It was early in the morning and the bright desert sun was just rising above the tops of the great pyramids of Egypt as a lone wizard appeared riding rather unsteadily on a broomstick. A dusty colored owl flew next to him. The wizard was having a little bit of trouble seeing where he was going, as his vision was blurred and he wasn’t quite sure if he was going in the right direction. He had had a late night partying. Suddenly he blinked and shook his eyes to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating. But he wasn’t. It seemed that a large, blue fireball was heading straight towards the middle pyramid. He was watching it so intently that he didn’t see the ground before he hit it. His broomstick splintered and he was thrown off it, just as the collision between the fireball and the pyramid shook the ground. The bewildered wizard gaped at the huge hole blown into the entrance and at the horrifying sign of a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth that formed just above it. Suddenly, a dark cloaked figure emerged from the rubble and ran straight towards him. He hurried pulled out a strip of paper, wrote a message on it, addressed it to the Ministry of Magic, tied it to the owl’s leg and told him to deliver it. He was watching it go, when a voice behind him whispered “Avadacadavra” and he turned around just in time to see the blast from a wand…
When Harry Potter woke up that Saturday morning, he knew that big things were going to happen that day. It was time for the first Quidditch game of the year and Gryffindor was going to play against Slytherin. Harry was just as eager as everybody else, but it was different for him, as he was the seeker for his team. These thoughts were running through his head as he dressed and went down to the Common Room
There was no one there, so he went on to the Great Hall where breakfast was being served and the daily Owl Post was just arriving. He took his seat in between his friends Hermione and Ron, and began to serve himself some eggs, as he didn’t see his own owl Hedwig among the others.
Hermione, however, grabbed her morning copy of the Daily Prophet, took one glance and the headlines and said, “Look at this! It says here that You-Know-Who has been sighted in Egypt and has taken up residence inside one of the pyramids. Except that the only witness to this event was a wizard who happened to be wandering around in the desert at the time and who also happened to be half drunk, which is why he had steered his broom the wrong way and ended up in the desert in the first place, which, of course, makes his story a little unreliable.”
“Perhaps it’s a trick,” suggested Harry and his friends shrugged. He decided not to worry about it, but instead to think about that afternoon’s game. He hoped he would be able to catch the Snitch this time. Last time, his Firebolt had broken for no apparent reason and he had spent the rest of the weekend in the medical wing with a twisted ankle.
The rest of the morning went rather quickly and after lunch, Harry went to meet the rest of the team before the game. This time, however, there was a surprise for them. “Hello, team!” said Oliver Wood, Gryffindor’s beater. “We just got a new shipment of brooms for us. These are Nimbus 2003s!” There were murmurs of “cool!” and everybody gathered around. “What’s more, they have everybody’s names imprinted on them, so just be sure you pick out the correctly labeled one.”
Harry found his and looked at it admiringly. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to use the school’s spare broom while beating his old enemy. After giving them all a few more instructions, the team went out and the game began. Unfortunately, it was a poor beginning. Right from the start, Slytherin scored 2 points just like that and one of the Gryffindor players was knocked clear off his broom and had to be carried off the field.
It wasn’t looking like it was going to improve, when all of the sudden Harry spied the Snitch as it buzzed like a bee just behind Malfoy, you happened to be looking for it everywhere but behind himself. Harry sped towards him. “Where are you going, Potter?” laughed Draco when he saw Harry coming at him full blast. “Don’t you know it’s against rules to purposely knock someone out?”
Harry ignored him and went around Malfoy as the Snitch went off in a new direction. At that point, Malfoy saw the Snitch too. “Hey!” he shouted and sped off after Harry. Fortunately, Harry had his new Nimbus and he quickly gained on the Snitch, leaving Draco far behind. Suddenly he saw a Bludger coming straight towards him. He tried to move out of its way, but it smashed into his broom too quickly. The entire thing splintered and Harry went screaming to the ground. The last thing he saw before he blacked out was Draco fly over him, reach out and grab the Snitch in midair.
When Harry woke up, he was lying in a bed in the medical wing. Hermione, Ron and Madame Pomfrey were watching him anxiously. “Thank goodness you finally woke up, my boy,” said Pomfrey, sound relieved. “You took such a nasty knock on the head that we were beginning to wonder…”
“I’m quite alright,” Harry assured her, even though he grimaced as he felt the lump the size of an egg that had grown on the back of his head. “What kind of Bludger was that to destroy my broom so completely? They’re not usually so aggressive.”
“We’re not quite sure,” Hermione replied. “It looked like it had been made of glass. Ron and I ran down to the field and Ron picked it up, but Professor McGonagall grabbed it from him quickly and told him that it wasn’t to be played with and tucked it away into her robes.”
“She seemed to be awful interested in it,” put in Ron. “Maybe it’s some sort of crystal ball that shouldn’t be flying around Quidditch fields.”
“Of course it shouldn’t have been flying around Quidditch fields, whatever it was,” said Hermione, matter-of-factly. “Perhaps by this evening somebody will have heard something. We’ve got to go, Harry, it’s time for dinner. We’ll see you again later.”
Harry asked Madame Pomfrey how long he would have to stay there and she said that if he was lucky, he could leave the next morning.
Sure enough, on Sunday, just after breakfast, Harry said he was feeling ten times better and he was pronounced cured. He left the medical wing and made his way towards Gryffindor House, when suddenly he heard voices. He quickly chanted the new spell he had learned, “Sine Umbra,” which made him transparent. It was as close as he could get to invisible.
Soon, he saw two people come around the corner. They happened to be Dumbledore and McGonagall and they happened to be talking about the mysterious Bludger. “I had a look into that stone the other night,” Dumbledore was saying. “There is no more doubt about it. It is most certainly a Palantir.”
“A what?” asked McGonagall, a puzzled expression on her face.
“Do you mean to say, Minerva, that you’ve never heard of a Palantir of Middle-earth?” asked Dumbledore. “Then I shall explain: Middle-earth is another world far different from our own, but with its own wizards and goblins and trolls. Its world is only finishing its third age. But despite its lack of modern technology, the magic there is no less powerful then ours. A Palantir is a sort of crystal ball that is used by wizards there. In fact, there is a very famous wizard from there called Gandalf the Grey. You may have heard of him?”
