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Anima Summa Book 1 - The Mystery of Rhedae by Anima Summa

Anima Summa Book 1 - The Mystery of Rhedae

Anima Summa

Keith Lewis Keith Lewis 1 2 2003-07-18T10:59:00Z 2003-07-18T11:01:00Z 19 8175 46598 388 93 57225 9.2720 6 pt 2 2 Chapter 12B

The Attack (Part 2)

DISCLAIMER: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

"Harry, quick. Join with me."

Harry stared at Hermione, and then something dawned in his mind. He quickly got up and took hold of her hand - his right and her left - the rings touched.

"Get back, everyone - please," he said softly.

Harry and Hermione closed their eyes and concentrated hard. Then they extended their free hands over Clare's body and spoke two words softly.


Everyone gasped as the silvery light shot from their hands and joined just above the little girl's body. Then it spread in a silvery blanket and covered her.

The still form rose slowly from the ground, levitated by the strange spell, and then turned until she was standing upright on her feet. Then the silvery glow faded. Clare let out a loud gasp and opened her eyes, staring around her in confusion. Ron and Ginny caught her as she staggered, and sat her back onto the ground

They both comforted her as she started crying. "What happened?" she whispered. "I thought I was dead!"

She looked up and saw Harry and Hermione standing over her, their hands still extended over the spot where she'd earlier laid. And she knew - she understood - she felt their beautiful and comforting aura, which still lingered in her soul.

She shot up and grabbed them both, clinging to them desperately. "Thank you," she cried. "Thank you Harry, Hermione."

The hushed spell that everyone had been under then broke, and a thousand questions were uttered.

"How did you do that?" asked Fred.

"What did you do?" asked George.

"What sort of magic was that?" asked Lee Jordan.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Katie Bell.

Even Snape stood transfixed, looking at Harry and Hermione with a look of deep respect on his face.

"Come on, everyone," said Dumbledore. "Back into the school, quickly. We need to check that there aren't any more Death Eaters and Dementors hanging about."

Professor McGonagall, her eyes wet, caught hold of Harry and Hermione and fiercely hugged them both. "Thank you so much," she said.

Professor Trelawney then came up to Harry. "I'm so glad you've found your destiny Harry. What you both did was so beautiful."

Then she walked back into the school, a serene look on her face.

Dumbledore walked up to Harry and Hermione. "That was incredible," he said. "I never thought I'd see the killing curse overcome like that. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for saving Clare. Come up to my office in an hour - all of you - we've got plenty to discuss. But first, I'll take Clare up to Madam Pomfrey to make sure there's no lasting damage. Come on Minerva, bring Clare with you, if you please."

Clare was very reluctant to relinquish her contact with the pair as McGonagall gently eased her away from Harry and Hermione.

"It's ok, Clare," said Harry, "we'll come up to the hospital wing to see you later."

"Professor Dumbledore," said Harry as McGonagall and Clare went into the school, "can I speak to you for a moment?"

"Yes Harry?"

"Voldemort - he was here. I knew because my scar started hurting. But he's gone now. My scar stopped hurting when the Death Eaters started running away."

Dumbledore looked surprised. "I didn't see him Harry. He must have stayed at the edge of the forest - probably directing the Dementors or the Death Eaters. Obviously, he still doesn't want to make it known that he's back. But after this, we should be able to persuade Fudge to tell the wizarding world about his return."

Before he went into the school, Dumbledore turned to Ceri, Remus and Padfoot. "You'd better check that they've all gone before we hold the meeting - but be careful!"

Only Ceri, Remus, Padfoot and the four friends were left in the grounds after the headmaster went up to the hospital wing.

"You four had better come with us," Ceri said smiling ruefully, "we might need some protection."

"That was great back there wasn't it?" said Remus, equally ruefully. "The protectors having to be protected by the protected!"

"Huh?" said Ron, confused.

"No wonder 'You Know Who' tried to get you two," said Ceri. "You're very, very powerful now. He must be feeling a bit vulnerable."

"I don't know about that," said Harry, "but there's one thing I do know. That spell we put on Wormtail - when we made his hood disappear and inflated his head. We wanted to make sure everybody saw him. There's no way that Fudge can keep Sirius' innocence a secret now, is there?"

Padfoot nuzzled his wet nose into Harry's hand, and Remus said the words that Sirius was thinking.

"Of course he can't Harry! How can he be guilty of killing Wormtail if everybody's just seen him alive and well? We'll force him to go public with it now - and Sirius can get his official pardon."


Back in his cave, Voldemort was deep in thought as his inner circle stood nervously in front of his throne. He'd seen the wand-less magic done by Harry and Hermione, although he was not aware yet that they'd saved the little girl from the killing curse.

"This is serious," he said to his group. "I never thought that they were so strong. And they'll only get stronger as time goes on." He banged his hand down on the arm of his throne in frustration. When he'd seen the pair perform the protection spell, even from a distance, a tendril of fear had started to worm itself into his brain.

"There must be something I can do to stop them!"

He suddenly stood up. "Go now. Continue your recruitment campaigns. I'll summon you all when I need you. Lucius, make sure our friend keeps his eyes peeled until the end of term. I want to know if he spots any weaknesses in them - anything at all. Now go."

After his initial rage and frustration had subsided, Voldemort started thinking more rationally about the problem he faced. And a chink of light started to grow in his mind.

'If there are ancient spells to aid the Light side, why can't there be something similar to aid the Dark?' he thought to himself. 'I wonder ... I need to do some research to see if there's anything I can use.'

He got up and walked over to the back of his cave where he kept his Dark Arts library. He looked through the ranks of forbidden books on the shelves and stopped at one.

"This looks promising," he said to himself as he heaved the large tome off the shelf.

He went back over to his throne, sat down, and started to read …


The usual group sat around Dumbledore's desk that afternoon. The four friends were also there as they started to review the events of the morning.

"What were those spells you used this morning?" asked Sirius.

"The first was 'Protect friends,'" said Harry.

