Chapter 619: Ancient Rune Advanced Class (2 in 1)
Gryffindor Common Room.
“What do you say? In the school! Have they gone mad?!” Ron yelled, with an incredulous look on his face.
Hermione gave him a stern look. Ron lowered his voice, but his tone became more urgent, as he hissed, “Is it true, the You-Know-Who is being locked up in classroom seven? I’m not in a dream, am I?” He subconsciously glanced at the wall clock in the common room, but unfortunately, the lights are off now and the moonlight is too dim for him to see.
“The Professor has placed a lot of magic on him.” Harry whispered, describing in detail to both of them what he had seen happen to Voldemort, highlighting the Ouroboros snake that was made up of several Patronus, but Ron was still whispering “Crazy, all crazy.”
Hermione seemed a lot calmer, only surprised for a moment before she tried to analyse the purpose behind this.
“I thought Voldemort was dead-”
Harry and Ron looked over in surprise.
Hermione said impatiently, “Oh yes, the last thing Harry saw at the end of the last exam was Voldemort being captured, but that doesn’t mean anything because at the time,” she mouthed the word ‘Horcrux’, “there was another piece in Bellatrix Lestrange’s possession.”
“… If Voldemort had died at that time, it would have turned into a problem, because he could have hidden away in his soul state. So I can totally understand why Professor Hap and Headmaster Dumbledore did what they did. The problem is, I thought they would destroy the Horcrux as soon as possible, but they didn’t …” she showed a confused expression and looked at Harry, “Something must have gone wrong somewhere.”
“You’re right in your analysis,” Harry said, “Voldemort has one more thing to use to be immortal than expected.”
Hermione and Ron inhaled a deep breath in unison.
“Has the extra one been found? Is it destroyed?” Ron asked hurriedly.
Harry stared at him, his expression turned wooden as he nodded and then shook his head.
“Found it, but not destroyed yet?” Ron guessed, “But why, is it in the hands of someone who we can’t easily get it? Heck, we could ask Professor Hap to steal-”
“Harry!” Hermione called out.
“Oh, sorry, but I-I think Professor Hap wouldn’t mind-” Ron was halfway through his apology when he snapped out of it and realized that Hermione hadn’t called his name, “My name’s Ron, remember?” But Hermione stared at Harry’s face, her lips quivering.
Ron’s pupils dilated in fear as he slowly turned his head to look at Harry.
“That’s right, I’m the last one.” Harry tried his best to sound calm and composed.
“Shhh.” He saw both of their mouths open at the same time and held up a finger, “There’s a twist in this, that’s why Headmaster Dumbledore and Professor Hap kept Voldemort alive. Hear me out-”
He began to tell them the story as it was, only omitting the existence of the Resurrection Stone that Dumbledore had asked him to keep secret. The story was very lengthy, as he had to begin with the last History of Magic test, and Harry soon got to the scene he had seen in Snape’s memory, and for some reason, he didn’t hold anything back and spoke freely and bitterly about it.
Ron and Hermione couldn’t help but sigh with emotion.
“Remember the boy from the herb shop?” Hermione asked softly, and Harry knew she was talking about the story they had initially received under Ms. Jane’s name from Professor Hap, and that was the first time Harry had forced himself to examine Snape’s complicated feelings for Lily Evans.
For a long moment, no one spoke.
After a long pause, Harry continued the story. He spoke about the private conversation between Snape and Dumbledore that he had seen – “They knew about it all along?” Ron shouted, “No, you knew about it back then?” He looked at Harry with the expression of looking at a liar and Harry grinned at him, “I thought I would be dead then.”
“No wonder you suddenly wanted to write a book.” Ron snapped to his senses and then gave a suspicious look, “When you were at the Burrow, you and Ginny didn’t interact that much, I thought you were embarrassed at the time, but now that I think about it …” he clenched his fists in anger.
Harry flinched and took a step back.
“If you’re going to punch me, then please finish it quic-”
“Why should I!”