“Indeed I have read of him, but I had no idea that he was an otherworldly wizard I was reading about,” said McGonagall. “But if all this is true, what is a thing from there doing here and how did it get here?”
“I myself have no explanation,” said Dumbledore. “But we must be more cautious and watchful. More significant things than seeing-stones could begin turning up.”
“How do you know so much about Middle-earth, anyway?” asked McGonagall, curiously.
“As to that,” Dumbledore explained. “There are many secret rooms in this castle, many of which nobody will ever know about. I happened to stumble across one of them once and found myself in a great but very old library filled with ancient writings. One of them was called The Red Book and in this book was the entirety of Middle-earth’s history.” He was still explaining as the two professors hurried away and Harry, sighing with relief because his spell had just run out, ran to the Common Room where he found his friends and told them what he had heard.
“We have some news too, though not nearly so interesting as yours,” said Hermione. “We’ve been invited to tea with Hagrid this evening.” So that evening, the three of them headed out into the courtyard, covered in Harry’s Invisibility Cloak. It was already dark, and a heavy fog had come out, but the lights were on at Hagrid’s cottage, so they made their way easily. Suddenly, they heard a rustling in the bushes nearby and Harry thought he saw the sheen of shiny skin.
“Stay here, guys,” he said. “I think Dobbie might be over in the bushes.” He went over to the bushes and called out, “Dobbie, if you’re in there, it’s me Harry. Come on out.” Out of the bushes came a very un-Dobbie hiss and suddenly a lean, starved, slimy creature with huge green eyes leaped out and onto Harry. He wrestled him to the ground and began throttling him.
“Nasty hobbit!” the creature growled. “They stole my precious. We’ll kill all of them now!” But in an instant a huge club came down on his head and knocked him clean out. Harry lay there gasping for breath and looked up at the giant figure of Hagrid while Hermione and Ron ran to join them. “What in the world is that thing?” Ron yelled, a look of disgust on his face. “It stinks, whatever it is.”
“Dunno,” said Hagrid, looking at it with a puzzled expression. “Haven’t heard tell of something like it in all my studies of magical creatures. I suppose we’d best take him to Dumbledore. He’ll know what to do with him.” He hoisted the slimy creature into his arms and all four of them went to the headmaster’s office. Hagrid knocked and Dumbledore told them to come in.
“Lemon sherbet,” was the password and slowly, the magnificent statue of the griffon turned and they found themselves in Dumbledore’s vast office, covered with paintings of famous wizards from all around the world. “Well, my friends, what seems to be the problem?” asked Dumbledore. “Not another strange appearance, I hope.”
“That’s exactly what it seems to be, sir,” Hagrid said as he flopped the limp body onto the desk. Dumbledore took one look at it and his face turned pale. With obvious effort, he contained himself and told them that he would take good care of it and that they shouldn’t worry. He then shoved them out of the door, leaving them very puzzled. The night gradually became a lot more foggy, much foggier than usual. Then suddenly out of the dense fog came a voice that said, “Where has that dratted Gollum gone? Why didn’t he wait?” The other voice called out hoarsely, “Smeagol!” and then more clearly, “Which way did you go?”
“Hey, Mister Frodo, that poisonous stench has gone away and what’s this moisture in the air? You don’t suppose it’s us who’ve stumbled down the wrong tunnel in the dark?” said the first voice.
“I don’t think so, Sam, but I must rest. It is getting so heavy these days. Let’s just sit here and go to sleep. Maybe Gollum will come back and find us again. I can’t keep my eyes open.” The second voice sounded very tired indeed.
“Alright, master, let’s have a rest then. But don’t you think that I should stay awake and keep watch?” suggested the first voice.
“No, I don’t think it’s needed, Sam, for I feel suddenly safe and the burden is suddenly lighter. This is getting strange, though, because it feels like we’re sitting on grass…” Then the two voices drifted off to sleep until morning. It was just after breakfast when the owners of the voices were discovered by Harry and Ron who were taking a little walk before classes.
Suddenly they stopped and stared in amazement at the two small figures who were sitting on the lawn asleep, their backs leaning against the wall of Gryffindor House. It was not their figure that was so strange, in fact they seemed to be just the same height as Harry and Ron, though their faces seemed to be a bit more careworn. But their costumes were strange indeed. Harry also noted with interest the small short daggers the figures had and the chain that was around one of their necks.
Suddenly, the two sleeping figures opened their eyes, stood up, pulled out their swords and pointed them at the two startled boys, eying them warily. “Who are you? You don’t seem to be orcs, but then you don’t seem to be anything else that belongs in these lands. Whose side are you on?” asked the one with black hair, who also seemed to have very bright blue eyes.
Ron muttered something about being “not sure,” but Harry said, “I am called Harry Potter and this is my friend Ron Weasley. We don’t know what you mean by orcs and about being on anybody’s side, but I do know that you are on school grounds, and therefore you should be the ones telling us who you are.”
“Forgive us, as we meant no offense, but it was important for us to know who you were before we spoke,” said the one with black hair. “If you had seen the things we have and been through the things we have, you would also have been wary. But I am Frodo Baggins, son of Drogo and this is my servant Samwise Gamgee. We are here on a quest and we have apparently come out of our way, so if you mean us no harm, please let us continue on our way, or at least to find our way again.
“Professor Dumbledore probably can help you find your away again to wherever you are going,” suggested Frodo. “Come with us and we’ll take you to meet him.” So, after nudging Ron in the ribs to remind him to stop gawking, the two boys led them to Dumbledore’s office. But the moment their eyes met Dumbledore, the two strangers ran to him and shouting, “Gandalf! Is it really you?”
“Good heavens!” said Dumbledore in surprise. “I haven’t heard that name in some time. No, I am not the famed wizard, but an admirer of him to be sure. But who are these two that bring up his name, Harry?” After hearing an explanation, the headmaster nodded and said, “You are almost late for class, so run along you two and I will take good care of our friends here.”
So, after casting curious glances back at Frodo and Sam, Harry and Ron went off to find Hermione and tell her what had happened. Meanwhile, the professor spent some time looking the strangers over and then finally going to a cupboard and pulling out an old, strangely shaped pipe and some equally strange looking tobacco. “How about some Long-bottom leaf?” he suggested.
