Dawn became aware of a scratching sound, and a dim light behind her. She rolled over in bed and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She saw Ginny sitting in her bed, writing in her dream journal. “It couldn’t wait till morning?” she asked sleepily.
Ginny held up her left hand toward her. “Quiet! Let me get this down. I think this one was important.” She kept writing.
Dawn lay watching Ginny writing for a few more minutes. Then Ginny got out of her bed and came toward her. She handed Dawn the notebook. “Here, tell me what you think.”
“Rule was that this was private,” said Dawn. “You didn’t have to show it to anyone.”
“And if you read any page but the one the book is open to, we’ll have an ‘accident’ in our next sparring session,” said Ginny. “But I think you should read that.”
Dawn looked at the notebook. She started to read.
Dark passage, underground
Wet, mouldy, water dripping, puddles on floor.
Flickering light ahead
Torches, held by masked Death Eaters
about a dozen
Voldemort, torturing a man with Crucio Curse
‘The Key is at Hogwarts. Find it!’
Ginny saw the colour drain from Dawn’s face.
Willow’s eyes had gone wide. “The Key?” she asked.
“That’s what the snake guy said,” said Kennedy. “‘The Key is in Hogwarts. Find it!’”
Willow was out of their bed, and reaching for her robe. “We have to find Dawn!” She was out the door before she had the robe on.
Willow ran up the stairs, and down the corridor to the portrait of the Fat Lady. “Let me in!”
The Fat Lady had been napping. She started awake, and looked at Willow. “Password?”
“I don’t know the frilly password!” said Willow. “Let me in!”
“No one may enter without the password,” said the Fat Lady.
“So announce me!” said Willow. “I have to talk to Dawn!”
“All the students are in bed,” said the Fat Lady. “I cannot let you in without the password.”
Kennedy caught up with Willow. She had taken a little time to pull on a t-shirt and boxer shorts. “Will, what’s happening?”
“I have to talk to Dawn!” said Willow. She reached out with her mind. She had been observing the password spells for nearly a week now, and she thought she knew how they worked. She directed a little power into the painting.
The Fat Lady shrieked. “You can’t do that!”
The painting swung open, and Willow directed a humourless grin at her. “Yes I can.” She ran through the portrait hole into the Gryffindor common room. She stopped and looked around. She had no idea which way to go from here.
Willow heard a sound coming from one of the stairwells. She started toward it, and saw Harry and Ron coming out of it, both of them dressed in their pyjamas. Harry was looking pretty unsteady, and had a hand pressed to his forehead. Ron looked like he was keeping Harry from falling over.
“It’s Voldemort!” Harry was telling Ron. “He’s after something called the Key! I have to see Dumbledore!” He stopped when he saw Willow and Kennedy. “What are you doing here?”
“Voldemort is a snake guy?” asked Willow.
“Uh, yeah?” said Ron. He was looking very confused.
“Okay, wait here! Uh, where’s Dawn?”
Ron pointed to the stairway to the girls’ rooms. “Up there?”
Willow looked at Kennedy. “Stay here! Don’t let them go anywhere!” She ran to the stairs.
Once she was on the stairway Willow noticed there was light coming from a room above her. She ran up the stairs, and burst into it. “Dawn!”
Dawn, Ginny and Hermione all looked toward her. “Willow?” asked Dawn “What are you doing up here?”
“Kennedy had a dream,” said Willow. She saw the three girls exchange a look.
Dawn held out a note book toward her. “This it?”
Willow scanned down the page. The details all matched pretty well with what Kennedy had told her, except Kennedy hadn’t put names to the Death Eaters or Voldemort. “Uh, yeah.” She looked at Ginny. “You too?”
Willow frowned. “It wasn’t just you guys. Harry’s downstairs. He seems to have gotten this too.”
Hermione’s eyes went wide. “His scar!” She ran from the room.
“What?” asked Willow to Dawn and Ginny’s backs as they ran after Hermione.