"The second was 'Reveal face,'" said Hermione.

"And the last, that saved Clare, was 'Reverse death.' Thank goodness that Hermione was thinking clearly - I was too caught up in my grief to call it to mind," said Harry.

"What you two did this morning," said McGonagall, "was nothing short of miraculous. We all owe you a debt of gratitude for what you did for that lovely little girl."

There was a general murmur of approval from around the room.

"She can't stop talking about you, you know," continued the deputy-head. "I think she must have sensed your inner feelings and emotions when you did the spell. She was quite overcome with the beauty of it all."

"I think she must have felt it, Professor," said Hermione. "We had to put everything we had into that spell."

"How is she coping with it all, Minerva?" asked Remus.

"Physically, there's no problem. But Poppy wants to keep her in the hospital for a few days. She's a bit worried about the psychological effects as the reality of it all hits her. She did die, after all. I've been in touch with her parents - I think that talking to them will help. They should be here in the morning."

"So what do you think 'You Know Who' will do now, Headmaster?" asked Snape.

"I don't know, Severus. He must have been desperate to try an attack on Hogwarts - it must have been his last-ditch attempt to get at the Anima Summas. I've got a feeling that we won't be hearing from him for a while - he's got a lot to think about now."

"Uh, Professor," said Ginny. "Everybody saw Peter Pettigrew this morning. Won't Sirius be officially cleared of the charges now?"

"I think so, Ginny. I've had to make a report to the ministry, and the Minister for Magic is coming here himself tomorrow to lead the investigation into the attack. I'll make sure that enough teachers and students testify that they saw Wormtail to make it impossible for him to keep quiet about Sirius' innocence. And since Voldemort wasn't spotted, he needn't tell the world that he's back if he's so inclined. So I don't see any problem at all. I will, of course, press him to go public about Voldemort as well."

The four youngsters grinned at Sirius - which was returned by him in kind.

"What about the Anima Summas, Headmaster?" asked Remus. "Everybody saw what Harry and Hermione did today. And Fudge and his team are bound to find out about it. What are we going to say to them?"

Dumbledore sighed, "I don't think there's much we can do to cover it up. It would be silly to even try. Fudge is not stupid - he didn't become Minister for Magic for nothing. Just tell them the truth. But don't say anything about the prophecy or the Anima Summas - I'll take care of that myself."

"They seem to be getting stronger, Headmaster," said Flitwick as he grinned at Harry and Hermione.

Dumbledore thought for a moment. "I'm not sure about that, Filius. Don't get me wrong - they're powerful, very powerful. But if the prophecy and what we've learned is anything to go by, they've still got a lot of learning and developing to do. Don't forget, they've still got two more quests to complete to reach their full potential - and the rings told them they have to learn and grow. No - what we've seen is nothing compared to what we will see, at some time in the future. And they still need our protection. I know it looks as if they can protect themselves without any problem, but you know how devious the Dark Side can be - and they can't watch their backs twenty four hours a day."

"Does that mean we're still in a job, Professor?" asked Ceri.

"Oh, most certainly you are," Dumbledore replied. "I've been in touch with your superiors in the States, and they've seconded your services to me indefinitely. You'll continue to work with Sirius and Remus, and I'll try to get a couple more of the ministry's best Aurors out of Fudge when he visits tomorrow."

"That's great!" said Sirius as he smiled at Ceri. Then coloured slightly as he saw Harry's grinning face looking directly at him.

"So what do you make of it all, Headmaster?" asked McGonagall as her face took on a look of reflection. "I mean - there are things at work here that none of us even guessed at before. What do you think it is?"

"Ah, Minerva, if only I knew," Dumbledore replied. "But there's certainly some spirit, or force, active. And it's obviously a part of the Light Side. Think about it. I believe that you, Hermione, have been guided by this force right from the start."

Hermione looked startled. "What do you mean, Professor? I haven't felt anything at all."

"Well I may be wrong, but just think. You've probably been acting as Harry's Anima Summa right from the start of this mystery - even though you were unaware of it. First, you made sure that Sirius sorted him out when he was in the depths of despair. Then you purchased the amulet that contained the message - although I know the Priory of Sion was involved in that - but it was you they contacted. Then you were the brains behind solving the riddle of the amulet's message. You've given unflinching support to Harry in the face of great personal pain and danger. You've even been willing to sacrifice your own happiness to make sure that Harry met the right girl."

Hermione's face was bright red with embarrassment as she heard Dumbledore singing her praises, and Harry held her hand tightly.

"That's only my personal opinion, Hermione," the headmaster continued, "but everything fits. Let's just say that there are far more things in heaven and earth than we know about. We may never know what's behind it all, but it's definitely the Light Side in some shape or form. But we can't, of course, rely on speculation to protect them. We have to be vigilant. I get the feeling that we'll have to be on our toes to make sure that these two reach their ultimate goal."


The following day, Cornelius Fudge and his team arrived from the ministry. Fudge went straight up to Dumbledore's office, while his team prepared one of the classrooms as their temporary office.

"This is a bad business, Albus," he said. "The school coming under attack from Death Eaters, for goodness sake. I'm under a lot of pressure to get some answers, you know. And the media are on to it now. I've managed to keep them quiet for the moment, but they'll be straight back at me when I return to London."

"I understand, Cornelius," said Dumbledore. "You are welcome to speak to whoever you like - most of the students saw the attack, and all the professors were right there in the thick of it. Perhaps we can meet up for lunch in my office later and we can discuss your findings. And I'm sure you'll want to talk to me after you've interviewed everyone."

"Thank you, Albus. Right, we'd better get started."

Later that morning, one of the first-year Gryffindors came into the common room. "Harry, Hermione - Professor McGonagall would like to see you both in her office."

Five minutes later, Hermione knocked on the office door, and the professor came out and closed the door behind her. "Clare's parents are inside," she said quietly. "Clare's told them all about what happened yesterday, and they know that you saved her life. They want to see you. I haven't told them any details, but they're clearly puzzled. I leave it to you to be as discreet as you can."