“Most wonderful!” said Frodo and then he and Sam pulled out some pipes of their own. After all pipes were lit and all three people were sitting there, puffing away, Frodo asked, “Since you do not know Gandalf but have heard of him, and you also know about this leaf, then you must know something about hobbits.”
“Indeed yes, though the word hobbit has not been heard here for a very long time and it seems very strange that they should appear here,” said Dumbledore thoughtfully. “I seem to remember reading about a Frodo Baggins somewhere. It seemed that he was on a great quest to save Middle-earth from destruction.”
“We are!” Sam told him, before Frodo could speak. “In fact, we are on our way to Mordor so we could cast the great Ring of power into the fires of Mt. Doom. A creature called Gollum was leading us there, when we got separated in a tunnel and we seemed to have taken a wrong turn and ended up in a most different place. And now, if it’s not too much trouble and not wanting to cause any inconvenience, we would like to resume our quest.”
“Of course you should, but it is not as easy as it seems and it will take me some time to think of a way to be able to do this,” said Dumbledore. “I suggest you stay here for the time being. I will assign Harry and his friends to watch over you. You will be safe here as anywhere. But the Ring should not be kept around your neck like that. I will give you this to keep it in.”
He procured an extremely small box, about the size of a coin. “Give me the Ring, Frodo,” he said, but Frodo protectively covered the Ring and asked warily, “Why should I? After all, you’ve treated us fairly and claim to know something about us, but maybe this is all a trick. Perhaps you’ll take the Ring and use it to evil purposes. Maybe you are some sort of spy of Sauron.”
“Perhaps I am, but if I was, I doubt I would’ve have treated you kindly thus far. I would have killed you on sight,” said Dumbledore. “But you are wise to be cautious. You have my solemn vow that I will not use the Ring or hand it to any enemy, of this you can be sure.” So Frodo, though still reluctantly, handed it over.
Dumbledore waved his wand over it and spoke some words. The Ring suddenly disappeared and he gave the box to Frodo. “There, I believe a servant of the enemy wouldn’t have done that or given it back to you. Only a hobbit can open it now, though I can’t tell you how. You must figure it out for yourself, but I don’t think you’ll need it here. Now, I will summon Harry to take you two to Gryffindor house and settle you in.”
Frodo turned to Sam, who shrugged. “Very well, gracious sir, we will accept your invitation for the time being,” he said. “But please hurry to find a solution, as time is still ticking in Middle-earth.” Just then Harry came in and Dumbledore explained everything to him. Harry listened carefully. Then two hobbits bowed and left with him. Soon, they were introduced to Hermione, who was pleased to exhibit her knowledge of hobbits, “According to a book in the library, hobbits are short creature who intend to be rather fat around the middle…”
“I beg your pardon, miss, but we do not!” interrupted Sam indignantly.
Hermione pretended not to hear and continued, “They also tend to have slightly curly hair and like to have at least 6 meals a day. They are quiet plain folk and dislike adventures…”
“If we dislike adventures so much, what do you think we are doing?” said Sam angrily; and Ron, red-faced and embarrassed, hastily stopped the conversation by changing the subject,
So the two hobbits remained in Gryffindor common room for the remainder of the day. Most of the students had grown used to mysterious occurrences, so the sight of two outlandishly dressed students with hairy feet did not surprise them too much. But it seemed that many girls seemed to fall under some sort of giggling spell when they met Frodo and would only go away if Hermione told them to. Ron suspected it may have something to do with the hobbit’s big, blue eyes.
That evening, they decided to go and pay a visit to Hagrid and introduce him to their new friends. Unfortunately, the moment they entered the house, the slimy creature that had eventually been put in Hagrid’s care and was languishing in a cage, set out a loud shriek of rage and shouted, “Nasty, tricksy master! Steals away in dark tunnels and leaves more Smeagol to fend for himself and then be captured by nasty giants. Save us, nice hobbits, or he’ll spit us! Oh!”
“Shut up, ye wretched creature!” shouted Hagrid. “Or you’ll scare my special guests away. Pay no attention to him, young hobbits, he’s just a bit cracked, that’s what. We’ll ya’ll have some tea? It’s a nice recipe: rat’s tail tea!” Ron made a face of disgust, Hermione nudged him hard and politely declined for all of them.
But Frodo softly approached Gollum and spoke to him. Eventually, he managed to calm the creature and leave him whimpering softly in the corner of the cage, after being assured that the “giant” meant him no harm and certainly had no intention of spitting anyone. But Frodo’s face looked suddenly very weary and at the mere sight of Gollum, it seemed that he clutched at the chain around his neck to make sure the Ring was still there and then sighed with relief when he remembered the box in his pocket.
After a while, he relaxed again and that night, he slept better than he remembered for a long time. The next morning, they were eating breakfast when Dumbledore stood up and said in a loud voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement to make. Lucius Malfoy has gracious volunteered to be our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Let’s have a round of applause for him, shall we?” Slytherin of course erupted in cheers, but the rest of the room seemed to turn a bit paler. Nobody really liked any Malfoy.
Hence, when the Gryffindor students walked into the DADA classroom, they had to bite their tongues to keep from groaning aloud at the sights of large stacks of papers on each desk. “Today, class, we are going to read on vampires,” said Lucius, his long, yellow hair looking greasier than ever. “I’ve compiled some papers on the subject and if you get them all done and answer all questions correctly by the end of this session, then just maybe I’ll bring in a real vampire for us to study.”
Slytherin all grinned eagerly and Gryffindor noted with distaste that their piles were much taller than those of their opponents. Nevertheless, they all set to with a will. However, by the time the session was halfway done, most of them hadn’t read half of the stack yet, except for Hermione. Poor Ron was only on his 10th paper. Suddenly he stood up and kicked the whole pile off his desk.
“This is ridiculous,” he shouted. “I’m not going to be forced to do this junk. I can’t understand a word of it anyway. And anyhow, we’re too early to be doing vampires as it is. And look at Slytherin’s piles. They’re all so much shorter than ours. You can’t do this! I’ll report you to Dumbledore and get you fired and…and…” He faltered because suddenly Lucius was standing over him glaring lightning bolts.
