HP: A Magical Journey - Chapter 31

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Quinn sat in his workshop with a sheet of paper sitting on the table in front of Quinn. The sheet of paper contained the riddle given to him by Friar that held the clue to the first unknown vault.
[
Beyond sight exist five vaults, not known to many.
Their source unknown; lost in time.
Bearing the knowledge that death might come,
I give you the hint of the first one.
A vault so cold that even death might die,
You will find it on the level five stories high.
]
Quinn tapped his finger on the table as he read the riddle, and it was fairly easy to understand.
"There are five cursed vaults in Hogwarts, and as Friar said, not many people know about the vaults. No one knows how they were created or who created them. And because they have never been opened, no one knows about the contents," Quinn deciphered the meaning of the first paragraph of the riddle.
Now, the second paragraph contained some information that Friar hadn't given him. "Now, how does Friar know that there is danger in the vaults; he has never been in there, which could mean that the entrance of the first vault holds some sort of danger, and people have died attempting to enter the vault."
This part of the riddle did worry him a tiny bit. Quinn wasn't a fearless person; he worried about his health and safety and wanted to be perfectly safe before proceeding forward. But, in this situation, he didn't know how to ensure his safety. There were no precedents for Quinn to reference; he was going in blind this time.
Until now, Quinn had been preoccupied with preparing for the Troll incident, but he had tried to collect some information about these vaults from any source he could, but he wasn't able to find anything. The Room of Requirement didn't have anything on the vaults, neither did the library. The ghosts couldn't tell him anything regarding the vault. He even went to the kitchen to talk to the elves, but they too had nothing to inform him.
"This will be a new challenge for me," muttered Quinn as he exhaled a sigh.
The last paragraph of the riddle was the real clue. The lines represented information about the first vault.
"A vault so cold that even death might die," recited Quinn as he tried to understand the meaning behind the sentence.
"A vault so cold..." murmured Quinn as he tapped his finger on the table. "What can that mean? Is the room freezing; is it a room with an alternate environment, a tundra, or a permafrost type environment." Quinn had read about artificially cultivated environments within closed spaces. The best example he could give was Newt Scamander's trunk; it had various habitats for different magical beasts.
The second part of the sentence was also intriguing, "... that even death might die." Quinn wrinkled his nose before clinking his tongue, "I hate metaphors. Death might die... what does that mean?"
From the top of his head, Quinn could only think that the room was north pole cold, "Maybe whatever is in the room is encased by an icecap, is that it?" Quinn scribbled some notes before moving to the final line.
"You will find it on the level five stories high," Quinn smiled when he read this line, "Now this is much better, on the level five stories high means the fifth floor, but if we count the basement, then it might be the fourth floor... hmm, two whole floors worth of search-area."
Recon didn't show any sign of vaults, just like it didn't show the Room Of Requirements. Well, Quinn had tried to enchant the position of the Room Of Requirements in the map but didn't achieve any success as any person inside the room was invisible. When Quinn opened the map inside the Room Of Requirements, he didn't show up on Recon.
The vaults were unplottable. Or, at least Quinn couldn't plot them with his current capabilities.
"I have been on the fourth-floor and fifth-floor a lot, but I haven't felt any unnatural cold on any of the floors," pondered Quinn.
Quinn had mapped out Hogwarts' entirety for Recon, and he had memorized every inch of the castle for his mindscape transition. Quinn had given himself two years for replicating a working model of Hogwarts in his mind, and his current progress covered floors ground till sixth. Only the dungeons and seventh floor were remaining in Quinn's mind replica. But despite this, Quinn had no clue about there being a vault on the fourth or fifth floor.
"This demands another round of late-night, after-curfew exploration."
Quinn opened a new project in his workshop and named it,
「Project: Vaults」
Under the 「Project: Vaults」 he opened a chapter,
「Chapter: Vault One (Temp.)」
From that day onwards, Quinn combed through the two floors at night, after the curfew.
.
- (Scene Break) -
.
