Chapter 11 ~ Séances and Interrogations
Professor Trelawney had become obsessed with the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor ever since his appearance in the Great Hall. Unfortunately, she had missed the spectacle since she rarely descended from her lofty spiritual abode to join the school for mundane meals. She was, however, utterly thrilled that this venerable visitor from the world beyond had returned to Hogwarts, and she was determined to make contact with him. As Hogwart’s self-proclaimed mystical mistress, she saw it as both her right and her duty.
However, the ghost did not appear to share her enthusiasm. For over a week, all of her Divination classes had been devoted to this, her sacred mission, of reaching out to the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor – But with no success at all.
Finally, she decided that the most conducive environment for forging contact with the ghost would be his own former abode, Gryffindor Tower. Lavender and Parvati enthusiastically agreed to help her organise a séance, which was to take place one evening in the Gryffindor common room. All the Gryffindor students were requested to attend this unusual event. Trelawney hoped that the ghost might come to his own students.
The tables were arranged into a large circle with the students seated around the outside. The lights were dimmed and incense was lit. Lavender and Parvati had made artful mystical arrangements upon the tables. They were covered with an assortment of crystal balls, tarot cards and various other divination and psychic paraphernalia – it was all rather impressive. Hopefully the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor would be impressed enough to put in an appearance.
Hermione Granger, however, was not impressed. She was annoyed – very annoyed. She’d been working hard on her research paper when her table had been all but pulled out from under her, to join the mystical circle. She was outraged. Everyone knew that Trelawney was nothing but a fraud, and that Divination was nonsense, suitable only for light entertainment. Well maybe not everyone knew, though Hermione. Lavender and Parvati – who had stolen her table from under her – obviously didn’t know. But Hermione most definitely did know – and she was furious at having her serious research work interrupted by this mindless nonsense.
As she gathered her books together, intending to go to the library, Ron called out, “Hey, Hermione, where are you going? You’ll miss all the fun.” He didn’t have any more faith in Trelawney than Hermione, but he thought it might be entertaining.
“I’m going to the library, so that I can get some work done,” she replied huffily. “I don’t have time for Trelawney’s theatrics.”
“You never know Hermione. She might just manage to summon the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor,” said Harry, who seemed more willing than his friends to give the Divination teacher a chance. “Sometimes she gets lucky. I mean it was Trelawney who gave the Prophecy, and she’s given a couple of accurate predictions since then.”
“That makes her success rate about one genuine achievement every five years,” replied Hermione, archly. “I really don’t have the patience to wait for the next one. Err, where’s Rick?” she asked, looking for him among the students seated around the circle of tables.
Hermione was, in fact, very interested in the enigmatic Ghost of Godric Gryffindor. He was number two on her list of great mysteries that she was determined to solve. But she didn’t expect Trelawney, and her silly séance, to yield any useful information.
Rick was mystery number one, and Hermione had a suspicion that there was some kind of link between him and mystery number two. For one thing, no one could remember seeing Rick around on the two occasions that the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor had appeared. Perhaps she should stay in the common room. She might find some clues to one or both of these annoying mysteries, which were starting to drive her crazy.
“He’s over there,” said Harry, pointing to a table in the corner of the room that had not been requisitioned for the circle. He was reading a book and did not appear to be taking much interest in the preparations for the séance. Hermione was about to go over to join him, but then changed her mind. Instead she joined the silly séance circle, choosing a spot where she could surreptitiously observe Rick.
“Hey, Hermione,” called Ron. “So you decided not to go to the library after all? Good move – you can observe The Special Powers of Witches firsthand – with Trelawney,” he added snidely. Hermione glared at Ron and was about to make a very unflattering remark about the Divination professor – and her art, when the portrait hole swung open.
Professor Trelawney made her usual dramatic entrance, looking even more ethereal and mysterious than usual. She was evidently anticipating great happenings this evening. Parvati and Lavender led her to the special place that they had prepared for her in the circle.
