Chapter 1

The Dream Team

The Hogwarts Express wound its way through the many hills and dips of the Scottish countryside, carrying a cargo of very rambunctious students. It was September first, the day that, for students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the new school year started. School robes had been pressed and folded, trunks and bags packed and loaded, and now it was time to receive new school schedules, to attend the Opening Feast, and, for the first years, to be sorted into different houses.

The new firsties this year varied greatly in temperament and background. There was Brian Limey, a short, Elven, Irish kid who would end up a Ravenclaw. Then there were Avery Berke and Donal Talmorra, the first muggle born, the latter properly bred, both of whom believed they belonged in Slytherin, and both of whom would wind up in Gryffindor. Agatha Swales was another student who believed she belonged in Slytherin; however, unlike the boys she was quite right.

Of all of the first year students riding the Hogwarts Express, these four were perhaps the most remarkable, for theirs would prove to be an unlikely story. Seamlessly their years at school would be bond together, an extricate web of friendship and hate, truth and lies: inseparable even when it sometimes became intolerable. Of course, on the train to Hogwarts none knew of this. They were merely four first years, heading for a new experience at a new school.

The first few days of term would fly by. Avery and Donal, sharing a dorm, would come to form a haphazard friendship. Donal would discover an old friend at Hogwarts in the way of Agatha Swales, the perfect girl he knew from pureblood soirees.

There would be other discoveries, but our story begins just a few weeks into term, when the real events of importance started to unfold.

Agatha pulled back the heavy green velvet drapes and slipped inside the common room, followed by Donal. It had been about a week since she had arrived at Hogwarts and been sorted, naturally, into Slytherin. That time had been spent well. She had met up with an old friend, Donal Talmorra and Non Gywn, a valuable acquaintance. But then she had met some less than acceptable students, including the coarse Megan Vining.

Thankfully the Vining brat is preoccupied with torturing some firstie, Agatha thought as she skimmed the room before fully entering with Donal, who had agreed to break the school rules and come to take his rightful place in Slytherin. The boy was meant to be here, she knew, not in that indecent house Gryffindor.

“OK,” Agatha whispered to Donal and her eyes sparkled. “Welcome to Slytherin Mr. Talmorra. I think that bold is best, don’t you?”

With a swift nod to her companion she strode purposefully into the center of the room and elegantly sat down on a large green leather sofa. She patted the seat next to her and winked at Donal.

“Agatha! Dahling! Do you care introduce us?” came a shrill voice down the stairs leading to the Slytherin common room.

Non Gwyn walked down freely to where Agatha was sitting with her guest. Non’s golden hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail— she always had to look sleek, and her black trousers were made from the finest fabric.

She hadn’t seen this boy around the common room yet. But of course, if Agatha thought him willing to be in her company, he must have some standard to him.

Non put her hand out, ready to meet this enchanting young man.

“Non! Sweetheart!” Agatha greeted her friend ecstatically and stood up to air kiss her ally in greeting.

“This,” she said with just a hint of pride and perhaps a prior claim in her voice, “This is Donal Talmorra, a gentleman of extremely high birth. His father, Lord Borric, has frequently being a guest at our Cannes penthouse. I myself have met him on several previous occasions. Donal, this is Non Gwyn, Non this is Donal Talmorra.”

Formal introductions over, Agatha graciously cast her hand towards the chairs, motioning Non to be seated, and it has to be noted that the seat which she pointed out was on the— far side—of Donal Talmorra.

Running her fingers though her blonde hair, Agatha tucked her legs, clad in classic black trousers, under her and leaned over to Non.

“My dear, he is absolutely perfect,” she purred, “In every way…except perhaps one…he’s a Gryffindor!” she whispered and clapped a hand over Non’s mouth as Non let out a squeal. “A mistake, a mistake,” Agatha hurriedly explained. “He’s Slytherin through and through, just look at him,” and she glanced under her long mascara lined lashes at Donal.

“A little crush, eh?” Megan, an older Slytherin known for causing trouble, began, approaching the clump of first years. Agatha sighed. She had so hoped that Megan would stay away.