“100 points from Gryffindor and a detention for Mr. Weasley here, who doesn’t know how to hold his tongue,” he said, his voice colder than ice, and then he stalked away. Gryffindor all gawked in surprise and then glared at Ron too, because he had cost them 100 points. Ron turned red, from both fury and embarrassment, and buried himself in his papers once more.
After class, Lucius pulled Harry aside and asked if he could meet the two hobbits that he had heard about. Harry agreed with a sigh and brought them him that evening. When Frodo and Sam were introduced to Lucius, he eyed them very curiously and told them that he had heard much about them from Professor Dumbledore, that he hoped that they enjoyed their stay and that the headmaster would find a way to transport them home soon. Then they left.
That night, in a basement room beneath Hogwarts, a pale hand reached out and drew the cover off of a small round globe on a table. A voice said, “My master, I am here in Hogwarts, as you instructed. I have learned that there are guests here. Two hobbits that claim to be from Middle-earth.”
A sharp hiss like an intake of breath and a voice that seemed to be everywhere and nowhere, “It can’t be. But then, perhaps it could. Your next assignment, my most loyal servant, is to bring to me whatever the hobbit has. It should be a ring, a small, gold, ordinary-looking ring, probably on a chain around his neck. I don’t care how you get it.”
“My lord, this ring seems to possess great powers, but Dumbledore has put all his trust in Potter to guard the hobbits. They are staying in Gryffindor. It will be easy to get in there and find the Ring,” said Lucius with a slightly nervous chuckle.
A deep, evil chuckle came and the voice said, ” Yes, of course Dumbledore would put them in the hands of Harry Potter.” The voice spat out the name like a profanity. “I must go now. Bring me the ring and you will be rewarded, my servant.”
Later that night, a dark, hooded figure came out of q classroom and headed towards the massive painting that guarded the entrance into Gryffindor house. Lucius took out his wand, pointed it at the figure of the fat lady on the painting and spoke softly, “Disintegrio pulvurum!” The entire painting disintegrated without a sound and the figure passed in. It quietly entered the bedrooms and approached the beds where Frodo and Sam slept. He spied the chain, still around Frodo’s neck and reach out his hands to the hobbit’s neck. Working with astonishing quiet, he began to withdraw the chain from under Frodo’s shirt.
Suddenly, a cat, hissing with rage, leapt onto the figure’s bending back and dug its claws in. The figure yelped in pain and shook the cat off onto Ron’s bed. “Get out of here, Crook-shanks you idiot!” shouted Ron and hurtled his pillow in the direction of the retreating cat Instead, the pillow landed on the bed of Ron’s brother Fred, who woke up and thought it was a midnight pillow fight. He threw the pillow back at Frodo, but his aim was poor in the dark and he struck Harry. Then everybody woke up and chaos reigned for several minutes.
Eventually everyone calmed down and Ron said that he thought he saw a cloaked figure leaving the bedroom. They searched the room thoroughly, but whoever it had been had slipped out of the room and out of Gryffindor during the confusion. But they did find the small box, which had somehow gotten across the room. They then went back to bed, but Frodo and Sam did not go back to sleep.
The next morning, the disintegrated painting was discovered. When Dumbledore found out, he called Frodo, Sam and Harry to his office. “This is most grave developments,” he said. “The Disintegration Spell is one of the unforgivable spells and should never have been used. Moreover, this thief seems to have been very daring. If the Ring had still been on the chain, who knows what would’ve happened.”
“I am unsafe wherever I go! I hope that you have called me here to present a solution to my problem, because I must leave as soon as possible,” pleaded Frodo. “My presence here is only a great danger to you and your school.”
“I have yet to discover a way back, but a new means of protecting the Ring more securely must be found and I believe that I have found it,” Dumbledore told him and he took from one of his drawers the Palantir that had destroyed Harry’s broomstick. “Give me the box, Frodo,” and the hobbit handed it to the wizard, who tapped it with his wand and spoke some words. The box disappeared and the Ring was once again out in sight.
Now, Harry had never actually seen the Ring and now that he did see it, a strange thing happened: the scar on his forehead began to hurt. In fact, it sent such pangs of pain through his skull that he had to sit down. This is strange, he thought as he sat there and held his head, that my scar should hurt at the sight of the Ring, when it usually does when Voldemort is near. Nobody noticed him however, because they were watching Dumbledore with great interest.
“I am going to use a most ancient spell that was used to place objects into seemingly solid objects,” said the professor. “You can only take out the thing placed within when some sort of magical occurrence is happening, but you may not need to use it again until I find a way to send you back and then no doubt while I make the spell to send you back, I can take it out.”
Having said this, his pulled an ancient book out of a shelf and opened it to a bookmarked page. Written on it was a lengthy spell. But Dumbledore once again waved his wand over the Palantir and spoke the spell very quickly. Suddenly there was a blinding flash of light and there was a small hole in the round ball. Dumbledore hastily took the Ring, placed it in the hole, and there was another blinding flash of light. When it had gone, the Palantir was as it always had been, only smaller.
Dumbledore gave it to Frodo, who placed it in his vest pocket and thanked the wizard for all that he had done. But the old professor smiled and said that it was nothing and sent them all out. By then, Harry had recovered and was trying to act like nothing had happened to him. On the way out, they ran into Draco, who glared at them and mumbled something about Dumbledore always choosing favorites.
Later on that night, another secret conversation was going on in a dark basement room. This time, the hissing voice sounded very angry indeed. “I told you to bring me the Ring, you insubordinate fool! And now you come to me with worthless excuses, this time something about the Ring not being on the chain. You should have had enough sense to use an invisibility charm and searched the room more thoroughly while the pillow fight happened. Perhaps I should find a more suitable servant, one who knows how to do these things?”
“Please don’t, my master,” whimpered the other voice, sounding very frightened. “But now I’ve heard word that Dumbledore has procured some sort of special hiding place for it. Who knows what he may have done? It’s impossible for me to even try to get the Ring, now. The hobbits are now with someone every day and even at night, Nearly Headless Nick patrols Gryffindor.”