McGonagall walked away down the corridor, and Harry opened the door and led Hermione into the office.

"Mr & Mrs Bryant?" she asked. "I'm Hermione Granger and this is Harry Potter. You want to speak to us?"

Mrs Bryant rushed over and hugged them both, while her husband slowly walked towards them and shook their hands.

"I can't tell you how grateful we are," said Mr Bryant. "Clare told us what happened yesterday - she said that you two brought her back to life. How did you do that? Everybody knows that you're special, Harry, but how was that possible?"

"We're trying to come to terms with it all," said Mrs Bryant, "but, quite frankly, we didn't believe Clare until Professor McGonagall confirmed what she told us."

"Uh, we can't tell you everything," said Harry, "but, well yes - Clare was hit by the killing curse and she died - I held her in my arms myself, swearing that I'd make those Death Eaters pay for what they'd done - you see, Clare's a very popular girl, and we'd become good friends, despite the difference in our ages. But it's Hermione you really need to thank. She was the one who first thought of the spell to save her."

"But how is it possible?" asked Mr Bryant. "No one has survived the Avada Kedavra curse - except yourself, of course Harry."

"Mr & Mrs Bryant. What we're about to tell you must remain between us four. Will you agree to that?" asked Harry.

"Of course, Harry," said Mrs Bryant. "We just want to understand what happened to our little girl."

"Hermione and I - we ... uh ... well, we're able to join together mentally - it's all part of an ancient prophecy that's come to light. We are now able to access some very powerful ancient magic, given to us by the Light Side. When we join together, we can perform that magic. Until we stood over Clare, we didn't even know we could bring her back. It's all very new and we don't know the extent of it yet - we only found out ourselves a matter of days ago."

Mr Bryant gasped, "This is incredible. I haven't heard anything about it at the ministry."

"They don't know about it yet, Mr Bryant," said Hermione. "Look, it's bound to be made public sooner or later and then you'll know the full details of it all. But for now, we have to keep it secret."

"Don't worry, Hermione," said Mrs Bryant, "it's safe with us. I'm just so grateful to you both - I don't know what we'd have done if we'd lost her."

"She couldn't stop talking about you both," said Mr Bryant. "I think she sees you as - well, some sort of divine beings. And after speaking to you, perhaps she's not far off the mark."

"We're hardly divine," said Harry. "Although something of a higher order does seem to be guiding us - we just don't know. All we can do is try to follow the path that's been set out for us."

Clare's parents left the office to spend some time with their daughter shortly after. They were content that they at least knew something of the forces that saved Clare, and they were relieved that it was clearly the Light Side.

Fudge and the ministry team spent the rest of the morning in endless rounds of interviews with the students and teachers, listening with interest to all they were told. By lunchtime, they still hadn't finished. They still hadn't spoken to Harry and his friends. What they had heard, however, got them buzzing with excitement, and it was an animated Fudge that joined Dumbledore in his office for lunch.

"I can't believe what I've heard this morning," he said. "Strange spells, bringing people back from the dead - what's been going on, Albus?"

Dumbledore sighed deeply, knowing that he'd have to tell the minister about the Anima Summas. But first he wanted to get Sirius officially cleared. "I'll tell you about that later, Cornelius. But first, were you told about Peter Pettigrew leading the Death Eaters?"

"Yes, I was. It seems that everyone saw him. The students recognised him from that article the Daily Prophet ran two years ago about Sirius Black. I suppose you'll want me to give him an official pardon now?"

"Of course I will," replied Dumbledore. "There isn't a problem is there? You won't have to say anything about Voldemort to clear him."

Fudge winced as he heard the dreaded name. "No, I suppose not. Ok, Albus, I'll see to it when I get back to London. And I'll make sure the Daily Prophet carries an article about it."

"Thank you, Cornelius. He deserves no less than that. He's done some excellent work for me spying on Voldemort and protecting Harry Potter and his friends. If I may suggest - perhaps you can officially employ him as an Auror and second him to my team?"

"No problem, Albus. Now talking about Harry, what was that all about yesterday?"

"Firstly, Cornelius, Harry felt that Voldemort was close by - his scar told him he was there. I don't think you can hold off much longer in telling everyone about his return."

"No - I don't want to do that yet, Albus. Now what about Harry?"

Dumbledore then told Fudge about the prophecy, the quest, and the Anima Summas. He also urged him to keep it quiet.

"This is incredible, Albus. I don't know if I can keep something like this quiet - the whole world is going to want to hear about it."

"Think about it, Cornelius. If we tell them about the Anima Summas, we'll have to tell them why they're here at this moment in time. They're bound to guess the reason - the rise of the Dark Side, and Voldemort in particular. So if you tell them about Harry and Hermione, you'll have to tell them that Voldemort is back."

Fudge stroked his chin, deep in thought. "You're right of course. I'll keep it quiet as long as I can, but news of these strange spells they've been doing is bound to get out sooner or later. We'd both better prepare for the announcements we'll have to make at some stage. How does Harry and Hermione feel about being thrust into the limelight - I mean, Harry's always in the news, but this is different."

"I haven't really spoken to them about it yet. I thought it best that they come to terms with it themselves before exposing them to the world's collective scrutiny. After all, they've only been the Anima Summas for a few days. We've got to give them time and space to develop. And don't forget - they've got their OWLS in just over a week and I don't want them to have any distractions."

"Yes, you're right, of course. We don't want to do anything to hinder that development. They're our best chance - our only chance - of beating the Dark Side. I shudder to think of what it was like fifteen years ago, when 'You Know Who' was at his prime," said Fudge.

"Voldemort's found out about them, of course. That was the reason for the attack yesterday - he wants to get hold of them - or more accurately, he wants to get hold of the ancient knowledge and spells they have."

"Oh Lord, Albus. We can't let that happen. He'll be unstoppable if he gets his hands on that."