“Oh Agatha, you could do so much more with your life! But instead you decide to run off with a Gryffindor!” “Anyway, why do you wanna hang out with him? Look at ‘im! He looks like he just came up off the street!” Suddenly an idea popped into Meg’s head, a cruel one.

“And what happens when I tell the house prefect you’ve let a student from another house in?”

Just as Agatha had previously found Megan’s weak spot, so had Megan perhaps found Agatha’s. Her eyes blazed and she sneered back, “Go tell then, Meggy. Little prefect’s pet. Like I really care.”

Plopping herself down in a chair, Megan’s expression changed to a serious one and the hint of an evil plot sprouting gave way to her next comment. “Do you know how much damage we’d be able to do if we joined forces?” She asked, directing the question to Agatha.

Agatha cast a sly and underhanded look at Megan.

“I think we could work something out,” she drawled, “Do tell me what you had in mind.”

”Not sure…” Megan answered with an extremely evil snicker. “Although I do need help getting revenge on a few people…the Hufflepuff Prefect, a few firsties, and the Headmistress. And since you’re a firstie yourself, I thought you could help me. What do ya say?”

“I think we could come to some sort of agreement,” Agatha smirked. “The Headmistress, for one, the old bag, has already been really rude to myself and Donal. She screamed at us, just for informing her that the smelly disgusting old Sorting hat got it wrong about Donal. And as for the firsties, they seem a pretty pathetic bunch if you ask me, present company excepted,” she said, grinning at Non and Donal.

“It’s all… oh will you be my best friend ever, ‘cos I am such a friendly, fun, jolly sort of person and I get on well with everyone. Oh no wait I am bored, wanna join my club?” Agatha was quite a good mimic and her voice took on a pathetic whiney tone as she took off her peers. “That was until today,” she added. “Now half my year seems to have burst into tears cos…oh no…wait…no one loves them…boohoo…they’ve got no friends. Pathetic!” she spat.

“So in answer yes, revenge sounds fun, will be my pleasure in fact. The last one though, the Hufflepuff Prefect, I don’t believe we’ve met. What’s she done to you?”

Donal listened to Agatha and Megan deal. He smiled wickedly when the two of them seemed to be coming to an ‘arrangement’. Oh yes…things were going very well indeed.

A little while later, after having escaped Megan, Agatha opened the door to the first year dorm and let Donal in. She was quite pleased with her room now. Initially she had loathed the idea of sharing a dormitory style of accommodation, used as she was at home to the privacy of her own ensuite chamber and boudoir. Gradually however she had come to enjoy the company of Non and felt proud to show it to Donal.

Agatha’s bed was at the far end of the room, next to the diamond casement windows. She leapt onto her bed and pulled a huge rectangular box from under the bed. Opening it up gently, she grinned at Donal, who seemed a little hesitant.

“Come see!” she patted the bed beside her; there was plenty of lounging space for two.

Donal closed the door to the dormitory, after checking to make sure that Megan had not followed them, and sat down heavily on the nearest bed. “Phew. She’s a case that one. We could use her, but she’s a bit of a loose cannon. I think she comes into the category of Aim and Fire at someone. Not too hot on the planning and cunning really.” He looked around the dormitory as he spoke. “Nice Dorm,” he commented, in a good sort of way.

Donal looked across at Agatha, and smiled, standing up to go over to Agatha’s bed. “I heard she got expelled from Beauxbatons. I think she announced it to the whole of the Great Hall. But that just shows lack of cunning. A properly executed plan should get the real perpetrator off the hook.” He looked a little smug.

“You’re right of course,” Agatha smirked. Really Donal had a very logically devious mind and Agatha appreciated this quality in another.

Lifting the items she wished to show Donal out of the box, she lovingly placed them on the bed. They were packed in delicate, green soft wrapping.