“Everyone, please hold hands,” she said. “We are gathered here this evening to summon the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor.” She closed her eyes and nodded her head slowly from side to side in a dream-like way. “Focus your mind on Godric Gryffindor,” she instructed in a low, ethereal voice. “Open your inner eye and visualise him standing before us, in the centre of our sacred circle. Call him silently from deep within you. He will surely come.”
But he didn’t come.
After some minutes Professor Trelawney called out in an eerie voice, “Godric Gryffindor! Oh brave and noble Founder of Hogwarts, we beseech thee to grace us with thine presence – please make some sign to show that you hear me.”
Nothing happened – no sign, nothing. The students were becoming restless. Murmurs of discontent could be heard from around the circle.
Professor Trelawney continued her attempts at enticing Godric Gryffindor to make an appearance; each time adding more and wilder superlatives to her litany. However he staunchly resisted all entreaties.
Finally she announced that it appeared that the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor was otherwise engaged that evening. However, since they were all gathered together in a mystic séance circle, she would attempt to contact others from the spirit world.
She tried summoning Helga Hufflepuff and then Rowena Ravenclaw, but without success. There was general opposition when she proposed summoning Salazar Slytherin. The Gryffindors were not having him – or even his ghostly apparition – in their common room.
So she tried Merlin, Morgana, Mopsus, and Merwyn the Malicious, all without success. Ron suggested she try the great wizard chess master, Montague Knightly, as there was a particular opening gambit that he was keen to ask him about. But he didn’t show either.
After attempting, without success, to summon the ghost of every great witch and wizard that she and the students could think of, Professor Trelawney made a remarkable discovery.
First she consulted her crystal ball. Then she unfurled and examined her personal star chart, which she carried with her everywhere. Then she did a quick Tarot reading. “I am very sorry to have to tell you,” she announced to the students. “But all the signs concur. This particular evening is not at all auspicious for contacting the spirit world. I do apologise. I should have checked before arranging the séance for this evening. Perhaps we can try again at a more auspicious time.”
She thanked everyone for their participation and began packing away her crystal balls and talismans and other baubles and bangles and beads. Lavender and Parvati were escorting her to the portrait hole when suddenly the lights dimmed and a cold presence made itself felt throughout the common room. Nothing could be seen, but a ghostly voice reverberated throughout the room.
“Sibyll Trelawney, I come with a message for you, from the spirit world.”
“Are you the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor? Have you have finally heard our summonses and come?” asked Professor Trelawney, in ecstasy. She seemed to have totally missed the irony of the fact that the ghost had not appeared until after she had ceased summoning it.
“Yes, I am the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor, and I have come on account of your summonses.”
“In fact, I have a message for you from some of the other inhabitants of the spirit realm – Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, Merlin, Morgana and all the others that you have been so enthusiastically summoning this evening.”
“How wonderful, so you did hear me! Our séance was a success after all! How marvellous! This is the most exciting moment of my life – to have been in contact with the spirits of so many great and illustrious witches and wizards!” The Divination professor was in raptures.
“But you must have noticed that none of us responded to you?”
“Umm ... yes. Why was that?” asked Trelawney, sounding a little perplexed.
“Well, you see ... we don’t give interviews.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“We don’t give interviews. You do understand my meaning, don’t you?” asked the ghost, emphasising each word very clearly.
“Err ... No,” replied Trelawney, now completely confused.
“Perhaps I need to put it a little more bluntly,” said the ghost, sounding annoyed. “The message I have for you from the inhabitants of the spirit world, is that we do not wish to be disturbed.”
“Your little séance tonight; and your other feeble attempts to contact me over the past few days – and indeed your attempts at contacting various members of the spirit world, from time to time, as the ‘spirit takes you’, disturb our peace. We have a message for you, and the message is, ‘Do not disturb’.
“We do not want you to contact us – at all! Rest assured, that if there is anything, of great import, that we wish you to know, we will contact you. I believe there is a colloquial expression in your world which sums it up rather nicely, ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you!’”