"Quite. So I was thinking. Can you spare me a couple of your best Aurors to add to my protection team?"

"I wish I could, but it's impossible, Albus. We're fully stretched trying to keep tabs on all the new Death Eater recruitment that's still going on. I'm afraid you'll have to make do with what you've got - why don't you think about some of your seventh-year students? Perhaps a couple of them could join your team?"

"No, Cornelius. A few of them are showing excellent potential, but they won't have the necessary experience they'll need. I'll just have to try to juggle my resources to make sure the kids are given the best protection."

"Right. We should be finished by late afternoon. I'll see you before I go."


The following morning, Ginny rushed down the common room stairs clutching a newspaper in her hands. She was clearly excited as she ran over to her three friends, who were sitting by the window.

"Look at this! Errol just delivered it from Mum," she said as she thrust the copy of the Daily Prophet at them.

Harry grabbed the paper and stared at it with a wide grin on his face. The front page carried a large banner headline - 'SIRIUS BLACK INNOCENT,' and his grinning photograph, clearly taken quite a while ago, stared out at them.

Harry read the first few lines of the article aloud, which had been written by Rita Skeeter ……

'Sirius Black, who caused great consternation in the wizarding world by escaping from Azkaban last year, has been officially cleared of all charges by the Ministry of Magic.

In an exclusive interview, Cornelius Fudge - the Minister for Magic - stated that Peter Pettigrew, previously thought to have been murdered by Black, had made an appearance at Hogwarts School on Saturday. He led a group of black-cloaked figures in an attack on the school.

Details of this are still sketchy, but this reporter will be investigating, and will bring you the latest news as soon as possible.

The minister further stated that Sirius Black has now been employed by the ministry as an Auror. It is understood that he will be working directly for Professor Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, and will be in charge of security there.

"This is great," said Ron. "He'll be able to walk around the school without having to change into Padfoot."

"I'm going to make sure everybody sees this before breakfast," said Ginny. "I'm going down to pin this up on the doors of the Great Hall."

The other three grinned as Ginny raced through the portrait hole. "Sirius will be so pleased," said Hermione.

"Yes, he will," said Harry, "but there's a down side as well - Rita Skeeter'll be snooping around. She's bound to find out about those spells we did - you know what she's like - a dog with a bone - she won't stop until she finds out about us."

"Well she may well find out, Harry," said Hermione, "but you heard what minister Fudge told us yesterday - he doesn't want it broadcast yet. And neither does the headmaster. I'm sure that between them, they'll be able to keep her quiet."

"Let's hope so," said Harry.

There was an excited chatter at breakfast. Everyone had seen the newspaper that Ginny had pinned to the Great Hall doorway. The question on everybody's lips was when they'd get to see the famous Sirius Black.

Half way through breakfast, the headmaster stood up and rapped the table in front of him with a spoon. The room went quiet, and every head turned towards the top table.

"This morning, I had a surprise announcement to make," he said, "but a certain someone has put paid to that." He looked directly at Ginny, who coloured up, but still managed to pretend that she was not the focus of everybody's attention.

"You all know by now," he continued, "that Sirius Black is completely innocent of all charges made against him nearly fifteen years ago. And you will also know that he'll be working at the school. His main job will be to protect you - the student body - from any more despicable attacks like we saw last Saturday. He will be joined in this task by Ceri Jones, our visitor from the United States. I'm sure you've all seen her around the school these past few months.

"Now I know you're all anxious to meet them. They'll be in the school grounds during the lunch break, so if you have any questions, you can speak to them then." Dumbledore then spoke more loudly, "Sirius, Ceri - would you like to join us at the top table for breakfast?"

The Great Hall doors opened, and Sirius and Ceri walked in. They stood side by side as they looked around the room at the students, wondering what their reception would be. Then Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione stood up and started to clap. Soon, all the Gryffindors, quickly followed by the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs, were standing, clapping and cheering. The Slytherins remained seated - most of them were scowling. The two walked self-consciously up to the top table, relieved grins on their faces, and sat at two spare seats between Remus and Hagrid. All the professors, including Snape, shook their hands and welcomed them to their ranks.

After breakfast, Harry and his friends rushed up to Sirius and Ceri. Draco Malfoy hurried up to the Owlery.

"This is great, Sirius," said Harry. "I've waited for this for ages."

"And it's thanks to you two," he replied affectionately as he looked at Harry and Hermione.

"So we'll be seeing more of you both now then?" asked Ron.

"Yes, you will," said Ceri.

"It'll be a relief to walk about the school on two legs instead of four," said Sirius. "But we'll still be doing the same job as before. The only difference is that I'll be paid for it now."

"Will you have to register as an Animagus now, Sirius?" asked Hermione.

"Yes - I spoke to Fudge about it yesterday. I've got to go to the ministry this afternoon to do it - and they'll need some other details, you know, where to send my pay cheque each month, and such things."

"Where will you be staying now?" asked Ginny.

"Oh. At the school," he replied. "I've got the guest room next to Ceri."

"I hope there isn't an adjoining door?" said Ginny grinning slyly.

"Ginny!" exclaimed Hermione as she looked sternly at her friend.

The others just laughed, albeit not without some embarrassment.


Voldemort was in a foul mood, as he had been for the last two days. Wormtail and Nagini had long since been banished to a much smaller cave about a hundred yards from Voldemort's main residence - the Dark Lord wanted as much space as possible to display the pile of books opened at likely-looking pages. He had not stopped reading since the previous Saturday evening, and had followed a myriad of cross-references in the various Dark Arts volumes in his library. But all to no avail.

He flung a large tome to the other end of the cave, as the latest thread he was following yet again proved to be a dead end.

"There's got to be something here!" he shouted, his sibilant voice echoing from the damp walls.

Once more, he walked over to his bookcases, and started looking at the titles. He came to one exceptionally large book and pulled it impatiently from the top shelf to read the title. As he supported the heavy tome in both hands, a much smaller, insignificant little book fluttered to the floor of the cave.