First there were some Quidditch accessories, not catalogue items, but hand crafted, individual pieces. They were useful items, not merely for show. First there was her all-in-one, black leather, flying cat-suit with a tiny Slytherin logo discreetly placed to one side. It was designed for maximum wind resistance in order to boost acceleration. Next were a set of Quidditch balls, highly polished and with her initials engraved on the side. Then there was a self-cleaning kit for her broom, designed to take the strain and dirt out of the arduous task of broom polishing (quite a vital accessory for Agatha.)

Pulling open her wardrobe door, she took out a shimmering bag, which seemed to change color whichever way it caught the light. Unzipping the hold all, she took out a honey colored broom. The wood grains were mellow and the broom end a tight bundle of perfect willow, tight for control, yet springy for flexibility.

It was not a factory broom, but hand carved by a craftsman in the wild and barren Camargue in Southern France.

Finally she pulled a rack of tiny bottles from the large cardboard box. Each tiny vial contained a few drops of liquid. There was a variety of colors – satiny reds, emerald green, nightshade black, rose drop pink. Some of the liquids lay peacefully in the bottles, whilst others fizzed and hissed, eager to escape.

Agatha laid out her possessions and let Donal look them over, hoping he would approve.

Just then she leapt off the bed and returned with a huge fluffy black and white bundle.

“And this is Silka,” she said, burying her head in her fur. “A most intelligent, not to mention beautiful, cat.”

She beamed and leaned her head on Donal’s shoulder, feeling very relaxed, for the first time that day.

Donal looked over her things, nodding with approval. He’d seen her in the cat suit the previous summer, when his family had been at the Swale’s estate in Cannes, and they’d had a little Quidditch game there. The balls were new though, and the broom was as well. He loved playing Beater in Quidditch, not simply for the game, but for the fact he got to hit fast heavy objects at his opponents.

He picked up the rack of bottles, and examined them carefully. An Emerald Green potion caught his eye. “I think this one might be a shrinking potion. It looks similar to one that Father had a little while ago.” Placing them gently down as Agatha leaned on him, he stroked the cat, and Agatha’s hair, feeling a little awkward.

Silka purred, a deep rumbling noise from the depths of her being, while Agatha smiled, wishing that perhaps humans had a similar expression of contentment as she felt Donal’s hands on her hair. She was not her mother’s daughter for nothing though, so she looked up at him with her devious almond green eyes and said wickedly, “Time for the biting now perhaps?” and giggled a little, somewhat spoiling the intended effect.

Donal looked down at her with a confused expression on his face. “You want me to bite you?” He looked totally bewildered.

“Joking!” Agatha laughed outright, the expression on his face one of bewilderment. “Honestly Donal, doh!” She took up one of her feather pillows and batted him lightly round the head with it. Then she caught the giggles and couldn’t stop, rolling round on the bed, saying, “Bite me!” in between giggles.

Donal looked sheepish when she started laughing, but grinned, and grabbed another pillow as she hit him, pummeling her gently with it as she rolled around.

Agatha couldn’t stop. Every time she tried, she saw his face as he said seriously and with such a perturbed look, “So you want me to bite you,” and it set her off all over again. She laughed so hard she was practically crying, but then the pressure of Donal hitting her with a pillow forced her back into some semblance of normality. “Right Talmorra!” she yelled and standing up on the bed she took a swing at his head with the pillow, bouncing on the bed, in a mock- boxing type stance.

Donal laughed as he ducked under her swing, dropped to his knees on the bed and proceeded to bat her knees with the pillow, trying to make her fall over.

Agatha saw what he was doing, but her balance on the bed was none too good anyway and she felt herself falling. As she did so, she took one last mighty swing at Donal with her huge goose down feather pillow and, as fat and plump as it was, the force of the impact with Donal’s head made it explode. Agatha and the feathers toppled down all at once and she lay on her back on the bed shrieking as feathers rained down from on high coating the walls, beds, ceilings, furniture. Silka was in cat heaven, scampering about, chasing feathers and batting them through the air.

Agatha was covered in feathers; they were everywhere. She spluttered as some got into her mouth and her eyes met Donal’s. So little time… so much destruction. She smiled at him.

