something better. Here we are.”
Harry was sitting cross-legged in front of the mirror, and hadn’t given any indication that he’d noticed their arrival.
“Hey, Harry Potter Tater Totter, scootch over. Give Dean a look.”
Harry glanced up. “Oh, sorry.” He got to his feet and moved to the side. “Go on then, Dean.”
The tall boy stepped in front of the mirror. “What am I supposed to see?”
“The fuuuuuuuuuture,” whispered Calvin earily, waggling his fingers.
Dean stared. “Are you serious are you serious are you serious because if you are this is the most amazing thing in the entire-”
“I’m not serious,” Calvin interjected. “Actually it just shows you ‘your heart’s desire’.”
Dean looked crestfallen. Sorta like crustfallen, except without all the imagery of a piece of crust falling to the floor. “Oh.”
“What do you see?”
“I’m playing for West Ham, and we’ve just won the World Cup. Blimey, there’s so much detail! I can see the crowds, the scoreboards, the ref in the background – man, I look good in that jersey.”
“That’s your heart’s desire?” questioned Calvin skeptically.
Harry snorted. “Yours was winning a game of checkers.”
“And- and what’s that!?” exclaimed Dean, taking a step closer to the mirror. “It- it can’t be- oh, but it is! I do believe it is!”
“What! What is it?” Calvin peeked around Dean, although he knew there was no way he could see what the other boy was seeing.
“It really is!” whispered Dean, reaching out with a slightly trembling hand to touch the face of the mirror.
“What do you see!?” Calvin cried, clutching the other boy’s robes.
“I- I see it so clearly. It’s…it’s you, Calvin.”
Calvin froze and peered up at Dean quizzically, taken aback. “Me?”
“Yes, you! And you’re…you’re sitting there.”
“Where! Where am I sitting?”
Dean instantly stopped trembling in wonder and straightened up. He looked over his shoulder and smiled tightly at Calvin. “You’re sitting in Professor Binns’ classroom. For the next. Seven. Years.”
Calvin dropped to his knees and reached up towards the heavens. “Nooooooooo- wait, is that really your heart’s desire?”
The taller boy shrugged. “I don’t need to see it in the mirror to know it’s what I really want. Let us resume our search, hmm?” He smiled again and skipped out of the room. “Heeeeere door-y door-y door-y, heeeeeere inanimate object! Come on, we’re not gonna hurt ya!”
Harry glanced at the mirror and sighed, then said, “We should finish the search soon, it’s getting pretty late even for us. Another hour sound good?”
One hour to search all the rest of Hogwarts for a revolving door that may or may not exist. “Sure! Sounds great! Fantastic! Hurray!”
Harry gave him a look. “Oookay then. I’ll take the lower floors again.”
“Dean’s still on six, so I’ll go one higher. If none of us find anything, meet back here in one hour, yeah? I’ll let Dean know.”
Harry nodded, then turned back to the mirror. “I’m just going to stay here for a few more minutes.”
He wants to stay and stare at a magical representation of his parents because he doesn’t remember them as they were killed by Moldywart when he was a year old, what do I say, WHAT DO I SAY!?
Calvin waved as he left the room. “Have fun!”
“No, not another stupid broom closet! Where’s your revolving door closet, Hogwarts!”
Calvin was getting desperate. With just over ten minute’s left until the end of the hour, he raced around the seventh floor, overturning everything in an attempt to find some never-before-discovered secret passageway to a revolving door. Or something to that effect.
Now there’s only the other end of the hallway left to search, and then I’m finished with this floor.
He sprinted down the hall, noticing a locked room passing on his right, next to a tapestry of some ancient idiot apparently trying to teach trolls ballet.
Woah, didn’t see that door before – I’ll come back for it in a second.
Calvin reached the opposite end of the hallway and, still running, quickly flicked his eyes around the space, noting nothing of use. He skidded to a stop and launched himself back the other way.
Wait, there was a curtain there, maybe there was a door behind it! Argh! I’m moving to quickly and not paying enough attention!