'What's that?' he thought. 'It must have been hidden behind these large books, pushed to the back of the shelf years ago'

He dropped the large book and picked up the smaller one. He read the title - 'Memoirs of Aleric the Dark.'

'Hmm,' he thought, 'Aleric - I remember reading about him a while ago. He was one of the most respected Dark Arts practitioners of the seventeenth century. I didn't know I had this book.'

Voldemort walked back to his throne, and started to thumb through the brown-stained pages. It was written by Aleric himself, telling the story of his celebrated travels throughout Europe and the Middle East. He settled down to read, his foul mood lifted by his discovery of the little treasure.

One hour later, Voldemort stared at the heading of the last chapter in the book. He couldn't believe his eyes - 'The True Location of the Necronomicon.'

"What!?!" he gasped.

Before he read the chapter, he thought about what he knew about the fabled Dark Arts book …

'The Necronomicon - the lost treasure of the Dark Arts. The literal translation is 'Book of Dead Names.' Written by Abdul Alhazred around 735 AD - he was known as 'The Mad Arab.' He died, or disappeared in 738 AD. The story goes that he was seized by an invisible monster in broad daylight, and was devoured horribly. No one really knows what was contained in the book - but there are tales that those who have read it either died terrible deaths, or went mad from what they learned. It is said that the volume contains details of an ancient race that pre-dated humans, dark and powerful magical spells, and how to summon powerful beings from another realm. There have been several fake copies of the book in circulation since those times, some of which are thought to contain some of the original text - but many of them were burnt by the Church.'

Voldemort knew that he was on the verge of a great discovery. If he could get hold of the book, he would be able to master the world - Anima Summa or no Anima Summa. He avidly read Aleric's account …

'It has long been believed that the Necronomicon was lost soon after Abdul Alhazred died. But I know the truth of it. I know this from a letter the mad Arab sent to his brother just before he went missing. I was able to obtain this letter, which was never known to exist before, during my explorations in the ancient city of Damascus. Read closely and learn.

Abdul did not die - he went to the city of IREM - the fabled City of Pillars. Many people have heard of this place and thought it to be a myth, supposedly hidden beneath the shifting sands of the Arabian Desert. But it was discovered by Abdul, and I now know where it is located.

He said in his letter that he was taking the Necronomicon with him - and would lay it to rest in that strange city - after he had found the portal into another realm. He gave instructions in his letter for his brother to make the information available to any true follower of the Dark Arts. But his brother was afraid. He knew what was contained in that book, and he did not want it made known to anyone. He knew that only great evil would come of it.

IREM lies below the ancient rose-red city, half as old as time. Its entrance can be gained outside the Treasury - go to the second pillar from the left and open it. There will be found the key to the underground metropolis, and the way to the Necronomicon.

Be warned - the Necronomicon is only for the eyes of those who truly follow the Dark Arts. If there is a shred of the Light in you - you will perish as soon as you look on its pages.

I wish you well, if you dare to take up the challenge and seek out the great book. I am now too old, so I leave it to one who will come after me to uncover its secrets.

"Yes!" Voldemort exclaimed. "WORMTAIL," he roared, his voice thundering out through the cave entrance and over the surrounding countryside.

A few moments later, Wormtail ran into the cave. "You called, my Lord?"

"Wormtail. I have an important task for you. Make use of your rat form and gain entry to the British Library in London. I want to know where I can find an ancient city. It is called 'The Rose-Red City - Half as Old as Time.' Go immediately - and don't come back until you've found something. When you return, you can clear up these books and stack them neatly on my bookshelves.

"Yes, my Lord," Wormtail replied and hurried out of the cave.


Ron looked terrible as he slowly made his way down to the common room from his dormitory. His face was pale, and he felt very, very sick. He saw Harry and Hermione sitting by the window, feverishly thumbing through their Potions notes.

Hermione looked up as Ron approached. Unlike Ron she was supremely happy and full of the vigour of youth. Harry's health appeared to be half way between the two extremes displayed by his two friends

"Ron. What's the matter?" said Hermione, a look of concern clouding her earlier brightness.

"How can you be so happy, Hermione?" he replied. "You do know what day it is, don't you?"

"Yes Ron. The first day of our OWLS - exciting, isn't it?"

"Ugghhh," was all Ron could say.

"Oh come on, Ron," she said, "you'll be ok. You'll feel better when you get some breakfast inside you."

"I feel sick, Hermione. I can't eat any breakfast this morning. Dumbledore's a sadist, I swear. How can he make Potions the first OWL we have to do?"

"Look on the bright side, Ron," said Harry. "At least we'll be getting the worst one over with first."

"You think that's our worst one Harry?" he replied. "We've got History of Magic this afternoon, and Divination tomorrow morning! These are going to be the worst two days of my life."

"Well you've only got yourself to blame, Ron," said Hermione sternly. "I did try to get you to do some work before. This is what you get when you try to cram everything into two weeks before the exams."

"Oh take pity," he whined. "I'm suffering."

"Yes," said Harry, "but not as much as Neville. Look at him!"

They followed Harry's gaze and saw poor Neville Longbottom barely able to put one foot in front of the other as he slowly made his way down into the common room.

"Oh, Neville," said Hermione as she trotted over to him. "Come on. Come and sit by us three for a moment."

"I know how you're feeling, Neville," said Ron as the pale-faced boy sat down.

"Do you?" asked Neville. "We've got two Potions exams this morning. The first two hours we've got the practical exam, followed by another two hours written one. I don't know if I'll survive this. Snape is going to make mincemeat out of me."

"Don't worry, Neville," said Harry, "we're all in the same boat. Just focus your mind on dinner tonight - it'll be over by then."

Neville made a sickly attempt at a grin, and then followed the other three down to the Great Hall.

At dinner that evening, the fifth-year Gryffindors looked exhausted. And it was only the first day - they had another four days of exams to go. Of them all, only Hermione and Kristen looked reasonably happy.