Donal burst into hysterics as the pillow exploded against his head and showered the place with feathers. He fell down onto his front, next to Agatha, giggling helplessly. “’Oh that was fun!” he gasped between laughing, “The others will wonder what on earth has happened. The house elves will hate us!” He laughed even harder, his convulsions shaking the bed.

Agatha lay back on the bed, with Donal giggling helplessly beside her. She was all laughed out and, looking at the new world they had created, she felt not a sense of panic at what they had done, although that may well come later, but a feeling of calmness and serenity.

It was like a beautiful snow scene in her very own bedroom. She had no idea if this was the right thing to do or not, but Agatha was not, and had never been, a bashful girl. It was all so perfect that she leaned over and gave Donal a kiss on the lips.

Donal’s eyes widened to the point that his eyebrows disappeared into his hair as Agatha kissed him full on the lips. He tried to speak but Agatha’s mouth was in the way and all that came out was a startled, “Mmmm”. Then he found that he liked this…he liked this a lot.

Donal hurried into the library and looked around for Brian Limey, a boy he felt might be a possible friend and alley in future pranks. He spotted Brian as he waved and threw a piece of paper. Grinning, Donal caught it and sat down beside Brian, pulling out some books. Opening one of them at a random page, he leaned closer to Brian so that he could keep his voice down.

“Hi. Like I said before, I’ve got an idea that’ll be a real scream, but we do need to be careful. There are risks, but if we plan it well we should get away with it, and have the whole school mystified as to what actually happened. Before I tell you more though, I must have your word that you will not breathe a word of this, even if you decide not to join in. Deal?” Donal looked intently at the boy’s face, judging his reaction.

“If it has anything to do with actually hurting people, like really hurting them, then I’m telling. Okay?” Brian said seriously. “Pranks are fun to a limit. But otherwise, I won’t tell.”

Donal looked at Brian with a slight frown. He would have to educate this boy sometime in what really mattered. But no, not now. Now was the time for plans.

”It’s not going to hurt anyone, I promise, but it will raise eyebrows. If we pull it off, they’ll be talking about it for years, trust me.” Donal smirked a little then continued, “Well, while I was doing a detention cleaning the suits of armor in the North Corridor, one of them was being a bit stubborn. So the Prefect who was keeping an eye on me suggested that I might threaten it with a can opener to get it to cooperate. Of course, my thoughts were ‘why just threaten’?”

He lowered his voice, “Why not actually do it? Not necessarily with a can opener of course, but 15 suits of armor in a pile of spare parts…I’d love to see the face on the Professor that saw that! You interested?”

“How did you get in Gryffindor? Of all houses. It certainly is no place for a mind like yours.” Brian complimented “That plan is excellent, although I don’t know how it will be fool proof. If only we had an invisibility clock.”

Donal grinned wickedly at Brian’s compliment. Oh the two of them were going to work well together, Donal was sure of that.

”We’re going to need to do some preparation work, and I think we will need a couple of others, say Avery Burke and Agatha, to help, keep watch, something like that at any rate.” Donal said, naming another possible accomplice from Gryffindor and his new girl-friend.

“First, we need to set a watch on the corridor, to find out a time when we can sneak in and set things up, then later that night we do the deed. Second, we are going to need to do a trial run of some kind, make a lot of noise in a classroom nearby and see how long before someone turns up. Third, how do you destroy 15 suits of armor quickly, even if it makes a noise? Using a proper can opener would take for ever, taking them apart would have its own problems—they would probably fight back—so I think blowing them up is the only answer.

But how can we get something that will do the job? Oh, and fourth, if we can arrange for someone to run interference for us, that would help. I’m thinking Megan in Slytherin would be great, but she’s not going to do it willingly, so how do we manipulate her?” He looked at Brian, wondering what ideas he might add to the plot.

“Maybe we could pay Megan. But really I wouldn’t trust Megan with anything.” Brian laughed. “Maybe there is a spell of some sort that can do the deed for us. With Agatha and Avery, four people can finish the deed easily using a spell. It may take oh, about five minutes. And maybe we won’t need a watch…we need something…”

Avery entered the library, looking for Donal and Brian. Donal had told him to meet him after their Transfiguration lesson, so here he was.