Resolving to return and check the curtain right after the locked room, he slowed to a stop in front of the tapestry of the trolls doing ballet and approached the door next to it. “Alohamora!” The lock clicked, and the door swung open…to reveal another door, this one without any visible handle. “You’ve gotta be kidding me, Hogwarts!” A glance at his watch told him he had three minutes until the hour was up.
On his last legs, each gulped breath like icy claws on his throat, Calvin staggered back to the other end of the hallway. “Come on…curtain…don’t…” He swallowed and focused on breathing for a moment. “…let me…down.”
The absurd scene of the dancing trolls mocked him as he passed it. Upon reaching the curtain, he shoved it aside. There was nothing but wall behind it.
Calvin dropped onto his hands and knees, wheezing painfully. “No…no… this cant, be the end.” He leaned back into a sitting position before flopping onto his back, arms and legs splayed.
This is it. The start of purgatory. From now until I graduate – and there is no certainty that I will, considering my antics, though now that I think of it my larger pranks never really earn me any retribution, apart from the stuff I do to annoy Snape. Anyways, from now until I leave Hogwarts, I will be attending… He shivered. …History of Magic.
He tilted his head back to look down the length of the hallway from an upside-down perspective. It always amused him to see everything hanging down, the ceiling and the floor inverted from his perpective.
On the left of the hall a suit of armor stood on the ceiling, like a shining bat in armor. Human armor. With no bat inside.
Slightly further down a red-cushioned bench pointed towards the floor.
Beyond the bench, a tapestry depicting someone attempting to teach trolls how to do ballet hung upwards along the wall.
Opposite the tapestry-
Wait, there’s not supposed to be anything opposite the tapestry- is- is that- ? What!?
Calvin flipped himself over onto his stomach, then scrambled to his feet and hurried down to the gleaming metal-and-glass wonder of engineering that stood opposite the tapestry, where before had stood nothing.
“It- it is! Oh my Tyrannasaurus Rex, it’s a revolving door! Thank you, Hogwarts, you scurvy castle! Oh yes!”
He walked up to the door, brushing a finger along its shining metal frame set in the stone wall. In a daze, he walked into the semi-circle cut into the wall and pushed at the glass door, turning it until he exited after a full revolution.
Remembering the time, he looked down at his watch to see the second hand tick past the twelve, marking the end to the agreed upon hour.
Now I just have to figure out how to slam it before I bring Harry and Dean up here…
“And it’s just a door! There’s nothing on the other side, just a space cut into the wall for the revolving door to do its revolving in.”
Dean frowned. “That seems a bit odd, even for Hogwarts. Lets go find Harry, then you can show us.”
They searched all of the third floor and most of the forth, creeping as quietly as possible – they didn’t have the cloak, after all – before they found Harry.
“Harry, did you stay here the entire hour?” Calvin asked, stepping through the doorway and into the storeroom.
Harry looked up from where he was sitting in front of the mirror. “…Yeah. You guys going up to bed now?”
Calvin grinned wickedly. “Nope. You’re coming with me – I’ve found the revolving door.”
“I swear by the gods of Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, it was right here!” Calvin enthused, gesturing to the blank stone in front of them.
“Uhuh,” replied Dean, clearly not impressed. “Well, if we can’t find it, you can’t slam it, so it looks like the bet’s ours!”
“And now, sleeeep,” said Harry, yawning and lying down on a bench. He started snoring moments later.
Dean looked around. “Not a bad idea.” He strolled over to another red bench and fell asleep before even touching it. His body fell limply, ending up half draped onto the bench, his legs trailing behind him on the floor.
Calvin sat down heavily against the bare stone wall, staring at the tapestry across from him. “Stupid stupid person trying to teach trolls ballet.”
Soon he, too, was asleep, and in his dreams the entire castle was made out of revolving doors, and all of them could be slammed. Snores punctuated the silence of the castle in the middle of the night.
For the moment, all was well. The future, however, held many hours of torture. Hours of class time. Hours of History of Magic with Professor Binns.
In his sleep, Calvin shuddered.
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