“It’s clear to me now that Dumbledore has made it impossible for us to snatch the Ring from Hogwarts or even its grounds. Perhaps you are wondering why not just grab the hobbit and beat the Ring out of him? Because for me to use the Ring, its bearer must come to me and give me the Ring by choice, not force. Otherwise, I cannot tap into the power of the Ring. No, we must lure Frodo away from Hogwarts somehow. Here is what you must do: kidnap Harry Potter and bring him to me. I have invented a powerful spell that will allow you to whisk him away right out from anybody’s nose, though it would be better if you get him alone, so no one else is whisked away too.”
The next day, Harry, Ron and Hermione walked glumly out of Defense Against the Dark Arts and headed back to Gryffindor Common Room. When they found Frodo and Sam and were asked why they looked unhappy, Ron said, “That Malfoy gave us detention again and we didn’t even do anything. We get to go with Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest again on some stupid treasure hunt.”
“Maybe we can go with you,” suggested Frodo. “After all, we have nothing to do until Professor Dumbledore finds a solution and we’re very bored.” Their faces brightened at the idea and that evening, they approached Hagrid with the suggestion.
“I suppose it’d be alright,” agreed Hagrid. “But they’re to stay as close to us as possible. I’ve got the lantern ready and Fang is waiting. Tonight we’re going to find out what’s been bothering the spiders. They’ve been causing all kinds of trouble since this morning.” Ron’s face paled and Harry didn’t look particularly pleased, as they both remembered their last entanglement with the spiders. But they all went into the dark forest without any complaint.
As they plodded along, they eventually came across the results of the spiders’ anger. Suddenly there were wayward webs everywhere, but they looked hastily spun, as if their makers had been using them to run quickly from tree to tree. In places, they found huge scorched area as if fires had burned and even some burnt remains of deceased spiders. Soon, the stench of death and smoke became very near.
Suddenly, out of nowhere came spiders of all shapes and sizes. They dropped out of the trees and came out of the bushes. All of them came directly at Frodo and Sam. Leading them was an enormous spider who was saying in a bellowing voice, “There they are! It’s those two who have been burning out territories and killing our friends! Get them!”
Then everybody was running every which way to escape the spiders’ webs and slashing fangs. All the children and hobbits were separated, while Hagrid waved his lantern and shouted at the shouting spider, “See here, Aragog, why would hobbits burn forests? Come to your senses!” But nobody came to their senses and havoc reigned.
Frodo was suddenly very scared. He ran off into the forest, screaming at the top of his lungs, “Spiders! Get me out of here!”, though he no idea why. Harry, of course, knew that it was unwise for anybody to wander far away into the Forest alone, so he ran after him, calling for Frodo to come back. But Frodo continued running and eventually Harry lost him. Suddenly he realized how far he had tracked. The sound of the fight was now far off and he did not recognize anything.
Suddenly, a huge sack came over his head and he was kicked to the ground. As he struggled to free himself, he heard a strangely familiar voice uttering some unknown spell. Then there as a blinding flash that temporarily fried his vision. Then, the sack came off his head, but before he could even blink an eye or recover himself, the same familiar voice said, “Caput in vacuo!”. There was a clap like a whoosh of air and Harry blacked out.
Meanwhile, the battle with the spiders wasn’t getting very far. Hagrid was busy trying to talk reason into the spiders’ brains while clobbering any that tried jumping at him. Frodo and Sam were running all over the place, dodging webs and jabbing at spiders with their swords. Hermione was using various spells to get rid of them. She tried pointing her wand and shouting “shaz tsam ad murum!”, which successfully turned several of them into mice, which hurriedly scurried away. Then suddenly, all of the spiders disappeared.
Everybody was just beginning to catch their breaths, when Frodo crashed through the bushes, shrieking at the top of his lungs something about Harry being kidnapped. After they had gotten him to calm down and heard what he had to tell, they quickly brought him to Professor Dumbledore, who asked him, “Please tell me, calmly if possible, what exactly you saw, Frodo.”
“Well, when the spiders attacked us, I panicked and ran off into the woods,” Frodo explained. “I’m not sure why, though. Then of course, Harry ran after me and we got separated and rather lost for a couple of seconds. Then I ran back after realizing how foolish I was and saw just in time Harry tied up in a sack and a cloaked figure saying magic words and then there was a flash and they were both gone.”
“Voldemort! It has to be him,” said Dumbledore, without a moment’s hesitation. “Where was he last time I heard? Egypt, if the rumors are correct. But there’s no question that they are. That’s where he’s taken Harry, but why? Nevertheless, we must inform the Ministry of Magic to send a rescue party over there and get him back and then…”
“Excuse me, Professor Dumbledore,” interrupted Frodo. “But I feel that I should be the one to rescue him. After all, if I hadn’t have gotten so frightened and ran off, he wouldn’t have followed me and we wouldn’t have gotten separated and nothing would’ve happened. I feel responsible for him.”
“I was afraid that you’d say that,” sighed the wizard. “Unfortunately, I have reason for sending you as part of the rescue team, for I have found a way to send you back. You must be at a certain place and a portal will be opened, if only for a second. And during the brief period of magic when you are time traveling, you must take the Ring from the Palantir. You would also need these certain things, which I have prepared in a box for later, but I will give it to you for safekeeping. It also so happens that the certain place is inside the pyramid where Voldemort is supposed to be in hiding and where Harry supposedly is.”
“However, I find that the risk is too great this time. Voldemort most likely has the place heavily guarded. We will take care of your situation after he has been perhaps driven away and Harry has been brought back. It seems to me that it is better that those who are fully prepared to deal with such a foe should go.” When Frodo stood there for a long time not saying anything, Dumbledore added, “You know, Frodo, that this is most likely a trap. Voldemort does not really want Harry; it is you and your Ring that he wants. It is probable that you would be reduced to cinders before you could do anybody any good. Trust my judgment and leave Harry in other hands.”
Meanwhile, just as the team sent from the Ministry of Magic was leaving England, Harry was waking up again and after making sure nothing was waiting to knock him out, he stood painfully up and took his bearings. He discovered that he seemed to be in some sort of stone vault. He soon realized that the drawings on the walls were Egyptian hieroglyphs and to the left of him stood the great figure of some Egyptian god with the head of a falcon. Suddenly fear seized him and his scar began to ache tremendously. Then he saw him.