He spotted the two, and then walked over to them, after picking a book off the shelf to pretend to read.

He sat down next to Donal and smiled as he heard part of their conversation. “Hey,” he said, and waited for their response.

Donal smiled as Avery joined them. “Avery, this is Brian Limey of Ravenclaw, Brian this is Avery Burke of Gryffindor. Brian and I were just starting to discuss the scheme that I have in mind.”

“Hey,” Avery said, motioning to Brian, before asking, “So what’s the deal?”

Donal repeated what he and Brian had discussed so far. “Any suggestions?” he asked, keen to hear what they had to say.

“I don’t, to tell you the truth… I’ll just go along with you guys… I’m not that creative… Sorry… But it sounds good!” Avery said after a moment. Donal seemed good at the plotting thing, but he himself really wasn’t.

Agatha Swales, the last arriving member of the pranksters, walked into the library looking for Donal, having failed to locate him in the Great Hall.

She paused in the doorway, for her usual effect and smiled and inclined her head in greeting as Donal looked up.

Agatha was wearing black flared boot cut trousers and a cream top cut off one shoulder. She made an immaculate appearance, as always. Black Gucci mules clicked slightly as she continued on towards the group of boys around a long curved table.

“Hellooo boys,” she drawled, “Having a conference? Plotting foul deeds?” she enquired idly, Donal having confided in her his hopes for allies within the first year.

However, never having met them personally before, although she had noticed one of them had been following her and Donal for so long she was almost coming to believe that he was stalking them, she waited for Donal to perform the introductions, as any polite gentleman would.

Dom Snelly snickered at the first years, shaking her beautiful hair out of her face and closing the book open in her lap. She had been sitting at a table too far behind the others for them to notice, but now she decided to reveal herself.

Jesting with these four should prove to be more entertaining than any book. She began to laugh. They all turned and she saw Agatha roll her eyes and Donal glare at her with so much venom that it was funny.

“Oh don’t worry children. My lips are sealed. For a price,” She said, noting their glares before continuing, “Yet as an older student it would be my duty to tell the Headmistress about this little scheme of yours, Donal. Oh, and so you know, Megan will never work with you, or for that matter, with you, Agatha.” Dom stood, crossing over to the students she viewed as only younger, and thus sillier.

“Maybe if you get some one who hasn’t ever been caught or gotten into trouble to ask a professor about the spell you need.” She suggested, humming to herself as she chose a seat father away from the firsties.

”Make sure the plan works little boys and young lady,” she looked up and smiled, before going back to reading.

Jamie, an older Ravenclaw student, and Brian’s cousin, walked into the library just in time to hear what Dom had been doing. She sighed. Dom was known for being…eccentric. She was a pathological liar and a poor sport, and Jamie didn’t care fo her much.

“Dom, leave ‘em alone. Just because Agatha is with Donal doesn’t mean you have to be a jerk.” Jamie sneered, resting her hand on her hand. “Lay off ‘em.”

Brian giggled at the comment. “Thanks Jam.” he whispered. “Yeah, buzz off Dom. You’re giving me a headache.” Brian was so close to pushing a dungbomb up Dom’s nose that it wasn’t even funny. All right, maybe it was. Brian laughed at the thought.

“I was being a good student. Do you actually think I would mess with them? Little firsties, please. I believe I will go to the Headmistress and tell her all about this. We’re the best of friends, you know” Dom said, condescendingly. She smiled.

Avery glared, already planning lots of murderous things to do to this girl.

”And, by the way, Dom, could you stop eavesdropping on other people’s conversations?” He asked, before turning around and ignoring her. Then he turned to continue his discussion with Donal, Brian, and Agatha.

But Dom was not ready to let the matter drop.

“Look, I’m not eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. You’re talking too loud and I am trying to study. I’m going to tell the headmistress on you guys. Not cause I’m a goody-good. Just because you’re just a bunch of little babies. I mean, Agatha, tell me why you insult other houses, but you hang out with these little ones? Donal should be in Slytherin with us, but why hang out with them? I’m off to rat on you guys.”