Harry babbled in fluster, by which point Ron had rushed up and Harry closed his eyes, but instead of a punch, he was greeted with a hug. Harry almost couldn’t catch his breath. “Damn it, note that punch down for now, so if there’s a next time–” Ron waved his fist threateningly.
Hermione covered her mouth, her eyes welling with tears, “Oh, you two.”
Things seemed to have passed just like that, the storm had passed. Harry thought it was the first time in two months that he had laughed heartily. He could see the worry in Hermione’s eyes and after some hesitation, he said, “Don’t worry, Dumbledore told me something … he has a secret card…” Seeing Hermione wanted to speak, Harry shook his head repeatedly. “Don’t ask, I promised Dumbledore I’d keep it a secret.”
Harry’s source of confidence is the legendary Resurrection Stone, he personally witnessed the miraculous power of this Deathly Hallow – Dumbledore used it to bring back his sister Ariana and introduce her to Harry, and this is just bits of scratch that Dumbledore “got from studying the Resurrection Stone. ”
“By the way,” Ron said, “I saw Hagrid when I left the great hall at night.”
Harry’s eyelids fluttered hard. He felt the confidence that had been built up in his chest quickly being replaced by some other emotion, and he managed to say in a dry voice, “Hagrid he – what did he say?”
“Are you guys still going to take his class this year?” Ron asked in response. Neither Harry nor Hermione said another word.
The three of them looked at each other.
As Harry lay in bed, he stared at the headboard of the four-poster bed and couldn’t help but grumble inwardly about why Ron didn’t bring up this problem tomorrow.
The next day after breakfast, the new sixth-year students stayed behind.
The four Heads of the House came down from the staff table to distribute and sort out the class schedules for the students. This proved to be a real hassle as the heads had to check the students’ O.W.Ls results first to confirm that they are eligible to take classes.
“Potions advanced class – A, I would never have accepted this grade if I still taught the class.”
Snape’s very recognizable cold voice reached Gryffindor’s long table.
“Only A’s needed for Potions advanced class?” Ron asked as he had just managed to remember that the Potions class professor had changed.
“Yes, Weasley, Professor Slughorn is willing to accept students with grades of ‘A’ and above.” Professor McGonagall said, placing a stack of blank syllabuses on the dining room table and looking through her notes.
She called the names of several students in order and handed out the timetable and syllabus for them.
Hermione briskly strode over to the table and said.
“I’m going to continue learning Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, and Potions.”
A small smile appeared on Professor McGonagall’s serious face.
“Of course, Miss Granger, Professor Marchbanks has written a special letter of commendation to you.” She waved her wand and some gold and red ink writing immediately appeared on the empty timetable and syllabus, then she turned her head to Neville, who nervously pulled out a small slip of parchment and looked down to read what was written on it, “I’ll take Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Ancient Runes- ”
Professor McGonagall raised her eyebrows.
“Don’t be nervous, Longbottom, your mother has written to me, with your grades you can take potions class as well, is that alright?” She glanced at Neville, who nodded.
Then Professor McGonagall cleared her throat and looked up at the crowd, “Is there anyone else who has chosen Ancient Runes class? The first class is Ancient Runes, so you need to hurry up-”
There was a clamour and countless arms were raised.
“-Professor Hap will only accept students who have received an ‘Outstanding’ grade on their O.W.Ls.” She added.
A few arms dropped in resignation.
“In that case,” Professor McGonagall said, looking at the number of students which hadn’t decreased that much at all, and said with some headache, “let’s just line up in order.”
Ron looked at the crowd with an amazed look on his face and whispered into Harry’s ear, “It’s incredible that there are still people who haven’t gotten an Outstanding…”
Harry just shrugged. As far as he could see, everyone had scored surprisingly well in Ancient Runes, which led to a phenomenon where everyone seemed to treat the Advanced Class as a compulsory course, and despite Professor Hap’s warnings last year that the Advanced Class would be difficult, there aren’t many students who have the stomach to give up such an advantageous subject.