The Ghost of Godric Gryffindor said no more, and appeared to have departed. A very embarrassed Professor Trelawney followed suit and dived through the portrait hole.
Laughter and giggling and much joking at Professor Trelawney’s expense ensued.
But there was one witch who was not laughing, giggling, or joking. Hermione had been keeping an eye on Rick while the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor was present in the common room. Rick had been slumped back in his chair, as if he were asleep or perhaps unconscious. She had kept checking on him, and he was like that the whole time the ghost was present.
No one else would have noticed, as he was in the corner and all attention had been focused on Professor Trelawney, by the portrait hole, at the other end of the common room. As soon as the ghost was gone, Rick was sitting upright and very much awake. He was now laughing as loudly as everyone else. But when his gaze reached Hermione and he saw the way that she was scrutinising him, he stopped laughing and quickly looked away.
Hermione walked over and sat down next to him. She knew she was on to something, but she wasn’t quite sure what. This time she wasn’t going to let him wriggle off the hook.
“Rick,” she said, looking at him accusingly, “I know you had something to do with the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor’s appearance. I was watching you the whole time he was in the room, and you were slumped unconsciously in your chair. You might as well tell me the truth you know, because I’m determined to find out.”
Rick took out his wand and cast an Imperturbable Charm around them, so they couldn’t be overheard. He also cast his Wizard Repelling Charm. He knew he was going to have to deal with Hermione’s curiosity and he didn’t want to arouse anyone else’s.
Hermione, meanwhile, had removed one of the colour-coded folders from her bulging book-bag. She opened it up and started adding notes to the bottom of one of the many parchments it contained.
“I’m a medium,” said Rick, attempting to deflect Hermione. “I was channelling, the Ghost of Godric Gryffindor. I have psychic powers.”
Hermione looked unconvinced. She was not a great believer in such things, but she added a further note to her parchment. “This is my Rick Godfry dossier,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’ve recorded the details of every strange event that has occurred around you since the start of term.”
“I guess I should feel flattered,” said Rick – but he didn’t. He felt more like a fox, cornered by a pack of ravenous bloodhounds.
“Let’s start with your name, shall we?” said Hermione turning to the beginning of her thick dossier.
“Err, what about my name?” asked Rick, perplexed.
“It’s an anagram of Godric – as in Godric Gryffindor.”
“What?” said Rick, genuinely puzzled.
“Rick God-fry. Put the God in front of the Rick and you get Godric(k). Didn’t you realise that?”
“Umm, no, it never occurred to me. How strange. I wonder if it was intentional?” Rick mused.
“Intentional? What exactly do you mean by intentional?” asked Hermione, raising her eyebrows. Rick didn’t answer. Hermione noted his comment in her dossier. Then she picked up Rick’s wand from the table and started examining it carefully.
“It’s just a wand,” said Rick nervously. He wished he’d put it away in his robes, he was usually very careful to keep it concealed. He really didn’t want Hermione examining it, but if he grabbed it from her, it would only increase her interest. “I know it looks a bit different, but that’s because it’s, err, it’s made from, err, the wood of an unusual tree, err ... the giant Kauri.”
But Hermione wasn’t listening. She had transformed her own wand into a magnifying glass and was examining Rick’s wand painstakingly.
“I knew it – there it is,” she said triumphantly, pointing to a small symbol at the top of the wand, “It’s the rune of the Moor Barrow. We learned about it in Ancient Runes. This rune symbolises the power and strength of Godric Gryffindor – it was etched into his wand. I thought I recognised this wand from a painting of Gryffindor – it’s very distinctive.”
Looking Rick straight in the eye, she said, “This is Godric Gryffindor’s wand, isn’t it Rick?”
“Err, yes,” said Rick, with a sigh. There was no point denying it.
“What on earth are you doing with Godric Gryffindor’s wand?”
“Professor Dumbledore gave it to me,” said Rick, trying to make it sound like it was no big deal.