Standing near a giant sarcophagus that lay on the ground was an incredibly skinny man wearing a long black robe. Strapped to his side like a sword was a wand with evil figures carved on it. The man’s face was flat, almost like a snake’s and he had two red slits for eyes. But he smiled at Harry in almost a friendly manner, though it made Harry shudder. “What do you want with me this time, Voldemort,” he managed.
Voldemort laughed and said in a hissing voice, “So, how pleasant to know that you remember me. Perhaps this time we won’t try to kill each other. Maybe this time I can talk some sense into you and push out of your head the bosh that Dumbledore taught you.”
“Dumbledore is twice the wizard that you are or ever were or ever will be,” Harry shouted back defiantly, though he knew it probably wasn’t true.
Indeed, Voldemort laughed again and continued, “An interesting observation. If that is so, then why hasn’t he rescued you yet? In fact, if he is so powerful, how could you have been captured so easily and on Hogwarts’ own ground?” When Harry did not answer, he said, “You see? It is obvious that I am the more powerful. But perhaps you are wondering why you are here. I will explain.”
“You see, Harry, the Ring is a very powerful tool and in the hands of the wrong person, it can cause considerable damage. But in the hands of the right person, the Ring can do some good in this world. You understand, of course, that the original maker of this ring intended it for the good of his world, but the people mistook his intentions and rebelled against him.”
“From the great amounts of security that Dumbledore placed on it and the fact that he didn’t take it himself, that is not what I understand,” said Harry. “Nor will your soothing words convince me otherwise.”
“Very well,” Voldemort said coldly. “I was hoping to change your mind and free you from the lies that many have obviously sown. However, since you cannot be convinced, perhaps Frodo can. His friends will pose a nuisance of course, but I think I can divert their attention for awhile.” Suddenly, he clapped his hands and Lucius Malfoy came out from behind a corner. “Bring me the body,” he commanded and Lucius scurried off for a minute and came back bearing the body of a man.
Voldemort opened up the sarcophagus, revealing the disheveled mess of cloth within. He heaved the body up with incredible strength despite his thin frame and placed the body in the coffin. While doing so, the cloth covering the face fell off and Harry recognized it to be darkly colored.
“This, my boy, is the body of the unfortunate Egyptian wizard who happened to spot my landing here,” Voldemort explained, as he shut the sarcophagus. “And now watch and I will prepare the monster who will keep your friends from rescuing you.” He pulled out his wand and waved it over the chest, chanting dark, sinister words as he did so. A loud explosion rent the air and pieces of the coffin flew.
Lying in place of the body was a magnificently preserved mummy. But instead of being dead, it stood up and began walking around. “Listen to me, least of my servants,” said Voldemort and the mummy turned its head towards his voice. “Go and guard the entrance and destroy everyone who comes in, except for two people the same height as boys that will be wearing slightly medieval clothes and will both have swords.” The mummy inclined its head and walked out of the room. Harry watched it go and wondered what good a worthless mummy would be against two kids and two hobbits. Then Lucius came and tied him up again.
Meanwhile, Frodo approached his three friends and told them that he had had a strange dream. “I saw the team of people that the Professor has send to rescue Harry, but as they were nearing the pyramid, it seemed that a dark terror was coming at them and swallowing them whole,” he said. “They aren’t going to make it to Harry, I just know that they aren’t. I feel that it’s my job to rescue him and my responsibility.”
Ron looked at him anxiously and said, “Don’t worry, Frodo, we’re with you whatever you decide to do.” He looked at the others’ doubtful faces and said less hopefully, “Isn’t that right?”
“You know that I’m with Mister Frodo, whatever he does,” said Sam. “After all, I made a promise.”
They all looked at Hermione, who was frowning. Finally she said, “Very well, if you all insist, but I do not think that this is very good idea. We could get into big trouble and we’ll have to break millions of school rules.”
“When has that ever stopped us?” said Ron cheerfully. “What do we do?” Ron was assigned the task of borrowing Harry’s invisibility cloak and going to find 2 Nimbus 2003s. Hermione did extensive research on the library on time portals and thought she knew what Dumbledore had intended to do. They knew that they couldn’t fly from Hogwarts directly without being spotted, so it was decided to sneak aboard the Hogwarts Express and take off from London straight to Egypt.
Soon, Frodo and Sam had gotten together everything they had, which was mostly in Sam’s large backpack. Frodo also had in his pocket Gollum in a cage, which Hermione had shrunk for him. Hermione and Ron had their broomsticks, their wands, and not very much else. The box was also in Sam’s pack. Sam would ride with Ron and Frodo would ride with Hermione. They all knew that the trip would be dangerous, as a fierce storm was predicted in the weather for across the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea.
On the train ride to the London (they managed to sneak onboard an empty boxcar), they discussed what they should do if they should meet Voldemort while rescuing Harry or opening the portal. “If we have to, Frodo can pretend to offer the Ring to him and then one of us will pull the hocus-pocus spell on him,” suggested Hermione. “He won’t expect that. We’ll call it Plan B”
“But, which spell is that?” asked Ron, his expression completely lost.
“You mean you don’t know the simplest spell of them all, so simple that a wand isn’t even needed?” asked Hermione in shock. “Why, the hocus-pocus spell is even done by toddlers. It simply removes the smallest object you are looking at and places it in the pocket of somebody else. It’s quite easy. You do it like this. Hocus pocus!,” and then they all laughed at Ron’s shock when the sandwich he was eating disappeared and appeared quite mushed in his back pants pocket.
In Egypt, four black-cloaked figures suddenly apparated in front of the Great Pyramid. They softly and quickly approached the new doors and waited for signal from their leader. The tallest of them seemed to listen carefully for a few minutes and then nod his head. They pulled out four dangerous-looking wands and walked quietly into the pyramid. As they went in, the moonlight glittered briefly on their Ministry of Magic badges.
Meanwhile, the train had arrived at London and the four of them piled out. It was raining and the wind was blowing. Huge, pent-up storm clouds were gathering on the horizon. “Are you sure we have to fly out in all this?” asked Ron, looking unhappy and shouting to be heard over the storm.