In the end, Harry and Ron took the same classes, such as Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, Transfiguration, Potions, and Ancient Runes.
“Only one subject less than Hermione.” Ron said with a half-smug, and half-sigh.
Harry wasn’t surprised. He thought back about his five years at Hogwarts – the first three years had been relatively easy, he and Ron had basically only spent the last two months before the finals studying, but the fourth and fifth years had been a nightmare.
In the fourth year, they practised their magic very hard for the tournament but were still nearly killed by Voldemort at the end of their third task.
Harry will never forget how powerless he had felt in the face of Voldemort – if it had been just himself it would have been fine, but he had watched Ron and Hermione being tortured, their lives and deaths depending entirely on a single thought of Voldemort, and at any moment they could have been turned into a cold corpse.
It is precisely because of this experience that the intensity of their training at one point became too intense for even Sirius to allow. Even Ron – Harry knew he didn’t care much about grades, but he had gritted his teeth and got through it for the past two years.
The only possible explanation for that Harry could think of was what Hermione had said to him in the summer break of the fourth year, “I don’t want to die in a war.” But even less they want to watch their friends at their sides die in a war the next time they face Voldemort.
When the trio arrived at the Ancient Rune classroom, Professor Hap was already waiting there, and the chairs were packed with students.
“What’s with all these people?” Harry asked in surprise.
“The Advanced class will consist of all four houses together.” Hermione whispered.
“Hey. Look over there.” Ron poked a finger into Harry’s ribs and Harry looked to the far left of the first row, where a furry Niffler yawned and sat on a thick stack of books, and Daphne Greengrass sitting gracefully on the other side, except her eyes always subconsciously glanced to her left.
“Valen?” Hermione uttered in surprise, and when Valen heard the voice, she looked up and waved lazily at them.
“Ah Merlin’s beard,” Ron sighed in admiration, “Professor Hap is no longer content with making Niffler literate.”
When they found a place to sit, Harry couldn’t help but stare at the back of Valen’s head, he then looked at the professor sitting next to the lectern and leafing through the Book of Runes; he only felt that it seemed weird as hell, are they all going to be classmates of a Niffler?
After a moment, Felix put the Book of Runes away and stood up. His eyes swept across the classroom, the seats are now packed to the brim.
“You have been studying ancient runes for three years now and have achieved excellent results.”
“I hope you have chosen this class with a love for Ancient Runes because you will find that the difficulty of the Advanced class is vastly different from what it was before … You should have heard of Wandless magic, right? Yes, the skill that is widely used at the Uagadou School of Magic.”
“Ancient Runes have a similar requirement.”
“Now put your wands away, you need to learn to get rid of unnecessary restraints,” Felix said, and the students below fumbled to put their wands away, “Very well, I need you to outline an Ancient Rune in the air with your fingers, I know some of you can do that, the next step is to use your will to mobilize the magic and make the ancient rune appear around you automatically, the more the merrier! Let’s begin.”
There is no doubt about the importance of the wand to the wizard. The loss of the wand was undoubtedly quite a mental blow to the students, the vast majority of them staring blankly at the small area of air in front of them, their faces flushed red and their fingers scratching wildly as if they are suffering from some sort of illness.
“I told you all.”
Felix said in a low voice, one that filled with patience, as he walked between the students, “There are actually some tricks, but you need to discover them by yourselves.” There was no lack of gloating in his tone.
He walked over to Hermione, who was holding a shiny magic rune in her hand, she was about to raise her hand when she looked up to see the professor staring at her.
Hermione smiled nervously and put her hand down.
“How did you do that?” Harry whispered in her ear when Felix had left. Ron and the students around them immediately pricked up their ears to listen.
“Mentally picture the runic symbol of the ancient rune.” Hermione murmured in a low tone.
Realization dawned on Harry and the students around them.