“I knew it was displayed in the Founders cabinet in the Headmaster’s office, it’s mentioned in ‘Hogwarts, a History’. But why would he give it to you?”
“Err ... because the Ghost Godric Gryffindor asked him to – would you believe?” said Rick smiling, and trying to lighten things up a little.
“No,” said Hermione, “I would not believe. There is absolutely no need to introduce psychic phenomena. Everything can be explained from well established and accepted magical principles. It’s unbelievable that Professor Dumbledore would give you this wand – it’s an antiquity – but I don’t imagine that you stole it, so he must have given it to you – but why?” Hermione stopped talking for a few moments while she jotted down some notes about the wand.
“Umm ... it’s because I’m a psychic,” said Rick, trying to sound convincing. “The Ghost Godric Gryffindor came to me in a vision and said that he wanted me to have his wand, so that I could channel him. Then he asked the Headmaster to give it to me – and he did. See ... there’s really no great mystery at all.”
“Let’s review some of your activities,” said Hermione – totally ignoring Rick’s attempts at a psychic explanation. She was working her way down a highlighted summary list. “We’ll start with how you dealt with those Death Eaters who attacked the train on the way to Hogwarts.”
“But, err, that was Professor Dumbledore,” protested Rick. “You heard him ordering everyone to stay in their compartments.”
“Yes. I did – or at I least thought I did. However when we got to Hogwarts I discovered that the Headmaster had been here all the time – I made some enquiries. You locked Harry in his compartment to stop him getting off the train, impersonated the Headmaster, and then somehow managed to dispose of twenty Death Eaters – rather impressive, I must say. I suppose you have an invisibility cloak or something like that.”
“But, there is nothing supernatural about that,” continued Hermione. “Nor is there anything supernatural about Apparition! I guessed some time ago that you can Apparate and you subsequently admitted it. Of course it’s completely illegal, as you’re under-age and could not possibly have obtained a licence. I just can’t understand why you haven’t been picked up by the Ministry’s detectors for illegal underage magic,” she added, jotting down a note to this effect in her burgeoning dossier.
“And somehow, you are even able to Apparate at Hogwarts. Perhaps Professor Dumbledore modified the castle’s Wards to allow it. There must be a logical explanation. It seems that I shall have to accept that ‘Hogwarts, a History’ isn’t always right – at least not where you’re concerned,” she said in a tone of regret, just as a child might concede a cherished belief of childhood, such as the Tooth Fairy.
“You Apparated back to get your Potions things the first day, and then Apparated down to the dungeons, getting there before Harry and me. Then you answered all those questions from Snape.” Hermione picked a parchment out from her dossier and examined it carefully. It contained all of Snape’s questions, along with notes on each one.
“I checked them out. The answers to some of these questions can only be found in books – or research papers – that you could not possibly have accessed.”
“So how did I know the answers then?” asked Rick, becoming more and more nervous under the onslaught of Hermione’s accusations.
“You plucked them straight out of Snape’s mind. It’s the only logical explanation – you’re a Legilimens – aren’t you? I think it’s totally outrageous that you are allowed to do that in class. Why it’s unethical, and unfair for the rest of us, who have to find things out the hard way.”
“Oh,” said Hermione suddenly, as another piece of the puzzle dropped into place. “I remember the first time we met, in Flourish and Blotts. I was watching you for several minutes, although you didn’t notice me. You were walking along the shelves, running your finger along all the books. What exactly were you doing?”
“Err ... day dreaming?” said Rick weakly.
“Oh, no you weren’t! I’ve read that Rowena Ravenclaw had an amazing gift. She just had to touch a book and she would immediately know its contents. No other witch or wizard has ever been known to possess that ability. But you do, don’t you Rick?”
Rick remained mute, deciding that the best policy was to neither confirm nor deny Hermione’s accusations.
“That explains your perfect knowledge in every subject. How you know things that you have no ... no right to know! It explains how you are able to quote ‘Hogwarts, a History’ – chapter and verse!”