At night, Quinn searched for Vault number one. But, during the day, he was still a student of Hogwarts, attending class, learning magic, practicing magic in Room Of Requirements, working at the A.I.D office, and monitoring what was happening around Hogwarts.
As the year entered November, the weather turned frigid. The mountains around the school became icy gray and the lake like chilled steel. Every morning the ground was covered in frost, and students had to walk carefully to not risk slipping. Quinn created an exercise out of the frosted surface.
In the morning, during his run, Quinn would turn all the ice he encountered into ice objects like flowers, ravens, snakes, lions, badgers, and anything that came into his mind. An exercise designed to exercise his focus and control over his magic.
But, enough about that, and back to the next key event of this year, Harry Potter's first Quidditch event. In the canon, Quirrell and Snape were locked in a battle of cursing and counter-cursing Harry's broom, and Hermione had unknowingly knocked Quirrellmort while trying to get to Snape.
Speaking of Harry and Hermione, the golden trio didn't form in this world. Quinn had observed them and found that Hermione and Ivy had gotten really close, whereas Harry and Ron were already friends from before.
Harry Potter in this world was confident and outgoing. He was also involved in pranks, so he was always butting heads with rule-loving Hermione, so their relationship was quite rocky in this world.
But after the Troll incident, they had mellowed towards each other and were much more willing to tolerate each other. Ron had also toned down his insults towards Hermione and only provoked her if she berated Ron's intelligence and manners.
Instead of Harry and Ron becoming best friends with Hermione, Ivy had become best friends with Hermione. The two girls did everything together, and it reminded Quinn of Tracey Davis and Daphne Greengrass.
Still, Quinn was relieved by this outcome. At least with this, Hermione would still be in the loop regarding things around Harry as the Boy-Who-Lived was close to his twin sister, and Hermione was close to Ivy Potter. Quinn was sure that the challenges they had ahead of them would help these four build a bond similar to that of the golden trio of the canon.
Coming to the present time, Quinn was standing near the restricted part of the third-floor corridor, the part that held the entrance to the Philosopher's stone chamber, guarded by the creations of the Hogwarts professors. He was going to enter the special chamber and try to look at the Philosopher's stone.
It was broad daylight and not the usual hour of operation for Quinn, who liked to pretend as a normal student during the day and do his extra-curricular work after school during the evening and night.
But, the opportunity was perfect as today was the first match of the Quidditch season, and the Boy-Who-Lived, the youngest seeker in Hogwarts history, was playing. A great majority of the school population was at the stadium to see the game.
This game was also the one where Quirrellmort tried to curse Harry's broom so that he could injure Harry, and Snape fought against Quirrellmort by counter-cursing to save Harry. In the canon, Hermione thought Snape was trying to harm Harry and took action to stop him but unknowingly knocked into Quirrell, who was the real preparator.
Quinn didn't care for this event and was going to leave Harry's protection to Snape. 'He will work harder. I am sure he doesn't want his love of life to see her child get gravely injured in front of her,' thought Quinn as he prepared for infiltration.
Quinn was going to use the game and infiltrate the defenses guarding the stone. Quinn really wanted to observe the stone for educational curiosity. With the whole school there, Quinn had plenty of time to go in and out.
Quinn stood in front of the door, and before opening it, he checked it out for wards. He shot out detection spells all around the locked door but didn't find a single ward on the door.
"This is reckless carelessness. Did Dumbledore really not put a single ward on the door; what was he thinking? Or, maybe there are wards, and I just can't detect them," wondered Quinn. He hesitated about their being high-level wards he couldn't detect but decided to risk it, "Whatever, let's enter this thing."
Quinn silently casted an Unlocking charm (Alohomora), and with a click, the door opened. Before entering the room, Quinn made himself invisible and took a deep breath before entered the room. He was immediately was greeted by low, rumbling growls.
Quinn saw the first challenge/defense, set up by Rubeus Hagrid. The obstacle was to get past Fluffy was a gigantic, monstrous male three-headed dog, a magical beast species known as Cerberus who was once cared for by Rubeus Hagrid. Fluffy was raised by Hagrid and loaned to Albus Dumbledore. To aid in guarding the Philosopher's Stone. Fluffy's greatest weakness was the inability to resist falling asleep to the sound of music.