Professor Hap had stressed the importance of the runic symbols of practical ancient runes more than once, only they hadn’t connected it to the context of this lesson. Soon the ‘secret’ had reached every student’s ears at a swift pace, and Felix pretended like he hadn’t noticed it, watching as students tried to imagine a ray of light, a flame, or a flowing stream of water …
Some students were already rolling their eyes with impatience.
Harry hesitated for a moment to choose between the three magic runes ‘flame’, ‘light’, and ‘sun wheel’, and finally he settled on the ‘light ‘ magic rune – it is the practical ancient rune he has mastered for the longest time, and he knows its runic symbols well because of Illumination magic.
He imagined in his mind what it would feel like to use Illumination magic now, then his fingers traced unconsciously, and after a few failed attempts he managed to successfully outline a shining rune.
“Not bad, Potter.” Felix suddenly appeared behind him, “you have got rid of the shackles of your wand briefly, now try to remove the assistance from your body-” With his successful experience, Harry was brimming with confidence, but that confidence didn’t last long; after a dozen failed attempts in a row, he became irritable and his breathing became laboured.
“Keep plenty of patience and confidence, as well as a little skill as a support.” Felix raised his voice to drown out the wheezing, and exasperated gasps around him. Many students turned their heads and looked at him dazedly.
“It’s not difficult, anyone can do it.”
He swung his arm downwards and the ancient runes fell like raindrops.
A little time passed and the students gradually got the hang of it. First of all, it is extremely important to master the runic symbols of magic runes, and the examples of success so far all support this concept; secondly, students who know illumination seem to be more at ease with it.
“Come to think of it, ancient magic doesn’t require the use of a wand at all, it’s just that we’ve taken the bull by the horns in the past …” one of the students said as an afterthought.
In spite of all that, only 30% of the students had managed to outline a dull magic rune with their fingers by the end of class, and the number of students who had managed to make them emerge without the use of a hand was no more than five.
“Ten points each for the first ten. Well, let’s see, thirty points each for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, and twenty points each for Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Assignment, a fifteen-inch long essay-” Felix said.
There was a wail from below the podium.
But Felix remained unmoved.
” – required to discuss the similarities and differences between wand casting, wandless casting, and gesture casting, as well as the differences brought about by psychological influences. Reference list of books.” A list of book titles appeared on the board behind him, “Of course, if you can complete the second step at the next session, the assignment will be waived.”
The students looked as if they had just been handed a death sentence and then came back to life in the blink of an eye. Clearly, they had underestimated the difficulty of this.
“Around Halloween, we will be learning new content. Students who fail to meet the requirement will receive a detention.”
Felix neatly ended the sixth year’s first day of ancient rune class and departed with Valen, who was bored enough to draw abstract paintings with her exclusive wand in class, and the two argued rapidly as they walked –
“Didn’t you insist on coming?”
“No, you’re just too idle enough to keep picking on that guy, and he didn’t look at your eyes properly, so I guess he has suffered a defeat in your hands in the past…”
Many of the students had overused their brains, so they slumped on their chairs with dull expressions.
“My head is full of flaring flames right now.” Seamus muttered in a small voice, yawning widely, and then as if it was contagious, all the students became drowsy.
Hermione kept rubbing her forehead.
“What’s the next lesson?” She asked wearily.
“It’s Defence Against the Dark Arts.” Neville said as he walked over, he didn’t seem to be that much affected by it.
The image of an old man came to Harry’s mind, and he had given him an encouraging smile this morning. After a few moments of dawdling in the classroom, the students left one by one, lining up for the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, Harry opened the door, then suddenly pulled the door back and stared at the sign on the door with an expression like he had seen a ghost.
“What’s wrong, Harry?” Hermione asked in surprise as she squeezed past and looked into the classroom, then she followed suit with her mouth wide open. In addition to that Professor Bagshot, there were four other people sitting neatly in the last row of the classroom –
Snape, Professor McGonagall, Professor Hap, and Headmaster Dumbledore.
At this moment, the old, wrinkled man standing on the podium in the sunlight looked tall and mysterious.
Thanks for all your love and support.