Willow caught up with everyone in the common room. The candles had all come on, and there was a bright fire in the fireplace now. Everyone was sitting around Harry, checking on how he was. “What’s going on?” she asked.
Kennedy looked up at her. “Seems Harry had the same dream I had.”
“And me,” said Ginny.
“Why’s Harry having Slayer Dreams?” asked Willow.
Harry shook his head. “Not Slayer. Voldemort. I have Voldemort Dreams.” He pressed his hand against his forehead again.
“I thought the Occlumency lessons were helping,” said Hermione.
“They were,” said Harry. “But he was really excited this time, and then he got really mad when the man died too soon.”
“He died too soon?” asked Willow.
“Yeah,” said Harry. “He died before he could tell Voldemort the last bit of information he needed, on just where the Key was.”
“How do you know that?” asked Kennedy. “I saw him torturing the man, and then he said ‘The Key is in Hogwarts.’”
Harry grimaced. “I see everything from Voldemort’s point of view. I feel what he’s feeling. I think what he’s thinking. He knows the Key is hidden somewhere here. He doesn’t know where.”
“What’s the Key?” asked Hermione.
Silence fell over the group. Kennedy looked at Willow, and saw Willow was looking at Dawn. Kennedy looked around at the others and saw that Ginny was looking at Dawn too. Harry, Ron and Hermione were looking as confused as she felt. “You guys know,” Kennedy said to Willow.
“Uh…yeah, I know,” said Willow. She glanced at Dawn again and saw a slight shake of her head. “But I can’t tell you. It has to be a secret.”
“You don’t trust me?” asked Kennedy.
“I do baby!” said Willow. “But it’s not my secret to share. I’ve given my word not to tell anyone.”
Kennedy looked at Dawn. “You know too.”
“I can neither confirm nor deny,” said Dawn.
Willow was hit by a horrible thought. “Kennedy…could you recognize who was being tortured? Could you tell if it was someone you knew?”
Kennedy frowned for a moment. “No…I mean it wasn’t anyone I know. I couldn’t see him that well, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t know him.”
Willow breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank god.” Giles and Xander were the only men she knew who knew about the Key, and she was sure that both of them would die before they told anyone where to find it. She thought for a second. “What did he look like?”
“Just a guy,” said Kennedy. “I wasn’t that close, but he looked like he was maybe twenty-five…white, dark hair, medium build…something weird about his clothes…medieval looking.”
“Yeah,” said Ginny. “He wasn’t dressed like a wizard or a Muggle.”
“He had a mark on his forehead. Some sort of tattoo or something.” Harry stopped rubbing his scar for a moment, and ran his fingers across his forehead, indicating where it was.
“Shit!” said Willow. Kennedy gave her a sharp look. Willow almost never swore like that.
“Byzantium,” said Dawn. “How’d they track it here?”
“I don’t know,” said Willow. “We have to contact Buffy…if she had the dream too, she’ll be freaking.”
“Where is she?” asked Dawn.
“If she’s on schedule…Shanghai,” said Willow.
“What time is it there?”
Willow closed her eyes and thought for a bit, visualizing the time zones. “About nine AM.”
“So she may have been awake,” said Dawn.
“Depends on how jet-lagged she is,” said Willow. “We should tell her everything is okay or she’ll be jumping on the first plane for Britain when she does find out. Who knows how many other Slayers had that dream, and they’re all supposed to report strange dreams to her.”
“Why don’t you send a message to Miss Summers when you go back to your room to get dressed,” said Professor Dumbledore. “Then we can all meet in my office in half an hour.”
Everyone looked around. No one had noticed him enter the common room. Willow was surprised to see he was dressed in a colourful dressing gown, not too unlike the robes he usually wore, and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.
Professor Lupin was waiting in Dumbledore’s office when they got there. Dumbledore had seats, and mugs of hot chocolate ready for everyone when they arrived. He somehow even knew to leave the marshmallows out of Dawn’s. He let them all get settled down, and have their first sips before he asked what had happened.