“We haven’t got any choice if we want to get to the portal in time,” Hermione shouted back at him. “I’m going to have to put a speed spell on our broomsticks as it is, if we want to get there in time.” Then she and Ron got out their brooms and climbed aboard. Sam hastily climbed on behind Ron and clung onto him with all his might as Ron ordered, “Up!” and up they went, hovering there in the air. Frodo was a bit slower in climbing on behind Hermione, mostly because he wasn’t sure where to cling onto her.
Eventually, they were all in the air. Hermione pointed her wand at her broomstick and shouted, “Velocitus!”, did the same to Ron and off they went like a shot. Then suddenly, the rains came down in a torrent and the wind blew furiously, practically knocking everybody off their brooms and knocking the brooms into the sea. Ron was shouting, “Don’t squeeze so tight, Sam, I can’t breathe!” and Hermione was shouting, “Hold tighter, Frodo, or you’ll fall!” and neither was doing any of those things and the brooms were battling against the elements.
On they went, flying relentlessly for 10 hours. Below them, the storm still raged. They could see trees bending against the strong winds, they could hear mighty waves breaking and thunder cracking, occasionally they had to dodge lightning bolts. Still they flew on until they could feel the spell beginning to wear off and they could see the sands of Egypt. They went down for a landing, but the strain was too much for the super-fast brooms and just before they hit the ground, the brooms burst into flame and all four of them hit the ground hard and lay there.
In the pyramids, the mummy walked into the room carrying with him a black-cloaked body. He threw it onto the pile of three others. He turned and walked out into the passageway, stepping and breaking a dangerous-looking wand as he went. Yes, it had been fun to drive the poor fools around the mazes for 10 hours before killing them, he thought to himself as he made he way to the main room. When he got there, Lucius laughed gleefully and said, “It was as simple as that to get rid of Dumbledore’s toy soldiers!”
“Yes, I should have known that he would send the Ministry out after us. He is that foolish,” said Voldemort, softly. “And now, go and await the coming of our younger friends, for they will be here nonetheless, in spite of whatever Dumbledore has told them.” The mummy bowed and headed back towards the entrance, where the four travelers had just arrived after waking up rather painfully.
“This doesn’t look quite right,” said Ron uncomfortably. “I wouldn’t be thinking that You-Know-Who is expecting visitors and even if he was, he still wouldn’t leave his front doors hanging open and unguarded.”
“It probably is guarded in some other way and he probably is expecting us,” said Frodo. “Dumbledore said it was the Ring that is wanted and so there is most likely a trap waiting for me. However, we must begin to get prepared.” Hermione took out a piece of paper and read the ingredients needed for the potion she thought was needed. The first one was a handful of sand, so Sam took up one before they entered the great tomb.
As they walked down the passage, they looked about for some water. Frodo and Sam knew that they couldn’t spare any out of the water-bottles they had, as those were needed for the days ahead in Mordor. As they were contemplating these things, they suddenly heard the sounds of many feet. “Somebody’s coming!” shouted Ron, readying his wand and Hermione quickly did the same thing.
Out of the darkness ahead of them suddenly swarms of spiders that were rushing along the floor towards them. “You were right, there is some sort of trap,” said Hermione. “Ron and I will lead them away, while you two must go and open the portal.”
“Very well,” Frodo shouted back and caught the box that she threw at him. Then the two of them split up down two passages. Odd enough (or so it seemed to the hobbits), the spiders and the figure of the man wrapped in cloth who appeared shortly after ignored them completely and set off after Hermione and Ron. Frodo and Sam shrugged and went off down the main passage.
Suddenly, they were in a huge room elaborately decorated with Egyptian designs and on the left wall stood the giant statue of the falcon-headed god Osiris described to them by Hermione. The next thing they saw was Harry, tied up on the other side of the room and near him an empty sarcophagus. “Mister Harry, I’ll get you free while Mister Frodo sets up the potion,” Sam said as he ran to Harry’s side and pulled out his dagger.
While Sam cut bonds, Frodo got out the box, opened it up and looked with distaste at the discolored powder inside. Nevertheless, he threw in the sand and waited for something to happen. When nothing did, he suddenly realized that they didn’t have the water. “Stay here with Harry, Sam. I’ve got to find some water!” he shouted, then grabbed the box and ran out of the room.
Meanwhile, the mummy still pursued Hermione and Ron up and down many passages. The two children were beginning to become exhausted. “We can’t keep this up for much longer,” said Ron, panting as they stopped to rest when the footsteps behind them were farther away. “Find some sort of spell to get rid of these blighters.”
“I could try to turn him them into flower, but I’m not sure that will work on so many,” suggested Hermione. When the hideous things came alarmingly close, Ron nodded eagerly to her and she readied her wand and pointed it at them. “Ex humanus ad florum!” she shouted and suddenly the spiders became a large patch of daises.
“Well, that takes care of that then,” said Ron, with a sigh of relief. As they began to turn the next corner however, they both ran into the mummy who reached out his hands and grabbed Hermione around the neck. Ron ran right past them and turned around when he heard Hermione cry out, “Ron, help me! It’s strangling me!”
Ron gave a great shout and ran back. Seeing the massive figure crushing Hermione to the ground, he panicked and ran even faster, suddenly slipping on the rock floor and sliding right into the mummy, his wand pointed outwards and digging into the mummy between his wrappings upon the collision. Ron was so stunned, that Hermione barely whispered the words again “Ex humanus ad florum” and the mummy fell from her and turned into a rather dusty colored sunflower. They both took a moment to catch their breaths and ran off again only to run into…
“Frodo, what are you doing here?” asked Hermione. “You’ve only got thirty more minutes until the portal will be openable. Looking for water? Ron and I passed some sort of basin back there. Let’s go look.” So they backtracked for a bit until they came to the metal basin which served as a drinking fountain for tourists in the summer. Inside was just a mouthful of water. They scooped it into the box with their hands and stirred it with their fingers, then ran back to the pharaoh’s chamber.
There, standing just in front of the statue was Voldemort. “Hello, my dear Frodo Baggins,” he said most conversationally. “I’m so pleased that you all could come and visit me.” Near him were Sam and Harry, now both of them tied up and guarded by Lucius, who was grinning.
Frodo looked at his friends and Hermione mouthed “Plan B” to him. He nodded and turned to Voldemort defiantly. “Let my friends go,” he said. “It’s me you want. Me and my magic ring, but I don’t intend for you to get either of them.”
