“Well, at least I’ll have a chance of regaining the House Points I’ve lost,” I thought to myself as I was heading to the Potions Storeroom to do the task for Snape. Still, why did he get such a sudden change of heart? It was mere hours ago when I got punished… I guess I shouldn’t worry too much about it, after all, if I restore those points, everything will be back to normal.
After walking for a while, Rowan and I finally arrived at our destination.
“The directions on Snape’s letter say this is the Potions Storeroom…”
“I always thought it was located in the Tapestry Corridor. I suppose there must be more than one…” Rowan replied.
To be fair, he does have a point. It is a bit odd that the storeroom would be so far away from the classroom, but then again, who am I to judge. There is probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for that.
“I need to find a jar of Pickled Slugs and bring them to Snape, so I can get those ten House Points back,” I said, determined to do this task and restore the lost points.
We opened the door slowly and entered the room. It was awfully dark in here.
“I can’t see a thing…” I said just before I heard the door closing. “Why did you close the door, Rowan?”
“I didn’t. It closed behind me as soon as I stepped inside. And I think it’s locked…” He replied while he was checking out the door. “You should cast the Wand-Lighting Charm to help us see…”
“Lumos!” I said the magic word as I waved my wand.
The room suddenly became illuminated and there was a huge, plant-like creature occupying most of it.
“What is that thing?!” I yelled, frightened by the huge tentacles that started moving the moment I cast Lumos.
“A deadly plant called Devil’s Snare. Some fourth-year Slytherins showed it to me when I first arrived,” I heard
Merula’s voice from the other side of the door. Her tone was so menacing, full of hatred and satisfaction at the same time. “It’s sensitive to light. If you’re really better at the Wand-Lighting Charm than me, escaping should be no problem.”
“Merula?! You locked us in here?!” I asked, hoping she’ll come to her senses and open the door before something happens.
“Along with sending you a fake letter from Snape. I told you things would only get worse for you, Edwards,” she replied, chuckling slightly. “Something has to stop you from ruining Hogwarts. It may as well be Devil’s Snare…”
Shortly after, I heard her footsteps as she was leaving the corridor. Why did she do this? Does she hate me that much? Suddenly, I realized that the tentacles from Devil’s Snare are slowly wrapping around my limbs. There is no time to think about Merula now, I have to get out of here.
“Merula is right about Devil’s Snare being sensitive to light,” Rowan addressed me with a frightened look. “Use Lumos to hold it off while I try to open the door, and call for help.”
He was right about it being light-sensitive. Each time I approached one of its tentacles with my wand, they backed away slightly. However, every time I did this, more of those started wrapping around me.
“Help! We’re trapped in here with Devil’s Snare! Someone help!” Rowan started yelling and banging on the door, hoping it will attract someone’s attention.
While he was doing that, the tentacles have wrapped around my legs and my waist. I couldn’t move. Thankfully, I tried to remain calm and cast Lumos again to free myself. However, the moment I did that, several others wrapped around my neck and my upper body, rendering me completely immobile.
“Help! Someone, please!” I panicked, hoping that any moment, someone will come to my rescue.
Rowan was still banging at the door, yelling with all his strength. I tried my best to cast Lumos one more time, hoping it will set me free. Thankfully, I still had a hold of my wand. But the grasps were getting stronger and stronger.
“Lumos!” I repeated the magic word, desperate to escape the Devil’s Snare but it wasn’t working.
I felt the pain all around my body as the moments were passing. Those moments felt like hours. I could hardly breathe. I had the feeling that the eternity has passed until I heard Rowan’s voice. “Keep it up, Dylan! I think I hear someone!”
“What’s goin’ on in there?” The voice from the other side asked. “Outta the way!”
I heard the banging noise on the door before they finally opened up and the large figure entered the room. I am quite sure it was the Groundskeeper, but at that very moment, I was preoccupied with the situation I was in.
“Gulpin’ gargoyles, Gryffindor! Get away from that Devil’s Snare. Yer scarin’ it!”
“I’m scaring it?!” I asked, still struggling and trying to escape.
“Let’s get yeh outta here...” He kindly replied.
With a couple of strong moves, he easily released me from the Devil’s Snare grip. I didn’t hesitate to exit the room the moment I was freed.
“You saved my life! Thank you, Mister...” I totally forgot to ask Rowan about his name earlier.
“Rubeus Hagrid, at yer service. I’m Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. Pleasure to meet yeh,” he politely introduced himself.
“I’m Dylan Edwards,” I replied.
“Ah, yer the one everybody’s been talkin’ about. Maybe trouble really does run in yer family,” He immediately recognized me. “How’d yeh end up in there, Dylan?”
“A first-year Slytherin named Merula Snyde locked us inside,” I answered honestly.
“She did?! What are yeh goin’ ter do?” He gave me a curious look.
I didn’t give it much thought to be fair. Should I report this? After all, she did try to get me killed…
“I’m going to tell Professor Dumbledore and make sure she’s punished,” I calmly replied.
“Do yeh have any proof?” He asked.
“I have a fake letter from Snape, but I can’t prove she’s the one who wrote it,” I admitted.