Kennedy and Ginny described their dreams. Harry stayed quiet, letting them do all the talking. Dumbledore turned to him when they were done. “And you had this dream as well?”
“Yes,” said Harry. “Except I saw it all through Voldemort’s eyes.” He rubbed his scar, which was still aching. “Felt what he was feeling while he tortured that man.”
“A Knight of Byzantium,” said Willow.
“Who are they?” asked Kennedy.
“An ancient order, dedicated to the destruction of the Key,” said Willow.
“And what’s this Key?” asked Hermione. “You and Dawn seem to be the only ones who know what it is.”
Willow looked at Dawn.
“The Key is an ancient artefact of great power,” said Dawn. “No one really knows anymore just what all it can do.”
“And you brought this Key to Hogwarts?” asked Hermione.
“The Key was brought to Hogwarts, at my request,” said Professor Dumbledore, “when Buffy, Dawn and Mr. Giles first visited us this summer.”
“Where is it?” asked Ron.
“Right now…it is here in my office,” said Dumbledore. “More than that I will not tell you.” He smiled as Harry, Ron and Hermione started looking around, trying to see if they could spot anything new that had been added since last year.
“The real question is: ‘What does Voldemort want with the Key?’” said Willow.
“The Key is powerful,” said Dumbledore. “That alone will be enough to make Voldemort covet it.”
Harry shook his head. “No, it was more than that. There’s some reason he wants it.”
“Your dreams of Voldemort are not reliable,” Dumbledore reminded Harry. “What you saw in his mind could have been placed there to fool you.”
“I know he did that last year,” said Harry, “but Ginny and Kennedy had the dream too. Could he fool them?”
“That the man was tortured, I do not doubt,” said Dumbledore. “But we must treat with caution anything you saw in Voldemort’s mind.”
“But he wouldn’t know about the Slayers having the same dream would he?” asked Professor Lupin. “His thoughts about his motives would have to be lain over top of what he was actually doing. Why would he do that? What could he hope to accomplish from warning us that he is looking for the Key?”
“Perhaps he is aware of how Harry and his friends can not leave a mystery alone.” Dumbledore turned has attention back to the students. “By giving you a mystery, he could hope that you would lead him to the Key. I must ask you not to attempt to locate the Key for yourselves. I want you to give me your words.”
One by one, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny promised Professor Dumbledore that they wouldn’t go looking for the Key. He looked at Dawn. “And you Miss Summers?”
Dawn looked startled, and then she realized what Dumbledore was doing. It might be suspicious if he didn’t get her word too. “Fine, I won’t go looking for the Key.” That was an easy promise to make, since the Key was always where she was.
“Thank you,” said Dumbledore. “Well, it is very late, and three of you have a Quidditch game to play tomorrow. I suggest that you all go back to bed.”
They all paused at Willow and Kennedy’s room long enough for Willow to check to see if she’d received a reply to the message she had sent Buffy. She hadn’t. Willow sent the kids off to bed, while she sent of a second email, telling Buffy about the meeting with Dumbledore before she climbed back into bed with Kennedy.
Dawn and the others arrived back in the Gryffindor common room. “So, can you tell us any more about this Key?” asked Ron.
“Not really,” said Dawn. “And I thought we promised Dumbledore not to go looking for it.”
“We did,” said Ron, “but we didn’t say anything about not trying to learn more about it, or why Voldemort wants it.”
“And what about those Byzantium guys?” asked Harry. “You and Willow didn’t like hearing that they were involved.”
“Yeah, well, we were really hoping that they’d decided that the Key had been destroyed a few years ago,” said Dawn. “And if they don’t believe that, and they know it’s here…we’re going to have to find out just what they know, and what they plan to do about it.”
“I guess we’re going to have to go see if we can find anything in the library on the Key, or these Knights,” said Hermione.
|Chapter 36: Halloween Dreams||Contents||Chapter 38: Gryffindor vs. Slytherin|