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Harry Potter and the Death of Harry Potter/16

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Chapter 16

The Final Lecture

THE WATER DRIPPING out of the bathroom faucet in Mitch Chang's dormitory had made those repeated "tap, tap" sounds when it hit the bottom of the steel sink. On most nights, the tapping did not bother him and he slept well. Tonight, even these silent tapping sounds angered Mitch and prevented him from going to sleep.

He's been tossing and turning all night, worrying to the extreme about Hanky's disappearance and what dirty tricks Pukes had in mind. He thought he felt kind of tired and wanted to fall asleep, but never got that far. He turned over and looked at his electronic alarm that lay on a table on the other side of the room. It brightly displayed 3:37AM. Frustrated, he decided to stop attempting going to sleep. He kicked the blanket violently, cursed, then turned on the lights, only to be somewhat blinded by the sudden rush of light.

Mitch put on some clothes and headed out the door, and was just about to lock it when the phone rang inside. He headed over in frustration and lifted the receiver.

"Chang, man. Sorry about waking you up." It was Niock's voice.

"Oh, no problem. Not like I could actually get to sleep anyways."

"Oliezhik was drunk and puked a bunch again. He went earlier to seek a real doctor."

"My stomach's been better."

"Um, Dumbledore said he wanted us over at his dorm." Niock said after a pause.

"It's fricken three AM! The old guy sleeps for like fourteen hours a day."

"Well, we have to go. Seems like something important."

"'k, meet me down at the common room."

/-+-\

NIOCK, TOO, HAD been wondering why Dumbledore wanted them at such a time. It was still two days until the scheduled entry into the fantasy world, and no one ever gets called at three in the morning to go see the Headmaster.

The past day was full of unexpected events. The mysterious drink seemed to have started it all. Niock made frequent visits to the washroom, and was met with the gruesome reality of Snape rising from a toilet. Hanky's disappearance made things more mysterious and complicated. Something was wrong with the drink. Everyone who drank it seemed to have had some kind of bad side effect. Hanky was hyper for about two days straight. Robert retreated to his dorm and refused to open the door, often screaming at any incoming sound. Oliezhik had developed an above normal desire for alcohol, which for a guy like him, is a hell of a lot of booze. Mitch, Seen and Ax all had stomach problems and chronic fatigue. Candy stopped playing video games, which pointed out that something was obviously screwed up.

Niock thought about all this, and felt terribly disoriented. It seemed the mystery went deeper and deeper.

Mitch and Niock arrived at Dumbledore's "dorm" after four. They were inspected for weapons and unknown harmful material as if they were terrorists. The search seemed both endless and pointless to Niock and Mitch, who simply wanted to get in and get whatever it was over with.

After about ten minutes of searching and a question here and there with the guards, a password opened the first layer of doors. A couple of bats flew out, followed by a horde of owls. Mitch tried using some Bachina to avoid the owls flying into his face, but this wasn't too sucessful. He grew increasingly frustrated, giving in to a savage-like attack, destroying some owls with punching and kicking.

Niock stared at the terribly mutated gargoyle that happened to annoy everyone that came to Dumbledore's mansion. It turned into a small, annoying creature that held up two plastic knives, attempting with little success to jab Niock and nearby objects. Niock was annoyed, but calm. He quickly crushed it with a small "John Mo" attack, slashing the gargoyle to pieces.

The guards looked over with concern. "Excuse me, Mr. Frederick and Mr. Chang," One of the guards with a squeaky voice called. "These are creatures that are let out naturally through the intricate process of repurification, please leave them to their free actions."

"Oh shut the hell up, you fucking douche." Mitch was at his breaking point. A bunch of bad events piled up and now some know-it-all guard telling him what to do. He leaped over to the guards, but while in the air, Mitch saw that Niock had already blasted the guard with a huge Dodoria Beam. Niock was annoyed but having fun at the same time, trying attacks that he had hardly ever used.

"If you don't clear away all these damn creatures, you'll all be next." Niock threatened, and thought, dammit is it hard to get into Dumbledore's place.

Shaking heavily at the reminiscent trail of the Dodoria Beam, the guards quickly used another work to open the rest of the doors. The creatures had magically disappeared.

Dumbledore's residence, contrary to popular belief at Hogwarts, is separate from the main teacher residence compound, and has become even more isolated after his illness. It possesses much magnificence and power. It was more like a mansion with a few guard towers. After getting through the main gate, Niock and Mitch saw one window with a dim trail of light on the first floor to the right. They entered the dark mansion, and the doors slammed shut behind them. They began to realize perhaps the real reason there was a weapons search.

They walked on lightly. Mitch used some Bachina in an attempt to detect direction, but the drink still had its bad sad effects and prevented Mitch from using "full powers". Finally, a door opened with a light shining through into the hallway. Inside was a king-size bed, a couple of servants and doctors, a huge fish tank, and a fake bubbling cauldron made of plastic for formality. Dumbledore was lying under a thick layer of blankets on the bed, looking terribly frail.

"We bid our greetings, Headmaster." Mitch spoke, alerting Dumbledore that his guests have arrived. With a slow yet firm hand gesture, Dumbledore ordered the servants and doctors to leave.

"Come, pull some chairs... and sit... by the bed." Dumbledore said in a shaky voice mixed with heavy breathing. He had no energy to get up.

Niock and Mitch did as he wished, and sat so they could see Dumbledore's face, terribly wrinkled with a few black spots, eyes firmly shut. When Niock thought Dumbledore had fell asleep, he began speaking. "Mr Frederick, Mr Chang, it has not been peaceful lately."