“It’s just not fair. How am I supposed to compete with someone who can absorb a book in seconds, or pull the answer to an examination question out of the teacher’s mind?” Hermione’s single-minded pursuit of unravelling the Mystery of Rick Godfry had temporarily become sidetracked by her outrage at this enormous injustice that had been visited upon her.
“Who said we need to compete?” asked Rick, attempting to mollify her outrage. “Err, anyway, Professor Dumbledore knows all about me. If I do possess any unfair advantages, he’ll know about them.”
“And what about the other Professors? Do they know? Does anyone else know about your secret abilities?”
“No, only Professor Dumbledore – and apparently a bloodhound witch named Hermione Granger,” sighed Rick.
Hermione couldn’t help but smile a little at the compliment, and Rick’s pun. But then she immediately switched back to the main subject of her interrogation and was on the offensive, once more.
“You read Malfoy’s mind in Potions that day, didn’t you? That’s how you knew he’d put the powdered Death Caps into our Folliculus Rerverus Potion, and how you knew he had the envelope in his pocket,” she said, jotting these details down on a parchment as she spoke.
“And that’s how you knew that he was about to fling a Furnunculus Curse at me instead of casting a Shield Charm, that day in Defence Against the Dark Arts. Of course, I’d already worked out that it was you who’d thrown up the Reflecting Shield to protect me and send Malfoy’s curse back at him. But I couldn’t figure out how you knew what he was about to do,” added Hermione, making a further note.
“And then there were all those times when Malfoy and his Inquisitorial thugs were stalking us in the corridors. You always seemed to know what was going to happen. Come on Rick, admit it, you’re a Legilimens, you must be! It’s the only explanation.”
Rick tried to look away, but Hermione was determined to look him in the eye. She suddenly gasped. “Why Rick, that means that you can read my mind. You must know exactly what I’m thinking.... You must know exactly how I feel about ... everything,” she said, blushing fiercely and hiding her face in her hands.
“Look Hermione, I’m going to be completely honest with you on this one. It is true that I have err, some Legilimency abilities. I’ve used them to keep an eye, if you will, on Draco, Umbridge and anyone else who might pose a danger to Harry and our side.”
“And ... what else?” demanded Hermione.
“OK, well, I may have used them in class on some occasions to, err ... you know, get the right answer. I used them on Snape, as you guessed, when he gave me that grilling in our first Potions lesson. You cannot imagine how awful it is in there.”
“In Snape’s mind,” answered Rick, distastefully.
“Oh. So is he really on our side?” asked Hermione. “I’m sure you would have tried to find that out.”
“Yes and yes. Yes, I did try. And yes, he’s committed to Dumbledore – absolutely. But you have to believe me that I haven’t been going around just reading people’s minds without a good reason. I’ve only used Legilimency to protect Harry and help those on our side, not for my own curiosity and amusement ... or romantic interests.”
“So you haven’t been looking into the minds of any of us – your friends then?” asked Hermione, still suspicious.
“Umm, well, I do check Harry sometimes, like when we’re going to bed at night – just to make sure that he’s not planning to go out and fight a duel or something like that. Please don’t tell him – he’d be furious with me – I’m just trying to protect him. But that’s about it. If I’d been monitoring everyone, I would have picked up on Ron giving Pansy the password.”
“And what about me?” asked Hermione. “Have you been probing my mind?”
“No!” said Rick emphatically. “I’ve made a special point of not using Legilimency on you.”
“Why is that?” asked Hermione, curiously.
“Well ... umm, because I like ... umm, well, because of how I feel about you,” said Rick shyly.
Hermione blushed. She found herself feeling quite uncomfortable and quickly turned her attention back to the parchment with her highlighted summary list. “Did you really use Legilimency on Lucius Malfoy at the Quidditch match? I remember now that you claimed you did, but I didn’t believe you at the time. We were a hundred yards away from him. To use Legilimency, you need to be in very close proximity to the other person and you need to cast the Legilimens Spell, which you didn’t do.”