Dom got up and snickered. “Oh and if you ever try to threaten me again, I’ll make it so you’ll never be a happy camper. Like, Okay?” An evil expression surfaced in her eyes. “I know some spells that will turn your heads. Believe me. You have no idea who you’re messing with little boys. “Dom rolled her eyes. “You guys are a waste of time. Just please stop talking so loud.

Dom walked off but turned around quickly, “Oh and take this.” Dom pulled out her wand whispered a few words and something came flying across the room.

It was two huge spiders and they flew right into the mouths of Brian and Avery. When the two boys started to open their mouths they couldn’t.

“Oh I would chew those spiders, boys, if you don’t want to choke. They’re only candies, but no other student knows how to take that little spell off of you. Not even a Prefect. You could go to the headmistress and tell on me. But remember to tell her that little plan of yours.” Dom smiled sweetly and giggled. She went in the direction of the Quidditch field, now singing in a sweet, mellowed crazy tone.

That…err! Now, I have a candy spider in my mouth and I can’t get it out! Avery thought.

He turned to Donal and Agatha and silently pleaded for help.

“Dom yer a freak.” Jamie snorted. Jamie unleashed her wand, and murmured a spell, to make the spiders disappear. As usual, Dom was lying about not being able to end the spell.

Exiting after Dom, presumably to give her a form of payback, Jamie called, “Stay away from Brian, Avery, Donal, and Agatha, or the headmistress will hear about your little issues.”

Jamie looked ready to hex Dom, but as Dom was already out the door, it was impossible to see what sort of revenge occurred.

Avery continued chewing on the spider, before noticing it was gone, and he was just grinding his teeth. He silently thanked Jamie for sticking up for them.

Donal, with a dark look on his face as he thought of Dom, stood up, and pulled out his wand. They would have some privacy, despite her attempts to waylay them. Walking around those seated at the table, which now included Agatha, he described a sphere around the group with his way, including himself inside.

Finally he muttered “Intrepidus Taciturio.” His wand glowed gold briefly, and a shimmering dome appeared over and around them. Smirking through the barrier, he sat down again.

“She won’t hear us through that,” he said confidently. “If she comes back. And don’t worry about what she may or may not have heard so far, she can’t prove any of it.” His grin broadened.

“In fact we can possibly use it to our advantage. Since she may tell a professor all about the plan so far, from the professor’s point of view, what better a way to escape punishment than to blame someone else? All we have to do is make sure she knows nearly everything except for some details on timing, and cover our own tracks. Then the professors will think that she has done the deed, being that she knew all about it and has admitted so, but no one else can be found to blame. How could anyone else be possibly involved?’ His face took on a look of perfect innocence, and then creased into a wicked grin.

“Cool! Good job, Donal!”

Donal suddenly realized that the incident with Dom had distracted him from making the proper introductions.

“Agatha, this is Brian Limey of Ravenclaw, and Avery Berke of Gryffindor. Gentlemen, this is Agatha Swales of Slytherin. Together I hope we can make a good team for mischief. I must admit, one more like minded person from Hufflepuff and we’d have all houses represented. That would make people less annoyed if all houses lost equal points.” He looked thoughtful for a second, pondering that last statement, but then his attention returned to the present.

“Why yes certainly,” Agatha replied with a half smile. She was as yet uncertain of these associates of Donal from other houses. Surely if Donal liked them then they must have merit, yet her upbringing informed her otherwise. “That is if you mean, are we going out,” she finished smugly, resting one small ringed hand lightly on Donal’s knee.

“Anyway, to business,” Donal said, “You all now know of the idea of dismantling the suits of armor. We need a way of quickly taking them apart, even if it makes a noise. And we need a means of escaping undetected from the scene. Brian, your dungbomb idea has a good basis, but a single dungbomb, even half a dozen, isn’t going to damage armor. However, other explosives or fireworks might do the job.”

Looking up at him, Agatha narrowed her almond eyes and considered the details.