“Professor Dumbledore would want the help yeh, but even he can’ do anything if yeh don’ have proof,” he explained. “I’d head back to yer Common Room, an’ take some time teh think, Dylan. I don’t want yeh doin’ somethin’ yeh’ll regret. Yeh might also want to do somethin’ about those robes. That Devil’s Snare got yeh good.”
To be fair, I didn’t even pay attention to my robes. They were completely torn in several places. I guess I’ll have to change them.
“Thanks, Hagrid. Hopefully, I’ll see you again,” I thanked him once more for being kind enough to save me.
“Yeh certainly will, Dylan. But fer now, yeh’d better get back the yer Common Room.”
Once we parted ways, I realized that Rowan isn’t with me. I guess he probably left while I was talking to Hagrid. Several different thoughts were torturing me as I was walking back to the Common Room. Why did Merula try to get me killed? What motivated her to do something like that? I could understand some childish pranks, but this… this was something else… I guess I’ll have to face her and talk about it eventually.
“I suppose I don’t have to worry about falling if I never actually fly… Thank you for helping me, Dylan. I may be able to fly soon if I keep following your lead,” Ben said with a huge smile on his face. I guess he was happy that our first flying lesson was so easy.
“I think you’ve chosen a fine tutor, Mr. Copper,” Madam Hooch joined the conversation. “Mr. Edwards, you appear to have a knack for helping your classmates overcome their fears. Ten points to Gryffindor.”
Ten House points! That should at least negate the ones I lost during the potions class.
“You just need to get used to the idea of flying, Ben. I’m sure Rowan has some books about flying that we can borrow,” I suggested.
“I do like reading books. Hardly anyone ever falls to their death while reading books...” He replied.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to Rowan anyway. We’ve had a rough go of it so far, and I think he takes it harder than me.”
Now that I think of it, he didn’t talk to me much after the Devil’s Snare incident. I guess I should see how he is doing.
“You should ask him to play Gobstones! I’d play myself, but I’m afraid of getting sprayed...”
“Good game, Dylan,” Rowan said after we finished playing. “Some people think Gobstones isn’t cool, but I’ve always considered it to be the thinking wizard’s Quidditch. Thanks for playing. I’ve never been especially good at making friends.”
“We became friends pretty quickly…” I replied. To be fair, I’m glad I have someone like him at my side.
“Most people think I’m either a useless weakling or an awkward nerd, but you’re weird like me. No offense.”
I chuckled a bit when I heard that. “I take it as a compliment,” I replied. It is nice to have these moments of fun and joy once in a while.
“Isn’t this precious?” I heard the voice behind us. I quickly turned around and noticed Merula standing near us and grinning wickedly.
“Hello, Edwards. You are unfortunately looking well after wrestling with the Devil’s Snare. While you were off playing with plants, I’ve been doing a little research about your brother,” she continued.
“Why don’t you just leave me alone?” I asked, still unsure about her motivation to make my life at Hogwarts miserable.
“Because you’re a danger to Hogwarts just like him, and none of us will be safe until you’re gone,” she replied with a rather serious look.
“What are you talking about, Merula?” Rowan asked, still confused by the whole situation.
“Edwards’ brother didn’t just get expelled for endangering the entire school in search of some imaginary vaults… He immediately went missing, and the next time he was seen, he was working for Voldemort,” she answered with the icy cold facial expression.
“You can’t say that! You have to call him He Who Must Not Be Named!” Rowan said, terrified by the mere mention of the Dark Lord’s name.
“I say what I want,” she replied.
“You’re lying about my brother having anything to do with He Who Must Not Be Named.” It’s one thing when she goes after me, but going after Jacob is not something I’ll be willing to tolerate.
“No wonder the professors were talking about you before the Feast. They’re wondering if you work for The Dark Lord too,” she replied with a smile that radiated pure evil.
“What happened to you to make you so mean?” I asked, curious why she behaves the way she does. “Why don’t you just live your own life, and leave me alone?”
“Why don’t you just drop out of Hogwarts? Save Gryffindor and your little friend here the embarrassment of being associated with you,” she said with a mean look. Could it be that she is afraid of me? Does she see me as competition, perhaps?
“You’re just afraid that I’ll be better than you,” I answered, determined to stand up to her bullying.
“Afraid? I’ll duel you right now,” she confidently replied.
“You aren’t worth my time, Merula. Keep this nonsense to yourself,” I calmly answered, ready to leave the Courtyard.
“Don’t walk away from me!” She yelled angrily.
She then pulled out her wand and uttered the word, “Flipendo!” as she was waving it toward me. Suddenly, I felt a tremendous force hitting me directly in the chest. It had such an impact that I immediately lost my footing and fell on the ground.
“Learn a few more spells, Edwards. Maybe next time you’ll put up a fight,” she said with a disappointed tone, just before she left the Courtyard.
“Merula is never going to leave us alone...” Rowan said while he was helping me get back on my feet.
“Not unless I learn more spells, and find someone who can teach me how to duel...” I agreed with him.
To be honest, he has a point. I’ll have to do something about this. Otherwise, I’d have to watch my back on every step that I make. I’ll have to do something about it before it’s too late…