"Hermione?" asked Ron tentatively. "What answer did you get to question three, this morning?"

Hermione thought for a moment. "Oh that was an easy one - chopped dried nettles mixed with sliced caterpillar tails."

"Ohhhh," groaned Ron. "I put masticated frogs brains and chopped ginger root."

"Never mind, Ron. You can't get them all right. What did you get for number four?"

"You don't want to know, Hermione. Can we talk about something else?"

Things did get a bit easier over the next four days, and Ron started to look a lot better. Harry'd been right. The worst day had been the first one - Ron started to think that Dumbledore had some method to his madness, after all.

At the end of the fifth day, the exams were over and all the fifth-year Gryffindors collapsed into their usual chairs in the common room, exhausted, but happy that it was finished at last.

"Well, you lot," said Ginny as she sat next to her three friends, "what was it like? You've all managed to survive, I see."

"It was terrible, Ginny," said Ron. "Listen to the voice of experience - and don't do what I did. Make sure you start your revision early when you take your OWLS next year."

Hermione lifted her eyes to the ceiling in despair.


It was early the following day when Dobby entered the headmaster's office. "Professor Dumbledore," he said. "There's a lady downstairs says she wants to talk to you. She says she's from the Daily Prophet."

"Oh lord," breathed Dumbledore. "You'd better show her up Dobby." Dumbledore had banned all reporters from Hogwarts the previous week because of the exams, but he knew that he now had no reason to keep them away.

"Good morning Professor Dumbledore," said Rita Skeeter as she walked up to the headmaster's desk.

"Good morning, Miss Skeeter. Take a seat. Dobby, would you bring some tea for us please? Now, what can I do for you?"

"Firstly, I'd like to do an interview with Sirius Black. There's been great interest from our readers ever since he was cleared, and they want to know his side of the story - how he managed to stay sane in Azkaban, how he managed to escape, what he thinks about Peter Pettigrew. That sort of thing."

"I'll ask him if he wants to talk to you, of course, but the decision is his. He went through some pretty bad times, you know, and he may not want it all aired in public."

"Thank you, Professor. And secondly, we've been hearing rumours of strange goings on at Hogwarts. We've heard that Harry Potter and Hermione Granger have been doing some very powerful magic - I know it sounds incredible, but we've even heard that they managed to bring somebody back to life after the killing curse. What do you say about that, Professor?"

"The only thing I can say is that you shouldn't always believe the rumours you hear. You know how certain actions always seem to be blown out of all proportion."

"Yes - but not where Harry's involved. I'd like to interview him - and Hermione Granger. Especially since I've heard that they've become romantically involved."

"I can't allow that, Miss Skeeter. They're only fifteen years old, and they've only just completed their OWLS. I'm sure you remember how exhausted you were after you sat them?"

"Oh yes, Professor, I certainly do. Ok, if I can't have an interview with them, do you mind if I just ask around this morning? I want to find out more about the attack the other week - from the perspective of the students, that is."

"Be my guest, but please keep a sense of perspective. Young children tend to exaggerate and embellish things when they know they're in the spotlight. And please come and see me before you go - I'd like to know what will be appearing in the Daily Prophet about my school."

"I will, Professor. And thank you."

Dumbledore sighed heavily as he watched the reporter walk out of his office. He knew that she had a very keen eye for a good story, and hoped he'd be able to prevent anything sensational being reported.

Later that morning, Rita managed to persuade Sirius to give an interview. He was reluctant at first, when Dumbledore asked him, but relented when he heard that she was asking the other professors and students about him. He decided that if his story had to be told, it would be the true one.

After that, she wandered around the school corridors, stopping students at random, asking them about the Death Eater attack. It was just by chance that one of the students he stopped was Clare Bryant.

"Tell me, Clare. I've heard that you were hurt in the attack. What happened?"

Now Clare had been asked by Harry and Hermione not to say anything about her resurrection from the killing curse. But that didn't stop Clare singing their praises. She thought that everyone in the country would want to know how good and powerful they were.

"Well I can't tell you a lot," she said slowly, "but I did see Harry and Hermione protecting their friends from hundreds of those dreadful men. They managed to erect a powerful force field, and it stopped every curse that was thrown at them - even the killing curse."

Rita looked stunned. At last she'd had one of the more unbelievable rumours confirmed. She already knew that Harry and Hermione had expanded Wormtail's head so that everyone could see him.

She looked thoughtful as she wandered down towards the dungeons and the Slytherin common room. She stopped as she heard voices just around a bend in the corridor, and hid herself behind a suit of armour. She peeked between the body and arm of the armour and saw three boys ambling along. She couldn't believe her luck when they stopped right opposite her.

"So what's happening with Potter and Granger now?" asked one of the boys, who was quite large.

"I'm making sure my dad knows everything," said one of the others, a much thinner, blond-haired boy.

"Tell me again," said the third, very large boy. "What's these Anima Summas?"

"Shhh. Nobody's supposed to know about it," said the second boy. "I told you before. You mustn't talk about it outside the common room. Now come on - let's go."

Rita was deep in thought as she walked back up to the Entrance Hallway. 'What the devil are the Anima Summas? And what's it got to do with Harry and the Granger girl? Hmmm. I think I may be onto something here. Let's see what Dumbledore has to say about it.'

Later, Dumbledore sat looking at the reporter sitting at the other side of his desk. He could see that she had something up her sleeve.

"Well I think I've got everything I need, Professor," she said. "Sirius Black was very cooperative. Our readers are going to be amazed at what the poor man has had to go through, and how he's managed to come through it all relatively unscathed. The wizarding community are going to be very proud of him."

"Well I'm glad. He deserves all the support and respect we can give him."

"There is one thing, however," she said slyly.

'Here it comes,' thought Dumbledore.

"Like you asked, I didn't speak to Harry Potter or Hermione Granger. But I have heard some very strange things about them. Like blocking Avada Kedavra and every other curse the Death Eaters threw at them. Has this got anything to do with the Anima Summas?"