“Is that what you think?” said Voldemort. “You are a most astute thinker, then. It is the Ring indeed that I want. I’ve tried to get it before, but unfortunately my servant failed the first time, but succeeded in capturing Harry for me and that led you to me. Now that you are here, I intend for you to give me what I want, regardless of what you just said. You will give me the Ring, Frodo.”
Frodo remained unmoved. “I say again, you will have neither me nor the Ring. Now, let my friends go, or if you will not, we will simply release them.” Suddenly Ron, in his impatience, did not wait for Voldemort to answer and ran to Harry and Sam to free them. But Lucius grabbed him by the wrists and tried to hurl him back. Ron would not be hurled and wrestled with him to try and get past.
As the two stood locked together, Voldemort raised his wand and pointed it at Ron. “Look out!” Hermione shouted and when Ron turned his head and saw the wand, he relaxed his grip and relaxed his grip just as words came out of Voldemort’s mouth, “Disintegrio pulvurum!” Then Lucius gave a mighty heave and sent Ron spinning backwards. The heave also sent Lucius forward a bit to where Ron had been and then the spell hit him.
The impact of it smashed him against the wall and they all watched in horror as Lucius Malfoy began to fall apart. First his legs crumbled out from underneath him and then his arms fell away. His clothes fell off his body in clouds of dust and his body disintegrated quickly as well, leaving nothing but his head suspended in the air. “Master!” he shouted in despair as skin flaked off his skull and the bone itself split asunder and disappeared.
“What!” shouted Voldemort, frothing with rage. He turned to where Ron and Hermione were hastily cutting their friends’ bonds and shouted another spell, which sent strong ropes about them and held them fast. “Give me the Ring now or all your friends experience the same fate as my servant,” he yelled.
Frodo nodded solemnly. He withdrew from his vest pocket the Palantir and approached Voldemort, holding it out before him. Voldemort, eyed it warily and then laughed, muttering something about Dumbledore using old-fashioned magic, and reached out his hand to take it. Frodo looked at Hermione, but the rope had happened to go across her mouth, so she nodded to Ron.
Ron looked at her helplessly and then realized that of course he had no choice. He closed his eyes and imagined that he had his wand and was pointing it at the Palantir and then at the pocket on Sam’s coat. And he shouted just as Voldemort had almost snatched it, “Hocus pocus,” and suddenly, the Palantir completely vanished.
Voldemort stared in disbelief at Frodo’s empty hand just as Sam shouted “Now, Frodo!” and the hobbit hurled the box’s contents at the statue. There was a blinding flash of light and the statue fell in two halves onto the floor. There, gaping in the pyramid’s wall, was a doorway. Frodo pulled out his elven blade Sting, slashed Sam’s ropes and the two of them dashed into the open passage. “No!” shrieked Voldemort furiously and he lunged at them, but they disappeared and the door closed.
Frodo and Sam suddenly found themselves floating downwards in a tunnel that seemed to be spinning around them like a giant funnel cloud, with many other funnel clouds going off of it in different directions. Then several things happened at once. Sam dug the Palantir, which had grown back to the normal size, out of his pack. Then Gollum’s cage flew out of the pocket and burst open. Gollum shrieked and leapt at Sam, who yelled and shoved him hard, sending the creature spinning off down one of the tunnels.
“Quick, Mister Frodo!” Sam shouted and threw the Palantir to Frodo. He caught it and reached into it, for the opening had reappeared. They both saw the end of the tunnel approaching quickly, so he hastily drew out the Ring and just as the end of the tunnel was closing in over them, the seeing-stone and the tunnel vanished.
Shortly after the two hobbits disappeared, Voldemort realized that it was over and turned in a rage to destroy the two remaining students. He shouted disintegration spells at them, but Ron and Harry dodged the ones and directed at him and Hermione shot back counter-spells when she couldn’t dodge them. The three of them ran out of the room and ran off down a passage, while Voldemort still ranted behind them.
“Quick, guys, search the hieroglyphs on the walls!” said Hermione. “Look for the symbol of Hogwarts. There might be a port-key somewhere. We need to get out of here now.” Quickly, they scanned the walls for the well-known sign while Voldemort’s cries came closer. Suddenly, Ron said, “Here it is!” and he pointed at a very familiar hieroglyph under which was a small statue. They ran to it, grabbed it and just as Voldemort rounded a corner and shot another spell at them, they were whisked away to Hogwarts.
The three of them tumbled onto the grass, stood up, brushed themselves off and dashed off into the castle only to run right into Dumbledore. “Children!” he said, his voice anxious. “We have only just discovered that you were missing. I put two and two together and knew that you had gone after Harry. Since he is obviously with you, you must have succeeded and now you will tell me everything that happened at the Pyramid.”
So, they all went to Dumbledore’s office and told him all that had happened to them. When they were finished, he looked at them silently for a moment and then said, “I expect that you will want an explanation, but before I tell you, I want you to know that it was a job well done. Now, listen to me closely. It seems that Voldemort once found the same room I had and read the same book I read, in which was told much about the Rings of power and what they did for Sauron the dark lord.”
“As with all things evil, the words about the Ring filled Voldemort with a deep and terrible longing. But he dismissed Middle-earth for some time. Now that he was arisen, his thoughts once again turned to the Ring and he began to think of a way to get it. He began to study the arts of opening time portals. However, since he was still rather weak, he could only open one from a massive source of magic, which could only be Hogwarts. It took him several times to get Frodo through, which is why the Palantir and then Gollum came before he did. He then needed some way to get to Frodo and the Ring, which he why he sent Malfoy to be our new teacher.”
“I hope that this makes any questions you had clearer,” he finished. “But now, if my clock is correct, it is now time for dinner, so I will dismiss all of you.” Dumbledore led the three students out of the office and left them to hurry to the Great Hall, where dinner was being served. None of them would likely ever forget the experiences and the adventures they had had with the two hobbits.
Frodo and Sam stood in the middle of the cave. The same strands of webs hung around them as they remembered and the horrid stench was still there. “Well, Sam,” sighed Frodo, as he drew Sting again and began hacking at the webs again. “Let’s find Smeagol.”