No shit! Mitch thought, cut the crap. If you're going to say something important just get to the point.

"You both know I'm in ill health. It's gotten worse each day Pukes was in the fantasy world. But in the last few days, he's done worse things and corrupted more minds. Harry Potter is in grave danger."

"I thought it'd be best, Albert," Mitch reverted to the informal tone, "that we get to the fantasy world as soon as possible to see the situation ourselves."

"Professor." Niock followed, "It would really help us and probably help you if you stopped hiding everything."

Dumbledore sighed deeply. "I asked you to come here so I could explain one thing simple and clear. Harry Potter is the chosen one."

Mitch got really tired of the vague nature of Dumbledore's comments, which were supposed to be simple and clear. "What the hell is the 'chosen one?'" Mitch blurted out in frustration.

"Patience." Dumbledore said, louder than usual. "The chosen one is the only one with the wisdom and power to succeed me in keeping the magic world intact. But being the chosen one means one can wield almost unlimited poers inside the magic world. Pukes have tried to disturb and steal these powers from Harry. I have thought over and over, your friend Plankistan's murder was a test of Pukes' power."

Niock found something had just clicked, and pieces of the puzzle were coming together. The Berlin Wall attack had always been a signature Potter move -- Pukes never possessed it.

Dumbledore continued, "in the fantasy world, stealing powers are made much easier, and I can do little, the old and ill man I am, to control anything. Someone must go in and intervene."

"Professor, we have offered since the beginning of this month to go into the fantasy world, you did not allow us." Niock contended.

"For weeks I have been trying to find a safe location for you to enter. This was a difficult task... But it seems that yesterday, your friend Hanky found some way of entering safely and unnoticed. He made a terrible mistake... he can't get out." Dumbledore coughed a few times. Niock gave him a cup of water.

Dumbledore took the glass, but the cough became more violent. Unable to control it, the water spilled on the bed as drops of blood also stained the sheets.

All of a sudden the doctors rushed into the chamber and crudely told Niock and Mitch to get out. Just as they got up and got ready to leave, Dumbledore managed to murmur a "wait."

Niock and Mitch turned around as Dumbledore handed them the portal marker required to enter the fantasy world. Niock took the marker, examined it, slipped it in his pocket, and could not wait to get out. Both of them still managed a slight bow before exiting a chamber of echoing coughs.

On their walk back, Niock and Mitch decided that the most important thing they needed to do now is to assemble a competent group, now that they can legally and safely enter the fantasy world.

/-+-\

AS NIOCK WOKE up at around seven-thirty on the couch in the Slytherin common room, he realized it was already buzzing with people socializing and hanging around. He felt a bit embarrased falling asleep after getting back from Dumbledore's mansion. He was determined to sit on the couch reading a Captain Kurtith book until the morning rush, he thought he couldn't fall asleep with the excitement of getting the real marker. To him, excitement was not the real emotion. It was relief. After waiting for this long, something could finally be done.

Not surprisingly, the first person that caught his eye was Brianne, who looked prettier than normal this morning. He thought maybe he should go talk to her, but then realized his fro needed to be arranged properly. He was surprised, too , to see that Oliezhik was the one talking to her. The sun must have rose from the west today, even a drunken idiot like Oliezhik could talk to an attractive girl, Niock thought, jokingly. He threw his Captain Kurtith book aside and picked up "The Daily Prophet".

The headlines were bold and clear. "TWO SANITATION WORKERS FOUND DEAD AT SLYTHERIN DORM TOILETS." There was a quick flashback to that cursed trip tot he washroom a couple days ago... Snape.

He read further into the story. The cleaning cart and broom were believed to have been thrown at a wall, with the cart spilling a lot of dirty water, the broom dangling loosely off a coat hanger. The washroom odour was reportedly unbearable this morning -- with the whole western section of the dormitory sealed off the terrible smell. The Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter reports that the most likely cause is a student playing magical pranks. That's what they say every time some mysterious shit happens, Niock thought, they never get to the point where they find out what actually happens. Skeeter further blabbed on in explaining the school's zero-tolerance policy on pranksters, using half of the frontpage, in an attempt to suck up to the school administration.

The other front page story was about Dumbledore's health. It is reported that the headmaster is healthy physically and a good recovery is likely. Niock knew this was typical bullshit from Hogwarts' daily newspaper intended to keep the school, and to a greater scale, the magic world, in a stable condition, to remove speculation that big changes are going to occur in the immediate future. He knew, with Dumbledore's ill conditions that he saw a few hours past, the headmaster's life is hanging by a thread.

Jet Liu came and sat down on the couch next to Niock. He said very silently, "Hey man, heard you got to speak with the old guy last night."

"Yeah... never believe this crap on newspapers. He didn't look very well and was coughing blood." Niock said, pointing to the article on the front page.

"Headmaster in healthy condition; Prof. McGonagall continues to execute daily functions until full recovery." Jet read to himself the title and subtitle of the story.

"Man... they don't make sense themselves," Niock said, "Why would McGonagall still act in place of Dumbledore if he's 'healthy?'"

"Yeah, we're misinformed." Jet replied, and went silent again. "Mitch told me you got the marker. When can we get goin?"

Niock had an automatic reaction to reach for the marker in his pocket.

But all pockets just happened to be empty.


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This page was last modified on 4 February 2009, at 05:10.
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