“I wonder,” she drawled, “If you have, in this plan, considered the magical properties of the statues themselves. It is not, you know, just a case of dismantling metal. Some suits of armor have been known to fight back, others have ghosts residing within them, whilst still more have welded shut tightly over the space of hundreds or indeed thousands of years.”

Agatha herself remembered visiting the house of an aged relative when she was but five years of age. Trying to be ladylike down the grand staircase she had suddenly and without prior warning been attacked by a suit of armor, who tried to smash her head with his axe and then booted her down the stairs. Dignity shattered, Agatha had cried, and never forgiven suits of armor since.

Donal paused at Agatha’s words, his arm snaking around her. She had a very good point. Thoughtfully he said, “Well I know the armor could fight back, so that’s why we need to consider how to do this, but I had not considered ghosts or spirits within the armor. As to them being welded shut, they aren’t any more. Not after I’d finished cleaning them anyway.” He shrugged.

“We need a way of taking them apart quickly, before they can respond…That’s the part that has had me stumped for ages.”

He looked around at the others, his brain running fast. There must be a way, there must be a way, there must, there must. “Come on people, think, just a fragment of an idea might just be enough.” He tapped his fingers against his chin, a habit of his when he was scheming hard.

Brian had been thinking hard about what they could do.

“”I have an excellent idea. My grandma does this potion often,” Brian said, pulling out a book from the shelves. He flipped quickly through the pages, and finally he stopped, and read over the page. “Okay, it’s called the Time Freezing Potion, or Rahmipha. We could use this potion to freeze time, and then use the Unfreezing Potion when we are done!” Brian said. “All we need is werewolf tonsils, any part of a clock, newt saliva, four strands of veela hair, and a piece of ice. Make sure to put it in that order. Then the potion should turn a light green and bubble.” Brian said.

“Now, to put into use, you pour a little of the potion where you want time to freeze.” Brian looked up from the book. “What do ya say?”

Agatha leaned back against Donal and flicked her eyes up at this boy Brian.

“Yet wouldn’t you need a plan to make the plan therefore?” she queried, “Those ingredients you speak of would have to be stolen, Ravenclaw boy. And say we did manage this feat, how long does this potion last, and are we powerful enough to perform it?”

“I could steal it, or send for some. My old friend at home could send us some ingredients. We could give the potion a try at least. I haven’t heard any other ideas,” Brian objected.

Agatha looked round at the faces at the table, “I am not trying to be difficult,” she drawled, “Yet in such a scheme each eventuality must be covered.”

Agatha herself saw little use in the plan as a plan. It seemed somewhat childish to her. Yet she was prepared to aid Donal, and those Professors needed to be shown a thing or two.

“It lasts until you use the Un-Time Freezing Potion, so time just stops once you use it. “All of us together could be powerful enough. I guarantee that.” Brian slouched back into his chair. “Please call me Brian.”

“I’m game,” Avery said, after listening to Agatha and Brian’s discussion. “But, again, is it difficult? And does anyone, besides Brian, have a knack for Potion-making?”

He sat, thinking about other possibilities.

“Well, all you guys have to do is add the ingredients to the potion, and use safety precautions. I can’t get you guys each a book about it if ya want.” Brian added. “It really helps to know what yer doing.” Brian glanced over at Avery.

“OK fine,” Agatha said dismissively, metaphorically washing her hands of the situation. “You boys play your potion games or whatever. Let me know when and where this will occur and I will provide a diversion for the Professors, just in case any inquisitive or untimely visits should occur whilst you are at work.”

Agatha smirked. She had a plethora of diversionary tactics, which she couldn’t wait to try out. None of the Professors would get close to the truth of the plan. She pondered reflectively on Megan Vining. True the two had not exactly bonded to date, yet Agatha instinctively understood the potential of such a union of devious minds.

”Well, do you have any ideas, then?” Avery asked, “’cause, until we come up with another plan, that one’s probably the best. I don’t know how it’ll work, but…we’ve gotta play with that idea and others to figure out a good solution. Though you probably already know that.” Avery pointed out, eyeing Agatha.