Dumbledore's eyes narrowed, and Rita knew that she'd hit a raw spot.

"What have you heard about that?" he asked.

"Oh, I just happened to overhear a conversation. What are the Anima Summas, Professor?"

Dumbledore was angry. "I don't approve of anybody snooping around listening to private conversations. And I can't tell you anything about the Anima Summas. I would advise you not to print anything about it in your paper - speculation may well lead to things which could be very dangerous, and we wouldn't want that, would we?"

"You wouldn't be trying to threaten me, Professor Dumbledore?"

"Of course not - I'd never threaten the press. I'm merely pointing out that there are things which the wizarding world are not yet ready to learn about."

"So there is something, Professor. I thought so."

"Please heed what I say, Miss Skeeter. It's very important."

"Well thank you, Professor. Thank you for a very informative visit."

After she'd left, Dumbledore got straight in touch with Cornelius Fudge and told him what had happened.

"Don't worry, Albus," he said. "I'll summon her to the ministry immediately. I'll make sure that nothing appears in the Daily Prophet about Harry and Hermione."


The following day saw the end of year feast and ball. Gryffindor easily won the house cup, and everyone had a great time at the dance. Ten friends sat around one of the many tables spaced about the sides of the Great Hall. Harry and Hermione, Ron and Lavender, Ginny and Neville, Parvati and Dean Thomas, and Kristen and Seamus Finnegan.

They had a great time, the relief in the fifth-years faces now their OWLS were over clearly showing. Half way through the evening, another strange thing occurred that made everyone in the hall stand and stare.

The band played a slow, romantic song - Moon River, which had become something of a standard at the end-of-year balls. Most of the students were up dancing, when a gasp went up near the centre of the floor. Every one looked in awe at the sight that confronted them.

Harry and Hermione, oblivious that everybody else had stopped, were dancing very close together. There was nothing strange about that - everybody expected it. What was unexpected was they were dancing on air - quite literally. And not only that - as they danced about three feet off the floor, they were both enveloped in a silvery light, which made the pair glow.

It was only when the music suddenly stopped, the musicians also gaping at the pair, that they knew that anything was wrong. As they broke apart, they drifted slowly back to the floor and the silvery glow disappeared. Everybody then started talking to them at once, wanting to know what had happened. They were grateful when Dumbledore rescued them and led them out of the room.

"You really must try to control your feelings when other people are around," he said, smiling at them.

"Sorry Professor," said Hermione. "We didn't know that anything strange was happening."

"No," he replied wistfully, "I'm sure you didn't. Well, on with the ball. Let's go back in, shall we?"

"What are we going to say?" asked Harry. "They'll all want to know how we did that."

"Oh, I think I've got the answer to that. And I'm sure that Fred and George won't mind admitting to a final prank before they leave Hogwarts - I'll go and speak to them now."

"But won't they be suspicious about the cover up?" asked Hermione.

"Oh I'm sure they will. But they're going to find out about it in the morning, anyway. I've called a meeting with my close aids. You two, Ron and Ginny need to be there, as well as Fred and George. I've asked Molly and Arthur Weasley to come, as well as your parents, Hermione. I think it only right that they be told about what's going on. We also need to discuss where you'll be staying over the summer holidays, and how you can be best protected. Right, now where did I see Fred and George last?"

"What was that all about, Harry?" Lavender asked when he and Hermione went back to their table. Harry just pointed to the other end of the room, where Dumbledore had Fred and George in tow as they made their way out of the room.

"Oh - them two!" said Parvati. "We should have known they'd do something on their final night at Hogwarts."

Dumbledore's office was full the next morning. Arthur and Molly, Arbuthnot and Millie, Fred and George were looking particularly apprehensive, not knowing why they'd been summoned to see the headmaster.

Millie Granger couldn't take her eyes off her daughter. She didn't know that she was finally with Harry, but she could see how radiantly happy she appeared to be. She couldn't wait to speak to her later.

After the introductions were over, Dumbledore started the meeting. "I'm sorry to be so secretive about this meeting, but I need to tell you something that's known to only a very few people. It's about Harry and Hermione primarily, but it also involves Ron and Ginny - they've been just as much a part of this as anybody. Now what I'm about to tell you will seem incredible, especially to the Grangers. I'd better start with the prophecy we had from the centaurs at the start of the school year …"

And so Dumbledore told them everything. At the end of his long talk, Molly sat thunderstruck, with her hands covering her mouth, and the Grangers just stared blankly at the headmaster. Only Arthur, Fred and George appeared relatively comfortable with what they'd been told.

"Do any of you have any questions? Anything you want me to clarify?" asked Dumbledore.

"Yes Professor," said Molly. "Why do Ron and Ginny have to be with Harry and Hermione on their next two quests. Surely, they've done enough?"

"Mum!" said Ron and Ginny together.

"Molly," said Arthur gently, "they're part of this. They were told at the end of the first quest that they have to be with them - it's been pre-ordained. And I'm sure that they'll get the very best of protection. Right, Headmaster?"

"Yes, Arthur. They'll have my best people with them. And don't forget - they'll also be protected by the power of the Anima Summas - we've already seen that happen when the Death Eaters attacked."

"Sorry, Professor," said Molly, "but they're all so young to be going through this."

"I know, Molly," said Dumbledore. "Mr and Mrs Granger - this must seem very strange to you both. Is there anything you wish to ask?"

"I can't get my head around my little girl being in so much danger, Professor," said Arbuthnot. "I know she'll be protected, but this Voldemort character seems to be the devil himself, from what you've said." Millie clutched her husband's hand, seeking comfort.

"I won't lie to you," said Dumbledore. "There is great danger - and what these four youngsters are trying to do is to save the whole world - not just the wizarding world. It's their destiny. And they've got our full support and help."

At that moment, Cornelius Fudge burst into the room, looking flustered. "Sorry to barge in, Albus. I need to talk to you urgently."