Quinn saw the Cerberus get up and sniffed around to the person who it couldn't see. Quinn stood perfectly still before slowly conjuring a violin; It was an exact replica of Quinn's violin. Quinn didn't want to bring his beloved violin in fear that it would get damaged.
Quinn scowled at the conjured violin. It felt different in Quinn's hand; It felt like an inferior product. Quinn sighed before starting playing a tune on the violin.
Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending began flowing through the room as the Cerberus stopped looking around and looked towards the floating violin with all its three heads and six eyes.
Slowly, but surely, the Cerberus' eyes drooped, and his frequent growls ceased, and it tottered on its paws and fell to its knees, then it slumped to the ground, fast asleep.
Quinn moved through the room while playing the violin, and after walking by one of the Cerberus' paws, he found the trapdoor. With a look at the door, the ring handle pulled itself up, followed up by the trapdoor itself.
Quinn stopped playing the violin, vanished it, and immediately jumped into the darkness inside the trapdoor. The Cerberus slowly woke up, shaking off the sleepiness, and looked around but saw no one, its three heads and six eyes missing the swiftly closing trapdoor.
Quinn landed on soft ground. The cold, damp air surrounded him as he felt plants around him.
'Devil's snare,' thought Quinn. The second challenge/defense, set up by the Herbology professor, Pomona Sprout.
Devil's Snare was a magical plant in the shape of a mass of soft, springy tendrils and vines that possess some sense of touch with the instinct to constrict or strangle anything in its surrounding environment or something that happens to touch it. Devil's Snare wasn't a carnivorous plant and didn't consume its victim.
The plant used its creepers and tendrils to entrap anyone who touched it, binding their arms and legs and eventually choking them. The harder a person struggles against Devil's Snare, the faster and more tightly it binds them.
Quinn felt the Devil's Snare creep up his body, but he didn't move or even tried to use magic. He just stood there, waiting for the Devil's Snare to surround him, and it did, slowly creeping over his over body, entrapping him in its vines and tendrils.
Quinn had read about the Devil's Snare and how if you stayed relaxed, it wouldn't suffocate a person, and Quinn wanted to see if it was true. He waited for thirty seconds, and the wines didn't tighten around him and just covered him, treating him like a wall or an immovable object.
'Okay, this is enough,' thinking that he charged up his magic, and multiple balls of harsh light appeared in the room full of Devil's Snare, scaring them as the wines hurriedly retreated from Quinn's body as it tried to shield itself away from the light.
Quinn didn't use fire to not wanting to damage the wines. He didn't want to leave any evidence in case the professors came to check on the defenses.
Wasting no time, Quinn walked towards the stony passageway free of Devil's Snare. The passage was dead silent as Quinn walked down the downward slope towards the next room.
Quinn knew he was near the next obstacle as he heard the rustling and clinking sounds from ahead. He reached the end of the passageway and saw a brilliantly lit chamber, its ceiling arching high above them. It was full of small, jewel-bright birds, fluttering and tumbling all around the room. On the opposite side of the chamber was a heavy wooden door.
"The winged keys," muttered Quinn as he took in the sight of at least a hundred winged keys. The flock moved randomly and rapidly, making it hard to keep track of an individual key.
Quinn looked at the old wooden door and then back to the flock of key birds.
"An old key for an old door," thought Quinn, but before that, he tried to summon the ring by using a Summoning charm (Accio), but alas, Flitwick had charmed them impervious to being summoned.
Quinn glanced at the brooms in the room, put there to chase the correct winged key. He scoffed and looked back at the crazy flock of winged keys. "Yeah, right. Like I am going to use a broom to chase the correct key."
Quinn trained his eyes on the flock, trying to spot the vintage-styled key, and the second he spotted it, Quinn never let his eyes wander off it. He raised his right hand, and the next second, a jet of yellow and red shot out of Quinn's right palm and latched on to the winged key.