“Umm ... I guess there must be different kinds of Legilimency,” said Rick. “Look, Hermione, it’s really true that I’m psychic ... err, in a manner of speaking. Why won’t you believe me? The reason I can speed read like Rowena Ravenclaw is because I can contact her spirit.”
Hermione looked sceptically at Rick. She was looking for a rational, logical explanation of his powers, not one that involved the supernatural.
“And I really do have Empathetic Magic. That’s how I heard you calling me from the dungeon that night. I think it’s because of my connection with Helga Hufflepuff.”
“Oh, Piffle-puff! That’s what it is! All this mystical nonsense is just a big red herring, designed to throw me off the track,” said Hermione, defiantly. “I don’t know what alerted you to my plight that night in the dungeon – maybe it was just an intuition. And as for finding me, I suppose Professor Dumbledore has given you a magical map of Hogwarts, similar to Harry’s Marauders Map. After all, if Harry’s dad and his friends could create something like that, I’m sure Professor Dumbledore can.”
Rick realised that Hermione was simply not going to accept his hints at a supernatural source of his abilities; and there was no way that he was going to tell her the whole story. She would steadfastly refuse to believe anything that she could not understand or explain – unless he could provide scientific proof.
“OK,” said Rick. “How about we conduct a scientific experiment to determine whether or not I can actually contact Helga Hufflepuff?”
“But how are you going to prove something like that scientifically?” asked Hermione. “Wait a minute! I’ve got it! I’ll test you. I have several books which contain rather obscure information about her that doesn’t appear elsewhere.” She pulled several library books from her bag, holding them up for Rick to see, but not letting him touch them. “Have you read any of these?” she asked. “I want you to swear a Wizard’s Oath.”
“No,” said Rick, looking at the books. I haven’t read – or speed read - any of those books and I promise not to read the answers from your mind. I swear a Wizard’s Oath to it. Go on, ask away.”
“Alright,” agreed Hermione. “What was Helga Hufflepuff’s favourite flower?”
Rick closed his eyes and saw crocuses blooming at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. “The crocus.”
“What was her favourite bird?”
He saw a flock of swifts wheeling high over the lake. “The swift.”
“What was her mother’s maiden name?”
“What was her favourite desert?”
“Her favourite drink?”
“You promise you haven’t cheated?” said Hermione in defeat, resigned to the fact that Rick could answer every question she asked him.
“You know I couldn’t have broken my Wizard’s Oath, Hermione,” answered Rick. “The answers all came directly from Helga Hufflepuff, I promise you. So now that I’ve proved that I am able to contact Helga Hufflepuff, will you accept the possibility at least, that she could be assisting me to do Empathetic Magic? After all, she’s famous for it. I’d really like to learn more about the subject and I’m sure it will be useful for your special research paper.”
Hermione, too, was keen to learn more about Empathetic Magic. She realised that Rick was using her interest in it, to sidetrack her, to end her interrogation. She had learned a lot tonight and added some valuable notes to her dossier. It was obvious that Rick was not going to give in and divulge his secrets. She would have to figure it out for herself. Hermione knew she was making progress and that she would solve the puzzle of Rick Godfry sooner or later. He had been in quite a bit of discomfort at times, during her cross-examination. Hermione took pity on him, and decided not to subject him to further questioning – for tonight, at least.
“So how do you propose proving that you can do Empathetic Magic then?” asked Hermione.
“For the next week, at random times, I’d like you to try summoning me,” said Rick.
“Summon you? How? With my mind?”
“Well yes, and with your ... err, your feelings,” said Rick, finding it a little difficult to explain. “You need to feel that you really want me to be there with you. Write down the time and place. If I feel you summoning me, I’ll write down the time and where I think you are. Then, at the end of the week, we’ll compare notes.”
“All right, but no using your magic Hogwarts map to find me. You can only use Empathetic Magic. Agreed?”
“Agreed,” said Rick.
~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
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Coming up: Chapter 12 ~ A Witch, a Wizard and a Room of Requirement
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