Agatha rolled her eyes. She had a great temptation to snap back at this boy, but Donal’s presence beside her restrained her and she replied in as ladylike a manner as she could muster.

“Really that is up to you. As I said my assistance will be in another field of combat, however I am sure that Donal will have some ideas for you.”

She rose reluctantly from the warmth of Donal’s arm and with a sly smile said, “I must, for my part, go and see about some possible help I may recruit. Donal,” she smiled to him.

“Boys,” she nodded.

Then with a flick of her blonde hair she was gone, striding confidently from the library in the direction of the Slytherin common room.

She’s a nasty piece of work, Avery thought.

Avery glared at her retreating form, and then turned back to Donal and Brian.

Donal had been mulling over what the others were saying. “Brian, I like the idea of that potion, but we’re going to need to a) Make it and b) Test it. How big an area will it cover? Just what does the potion touch? A room or a certain size space? I’m so-so with potions. Charms and DADA are my stronger areas. We can leave the diversions up to Agatha, I think, I’ll talk to her later on that one. Avery, what are your strong areas of magic?”

Donal was starting to see how this might shape up. Agatha in charge of diversions, Brian on potions, himself on charms and defense, hopefully Avery might cover Transfiguration, and between them, preferably Avery and Brian to cover Herbology. Mind you, at the moment, Herbology was one they probably didn’t need to worry about.

Brian shrugged, leaning towards Donal. “I’m best at Transfiguration. I stink at Hogwarts Potions, that why I skip that class. My parents are experts at potions, they are the only people who have taught me things you must know about Potions. Our Potion Professor teaches rubbish.” Brian sighed.

“What you do is pour it around the area of the armor. It should cover about 50 feet every which way.” Brian said, glaring at the book. Brian then reached for his extra copies of his Potion Guidelines book.

“Here you go, study these.” Brian said. “I know you have your own work, just get in as much as you can,” he explained.

Changing the subject briefly, Brian added, “Wow, Agatha. She’s one tough cookie. Not a bad thing that’s for sure. I’m sick of those wussy girls now-a-days.”

Avery listened to Brian’s comment about Agatha with slightly raised eyebrows. “Erm… I don’t know. No offense Donal, but she’s kinda…scary I guess is the best word.”

“How so?” Brian asked, sticking up for Agatha. “She has a brilliant mind you know. I mean she lost over ninety points for Slytherin, that’s excellent!” Brian commented.

“Huh?” Avery asked Brian skeptically. “Donal’s lost…erm…how many have you lost? Anyway, how is that good? Yes, she has a brilliant mind, but…never mind.”

“It’s a world record!” Brian explained.

“Oh. I’m so impressed,” Avery said with a touch of sarcasm. “A record you’re dying to break, no doubt.”

“Why are you so offended by Agatha?” Brian questioned. “So since you don’t like her, and I do, you hate both of us?” Brian asked.

“Hey. I never said that I hate you, nor did I say that I hate Agatha.” Avery defended, “I just don’t feel too comfortable around her, that’s all. She’s just…I don’t know. I’m sure you’ve had that feeling where you just don’t like a person. Maybe it’s because she’s so mysterious and secretive, if you will. Like I said. It’s just a feeling.”

He stared at Brian and waited for yet another question or complaint.

Brian seemed happy with the answer; he didn’t want to fight with someone again. It takes up too much time, he thought.

“Well, I think you should get to know her. I mean, I don’t know her, but she sounds cool. But honestly Donal, you’ve been much to quiet.” Brian said, turning to Donal.

Avery wanted to respond, but Donal had been awfully quite, so he thought the better of it.

“So, are we gonna discuss the plan, or not?” Avery asked instead of continuing the conversation on Agatha. It was probably time to get off that.

Donal shook his head. “I think we have lots of think on.” He said, standing and removing the secrecy spells. “Let’s leave it there for now. I want to check out some things, especially that potion. Brian, see if you can get us the ingredients. I’ll talk to Agatha.”

Another cunning smile crossed his face as he contemplated the plan. “This is going to be great.”

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