He had just used the Seize-and-pull charm (Carpe Retractum). Quinn grinned, and with another thought, the cord of light started becoming shorter as it pulled the key towards Quinn, and within seconds, Quinn had the vintage fashioned key in his hand.
"Now, that is how you do it. Didn't have to move at all," Quinn praised himself as he walked to the wooden door. While humming, Quinn inserted the key into the door and turned it to unlock the door.
The next room was Minerva McGonagall's handiwork. A game of giant chess set with cool-looking chess pieces.
Quinn stopped for a minute and observed the chessboard, admiring the work of masterful and artistic Transfiguration. Quinn looked for clues and signs for what went into creating this work. A prolonged work of Transfiguration was a difficult job.
"The chess pieces are Transmuted into their shapes. Hmm... I can't decipher the original material of the pieces, but they are Transfigured into stone."
Quinn squatted and further examined, "Oh man, the animation charms are brutal on this one. Hot stuff! The swords, axes, shields, and even the bodies."
Like a student in front of a work of a master, Quinn spent some time examining the chessboard till he was satisfied. "Good, now let's bypass," said Quinn as he stood up and started pilling on charms on himself.
First, he made himself invisible so that the chess pieces couldn't see him. Then he casted a charm on every article of his clothing so that they didn't make a sound. Just for safety, Quinn erased his scent in case McGonagall had charmed them to sense smells.
'Let's go!' thought Quinn as he walked on to the chessboard, and step by step, he walked from the white side to the black side. Carefully, looking at the chess pieces to see if they would move and attack him, but they didn't. His heart was pounding when he reached the rows of black pieces and slowly, awfully slowly, stepped between a black pawn and the black queen.
Quinn finally exhaled a breath he didn't know he was holding and ran to the next room and shut the door behind him.
"Oh well, that was stressful." Quinn leaned against the door. He was sure that if the pieces moved a single centimeter, he would have blasted them smithereens.
At that moment, Quinn noticed the horrendous smell in the new room, and he was immediately reminded of the Troll he fought a few weeks before.
A massive mountain Troll stood in front of him; this one was at least two to three feet larger than the one Quinn had fought. The Troll hadn't noticed Quinn, and Quinn was glad that he hadn't.
In the books, Harry and Hermione didn't have to fight this Troll because Quirrellmort had already taken off it by knocking it out before the duo got to this room.
Quinn, on the other hand, wasn't that lucky and had to deal with this Troll.
"And, I have to deal with it without injuring this one," Quinn sighed, "Luckily, I prepared for this." He took a large round vial out of his robes.
The vial contained a pale lilac-colored potion. The potion was the Draught of Living Death, one of the stronger Sleeping potions, and sent the drinker into a deathlike slumber, but the potion in Quinn's vial was a unique blend.
The Draught of Living Death was a clear-colored potion, but the one in Quinn's vial was a pale lilac. The reason behind this was because it was highly concentrated. It needed to be concentrated because of the Troll's size and physique.
The Troll was sitting on the floor, so Quinn gently rolled the vial towards it. The Troll noticed the vial, picked it up with his index finger and thumb, and bought it close to his face.
This was the sign Quinn was waiting for as he launched a Transmutation spell towards the glass of vial, instantly disintegrating it, and the moment the potion came into contact with air, it turned to mist and became aerosol. Another handy change Quinn made to the recipe, modifying the recipe so the potion would turn to mist when coming into contact with air.
The Troll breathed in the vapor, and within a dozen seconds, the effects showed. The Troll became drowsy and fell to its side, sleeping.
Quinn immediately began moving towards the Troll, continuously casting air freshening charms around him to keep the Troll stink away.
He pulled open the next door, and there was nothing very frightening in here, just a table with seven differently shaped bottles standing on it in a line.
"Snape's puzzles," spoke Quinn as his voice echoed in the empty room.
The moment Quinn crossed the Threshold, a fire sprang up behind him in the doorway. It wasn't ordinary fire either; it was purple. At the same instant, black flames shot up in the doorway, leading onward.
Quinn was trapped.
-*-*-*-*-*-
Quinn West - MC - Explorer of Hogwarts.
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