"Take a seat, Cornelius," said Dumbledore. "Everyone in the room knows about the Anima Summas, so you can speak freely."

"I'm under a lot of pressure from the press, and from some of the top men in my ministry - they've heard the rumours. I had to pull out all the stops to prevent anything appearing in the Daily Prophet and it's only a matter of time before they lose patience and publish something. There's only so much I can do. Look, I'll go public with the return of 'You Know Who' if you agree to release the Anima Summa story. The wizarding world will need to know that something is being done to fight the Dark Side, otherwise there'll be wholesale panic. What do you think?"

"I can see your dilemma, Cornelius. And I agree that we'll have to say something before long. Let me get the opinion of my team. Sirius? Harry's your godson, so you're opinion matters perhaps more than anyone's. What do you think we should do?"

Sirius reflected for a few moments. "I agree that we have to make the story known some time soon. And rumour and speculation appearing in the press would only confuse everybody - and it won't stop reporters snooping around any place that Harry and Hermione happen to be. I also agree that everyone should be told about 'You Know Who' - I'm sure you'll agree, minister, that we'll be able to recruit more Aurors as soon as that's known."

Fudge nodded his head in agreement.

"But we can't forget one thing," continued Sirius, "or should I say four - the four youngsters at the centre of it all. It's them that will be thrust into the limelight - I think the final decision on when we go public must rest with them. They'll need to prepare themselves for all the attention, and we'll need to prepare to make sure that attention is kept to a minimum."

There were nods of approval from all Dumbledore's team.

"You make a lot of sense, Sirius," said Dumbledore. "Well Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny. What thoughts do you have on this?"

The four looked at each other, then Harry spoke, "Professor, this has come as a bit of a surprise to us all, I think." He looked at his friends to see them nodding. "Do you think we could have some time to talk about it - amongst ourselves as well as with you, Sirius and the others?"

"Of course, Harry," said Dumbledore. "What do you say, Cornelius? I think it's only fair that they be given some time."

"Yes, Albus - I agree. I can keep the wolves at bay for a little while longer."

"Right," said Dumbledore. "School finishes today and you start your summer holidays. Now we don't know when you'll receive details of the next quest, but I think it will be very soon now. I think you should aim to get this distraction out of the way as soon as you can - let me know what you decide. And it goes without saying, of course, that you can speak to me, or any of my team, if you need any help or advice."

"Thank you, Professor," said Harry, "but we'll need to be together to decide. There're only a few hours before we have to catch the Hogwarts express."

"Ah - that brings me to the next item on the agenda - and one of the reasons I've asked the families to be here today. We have to decide where you'll be staying this summer. This is how I see it. First, the rings have told Harry and Hermione that they must not be apart. I don't think that the Dursleys will want an uninvited guest for the summer, so I don't think, Harry, you shouldn't go back there this year."

"Yes!" shouted Harry. Then a quieter, "Sorry," as everybody looked at him.

"Second. Ron and Ginny have to be fully protected. Third, at the moment, it's impractical to split my support team between the four of them. This draws me to only one conclusion - all four of them have to be together for the summer."

The four friends grinned and nodded their approval.

"So that brings me to a difficult question - where should they all stay for the summer?"

"No problem," said Arthur. "They can all stay with us at The Burrow - I can easily add a few more rooms on the east side of the house. There'll be plenty of room, won't there Molly?"

"Yes, Arthur, of course there will," said a smiling Molly Weasley.

"And Ginny and I'll chaperone these two," said a grinning Ron.

"We'll help with that, Ron," said George.

"Yes - we've got this new creaking-floorboards charm we're working on," said Fred.

"Boys!" said an angry-looking Molly. "That's a terrible thing to say."

Harry and Hermione both blushed furiously.

"Mr and Mrs Granger," said Dumbledore, "you are the ones who'll be affected most by this. I'm afraid you won't have your daughter around for the summer. What are your thoughts on the matter?"

"I think I speak for Arbuthnot as well," said Millie as she looked for her husband's nod of approval. She also glanced at Fred and George. The high-pitched strangled sounds coming from them, and the way they kept their heads down, testified to their mighty struggle not to burst into laughter at Arbuthnot's name.

Millie continued, "The most important thing for Hermione is that she's kept as safe as possible. So we agree. But I would ask one thing, Molly - can we visit your home during the summer to see her?"

"Of course you can, Millie. You can come whenever you like - you can even spend your holidays with us if you so wish."

"That'd be great," added Arthur. "You can fill me in on all the things going on in the Muggle world, Arbuthnot."

Again, there were more strangled noises from Fred and George.

"Well that's settled then," said Dumbledore. "Molly, I won't ask you to make room for Sirius, Ceri and Remus - but can they stay in wizarding tents in your garden? They need to keep an eye on the kids over the summer."

"No problem," replied Molly. "We can just add a few more rooms to the west side of the house - it'll be great with so many people around."

"Thank you, Molly. Right, everybody - it's lunchtime. Let's all go down, shall we?"

As they all walked down to the Great Hall, Millie asked Hermione and Harry to stop. She went to them and looked her daughter directly in the eye. "Are you happy, Hermione?"

"Oh yes Mum," she said as she hugged her mother. "I've never been happier."

Millie smiled as she released her daughter. "I'm so glad you found each other - you looked perfect together in France. But please, be careful - both of you."

"We will Mrs Granger," said Harry. "I won't let anything happen to her."

That afternoon, the four said a sad farewell to Kristen. "With luck, we'll see you in the new school year," said Harry. "We've got that match with your school, don't forget."

"And where Harry goes, we go," said Ron, smiling.

"So long, you four," said Kristen as she held the Portkey. "It's been great knowing you all."

"'Bye Kristen," they all said as the girl disappeared with a slight 'pop.'

"So, Ginny," said Fred as they all waited for the coaches that would take them to Hogsmeade railway station. "What have you got in store for Malfoy today?"

"Oh," she replied, "somehow, I don't think we'll be seeing him on this trip. I think he's learned his lesson - don't you?"